Friday, May 27, 2011


Today's project was to clear clothing from the armoire in our bedroom.  I cruised on that for what seemed like hours and when K- got home, we rolled on over to her drawers.  Since she is long waisted and has a Buddha baby belly (just some roundness, but not overall pudge), we had to do the Dora the Explorer test. 

Shirt on. 

Arms up. 

If her belly hangs out at all from the bottom, she yells, "DORA!" and it gets flipped into the donation pile. 

Today, we got a lot of DORA! yelled out.  That's okay, because my MIL likes to shop clearances and as part of K-'s Christmas gift, MIL gives her summer clothes that she has purchased months in advance.  I also scored some lovlies off the Target clearance rack and between the two, she's well stocked with clothes for the season.

We've cleared out some old clothing.  It makes me happy.  Now if you'll pardon me, I have some laundry to be folded and put away in the newly cleared drawers. 

Smiles in my day:
-  Being able to go together as a family to see the new swing space we'll be in for the next two years while our new school is being built.  It is rather spacious.  It is the old middle school.  Their new school is nearly done and we'll be moving in over the summer. 
-  Clearing out the old.
-  My green bean seeds didn't rot in the ground as I feared.  They are beginning to pop up their little heads, despite the horrendously high amount of rain that we've had.  As of 6 PM, we had at least 3" of rain in the last 24 hours, plus adding days of rain on top of that.  So glad that they are alive and doing well!
-  Replacing the little snapped tomato plant that I grew with a volunteer from the herb garden bed.  The winds have been so high, that they took a little tomato plant out.  It was beheaded!  Ouch!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bring Eli Home: Sara's testimony before the House Foreign Relations subcommittee

I received this e-mail from Sara this morning.  Though I didn't ask for permission to post it here, Sara is happy to have her story shared by whatever means possible.  I'm sure she'd be okay with it. 

Hello and good morning,

I arrived home last evening after my trip to Washington, D.C. where I was invited to share Eli's story before the House Foreign Relations subcommittee. I had the opportunity to meet with a number of key government representatives to do all I could to get them involved with Eli's case and that of countless other children being wrongfully retained in foreign countries.

[Here] is a link to the full hearing - my bit starts around 1:08, but each testimony is a compelling story of the struggles that so-called 'left-behind parents' face.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

With love,

Sara and Eli, too!

For further details regarding Sara and Eli's journey, click on their photo on the sidebar or see the Bring Abdullah Home (AKA Eli) label on the sidebar.

ETA:  Sara e-mailed me this afternoon saying that yes, I have her permission to post the e-mail she sent.  She wants to get the information out about Eli to everyone that she can.  Feel free to link on.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letting go.

Yesterday, I got a call from my mom.  This isn't an out-of-the-ordinary thing.  The call was while I was at work.  Again, Mom can call about the goofiest things and I need to occasionally (and gently) remind her that I must work and she can catch me on whatever it is later.  Though I couldn't catch the call, I did call her right back.

It was about Grandpa.

Grandpa has been in the hospital with pneumonia and complications as a result since January.  Early January to be exact.  I was called in, in January, because that was predicted to be his last time with us.  We had a great visit, he ate his meal, he asked about Hubs and K- and all seemed to be fairly well. 

That was not Grandpa's time.

The day after my visit in January, my aunt had okay'd Grandpa to have a trach put in.  This was to help him get over the pneumonia and to hopefully have him get past the fact that his lungs kept filling up with fluid. 

Fast forward to now.

The call yesterday was Mom stating that they were going to take Grandpa off life support and that he wanted to see everyone he could before that happened.  I gave Billy a call, we made arrangements for me to pick him up, I worked for an hour longer and left.  (I had to get a display finished.) 

We were able to visit with Grandpa for about an hour and a half.  We had to hazmat-up before we went in.  We were both wearing sexy blue plastic gowns and latex gloves.  I told Grandpa that we wore our best just for him. 

He smiled.

We went on for the next hour and a half struggling to read Grandpa's lips as he told us how he wanted to go, how he was miserable, but laughed (as much as he actually could) about goofy things from childhood, we trouble shooted Billy's issues with getting a proper "stomp" on a ceiling and about how Grandpa worked with my boss on a large wall piece. 

Side note:  Grandpa is a retired plasterer who taught all of us kids the fine art of drywall and drywall finishing.  All of us can hang drywall, patch a hole and now, properly stomp a ceiling. 

We prayed with Grandpa and I prayed God's will for his life.  There's one thing that trumps that, though.

Legal papers.

Grandpa is fully cognitively intact.  His body has failed him.  He is remaining with us only by mechanical means.  At this point, they have drawn fluid off Grandpa's lungs on a regular basis.  That fluid has turned to a pudding-like consistency.  They can no longer remove that.  He has a trach and a breathing machine.  He has fluids going in, including some type of feeding tube in his stomach.  He has means to deal with the output, too. 

Grandpa no longer wants to exist in this condition.

My aunt is the executor of Grandpa's will and the one in charge of all of his papers regarding medical status.  His papers currently state that he is to be kept alive with any means possible. 

That's so unfair.

Grandpa's life is purely quantity.  No quality is left.  To want him to remain in this condition and against his will is completely selfish.  I understand that on one hand, he is fully aware, not skipping a beat in conversation and not confused in any way.  He has, however, not had anything by mouth at all since the time I was there for his last meal in January.  He just kept mouthing, "They won't even let me have water."  I told him that I don't know how his tongue isn't stuck to the roof of his mouth at this point.

