Friday, November 30, 2012

Potty Time!

So where do I even begin?  We've had so much going on the past couple of days...

Did I catch anything big in my attic?  Not yet.  Only little mice.  I'm not giving up, though.  Nothing wakes up my children in the night and survives!  <wink>

Guess who used the potty yesterday?  Griffin AND Little G!  Was it coincidence?  Probably.  But still, they did their thang in the potty and got rewarded heavily for it.  A thank you to my husband for lovingly texting a picture of Griffin's poop to me while I was, WAS enjoying chips and salsa at a restaurant while waiting on Big G to finish her ballet practice.  Thank you, babe.  Gross.

Let me tell you something, Griffin is coming alive!  He is knocking lamps over, climbing on the furniture, tearing books a part, and just having a blast while doing it!  Thank goodness, I have nothing of great value in my living room.  Have at it, Griff!  It's all yours.  :-)  <not really>

Last night, Griffin found Big G's boots and tried to put them on my feet.  He was so sweet!  So I put them on him instead.  He was pretty good at clomping around in them.  After we put the little ones to bed, we watched an episode of Duck Dynasty and before I knew it, I was waking up at 0600 on the couch!  Chris and I both passed out all night long!  So what did I do?  I went up to bed for 20 minutes until it was time to get Big G up for school.  It wasn't enough.

Today, Chris had an upper GI scope done.  Just waiting on the results!

I'm headed back up to the attic.

Love and Hugs!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3?

Chris's View-

I may be playing the Powerball soon!

A friend sent us a link to a video on AOL about a lady who was very active, then was struck with an illness in her joints that confused doctors.  For quite awhile she was bound to her bed due to the joint pain she experienced daily.  Finally, a doctor went down the proverbial rabbit hole to chase a diagnosis.  What did he find?  Symptoms of an obscure illness called Still's Disease.  This is like one of those 1 in a million diagnosis's... okay, sue me... 1.5 cases in every 100,000 to 1,000,000 population!  Gosh... split the hairs why don't you!  LOL!  I asked my doctor today about this and he doesn't think I have all the symptoms for it, but then again, says my doctor, I don't have all the symptoms for ANYTHING!  Comforting, right?  He ordered the lab that checks for something called Ferritin, a protein which binds to iron in the body.  Very simple, a small vial of blood and off to the lab to get tested it went... and with it, another hope that they can find out what is wrong with me.  At this point, they are pretty much testing me for anything that someone recommends.  Tomorrow I am getting checked for a disease called Whipple's.  So, they are checking everything, and I am doing everything they tell me to do.  If they say they need to shoot shark urine up my nose, I'll be smelling shark pee for a few days then.  If there's a possibility of it helping me get my quality of life back, I am going to try it.

We have been getting quite a few requests for a total cost of our adoption and a timeline of the whole thing.  To be honest, the paperwork part was my area of the adoption process... I'm a record keeper by nature.  So, yes, I'll admit it, I have been slacking in my duties!  Tonight I spent the better part of 3 1/2 hours inputting receipts and pictures of those receipts into our expense tracker so we can finally get a total.  Of course, I have to print some stuff out, and that is going to take me a couple days since we are out of ink.  Hopefully by the end of next week, we will be able to announce exactly how much our adoption cost us and how long it took to reach all the milestones that are key in the process.  Maybe our story and breakdown will be what it takes to show someone out there that adoption is possible... even on a single income, military salary!

See ya'll later!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things that Make You Go HMMMMMMM

HMMMMMM.  So I'm sure you are wondering what I've been catching in the attic, huh?   You can hardly wait, right?

Well, first things first.  I have definitely, absolutely, caught a cold and it kicked in the day that I crawled up in the attic.  LOL.  Yeah, I know, I can't catch a cold from the attic but still.  At least I caught something, right?

Which leads me into what I'm NOT catching in the attic.

Whatever I'm NOT catching is the attic is big enough to eat what I AM catching in the attic.  Yeah, I'm a little creeped out.

Our first attempt, whatever is in the attic licked the peanut butter right off of our traps without throwing a single one!  So my husband super glued pecans to the trap next.  We managed to trap 2 little mice, but the other traps had been robbed of their super glued pecans and the traps were still set.  One of the mice that we did trap had been hauled off to a remote area of the attic, dropped through the wooden slats to the insulation, became a midnight snack for whatever hauled it off, and I had the pleasure of hanging like a monkey to get it.  I'm really not good at this.

Yesterday morning, I heard something that sounded like boxes falling over in the attic above my bed.  However, there were no boxes out of place when I crawled back up there last night.  But my mysterious little or big nemesis enjoyed more of my super glued pecans.  HMMMMM.

Chris is going to try to find rat traps today.  Maybe it's just a really big rat.  Gross.

I guess our next step after that is to set an actual animal trap.

Or maybe I should dress up like a large peanut butter covered pecan and camp out in the attic one night with a fishing net.


