Showing posts with label Family Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family Life. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Old Friends....

"Spending time with old friends is good for the soul."

Old best friends are like magic. You may not see them for months or even years, yet when you meet, it seems like yesterday that you were having a good chat and drinking tea! 

Old friends remind you of parts of yourself that you might have forgotten about. Even if you have changed a lot since that time, you will be reminded of the path that it took to get you where you are. Those memories are treasures.

Old friends allow you to skip the small talk and go deep. There’s nothing like picking up right where you left off; that’s the beauty of connecting with an old friend. You can cover so much ground in such a short time because the foundation has been laid.

Old friends make you feel loved and secure. There is a depth of connection between old friends that wraps around you like a warm blanket. You feel known, and safe. Few words are needed, because they understand you– your heart, and how you process things. 

Old friends refresh you - not stress you! They are the ones you can be yourself with, and if your house is a mess or your food flops, they don't mind at all. Old friends are the ones you invite back again and genuinely enjoy it went they come! 

If you’ve ever had a really good friend (and if you have you are blessed) then you know what I’m talking about. True friendship is unique, and enduring.

So to all of you — call that old friend! Send her a text, write an email, book a flight, or plan a trip. Don’t put off connecting with your old friends! You need it more than you even realize!


My friend Suzie and I at my wedding in 2005 -it was taken at the end of a long day and the picture isn't the best, but it's the only photo I have of us together.
Thank you Suzie for being my friend. I love our talks and spending time together!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Three Ideas to Minimize

Today, I'd like to give you three Ideas to minimize stuff you don't need. Many people often think that getting rid of clutter is a long, hard process, but in fact it is simple.

1. Look around your home and see what items you would take with you in the event of a hurricane, flood, tornado etc... I bet there's not a super large amount that would make the cut.... I did this a few months ago and realized there's not a lot of stuff that means a lot to me. So, now you know what items you treasure.... 

2. Next add in the items that you need. For example sheets, towels, dishes, toilet brush, lawn mower, broom, toilet paper, clothes.... these are the items I'm talking about. Everyone knows you need these items, but most of us own way too many. For example two towels for each person and 2 sheet sets per bed are plenty. 

Dishes.... do you really need and use all that you have? For years I have collected a Chutney Corelle dish set, which I still use and love, but many items in my set I did not use - I only had them because they matched.... needless to say I got rid of some of my prized dishes and don't miss them at all.

Clothes.... I mean do you even like or wear half of them? I have gotten rid of lots of bags of clothes and I'm finding that the ones I have now, I actually like, wear, and feel great in them. Another added bonus is that I love opening my closet and admiring the extra space.

3. What things make you happy? Keep those things. I put decorations, curtains, live plants, throw pillows, picture albums, etc. into this category. While I have never liked or had a cluttered house, I do love a well decorated cozy home..... my decor makes me happy... No, I don't have a lot, but the items I do have are on display and I love the way my home looks, and the peace I feel every time I walk in  the door.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Kids Need Love

Watching love comes softly movies. I'm amazed at how the family's heritage not only passes down though the generations, but how the family dynamic changes. How family isn't always blood, and how you can always grow to love someone, given time. I love how the grandpa tells Belinda in Love's Unending Legacy that they are not there to replace any other grandparents, but that they believe that a child can never have too many people love them.


Here's the Love comes softly family tree:


Clark Davis  
 + Marti Clarridge 
             - Son Arnie Davis
      + Aaron Clarridge
             - Son Aaron Clarridge Davis
 + Ellen Barlow Davis 

             -  Daughter Missy Davis LaHaye Tyler
                                 + Willy LaHaye 
                                        - Adopted Son Jeff Huff LaHaye
                                        - Son Mattie LaHaye  
                                        - Daughter Kathy LaHaye
                                 + Zac Tyler
                                        - Adopted Son Jacob Marshell LaHaye Tyler
                                        - Adopted Daughter Belinda Marshell LaHaye Tyler 
                                                                        Drew Simpson
                                                                             - Adopted Daughter Lilian Simpson Owens                                                                          + Lee Owens
                                                                             - Expecting Baby Owens

In four generations of the same family, there are 50 bloodlines. (To put that in perspective there are only 9 bloodlines in a 4 generation family that has no 2nd marriages or adoptions.)

