Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Almost the end of June

and phase two of the summer is done already.  I finished my class, and ended up with an A for it, which I am so relieved about.  My final project paper, which was due the end of week 9 was submitted a day early, and three days before the end of the class I get a notice that said it was late!  I was scared, nervous, and upset.  Sent emails to the instructor, talked to tech support (I had received confirmation that it had been submitted and accepted that Saturday, which remained in place most of the week, until the notice it was late, because I was checking for grades on it daily thereafter), and my instructor accepted it when I resubmitted it and didn't penalize me for "being late".  Thank God!  I had been just sick over it!

We made the trip to Florida (St. Augustine) and it was lovely.  The weather was perfect, the town historic, the hotel had a pool and a 640 year old oak tree, and I really enjoyed it.  There were moments of tension and frustration, of course, because one doesn't have an ex-girlfriend, a current fiancee, a baby, one's entire family present without there being stress and tension. Brie generally handled herself well, but it was clear she was stressed at points. Then we had a trip to the ER added into the mix on Father's day.  Skye had been stuffing things up her nose, and unbeknownst to us had put a part of a tissue up her right nostril that was rotting.  Anyhow, she woke up with a fever and lethargic, and we took her in.  They pulled out two small wads of tissue (the second one, higher up, was just rank), and put her on a high powered antibiotic for the infection. Poor baby was scared to death and kept telling everyone "thank you, buh-bye" to get them out of the room.  Dalton, Brie, and I were in the room with her, along with the hospital personnel, and we were there for around 3 hours, after which we went back to Regina's house (Dalton's mom), ate some burgers, and took the baby back to the hotel to nap.

Long-story short, the med upset Skye's stomach so she had no appetite and the runs, she threw up on the drive home so that we ended up staying in a hotel overnight so we could rinse out the carseat cover and give her a bath.  We did take her in once we were home and they changed her antibiotic; she is 100% better now and hopefully will stop sneaking stuff up her nostril!

Skye was very receptive to meeting her great-grandparents on her dad's side of the family, who had only seen her in photographs prior to this trip, and we took lots of pictures. She got along well with her cousin Abby (who is 2 weeks younger), and seemed to like her dad's fiancee too (who was generally gracious with all that was going on). I really enjoyed meeting Dalton's grandparents and of course, I really like his mom, so the trip went well.

We got home late Thursday afternoon, took the baby to the clinic Friday, Eric and I stole a few hours on Saturday to go to the winery in the afternoon, and went back onto "parenting duties" Saturday night because Brie left for her two weeks of AT training.

Reimond had a little excitement heading up to Minneapolis. He got dropped off at the train only to discover he had no cash to pay for the train ticket (despite my telling him to take change from my bucket for it), and he called me in a panic (I was in Florida at the time!).  He was able to track down Aurora and Dan, who raided my "piggy bank" for him and brought him back train fare, then he got to the airport without incident, and made it safely to Phoenix, where his flight got delayed for 2 hours or better.  He finally arrived in Minneapolis 2.5 hours after he was supposed to be there, and was glad to be "home".  Things are going well at Tony and Andrea's, the work isn't terribly onerous, and he is spending time with the kids, his siblings, and friends in his spare time.  He passed his license test, so he is driving now, and seems to be doing well with the adult responsibilities.

So: I am back in Mascoutah, and now am planning out the rest of July! We have Skye this week and next while Brie is gone, then we will be travelling up to Minneapolis on the 25th for a week.  Liisa is now pulling together her wedding for July 28th so it can happen while we are there, and it's going to be on her front lawn at the house, followed by a reception/party.  She is doing it on a shoestring, and is very excited about how it is coming together.  My former pastor from down here will be officiating, and things will be finalized on Sunday (7/1) when Liis and Zack meet with Pastor Heidi at her new office in St. Peter, MN. When we leave Minneapolis we will be bringing Justin and Alexis back with us to spend 2.5-3 weeks here, and I am looking forward to that too.  I miss those little ones dreadfully!

My mom's heart issues seem to have straightened out with the medication change, and she is feeling fine.  She still has "gravel" in her kidney so the stent remains in place and she has to drink more water to try to flush it out.  She is excited about the wedding, and is the same as always when I talk to her on the phone.

I see the eye surgeon today and hopefully will get some answers I need regarding my vision.

Skye yesterday decided to swim in the dog's water dish...  I think she got spoiled with the pool at the hotel, and missed it, so I took her to the Mascoutah pool--for 2.5 hours!  That baby was so tired she asked to be carried in the pool but wasn't ready to leave.  We came home anyway, and she was in bed by 7:30 last night. 

Ok, that's the news!  Now I need some coffee!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I am taking homework time to briefly update everyone on life around here...

If I hadn't mentioned it before, Rei had a fabulous time in Alaska, and misses his girlfriend dreadfully now that he's back home. 

Brie is at drill all weekend, and we are doing a fantastic job of juggling Skye and getting other things accomplished (mainly me and homework--Eric and Aurora have been wonderful!)

Aurora went out to collect some job applications of Friday, so keep your fingers crossed.  She really needs a job and we could use the help with gas, insurance, and misc. : )

Dan too is job hunting (I believe) and he too needs some direction to his days, although he has been making many of the family dinners.

Patrick has been incommunicado for the past few weeks, so I think it's time I send him a "checking on you" text message later today...

Liisa is back at work, getting back into the routine of daily life, and enjoying Zack's kids.  They had a busy day Friday at the park and park pool, playing in the sprinkler at home, where she was in charge cuz Zack had to work a 14 hour day. She has her ups and downs, but she is doing well.

