Thursday, December 31, 2009
2000- NYE's I was pregnant with Elizabeth, but also mourning our baby that was supposed to be born that night. In April our daughter was born and brought such happiness to us. We were living in a small apt. not far from where we live now. We were struggling to keep afloat on minimum wage jobs. I worked at a dept. store and Marty worked security. Conner was two and quite the handful, this was the year of the famous "I saw Jesus in the light socket" incident.
2001- In January, the same day we rented a cute duplex with a yard, my beloved Aunt Pat died. I will never forget January 5th, 2001 because of that. She was our matriarch here in Visalia and our big reason for moving here. Elizabeth was one and Conner was three. A week before Elizabeth's birthday we adopted our dog Max. The jury is still out on whether that was a good idea or not. I still worked at the dept. store and Marty worked some odd job or two.
2002- Marty got a job working for Frito-Lay and I was able to stay home. We bought our van and finally had a good car. My sister Carrie got married in the spring and we traveled to Brea for her wedding. That year saw us to financial freedom as we elimnated all of our past debt. Elizabeth was two and Conner was turned four. That fall saw the start of our homeschooling and our joining Parkside Chapel. It is also the year Conner started AWANA. Marty lost his job with Frito Lay and decided to go back to school.
2003- That was the year my Gramie died, she was my mom's mom and we were very close with her. It was a very sad time for me personally. She was more like a mom to me than a Grandma. Conner experienced grief for the first time. We still lived in the little brown duplex and life was moving along. Marty joined the Police Academy in February and spent the next 6 months struggling to make our lives change. He finally graduated after breaking his foot in three places during the final physical fitness test. He applied for his current job and we started looking for agencies all over California. I started working at the hospital in January and became a doula/labor coach. I truly loved my job for the first time and found a life long passion. Elizabeth was three and Conner was five. This was also the year that I started my online ministry.
2004- Marty and I celebrated 10 years of dating. We missed our ten year high school reunion because we went to Hawaii instead. My Dad was living on the Big Island and we went to see him. It was truly the best week of our lives and a trip we will never forget. Marty was working for Comcast and I was working three jobs at the hospital by now. We moved briefly into a little townhome on the other side of town. We were miserable there.I stopped communicating with my sister Kim, one of the best decisions I have ever made. Conner was 6 and Elizabeth was four. This is the year that I discovered blog reading!
2005- Was the best year of our life together. One day while schooling, a knock came at the door. It was a police sgt. from the place Marty had applied. He wanted to know why Marty hadn't sent in his background and was he still interested in the job. Whoa, hello God knocking on the door, who does that. Only God! We had missed the deadline for the background and thought it was too late. The next day I drove it out there and in April he was hired. Our life changed drastically, No more struggling, no more scraping. We moved into a very nice townhome, a real home in a nice neighborhood(or so we thought). Marty started his career and loved it. Conner was seven and Elizabeth turned five and started schooling with us. Our life was good this year! I started a blog in November on Myspace. Christmas day was the saddest day, my Grandma was clinging to life by the end. I took the picture on the top of this blog December 27, wondering where life was going.
2006- I rung in the New Year with my Dad and Grandpa in Whittier. Grandma was clinging to life and it was all about family. She died later that month and Grandpa followed eight weeks to the day later. The family home was sold later in the year. My mom had major surgery with a cancer scare. Our van broke down, completely unsalvagable. The only good part of 2006 was celebrating our tenth anniversary in March. Also Marty and I turned 30, I was happy about that and he wasn't. Conner and Elizabeth really grew up this year and started making so much progress in school.We did go to Big Sur and enjoyed a lovely family vacation. She was six and he was eight. I have many fond memories of this year but mostly look back on it as a bad year.
2007- looked great, life was getting back on track and we were moving forward. Until May, the doctor appointment that shattered our world. Marty was diagnosed with End Stage Renal disease and the wind was knocked from our sails. We did have a friend come visit from Ohio and had a lovely family vacation together that summer. I don't remember much except lots of doctors visits and picking up the pieces. November Marty was accepted as a transplant canidate at Stanford. Elizabeth was seven and Conner turned 10, double digits.2008- By now, we had accepted the diagnosis and were moving on. Every month wondering if Marty would end up on dialysis. My favorite part of this year was going to Southern California to see my family, friend Melissa and meeting Andrea and Di for the first time. The kids started bowling and we joined a bowling league also. Elizabeth turned eight and Conner turned 11, inching his way to teenager. Marty ended up starting dialysis that summer and it was a struggle.
2009- We finally found our pace, things were humming along for most of the year. Just always waiting for "the call" that never came. The governor's decision to cut employee's pay, affected us greatly. It has been hard to see my sick husband work for less than he is owed. Marty did not feel well most of this year. The kids have grown up so much, they are no longer babies and quite independent. It has been a very lonely year, no traveling, no seeing family. We did move into a lovely home in September, not a forever home but better than our old house. We discovered black mold that was making Marty ill, on top of bad neighbors. So we made a rather quick decision to move. It was a good decision and we are very happy here. In the last two days, our world has come apart once again with a doctor making a bad scene. We are waiting on change that seems like it will never come. The best part of this year was the kids and their busy lives. Also two old friends came to visit and brightened things up a bit. Conner is now 12 and so grown up, my little chubby cheeked guy is still there. Elizabeth is 9, getting ready to go double digits. She is fun, likes to cook and looks so different.
What will the next ten years bring, I am not sure that I would want to know. I am hoping for a better ten years, maybe peace and happiness, illness and death free. More traveling, visiting friends and a full life. In ten years, Conner will be 22 years old and Elizabeth will be twenty I wonder who they will be and what they will be doing. I will be..........43 and Marty will almost be 44. We will have been married 24 years by then. Thinking about that makes me panic a bit. I hope you join us in the next ten years, I wonder what blogging will be like then? It didn't even exsist at the beginning of this decade. If there is still blogging, I will still be blogging.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Purex All In One Sheets
I love the ease of just throwing in one sheet and not having to add softener or dryer sheets. These work well, have a scent and really do live up to the hype. I love that you buy the first package with a plastic container and then simply buy refill packs. You simply must give these a try.