Life back then was hard. Burying your loved ones young, was a way of life that left widows, widowers, and orphan children.

Today, mixed family's are caused by divorce, drugs, alcohol, abuse, random sex with no commitment, and rape. But, I believe the same principles back then apply to life today. Family doesn't always mean blood... Family is who you choose it to be.

Kids need love, and people to care for them. It shouldn't matter who that person is..... in this world of hurt that we live in. Kids need all the love they can get. It's time to put our differences behind us and put the well being of our kids first.

Why is it that a lot of divorced parents try to keep the kids from seeing the non custody side of the family? You know, I used to be one of those people..... but, I've learned a lot the last 15 yrs. 

As a previously divorced mom, I wish now, that I'd have done things differently... I took grandparents, aunts and a biological dad away from my kid because I was afraid of the unknown, and because I thought my kid was better off with me. Don't get me wrong - I know she was/is better off with me - but looking back I deprived my kid of even more love - and for that I will always feel guilty.

I had full custody of my daughter. Her birth father never asked for visitation. Once he was out of our life, he remarried, than a year later, I remarried. I wanted to keep my little girl safe. I became over protective. I never again took her to see her birth fathers side of the family. I thought I was doing the right thing. WRONG! - Kids need all the love they can get.

Now, to be clear my ex husband's side of the family smokes, drinks, and don't fit in with how I choose to live my life. However, they are not bad people. You see my daughter could have grown up knowing a wonderful caring grandpa, a step grandma, and two fun aunts who would have loved and doted on her. Instead, I kept my daughter to myself. Never once thinking that I was destroying her chances at having more love in her life.

Is her life ruined? No. I remarried when my daughter was 4 yrs old. She has a wonderful dad who adopted her when she was five. She gained a set of grandparents and 5 great grandparents, lots of great aunts and uncles and other extended family. She is thriving. She is an artist, violinist, pianist, guitarist, and a gifted writer. I know that I did the best I could for her.... I just wish I could have opened my eyes to letting more people love her.

kids just need to be loved... it shouldn't matter who does the loving....

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Getting Healthy - Part 2

Continued from Getting Healthy - Part 1....

..... So, last year, hubby and I really started searching for options. We knew that to make a lifestyle change as big as I needed - I would need the best tools to help me succeed. In October 2016, I attended a health seminar and started meeting with a dietitian monthly.

Over the next few months, I continued meeting with my dietitian, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas we didn't do awholelotta changing. I did manage to lose 10 lb. through - the monthly visits with the dietitian helped to keep me accountable. We decided to start 2017 out fresh with a lifestyle change, not just for me but for our whole family!

Well, that was the plan.... life had other ideas. 

You see, I have multiple autoimmune disorders. The last couple months I had been seeing a different specialist for other ongoing health problems. That Doctor set a surgery date for March. The surgery, although it was out patient, set me back quite a bit.


During this time, I had lots of testing done regarding other health issues and another doctor set yet another surgery date for May. My plan was altered. I was still seeing my dietitian and during that time lost another 10 lbs. But was kinda in limbo waiting for the next surgery, which would be a big one.

The day before my scheduled surgery - it was cancelled - partly because of a paper work mix up and partly because of another auto immune disease that they found in my pre-opt testing blood work. They wanted me to see yet another specialist and more testing before they would go through with my scheduled surgery.....  this actually turned into a blessing, because 3 days later, my son was emitted to the hospital for emergency brain surgery.... He was in the hospital for 5 weeks.... and home with transfusions for another 3 weeks.

During that time, I saw a new specialist and another doctor who (although I do have yet another auto immune disease), she signed off on me going ahead with my original surgery....

