Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Renters!

Tomorrow the ad for renting our house expires. I was getting prepared to renew it and was feeling discouraged about the whole thing when the phone rang.

It's The Family. The One. The family that is going to rent our house. We talked at length and discovered that we go to the same church. They're coming over tomorrow with the cashiers check and to sign the papers.

The enormous load that I've been walking around with has lifted. This will take such a load off of us for now that I can't begin to express my gratitude that we have this taken care of.

The carpet cleaners are coming tomorrow as well and then we're off to Seattle after handing the keys over to the new people who will be living here.

I'll miss my house a lot....but I sure won't miss the house payment!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mood Swings and Crying Jags

No, not me, though I'm tempted. Ok, maybe a few mood swings with all the stress of this past month but so far no crying jags.

My baby girl is the one going through the mood swings and the crying jags. I just finished holding her for over an hour after she came unglued when I told her it was time to take her Keppra.

She sobbed and cried and raged. "I don't want to take it!. I hate this, I HATE THIS!" She then went on to say that she's hated everything that's gone on since her birth and it's not fair. She sobbed and sobbed. I held her as she cried and cried. I prayed for the right words to say to her to help her through this. She's upset that she's being forced to take these pills and she was refusing to take it tonight.

Finally I had to be very firm with her. She's 9 years old and so bright and intelligent. I tried appealing to her that way---explaining to her that if she doesn't take her medicine that she's going to have more seizures.

In an effort to keep this post shorter than War and Peace I won't go into the every detail of our conversation but suffice it to say eventually I talked her into swallowing her medication. And then ended up holding her, rocking her back and forth as she cried and cried.

My heart breaks for this child--I wish she could see how beautiful and smart and absolutely amazing she is to everyone who knows her. I want her to feel good abut herself, to KNOW that she is of great worth.

I told her that her Heavenly Father must think very highly of her to give her such challenges to overcome---that she's special and what she's going through will make her stronger and help her to become who she is supposed to be.

I may just indulge in that crying jag after all.

"I want ice cream!"

This is what my baby girl asked for first thing this morning. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we don't have any in the house and we are sans car. We won't have Lance (and the suburban) back until Thursday.

This leaves me plenty of time to finish cleaning the house and get done what needs to be done. The family we thought (hoped) was going to rent the house, didn't call last night so I'm assuming that they didn't choose our house. We're still waiting to hear from the second family.

Ok....back to work. Really, this is fun. Uh huh.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Very bad awful horrible day

It was yesterday and Ashley had another grand mal seizure. Thankfully she was in bed with me but she lost control of her bladder again so we're going to be putting her into some pull up type diapers at night from now on. She's so embarrassed that this is happening---the second time this week---but we tell her it's not her fault. Still, it's tough for her.

We started her on Keppra and wow....I'm not sure if it's the medicine or her seizures that are causing her extreme emotional behvior but wow. She comes to me and I hold her as she tells me that she feels like crying and she doesn't know why. So she cries and I hold her. I know one of the side effects of this drug is mood swings and emotional changes.

That was the beginning of our Saturday. The remainder of the day was spent loading and packing the moving van. Five hours worth of hot sweaty work. Then the unloading at my father's house, another hot sweaty horror. That went on for hours and hours and we still weren't done and didn't have room in my father's basement for our storage stuff. Thankfully Lance's cousin Mark was there to help us and he offered us his garage to store things.

I honestly don't know what we would have done without his help and generosity.

We got home at midnight and at 12:30 I was kneeling on our bathroom floor giving Ashley a bath to help her feel better because she was crying and telling me she felt weird and didn't know why. I was so sore and in pain from the day that I could hardly wash her hair---but I managed. My heart just hurts for her.

This morning we got up and cleaned the house from top to bottom in preparation for two different families coming to look over the house. After they came, I wasn't feeling well at all. I tried to lay down but couldn't sleep. I've been throwing up now.

