Sunday, October 23, 2011

A one-handed post

Typing with only one hand is difficult and obnoxious, so this will be brief. It has been a little over two weeks since my battle with the roach, and a lot has happened. After a visit with the orthopedic surgeon in town, we were referred to an orthopedic oncologist at UAMS. The local surgeon said he didn't have as much experience removing cysts this large, and the oncologist does this for a living, so we should go with him. When we visited with the oncologist at UAMS, he informed us that my "cyst" was actually a giant cell tumor. Awesome. He still thinks it is benign, but we won't know for sure until he does a biopsy. Since that meeting, I have had a chest x-ray that was clear, a full-body bone scan that showed NO other tumors, and an MRI of my shoulder so the oncologist has a better picture of what he's dealing with. The plan now is to biopsy and remove the tumor in my arm on October 31 at UAMS. They will probably fill the huge hole in my bone with a cadaver bone graft, and then stabilize the fracture with metal plates and screws. Doesn't that sound like a fun Halloween?? I'm so glad we have Halloween activities earlier that we can take the kids to so I don't miss them wearing costumes and having fun.

I'm basically useless right now. I can do a little more than I could the first week, but it will be a long time before I can pick up Logan, feed him bottles, change diapers... I hate this. The kids can sit in my lap one at a time, but Logan still gets squirmy. The pain isn't as bad as it used to be, but this arm sling is wreaking havoc on my neck--the headaches are brutal! We have been so blessed, though. Mom has taken way too much time off of work to help with kids, clean the house, and take me to appointments in Little Rock. When she couldn't be here, our church family has surrounded us. I have 2 people at my house everyday (one morning, one afternoon) while Casey is at work. They have also been bringing meals every other night. West Side church of Christ is a force to be reckoned with! I'm just ready to get this week over with so we can do this surgery! If all goes well, I should be in decent shape by Thanksgiving and good as new by Christmas. Please pray for that!

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us through this mess. Don't stop now! We still have a week of waiting with an arm that's still broken, surgery, and recovery. It's going to be a rough couple of months, but I have already decided--2012 is going to awesome. Just you wait! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rachel vs The Roach

I don't even know where to start... this is the most ridiculous thing ever.... As I sit here and attempt to type this with my left hand, I think I am still in shock about everything. Here is Casey's version of what happened on Friday: "Rachel tried to kill a cockroach, and we ended up in the ER." So al least you know this will be interesting.

Abby was in her bed refusing to nap on Friday afternoon, and she started yelling that there was something in her room. I went in to tell her that she was fine and just needed to go to sleep, but a huge bug crawled across the floor. It took a minute to get her calmed down and into the hall, and then I went to grab one of Casey's size 13 shoes. I didn't want to miss. :) I'm not really sure what possessed me to use the arm that has been hurting and getting weaker over the past few weeks, but I did. Holding the shoe in my right hand, I brought it up over my head and down towards the floor in an effort to annihilate the bug. As soon as the shoe hit the floor, I screamed in pain. Poor Abby thought the bug had gotten me. :) I wasn't sure what had happened, but I knew I was in a LOT of pain, and it was bad. I managed to get to my phone to call Casey. He came home to get me, and my wonderful cousins, Bonnie and Becca, came over to stay with the kids. I thought I must've done something awful to a muscle or dislocated my shoulder. After several hours of waiting in the ER, we finally got an x-ray of my shoulder and neck. I was in shock when the doctor brought us back to see the x-ray and told us that I have a pretty big cyst in my humerus (upper arm bone), and it had weakened the bone so much that I fractured my humerus when I tried to kill the bug... sooo.... I broke my arm by killing a bug. Seriously?! He said he already showed my x-ray to the orthopedic surgeon, and he said the cyst doesn't "look" like it's cancerous... but he does think we need to go in, remove the cyst, and possibly do a bone graft so my bone will grow back. So in a few hours, I went from a possible muscle strain to a hopefully non-cancerous bone cyst that needs surgery, a bone graft, and a broken arm that can't be casted. I'm supposed to call the surgeon on Monday to schedule an appointment so we can discuss options.

Y'ALL. There just aren't even any words. Several people have wanted the full story, so there it is. I've gotta go take some more pain meds and lay down. Please wake me up when my life makes any sort of sense. Thank you.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Be that kind of woman...

Have you seen all of those cute posters that say, "Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, 'Oh, no! She's up!'" I was going to be that woman today. I have felt so beaten down lately, and I finally recognized Satan's hands all over it last night. There is a lot going on in this household right now that is completely overwhelming and burdensome to me. Top of the list: my health. A recent neck CT showed that I have further degeneration and new arthritis developing at the site of the fusion I had done three and a half years ago. All of this mess is bulging in my neck and pushing on my spinal cord. I had the CT done because I have been in a lot of pain again recently, and I am starting to lose function in my right arm. Y'all.... I don't feel good!!! (*understatement of the year*) I'm on several new medications to counteract the pain and inflammation, and I'm not sure yet if they are helping or making it worse...