My surgery was on August 2nd. I was in the hospital for 4 days - ended up having complications and a second emergency surgery 12 hours after the first one, on a liquid diet and didn't have strength to exercise, so I just mainly walked.

 The surgery was hard, both mentally and physically, and it did set my lifestyle change back by about 8 extra months, but it was actually a blessing. As a result, I lost another 20#'s and also started eating healthier! 


The best part about having the last major surgery was that it was a success and many of my health problems are no longer a problem!

So, in August, I really hit my lifestyle change hard! 

The main changes have been: 

  • Portion control - instead of eating 5 cookies, I eat and enjoy one and no more. 
  • Eating high protein foods first. I supplement with Shaklee protein when I need extra.
  • Eating low-carb. I still eat carbs - I just try to be aware of how many I eat.
  • Taking high quality whole food supplements - believe me, I've done the research, there is nothing better out there with the science to back it up! I've taken Shaklee supplements off and on for over 7 years. But I now am consistent with taking my food supplements and have noticed a big difference.
  •  I do regular activities with my hubby and kids - like riding bike, playing 4 square, and walks. 
  • And I continue seeing my dietitian...not as much as I did previously, but it helps keep me accountable, and she helps me find ways to change my negative eating habits into healthy ones.
Since I started seeing my dietitian and consistently taking my Shaklee, eating a high protein diet and exercising, I have lost a total of 54 lbs since October 2016. I started at 240 lb. and a size 22/24, and a BMI of 45.9. I am now 186 lbs. and wear a size 16/18.



I've still got a long way to go - but with Gods help, this is a lifestyle journey that I want to continue... not just for me but for my family as well. 
My goal is not to be skinny or to be a certain size. My goal is to be healthy, happy!

To be continued......

Read Getting Healthy - Part 1 here

Note: We have chosen NOT to discuss or to explain my surgeries with anyone, as in the past, discussing my health has caused unnecessary drama. I, Rhoda do suffer from multiple auto-immune disorders, cancer, and chronic stress. The doctor said without this surgery, I would only have a 3% chance at going on to live a healthier life style, so for me and my family's sake, this has been the right thing to do. We will not apologize for not explaining!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why I Didn't Rebel - Book Review

Why I Didn't Rebel
By Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach

I have followed Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog To Love Honor and Vacuum for years now, so when I found out her daughter Rebecca was writing a book, I knew I wanted to read it.

 I love this book. I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is to communicate and teach your kids respect, and right from wrong, when they are young. I feel that the ideas in this book are how we are trying to raise our kids. My oldest daughter, Faith, is 16 yrs old, and although she has made a few mistakes, she is a great kid and I'm really proud to be her mom. She also read the book, so I thought I'd include her take on it too:
"The methods that Rebecca describes in her book as having been raised by are roughly the same as those of my own childhood (minus the hot-tub... for that, I'm a bit jealous). I feel that my parents are doing a great job raising my siblings and I, and I'm very grateful for the close relationship I share with them. I think one of the biggest things that parents need to understand is that we're not always going to make the right choices. We need a solid foundation to lean on when we do make mistakes. To trust that we have people who can help us grow from them and have a safe place to express our thoughts and feelings is what we're really after, and I think Rebecca did a really great job explaining that."
I received this book free from the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bridal Shower Lingerie and Paint Party


My sister Marla found her man!!! Don't they make a cute couple?!?!

Photo credit: Alicia Magnus

I wanted to have a small intimate lingerie bridal shower for my sister. Since she lives in Montana, we don't get to see her often. The guest list was small, just mom, sisters, sister in laws, and her two oldest nieces (4 ppl could not make it). I didn't want to have the normal 'how well do you know the bride' games, so this is what I came up with instead...

The theme was "In His Time"....

"Take Time to Date"
When guests first arrived... They could write down date ideas on wide pop cycles sticks and place them in the "Date Jar".