This is not a good time to have a tummy bug. Really. Not at all. I feel so awful.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life in pictures

In the process of moving I've been going through boxes in our walk-in closet. These are boxes that we brought with us in our move four years ago and have never once looked at in the interim.

Yeah, we're like that. Ok, I'm like that. Put it away and never think of it. Avoidance behavior is an art form with me.

According to a friend in California, I run from conflict. Ok, boxes aren't exactly conflict but I avoid things I don't want to deal with. You know that whole stick-my-head-in-the-sand routine in hopes that whatever it is will go away?

Yeah, that rarely happens. The going away part I mean. I spend so much time down there that my entire head is now filed with sand, which explains why I've lost the ability to accomplish anything lately.

But I digress. The boxes. They're full of interesting things like years-old baggies of tums that have semi-deconstructed into powder. I found a bag of soy nuts, single socks, saltines, old bills (both paid and unopened), the hospital bill for Allison when she nearly died from meningitis at five months of age, and pictures. LOTS of pictures.

I've spent the past two hours looking through my life, before marriage, the wedding, before children and after children. There is one thing that I've come to understand with perfect clarity and that is....wow I'm ugly.

And now, back to packing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Neurology Again

I spent Sunday til last night up in Seattle at my Dad's house, our soon-to-be-home. We worked on some rooms and an attic. While we were doing that, Ash spent some time on Papa's hammock in the backyard.

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Tuesday morning we had an appointment with Dr. Bamford for Ashley.

He has a very calm and soothing manner. We discussed Keppra and why he believes it's the best choice of anti-seizure drugs for her. I understood it better and while still not entirely thrilled with the idea, I think it's a good start. We waited a bit and she wasn't too thrilled.

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At one point Dr. Bamford told Ash to go out and look in the treasure chest for a prize so we could talk a little bit more. Ash picked a bear that she's named Keppy, for her new medicine. She was quite exhausted and took a nap with her new friend.

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Now I'm back home and working on more packing. In case you were wondering? Not fun.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gas

Pamela's Column for Pacific Publishing

I never thought that turning the key in the ignition of my vehicle would be a financial commitment with enough stress attached to it to make me run for a bag of chocolate, or a financial adviser.

Actually, a financial advisor who handed out chocolate would be my first choice. Stress of this nature has historically been reserved for decisions on whether or not I could afford to purchase a house, not whether or not I can afford to buy my little girl a Happy Meal because I still need to fill my gas tank. According to AAA gas prices are up a whopping 21% since last year. My paycheck has definitely not kept up, but I estimate that my chocolate consumption has increased exponentially.

But I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl, so I’m always looking for that silver lining in the dark and evil storms that surround and threaten to engulf us, leaving us in financial ruin by the side of the road, eviscerated by the fickle financial winds and….um, where was I? Oh yes, looking on the bright side.

As with all things in life with a financial impact, planning is key. I save up my entire errand running list until I have a schedule as tight as possible.

“Mommy, we need to go to the store for toilet paper ‘cause we’re out”

“You’ll wait until we have 2 more errands to run, boy”

“But Mooooom! We need toilet paper!”

“Pretend you’re camping and you don’t even have a bathroom, what would you do then?”

“Um…leaves?”

“Exactly. Now get outside and practice your survival skills. ”
As well as teaching my children the benefits of finding creative solutions to life’s little problems, its helping us draw closer together as a family as we work out life’s little issues.

“Come wipe me I’m done!”

“You’re old enough to do that for yourself now”

“But I don’t like how those leaves feel!”

“Listen, when I married you for better or for worse I never said I’d do this for you”

Another added benefit to high gas prices is that it has increased my sense of moral superiority. You can never feel too high and mighty. Whereas before I used to be somewhat of a lead foot, now I’m a bit slower. According to my children, you could walk faster than I drive.

“Mom, why are all the cars passing us?”

“Because they’re evil speeders, honey. They have no respect for the law.”

“Mommy, how come you used to pass everyone before?”

