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Monday, March 28, 2011

365 - Day 199

This week may be tough to keep up with as it's Quarter End, but I will try!

1.  My girl received a Good Citizen Award at school and gets to have a pizza lunch with the Principal tomorrow.  She is ecstatic!  So proud of her!

2.  I was able to purchase the tickets for Belle's upcoming dance recital that I wanted.  It's always SO stressful, and I got in without issue this time!  Phew! Big relief!

3.  United States of Tara.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

365 - Day 198

1.  Great day with my 3 favorite peeps.

2.  Great workout.  Feeling good and starting to notice changes.

3.  Strawberries for dessert.  Love that berries are starting to look in season!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

365 - Day 197

1.  Taking my second Yoga class.  I really enjoyed it.

2.   I've been trying out a gym the last few days, and the kids and hubby joined me after my Yoga class.  There was a big event put on for the kids in honor of Spring.  The kids LOVED the magic show, crafts, bouncy house, and Easter Bunny.  It was a great event to attend on a rainy day where we would otherwise be stuck inside going stir crazy.  Elias was hysterical for almost the whole 45 minute long magic show.  Absolutely loved it!

3.  Fro-yo from Costco!  Yummy!

365 - Day 196

1.  I actually worked out for a whole week, given how my asthma has been acting up lately, that's a HUGE accomplishment for me. Yay me!

2.  Elias is starting to really enjoy reading books.  He use to want to just fly through them, but he's really sitting still and paying attention to the story now.  Love watching him grow!  I hope he has the same love of reading as his Daddy, Mommy, and Sissy.

3.  Rewarding myself with my absolute favorite guilty pleasure, chili cheese nachos!  They were DELICIOUS!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

365 - Day 195

1.  Being able to try something new today with a friend. 

2.  Being sore and knowing it's a good thing!

3.  Peppermint hot chocolate on a blustery night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

365 - Day 194

1. Today my to-do list was outrageously long.  I'm proud to say, I accomplished everything I wanted to!

2. I got a workout in today and felt really good about it.

3.  Knowing I can make my baby girl feel better when she's feeling really blue.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

365 - Day 193

1.  Day 3, sore but motivated!

2.  Hearing some good news from a friend.

3.  Realizing we're raising decent little human beings that have good hearts and consciences.

365 - Day 189-192

Between Internet issues at work and home and tons on our plate, I'm playing catch up!

Day 189
1.  Breakfast for dinner, yum!

2.  Isabelle had the day off of school and went with Elias to my parents house for the day.  She was beyond excited to see them and her cousins. 

3.  A batman raincoat  + my boy = adorableness.

Day 190
1.  My parents for attending Belle's dance competition and helping me wrangle the boy!

2.  The girls won a Platinum trophy for their high score as well as a 1st place in their division. 

3.  Snuggling up after an extremely long, tiring day and watching a movie with my hubby.

Day 191
1.  I accomplished working out for the first time in months without having an asthma attack.

2.  Playing at the "beach" in Isabelle's room with her and the boys.  Love how creative she is. Perfect family play time during a rainy day.

3.  Watching Elias play with another little boy his age at church.  I adore watching him interact and socialize.

Day 192
1.  Day 2 of working out consecutively.  Take that asthma!

2.  Checking many things off my to-do list.  A productive day is a good day.

3.  Having a husband that is supportive of me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

365 - Day 188

1.  We have a roof over our head, food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, and know where our loved ones are.  Watching the tragedy unfold in Japan I am reminded of just how blessed we are.

