Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

This is the Christmas post that almost wasn't. I really don't understand why I have so much trouble posting using our laptop but I do. Thankfully Mom's desktop computer has been fixed and hopefully soon I will have ours fixed, so once they are back in the house up and running I will just use one of them. Maybe then I will blog more...just joking!! We all know that won't happen.
Anyway, yet another Christmas has come and gone. This year was one of the better Christmas' that we have had in a long time. I have always enjoyed the time that we spend with our family, isn't that the point of the holidays, but this is the first year in about five that we were actually able to buy presents for not only each other, but for our close family as well. It was also a welcome relief that we were able to be so generous with the girls. After scoping out some of my favorite family blogs I'm starting to think we were overly generous...lol. I know that next year since we will hopefully be back under our own roof instead of my Mother's that we may not be able to splurge quite like we did this year so that makes me feel a little better about this year. I can't tell you how excited I was to be able to get Daniel his Kindle Fire. He almost didn't get it until after Christmas but thanks to a very belated birthday check from my step-dad I was able to rush out and get it for him. I am pretty sure he was shocked to have gotten it which makes it that much better for me to have given it to him.
Christmas Eve this year was spent at my brother Steve's apartment. It was mind blowing for me to have my younger brother cook dinner for us and invite us into his first home. It's a reminder that we're all getting older...I still can't believe that I turned 28 this year. I might need medicated for the big 3-0.
Daddy helping the girls open their Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve. One of the traditions I started last year with Addison.
Daddy and Addison trying out the new Kindle.
Me and my precious girls on Christmas morning. We didn't get a single picture of Cadence in her Christmas jammies...baby girl woke up soaking wet.The girls trying out their new car and wagon before heading out to Mamaw's house for our Christmas lunch. We love doing lunch with my mother-in-law. This year to be different she served us a taco ring and taco's. I have to share the taco ring recipe with you because it was so good and it was so different from our usual holiday feast.

My beautiful little family of four. These three make every holiday for me special.
Mamaw and her girls. Santa not only spoiled the girls rotten at our house but she spoiled them rotten at her house as well. I can't tell you how fortunate I am to have such wonderful, generous people in my children's lives. Being a child of divorce I have enough family to keep us busy for every holiday, and often times we go without seeing some because there isn't enough time in the day. How blessed are we to have so many people love us and for us to have love them?
After visiting with Mamaw and Uncle Dusty for a few hours we always make our way to spend time with my Dad's family. The past two Christmas' have been spent at my Uncle Dan and Aunt Robin's where we feast, share gifts, and enjoy a few hours of togetherness. This year was no exception. My Aunt Robin made a lovely pork roast and a tender beef roast to go with my homemade coleslaw and my cousin Heather's awesome mac and cheese. Helping Aunt Heather open one of her gifts. We don't wrap the girls presents from Santa, which is fine by me because I hate wrapping presents, so they enjoyed helping unwrap gifts at Uncle Dan and Aunt Robin's. They weren't overly into it at Mamaw's house so I did most of the unwrapping there. Christmas chaos. Paper and presents everywhere, smiles on faces, and yummy food in bellies. What a way to spend a wonderful day!!
Now that Christmas has come and gone we have another celebration to start planning in our house. In less than two months we will be celebrating Cadence's first birthday and Addison's second. I CANNOT believe my little baby is going to be one and that my bigger baby will be two. My how time flies when you're having fun. I've decided that I am going to incorporate their parties into one since they have the same birthday week and this years theme is a circus event. We're having circus themed foods, games, maybe a clown and some face painting, and of course lots of balloons. I can't tell you how excited I am to throw this event. Thanks to pinterest I already have a few craft ideas that I need to get started on.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Visit with Santa

Sunday we took the girls to see Santa. This was Addison's second visit but Cadence's first. Addison did really well visiting him last year, but like with Cadence, we weren't sure how this years visit was going to go.
Overall the visit went really well. It was just our luck though that as we went to sit down, we did our family shot first, the photographers equiptment went down and everything had to be rebooted. It took about twenty minutes or so that meant just sitting there waiting. Addison was very apprehensive of him and it required her sitting on my lap for the family shot. She did sit next to him during the shot of just the two girls, but we got two chances and two chances only before she had had enough of the big guy.
As you can see Cadence just loved it. She could have cared less about the big guy and she actually stayed on his lap and just hung out during the twenty minute wait. She literally just kicked back and rested her head on his chest and everything...it was so cute. Addison on the other hand stayed as far away from him as possible and she enjoyed playing with the basket of stuffed animals that they were handing out to each child. The nice thing about our twenty minute wait was that she got to give several animals a test drive before she settled on which one she and her sister were taking home...lol.
We randomly did a family shot last year and because I enjoyed how well it turned out I decided that we would make it a yearly tradition. I bought a pretty Christmas frame from my favorite store ever...Kohls, and each year I plan on adding our newest picture with Santa. I know we will get a kick out of seeing how the girls grow and Daniel and I change through the years when I add each picture. Now if only it wasn't so darn expensive to get pictures taken with Santa we would be all set.
Just in case I don't post again until after Christmas...I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Please be safe in your travels and remember to savor each moment with your children and families.
I was a little slow in the Christmas card process this year so our family decided to send out New Year's cards. Be sure to check back next week to get a sneak peak at our lovely little card. Shutterfly has an awesome selection of cards and I am really impressed with our card. I wish that I could send each and every one of you an actual card but I only bought twenty five and those babies weren't cheap...lol.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Real Housewives of Dayton

How many of you watch Bravo's Real Housewives shows, raise your hands? How many of you follow blogs of stay at home Mom's, raise your hands?
My hand is risen for both of the above questions. Watching the shows and following certain blogs is my guilty pleasure. I'll admit to it, I'm not afraid.
Now how many of you sit back and wonder, or in my case wish, that you could always looks so well put together as most of these women do? That would be me! I always sit back and wonder just how they do it. They always have their hair and make up done wonderfully, and their outfits, I mean who wouldn't want to always be that stylish. I know I would.
I know a few of the blogs that I follow these women actually set their alarms to get up an hour before their children just so they can get their hair and makeup done? Seriously? I'm all about getting as much sleep as possible around here and if that means skipping that hour of Mommy prep than so be it. Now I'm not trying to being harsh or disrespectful to any of them, I'm just trying to keep it real when it comes to this particular housewife.
In reality, I wish I had the motivation that these women do. We don't really have a schedule around here. We are usually up and out of bed between the hours of nine and ten which is a miracle I know! I'm spoiled that the girls allow me to sleep that long...this sick and worn out Momma needs it. Cadence goes down for a nap around noon and Addison follows about an hour or so later. We fly by the seat of our pants around here. I wish we had a better schedule...I wish I was like all of those other blogging Moms. Unfortunately that's not our reality right now. I place a lot of the blame on my current health issues. I'm fighting the battle of my life with this disease and until my surgery and recovery period I just don't see it any other way. My Crohns disease is dictating our schedules.
I do have days where I get dressed, fix my hair and makeup, but I'm going to be honest with you...it's usually because I have errands to run or doctors appointments to make. Most days, well, I look like this...
...my hair is a complete mess, I have no makeup on, and I'm still wearing the clothes I slept in. Lord how I love my lounge pants! It also shows the lovely fingerprints all over the fireplace doors...HAHA. I'm still losing weight so I'm liking the fact that I'm looking thinner, however, one of the side effects of taking steroids is that it makes your face nice and round as you can see. Maybe if I put my makeup on and did my hair it wouldn't be so bad...lol.
I'm not really sure the purpose of this post. I think it's because so many of us sit back and fantasize about these women and the lives that they live. We wish that we could go to fancy tea parties during the day and elaborate parties in the evenings dressed in our finest gowns like the Beverly Hills Housewives do. But then I remember that we only see what they want us to see on those silly shows and that on the blogs I follow I only see the pictures that the blogger wants us to see. They don't always show us the pictures of them without their hair and makeup done, still sporting their jammies but I imagine even they have days like mine...just not as often...lol. As much as I would love to have those tea parties to attend and as much as I would like to get dolled up, that's not my reality. My reality is shown in the picture above and other than wishing that I could for once be healthy...I wouldn't have it any other way. I love spending my days with my girls and sitting in the middle of the playroom floor with Addison playing with her plastic tea set is just fine by this Momma. Plus, the girls don't care what I look like or what I'm wearing...they just love their Momma the way she is and for that I am truly blessed.
So go ahead and take a look at the picture above, I'm not ashamed...I'm just keeping it real.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's looking like Christmas around these parts...