The next thing, I actually just found in the store yesterday after a three month long search. I was finally able to try these on our Hume Lake trip. WOW, the Carmel Macchiato tastes just like a coffeehouse drink and the White Chocolate Mocha is great too. Good luck at finding them in the store though. When I finally did locate our local store........they were sold out!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
We know things will never be perfect, so we enjoy the good days. I am so thankful to have a break from the sick and tired that we were facing. It has been nice! It couldn't come at a better time to enjoy the holidays with our kids. We are hoping that 2010 will be the year for the transplant, it could still happen in 09' but looking more like next year.
Thanks for praying, we can feel the prayers and they are being answered.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
What is your favorite childhood memory? Christmas time growing up. His favorite Christmas song is Little Drummer boy. It reminds him of laying in bed with his dad when he was a boy. His dad would leave the radio on really low and that song would play.
Is there a scripture that is helping you get through this time? James 1:12 12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
How does he feel having to rely on you for so much? I definitely feel that, I am blessed. Sometimes I feel bad.
How do you think the kids are dealing with it? I think that the kids are handling as much as they can handle right now. I don't think they quite understand the level of sickness that I have and what it might mean.
Why don't you want anyone to know? I just don't want anyone to pity me. I am afraid of people pitying me.
How do you feel about the system in place for transplants? It is broken. But, how do you fix it?
How tired do you really get? So tired it hurts to move sometimes. Tired of being sick and getting nauseous. Tired of carrying the extra weight around. To the point when my hemoglobin is low it hurts to walk.(normally Marty weighs about 140 pounds, right now he is 220)
What do you think life will be like after your transplant? I can only go on the hope of people that have already been transplanted. They say that you are sick for so long that you are used to it. You lose track of the end goal and you forget what it is like to be healthy. So far we have only heard good things about post transplant life.
What keeps you going? My kids and Julie. I want to see them grow up and I want to grow old with Julie.
Describe Conner? he is a young man who is willing to do anything to help anyone. He tries his hardest whether it be the easy way or the hard way.
Describe Elizabeth? She marches to the beat of her own drum. She is strong willed but very smart.
What your favorite thing to do? Spend time with my family, play the bass and look up new chords to learn.
What do you think of your wife's blogging? I guess it is good for her to have a hobby. We are two different people, I am very quiet and you are very talkative. The way you express yourself is through your blog.
Anything you would like to say to my blog readers? No!
So there you have it, about half way through he was done. He said, that I knew most of the answers and was just making questions up.Thank you to those who submitted questions.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I love this time of year, all of the great movies play everyday on television. Yesterday, I watched so many classics on TMC. I love TMC and Robert Osbourne, I love old movies and the grandeur that goes with them. But I also love many of the classics of today and especially when they have memorable lines. My newest favorite is Elf, I bought it for 3.99 at Target yesterday. My favorite line from that movie is "Candy,Candy Canes,Candy Corns and Syrup. Those are the four main Elf food groups." or "Oooo, he's a angry elf."
Today I watched my favorite movie for quoting, Father of the Bride. I used to walk around quoting that movie constantly in high school. My favorite memory is that my Dad took me to see that movie with him when it came out. I ended up dancing to "The Way You Look Tonight" with him at my wedding because of it. I still crack up when I watch that movie. Martin Short played Hank( must be said Haank) so well and really stole the movie. My favorite line is "He is aaa genius and we need his mahind" or "the chipper shicken". I haven't ever watched that movie with E yet. That is on the must do list.
Right now we are sitting watching A Boy Named Charlie Brown. My kids love all the Peanuts movies, even more than Disney movies. If you know my family that is practically a crime.
So tell me, what are your favorite movies?
Friday, November 27, 2009
We just got done eating leftovers and now we are going to watch Elf. I love that movie, my favorite quote is " The four main Elf food groups are candy,candy canes, candy corn and maple syrup." Conner has Chase over to spend the night and hang out.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
He has been talking more lately about his condition and listening a little more. He really doesn't like to talk about it at all or read about it, hear about it either. So, I decided that this weekend I will interview him for my blog.
That way he can have a voice in this and get his side of the story out there too. So anybody have any questions? you can email, Facebook or message me in any form you like. I think it might be nice for you to hear from him.
Most of 2006, I spent writing about losing my my grandparents and the aftermath of their deaths. Then our finding out that Marty was sick and the grief that followed that. I started reading Di's blog during the loss of her father and the grief that followed.
My Grandparents all loved holidays and we had such great times together. Now I just try to carry on the traditions they set forth and remember them in them.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
When I do catch myself worrying, I always go to this verse in the bible. It is a family favorite and our motto. It really helps put things into perspective.
6:25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. worry about it for you. That is me, princess of the worriers and I drive my husband and friends nuts. I have gotten better over time and don't worry as much anymore. It takes too much time and really gets you nowhere. For the most part things always work out eventually.
Our family has a favorite verse in the bible, it has gotten us through many tough times including the one we currently face.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I found out that I was pregnant with Elizabeth in August of 1999, two months after losing a baby. It was quite a emotional time for me. We had just moved here to Visalia, we were getting back on our feet and things were crazy. After losing the baby we decided to try again and not wait, was this smart? no, we weren't really thinking with our brains. It was more of a emotional decision, that I am very glad we made. It was a very emotional pregnancy, filled with fear and anxiety well past three months.