2.  My heritage.  I'm proud of my muttness!

3.  A hubby that busts his hump to provide for us. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

365 - Day 187

1.  FINALLY resolving phone issues after several hours spent both yesterday and today.

2.  Being able to help a friend.

3.  Being attacked by my boy with kisses, and having him laugh hysterically. 

365 - Day 186

1.  Reading a good book and sharing a bowl of popcorn with my girl.

2.  News of a beautiful baby girl's birth.  She's gorgeous!  Welcome to the world Jacqueline!

3.  Falling asleep to the rain.

Monday, March 14, 2011

365 - Day 185

1.  My boy is back to his crazy, fun, loving self.

2.  A new baby is coming into the world today. I can't wait to hear the good news that she's arrived!

3.  Having a sweet mother-in-law that will sew on patches to Belle's jeans for me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

365 - Day 184

1.  Leftovers.  Delish!

2. Reading with my best girl. 

3. Big Love.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

365 - Day 183

1.  Hubby is a fabulous Daddy.  Took the girl out for a few errands today, and spoiled her rotten.  They had a fabulous time together.

2. Enchiladas for dinner and oreo pudding pie for dessert.

3.  Saturday afternoon nap.  An extremely short one, but a nap nonetheless!

Friday, March 11, 2011

365 - Day 182

1.  Thankful that family in Guam are okay, and family of my friends that live in Japan are okay.

2.  My girl got excellent grades on her report card!  So proud of her!

3.  Pizza night!

365 - Day 181

1.  Hubby was able to stay home with Elias today, and I was able to go to work. My boys had a nice day together.

2.  Officer Young.  Again, nicest policeman I've ever met!

3.  Belle was able to go back to dance class.  It was so sweet how excited everyone was to see her.  Love that my girl is loved!

365 - Day 180

1.  Elias' fever isn't too high and he's eating.

2.  Even with a fever, E is bouncing off the walls!

3.  Knowing that hugs and cuddles from Mommy makes my sicky boy feel better.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Elias' Guide To Fun

When Mommy and Daddy were busy taking care of and worrying about Sissy, I was able to get away with more than I usually do!  If you find yourself as lucky as I was, here's a list of things that are fun to do!

1. Empty your dresser.  Dump your toys all over your room.  It's a blast!

2.  Refuse to take naps.  Absolutely refuse.  It's a waste of time and you'll miss out on a lot of fun.  Beware though, when you're overtired and it's finally bedtime and you crash, you do weird things.  Like sleep with a stack of pull-ups and put on your Jordans.  And then your Mommy might call in your Daddy to look at you, and they'll take pictures and laugh at what a funny little munch you are.

3. Take off your pants!  They just slow you down, and it's easier to run to the potty without them.  Plus, you get to look at your chones when you don't have pants on!  I love changing my chones from "pider man" to "mickey".   

4.  Put stuff in your hair. I was born with rock star hair.  Hair like mine shouldn't be ignored.  I put stuff in it anytime I can.  This past week I gave myself a vanilla pudding mohawk.  It smelled and tasted delicious!  I also put Mommy's lotion in my hair, dumped a cup of water over my head, as well as a bunch of food.  I'm constantly exploring what will make my hair even more awesome than it already is.  Mommy's not too fond of this past time of mine.  After a few of my experiments, she caught me trying to get into her lotion again.  I gave her this face.  This face is my "I'm not up to nothin' Mommy" face.    You gotta work your cuteness when you get caught.  It makes my Mommy smile and melts her heart every time I give her this face.  She's like putty in my hands I tell you!

5.  DVDS!  They are my absolute favorite!  I love changing them from player to player, although I know I'm not suppose to.  This is the #1 cause of me having to sit on the "Naughty Step."  I really don't mind sitting on the "Naughty Step" majority of the time.  I also love, love, love pressing the buttons on the tv, dvd player, and Wii.

6.  The face.  Practice your faces.  When I can tell Mommy and Daddy are really upset about me pushing buttons or playing with DVDs, I give them this face.  It's my "Me?  Huh?  I didn't do anything.  Me?  You sure you're talking to me?" face.  Play dumb with a little bit of cute.  It'll soften the punishment.

7.  Take pictures. I found my Mommy's camera and learned the art of the self portrait.  Please see the next 3 pictures.  There are 24 more but they are pretty much all the same.  If you'd like to see my superb photography skills, let me know and I'll give you pointers!  I'm totally self-taught, but I think I did pretty well.

8.   Call your Mommy by her name.  Or even better, by the name your cousins call her.  If you REALLY want to go for the big laughs, call her Grammy!