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we went out and purchased our Christmas tree. I can't tell you how excited I was to be out hunting for the perfect tree for the first time in way too many years. I also can't believe I was doing it with two little girls in tow. That particular Sunday was awesome. Warm enough that we just needed light weight jackets and wouldn't freeze our behinds off.
Cadence could have cared less what we were doing but Addison got a bit of a kick walking around pulling out trees to examine them. I can't wait until their both older and can really get into the tree picking experiencing. It was always a big deal for us growing up, especially since we usually had more than one tree. Christmas was always one of my Mom's favorite holidays...pretty much the only holiday that we decorated for. When we moved to the farm all those years ago it wasn't unusual for us to have three live trees in the house. We loved us some Christmas trees.

This year we decorated the tree with white lights which flicker off and on, it is so pretty. We also have stuck with a red, green, and silver theme. Most of our ornaments are still in the attic of our old house, which we really need to go and get, but we did receive four really nice ones this year at our annual ornament exchange at Thanksgiving. I also bought some new, cheap, and most importantly, shatter proof ornaments, to add to our collection. Addison really enjoyed helping decorate and for the most part she's leaving the tree alone, as is her little sister. I think the Great Danes have broken more ornaments in previous years than what the girls hopefully will. Dog with long tail+glass ornaments=BAD IDEA!!!

Here is our lovely tree, which honestly is so perfect it saddens me that we will eventually have to drag it to the bonfire pile. It is just the right height and width. The smell is unbelievable and by far my favorite Christmas time scent. As I was admiring it today it made me sit and think about how many trees are cut down each year, just to be dragged to the trash after a month or so. I wonder how many trees are cut down each year? I'm still planning on purchasing a nice fake one after Christmas this year to try to be "green", but I can't make any promises that we won't ever purchase another real one. I just get a kick out of going out each year and picking that perfect one. Maybe one day we will find a place where they come with some of their roots and we can keep it alive and plant it in the coming spring? Just a thought!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day 2011

I can't believe it but yet another holiday has come and gone. Don't you remember growing up? How the year seemed to just drag on and on. It was if Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially Christmas, would never get here. Now as an adult I find myself wondering where previous days and months have gone. They just seem to fly by now.
Thanksgiving was a wonderful day for us. I have so much to be thankful for even if I do have this dark cloud called Crohns disease hovering above me at all times. As hard as I try to not dwell on my condition it always sneaks its way into my thoughts. I tried to keep myself medicated during our festivities which took place on both Thursday and Friday, but I did end up sick towards the end of our day Thursday. I didn't think I was going to survive the drive home. It seems like the more I hurt, the more bumps in the road there are.
I did manage to snap a few pictures of our two day event. I think my family is becoming more and more appreciative of the fact that I take pictures of every function. I managed to coax my sister Megan into taking a picture of Daniel and I with the girls. I love it and would love it even more if my husband would stop being such a darn scrooge when it comes to pictures and actually smile once in awhile. Addison not having her fingers in her mouth would have been a nice touch as well but what can you do, right? Don't you love the girls matching outfits? I know I will only be able to do such a thing for a few years, if that, before they both start forming their own outfit opinions. My MIL loves purple so I made sure we wore the purple outfits on Thursday which was where we spent half of our day. We spent the other half with my Mom's side of the family at my Aunt Linda's home.
Friday we spent with my Dad's side of the family. My sister Nikki and her husband recently moved three hours away from home so that he could begin working at a new job. This was the first we had seen them and my nephew Dylan in awhile and I was happy to get to spend a few hours with them before they head home sometime this weekend. Nikki is expecting their second baby who is due March 7th. This birth is already giving me anxiety...lol. She had a tough time delivering Dylan and now that I will be almost three hours away, there is a good possibility that I may not make it down there for this one. I just can't see myself traveling three hours away being as sick as I am. I honestly don't think I could handle that long of a drive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be healthy enough to help welcome this newest edition to our family.
Speaking of babies...I swear I just had this one. Cadence is another fine example of time flying by. I can't believe she is nine months old now. Look at how big she is. Daniel's been getting a real kick out of her these past few days. She can now clap on command and he thinks its awesome. Addison went to town on her Thanksgiving dinner last year, which would have put her at nine months as well. For whatever reason Cadence just didn't care about it this year. I think we are behind with giving her "big people" food so it's partly our fault. Even though Addison is only a year apart from Cadence I still find myself wondering things such as when we started Addie on solids, big people food, and forget when she started to crawl and walk. We keep trying to compare the girls to one another developmentally and have to remind ourselves that each of our little ladies is different. No matter what, they are both so darn cute I can barely stand it. I am so lucky that God chose me as their Mommy. Below is Daddy with his mini-me. Daniel can try to deny Addison as she is my spitting image, but Cadence, Cadence is all Daddy.
"Here Daddy, let me try to do something with your hair."
Addison with her cousin Dylan. I'm pretty sure their related...lol. I still can't get over how big they are. Dylan turned two in October and Addison will be two in February. Slow down babies...slow down!!
Every Thanksgiving for the past few years, the Murphy's have done an ornament exchange after dinner. I started the tradition a few years ago when Daniel and I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our home. I figured it would be a way to kick off the Christmas season. I took pictures this year of everyone and their ornaments.
Look at my Uncle Dan and Aunt Robin...she's actually smiling for her picture. Uncle Dan loves doing the exchange, even though they don't need a holiday kick off. It's Christmas at their house all year long. Just call them Mr. & Mrs. Claus. It's not a far fetch if you really think about it, just look at Uncle Dan's beard...lol. Plus they were wearing red.
With the end of the Thanksgiving holiday comes the beginning of Christmas at our house. Daniel and I are some of the few remaining that refuse to decorate before Thanksgiving. He was just complaining the other day that some of the stores were already putting out the Christmas decor. Even the radio station that plays 24 hours of Christmas music until Christmas started playing it before Thanksgiving. I just want to savor each holiday individually so I refuse to rush them along by overlapping them. I think part of the Christmas appeal is that it only comes once a year. For me it makes me enjoy it and savor all that it is about all the more during that time. I feel if we add days to the celebration it will make it less meaningful. That's just how I feel though so if you are one of the ones who put your tree up before turkey day, go about your business, I'm not judging you!!
The end of Thanksgiving also means time to start shopping. Daniel and I are both really excited this year. Addison is big enough now to realize, to an extent, what's going on. We have some really great gifts idea for both girls this year and I can't wait for Santa to bring them. Of course we have to wait for Santa to get paid again, but I imagine everyone can relate to that.
Here's to a great Christmas kick off. I hope everyone enjoys the next month as much as I plan on trying to. Mine will consist of vicodin and phenegran cocktails, but I'm going to try to enjoy my days to the best that my body will allow me! Tonight is day one for us. We're getting pizza with family and afterwards...we're going to buy and decorate our tree!!! Growing up we always had real trees at my Mom's house and they were always my favorite. Just the smell alone makes having one worth it. Daniel's family does the fake tree route which is fine, especially since prior to this year we had been using a fake tree that his Mom gave us a few years back when financially we weren't able to buy a tree. I've decided that for this year we're going to get a real tree and after all of the fake trees go on sale after Christmas, we're going to purchase a nice big, full, fake one, and we're going to alternate between fake and real every Christmas. That way we can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm falling apart Part II