Overall, it was a better pregnancy than Conner, not filled with constant morning sickness or horrible heartburn. I just didn't like the smell of meat and craved cold Sunkist( they had to be Sunkist) oranges sliced. I worked and had these horrible near black out spells after standing too long. The room would grow dim and my head would feel fuzzy. I had the pleasure of being seen by a wonderful Nurse Midwife here in our city. She was very supportive and understood that I was a emotional wreck. She also lobbied for me to get my tubes tied even though I was only twenty three. I had a sinking uterus that laid on my bladder causing all sorts of problems.
I was pregnant until 39 weeks, four more weeks than I went with Conner. I seriously do not know how people carry babies past 40 weeks. I think of when Andrea was pregnant with Tate, I WOULD HAVE DIED! So Rita gave me the option of induction and picked the date for me to go in. I went in for the day, got Cyotec placed. I laid there and laid there, to no avail so they sent me home. We went out to eat before picking up Conner and went home. Went home and things really started moving along, I started to labor and be the evening went back to the hospital.
It was a very painful labor, much more painful than my labor with Conner. I spent most of the night standing and sitting in the bath tub. I loved having options that didn't force me to stay in bed like with Conner. Marty and my mom were great coaches as before. Marty really understood how to get in my face and calm me down, he really was a great partner. I was able to stay drug free and off the iv for the whole night. By 8:00 in the morning they discovered that Elizabeth was posterior and not turning. Rita talked me into getting a epidural, she said sometimes those will help a baby flip and drop.
So at 8:30 they came in and set me up, they got the epidural placed and laid me down by 8:45. By 9:00 I was ready to push, she flipped that fast! By 9:30 she was born, crying and screaming just like she is today! It was a wonderful birth that changed my life. I became very passionate about labor and delivery and learned things don't have to be one way. I felt healed by the experience and empowered, it really was a beautiful event.
Three years later, I was able to get a job at the hospital working as a doula. It was a wonderful way to help other women in their birthing experience. I loved being there and helping others learn, it doesn't have to be horrible and miserable. I loved my time there and still look forward to returning to the field someday.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
I have felt great this week. I have felt such peace and comfort, blessed to have so much support. I am thankful for all the people who pray for us and support us. We are very blessed and I know it, I can feel people holding us up in prayer and support. I am especially thankful to a small group of friends who listen to me daily prattle on about life. I chatter alot, email a lot, facebook a lot and it can be annoying. But, it helps me greatly to have a outlet. My husband isn't much of a talker and really does not want to talk about what is going on. Having friends like Andrea,Caroline, Di, Stacy and Sam who listen to me drone on really does help.My amazing prayer group of twelve women from all over the country, who God put in my life at the exact right time. Plus all of my wonderful Facebook friends to boot, even though spending time on the computer is not healthy it is a way for me to not feel stuck at home. It is hard to leave Marty and the house most days and by using the computer I feel like things are not flying past me.
So, from the bottom of my heart to all of you, Thank you. For listening,calling,emailing and texting me. You might not realize it but it helps me so much. I love you all dearly for it.
After I read the books, I found out several close friends read the books and loved them too. I talked with one and we decided to go out to the midnight showing of New Moon. It was actually my least favorite book in the series, mainly because it deals with a broken heart. If you were a teenage girl once, you could throughly relate to this story. I am not so sure that it is really for teenagers as much as adults.
So tonight, I am going to do something fun and different. I don't get the chance to do many girl's nights out anymore and this is a real treat. Marty is staying home to watch the kids for me and encouraged me to go. What a nice guy! I am really excited about the next movie since it was my favorite book in the whole series.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The night we got engaged, Marty took me to Sizzler for dinner. That is a long standing joke with us nowdays but hey, we were 18yrs. old. Then he took me to the Huntington Beach pier and we walked down about halfway. He sat me down on a bench and gave me a card, he told me to open it and read it. I read it and at the very end it said "Will you marry me?" when I looked up he was down on one knee. It was very sweet and romantic, I remember walking back to the car talking about the future. What a wonderful memory to have and hold on to.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I was a girl of many crushes, my first crush was in elementary school and the list went on. I had a phone boyfriend by the age of 12. My first real boyfriend was from 12 until I was 15. I then made a decision to not date anymore. I decided to enjoy high school and just be myself, I still did have boys that I liked but I didn't seek out relationships. I figured it was like being lost in a forest and eventually I would be found. I spent much of my senior year with unrequited love for my good friend. I spent all of my time trying to wait for him to like me back.
During these years, I knew Marty. We weren't friends, but had many friends in common and rode the bus together during our junior high years. I remember walking near him, sitting next to him in a car ride one time and being at a after prom party with him. I really thought he was snobby because he didn't talk to me.
The summer we graduated found us both spending time at my friends house. She was friends with Marty's friend Albert. So one day, they all came over to hang out with Jenny and I was there. I remember Marty coming into the room one way and I came in another. He looked at me and I looked at him, my heart was gone. There was something in that look that sealed my future, I now know it was God and his plan for us. A friend of his Jaron's dad was getting married and he needed a date. Albert actually asked me to go with him, so he could go with my sister Carrie.
I agreed, even though I thought Marty had a girlfriend. In fact, I saw him with her twice and one time he kissed her on the cheek when I was sitting in the car! He says that was a goodbye kiss because he wasn't dating her anymore! okay, moving on from that now. We went to the wedding which was in a Christian church, I remember holding his hand and knowing we would be married someday. Once again, God at work.
We broke up for a month because of a misunderstanding and untruth. We decided we couldn't be apart and that we needed to always be honest with one another from then on. We dated for three months and decided we wanted to get married. December 7th of 1994 we got engaged with the premise it would be a long engagement. We promised our parents we would wait two years and be married December of 1996. They wanted us to be sure and not jump into anything. Since we both came from broken homes, this was a good idea.