9.  Go to the park with your family.  The park has loads of fun things to do.  Like going down the slide on your tummy, riding an alligator, and a tractor. 

10. Put on your Sissy's twinkle toe shoes while your Sissy is putting on a concert with her guitar.  Refuse to acknowledge it's bedtime.

 To sum it up, just grit your teeth and have fun!  Fun can be had anywhere with anything.

***DISCLAIMER: Having too much fun and refusing to nap for a week and a half can cause you to totally crash in the car when your Daddy is driving you home.  Your Mommy and Sissy might then take advantage of the fact that you are completely 100% out of it and take pictures and video with you.

365 - Day 179

1.  I was able to get a lot done at work today.

2.  Unfortunately Elias came down with a fever this afternoon.  Thankful he was with his Grammy & Grandpa who took great care of him until I was able to pick him up.

3.  Omar and I are still feeling well.  Hoping it stays that way!

Monday, March 07, 2011

365 - Day 178

1.  Belle went back to school today.  Yay for feeling better and getting back to normalcy!  She cried a bit at the thought of going, but ended up having a great day.

2.  I don't ever think I've been so happy to go to work!  Again, it mean getting back to normal and that my girl was A-Okay.

3.  Not owing money on our taxes.  Hip-hip-hooray!

365 - Day 177

1.  Homemade chocolate chip cookies.

2.  Breakfast for dinner.

3.  The new season of the Celebrity Apprentice.  I big fuzzy heart Jose Canseco!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

365 - Day 176


2.  Gorgeous day outside.

3.  Fresh air.  After a week couped up inside, we got out for some fresh air today!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Feeling Better, Dancing For Joy

365 - Day 175

1.  I'm going to go ahead and call today a fever free day!  The high of Belle's temperature today was 99.3.

2.  Belle ate all 3 meals today in full!  Not just 2 or 3 bites.  Appetite is back!

3.  My girl is definitely recovering.  She was in great spirits today and had a ton more energy!

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

I've debated whether or not to blog about this in detail. In fact, I've been writing this since Tuesday morning, and have edited it numerous times. 
The last few days I've been talking asking pleading God's ears off.  I don't think God has heard from me in the past year as much as He has in the last 120 hours.  I truly don't believe there are any actual atheists in this world.  Put anyone who says they are in the middle of a living nightmare, and I guarantee they are going to start asking for help from a higher power, just in case there is one.  

As I've discussed before, I'm a believer.  I very much believe in God, and believe that God wants everyone to be healthy and happy.  Sickness is not caused by God.  It's not a punishment, it's not of God.  That said, God is no respecter of persons.  I don't believe that God picks and chooses who gets to be healthy just because of how much cash you drop into a donation plate, or how nicely you dress on Sunday, or because you won't stop asking. However, I believe in prayer.  I believe in asking God for help, strength, and courage to overcome whatever obstacle that is in the way.  This said, I still spent the last numerous hours bargaining and negotiating with the Big Man.  Now I know that God doesn't operate like this.  Still, I bargained.  "I will do absolutely anything you want God, just let my daughter be okay."  "Dear God, please, if someone has to be sick, give me whatever it is she has." " Please God, please don't let her have leukemia, name your price and I'll do it." As if God has a price.  Ridiculous, I know.  I know God wants my daughter to be healthy.  He wants her to have a long, happy, healthy full life.  Still, I ain't too proud to beg.  And beg I did.

My children are everything to me.  I can't imagine my life without them.  I wouldn't want a life without them.  I wouldn't have a life without them. Now before you go jumping to the "you are more than just a mom, your identity shouldn't only be in your kids", I know that. I strongly believe in having one's own identity.  And yes, I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, etc.  But above all, I'm me, Stacy.  I've heard it said somewhere that when you give birth, you also give birth to your heart.  At that very moment your heart ceases to live inside of your body, and instead, lives outside of your body.  This is the most accurate metaphor I can come up with for how much my children mean to me.  A body needs a heart to survive.  I need my kids. 