“Hush up and look for trees with leaves on them. Your brother has to go to the bathroom”

So while gas prices continue to climb, make sure you use this as a teaching experience for your children. Show them that it’s ok to think outside the gas tank. Remind them that they have two feet and can walk places. You used to do it, right? Uphill both ways in the snow with cardboard in your shoes to keep the wet out, just like your parents before you. And make sure you have plenty of leaves on hand.

Sigh

Tomorrow I will bid adieu to packing here at my house and go to pack at my father's house!

The fun, it just never ends in my life

Ash and I will spend the night there (as will hubby) and then Tuesday morning Ash has an appointment with Nigel Bamford. He's the head of Neurology at Children's Hospital so he's the best of the best. I have so many questions to ask him about Keppra and it's side effects.

Shoot...I also need to schedule Ashley's MRI. I can't forget to do that. It slipped my mind on Friday and I wanted to slap myself. I have so many things to remember right now. I'm not the best at remembering even when my entire life isn't in upheaval.

Lance is going to stay up at my Dad's for the week so he can go to work from there and help get Dad's house ready for us to move in. Meanwhile I'll be here at our house finishing it up. Oh, and I'll be car-less. Lucky, lucky me.

I just hope the money holds out for gas until next payday. I traded text messages with the guy fixing our Neon. He said he'd hurry up. I hope he means that cuz we're dying here.

Ack!

Major Ackage going on here.

Yesterday I was ready to blow a gasket in frustration.

Packing? Not so much fun.

Cleaning? Less fun.

Trying to do it all as my back spasms and my leg is killing me? Even better!

Ok. I'm done whining. Here is a gratuitous shot of my Ashley Rose from a few years back just to make you smile. I think they asked her what she thought of boys and then snapped the picture.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

I don't wanna...

I don't wanna put my baby girl on seizure meds. Especially the medication that we were told would be best for her.

Ashley and I spent some time at Children's Hospital yesterday. We went over the results of her EEG and it wasn't good. In fact it was worse than we'd thought, indicating that there is damage beyond her original stroke. They want to do an MRI on her again. We are also looking at spending a night there and having her hooked up to the EEG for the entire night to monitor her seizure activity. Her EEG shows that she's seizing at night.

So...you can guess how badly I feel about feeling frustrated with her for the past few months as I tried to get her up in the mornings. It wasn't her fault.

We're seeing the head of Neurology, Dr. Nigel Bamford (Yes, he's British) on Tuesday. I'm not filling that prescription until I talk with him.

Keppra anyone?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You think you know embarrassing?

Remember how your mom always told you to change your underwear every day just in case you got into an accident? You know, so you wouldn't be embarrassed at the hospital as they were cutting your dirty underwear off of you and wrinkling their noses at your poor personal hygiene as they tried to save your life. Your dirty, unwashed, unclean life.

I bet your mommy never told you to to make sure you didn't allow someone to paper your legs with Pokemon tatooes in case you got into an accident, did she? No, she missed that one.

I got tattooed the other night. Big time. No needles were involved, just about forty colorful Pokemon tattoos up and down my right leg, all over my foot and a few on my left foot. This is what happens when you don't pay attention to what your nine year old girl is doing to you. My excuse? I was writing a column on a deadline, so I just...you know....wasn't paying attention to the lower half of my body.

So you know I had to get into an accident. Just so no one would take me seriously.

Ashley and I had just finished paying at the checkout for some groceries and I was pushing the cart towards the door when my left leg shot out in front of me causing me to go down hard (with all my weight---yes, ALL) on my right knee. I then twisted and landed fully on the floor. Oh, this was fun.

I have vague memories of hearing people oooh and ahhh as if I'd just landed a difficult gymnastics routine. I thought about raising my arms in the air in a flamboyant finish, but I was too busy whimpering in pain.