In April of 2008 we said good-bye to my Grandma Murphy. There are no words to describe my feelings for this woman. She was the back bone of our family and the one we all always ran to in our times of despair and happiness. She was our rock and now she was gone and we were all distraught. I'm not sure if her death and the grief and stress that it caused me is what caused my Crohns to flare or not but I imagine it didn't help me. Lord forgive me for even thinking it or writing that down here on this blog. If she for one minute thought she was responsible for making me sick she would be rolling in her grave. She scolded us all in the hospital after we all realized we were nearing the end with her, for crying over her. Even upon her death her main focus was her two boys, her daughter in law, and her three girls. Forget the rest of them...nobody and I mean nobody, loved her the way the six of us did and I can guarantee that they don't sit in their homes even to do this day still crying for her. Crying like I just did this past Thursday. Wishing that for just a few minutes I could have her back. Have her back in her house, in her recliner, with her stash of candy just down the hall. To be able to stand beside her in her chair, bending down to kiss her good-bye, while squeezing her hand. Her small, soft, cold, wrinkly hand. The hands that cooked so many meals and held mine so many times.
This past Thursday is when my reality set in. It only took three years. Three years of suffering endlessly, of taking medications with side affects far worse then my disease. The mass on my liver they discovered back in 2005 is just that, just a fatty mass, not cancer. I dodged a bullet. I dodged a bullet only to begin taking medications that may one day give me cancer. I was sick but not miserable between my diagnosis and before my Grandma's death. But Grandma passed away and with her death brought the symptoms of this disease that I thought I would never deal with.
Blockages that required hospital stays, pain and bloating that is severe enough to drop an elephant to their feet, exhaustion that just can't be described. And nothing helped me, none of these terrible medications that may one day kill me, not changing my diet. NOTHING! And through all of this, my Grandma's death, being sicker then I've ever been, I also faced another challenge. I was desperate to become a Mother. I wanted what my Grandma had...I wanted that love and compassion...I never wanted to be alone again. We had been trying to conceive a child even before our wedding. We actually started trying casually the day we learned our offer had been accepted for our home. We figured we had all these extra bedrooms...we may as well put them to some use...lol. A pregnancy never happened though and then I got sick and distracted and finally in 2009 when I just couldn't handle everything all together anymore I gave up. I said to God, "God, if it's meant to be, I know it will be. I'm going to get better and then we're going to see Doctors to fix whichever one of us has the problem and then we're going to have a baby!" And with that a 300 pound weight lifted from my shoulders and with a sigh of relief I moved on. And just a few weeks later Addison Grace Blankenship started growing inside me. I was still sick but God blessed me anyway.
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Like I said I was still sick but with each month my sickness eased a bit. I gave birth to my healthy baby girl in February of 2010. I'm not sure if it was because I was on cloud nine from finally becoming a Mother or what, but I don't remember if I was still sick or not. I'm sure I was but since I had this bundle of joy to occupy my time and thoughts I must not have dwelled on my sickness much. I was so overwhelmed with joy that three months later we did it again, we were pregnant with our Cadence Leah. For more years than I want to remember we struggled with infertility, we questioned whether we would ever be blessed with the joy of parenthood and here we were, not only parents to our beautiful baby girl, but we were going to be parents for a second time. I do remember having issues again with my Crohns, like I said, I don't think they ever really went away, I think they just got muddled in the back of everything else that was going on in my life. I was a new Mom, was expecting my second child, had just lost my job, and had just made the decision to walk away from our home and move in with my Mom in order to save money and stay at home with my children. I had a few episodes during my pregnancy with Cadence that left me unable to care for Addison. I truly believe that God works in mysterious ways. I know God played a big part in the timing of my pregnancies and my lay off. There's a reason why all of this happened when it did and I now know why we are living with my Mom.
I was one of the lucky few women who's Crohns disease tend to go into a remission like state during pregnancy. For that I am thankful. Unfortunately I am one of the many who go into serious flares after delivery. My body didn't really have time to flare after Addison's birth before I got pregnant again. But boy oh boy, has it caught up with me.
I've been in this flare since 2008 and now I am at a point of no return. In April of this year the symptoms that had left me so miserable before Addison's conception, slowly started showing their ugly faces again. Pain, nausea, bloating that is so horrendous you think your stomach is going to explode, constipation followed by extreme bouts of diarrhea, intestinal blockages, fever, night sweats, vomiting, weight loss, blood loss, and vitamin deficiency. All at the same time, at all hours of the day...morning, noon, and night. Never any relief.
My first hospital visit of the year took place in August where they discovered after all of these years of severe inflammation, my colon had started to form an abscess that instead perforated. I had a hole in my colon which was allowing my waste to leak into my body. I had a major infection, required three blood transfusions, and stayed for four days in the hospital. The perforation was so small that the hope was that anti-biotics, steroids, and new medication to treat my disease would allow it to close without surgery.
I was back in the hospital for another four day stay in September after a CT scan showed that the perforation was still there. I was once again released without surgery and on another round of medication. Between the start of this process and now I have lost almost fifty pounds which is unheard of while on steroids. I have had days where I have begged God to take me home and then begged for forgiveness for my weakness. I have experienced pain that is so unbearable I can't be in the same room as my daughters because the slightest touch or sound of their whines or cries throws me into a panic attack. I have had moments of dread at the thought of my husband returning home from work because I am so physically exhausted the thought of making him dinner or asking him how his day went is just to much for me to handle. I spend hours by myself in the evenings laying in my bed while my family spends times together in the playroom, all because the pain is so unbearable that I need complete darkness and silence to allow me enough strength to concentrate on getting through it. I sit rocking back in forth in my bed with a fan blowing for those moments of when my fevers break and I am drenched in sweat. Moments during the night where my fevers get so high that my body shakes so out of control it hurts. Those very same moments where I feel so cold that no matter how many blankets I lay under, no matter how thick my socks, or heavy my sweatshirt...the chill just won't go away. And then my baby awakens from her sleep looking for her last bottle of the night and I have to beg God to give me the strength to get out of bed to get her one and then beg him once again so that she'll fall back asleep right away, all so that I can be miserable in peace.
This past Thursday, when I cried for my Grandmother, I cried because it's time. My biggest fear has arrived, my reality has set in. My luck has run out, or at the least, I've realized that it's never been about luck. I need surgery. I need surgery in order to get better, yet I'm so ill, I can't have it.
There are no more medicines to fix me, only to heal me enough to withstand a major and very complicated surgery. I can have the surgery now, but a surgery now means being hours away from home. It means wearing a bag attached to my side collecting my waste. It means losing feet upon feet of my intestines. It means being hospitalized for weeks. It means months of recovery. It means a second surgery in the future.
For now, I am waiting. I am waiting in hopes that my new medication, that I will self inject, will start to heal me. I am waiting and praying that no further damage is done to my kidneys which have been affected. I am waiting in hopes that a surgery can be delayed long enough that the surgery can take place here in Dayton. I am waiting in hopes that this medicine does heal me and that I won't need a bag. I am waiting in hopes and prayers, that these next few weeks that my Doctor has given me to show signs of improvement, that my suffering is minimal. I am tired of suffering. I'm tired of days where I can't properly interact or take care of my girls and husband. And mostly, I just really, really want to enjoy my holidays with my family and I would really like to do it without having to drug myself just to get by.
Even through this all, I am constantly reminded that things could be worse. While there is no cure for my disease, it is treatable. The side effects that I will one day face because of this disease aren't something that I'm looking forward to, but at least I will be alive. I will be alive, and while I may not be well, I will be able to watch my children grow and prosper. I thank God for that and I scold myself for cursing his name when I am at my darkest depths. One of the hardest things about my disease is that it is invisible to most. I've lost all of this weight and everyone keeps complimenting me on how great I look. When I fix my hair and put on makeup and have a smile on my face I look healthy. Only my closest family knows the truth. They are the ones that can tell by the look in my eyes or by the way I have my hands clenched when I am not doing good. They are the ones who can tell by the sound of my voice when I'm trying to get through the pain without bringing attention to myself. They are the ones who have walked this journey with me. They have spent countless hours waiting for me to get out of the bathroom, sitting by my bedside in the ER and hospital. They are the ones that know that when I am around they can't fiddle fart around in the bathroom because we never know when I will need to use it. Many would find that funny, but they know the anxiety it gives me and they take it seriously. I swear, if it weren't for my mom and husband right now I would have been to the hospital many more times this year. They have picked up the slack when I have dropped the ball. There have been a few days these past few months where I literally just couldn't get out of bed. I could barely raise my head from my pillow. On those days is when my Mom turns into super Grandma and takes over caring for the girls while I sleep it off. Its those days when I realize that I lost my job for a reason, and that there is a reason why we walked away from our home and moved in with her when we did.
It's because God knew this was on my horizon...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I swear I'm falling apart here!!