We grew and blossomed in our relationship, eventually I was helping Marty care for his dad and Grandma. His dad was very sick and after his grandma died, we knew it wouldn't be long. So we moved the wedding up to the first date the Disneyland hotel had available. We went from having a year left to plan to having four months to plan. Everyone was wonderful and helped us get things together. In fact,my aunt Al picked my bridesmaid dresses out and my cousins always hassle me about them, I say, "Talk to your mother." because I agreed to them on short notice.
We found a minister via Disney since we did not attend church at that time. We picked a religious service out of his book. It was a true covenant before God that we made and I am so glad with the words we said. It was a beautiful, windy, clear day in March and something we have fond memories of forever.
It was our fairytale wedding and we have always been happy with how it turned out. Even though we were young and not clear on life, we made the right choice. I know that I married the person that I was supposed to. We have had many trials that most people our age have never faced. We have buried his Dad and faced many things our parents didn't until much later. We have struggled to make a life for ourselves. We are so proud of the fact those things brought us closer and made us stronger.
Many marriages would have crumbled under the stress. The best decision we ever made was to move away and make our own life. We decided to put Christ at the center of our marriage and allow his help to be our strength. We are blessed and we know it, we are blessed with love!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Di did this and I will shamelessly copy her! By the way be sure to check out her blog. The link is on my page.
I don't eat baked fruit pies. How un-American is that.
I don't drink milk.
I have only ever had three jobs.
I was voted "Most likely to cry at the movies" my senior year in high school.
I once rode on the Goodyear blimp.
My parents divorced when I was 13
I have small feet used to wear a five. Since I've had kids now its six and a half.
I am pigeon toed. My mom and sister are also.
I once got blood in my eye and mouth while labor coaching.
When I meet people, the first thing I notice is teeth.
I love old movies
We got a new computer today. Unfortunately, we had to get a PC until we can buy a Mac. Oh well, at least it will be better than the phone. You won't find me complaining.
Came home, got ready to hop online and nothing. It took a hour on the phone to India to get me setup. Only to find out, my internet is slower than dialup. So back to the phone for now. At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Today Conner turns twelve. One year from today he will be a teenager. Everytime I look at him, I see our little buddy in his baby face. Just seems like yesterday I spent 36 hours in labor with him. Sad that time has gone by so fast. Marty and I get sad thinking how fast this has gone by.
He truly is the joy in this home. He makes us laugh constantly. Somedays I wish that I could record all the funny things he says. He is truly a crack up. He has a heart of gold that is so giving and kind. He is a hard worker with a work ethic that most adults lack. We are truly blessed!
Happy birthday Conner, we love you buddy!
Friday, November 13, 2009
1lb stew meat
1lb sausage (1/2 sweet, 1/2 hot)
2 shakes dry parsley
1 pkg dry spaghetti sauce mix
2 cans tomato paste(save one can to add 5 cans of water)
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 can mushroom pieces
1 box of rigatoni noodles
Grated Romano cheese
Add small amount of oil to cover bottom of pan. Add meat,sausage,onion,parsley flakes. Simmer meat until liquid cooks down and meat browns. Add tomato paste,water,tomato sauce,spaghetti sauce mix. Simmer. Add mushroom pieces. Boil noodles,drain and cover with romano cheese and add to meat and sauce. Serve and you will surely enjoy.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
1 flank steak
3 tablespoons dried mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Coarse sea salt
24 ounces beef stock
2 cups water
4 cloves mashed garlic
1 sweet onion
3 bay leaves
Rub oregano and cumin,salt and pepper on the flank steak. Place in bottom of slow cooker. Put,water,broth,onion,garlic,bay leaves and peppercorns in. Cook on low 5-6 hrs. Shred beef with a fork a long the grain.
Serve with tortillas and taco fixings.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
3 lbs of stew meat
1 large jar of Pace picante (I use mild)
Put stew meat in bottom of crockpot and pour salsa over. Cook on low for 8 hrs. Makes great burrito filling.
Pulled pork sandwich meat(Conner's favorite)
3-4 pound pork roast( I usually get picnic cut)
2 bottles of bbq sauce
Salt&Pepper to taste
Garlic to taste
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Whole wheat buns
Put pork roast in slow cooker. Season and add enough water to cover. Cook on low 6hrs before adding bbq sauce. Cook on low another two hrs. Remove the roast and pull apart. Serve on whole wheat buns.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
4 boneless,skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2(10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2(10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough,torn into pieces.
Optional, bag of mixed veggies
1. Place chicken,butter,soup and onion,in a slow cooker, fill with enough water to cover
2. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving,place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center. If adding frozen veggies add at the same time.
Monday, November 9, 2009
5lb beef roast( I use whatever is on sale.)
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
1 can family size cream of mushroom soup
Put roast in bottom of crockpot. Pour soup and soup mix over roast. Mix the two together. Cover and cook on low for 8hrs.
This makes the best gravy and is great w/ mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
8 ounces feta cheese(drained)
3 cups fresh,chopped spinach leaves
1/3 of a cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes,drained and chopped
1 teaspoon minced lemon zest
1 tsp. dried basil,oregano or mint
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 cup black olives
I don't use the mint,sun dried tomatoes, or lemon. Just my own preference.
If using regular chicken breast, place between plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thick.
Combine feta,spinach,tomatoes,zest,basil,garlic,pepper in a medium bowl. Lay chicken down smooth side down. Place 2 tablespoons of fet mixture on the wide end of breast.
Repeat the step with each chicken breast. Place seam side down in crockpot. Top with canned tomatoes. Cook 5 1/2 to 6 hours on LOW or 4 hrs on HIGH.
I serve with rice. The cookbook suggests polenta. Super yummy!
Taken from Rival Slow Cooker cookbook.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
So it might be awhile of being computerless. It bugs me less and less each day. It's not a big deal in the scheme of things. It actually makes internet usage less and easier.
We aren't losing our home, many are. We aren't starving, many are. We aren't losing our car, many are. We are blessed!
Just wanted to shed light on the situation facing State Employees. This will go on until July of 2010. It's not over yet.