"Take Time to Play"
We started the evening by playing games.
The first, involved each guest, and the bride to be making a veil out of toilet paper. They had 5 min. and we're judged at the end. 




Next involved a bottle of sparkling grape juice and a garter. Each guest took turns trying to toss the garter on the bottle. The bride got to keep the garter (and if she wasn't flying back to Montana with limited luggage space, I would have also given her the bottle.)


Next was a fun "Panty Poem"
I read the poem as someone held up each pair of panties and then gave them to the bride.


Opening gifts came next.... 
PS. plastic wrap is always appropriate at a lingerie shower...


"A Time to Eat"
I decorated the table with gold dollies, rings, rose petals, pearls, a clock (which was gifted to the bride), flowers, and a sign that said: "God makes all things beautiful in His time".


The food was simple...
Taco salad (which I forgot to put tomatoes in it!)
Cornmeal rolls
Buckeyes
Cheesecake
Wedding punch


"A Time to Listen"
We all filled out advice prompt cards and the bride read them out loud, while we guessed who wrote each one.

"A Time to Create"
I wanted an activity we could do together, so that we could talk and have a good time.... so, we all painted a canvas. I purchased canvas, brushes, acrylic paints, and sponges. Then set cups of water, a spray bottle of water, paper plates, and paper towels around the table.


We printed off a picture to use as a reference and we all started painting.


 It was relaxing and so much fun!!! It was so cool to see how each person's painting reflected their own personality...




Overall, I think the party turned out great and was exactly what I had anticipated.

How about you? What do you do to make a bridal shower/party special? Tell me in the comments...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Homeschool - Keep it Simple

The best thing I've done when it comes to homeschooling is to ditch the idea that it needs to be like a real school!

 We used to have a school room with charts, maps, desks, set hours and breaks, etc. Then, after 3 years, needed the room as a bedroom (we live in a small house), so we moved the schoolroom to our enclosed back porch. We still used desks and had individual pencil cases, charts, maps, posters, and all the stuff you think you need to have for a school room. We used the back porch as our school room for a couple years, but then turned it into a office for our home business.....

But, I still needed a place for school..... turns out, the best thing I ever did regarding homeschooling was to give it all up. 

I gave up the idea of having to have a class room, desks, charts and posters on the walls, set hours, and every other extra thing most people think you have to have to homeschool - including the complete encyclopedia set!!! I got rid of it all!



 Instead, we Homeschool at our table (or the living room floor)..... I have a shelf in the closet that I keep our books and school supplies and I bought a turn table/carousel that has pencils, pens, makers, erasers, paper clips, coins, counting piggys, glue, tape, sissies, rulers, straws, crayons, colored pencils, index cards, a timer, rubber bands, pencil lead, etc. in it. We sit it on the middle of the table (or floor) and I get the books out of the closet and we have school. 

This one change has made homeschooling so simple!!!! 

When we are done, we put the books/papers and turn table/carousel in the closet. School is done for the day and everything is put away!

I'm telling you this makes school so simple and easy. And I no longer have to buy each child individual pencil boxes, scissors, crayons, pencils, etc., and we don't have bulky desks taking up space. 

We still usually try to have school first thing in the morning, so we are finished by 1 or 1:30 pm, but I am no longer a slave to the clock.

My oldest graduated this past spring and her last two years were done on the computer in my office. Our house is open concept design, so the office is right next to the table. 

Note: I bought my carousel at Micheals Craft Store, but the one I have is no longer available.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Around our place 2017 - meet our goats

We've had Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats for over 6 years now and I still love them as much now as I did when we first got them. 



Some of the reasons I love Nigerian dwarf goats are:

  • They are small - only weighing in around 30 - 45 lbs. full grown - I can pick them up myself.
  • They are not overly rambunctious. They are not hard on pasture or fences.
  • They get along well with most animals and humans.
  • Their manure is great in flower beds and gardens.
  • They don't need a lot of space.
  • They do not eat nearly as much as a full sized goat. We only need approximately 25 bales of good high quality hay for 4-5 full size goats for all winter.
  • Their milk is mild and creamy... I love using it in baking and cooking with it. The kids love to drink it.
  • They have a great temperament! They are great with people of all ages. They are super friendly and love human interaction.
  • The baby's are so little and so much fun to watch.