I thought I would give an update on my current health situation. I know some people are interested in the details and since I'm not shy, why not share, especially if it might help others understand this cruddy disease.
I guess I'll start from the beginning so that everyone knows when I started on this journey.
I can't remember a time when I didn't have issues with my stomach. I remember as far back as third grade having those moments of worry. One of the biggest issues I face with this disease is the fear that it causes. The fear of having to use the restroom and there not being one available or having to use it and not being able to. As you can imagine being a small child and having that fear puts a damper on being a student. Always worrying about whether your teacher would allow you to use the restroom in the middle of class or a test if needed. My health was never serious back then, I was just always in the restroom. My Grandma Murphy affectionately called it my office and upon her death a few years ago, my family thought it was appropriate that I be given her stash of toilet paper. She was a child of the depression era and she liked to keep stocked up on supplies...lol.
I guess it was because my issues never got severe that my parents never thought it was necessary to take me to the Doctor. I often wonder how different my life would be had I have been diagnosed with my disease as a child. Would I have done better in school, would I have excelled in sports, had boyfriends...gone to my senior prom? Most importantly, would my health have detorirated as quickly as it has in the last five or six years if we had been treating it since childhood?
I was barely twenty-one when I started getting seriously sick. It started slowly and by the spring of 2005 it was in full swing. I was in constant pain, unable to eat therefore losing drastic amounts of weight, there were times when I was so weak I couldn't even stand up. Through it all I refused to admit I had a problem. I would wake up each morning telling myself it couldn't continue, that I would give it one more day and I would be better. It didn't get better, it got worse. I had times when I couldn't control my bowels, moments that I didn't even realize because it just happened. Never in public thank God.
We had just said good-bye to my Grandma Hockman, I had just moved in with my cousin Heather into our Grandma's house, and most importantly, Daniel and I had just started dating that spring. Can you imagine the fear I was facing and also trying to hide it from the boy that I liked? This went on for months. Heather and I had a lovers spat, which we tend to do every few years, we're so much alike its ridiculous somtimes and we have horrible, horrible Murphy tempers...lol. I moved in with Daniel and then all hell broke lose. I was so sick one night, I was almost uncoherent, unable to get off of the couch. It was then that I knew I couldn't go on any further. I knew I had a problem and I needed to get help. I made an appointment for the following Monday afternoon.
Obviously making an appointment was the right thing to do, but I knew for sure it was the right thing to do after going out to dinner with my Mom and Step-Dad for my birthday dinner. Two or three bites into my meal and I was ready to die, they both looked at me and I remember my Step-Dad saying it was time to see the doctor. Here are two of the people who ignored that I was sick growing up finally realizing that maybe I was afterall and that it was time for me to get help.
Fast forward to that Monday. I barely made it through work that day, did I mention that I worked full time during this entire ordeal. I still to this day don't know how I did it, but I did. I will forever remember that appointment as it became quite memorable. The place was packed, no bathroom in the waiting room...Crohns patients HATE that by the way, and they were running behind. I remember signing in for my appointment and watching each and every person sign in after me and then it happened. A person who had signed in well after I had, got called back to see the doctor before I did. Lord in heaven I about came unglued, actually marched my sick self up to the receptionist and asked what in the hell was going on. I caused a scene and didn't give a care in the world, that's how sick I was. Normally I don't like bringing attention to myself. It worked though...I got called back right away...lol. The nurse stopped me in the hall to check my weight, height, and lastly my temperature. She took my temp, looked at me and said "uh, you are most definately sick aren't you?" "No lady, I just thought I would drop by for a visit!" I didn't really say that, but I thought it gosh darn't. The adventure got better though, they had a girl come in and check all my vitals and stuff. She was a student and it was her very first day on the job. The head nurse decided that I needed to have some blood drawn and thought it would be a good idea for the student nurse to give it a shot. We didn't know then how hard of a stick I was nor did we realize how dehydrated I was. Poor girl, she didn't stand a chance. I passed out and had what they think was a full blown seizure. HA, scared the girl so bad that they told me she never came back to work...lol. I guess if you can't stand the heat then get the heck outta the kitchen right?
I knew I was in big trouble shortly thereafter when I heard my Doctor on the phone with the hospital. They wanted to send me by ambulance but I had my car there and I just wasn't mentally prepared for that. He allowed me to go home but I was to be at the hospital for testing by 7 o'clock that night. My Mom and Grandma Roock went with me and by the time we were done I was exhausted and miserable. Mom had the audacity to stop by Taco Bell on the way home, now if that isn't cruel I don't know what is.
Monday came and went and Tuesday was a new day, a new day to drag myself into work. Did I mention I was new to this full time job and had no time off of work? Once again, not sure how I managed to do it but I did. I got through the day and was on my way home when my phone started going crazy. Everyone was looking for me because apparently my company received a call looking for me, still to this day don't know if it was the hospital or the doctor, but because I wasn't answering my work phone, they paged me. The page went to twelve different buildings and since I worked with half my family and they knew I was sick, they got crazy. They called my Mom and she called me. Of course when I called the Doctor to see what was going on they had no clue about a phone call and had no news for me. It drove my Mom crazy and she in return drove me crazy because I had no clue what to tell her.
The phone call came that evening and the only part that I remember hearing from my doctor was that they had discovered a mass on my liver but he was pretty confident that it wasn't going to be cancer. Cancer...he had said the word that I had feared the most during this entire time. All of those moments when I was in so much pain I thought I could be dieing were becoming reality. Maybe I really was that sick? How in the world was I going to get through this and most importantly how was I going to call and tell my Mom who was currently sitting in the high school bleachers watching my brothers play soccer? Especially since we had just had a cancer scare with one of my brothers who had discovered a lump on his neck. Two kids sick in such a short time span...I couldn't imagine. I made the call and I still to this day do not remember a single word I spoke or single word she spoke. After the call I sat quietly on the front porch waiting for them to return home. I don't remember what my thoughts were other than that I was scared to death. I do remember them getting home and one by one my brothers, sister, Mom...who had been clearly crying, and my step-dad marched passed. Each one with a look of distress and not knowing what to say. My step-dad was the last one in and before going through the front door he bent down, put his hand on my shoulder, and told me everything would be ok and proceeded inside. This side of my family does not do emotion. We don't hug and kiss and say I love you. We know we're loved, we just don't show it or express it so you can imagine for me what that hand on my shoulder meant. That hand on my shoulder was my hug, it was my kiss, it was my I love you, it was me realizing that they were just as scared. My Mom reached out to my Aunt who had battled thyroid cancer and she came down in hopes to reassure me that everything would indeed be ok. We didn't even know if I had cancer for sure but we knew things were going to be scary.
I made a call that night to my boss and left her a very detailed message about what I had been dealing with and what was going to be taking place. I stressed that I was fearful of losing my job and losing my insurance but told her I didn't know what else to do. She called me that morning and actually scolded me for not telling her sooner how sick I had been and reassured me my job was not in jeapordy. She told me about FMLA and told me how to go about obtaining it through our HR department. She took a weight off of my shoulder is what she essentially did. I cried and held her tightly when I had to say good-bye to her a few months later after she had learned she had been laid off from the company.
I had an appointment with a digestive specialist that day, which once again I won't forget. My Mom, Grandma, and Aunt went with me and I remember the four of us being stuffed into a tiny exam room where we discovered that I had somehow stepped in dog poop before my appointment. Talk about embarrassed...the smell was horrendous and I can only imagine what the doctor and nurse must have thought. I also remember the poor nurse when she was trying to schedule my very first colonoscopy and my Mom telling her to make it late in the afternoon because she had to take a nap. Seriously, I could be on my death bed Mother and we are scheduling things around your nap schedule??
Anywho, we made the appointment, I spent the next day doing my prep. The drink was horrible, and the day spent in the bathroom was even worse...talk about having a sore tushy! Friday came without fail, I was a little nervous about my first colonoscopy. I mean seriously, who likes the thought of having their tush in full view for some strange doctor to view? All I could think of was, is it clean enough, do I have any unsightly blemishes and then I would remind myself that surely there are worse looking butts out there than mine! At least mine wouldn't be hairy!! HAHAHA
My nurse was awesome, she got my IV in on the first try and I remember that it didn't hurt one bit. I actually asked her if she could always be the person who gave me shots and IV's and then they wheeled me back. Of course I don't remember much after that...hello propofol or whatever that lovely white liquid is called. I know why Michael Jackson liked you so much!! Only my Mom can really tell the story after this point. I was so drugged I don't remember much. Apparently I asked the same question over and over again. If you have ever had a colonoscopy done you know they won't release you until you start, dare I say it, pass gas. She kept telling me to pass gas but wasn't really rushing me at this point. That was until they wheeled in the 300 lb. hairy, middle aged man who was brought in by his Mom. He wasn't shy about passing the gas like I was, and after he started Mom was hell bent on getting outta there and quickly. Seriously, this story gets told at almost every holiday dinner and each time is like the first, she can barely get through the story because she finds it so freaking funny.
Of course things weren't so funny after the Doctor delivered the diagnosis. I don't remember either of us saying much and honestly, I don't think it really upset me as much as it would have now. I was young and after years of always wondering if my problem truly was in my head and not a reality, here I was with a diagnosis. My problem had a name and being truly naive, I assumed there would be a cure or at the least medication that would make me all better and I would never have to worry about going to the bathroom again, right? RIGHT? Wrong!
If I only knew then what I know now, my reaction would have been much different. I wasn't stupid, I knew all about the complications. I knew most would endure at least one surgery because of this disease but I was different. I was going to be that person who was always going to be lucky. I wasn't going to get that sick ever again... I was never going to have to deal with a scary surgery...and I could continue to eat and do whatever I liked. And then 2008 happened and reality hit me upside the head.
To be continued...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wutch ya doin'?