On a more sane note, Griffin's IEP appt has been scheduled!  He will be a school boy soon!  However, Chris just got his travel dates for San Antonio for his medical board and it is during this appt time.  So we may have to reschedule it.  We shall see!  As of right now, it's scheduled for Dec. 11.

I actually ran into the school's OT at the commissary last night.  She knew who I was immediately and said that she was looking forward to having Griffin in school!  I have loved everyone involved in Griffin's life so far.   Very blessed!

More later...

Love and Hugs!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Huntin' & A Eatin'

Chris's View-

Yeah, I have been huntin' the past couple days, and I don't have no stinkin' license!

For the past couple weeks, we have been hearing some scratching & such in our walls.  Being all gimped up (STILL!!!) I had Maria pick up a few mouse traps the other day at the BX.  I slapped some peanut butter on them & had Maria crawl up in the attic to place the traps last night.  She sent me an email this morning that said she heard something that sounded like a rat crawling across the attic floor with a trap connected to it.  Ummm... not sure if I want to get up there!  I'm worried that I may have caught a baby fox or something now!  LOL!  That'd be my luck right there.  Hopefully it will just be that we got the mouse that has been scaring Gracie as she tries to go to bed at night.

I have also tried my hand at baking the past week.  I made a Honey Bourbon Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving.  You know, it was OK, but it wasn't the flavor I was looking for.  It wasn't that good, rich, Southern flavor that instantly transports me back to my childhood on my grandparents farm.  I think it's awesome when you can find something like that, a smell or a flavor that makes the memories flood back.  I had that last Christmas when we were back home.  My Aunt Ruby fixed us Christmas dinner and the corn, that they put up fresh every year, was a shock to the taste buds!  It was a flavor that I had not tasted in so many years!  Probably 1996 or 1997-ish.  So, my pie was good, but not great... definitely NOT great.  In fact, the only reason I chose that specific pie is because Maria & I have been watching Duck Dynasty lately, like a lot!  They talked about it on there, so I tried it.  Oh well...

Today, I am making what calls the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It has over 5000 ratings and it's still 5 stars, which is hard to find.  So, Gracie & I whipped up the batter & I just threw them in the oven.  The recipe says that I was supposed to make 1/4 cup cookies & cook for 17 minutes... uh, not in my oven!  After 17 minutes, they were still raw.  They are going on 30 minutes right now.  Don't get me wrong, they look amazing, and I can't wait to eat one with a glass of milk, but over 30 minutes for some cookies!  That's insane!

For the past week, I have been berated by foods that I want.  Everywhere I turn, it's something that I have been craving.  On Duck Dynasty they were eating hot donuts, fresh from the glazer.  I instantly wanted Shipley's or Tatonut... there are NO better donuts than those two, in that very order!  I saw an online advertisement for Cattleman's Steak House.  If you know about Cattleman's, you know exactly why I instantly wanted that!  It is THE epitome of what steak should be, with the ambiance to go along with it.  I guess that's what I get for trying to read news from California.  I also saw an ad for the Nugget grocery store, which reminded me of their Ciabatta sandwiches with Havarti cheese... yummo!  I went to get Gracie from church after I got off work & saw a new Mexican restaurant opened.  I was reminded of going to Saltios in Ocean Springs after church.  But the next one took the cake.  This morning, Maria's BFF Shana, decided to tag me in a couple pictures of her to-go box from the Shed in Ocean Springs.  If you haven't been "Fed at the Shed", you do not know what you are missing.  It's simply, good, old-fashioned, sloppy as all get out, Mississippi Barbeque.  Oh how I miss it.  It's one of the few places that I can eat everything on the menu, and not get tired of it.  Plus, anytime bees swarm around the sweet tea dispenser during the Summer, you know that's some good stuff!

Shana may have got to have the Shed, but I get her BFF, and I'm sure she'd trade every meal she could afford from the Shed for 1/100th of the time I get to spend with my beautiful wife!  :)  Gotcha Shana!  :)

See ya'll later!

UPDATE- So...this is Maria.  I just crawled back up into the attic and every trap has been licked clean and they are still set.  Hubby is super gluing pecans to the traps now!  LOL.  I hope these really are mice that we are dealing with!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

When He Gets Mad At Me

Last night, Griffin got ticked off at me.  He didn't want to go to bed at 8:00.  Well, Griffin has been sick with a pretty bad bad that I just got home from the ER with him to make sure he's ok.  And he is.  Just a sinus infection.

But anyway.

He cried when I put him down to sleep and this is the first time he has ever cried like this.  This is actually a good sign but I'm not encouraging it!  This could mean one of two or maybe three things...(gotta love the adoption guessing game).  1.  He could be trying to buck the system!  Trying to call his own shots.  (yeah, that's not gonna work.)  2.  He felt bad.  3.  He wanted me.