My mother had her chemical stress test on Friday and had another episode of atrial fibrillation that needed iv pushes to control and get her heart re-regulated.  Her pulse was not as fast as last week (where it ranged in the upper 180s-200s), but 120-159 for an extended period isn't great either.  They have upped her med, and she has another EKG scheduled for Tuesday (initially I had been told Monday).  Prayers are appreciated!  The best (or worst) part of all of this (depending on how one looks at it) is that she is completely asymptomatic and has NO sense at all that her heart is misbehaving, so it leaves us wondering if this is a new thing, related to her "white coat syndrome" or if it is something she has episodes with periodically that we are unaware of!  She, of course, is of the opinion that since she feels fine, we are making a fuss over nothing (and is "scolding" all of us for checking on her and checking in with my brother Eric).  I took a deep breath yesterday after hearing her plans for the day (grocery shopping, visiting the nursing home, her usual routine) that in the end, the quality of life is far more important than the quantity of life (something we had to accept with my father's heart issues as well), and trust in God's grace, timing, and plan.

We blew up a fairly good sized inflatable pool for the back yard on Friday and have been enjoying it with Skye, especiall with the temps being in the upper 80's low 90's here.  She loves the water and is thrilled to have others in it with her (unlike her solitary baths).  I am sure Brie would have a fit to know she was "skinny dipping" yesterday because I have no idea where her swim suit is, and we are out of swim diapers...  She did fine and loved it!

Tony is leaving Mpls today for Kansas, where he will be attending advanced training for three weeks (I believe). He called yesterday to be sure that everything was on track for Reimond's arrival on Saturday, and said he might make the trip to come see us if he gets any extended time off while he's so close by. Reimond's last day of school is Monday, and he thinks he's done well this term again.  I am cautiously holding my breath to see.  Overall his IEP came back fairly positive with regards to growth and change.  Regardless, I am very proud of how well he has done, and I do see positive growth and change. The focus this week will be on getting him out driving so he can take his road test (and hopefully pass it) before he leaves for Minneapolis.

Brie and I are on track towards our trip to Florida too.  She booked a hotel for us (Howard Johnson!  That name sure rings a bell with my childhood and travelling cross country!) in St. Augustine, and thus far it's all a "go".  We will take the pilot and Eric will use Brie's car to get back and forth to work. I promise to take lots of pictures!

Ok, back to the assignments!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Giving thanks and grieving.

Last Saturday something I didn't blog about came to pass: my daughter found out she was pregnant for the first time, and she was ecstatic! We all were.  Then she started bleeding, and we were concerned.  ER labwork and ultrasounds could neither confirm nor deny a miscarriage, so we continued to pray and cautiously wait.  Tuesday's labs indicated the pregnancy was still viable, so more tests were scheduled for yesterday (with incriments of bleeding, cramping, and discomfort). Yesterday morning we got the sad news: the fetus was about 6 weeks along, and tucked firmly in her fallopian tube.  Yesterday afternoon both were removed as it was becoming a threat to Liisa's health and life.  It was heartbreaking!

Today I was included (via speaker phone) in a meeting with a Pastor at a neighborhood church as Liisa and Zack gave thanks for the opportunity we had to love this gift we were given for so brief a time, and to return it back to God's arms.  It was sad, it was loving, it was healing, and it was the right thing to do for us. I was blessed to be included, and while my heart hurts for them and their loss, I am also grateful that things are no worse.

I am also giving thanks today that things are going relatively well for my mother.  She had a routine surgery yesterday because of a kidney stone she was unable to pass, and after the surgery had trouble maintaining a regular heartbeat (sinus rythm). They kept her over night and monitored her,with a thought that they might need to "schock" her heart back into a normal rythm, but in the night it restored itself.  She had an echocardiogram today, and they still want to do a chemical stress test at some point in the next few weeks (she was adamant with her bum ankle that she couldn't run a treadmill to save her life!) but they are sending her home. We are grateful that nothing significantly wrong has been found, and she can return to her normal life, taking things a bit slower while she heals up. Unfortunately, as they were taking out her IV her hand started bleeding into itself and is swollen and ugly looking.  Poor mom!  We prayed for her too with the pastor, which I also much appreciated.

Also yesterday my daughter-in-law had a fender-bender with a parked car, resulting in some damage to both vehicles, and her being pretty shaken up.  Not sure that there is much more I can deal with, crisis-wise!  When I talked to Tony he just said "man, what's next?" And I said "nothing?"

I have cried more these last few days than I have cried in a long time.  The tears have fallen of their own accord and I have just let them fall.  It's been so hard being so far away from everyone, knowing how much my daughter wanted me there by her and being unable to do more than be a voice on the phone. It's been hard getting info about my mom second and third hand, despite us all keeping the lines of communication wide open, because I am so used to being there and hearing it for myself.  I struggle with letting go of control and having to rely on others for information.  It has been humbling to be so helpless. Eric has been a blessing to me, letting me cope as I have needed to (knitting, crying, praying, and being on the phone), and providing endless hugs.  I am so blessed to have him.

God is good, and he has sustained us all, along with the prayers that have been raised on our behalf by family and friends.  I have spent more time on the phone these last few days, talking and texting with family members as we tried to keep everyone on the same page, and I am more grateful for today's technology than I can say.  I now just need to steady my course and move forward: finishing my school term, getting my eyes dealt with, preparing for the trip to Florida with Brie and the baby, sending Rei to MN to stay with Tony, and maintaining my own household.  Life is never dull! 

Now I just am awaiting word that mom is safely home; Liisa and Zack have gone over to her house to see her for themselves and give her love, and then I can start to relax. What an emotional rollercoaster it's been!