So, I go to you o' friends of the internet.  Please continue to pray God's will for Grandpa's life.  He's ready to move on.  Let's pray that those in charge of that decision allow him to do so.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Things learned today.

1.  You cannot brush your teeth while still attempting to keep a cough drop in your mouth.  I tried.  It was impossible.  I stuck the toothbrush in before I remembered that the cough drop was there.  They have basically been 80% of my caloric in-take for the past two weeks.  It just seems natural to keep something in my mouth besides the teeth, tongue and whatnot.

2.  If you have a denim skirt that goes to your knees, it is best to drop from the waist to use the ladies room rather than pull up from the bottom.  To pull from the bottom leaves you with a whole lot of bunching and binding to have to sort out later.

3.  Weather predictions continue to be just that-- predictions.  Armageddon was supposed to arrive around 4 PM.  It's 9:04 PM and it still hasn't arrived.  Grant you, I'm glad for that, but I'm just saying that they don't need to panic the public.

4.  My child, once again, had to be coaxed back into knowing that she is fine and that heat and reflux can be an ugly thing.  We've come up with a heat action plan for this next week and I believe that we won't have to worry about a rinse and repeat episode of Sunday.

5.  I'm always concerned about whether we will have enough cookies for the preschool graduation, but it always works out just fine.  (I'm on the school board at church.) 

Smiles in my day:
-  Getting to the eclairs before all of the dirty kid handies got to them.  Mmmmmm.  Delicious!
-  My husband made me dinner.  It's Macaroni Monday!
-  My husband also texted me about a tornado warning in our county earlier this evening.  Of course, I didn't get it because my phone was on vibrate.  Still, he thought of me!
-  We talked about it this evening and I think that we're going to look into storm spotter training through the National Weather Service.  I think it's a one day deal and my family always calls me to find out what's going on anyhow.  Why not?
-  Hubs is back to running on a regular basis now.  Because he knows I worry about him, he faithfully wears his running vest and lit arm band when he runs.  (He runs at night.)  I like for people to be able to see him.  Those things are years old and he's told me this evening that he thinks he is finally due for a new set.  Fine with me.  He just runs in the development around the corner, but still -- I want him to stay safe!

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

This post brought to you by the letter P.

K- and I were able to stop by the local nursery to use the gift certificate that she and Hubs bought me for Mother's Day.  I bought a beautiful hanging basket, was able to replace some herbs that didn't make it this past winter and some annuals to plant in the beds and to make hanging baskets out of. 

I was able to get hanging baskets handled, pots planted and the herb garden squared away.  I didn't complete hardening off my plants, as I admit I got a little eager to get things into the ground.  I have a geranium that I wintered over that is having some day time shock issues, but the plants are holding up well. 

Saturday was the party for my niece and nephew.  C- turned 10 and L- turned 2.  It turned out to be a swimming party, but I warned K- before we even left that I reserved the right to reject the swimming option if I found it to be too cold.  When it came to it, I had to be that mom.  It was freezing and K- had been coughing.  I told her that she couldn't go in.  She was sad, but we had come with a plan B in place.  I told her that she could sit on the edge and dip toes.  She also brought a super soaker water gun.  The kids weren't in that long, as they were all yelling, "I'm freezing!" when I was doing the water test anyhow.  In the end, my sister's partner turned on the sprinkler, so he helped to make up for the fact that the kids were cold in the water, but it was a hot day. 

The cake that my sister's partner made for their son was out of this world.  He built Harold from Thomas out of cake, fondant, rice krispie treats and some metal structure that he manufactured.  Adding to that, he had a propeller and a prop that were battery powered, so they actually worked.  It really did look just like Harold. 

K- had a birthday party that she went to late this morning.  I know, I know.  I wouldn't normally skip church for a birthday party, but this morning we made an exception.  She had a wonderful time and we were glad that she had the opportunity.  Her friend was able to invite one person to go to his party, and he chose to have K- come along. 

Ah, what would be a major weekend in our lives without that?  It was 87 F, humid and K- had soccer today.  She got very overheated on the field and had to run off and, well, be ill.  Bless her babyson soul.  She was bummed that she got sick.  She really tried to stay in there and only missed out on the last 15 minutes or so.  She remained until the end to get the final hoorah in with the team. 

Potential footwear:
I've been on the hunt for work legal footwear that could be worn with dresses.  I thought that I had found it today.  I flew through DSW today, while on the way back from a birthday party that K- attended.  I found Teva Mush flip flops and a pair of Keen Mary Janes.  The Tevas remain and I've wanted a pair of mush for years.   I brought the Keens home, tried wearing them around and they just are not working for me.  What's sad is that they are exactly what I wanted.  It seemed at first that perhaps a 6 would maybe be better than a 6 1/2, tried to shim them with some insoles and they still don't fit right.  Shoot.  They are rubbing in a few places and seem to be slipping off the back of my foot.  I tried to make them work, but didn't want them to land in the same place that the Skechers from a few years ago did.  (The strip-strappy ones that I paid 40.00 for, seemed all comfortable, then I tried to wear them all day at work.  Eeee-yikes.) 

Pouring cats and dogs:
We're supposed to get another 2 1/2 - 4" of rain this week.  The plants that I was unable to get into the ground have been moved to make sure that they are getting sun, they'll drain (the plants I grew from seed needed to have holes poked in the bottom to give a drainage hole) and make certain that I had the two flats to plant off the back porch so we won't be tripping over them all week.

Why yes, it is still rather high. 

Pooped out:
As in tired.  I'm out.

Smiles in my weekend:
-  Sprinkled in above.