After a few moments I managed to get to my feet and hobble to the side where I watched the pizza lady come out from behind her counter with a huge wad of paper towels and wipe up all the water on the floor that was the apparent cause of my enormously popular acrobatic maneuver. Another lady came over and said she saw the whole thing. A guy with the floor washing machine had come by pushing his machine--not using it, just pushing it---and dumped a whole bunch of water. Right there. You know, where I landed.

So the nice WinCo lady took down the particulars of my fall and then said she'd have to take a picture of my leg. I looked down.

Forty Pokemon were smiling up at me. Crystal looked at me. I looked at her. Hey, at least I was wearing clean underwear.

(I went to the doctor later that day and he checked me out. Before he examined me, he knelt down and attempted to name all the Pokemon on my leg. Oooh yeah, he was enjoying this far too much. When he moved my left leg in such a way that I screamed, he said I'd pulled my medial collateral Ligament and strained my back. He said I'd feel much worse today than I did then. I hate it when he's right. Now I'm frustrated because I can't move very well, I'm in pain and I'm supposed to be packing for our move! Plus I have to take Ashley to see the Neuro at Children's Hospital this week. I didn't need this right now. I really didn't)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

ADHD Packing

You know we're moving, right? Yes, yes we are. This involves the removal of all physical possessions from our home and putting them into another home. This is a problem if you're moving from a large place filled with stuff to a smaller place already filled with stuff.

It's like trying to pour a gallon of water into a thimble. It's just not going to work. Someone is going to get wet and you're going to lose your stuff water.

So you have to get rid of your stuff water so that what you do have will fit.

We did this by having The Mother of All Garage Sales. Even with that, we still had far too much stuff. So we gave it away to my brother. He came in his old Duster, pulling a big empty trailer. When he left, that trailer was full.

So, back to packing. My problem with packing is that I don't have any type of organization to it. Oh, I try---I do. I go into one room and start. I pack a box, but first I see pictures. Oh! Pictures! You have to look at pictures!
How did my babies get so big! They were so small and cute. Oh, and look at this one, remember that birthday party? Ooooh.....

Then I see something shiny. Never good.

Packing is hungry work, so I leave my original pile of stuff and go to the kitchen. Oh, look at those dishes, I should load the dishwasher

Oh look! Something shiny!

Then I make my way back to the original packing spot, passing by other items that need packing so I pick them up and look for a box nad OH! SOMETHING SHINY!!

What I'm left with is huge piles of STUFF everywhere in the house. My house now looks like it has been ransacked by unscrupulous thieves searching for loot.

Trust me. There is no loot. There is just stuff. Lots of stuff.

Ooooh! Something shiny!

At this rate I should be packed by 2010.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Less is More

As I scour every nook and cranny of our beautiful home in preparation for moving, I have made several discoveries. I know you're dying to know what those discoveries are, aren't you? Of course you are. Here they are, in no particular order.

* Posters on the walls of teenagers can be used to hide holes. LARGE holes that have been made in the walls. The more posters, the more holes they can hide. It's akin to prison inmates who hide their tunneling-to-freedom holes behind posters, ala The Shawshank Redemption.


* Papers, if left to themselves, will procreate, multiply and multiply again ad nauseam. Especially if you leave them in the dark of a walk-in closet inside of a filing cabinet. I think I may have found the birth place of all things paper.

*Un-paired socks do it just to taunt you. I have been taunted nigh unto hyperventilation. Baskets of these little buggers have appeared in all bedrooms. If they think I'm taking them with me when we move, they better think again. Hear me single socks? You'd better pair up or you're going in the garbage.

*Time begins to flow at an altered rate when you have a deadline. It's always been that way of course, but when you're going to move and you've planned a garage sale before moving and you set the actual date for the garage sale, time speeds up. Don't fret--you're never going to get everything done that you think you are going to accomplish. Bask in your failure. Revel in it.

*Accept the fact that things are not going to go your way no matter how hard you try. You are officially running in quicksand and there will not be a happy resolution. Accept your fate.


Our garage sale is Friday. It's going to be a disaster of epic proportions. You should all come and laugh at me. Go ahead, you know you want to.