Isabelle came down with a high fever a week ago.  She's had no other symptoms other than a high fever and a headache.  This began on a Thursday night.  Immediately I thought "flu".  I cancelled an appointment I had for Friday, and arranged to work from home.  I thought, "Of course, right before the weekend".  Why does that always seem to happen when a doctor isn't readily available? Then her temperature shot up to 103.8.  I started to worry.  She'd never had a fever so high.  Especially without any other symptoms.  I called her Pediatrician's office to see if I should bring her in, or at what temperature I should be concerned.  I hated that she had such a high fever and the Dr.'s office would be closed on the weekend.  I wanted to be sure I was accurately educated on what I should be watching for, and when I should take her into the emergency room, if ever.  The nurse told me to keep monitoring her temperature, and use the fever reducing methods I was.  If she started seizing or hallucinating take her into the ER immediately. If she had a fever for 4 days I'd need to bring her in. The thought of my poor girl hallucinating or seizing frightened me.  I watched her like a hawk.  I figured her fever would start to come down over the weekend.  It didn't.

My mind started to go places I didn't want it to.  Scary places.  I knew that a high fever so many days in a row is a bad thing.  I knew that a fever with no other symptoms would be alarming to a doctor.  I feared what Monday would bring.  I tried to put my mind to rest and not think about Allie, Nick, or leukemia.  I kept telling myself, it's just a virus.  The fever will go away.  Monday morning came and she still had a fever.  I called to make an appointment.  It was set for 2:20pm.  I took Belle into the Dr.'s while Omar stayed home with the little guy.  The whole time I tried to calm myself and think that the Dr. would assure me it was just a virus.  I was wrong.

Her doctor was very concerned about such a high fever so many days in a row.  She wanted a blood test ran immediately.  She also found some lumps/swollen lymph nodes on her. She asked if Belle had been scratched by a cat.  A cat?? No. We don't have a cat, and Belle is never around cats.  Apparently cat scratch disease can cause swollen lymph nodes on the neck. She wanted to test for this to see if that was the cause. Off to the hospital Belle and I flew in order to get the test done in time to receive the results that night.

I've had to edit this paragraph numerous times.  It was just too horrific an experience for Belle to go into detail.  Instead I've decided to give the high level jest.  Belle's blood test involved me and another nurse holding her down while the technician took several viles of blood which took FOREVER.  I've never seen or heard my baby so upset and scream so loudly.   My poor girl felt so betrayed by me and was furious.  She said numerous hurtful things out of her anger and just wanted to be left alone.  She refused to speak to the hubby or myself for hours and shut herself up in her room wanting nothing to do anyone.  Knowing my baby was in pain and so upset and not being able to comfort her was brutal.  Not being able to just hold her in our arms when that was all we wanted and needed was torturous.

The next few hours waiting for the call was horrific.  Every second felt like an hour.  Every minute felt like a day.  I couldn't stop shaking.  My heart was racing, willing the phone to ring, yet praying it wouldn't.  Please God, please let her be okay. Omar and I would nervously make eye contact, squeeze each other's hand, hold each other tight, and reassure each other, "She's going to be fine." It took everything to not let the tears that filled our eyes run over.  We put on our bravest faces and played with Elias who seemed to run amok and curiously look at us wondering why no one was disciplining him.  We took turns going upstairs to check on Belle and see if she would finally let us in.  After a few hours she caved, and let me into her room and wanted a hug. She said she wanted to watch a movie with us and have ice cream, and that's exactly what we did.  We both sat on either side of her and squeezed her tight.  She commented, "Wow, you've never squeezed me so tight before!"  We tried to ease up as best we could, but couldn't help ourselves.  She picked Alice In Wonderland to watch, the Johnny Depp one.  Her laughter filled the air and drowned out the movie.  I gulped down my tears.  They were painful to swallow. I ran my fingers through her long, beautiful hair. Please God, no. Omar and my hands touched on her hair.  Our eyes met.  I knew his mirrored mine.  They were brim full of tears, fear, and pleading. We continued to "watch" the movie with her.  Finally I couldn't take it anymore and said I was going upstairs to make "the call". 