So here's the problem--Satan knew that I was going to get up with that mindset this morning, so he has been wearing me down all stinking day long. The day started with my alarm not going off, which made me late for an appointment, and it just kept going downhill from there. I have been counteracting with prayer, positive thinking, and praise/worship songs all day. So my question now is this: WHY do I feel like I'm still losing??

This is not a post where I want to whine a lot or have a "woe is me" moment. I just want to ask for prayers. I need to not feel like death every blessed day. I need to reach a point where I can function like a normal human being and not be completely overwhelmed with life. I need the peace of God to guard my heart and protect me from the lies that Satan throws at me every day. We need to reach a point where our finances are not a constant burden and concern. I want to dig deep and find the strength to make the devil think, "Oh, no! She's up!!!" My joy and hope are in Christ and his promise of eternity with him in heaven. This helps a little, too:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Alphabet Eggs

I just absolutely LOVE!! If you are not familiar with this website, please let me know. I will email you an invite immediately. I have found so many good recipes, activities for kids, organization tips.... the list goes on and on. I actually found time to follow through with one of my "pins" today, and Abby now has a new game that she loves to play! Here is the original link that I found through Pinterest: Alphabet Eggs. All you do is take 26 plastic Easter eggs and write the upper and lower case letters on each one. This is a great game for various age levels. For the younger kids, it's great for matching colors. I love it for Abby because she is starting to write her letters, and this helps her recognize both the upper and lower case forms of each letter. Plus, it's excellent practice for fine motor skills--those eggs can be hard to get together! The eggs I used were hinged, so I just took scissors to clip the hinge after I wrote the letters on there. I will probably go back and put lines under some of the lower case letters--the d, p, and b can be a bit confusing. :) Here are a few pictures of our new (cheap!) game:

Friday, September 2, 2011

In case you were wondering...

I'm not even going to try to catch up. I'm trying desperately to motivate myself to get back on this blog and record what is going on in life! I have every intention of eventually getting this thing printed off into book format so we'll have some of these memories to look back on. One of these days... So here's where we are right now:
  • The clinic that Casey had been working with for the past year had to file for bankruptcy and close it's doors. Thankfully, God provided a new job very quickly, and Casey is now the Postal Services Technician at Harding University. We work for Harding again! Woo hoo!! :) He took a fairly significant cut in pay, but they are already training him in administrative duties, and the potential for a promotion is very promising. We're excited about where this could lead over the next few years!
  • I am still working at Pediatric Therapy Associates providing Developmental Therapy services to children birth to age 3 years. It is not going quite as well as we had hoped, so please, please pray that things will work out soon. The state department decided to switch to a new system, and it has messed up everything (of course). My boss continues to pay me for the work I'm doing, but she has not been paid by the state for any of it! Since that is the case, I'm am only being allowed to treat one client for therapy--but I have placed 5 for services! That means there are 4 children (and more to come soon) that have been tested and qualify for developmental therapy, but they are not getting services because the state won't complete the paperwork to approve their funding. It is SO frustrating, and my boss is reaching the point of canceling all Early Intervention services until she gets paid. That basically means that I will be out of a job! Please pray that the state department will get their act together, and that I will be able to provide services for these children who need them.
  • Abby starts another year of "school" this next week! She goes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and now she is a "big girl" class. They have to be potty trained to attend (hallelujah, we made it just in time!), and they will even take a couple of field trips this year! She is very excited to get started, and I'm excited for her. We had orientation this week to meet her teacher and see who would be in her class. I have a confession to make: I was that mom when we met the teachers. You know the kind of mom I'm talking about. Casey and I have recently had to accept that Abby is a special needs kid--just not in the way that people normally think of it. She is chronologically and socially at the level of a 3-year-old, but she functions cognitively at the level of a 5-year-old. Am I proud? You bet!! Does it give me great anxiety for school? You bet!! I want her to be in class with kids her own age, but I am very afraid that she will become bored with what they are doing and become a behavior problem. I know she's only 3, but she can be a crazy mess if she isn't interested in what is going on! So, yes--I was that mom this week. I wanted to make sure the teachers knew that it might take a little more effort to keep her involved. Aside from Bible stories, they mainly work on teaching colors, shapes, and letters. As and early childhood educator, I can say that this is excellent curriculum for a 3-year-old class. Our problem is that Abby is already sounding out words and asking how to write letters! So while the others might be coloring their pictures of the letter of the week, Abby might need to be practicing how to write it. Can you tell I've been stressing over this a bit?? Ok, moving on...
  • Abby had her 3-year check up this past week. She was 3' 3" (well over the 90th percentile) and weighed 35 lbs (about 75th percentile). Basically, she's a tall, skinny thing. :) She has been wearing 4T clothing since this last spring, so I even have a few size 5 things for this winter... just in case! She did have to get one shot, but the nurse didn't even have to fight her! She cried a little, but she took it like a trooper and dried up really quick. Thank you, Sid the Science Kid, for your Vaccination PSA on Netflix. "It might hurt a little bit, but it's gonna help a whole lot!" :) I'm sure the lollipop and silly band ring helped a little, too.
  • Logan is ginormous. No, seriously--he's huge. My 7 1/2 month old son is weighing in at 22 lbs, and he is outgrowing some of his 18 month clothing. We bought a ton of 18-24 month stuff for him to wear this fall and winter, but I'm not sure it will last! We also just moved him up to size 4 diapers. Un. Real. He is starting to crawl, and tonight it looked like he was beginning to realize that he could pull up on things if he wanted to. No attempts have been made yet, but I'm looking for it to start in the near future. He has two teeth on the bottom now, but I haven't seen any signs of more to come yet. We recently had a trip to the ER in the middle of the night after hours of screaming, and it turned out that he had a nasty ear infection. After 2 shots of antibiotics (the first wasn't a big enough dose, apparently) and a few days of steroids, I think it has finally cleared up. I am praying that this will not be a frequent thing for him--we don't want to have to do tubes in his ears! His reflux is still very strong, but it seems to be managed with the Prevacid. I am praying that he will outgrow this by the time he is a year old like Abby did. His a is a little different, though, and Abby never had to take medicine for hers. Time will tell....
  • I made new coasters! For any and all who are interested, be sure to check out my Etsy website for new additions! I have two fall coasters and three new scriptures. I love them!! Feel free to spread the word--it's time to decorate for fall!!
And now the moment you've all been waiting for..... pictures! Thanks to everyone who actually read through all of that. Your devotion is touching. ;) Hope these make you smile!