So we have battened down the hatches and riden this storm out. It has been tight. Especially with the unexpected moving expenses. But, we aren't complaining because we are fortunate!
But, to watch my husband with a end stage disease go to work everyday and not get his full wage. Now that makes me angry. We want to see the State get out of the mess. We pay our taxes, car registration and bills. We buy in state. We do our part, but taking more and more each month isn't fair.
Hey Gov, why is your wife not paying the fine for talking on her cell phone? Or for parking in a red zone? She did the crime and that money would help.
"So why not just run out and buy a new computer?" , you say. Well, we want another Mac. They are pricey but worth it. We want to buy a new, not used as before.
Secondly, the Governor and his furloughs are why! At first, it was two days a month. Next, it was three. It has now become 25 percent of our income. So most of our discretionary funds are gone. We are lucky, compared to most of our friends. His co-workers are losing homes and having to file bankruptcy. A few with dual incomes at that.
We have done well with living within our means. We have been credit card free living since 1998 and don't want to start now.
In July, my Mac died. The second one this year. Granted both of them were bought used and I surely abused them. Instead of running out and buying a replacement, we have waited. So as of late I have been using my cell phone to surf the web.
In some cases, it works great and in other cases it is not so great. Facebook has a great mobile site. Blogger and flickr allow you to SMS pictures and posts. But, it won't allow me to post a title with my blogs. So I am putting the title at the top for now and will go back and fix things later.
Also, I can only write five pages of texts. So my posts will be short and continued.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
C is full of energy today. Anyone surprised?
E has a sore throat and slight fever.
C just said " I understand you don't like to hug me." upon me not hugging back because I was eating a bagel.
Am now trying to explain he should put that energy to his school work.
Oscar(the dog) making a mess while eating his food. Upon me exclaiming," you're making a piggy mess." looks back and spits his food all over the floor.
Life is a regular three ring circus, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Fortunately we found a nice home to rent down the street. Three blocks make a huge difference. We love the peace and quiet of our new home. We didn't realize how much stress just dealing with bad neighbors could cause.
We have a beautiful view and very nice neighbors. Thankful to be done with the whole ordeal.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Two weeks ago, we started talking about Stanford and the transplant. She mentioned Dennis had been a patient at Stanford before. I asked them where they stayed? And the replied their daughter lived nearby. My heart sank, I was hoping to gain more info regarding housing. I was told not to worry by the people at Stanford and I never have.
As the conversation goes on they reveal their daughter knows who we are and has been praying for us.They assure me that she would love to help us out. I leave excited by the prospect and went home to tell everyone that would listen.
Fast forward to the next Sunday. Evelyn tells us that not only will Stacy help but her small group has adopted us and her mom's group has offered child care. WOW! Stacy is actually excited to help us. What a relief and worry lifted off our shoulders. A true miracle and proof that people do care. Now if the call would just come.
Just got off the phone with Stacy herself. She was reading my blog! Thanks for being willing to open your home to us and be a part of God's big plan!
Maybe all of you could comment and let Stacy know how much we appreciate this!
Monday, November 2, 2009
As we were preparing to go out of town last week, I decided to call Stanford. I knew we would have no cell service and would need to leave a contact number.
I called and got the receptionist. I explained my situation and asked to leave the number. That is when.......she chuckled! She chuckled! To say I was upset and mortified was a understatement. She explained it was not long enough and was not necessary. I hung up greatly disturbed.
So today I called to speak to the coordinator. I told her that we didn't know what to do and that we're upset. "It's a big deal to us. You may see this everyday and are immune to people's need." , I explained. She apologized and said she would speak with the offending party.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Ahhh, once again November is upon us and National Blog Posting Month is here. At first ,just Di and I committed but it appears Andrea will join us again. We are glad that the blogging trifecta remains unbroken.
Bear with me, in July our computer died. We have had no desire to cheap out and buy a pc. So I will be blogging from my phone. Good thing Di loves me enough to help me out. She signed into my blog and found my code for blogging via cell phone.
Marty and I are just returning from a retreat today. I have so much to share about the happenings around our home as of late. I will tell you all about the retreat tomorrow.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Marty has not been doing well at all. He has been battling extreme fatigue, high blood pressure, low Albumin and hemoglobin. All of that has led to extreme discouragement on both our parts. We try so hard and do everything we are told. Still we must go through this and that is hard. I liken it to being dragged along concrete while trying to stand up. It doesn't feel good at all.
Stanford called or I should say called me back. I called to see what the wait time is these days. Once it was one year, then between one-three years and now two-three years. We did learn he is on the list with patients from two other hospitals. We just need to pray for a complete genetic match. If that happens the list goes out and the match goes to the right person.
Marty is still working full time. When he is home he mostly sleeps. He doesnt like us to leave him these days. It is hard to get much done.
Please join us in praying for a miracle soon.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Conner and E are back in school. So far, so good as we get back in the groove. They are both eager to learn and ready to make progress. This makes teaching more fun for me instead of battling unwilling learners.
We are still on our quest to move and so far God has not opened that door for us. We are trying to be patient and wait on the right house. Our neighborhood has gone down hill lately prompting our desire to move.
Marty has done good physically this past week. Such a breath of fresh air and needed desperately. Today he is getting a new monitor to check his blood sugar constantly. We are very excited and think it will help a great deal. His spirits are down and he feels tired of all this. Sometimes that is the hardest part of all.
Friday, August 14, 2009
After 4 hrs they brought him to me. His little hands swollen and blue. Signs of distress from the long, horrible labor. In fact his first picture sits on my dresser and you can see his little purple hands in it. 36 and a half hour labor took it's toll on him too. We went home the next day and on Sunday he attended the Brown family shower with us.
I grieved the end of my pregnancy. I didn't get my four weeks before off. I had nested in the week before but my Dad and his wife had to go prepare the nursery. I grieved my labor process and what had gone wrong. I didn't find healing in that until Elizabeth was born under the care of a phenomenal midwife.