Posting pictures first because I don't have the patience to rearrange them throughout the post...lol.
Laptop-check, cell phone-check, all set to do some business!!
Grins and giggles as usual!
Addison, I mean Dorothy...
Eating dinner like a big girl!
Chewing on the cord to the shot vac, no it wasn't plugged in.

I'm getting pretty good at this once every few months posting deal aren't I? Seriously, I have good intentions of blogging and then something always distracts me and I don't get around to it. I'm still planning on combining both the food blog and this baby blog about our little family but I'm still in the process. So for now, I'm going to post here about whats been going on with our family!
Where do I even begin? First off, I'm still dealing with the perforation in my colon. We've been treating it since August and it has left me physically and mentally drained. They've given me stronger pain meds because the pain just got unbearable and I completed my third CT scan yesterday afternoon. As of right now I haven't gotten the results back yet. I know full and well I could call my Doc and he could go in and review them today but my gut is telling me that my colon is still perforated so to be honest, I'll wait the extra day or so to hear for sure or not. Surgery will definitely come into play if this thing doesn't heal, I'm just not sure how much longer my doctor and the surgeon will keep postponing it. As scared as I am of the surgery, more importantly the recovery, I'm to the point that if we are going to do this, I would rather just get it done and over with. Especially since we've already met our out of pocket expenses this year with our medical insurance...thank you to 3, yes 3, almost $30,000 (each) hospital stays for me...one belonged to my delivery with Cadence. Anyway, keep praying for me that my body heals. My inability to do anything right now is really taking its toll on not only me, but my husband and mother as well who have had to pick up my slack. I'm not kidding, I made dinner yesterday, completed my scan, and washed Daniel's bedding and I was EXHAUSTED by the time we actually ate dinner. Of course taking care of a very active toddler and a now crawling baby doesn't help my exhaustion...lol.
Now on to the important stuff...little girl updates, up first Addison.
Addison is officially 21 months old as of today...happy birthday sweetie! We are full swing in the terrible two's and if I manage to make it through this perforation alive and well, it's Addison and her temper/attitude that will do me in. I don't even know where to begin with this child. You absolutely cannot let her out of your sight because it's amazing the things she is able to get into. We can now climb. What started out as climbing and sitting on the end tables in the living room, climbing onto the kitchen table via the chairs, has now evolved into climbing on top of the kitchen counters thanks to the bar stools. She has also learned to climb out of her crib, which has the changing table attached to it, so we've switched her crib with Cadence's and so far it seems to be working. She does not like the word no, at all, and her usual response to no involves screaming at the top of her lungs and throwing herself to the ground. It also occasionally involves throwing things and hitting her sister, poor Cadence. We keep telling Addison that one day, Cadence will be big enough to hit her back and it's not going to be pretty. She loves food and will eat just about everything that her Daddy and I will...that even includes spicy. Our favorite accomplishment of hers right now is she can drink out of a big girl cup like a pro and has been for a few months...now if only we could get her to eat a little better at dinner that would be awesome....I swear she ends up wearing most of her dinner at night.
Her vocabulary has really taken off here lately and we love hearing her talk. She can now say Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, Sassy, horsey, doggie, what did you do, as well as lots of other things. Her favorite thing to say is "what did you do" and it usually comes after someone has released a bodily function which cracks us up. What is even funnier is that no matter who made the sound she always blames it on Cadence..."sissy, what did you do?" If Daniel makes a sound she always says "Sissy", even when Sissy is in another room. Poor Sissy, gets blamed for everything already.
At our last well check up she came in weighing around 25 lbs. and was around 35 in. tall. She is starting to average out, just like her Mommy. She is like me in so many ways its scary...the inability to be patient, the temper...the poor kid even looks just like me.
I'm sure there are many more topics that I'm forgetting, but the doctors office just called and he wants to see me first thing in the morning. My mind has officially quit working properly and is now filled with complete panic, where's the prozac when you need it.
Let's move on to Cadence shall we....hopefully my panic can hold off for a few more minutes. At 9 months old Cadence is officially crawling and pulling herself up to things. She's been crawling for a few months now but it's been that lovely army crawl. We seriously thought she might bypass actually crawling using her knees and hands...lol. Her sleeping had been getting better but it seems for the past week she's been waking up a bunch more...not sure what the deal is. She's eating solids and loves eating her puffs. She is drinking out of a sippy cup now, though I think she really uses it more to chew on than to actually drink from because she is usually soaking wet when you go to pick her up. She is for sure our more sensitive child, just like her Mommy, and you really have to watch how you treat her. She was playing in the potting soil of one of my Mom's plants, for like the hundredth time, last week so I finally just gave her a little slap on the hand and gave her a strong and firm no for doing it. Lord have mercy, if her bottom lip could have stuck out anymore I would have had to have held it up for her, and then the crocodile tears started. Having to punish your child is probably the worst part of parenthood...I hate making them cry or upsetting them. Thankfully she doesn't seem to be interested in playing or eating the soil anymore so maybe the little hand slap worked. I wish Addison caught on that quick, I swear that child will just not learn. At her last doctor appointment she was around 18 lbs. and was 25 in. tall, of course this is coming from memory, which is shot by the way, so I wouldn't be surprised if she was 25 lbs...lol.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Free Fallin'