Our small herd has changed over the years.... so I thought I'd do an update. Last year, we took out our big pasture fence and fenced in a smaller pasture which meant selling more of our goats. 

We are trying to downsize somewhat and make things more manageable around here.

We have had 11 babies born since we first started. We only breed our goats every 2 years, as we want them to have a break in between babies and milking.

Right now, we have Jelly Bean (10 yrs.) She throws some of the pettiest baby's, but so far most of them have been boys, so I'm hoping for a beautiful girl from her this next spring!



Flipper (4 yrs.) is a great milker. PS. If you have goats - give them a toy to play with - they love this spool!



Baby (3yrs.) Is the most friendly one out of the bunch and her first baby Pixie was beautiful....



Pixie (2 yrs.) - this year will be our first year breeding her.



And our newest little guy Buckle (6 mo.) Who we will be breeding all the girls too this fall.



My oldest daughter does all the milking these days. We only milk once a day and then let the baby's back with the moms - you can read more here.

We love the fresh taste of the Nigerians milk. We milk on ice and do not keep bucks while we are milking, as bucks can taint the taste of the milk. 

I am still using the awesome goat stand my hubby built for me back in 2008 - it's also great for trimming the goats hooves and for brushing the goats out.

We still use Shaklee Basic H Classic to worm our goats and have never had a problem.

We only feed our goats grain/feed when they are pregnant, nursing, or we are milking them. All other times, they have pasture and hay, mineral block and clean water available to them. 

When it comes to feed, our goats get only the best - I like to mix my own goat feed. We use cleaned oats, 12% sweet feed, black sunflower seeds, and sometimes I will sprinkle Shaklee protein on top for them. 

I offer baking powder free-choice to my goats. Baking soda keeps the PH level in the rumen consistent. It has also been stated that baking soda can help with stabilizing a goat’s urine acidity.

When we clean out the barn (we use the goat manure in our flower beds and garden.) - we always put DE down and then put down wood chips. I clean out the water buckets with Shaklee Basic H and Basic G (here's a great post about Basic G and how it works better than bleach) at the same time. I love the smell of a clean barn! 

We also have chickens and run them in the same pasture as the goats.


So, yes, I still love my Nigerian dwarf dairy goats.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Emergency Brain Surgery

I knew my son, QW had not been feeling well.... he had been complaining of headaches that last week, but I didn't really think too much about them, figuring, it would pass. Then he started having a fever - not super high, but enough for me to worry. After a few days, he wasn't eating.... We knew something was wrong.


I took him to the med express center. They ran a throat culture, and tested him for the flu and strep - all came back negative, but they said that sometimes the strep test can be wrong, so they sent us home with antibiotics saying it was probably strep. 

The next two days, QW kept getting worse. I finally took him to the Emergency Room on Sunday, May 28th. They did blood tests and took a CT scan and said that he had acute sinusitis (a bad sinus infection that was deep in the air pockets of his face) and sent us home with a stronger antibiotic.

Memorial Day, May 29th, QW seemed better - he ate lunch and walked outside.... we thought he was feeling better. In the afternoon, he became non verbal for 10 min., so I had him lay down and rest, and when he got up - he seemed just fine. Later that night, I went back to his room to check on him and he was lying on his bed, his hands crossed over his chest, his eyes moving, but he was unable to respond on follow any commands. After 15 minutes of trying to get him to respond to me, I was so scared. I woke up the hubby and had him carry QW to the car, and I drove him to the emergency room.

It was a long night/morning. They ran lots of tests, blood work, and took another CT scan. Wyatt was nonverbal the entire time (for over 9 hours.) They finally discovered a spot on his brain and told us that they would transport him to the Children's Hospital in Indy for treatment.