I knew the office was closed and I would receive the answering service.  I explained the situation and that I wanted the on call doctor.  Someone was suppose to call us with test results, the lab said they'd be in the doctor's hands an hour and a half ago.  No one had called.  It took the several minutes for the customer service lady to reach the on call doctor, who had to call the lab for the results.  In the meantime Omar had snuck upstairs.  I was kneeling on our bedroom floor on hold.  Praying.  Pleading.  Begging.  Eyes still brim full, brave face struggling to stay in place.  I told him what was going on.  He began to turn to go back downstairs to check on the kids.  And then the doctor came on the line. 

"Mrs. M.? I'm sorry it took so long.  The lab didn't fax over the test results so I had to track them down.  Isabelle's blood counts and platelets are within normal range......" Normal range, normal range, normal range. "There is definitely a sign of infection, and inflammation.  There isn't any bacterial infection. Her pdt...." Infection, inflammation, no bacteria, normal range counts "We still don't have a few of the test results back, the cat scratch fever being one of them.  That will be in at the end of the week..."  "Okay, but you said normal range?  Her blood counts and platelets?" "Yes, everything looks in normal range.  Meaning NO SIGN OF LEUKEMIA." "NO leukemia.  NO LEUKEMIA?" "That is correct, her blood actually looks really good.  No leukemia or any other type of blood disorder.  I believe what she has is very bad viral infection."  "What about other types besides leukemia?" "I would say no, because her blood would not look this good and fevers fluctuating coming down if that were the case.  If she's the same tomorrow as she is today, keep her home doing the same.  If things escalate, bring her in.  If things are the same Wednesday we most likely will want her brought in for another round of testing.  Right now we aren't positive what is going on other than she has an infection.  One that will not respond to antibiotics since it's not bacterial.  We're going to have to monitor, wait and see."  "Okay, but just to be sure, you said no cancer.  NO type of cancer to worry about?" "No, no cancer."

I hung up the phone and the tears that I had been fighting to contain for days came violently gushing out as if the dam that held them back broke. Hysterically I got out the words to Omar, "It's not leukemia.  No cancer.  She's okay." He collapsed next to me and we both sobbed and sobbed in each other's arms.  I don't think either of us have ever cried so hard in our lives. 

Every day since then Belle's fever has continuously gone down.  Each day's high is lower than the previous day.  Her doctor has been checking in daily for updates, and says we are on the right track.  She seems to be on the mend.  As for her swollen lymph nodes, the test results for the cat fever came back negative (as we knew it would).  Her doctor feels confident that the swelling is due to this nasty virus.  We're to wait two weeks after she's fever free to bring her back in to be examined.  And so I find myself still continuously talking God's ear off.  Thanking Him for the good test results.  Knowing that not all families receive good results and we've been blessed. Thanking Him that her fever is continuing to go down.  Asking Him for today to be the day that she is fever free.  Begging Him that everything resolves itself when this fever and infection goes away so that this nightmare is over.  Again and again I find myself pleading.  Please God, please.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

365 - Day 174

1.  Belle's fever was almost non-existant today!

2.  The feeling that there is a light at the end of this hellish tunnel, and it's coming soon.

3.  We have so many caring, sweet, dear friends and family that love us and our kids.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

365 - Day 173

1. A very sweet friend, one of Belle's little friend's mom, left a surprise for my girl on the porch.  Belle's face absolutely lit up when she saw an adorable flower arrangement, a bag of books to borrow, and a get well note.  It so lifted my little girl's spirit.

2.  Belle's highest fever today was lower than yesterday's.  Looking like she's on the mend.  Thank God!

3.  Perspective.  As horrible as going through tough times are, priorities quickly fall into place.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

365 - Day172

1. Belle's fever was a little lower today

2.  Belle was hungry this morning.

3.  After a lengthy conversation with Belle's Dr. I feel a little less worried.