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in forever. I've had a rough couple of months with my Crohns disease which unfortunately involved a four day hospital stay about two weeks ago. I don't even want to know what that bills going to look like. I was diagnosed with a perforated colon which as serious as it sounds was the least of their worries. Because of the perforation, and two back to back pregnancies, my hemoglobin level was a six. The normal range for women is twelve to fifteen. Needless to say I required three blood transfusions and because I have such small veins they had to insert a picc line in my upper arm leading into my heart in order to even get the transfusions accomplished. I went to the ER Thursday morning and they inserted the picc line Friday morning. I lost count of how many times they did/attempted blood draws on my arms during that period of time. It finally got to the point where as soon as a tech would come in to do a blood draw I would just start crying. I swear getting blood out of me is like trying to milk a cow using your feet...it's near impossible. I'll admit I did have a mini, OK, major, panic attack when they came in to do the picc line. No one had told me why they were doing it so I automatically assume they are prepping me for surgery and of course because it's early in the morning, none of my family was with me. Thankfully my Aunt works at the hospital so when I sent my Mom, Dad, husband, and sister the "somebody get here now" text, my Mom called her and sent her my way to figure out what was going on and to calm me down. I don't think it helped that the only other times that I had experienced picc lines involved my Grandma's who were on their death beds. Both of their picc lines were in their chests and it involved stitches and everything. Now had I have known from the get go that this was only involving my upper arm, didn't require sutures, and involved three shots of a numbing agent I sure wouldn't have freaked out like I did. It was seriously a piece of cake, even though having it was uncomfortable at times.
Anyway, not only did I require the blood transfusions, but I had/still have a massive infection raging in my body. That tends to happen when you have crap, literally, leaking into your body. As of today, I have four more days of anti-biotics to take and after yet another blood draw to determine whether the infection is gone or not, I will finally begin the process of treating the severe inflammation I have in my digestive system. Unfortunately, all of the drugs they use to treat my Crohns disease, specifically the inflammation, lower my bodies immune system. This means that we haven't been able to treat the disease just yet so I'm still suffering quite a bit. I am currently on several different prescriptions. I am on two maintenance drugs for my Crohns which do not interfere with my immune system, I am on Tylenol 3's for the pain, anti-nausea meds because I'm nausea's all of the time, a new med for GERD, and my anti-biotic. Two weeks from Monday we will begin the new med for my Crohns disease as the maintenance meds I have been on have obviously not been working. This new med is actually an injection that I will administer once a week in either my thighs or stomach and when I say "I", I actually mean Daniel or my Mom because let's face it, my fear of needles and IV's has now gotten so bad that I honestly don't think I could do it. It's bad enough they have to do it because from everyone who I've talked to who have taken them, they hurt like a bitch. I just keep telling myself a few minutes of pain afterwards will be worth finally going into remission with this disease.
Now that you know my reasoning for not blogging here's a quick update on the girls.
Addison is now officially eighteen months old and getting smarter every single day. These past few weeks her vocabulary has really picked up. We've noticed the past few days that she's talking in what appears to be full sentences. We can't understand a single word, but they sound like complete senteces...lol. She currently has four molars coming in and to say it's been a nightmare would be an understatement. She loves animals, especially the dogs and horses, and loves to be outside. Her favorite foods involve pretty much anything with pasta, goldfish crackers, cheerios and milk, cheese of any kind, scrambled eggs and sausage, and just the other week I made her a deconstructed soft taco and she loved it. Beverages of any kind are not safe in her presence and because of this we go through a lot of cups during the day. It doesn't matter if she has the same drink in her sippy cup or not, she would rather drink from our cups.
Cadence is now six months old and she is currently sporting six to twelve month clothing. She's wearing Addison's twelve month pajamas and I can see in a few months them being too small. She's all over the place but still not crawling. She rolls everywhere and loves being in the middle of all the toys with her sister. She contines to be a happy little girl although she's not shy when it comes to letting us know she's wearing a dirty diaper, is hungry, or needs a nap. She hates being left alone, but unfortnately I can't take both girls with me when I go to use the bathroom. This means she's stuck in her excersaucer for a few minutes and she cries hysterically to let me know it's not ok. We're still working on getting her to sleep through the night but I'm starting to think I have another Addison on my hands. They probably won't sleep through the night until their 18 and in college.
And because no post in complete without a picture...here you go!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

17 months old, where's my tissue??

I haven't done an update on Addie since her first birthday, I think, so since she is up to so much I figured I would give everyone a little update!
Addie, today you turned seventeen months old. In seven months you will be two years old, lord help me. You are such an amazing little girl and I can't help but smile each and every time I look at you.
Your next appointment isn't until next month so I do know your official stats but you are getting so tall and you are thinning out so much. You still have a little bit of your chunky baby thighs left which I appreciate so much. It allows me to still think of you as a baby even though your are all toddler now.
I adore hearing you talk and you are learning new words each and every day. One of my other favorite things is sitting back and watching you run. When you snatch things you know you shouldn't have, you take off running knowing that I'm not far behind to take the item from you. We run, and run, and run around the house, you trying to outsmart me and stay just a few steps ahead of me and I purposely stay those few steps behind you all because I love watching you. You just laugh and giggle the entire time and I love when I finally snatch the item from your cute little hands, that I can grab you and cuddle you and blow into your neck and make silly noises and make the loss of your item worth it.
Daddy and I both love this age so much. You are big enough that we can do things with you and watch you as you try so many firsts such as your first trip on a merry-go-round, yet you are still small enough that we can cuddle and hold you as if you were just born.
You love being outside. You are just like your Daddy on that aspect and it just tickles him to death. I know he is secretly counting down the days until he can take you out in the canoe and out fishing. You are our little tomboy and while we are just fine with that, I would really like to be able to do your hair once in awhile. Is a ponytail really that bad child? I don't take you outside much for one reason. You are a busy body!! We live on ten acres out here that is only fenced in for horse pastures. We go outside and you take off straight for the barn to see your horseys, which by the way, is one of your new favorite words and it's the most adorable thing ever!! We go from the barn to the pastures to check out the spring, and then we circle back around to the house, and then back to the barn. You wear me out child! Daddy is always taking you for a ride in your wagon around the farm and you love it. I can't wait until Sissy is big enough that she can sit opposite you in the wagon.
One of the reasons why I wish so badly you would let me do your hair is because it's everywhere. You have so much hair and it's always in your face. After I cut your hair prior to your birthday and got so much grief from the family, I'm not a beautician here people, I was afraid to attempt to trim your bangs. Since Mamaw use to cut hair I gave her permission to give it a go. This picture was right when she started and it was before your complete meltdown. You hate getting your nails cut, and apparently you hate having your hair cut...your going to have to work with me child. We did manage to get the majority of your bangs cut that day and Grandma snipped a piece a few days ago that was driving her crazy but I honestly don't know what we are going to do when they are back in your eyes. Letting Mommy put your hair up would solve this problem...just sayin'!
You have gotten to swim a few times this summer and you really seem to enjoy it as long as you have someone to play with. You love playing with cousin Dylan in the pool and just think, next year your sissy will be big enough to play with you as well.
Speaking of sissy...you love her so much. Whenever Mommy or Daddy are holding her you run up to us with your arms outreached wanting to hold her. When she's laying on her playmat you run over to her and try picking her up. During the day I stick her in her swing to feed her because she is such a slow eater. When we actually hold her to feed her nothing gets accomplished because she farts around laughing and smiling at us the entire time...lol. So now Mommy sticks her in the swing with a towel or blanket to help prop the bottle up. You are such a good little Mommy that whenever she's in her swing now and she starts crying you grab the nearest bottle and shove it in her mouth and then you grab a towel or blanket and throw it on top of her. You have also started to help feed her her solids. I give her the actual food and then when I sit down the little container and spoon you grab them and start trying to feed her....so cute!!
You still aren't the greatest of eaters. One day you will eat both Daddy and I under the table and the next you will hardly touch anything. You love to snack...gee I wonder where you get that from? You love when I make scrambled eggs with a piece of cheese melted over top of them for you and it isn't unusual that you eat three eggs. You love to eat whatever we're eating. I could serve you the same exact meal but you would still rather have us feed you off of our plates. It's like you think we're holding out on you.
You are finally sleeping through the night...praise God. Every now and then you have a bad night where you are up once or twice but it's typically on the weekends when we have run around nonstop and it's affected your naps. Grandma says its because you are reliving your day and it causes nightmares or something...who knows.
You have become a little monkey. You are climbing onto everything. A few weeks ago we caught you sitting in Cadence's bumbo seat on top of the kitchen table. You had pulled out a chair and scaled up onto the table...lol. So far you have not found a way out of your crib yet but I know the day is coming.
Let's see, what else...you love bath time, especially when we take a bath together. You love it when I slide you down my tummy onto my legs and you love the deep water so long as you have my legs to hang onto. Our days of bathing together are coming to end though because the tub is only so big and you keep on growing...maybe if Mommy could lose a few inches around her middle we could buy some more time together. Also, you love your Grandma, it drives me crazy. When she walks out of room without you, you scream hysterically. I honestly don't know that we will ever be able to move out...lol. You also love your Mamaw, you are always spending the night at her house and doing fun stuff together. I can't tell you how much I miss you during those times. I look at your pictures the entire time because I feel as if I can't remember what you look like...lol. My love for you is bad, it's like I'm a drug addict, expect I'm an Addie addict, I just can't get enough of you.
That's it for now baby girl, happy seventeen month birthday!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Five months old!