We waited over 3 hours for the emergency ambulance to come get us for transport.

When we got to the ER at the children's hospital, there were doctors, and nurses everywhere. We knew it was much worse than what they told us back at the other hospital. They took QW back for an MRI and as soon as it was over, started prepping him for surgery. Stephen and I were in a daze. I remember the surgeon trying to explain to us the procedure, but all I remember thinking was how did my son go from a perfectly healthy boy to needing emergency brain surgery?!?! It seemed like a dream... a dream I was waiting to wake up from, but it never happened.

May 30th - They took QW back to surgery at 11:00 am. We were told it would be a 3-4 hr. surgery. It wasn't. He had two different teams of surgeons working on him. 

QW had a Subdural empyaema from bacterial or fungal infection that spread to the subdural space due to having chronic sinusitis. He had no symptoms of a sinus infection. 

The Brain Surgeon and her team had to do a Craniectomy. Which originally they were only planing on cutting out a forth of his skull, but since the brain was swollen so much (it was actually hard to the touch) and was under so much pressure, they removed almost one half of his skull. The surgeon removed as much as the infection she could and also had to repair (graph) the dura, as the swelling from the brain had ripped a hole in it. She also placed a EVD to drain off SPF and a JP drain. 

After that, a new team of doctors and surgeons did endoscopic sinus surgery.

We were told at 8 pm that surgery was over and they were moving him to ICU. The next 2 hours were pure torture for me! I kept calling to see why I couldn't go back to see my son. At 10 pm. we finally were able to see QW. 

He was on so many machines and tubes going everywhere. But I was so relieved to see him, feel him, and to know that he was alive, and that I could be with him. I didn't cry. The relief I felt was amazing! 

      

May 31st - Today's picture.... 

They tried waking QW up today, but he wasn't waking up, so they stopped all the sedation. He has a higher temp now, so they just put him on a cooling blanket, poor kid, he just shivers and shakes. I've been ok, as long as he doesn't start crying, then I start crying too. You can't hear him cry, but he shakes and tears just roll down his checks. I have never felt so helpless in my life.Stephen and I went for a walk and got a salad for lunch. It was hard leaving him, but good to get out of the room a bit. 

The breathing tube came out tonight. He is in ICU. He is fighting a fever, and having more pain, but he is following directions. He opens his eyes and follows commands alittle, but mostly is still asleep


June 1st - Things are about the same with QW. He had his first sip of water tonight. Right now, they just want to keep him resting. The surgeon said that with this surgery the mortality rate is high and most kids don't do nearly as good as he is doing, so we are very thankful for that. He is saying single words with some coaxing. His sisters came to visit today and he got a furry friend to have in bed....he looks so much better now that the breathing tube is out.... 


June 2nd. - QW had a relapse this morning and became nonverbal and unresponsive again for 4 hours. He is still in ICU and being monitored closely. The doctors say that the infection on the brain was so severe that him going backwards is to be expected.....


This morning was rough... but he's doing much better this afternoon. He got the bandage and a lot of wires off of his head today. I think he looks great! The doctors reminded us that his condition is still very serious. Tonight he's hanging out with Mom, watching a movie!


June 3rd. - Stephen went down to get supper and when he got back QW said "Dad, I miss you", (it's the only words he's said today) - so tonight he's hanging out with dad... he has had a good day today. Got a different room, still in ICU.


June 4th - QW had a good day today. He still isn't eating much, but he did really good with therapy and played thumb wrestling with his dad... I love his face in this picture!



June 8th - QW's doing ok... we have good hours and bad hours. His brain fluid is still not evening out, so not sure if he'll get a permanent drain/shunt or not.... we are kinda just playing a waiting game.... they did take him off of ICU status and put him on med-surg., but he's still in the ICU unit and still has a nurse sitting in the room with him 24/7. There hasn't been much change the last couple days....