Well, if by chance he actually wanted me when he started crying, he changed his mind.  LOL.  The first time that I went to check on him, I sweetly patted him on his head, told him nights nights, etc. The second time, "Griffin, no no no!  Go to sleep!", The third time, in my best Russian, "Griffin, don't cry, go to sleep, NO!"  Well, it didn't work.  He kept it up.  So I took him to my room to change him and he wouldn't even look at me!  He completely shut down on me.  I changed his diaper and took him downstairs to rock him.  He was literally as limp as a rag doll in my arms and playing possum.  "Griffin, look at me!"  nothing.  "GRIFFINNNNNNNN"  <<crickets>>.  I sat him up, he kept his eyes so tightly closed that it was making his lips pucker up, and he let his head hang to the side like he was sleeping.  Chris was watching all of this and he wanted to see if he would open his eyes if he held him.  I handed him over and Griffin immediately popped those eyes open.  LOL!    That little stinker.  I got him back and rocked him for awhile and he was fine.  He finally went back down for the night.  Wow.  Seriously, what a stinker!

Anyway, it's actually 8:40 now.  Let's see what happens.  :-)


Thursday, November 22, 2012

It Was a Happy Thanksgiving!

What a wonderful day we had, even though the hubby had to work.  I'm just thankful that he's able to go back to work.

My friends, Evan and Ashley, invited us over for Thanksgiving late lunch at 2:00 yesterday.  I let Little G sleep until 10:00 in hopes that she would be in a great mood and it worked!  She was a happy camper, even though she didn't eat a single thing.  Griffin ate like there was no tomorrow, even though he was super stuffy and probably not feeling that great.  I made my homemade cornbread dressing and it was a hit as always.  That's about the only thing I get rave reviews about!  LOL.

In this country, our friends are our family.  We are all close and it's going to be terribly hard to leave them behind.  I love all of them so much.  Ugh, I don't even want to think about it!

Chris got off work at 6:00, so I popped another pan of dressing in the oven and fixed him a plate of leftovers from Ashley's house.  Then we crashed on the couch for another episode of Duck Dynasty.  Both of the little ones were tuckered out and went straight to sleep.  Everyone had a great day!

Today is our 4th attempt at getting family portraits done.  Honestly, I should cancel.  Chris woke up in a lot of pain and barely able to make it down the stairs.  Griffin is still very stuffy and not feeling well, but if I cancel, we may not get another chance.  We will push through it and it will be over.  Hopefully it will work out.  Our photographer is prepared to help Chris out as much as possible by bringing a bench for us to sit on.  I have Griffin in a hot bath, hoping that it will open his sinuses up and make him feel better.  I am stuck in rebound headache land... this root canal that I finished up the other day has been brutal and it's been giving me a lot of pain.  If I take something for the pain, I get a headache.  Nice.  One day, our family will be well... right?!  Seems like the devil is bound and determined to bring us down!  I have always loved Job in the bible.  I think he was an amazing man who put his faith in God and just hung on for dear life.  I look up to him.  I really do.

I didn't mention this when it happened because Chris was so sick and I wanted all prayers focused on him, but I need your prayers, too.  While my mother was here, I felt led to have a mammogram done and it came back abnormal.  I have to do a repeat mammogram in 6 months to see if the calcifications have changed.  I'm a mammographer, I understand the routine... I understand breast cancer.  I'm not too concerned yet.  I'm a little nervous but I have faith that God has a plan and will take care of me.  We will continue to be faithful and put our trust in Him.

But anyway, hopefully we will have some fabulous family portraits done today!

Love and Hugs!

UPDATE-  I had to cancel family portraits... Chris can't even walk right now.  I'm making him stay on the couch for the next 2 days with his feet propped up and on ice.  Please keep praying for him!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

He Came to Me!

Last night, Griffin was sitting in my recliner, rocking himself.  When he rocks, it's something that I don't want to get in the middle of!  He will rock so hard that his whole body is involved, back of the head to the seat back... then nose slammed to the seat cushion... back and forth.  He absolutely loves this so I put him to the test.  I sat down on the love seat across the living room and yelled out, "Griffin, I want sugars!"  He stopped...looked at me...kept rocking.  "Griffin!!!  Mommy wants sugars!"  He stopped, stared a moment at me as I made kissy lips at him...and then turned onto his tummy and slid out of the recliner!  My heart skipped a beat!  "Griffin!!!  Come, come, come!   Mommy wants sugars!"  He started walking toward me but a book caught his eye.  He bent down, picked it up, and started walking to the coffee table.  "GRIFFIN!"  He turned, made eye contact, and toddled on over to me!  He gave me a kiss!  Oh my sweet boy!  He melts my heart.  This is the first time he has come to me from a distance like that, while doing something that he was totally involved in.  I'm so proud of him!

Today Griffin had speech, a hearing test, and an ENT appointment.  He engaged in speech more than he ever has before...a huge difference!  The hearing test proved that he still has fluid in his ears but he is hearing well enough, I suppose.  The ENT said that I could make the decision to have tubes placed or not because he felt that it's not absolutely necessary, but he could benefit from them.  I decided to recheck him in a month and make a decision from there.  If he still has fluid in his ears after another month of being on allergy medication, I will consider doing it.  Time will tell!