From Abby's Strawberry Shortcake birthday party: Hallie, Mackenzie, Adalyn, Abby, & Bella
This boy LOVES his Mamaw!!!
I love these precious, precious pictures! Tea time with Mamaw!
It's a little blurry, but it makes me smile. :)
Abby's creative rendition of "Logan, Mommy, and Abby"
Savoring the last moments of summer with Ben & Jerry's on a chocolate sprinkle cone!
Happy boy!
Giddy-up, Pawpaw!
Abby affectionately refers to him as "Chubs"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Abby is 3!

We've been celebrating for several weeks since we took a trip to Ohio in the middle of July, but Abby's birthday has finally arrived! My baby girl is now 3 years old. How did that happen? I was ok with it when she turned 2... she was basically born acting and looking like she was 2. But 3?? That's not a toddler... that's a preschooler! Here are a few highlight pictures from our trip to Ohio and her birthday party there (in no particular order):
This past weekend, we also had a birthday party in Memphis... which looked something like this:
For her actual birthday today, Abby had cinnamon toast for breakfast, went to play and have lunch with her friends Adalyn and Bella, spent some of her birthday money on glittery princess nail polish at WalMart, had her favorite dinner at Chili's (her request!) of a cheese quesadilla and mandarin oranges with strawberry lemonade, and went to watch Kung Fu Panda 2 at the Rialto theater with Mommy. What a fun day! From mommy and daddy, she got a new Memory card game, sticker earrings, small figurines of Lemon Meringue and Plum Pudding (loving all things Strawberry Shortcake right now), and some Ariel princess PJs with a "magic wand." We already gave her our big gift in Memphis--her new "Princess" bible. If we're going be obsessed with being a princess, we might as well start learning how to be God's princess! :) Tomorrow is the birthday party with friends, and the theme will be Strawberry Shortcake (of course!). I'll try to get pictures taken and posted of that... just as soon as I update about the rest of July. ;)

Abby Liz, you are such a smart, energetic little girl! You have such a giving heart and a caring spirit. I pray that you will always continue to have the love for others that you do right now. You are such a sweet big sister and a wonderful helper around the house. This family is so blessed to have you in it. Happy birthday, sweet girl--we love you!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tooth #1 & Florida pictures

Ok, before I forget: Logan finally cut his first tooth 3 days ago! He is now sporting one little tooth on the bottom! It has been a miserable, slobbery journey, and I know this is just the beginning. Casey's mother informed me that they never knew when Casey was about to get a tooth--the teeth just popped up with no warning. How nice for them. :-P Both of my kids, however, run a low-grade fever, cry a LOT, drool incessantly, and are basically mad at life through the whole process. How long does teething last? I think I've blocked that part out of my memories from Abby's first year or two of life...

For those who might still care, here are a few pictures from our family vacation in Florida last month. There are about a million, so I'll try to just sum it up with a few highlights. For the whole shebang, checkout the album on Facebook or Snapfish. :)
Abby & Mommy rocked the back seat of the rental suburban
We ate at Toucan's (on the beach) for Peter's birthday
We played in the ocean and made some awesome sand & seaweed creations
Logan started rolling consistently from back to front and sitting on his own!
Abby dug into Nana's craft box and made these amazing hats
Tara, Peter, & Dad chartered a boat and went deep-sea fishing!
We got back into Nana's craft box to paint frames & glue on seashells we found
We played pool a little
We rested... a lot :)
And we took a few family pictures on the beach at sunset
A good time was had by all. :) Sorry that took so long, but there they are. If I can find another moment to sit down like this soon, I'll try to get a few pictures posted from our trip to Ohio this month!