June 10th - QW is about the same. Mornings are rough as his medications give him an upset stomach. Afternoons are usually much better when they get him up in the chair. The hospital brings Lego's and toys that he can put together and that helps. He gets physical, speech, and occupational therapy everyday, along with all his different teams of doctors making their rounds, so by evening he is tired. 

Tonight the girls and I got a hotel, while Stephen stays with Wyatt... it's my first time away from the hospital in 12 days. He still has a nurse in his room 24/7. They started raising Wyatt's EVD yesterday evening...1 centimeter every 6 hrs. The hope is maybe early next week to take head scans and send the brain fluid from the EVD to be tested and maybe take out both of his drains next week, but the one thing I've learned is that you can't plan on anything here....

PS. He was pretty excited with the candy bouquet he received today from a kind lady we've never met that works with his G'pa K.


June 12th - They put QW to sleep this afternoon for an MRI and then the neuro surgeons took out both the EVD and JP drains. They also drained more cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) off his brain. He had a rough time waking up from the anesthesia and was in a lot of pain - more than any other time since we've been here. The doctor said that the JP drain went the whole length of his incision, so it is quite painful. They put him back on morphine today along with his antibiotics, IV's, and reg pain meds. He also has a fever again tonight, so they are keeping an eye on that. 
We are still waiting to hear back from the infectious disease doctors on the MRI results and how much infection is still on the brain and when he can have the next surgery to get his left scalp (bone flap) put back in.


June 16 - This past week was a rough one. There was alot of pain, tests, and tears, but today was a great day! OT took him down to the kids zone to play air hockey. Then this evening I was allowed to put him in a wheel chair and go downstairs for supper and a stroll... today's the first time he's been out of the unit! He also got to wear his own shorts today!


June 18th - After 21 days.... I came home last night! Stephen stayed overnight with QW. There are weeds 2 ft high in my flowerbeds, but it felt great to be home for a night... even if it was short. QW has been tired the last couple days, but his pain is much better, so we are thankful for that.


June 22nd - QW has a lot of therapy through out the day, so he still gets tired easily, but he's been doing really good. His next surgery is scheduled for June 30th to put the bone flap in and if everything goes good, we hope to go home on July 3rd...... of course that all depends on the next MRI and the Infectious Disease Team signing off on the surgery and discharge. 


We were told today that he won't be able to ride his bike or ATV, or jump on the trampoline, etc., for 2-3 months after we get home, so it looks like it may be a long summer for him not being able to do much, but for now I will just be happy that hopefully in two more weeks we'll be home for the 4th of July!


June 23rd - Stephen and the girls come down to be with QW and I every Tuesday and Thursday evening and on the weekends. Playing in the Kids Zone as a family helps to pass some of the time.


June 25th - QW is worse today. He didn't go to sleep until after 5 am this morning. He has been using the incentive spirometer 10xs every hour and are having him walk more, but it seems to keep getting worse. So far, it's been alot of tears yesterday and today....

June 26th - QW has been about the same... he had a rough morning and evening with a lot of pain in his chest and side, so they did chest x-rays today. He has atelectasis which is the collapse/closure of his right lung - The RN says QW's atelectasis is just partial and it's because he's not very active or doing anything to use his lungs to their full capacity, like he would at home.


June 27th - Today is 4 weeks since we've been here at Riley Children's Hospital, but I found a place to take QW outside for a few minutes for the first time today.... shh... don't tell the nurses!!! I was a beautiful day in Indy! QW is still having a lot of pain with his collapsed lungs, but we are praying for good MRI results on Thurs., so that surgery can go as planned on Friday.



June 28th - QW's about the same. Still in pain. They started giving him more pain meds during the day, so he's been sleeping alot more. I think alot of it has to do with his attitude, as I think he's mentally just done with being in here and he doesn't even want to try anymore, that, and he's been scared about the next surgery - so we have to keep pushing him to get up, walk, and breath, which gets rather exhausting for me.