Something random- I noticed that every time we got in an elevator today, Griffin would clap his hands.  Interesting.  Maybe he loves elevators or maybe he likes the sound of his hands when he's in one.

Anyway, I've started making my homemade cornbread dressing for tomorrow!  The kids and I are going over to our friends' home since Chris has to work.  He went back to work today and I must admit it was nice seeing him back in his BDUs!

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Love and Hugs!

Monday, November 19, 2012

They Make Me Happy, Happy, Happy!

Ok... so I stole the "happy, happy, happy" from my new favorite TV show...Duck Dynasty.  Love that show!

My Big G is at school and the littles are still asleep!  Amazing.  Chris will be leaving for doctors appointments soon and I should be getting my shower but I wanted to type up a quick blog first...  the reason being that my heart feels so full and I just need to write it all down.

I got bogged down in the stress of day to day life... especially when my husband got sick and then it seemed that everything was going down hill.  My head is back above water now and I'm experiencing pure joy again.  Praise God!  I absolutely LOVE being a mother and wife and I thank God daily for my amazing family.

My children are precious to me.  Yes, they can drive me nuts sometimes, but I'm already nuts anyway, so it really doesn't matter!  (no need to pipe in here, lol)  I love that they make me smile and laugh... I love that they have their own little personalities.  I love that Little G is feisty...that Big G has an amazing heart...that Griffin loves life.

I had been noticing yesterday that Little G kept yelling "net" at Griffin all day long.  I was totally confused until I saw him reaching for a power cord and she yelled "NET!"... I realized that she was yelling "NYET!" (Russian for 'no').  Little G is speaking in Russian now.  LOL.  great.  Something else that amazed me a few days ago, Little G kept yelling "UH-OH!" and normally does this when she wants out of the living room.  We ignored her for the first few times (I was cooking, Chris was doing homework).  Finally, Chris got up and went to the living room and found that Griffin was stuck in a head stand position in the toy bin.  Little G was yelling "Uh-oh!" to alert us that he needed help!  She really does have his best interest in mind every now and then.

Hold that thought... the kids are still asleep and I'm tired.  I should take a nap.  Be right back!  :-)


Ok... I'm back.

On the way to the bus stop this morning, Big G made up a story about a dog who ate pickles and blew noodles out of his nose.  I love her creativity and her crazy stories.

Yesterday, Griffin didn't want his grilled chicken breast from Chilis.  He actually signed "all done" when Chris held up a bite for him.  That's the first time he has ever initiated "all done" without prompting him.  He is starting to lose interest in many foods which completely surprises me.  However, the OT told me to expect this, so here we are!

Random thought- Why would my husband want to make this?!?  He tagged me in this picture last night.  No thanks, babe.  I think I'll pass on the pork nativity.  Lets build a gingerbread house or something!  OK?

Love and Hugs!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chris & Evan & the Art of Dakota Maintenance

Chris's View-

So, today I finally got out of the house for awhile, but first a quick update.

My arm is probably back to 90%.  The stitches are out & I just have to keep it wrapped in an ace bandage. It is a ton better, I mean, even if was only slightly swollen I would have to say it was a ton better though.  For awhile there, it had swollen to about two time it's normal size, from my wrist to my shoulder, and was fire red & hot to the touch.  They cut it open, flushed it our, and removed some necratized (that's the term the orthopedic surgeon used) tissue.  It's nearly there, and getting better by the day.

My left ankle is a different story.  It's still not good.  I have to use a crutch to get around, up & down stairs and such.  I wake up and it is extremely stiff.  If I sit around for too long, same thing, just not as stiff.  In the bed, the covers weigh too much and it's quite painful on my ankle, so my foot sticks out from under the covers for most of the night.  It's the same, no stitches, just an ace bandage to compress it.  It was just arthroscopic surgery too.  Two tiny incisions, and 6 liters of fluid flushed through my ankle has caused me so much pain!  I am off all pain meds though... don't need to get hooked on those things, that's for sure!  They were able to draw some senovial fluid from the ankle that showed an elevated white blood cell count, so that is proof that it is not just an osteoarthritis, but also an inflammatory arthritis.  The docs are going to try me on some medicines, so hopefully I can get some relief.

I have a ton of medical appointments still to go to, including a sleep study, since the ER nurses think I have sleep apnea, since every time I fell asleep in the ER, my Oxygen saturation level would drop way too low.

So, that's where I stand medically.

It is high time I got my fat butt in gear and knocked out some of the things that I have had to put off since my hospitalization.  I actually got quite a bit of stuff done today that had been put off.  The biggest thing on my list was changing out my brakes on my Dakota.  I knew I couldn't do the job, still too banged up, so I asked my buddy Evan to help me.  I got there just after 10 this morning, and I didn't get home till after 5!  It was just brake pads.

Thinking all would go smoothly, we pulled the front tires off, and then began the nightmare!  We found that bolts were wrong size from what they were supposed to be.  An hour later, we finished the first tire.  Smooth sailing from here on out, right?  WRONG!  To the other front tire, and we find that some idiot decided to strip out a bolt, and to "fix" it, they glued a cutoff bolt into the stripped out bolt!  Yeahhhhh... dum-da-dum-dum-dummmmmm!  An hour later, some ingenious fix actions on our part, and we are proceeding to the rear tires.  It couldn't get worse, right?