Cadence, you are now officially five months old. I can't believe how quickly you are changing and growing. Where did my little bitty baby go? Not much has changed since your four month post. We have started you on some solids and you are doing pretty good with them, so much better than what your sister did.
You aren't big into sleeping. You do all right at night still getting up every three to four hours, sometimes two when you're trying to do me in. Naps during the day...yeah, well you could do without them. It's a struggle to get you to take a good nap. If you could stop getting up at night I will allow the no naps during the day...it's all about compromise baby girl, COMPROMISE!!
You are all over the place. We finally got your crib set up and your bedding ordered and put in this past month or so. I will put you in one spot in your crib and seconds later walk back into the room to check on you and you are in a completely different spot. You move quick! Lord help me when I have two of you walking around this place.
You love me!!! I walk out of the room and you cry, I put you down...you cry. It does a Mommy's heart good to know that you love me so much.
You also love your sister and the feeling is mutual. She loves helping me take care of you and she is always wanting to hold you and be up in your face. I am so blessed that even at such a young age there is no jealousy involved in her relationship with you. I can't wait until you are older and able to actual interact with her. I am going to enjoy watching the two of you play together. I AM NOT going to enjoy watching you both gang up on me...lol.
Not sure what your latest weight and height are. I still haven't made your four month appointment. If I actually made these appointments on time Daddy and Grandma might think there was something seriously wrong with me. Procrastination...it's how Mommy rolls!!!
Anyway, there you have it. Five months old and counting and each day I shake my head because I just can't believe it. How quickly you little babies grow. In about eight months you will no longer be the baby of the family. Aunt Nikki is giving you and Addie another cousin and she is due towards the end of February, possibly the early part of March. Papaw made it known that we should pick another month to have babies in. He isn't thrilled with another winter baby. I think the blizzard that your sister arrived in did him in. We're so excited for the newest member of the family but it amazes us that Dylan will be two and a half when his new brother or sister arrives, Addie will be two, and you will be one. How does that happen? I can handle these small numbers, but seriously, when you all start driving it may just do me in.

Friday, July 8, 2011

One word...CRAP

Goodness gracious we have had a rough couple of weeks. I've posted before about our delicate financial situation and I thought we had finally gotten things figured out when crap hit the fan last week. I don't want to go into details because it was a low blow for us but we can finally rest assured that things with our situation can't get any worse. I truly don't see how it could get any worse. We have officially lost everything we owned of any importance. I thank god everyday that we have the Mom's that we do because without them I have no idea where we would be. My Mom is providing us with a roof over our head and now she is providing us with a vehicle to drive.
I honestly just wanted to give up last week. I don't know how much more a couple can take before they break. I know that if Daniel and I can make it through this struggle then there will be nothing than can tear us apart...NOTHING! I know that God doesn't hand you anything that you can't handle...I'm flattered he has such confidence in me, but in all seriousness...I need a break, I need for things to go right for us. My sanity needs it, my marriage needs it, my daughters need it, and my family needs it. When we suffer they suffer...well most of them anyway. Apparently some of them think we need to overcome our failure like big kids and that nothing is deserved in life. I agree with this one hundred percent but I really wish certain people would just keep their opinions to their selves. Especially those that have not earned the right to comment.
I told Daniel last week that we've hit rock bottom, it's all up from here...it has to be, and it will be as long as we hold it together and stand side by side. I'll tell you remaining positive during this dark cloud that we're under is hard at times but then I am reminded of something that can't be taken away from us because of our financial situation...our amazing little girls. I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through this time without them. They are the reasons why I get up every morning and the reasons why Daniel and I keep on trucking without looking behind.
Addison Grace and Cadence Leah, you mean more to us that any silly house or vehicle and as long as we have both of you we are the richest people in the world.
Further proof that we're incredibly blessed...
Cadence with Aunt Nikki...my babies are so loved!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Four months old and going strong!!

Today my little baby turned four months old. My Mom and I were just discussing it last night and even she said she can't believe that this little girl has only been in our lives for a short sixteen weeks. I feel like she has been a part of our family since Addison became a part of our lives.
I never got around to doing a post for her three month birthday so since both girls are currently napping...praise the Lord, I figured I better post about her four month birthday before I forgot.
What are you up to now little one?
* You are the happiest little girl ever. All we have to do is look at you and you flash your big grin and giggle. You crack us up because as soon as Addison starts crying or getting mad about something you start smiling like it's no ones business. I think you take pleasure in her pain and I can already see how bad that's going to be when the two of you get older.
* When we had you weighed a month ago you were a little over 13 pounds and you were knocking on 24 inches long. I wouldn't be surprised if you are up to 15 pounds now and I am not even going to guess your length because I can already tell you are going to be taller than your sister. At four months old you are already wearing some of the clothing your big sister wore when she was six and seven months old because nothing else is long enough.
* You look nothing like me or my side of the family. You look so much like your Daddy and his side of the family it's unreal. I swear had I have not been awake when you were born I would question whether or not you came from my body. This also means you do not look like your sister at all since she resembles me and my family. It's hard to believe you two came from the same set of parents sometimes.
*A few weeks ago you started rolling from your front to your back which we got the biggest kick out of. Now you have started rolling from your back to your front...of course that doesn't happen quite as often.
* You love to talk to us which just melts my heart. I could listen to both you and your sister all day long, which as a stay at home Mom, I guess I do. What is just as amazing is how you recognize your sister. She hangs all over you when you are in your swing and you just smile the entire time. You even smiled the time she ended up climbing on the swing with you even though you were underneath her!
* You drink about four to five ounces every three hours or so and we are slowly trying to get you to start eating cereal before bed. Daddy and I feel terrible because every night at dinner we plop you in your bumbo chair and sit you in the middle of the table. You just stare at us while we eat our dinner and every so often I catch you licking your lips. I promise baby girl, we all did our time with formula as are you...one day you will be eating grilled chicken and corn on the cob with the rest of us.
* You love being held or sat up right. Just today I sat you up right next to me on the couch while I uploaded your four month photos. You just sat there playing with the strap on my camera bag and since you had been crying beforehand you must have enjoyed it because you immediately stopped crying.
* We have also started putting you in the excersaucer to help build your leg muscles and you actually enjoy it. If I remember correctly it took awhile before your sissy started to enjoy it.
I continue to count my blessings every single day. A year ago at this time I was just finding out I was pregnant with you. It took years to have your sister so you can imagine my surprise when it took only about six weeks to get pregnant with you. I was so scared that if I tried to prevent a pregnancy so soon after having your sister that I may never have another child so we decided to let whatever happens happen. We were prepared for it to take a year or so, at least that's what we were hoping since we didn't want you and Addison so close together in age. I am so glad that God thought otherwise because I was thrilled when I found out I was pregnant and I continue to be thrilled everyday that I wake up to you and your sister. I love watching you two interact with each other and I know that the thrills will only get better as you both get older. I love you Cadence Leah more than you will ever know!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hello ninety degree weather!