June 29th - We have been asked why QW has to go home on antibiotics after being on them for 4 weeks..... here is the short answer: The doctor says that we (not medically minded people)  really don't understand how bad his infection was and that if a drop remains attached to his brain and grows, he could have to have surgery all over again or he could die from it. She said we should be very thankful that he's doing so good and that he can go home this early, because most kids as bad off as he came in do not do as good as he's been doing. 

QW had another MRI this morning. His side is still in alot of pain. His legs have been to weak/shaky to walk yet, it took two nurses and me to get him out of bed. 

June 30th - Today is QW's second surgery. We went down to the 'green room' to help pass the time. The bean bag chairs vibrate to the sound of music. Everyone enjoyed relaxing for a bit. 


 They took QW back for surgery at 4:45 pm. The surgery took longer than they had originally told us. Wyatt just got out of surgery at 10 pm - it was a little over 5 hrs. There were a few minor complications, they had to drain extra fluid, and shave off a layer of his skull, and they are worried about his lungs and oxygen levels, but as of now the bone flap is in. 

  

He is getting breathing treatments every four hours and is still on oxygen. The Dr. said one in every ten surgeries they have to go back and take the bone flap back out due to new infection so we are hoping everything will be fine. 


   

July 1st - QW is doing good today. This afternoon he started breathing on his own. He is still getting breathing treatments and he is in a lot of pain. His left eye is almost completely swollen shut, but he's up walking with help and eating and talking good. 

We are waiting to hear from pulmonary about his lungs/chest pictures, but if they give the okay, the plan is to go home soon. He will go home with his PICC line and on antibiotic IV's, so they are suppose to come train Stephen and I how to give them, change the dressing, flush the IV's, etc. Of course all this is subject to change.... and we won't know for sure until we get the chest results from radiology and see if they can wean him off of the morphine.

    

QW got a picture with his surgeon Dr. Smith today. She is the best of the best! We are beyond blessed that she took such great care of QW. She would come by just about everyday to check on him and answer our many questions. How do you thank someone who saved your child's life?


July 2nd - Enjoying the beautiful weather.... and wearing normal clothes!


July 3rd - Today, I had to tell another little kid that I came to love on QW's unit goodbye.... but.... 

After 5 weeks at Riley - QW came home today! It feels so good to be home! Now we are just trying to adjust to a new normal that revolves around daily infusions, doctors appointments, and trips back and forth to Riley. QW came home with his PICC line and we have to administer IV's throughout the day and night. A home health nurse comes to the house weekly to do his dressing changes.


July 4th - Sitting here giving QW his 5 AM infusion..... it feels great to be home, but exhausting as well... I've gotten 3 hrs of sleep. Our life will revolve around infusions, tubing, syringes, pumps, flushes, and treatments for the next few months....


July 11th - QW is doing good! We've been home for a week now! He gets infusions every 6 hours. His G'pa F. brought him a pedal car to ride since he can't ride his bike or ATV. Wyatt loves being outside again! As great as it is to be home.... Stephen and I are exhausted and sleep deprived, but we are starting to adjust to a new normal.


July 13th - Daily (and nightly) life at our house...... 14 years ago I signed up to take CNA classes, but I didn't even make it through orientation.... nursing just wasn't my thing.... who knew years later, I'd be giving infusions every few hours, working with a PICC line and caring for my son who had brain surgery. - My hubby rigged up an IV pole by using bag clips and the lamp shade.... it's working like a charm!


July 25th - Spent all day in Indy at the hospital with QW today. His MRI came back good, so good that they took out his PICC line today (he's had it for 8 weeks.) which means we can stop doing infusions around the clock..... and he didn't have any trouble with the anesthesia this time. We are so thankful he's doing so good.... 


If you have said a prayer, sent a card, gave a gift, brought a meal, came to visit, supported our business, or blessed our life in some way over the last few months.... We want you to know that we appreciate you. Thank you!

NOTE: QW will go back for more testing in December to make sure the infection has not returned. He is currently on anti seizure medication. He is doing great and is getting back to normal!

The Best of 2016

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