We take the rear passenger tire off and figure out how to get the drum brake components out, then we made the mistake of removing the emergency brake cable from it's holder... not a smart move on our part.  It took the better part of an hour to get it back into it's connector.  Then, the video we were watching to get pointers decided to make us mad.  The brake has all these very high tension springs in it.  The guy in the video decided to rub it in that he had special spring pliers!  It must be nice to have all the right tools to do a job!  We finally figured out how to get all the springs back into the drum and it was time to move to the next brake.

Thinking we had this project licked, we took off the rear driver's side tire, but the drum would not come off.  For some reason, the brake was fully pressed against the drum.  After we finally got the drum off, the shoes went together pretty quickly, then we realized the drum still would not go on without forcing it.  For some reason the brake shoes are fully pressed against the drum.  Not a good thing.  I guess I need to put it into the shop to get that fixed.  Bummer!

Thanks for all your help Evan!

On a side note, I did get our 5-gallon water jug replaced, which I had to carry upstairs.  Not so smart.  I also got the blown light bulb changed in the bathroom.  Let there be light!

See ya'll later!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Teaching Him to Play

So since I am keeping Griffin up an hour later every evening to help him sleep better at night, I have been using that time to teach him to play.  I really enjoy that extra hour with him and he's having a blast.  I have been trying to teach him to run away from me when I growl and at him.  He thinks it's hilarious and will actually run toward me and then collapse on me.  He gets so giggly that he can't even get back up to try again.  When he does, he knows that I'm about to get him again so he's already anticipating me.  We practice this as long as we can until my throat can take no more growling.  haha

Last night, I noticed that he would stand up and start spinning in slow circles.  He's getting pretty fancy on his feet.  :-)  Then I realized that he is doing what his big sissy does to him!  She has been picking him up with a bear hug and will spin him around really fast.  (Griffin is over half her body weight but she does an awesome job!)  He absolutely loves this.  To be honest, if Griffin had to choose a favorite, I think he would choose Big G.  He LOVES her.  I have also noticed that he will toddle over and hold his arms up to her and he doesn't do that to me yet.  She loves him like crazy and I think it's just beautiful that the two of them are developing this bond.

Well, Little G had me up before 0700 this morning while Griffin continues to saw logs.  It's usually the other way around.  I think I'm going to hold her down snuggle her on the couch for a while.

Love and Hugs!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Day with Griffin

Griffin and I spent the day together.  I had to take him to a follow up appointment this morning and had other things to do throughout the day so I just kept him with me.  He is such a great little sidekick!  We had lunch at Chilis with our friend, Lura, and then we went to Big G's parent/teacher conference.  He laughed throughout the whole conference because he knew that his classroom was down the hall from hers and he thought that we were going there next.  He was super excited!

Big G LOVES school!  I'm so thankful that she wants to be there and that she is a quick learner.  She is reading and writing well above her level but we need to practice word problems for math.  Chris and I are not good with math and we have always joked that we would have to hire Sylvan learning center to teach our children math.

I got to look over some of her journaling and it is absolutely precious.  She is so proud of her little brother and sister and writes about them so much.  She also wrote about Mawmaw's visit and how much she loves her.  She has such a giving heart and I just love her to pieces   My favorite story that she wrote was "Adventures of Super Griffin".  It had me rolling!  She had Griffin in different scenes, and in one of the scenes Griffin was baptizing her and he was wearing floaties on his arms!

After the conference, we checked on Griffin's status with PreK enrollment.   We were expecting to have him enrolled and attending by now.  Come to find out, they are missing the Physical Therapist's report, so hopefully they will get it all together soon.  Griffin is READY!

But anyway, it was a great day and we are so blessed to have a wonderful teacher for Big G.  Griffin is going to have a great one as well and I couldn't be happier with their school.  I want to be closer to home but having such a great school and great friends make it so much harder to leave!

More later!

Love and Hugs!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This and That...OT, ST, Chris, etc.

Hi y'all!  I'm still here!  :-)  Sorry, just crazy busy and so tired at the end of the day.  My mom headed back to MS yesterday and is safely home.  I miss her like crazy.  I love that woman so much!

Chris has been slammed with follow up appts with no end in sight.  His elbow looks great!  His ankle, not so much, so that's the problem area right now.  To top it all off, he has a raging sore throat so they will be checking him for strep later today.  Poor guy.

Just a little of this and that-

Little G told my mother that she loved her for the very first time!  She said, "ah bah do".  It was absolutely precious and I couldn't be happier that my mother was the first to receive that.