I eventually went to work in the field as a doula. I took many childbirth education classes and educated myself. I have attended hundreds of births. I have helped empower many moms during their labors.
I know now, my medical care was grossly mismanaged. I should have never received interventions. They should have checked by lithmus test immediatley. They should have let me labor. At 35 weeks babies are often fine and tend to have few complications. Who knows my dates could have been wrong. They really caused Conner and I both unessecary suffering. I often wonder if some of this played a hand in his learning disability. Could the drugs or lack of oxygen affected his brain. I will never know. Thank for reading and indulging me. I will save Elizabeth's for NaBloPoMo.
So this means the Terb, the Mag and the bladder infection were a huge waste of time and bad diagnosis. I am having my baby, ready or not. This is the point in the story where I ask, knowing Conner does this surprise you? It sure does make a whole lot of sense now.
So they turn off the Mag and start giving me Pitocin. They slowed my labor to where it became ineffective. So the two drugs spend the next 15 hrs working against each other. I only had a couple of Fentanyl shots to take the edge off. I was determined to not get a epidural. By noon on November 14th my mom and Marty begged and pleaded with me and I caved after 30 hrs. I was tired,tense and need to relax. By three pm my dad came to visit. I was in paina and wanted him to rub my leg. I really wanted to push by they told me "no" at which point Marty claims I tried to bite his finger and my mom was annoying me. So my poor bewildered Dad had to step in very unwillingly. It worked and kept me calm until four pm. My dad left the room and stood outside and they finally let me push. At 16:30 with the channel 4 news as my focal point Conner made is grand entrance into the world.
He didn't cry, he was silent. I now believe he was holding his breath. Something he did everytime he cried well up to the age of five. I also believe he was affected by the many drugs that crossed the placenta. He just kept making this clicking noise. So they weighed him quickly 6lbs 12 oz.s and 4 weeks to the day early. They let Marty and I hold him quickly. Then the rushed him to the NICU for observation.
At this point in my pregancy the prolific morning sickness turned into prolific reflux. I had a 24 Tums a day habit and once even drooled stomach acid in my sleep. The night of November 13th was particularly bad. I felt sick to my stomach and was visiting the toilet often. We shared our bed with a 80 yellow lab and a 20 pound Terrier. I got back into bed and thought one of the dogs jumped or laid down. I know now that was Conner dropping.
By five a.m. I have cramps and finally (21yrs old+first pregnancy = dumb) I figure out " I am in labor" and 35.6 weeks pregnant. I stay calm, call the doctor who tells me to go to the hospital.
We drive up Beach boulevard to Whittier in what is the worst car ride of my life. By this time I am in pain and hurting. We got to Whittier hospital and sign in. The rude nurse says " I don't think today is the day. You are still smiling."
The hook me up to fetal monitoring and find out I am contracting. They checked me and I was one cm. dilated. After a battery of tests they decide I am in labor early, I have a bladder infection and they are going to stop my labor.
So they gave me a shot of Tributlyn and it did nothing. So they gave me a second shot. Mind you, the make your heart race and give you the urge to crawl out of your skin. Guess what??? The second shot does nothing. So they decide I need Magnesium Sulfate to stop my labor. I can just tell you this is a nasty drug and makes you feel horrible. By shift change the contractions are gone(so I think) and all that is left is this lingering pain in my left hip. Plus I am still slimy and gross feeling. The new nurse comes in and asks how I am? To be continued.......
A momentary diversion from the world of Renal disease.
I have never written this story out and want to for posterity. Plus a few friends asked to hear it.
******Warning, if you are squeamish or dislike TMI. STOP now. Graphic child birth story to follow*******
We found out in April of 1997 that I was pregnant. We had been married one year and one month, do the math. It was a happy,exciting time in our lives only marred by the fact Marty's dad passed away two months prior. I had prolific morning sickness losing 13 pounds total.
By October of 1997 we knew that we were having a son named Conner. They had originally told me he would be born around December 10th but then moved it up to December 17th instead. One Saturday morning I was visiting with my mom and preparing to go to a wedding party. Conner started moving so much you could see it through my shirt. It freaked my mom out and nothing does that.
The next morning, I was doing laundry and found blood in the pants from the day before. I immediately called the doctor who scheduled me for a ultrasound the next day. I went in and everything checked out fine. I now believe that was my bloody show and a huge warning of things to come.
I happily went about working and attending two showers with a third scheduled for November 15th with the Brown family. My aunt Maggie joked about her family shower that she ended up bringing Alex to. She was also pregnant due in February with a boy.
On Monday November 10th I started seeing a clear gelatin like substance in my underwear. I called my mom, aunt,grandma and doctor. Everyone came to a consensus that it might be my mucous plug and not to worry. As the week progressed it be became more and more but I didn't worry.
I went to work on November 12th until 10pm. My last day was scheduled for Saturday the 15th. I remember not feeling well and wanting to go home. Instead my manager let another girl go so she could go hang out in the park(aka Disneyland).
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sometimes it is hard living with a chronic disease, you look normal on the outside yet on the inside you are sick. People tend to forget things are really not normal with your family. Sometimes this is a comfort, it means that God is being glorified and giving us strength. But sometimes it can be frustrating when people expect you to do all the things you normally do. Lately, we can do the bare minimum to get by, extra really doesn't work so well with our schedule.
Also, I am the friend that keeps contact. I am not the friend that everyone calls, the same thing with family. So often the silence is deafening when you don't hear from people you care about. At times it feels like they do not care at all. I have been especially struggling with this part lately, it really isn't important in the scheme of things but it still hurts.
The other part is life if on hold. We can't take trips, we can't plan trips, we can't go very far. It is so hard to sit by and watch life and opportunities pass you by. Even not being invited hurts, even if you know if reality is....you can't go.