In case you aren't currently located in the state of Ohio I thought I would let you know...IT'S HOTT OUTSIDE. Yes I am aware that hot does not include two t's...it's just so hot outside that I thought it deserved two for this post.
One minute we're complaining that it's freezing cold outside, and then we're complaining about all of the rain we received over the last two months, and now here I am complaining about how hot it is outside. I'm all about spring and fall around here and it seems like we skipped both this past year.
Anyway, since some days are so unbearably hot Addison has spent some time swimming around. She swam most of our Memorial Day weekend when we were taking turns at all of the grandparents houses and I figured it's time we bought a pool for her here at the house. We made sure it was plenty big so that the hubby and I could at least soak in it.
Here she is in our pool. The bathing suit was cold and damp from swimming after nap time so she just free birded it after dinner.
Here are some shots from our Memorial Day weekend. She was thrilled when we bought our pool because she had the hose all to herself and there was no risk of being sprayed by someone. Dylan, my nephew, took over the hose at my Dad's house and Addison was made aware of it on several different occasions.
Here is another shot from Memorial Day. We celebrated my brother Matt's college graduation on Memorial Day this year so my step-dad and his girlfriend Kathy made sure there were plenty of pools for the kids to enjoy. My brother Steve is shown in the picture. It's funny because last year at this time we were celebrating his graduation and Addison swam then...more like sat...but she was in the water. I can't believe how much she has grown over this past year. I wish I had those pictures saved to the lap top but their on our desk top and I just don't have it in me to go downstairs and add them to this post.
She enjoys being in the water but I'm not sure if it's something she's really going to enjoy. She's in and out all of the time but I wonder how much of it's because she has nobody to play with in ours. Her Sissy needs to hurry and grow up so that they can be splash buddies!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mommy's little helper and her baby sister!

I've been cooking a lot more lately which is a good thing for my blog and the new cooking page I have created on facebook. It feels so good to get out in the kitchen and make new things and more often than not I have a little helper along for the ride. She doesn't really help me, but she is out there. Pulling all of the can goods out of the lazy susan, taking the pots and pans out of their cabinet, and pulling the cereal boxes out of their home. That list could go on but I'm tired and don't feel like writing it all down. Let's just say that after we clean the dinner mess we have to go around the house and pick up every single item Addison dragged out. It makes me tired just typing that...lol.

Here's Mommy's little helper making an italian love cake which was a big flop in our house. Don't you hate getting all excited for a recipe, spending precious money to buy the ingredients, and then you end up throwing most of it away because the family just wasn't feeling it? I hate that! Money around here is a precious thing since I'm no longer working and five dollars here and there really does add up. Especially when you have two kids in diapers and one on formula.


Here she is from Monday night, or maybe it was Tuesday, lord who knows. Anyway, we were making lasagna buns which I stumbled across over at Cassie Craves. I'll post the recipe on the food blog eventually...I hope. Did I mention I am really tired tonight? LMAO

If stacking cups keeps her entertained, then by all means, stack away. She actually pulled these all out the package and made one stack with them. I thought it was really cute, notice the tongue sticking out? She's concentrating so hard!


Below you will find her in one of her two favorite spots lately. For awhile she was taking over the bouncy seat and now she's taking over the swing. Even though she is about 97% at being really good with her baby sister, she still has her moments. Like the other night when I was on the floor with Cadence and Addison came up and kicked her in the head. She got in trouble for that and then she stopped crying long enough to come over and dangle her foot over the top of Cadence's head as if she was going to stomp on it at any second. The girl is only fifteen months old and I know already I am going to have my hands full with her growing up. She LOVES to try our patience and I know that she knows the meaning of the word no even though when we say it she looks at us like she's dumber than a box of rocks, gives us a good glare, and then keeps on doing what she was just being told what not to do. God help us when the terrible twos start!


Here's my other precious child. I know I have mentioned it before but seriously, the first month and a half of her life, I honestly thought I was going to have to kill myself. She cried ALL.OF.THE.TIME! There was no consoling this child and I can't tell you how many times I got so frustrated I just cried right along with her.

Now she is a completely different child. She's so happy and she is always smiling and talking to us. It just melts my heart at how precious and wonderful she is. I am reminded every single day how blessed I am to have these two little girls in my life. My only complaint with her is how noisy she is. She wakes us up every single morning talking to herself. It's so loud that my Mom asked me yesterday to start shutting our bedroom door because she can hear her talking in her room...lol.
This is her chatting in the morning! It's cute and I love hearing it, but we are not morning people around her. It's take Mommy and her big Sissy a little while to wake up, we don't wake up all bright and sunshiny like she apparently does. I'm hoping one day she can turn it down a notch or two!



And then because this is one of the best pictures I have ever taken, my little Miss Sunshine!


If that picture doesn't melt your heart, then there's just no help for you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A funeral...

This week was a pretty crummy one for us. Daniel's Dad passed away this past Saturday. There is no preparing for that phone call, even when you expect to receive it at any moment. I think the hardest part about getting older is that the older you get, the older your parents get. I know the day will come when I have to say good-bye to them, but I pray that it is a long ways off. I can't imagine living life without my parents or even my siblings but that's life for you. Daniel is thirty three years old and he just said good-bye to his Dad. My heart aches for him, as well as for my daughters since they will never know how great their Poppy was. I know that there are others who have had to say good-bye to parents at an even younger age, how blessed they are to have guardian angels, but how sad that they have to go through life without the people who would support and guide them most.

Daniel with his oldest brother Chuck along with his baby brother, by ten and a half months, Dustin. Just look at those smiles will ya!




Death has a funny way of bringing you together with loved ones that are still living. It reminds you of the value of family and what being together as one does for your spirit. Daniel's oldest brother lives in Kentucky along with his two youngest children and their families. We made a vow on Tuesday before we sent them off that we would try harder to be more of a family. No more of this only getting together for weddings or a funeral.


Here is another picture of the boys along with their Mom, Sue, a few of the grandkids, and three of the great-grand kids. The two baby boys are great-grandkids, while Addison and Cadence are grand-kids.


I think we are all holding up pretty well given the fact we just lost the patriarch of the Blankenship family. I think it helped a little that Charlie had been in a nursing home for the past year or so. We had gotten used to visiting Mamaw without Poppy being there at home with her so it won't feel all that unusual to us when we continue to visit without him being there. We would love to still have him there but we all know that he is better off. Charlie fought a hell of a battle these past few years, especially this last one, and it's reassuring for us to know he's finally at peace and in complete comfort.

Rest in peace Poppy! Please watch over my babies and help me to keep them safe from harm.


Charles E. Blankenship Sr.


June 15, 1934 to May 14, 2011.