Monday's OT appt for Little G was TOUGH.  TOUGH!   Let's just say that Thorston is taking care of business!  Little G didn't want to pick up toys before moving on to the next thing.  She was demonstrating perfectly for him what I have to deal with on a daily basis.  She pitched her a mega tantrum so he used that as a teaching tool for me and in the end it actually worked!  She does what she does for attention, I know that.  I usually put her in the corner until she stops crying.  However, Thorston suggested that even the act of me putting her in the corner provides her with the attention that she wants.  I hadn't thought of that.  So he said that I should let her have her fit and then put her in the corner while she is calm.  But anyway, for this session, he had me completely walk away from her.  Eventually, she came to me, still screaming, and wanting me to get the toy that she was screaming for.  Thorston told me to completely ignore her and walk to the other side of the room.  We did this over and over again and finally she went over, cleaned up the toys, and then was fine.  I would say that the screamfest went on for a good 45 mins.  He suggested that every single time she asks for something, to make her do something for me first.  If she wants her Baby Babble speech movie for the 100th time that day, ask her to put a puzzle together first before she can watch the movie.  So I gave that a shot yesterday, however, I was trying to take a nap on the couch and she came over and tried to drag the blanket off of me and signing "milk" and when I told her to wait a little while, she went into her tantrum.  I quickly said, "Pick up toys first and then I will get your milk!"  She stopped crying, picked 2 toys up and put them away, and was just as calm as could be.  Maybe we are on to something!  By having her do something for me first may actually rewire her way of thinking... We will see!

Speech was great for the little ones today.  Little G is having a crazy word explosion and is catching up pretty quickly, I believe.  I had to leave Griffin with the speech therapist since Little G wants to be too involved in his speech as well.  When I returned to get him, the therapist said that he had done very well and was prompting and doing finger play for songs, signing "please", may have said "up", and made a motion for "my turn".  It seems that he does a bit better when I'm not in the room.  She said that he does better in some areas when I'm not there but not in others.  So what we are going to do is put both of their appts at the exact same time and I will rotate every other session with each child.

With Griffin's midnight party that he keeps throwing in his crib, I have decided to stop nap time during the day.  So far it has helped and he has slept through the night for two nights in a row!  If he falls asleep in the living room, I will let him take a 20 minute nap, but I won't be putting him back in his crib for nap time anymore.  2 reasons- 1.  His crib doesn't mean "sleep" to him.  At the orphanage, he spent most of his life in one, so he did everything in his crib... play, sleep, eat, etc.  So  I want him to understand that crib means that he has to sleep.  No more parties!  2.  I want him to be really tired when he goes to bed!  :-)

But anyway, I hope y'all have a great day!  I'll do my best to get back on track with my blogging!

Love and Hugs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


So I've started testing Griffin a little bit.  He has a tremendous infatuation with cords and outlets and I think it's just above and beyond a typical little boy curiosity level.  It's so bad that his pediatrician observed him staring at one in the exam room last week and mentioned it to me.   Since Chris is camping out in the living room until he can tackle the stairs, he is using his phone charger pretty regularly so it stays plugged in all the time.  Well, you can imagine the battle that goes on in Griffin's brain!  Yeah, I could unplug it, but I am preferring to use it as a teaching tool.   I can literally see the thoughts that he is thinking... "I want it, but Mommy won't let me.  Is she watching me?  Let me get a little closer.  She looked away!  Oh, she's back.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you don't want me to touch it..."  Sometimes he will get so close to it and just stare at it.  He won't even reach out for it because he knows that I will yell "NO!".  I am SO proud of him!  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he 100% understands what 'no' means.  This has proven that to me.   Yeah, I know that it's entrapment, but he really needs to learn that he can't mess with electricity!

Tonight, Little G did something that gave me a bit of hope for her relationship with Griffin.  She tolerates him being in the same room, however, she won't let him in her bubble.  If he comes within arm's reach of her she will shove him away.  Well, tonight I put her in the bathtub and she started whining and pointing to the water next to her.  I asked her if she wanted bubba (Griffin) to get in the tub with her and she said, "YES!"  This is the first time that she has wanted him with her.  Progress!  :-)

The personalities of my children are all very different.  However, I think both of my girl Gs will be perfect for Griffin once they are older.  Big G is very motherly, gentle, loving, and compassionate.  Little G is feisty, no nonsense, cut and dry, you better watch out or you are going to get it kind of attitude.  Griffin will be very blessed to have a sister to love him like there's no tomorrow and one that will have his back and take care of business!  Griffin is a very sweet, cuddly, snuggle-bug.  I'm looking forward to seeing the man that he will become!

My mom will be leaving on Tuesday morning and I will miss her like crazy.  It has been incredibly awesome to have her here with us.  I'm praying hard that Chris won't flare up again and end back up in the hospital.  He's still not doing that well.  His arm is doing better but his ankle is a wreck.  Horribly swollen and very painful.  Hopefully things will get better for him soon!

Thank y'all for praying for our family!  Love and Hugs!

Friday, November 9, 2012

On Being Laid Up...

Chris's View-

Man, I hate having to lay around and do nothing!