So basically, we have gotten to a really hard part. A part where I am not doing so well, a part we will get through but the part that changes you.
Hebrews 13:5 b "and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."[a] 6So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. "
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We were able to make it to Santa Clarita for two days earlier this month. It was a lot of work to get Marty there but we did. He participated in the Police and Fire games in the bowling category, he ended up placing 7th overall. We enjoyed getting away for two days and staying in a hotel, better than looking at the same four walls.
So far the kids are having a great summer. They have been to several pool parties and fun events already which makes us very busy. We spend lots of time running from here to there and having fun. So far we are jammed packed and looking forward to a busy summer.
We are still waiting and waiting for Marty to be healed. We are trying to not grow weary or faint and hope in the Lord all the way through. It almost seems as if the call will never come and life will never get back to simplicity. We are trying to keep going and be as normal as possible, sometimes it is hard. I have found myself so tired that everything goes out the window. I try to do as little as possible besides things that are absolutely necessity.
If you have been wondering about something, feel free to ask and I will answer.
Friday, June 5, 2009
In the beginning of the season our team didn't win a whole lot, but the kids had fun each game. Conner was a magnet for getting hurt this year. He got hit by a pitch or something almost every game. I am so proud of my son though, he also grew as a person this year. He pulled the coach aside two weeks ago and told him to let other kids catch. He told the coach he knew that some younger boys wanted to catch and to give them a chance. He told me he knew what that felt like to be told "no" and he didn't want to be the cause of that.
Last night as we were leaving, I was almost crying again. Last year it was pain and this year it was sadness I won't see some of the people again. It was truly a wonderful experience to take part in. Thank you to everyone who made this season special for our family.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
He had still not been sleeping leading up to this episode. He had some swelling so we used the strongest strength of dialysis solution. Unfortunately that solution is high in dextrose, causing his blood sugar to soar and him to get sick. They were able to treat him in the E.R and get it down.
I was home getting ready to take Conner to baseball when the call came. It was Marty telling me he was "okay" and "don't come". I called my friend Robin who dropped everything to take me to him. His work is 65 miles from our home and quite a drive, I needed to be able to drive him home in our car. She took the kids home with her and let them stay the night. The whole way to the hospital I was texting, calling and updating my Facebook status. It was quite a eye opener to what we will face when "the call" comes someday.
We brought him home and spent the next few days trying to get him back on track. He did get some sleeping meds from the doctor yesterday that seemed to work fairly well. His blood pressure is down now and we are only working on battling the blood sugar numbers now. We are hoping to get this figured out and keep him going until he gets his transplant.
Above all we know God is in control and we are incredibly blessed. It has been amazing to see the support our friends have given us and how God has provided.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Last night was a bad night, that followed a bad night the night before that. Marty has not been able to sleep well at night. This has been going on for about four days now, he lays down and gets congested. Then he feels like he is wheezing when he lays on his right side. All together not good when you are already tired. He goes to sleep and the about 2 or 3 am he gets up and is restless beyond restless. I want to help him and cannot help but wake up and try to help him. The thing is, I cannot help him because it is like trying to put a band-aid on a gapeing hole.
We have tried Tylenol P.M., Sudafed, Advil P.M. to no avail. so far. Tonight we are trying a wedge and Benadryl to see how they work. I feel so bad for him, he gets up and goes to work all day long. He gets home at 11:30 pm and sleeps until about 2 or 3 am.
After the long night, I asked for some prayer from friends and church. The good things started to happen right away this morning. First the news, his blood work came back GREAT! he can actually drop a medication now. His dialysis numbers are good and he only has to work on a couple of things.
Then the news, he is going back to working nights. While I miss him, I love that I can sleep and then help him while he sleeps. I will be much better equipped and able to function when he needs help. I think this will be better for the kids too! The have missed their dad coming to functions and spending time with them. He also will be off on Saturdays and Sundays now! So life is good all around.
We are still waiting, keep praying. Thank you for reading and taking the time to pray for us. God is at work even if we only see little bits of it, we know he is there.
Friday, May 1, 2009
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? Psalm 13:2
When do you stop trying so hard? When do you just walk away and wait on the Lord? These are some questions I have been praying about lately. I am by nature a person who wants all my relationships to be good and really struggle when things are bad. It is hard for me to let go and let God, it is hard for me not to want to fix things. I have for years been waiting for healing in a particular relationship. Waiting for things to change but yet nothing ever does. I finally saw a glimmer of hope only to have that darkened. I have tried so hard for so many years only to be knocked down over and over. My heart aches with the longing to have a close bond like other people do with their siblings.
I have thought over every move and decision I have made. Questioned what can I do different? Wondered why? I have tried harder than most people would. I am just ready to give up and not try anymore.I am tired of trying, tired of crying, tired of aching. It's not fair to Marty or the kids to see me cry and lose time with me over it. I cried most of the afternoon over something and don't want to cry anymore.
My big fear is closing the door and making a mistake. I don't ever close doors on people and have only done that once in my life. I will leave the door cracked but I am not going to be actively pursuing this person.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
When and how did you find out that Marty's kidneys were bad? I know it's been a while, but were there signs or symptoms?
The story began two years ago this month. Marty had been seeing his doctor every few months and finally gotten the insulin pump. His hemoglobin A1C was the lowest it has ever been and things were looking good. We had noticed his blood pressure steadily rising and thought it was due to his high stress job. He started taking blood pressure meds and noticed that he was constantly coughing and congested. He needed a refill on his prescription and told me "Find me a new doctor." which prompted me to ask "Can't you just go to doctor D one more time?" and he said "No!". It was very strange for him to make such a request. A doctor recommended by a friend came into mind and I was able to get him switched that same day.
We went in the next day and one of the first things the doctor did was remove a blood pressure medication he had been taking. Come to find out that it was causing Marty to cough and constantly feel like he was sick. I guess blood pressure drugs ending in pril, can do that to you. That was the first sign the other doctor wasn't on top of things. Then he proceeded to prescribe Marty 3 more blood pressure meds and a patch he would have to wear continually.
The next day was a Wednesday and he got up to go get his blood work done. We got a call at three o'clock the same day from his doctor. He wanted to see us the next morning and we immediately knew it was not good news. Our biggest fear was that Marty's kidneys were failing and it was something that I had long prayed would not happen. He had been so upset about turning 30 a few months before and come to find out that was why. His dad experienced Kidney failure at the same exact age.
The next day came and the doctor confirmed our worst fears, Marty was in End Stage Renal failure. He immediately referred us to a endocrinologist and a nephrologist. He also scheduled a renal ultrasound with dye. Thank God for his mercy, we saw the endocronlogist who confirmed the diagnosis but told us to not get the ultrasound. He informed us that any test that injects dye is very hard on the kidneys. If you already have renal failure it will cause your kidneys to completely shut down.
Besides the high blood pressure, Marty really did not have any symptoms. The symptoms of high blood pressure often mask the symptoms of renal failure. He did have some swelling in his ankles. We just did not notice the swelling because he has thick ankles normally. His other doctor had been sending us postcards informing us that his creatnine, BUN and protein were high. But when he went in the doctor never mentioned renal failure or warned him of anything. The other doctor completely missed the whole thing and dropped the ball. If Marty had not felt he needed a new doctor, who knows what would have happened. We know that God's hand was upon us and leading us to the new doctor.
We were shell shocked, our world crumbled down before our very eyes. Suddenly our future was clouded and we could not see anything very clear. We realized that so many things were now out of our control. We immedialtely started praying and asking everyone around us for prayer. One of our friends told me she was praying "That God would be glorified through Marty." and so far I think that has happened.
We started meeting with a nephrologist and following a strict renal diet. We found out Marty had about 30% kidney function left. We fought hard to preserve whatever was left and prayed that he would never have to go on dialysis. We immediately asked for a referral to transplant and knew we wanted a kidney/pancreas transplant. We wanted to go to LA and even ignored advice that Stanford was better. Only when we got a letter from Stanford did we decide that maybe God was leading us there instead.
We were able to hold off dialysis for a year and a half. One of the only reasons he went on was because he needed a angiogram. The dye in the angiogram would kill off his kidney function and he could only get it once he was on dialysis.
I didn't start blogging about it right away. But once I did, all the posts are labeled either kidney disease or transplant. Someday, we will be able to look back and see all the wonderful answered prayer and miracles that have happened. Right now, we aren't looking back and we are taking things one day at a time.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Last night some friends were asking questions about donation and how it all works. I thought maybe I needed to explain the best I can to help you understand even if I have limited understanding. One thing is Marty has now been on the list 17 months they told us the wait is anywhere from one to three years. So we are halfway between that number now, so anytime the call could come. He has not been active status that whole time, only since November he has been active. What is the difference? Now he sends a monthly blood sample to the histo lab at Stanford. When organs become available they check the blood samples of candiates and find the closest match or perfect match to the organs. I think they check those highest on the list first. If you are a exact genetic match they give it to you.
Marty still does have his kidneys, he still goes to the bathroom normally. All it means is the urine the kidneys produce is bad. The kidneys no longer remove the toxins from his blood and the toxins stay in his body. The dialysis removes the toxins from his body for him and when the fluid drains out it is urine colored ( sorry for TMI) interestingly enough. The catheter is in his side not far from his belly button. We attach it to the tubing set and the fluid goes in and out that way. The fluid sits in his abdomen for several hours and draws out the toxins. That is why lately he has been dehydrated from too much dialysis.
When he gets his transplant it will come from a deceased donor. A person cannot live without their pancreas and it has to come from a deceased donor. The kidney could come from a live donor but the organs both have to come from the same person. After his transplant we will live in Palo Alto for up to three months. We have made arrangements for our kids to be cared for and our house to be cared for while we are gone.
If I haven't answered your question, please let me know. You can ask me anything and I will answer.
Questions from Di:
Will the kids be with you? Not for the first month, they will be at home being cared for by my mom or my friend Robin. Then we may bring them up to be with us as time goes on and Marty gets better.
Do they ever tell you when he is "at the top" of the list? Not that we know of, we will just get the call. As time goes on we might find this out.
Or is that just something you see on TV? I think for lungs and hearts you know this but not for kidneys. I am not sure but all indications are this will not happen.
Does your insurance (or someone else) reimburse you for having to stay so close to the hospital for such a long period of time? No, the insurance pays 100% of everything related to Marty. But for me it will be all out of pocket expense. We have heard there are discounts on hotels and maybe some housing available. We have been told not to worry about this part that it will all work out. I am sure it will be expensive.
How long will you have to get there once they call? They have told us between 12 and 24 hours.
How far away is it? It takes about 4 hours to get there. It is about 400 miles away.
Does Marty plan to work until that time (if able)? He plans on working all the way until he gets the call. He has already filled out FMLA papers and we have taken some steps to get business taken care of while we are gone. The only way he will quit work is if he is physically unable to work.
*****************************question from Caroline******************************************
My reader and friend Caroline asked this:
Who will school the kids while you are gone?
My mom will hopefully be able to come care for the kids while we are gone. The plan is for her to come stay for four weeks at our house. If she cannot come then my friend Robin will care for the kids. If my friend Robin cannot care for the kids then our friends Larry and Joyce will.
This year I purposely bought curriculum that can be self taught if needed. So that if I left the schooling could continue with minimal interuption. Of course ideally if things would happen during the summer that would be even better. Then there would be no need for school work to be done.
After the first four weeks, we will look into having the kids come stay with us. It might not be possible but if so then they can come. I am sure it will all work out when the time comes and many people will offer even more help.