I feel so worthless right now.  I can't really do a ton as it takes me 20 minutes to get from the couch to the bathroom, 15 feet away.  I am still having a hard time putting pressure on my foot, though I have noticed that by the time I walk, or hobble, to the bathroom, and start to walk back, I am able to put a little more weight on the foot.  It's tough to not be able to help Maria around the house with the kids and chores.  I know she has had it rough, and we are so thankful that her mom was able to come out and help.  I'm not sure we could have gotten everything accomplished without her.

They have me on Norco (pain meds) every 4 hours.  I am not sure it's really doing much, but I am taking them for fear that if they wear off, I may be back at a 10 pain level.  My arm is probably a 4 on the pain scale now, and my ankle is a high 7 low 8, depending on what position I am in really.  I am crazy itchy right now though, probably the pain meds, as percocet did the same thing to me.  Also, it makes me sweat like a beast!  I am literally dripping as I type this... yuck!

I found out yesterday one of my mentors made Chief Master Sergeant... the highest enlisted rank in the Air Force.  I am proud to have worked for him... such a genuine man & leader.  I also found out that the husband of one of my prior bosses got selected to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force... the top enlisted person in the Air Force.  He's a controller, and it's the first time an Air Traffic guy has held the position.  Pretty cool day.

I guess that's about all for now.  See ya'll later!

Maria's View-

To Chris-

I love you and I just want you to rest and get well!  Nothing else matters.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

He's Home Again!

Another short post today because I just got home from an emergency root canal.  Yeah, of course I would need a root canal now... right?

Chris is doing well... His ankle is the worst right now and I had a feeling that would be the case since it's a new flare.  I imagine that will get worse before it gets better.  His arm is hanging out around a 5 level in pain which is the best it's been.  It's also a different kind of pain now, more of a surgical pain... so I think the pressure has been relieved.  He's hanging out here at home with his ankle wrapped, using a German crutch, a splint on his arm with a drain still in place.

Please keep us in your prayers... If it's not one thing, it's another.  I truly feel like our family is under attack.  The best part of my day was when all 3 kids piled on top of me when I got home from my root canal.  The best feeling in the world.

Love and Hugs!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Surgery for Chris

Last night, Chris' left ankle flared up in addition to the ongoing infection in his right elbow.  He made it to the ER around 0300 and they took him to surgery around 0900.  They opened up his arm, irrigated it, did cultures, and put in a drainage tube.  The doctor said that they removed fat that was badly infected in his arm and that previous cultures from a few days ago actually showed a gram negative strain of bacteria.  Then they scoped his ankle, cultured, and irrigated that as well.  Said that it was red, inflamed, and infected.  So tomorrow we should know the results of the cultures so that they can put him on the exact antibiotic for that particular bacteria.

His pain was off the chart while he was in the recovery room.  They came out and told me that he was having a hard time and that they couldn't put him in a room until the pain was under control.  Then his oxygen started dropping way too low, so it was a bit crazy for awhile.  However, they were able to get his pain down to a 5.

As I was leaving, his pain was back up to a 7 so I am praying that they can keep it from getting any higher than that.

My mom had a great day with the kids!  They are loving their mawmaw so much and I'm just so glad she's here!  I came home to help her feed dinner to them, Little G was standing in a tall box, my mom was swaying the box from side to side, and Griffin was doubled over in laughter, and Big G was writing Christmas cards to all of us!  LOL.  So cute!

Well, I better head on to bed.  Lucky me, I have developed a toothache!  So I will have to work a dentist appt somewhere in the day tomorrow... maybe.

Please keep praying for Chris!  He really needs all the help he can get!

Love and Hugs!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Sound that Haunts Me

We were in our son's country for 32 days, the first trip.  We left the day after court.  We missed our girls like crazy.  Little G was in MS with my mother, Big G was in Germany with our friends.  I had a child in 3 different countries during that time.  My love was wrapped around the world.

My girls were in such great hands that I wish I would have allowed myself to relax and fully enjoy the one on one time with my husband.  It was tough but they did so well!  I'm proud of their sacrifice to their brother's cause.  I'm sure they are proud of themselves, too.

It's so crazy how God will pull you so far out of your comfort zone.  Leaving the children behind is Chris' job.  Not mine.  He's the one who deploys with the military... I'm not suppose to leave but I simply had no choice.  I pleaded with God to bring me peace and confidence to make this journey and He spoke to me once and said, "He's your child, too.  Go."  There was just no other way.

As we were about to land in his country, I remember thinking to myself, "Wow.  He's so close!  He has no idea how his life is about to change."

I remember so clearly the first time we pulled into the drive at the orphanage.  Such a dreary day.  It had the appearance and gloominess of a prison.

I remember the moment they brought him into our sight for the first time.  His curiosity making him look around wildly...laughing hysterically.  We prayed that he would know us and I believe that he truly did!

I remember the constant smell of soup.

But the sound that I will never forget is this...the empty sound of his hard soled shoes on the pavement as we held him up to walk.  The clomp, clomp, clomp on the hard ground is burned into my memory forever.  I will never, ever forget that sound.  I should never take such notice over a sound such as this in an orphanage with hundreds of children.  The quietness was almost deafening.  Another child is surely wearing those shoes now...they were never Griffin's shoes to begin with.  Just a pair out of a bucket.

These children have nothing... nothing but the love of Christ.

Can you help?  Today is Orphan Sunday.  Please act!  Please give!  Please pray!  Please follow your heart and do what you feel that God is leading you to do... I'm so glad that we did.  We have been blessed beyond measure with the most precious little boy in the world!

This little boy needs you.  I personally know the family that met him and he is not being treated well at all.  He's not an orphanage favorite.  There is currently $97 in his grant fund.  Can you help him?  Larger grants attract families and he desperately needs one.  If you feel led to give, please do.

Thank you!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trick or Treating

Trick or Treating with the world's cutest bat...

sweetest Care Bear...

and the most beautiful Princess Peach.

They had so much fun going door to door trick or treating.  First time for all 3 of them!  Every year without fail, Big G would always get sick and not be able to go.  We finally had success! 

We went with our good friends Elena, Derek, and CJ (the most awesome angry bird ever!).

We are so glad that my mother could come along!

Then last night, we had a last minute belated birthday gathering for Little G, thanks to our good friends, Evan, Ashley, and baby W.!  

She was so excited but didn't even take a single bite!  

Love and Hugs!

(ps.  please keep Chris in your prayers.  He will possibly be having surgery on his arm on Monday morning!)

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Update... Yeah, Chris is Alive!

Okay, first off thanks for all the prayers, and all the folks who helped Maria out while I was laid up in the hospital!

They let me out of the hospital on Tuesday of this week... yeah, hate me later for not updating sooner!  I have been non-stop with doctor's appointments since.  Many of ya'll saw on Facebook that my nursing staff came in and asked if I was satisfied with my diagnosis.  To me, they were implying that there was something deeper, and in fact, a couple even asked if I had heard any auto-immune rumors.  To be honest, with all my issues, auto-immune fits what is going on.  The doctors are still saying this is an extreme case of cellulitis, contracted through dry elbow skin.  Uh, cellulitis that persists through, now, 7 different antibiotics?  I find it hard to believe, but hey, I didn't go to school for 8 years to practice medicine either.  I also find it hard to believe that I got this skin infection through dry elbow skin, being as I have had dry elbows, oh, my entire life!

So, today I went back to get an aspiration under ultrasound.  Basically, they scanned my right forearm with the ultrasound machine, while they stuck an 18ga. needle into the identified pocket of fluid, and tried to draw out any fluid so they could test it for infection, so they can treat the exact infection.  All the doctor was able to draw out was some very dark blood, which my other doctor said is not supposed to be there.  He was expecting one of a couple different types of fluids, not blood.

I was supposed to go to San Antonio for my formal medical board next week, but the doctor doesn't think that is the best idea.  With this infection not healing like it should, he's afraid of a relapse as soon as the antibiotics are complete.  He is also worried about continuity of care, being as they actually know my recent history here... not something you usually get in the military, and it almost took me by surprise when he said "continuity of care"!  I am definitely not used to hearing that phrase.

I go back on Monday to see my doctor, and if my arm is not better, he is going to try his best to persuade the surgeons to open it up and irrigate the infected area.  I don't want surgery, but if it will cure this mess, I am all about it!

I will post more when I get more info.

See ya'll later!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Update

Just a quick update on Chris...we are still battling whatever is causing issues in his elbow.  We saw 3 doctors today.  The Rheumatologist is still baffled and is bringing in another Rheumatologist on Monday to view his case with fresh eyes.  He is also doing a lot of lab work.  The Infectious Diseases doctor is giving Chris a 50% chance of recovering from this without it flaring back up to the way it was.  He is nervous about Chris flying to San Antonio next week and will be sending him with extra antibiotics.  He did say that it appears to be improving visually, at least.  The orthopedic surgeon said that it looks worse and said that Chris should be getting IV antibiotics.  SO... as his wife, I believe that it visually looks better.  He is still in a great amount of pain, though.  So internally, it's not improving.  In the morning, a radiologist is going to draw more fluid from his elbow and hopefully they will be able to get something, anything to give insight to what this is.    A huge plus with having to go to San Antonio next week is that he will be stateside and will be able to get help in the states if it flares back up.  

Griffin had an ENT appt today to evaluate his ears.  We are going to do one more hearing test on the 7th to see if the Zyrtec is helping the fluid in his ears.  His ear canals are so tiny that the doctor couldn't see deep into his ears at all.  So they said that he will more than likely need ear tubes and that this will be more in depth than a typical 3 year child because they will have to dilate his ears and probably do it under general anesthesia due to him having Ds.  

We had a GREAT time trick or treating last night!  Once we are able to get the pictures off of the camera I will post them for y'all to see!  

It's been a super long day so we are going to hit the hay!  Chris has to be at the hospital bright and early.

More tomorrow!!  (Hang in there with me, I'll get better at posting once I am somewhat back on a schedule again!)