Sunday, February 26, 2012

Already There

Today has been a difficult day. No wait - that doesn't do it justice. Painfully difficult. So painful. The kind of day when you don't think you are going to make it to the other side...and then you decide that maybe that would be a blessing.

To comfort myself, I sought out some music. This is one that I have been playing over and over and over. If only we could peek at the end of our lives to see how it all turns out. Then maybe, just maybe, we could relax more in the here and now.

Already There
by Casting Crowns

From where I'm standing
Lord it's so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You're leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are gonna play out
In a world I can't control

When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Surgery Time....Again

Yes. You read that right. Apparently this is the time of year that the words "Surgery" and "Casey" rear it's ugly head. Though honestly? I'm hoping this year will be it and the trend will be broken. All in favor? week I am checking in for surgery to correct a rather nasty hiatal hernia, which has been the culprit on my reflux issues over the past 2+ years.

Last May, following my first surgery for an unrelated problem, my reflux went nuts and the upshot was I went from 20mg of Prilosec twice a day to 40mg twice a day while still having issues - and plenty of them. In December, I went in for an upper endoscopy and that is when the hernia was discovered. As well as benign stomach polyps and gastritis which are side effects of high dose proton pump inhibitors (ppi). Since I was topped out on the meds and still not controlling symptoms, the next stop was the surgeon.

I am a prime candidate and.......I should have been in a year ago, so said the surgeon, based on my test results. Oops.

Yeah yeah. Pain is a daily thing in my world and I get too good at ignoring it. My bad.

Sooooo....the date is quickly approaching. The surgery doesn't sound like all that much fun. Ok - well, I will sleep through the almost 3 hour surgery but the recovery doesn't sound like fun.

I was informed I needed to find someone to care for the children for the first 5 days and I am to be "down and out". Strict liquid diet for two weeks. Thankfully, Dakota will be taking care of the children for the first days. Then for two to three weeks after that, I'm still on a "limited activity and lots of rest" order. After the first two weeks, I will graduate to a modified liquid diet and slowly go from there. It will take approximately 4 months of "internal healing and relearning to swallow properly" time.

Sounds like fun, right?

Yep. Can't wait. *sigh*

Though waiting is truly the worst part. It gives my stress and anxiety too much time to torture me. Sleep has all but stopped and I have turned into an emotional wreck with a very loose trigger. It's also tough because, the Monday following surgery is book fair time at the school and I am not allowed to work it. At all. I've been busting my butt for the past month getting everything ready and I don't get to have the fun part. Sucks. But....that's life. No one ever said it would be easy, right?

The good part is, once this is done and healed...I will be off all the medications and maybe my stomach will stop hurting so much. And the constant pain from it all will be gone. That's what I'm trying to focus on.

Fun times. Oh yes....definitely fun times.

Jackson Hewitt Commercials

Have you seen the Jackson Hewitt commercials with the song "This is how we do it"? I swear to you, every child on the playground knows the song AND the dance moves. I'm telling you, the JH people struck gold when they locked in their advertising team.

Every time I pass one of their signs, my two start singing at the top of their lungs and, if they aren't strapped into their seat belts, will start busting a move. It's pretty funny. :) (edited to say: In the car, they are always in their seatbelts but JH has pop up centers in malls and places like WalMart.)

I'm guessing it also strikes fear in the hearts of many people who need to gather their tax documents and go into one of these places but for me, it's mostly just funny. Funnier still is the fact that this commercials are playing on the Nick TV stations. Yep - those ad execs must know that parents are often held captive by their children's viewing preferences. I can be cooking dinner and I will hear the strains of "This is how we do it" waft in from the other room.

I wonder if it brings up interest in cpa affiliate program for those who have a desire to help people with crunching their numbers and whatnot. Now personally, I have no desire to be a CPA but that is mainly because I kinda bite at math. I do know a few CPA's and they love their careers. More power to them, I say. Goodness knows I need people who are good with numbers in the world. :)

Anyway - if you haven't been blessed with seeing the commercial, I'm betting you can search for it on YouTube. It is kinda funny...and then you can join me in singing the song every time you pass a sign. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Author in the Making?

So - the big news around here this last week is that the chapter I wrote for a book on parenting has been accepted by the main author, who had solicited me, and by the publishing company.

I know. Crazy, right?

Thanks to Kaylen, I had plenty of first-hand experience to share regarding a child with sensory , stress, and anxiety issues. So thank you, Kaylen. :)

The main author of the book has apparently been a long time reader of my blog and when she began working on her parenting book back in the fall, she contacted me to see if I would be interested in sharing, in a short chapter, my experience. I hemmed and hawed, asked a ton of questions, mulled it over and finally decided to just go for it. If it sucked, that would be that and life would go on. If it was liked, that would be that and life would go on.

It was liked. Apparently a lot. And now I have been asked to consider penning my own book. Not sure about that one but I have played with the idea. Friends have been encouraging because apparently my writing style grabs people. *shrug* I don't know. Time will tell.

The funny thing is, I don't consider myself a "writer" by any standard. I just sit down and let the words and stories spin themselves. I don't think it would be as fun if it were forced. But then again, it just might be another way to make money (though certainly not fast and easy). There is no denying though, a Morgan silver dollar here and there are bound to add up.

It's been interesting - being sought out and talked with and then listening to my friends all say "I always thought you should write a book. You have a great writing style!" I have to say that it honestly has caught me off guard. It's kind of messing with my self view....while opening up new possibilities.

Nothing is constant but change, right?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

February 9th

Seven years ago today I was shopping at Babies R Us, using gift cards I had received as shower gifts to buy all the last minute items for my baby girl who was due to arrive the next day. I was HUGE! Bigger than I was with I was pregnant with Kelton and so much more uncomfortable. The last month of her pregnancy was a challenge at times.

I couldn't wait to meet my daughter and hold her in my arms.

Last year, on this very date, I almost lost my daughter to a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic she had started earlier in the day. There were moments in the ER when I wondered if I would have my baby taken from my arms. She was so small and helpless.

I think I've been holding my breath this week a little bit when it came to Kaylen. I have never had an uneventful birthday with this child. Her first birthday she was very, very sick with influenza and, only the month before, had stopped breathing for the first (of many) times.

Her second, third, fourth and fifth birthday were all marked by her being sick - usually including vomiting but always a fever.

So far, so good for this year. Except for a cough she developed this past week. (And now I wonder if I just jinxed it.)

Tomorrow my baby girl turns seven. SEVEN. I find it amazing - considering how many times this child has tried to leave this world (including the day she was born and refused to breath), I am so very, very grateful for tomorrow. Seven trips around the sun. I am such a lucky mommy to have her.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Blessing of Friends

Another amazing friend came through for me in a BIG way today. When the guys were here to deliver and set up the new washer and dryer, I learned that my outlet was a 50amp and dryers are now required to be on 30amps. The plugs are a different shape and if I were just to change the plus itself, it would void the warranty. (Not that I know how to change the plug, mind you.)

After my sheer panic (and tears) subsided (thanks, Stephanie, for grounding me.), I asked a friend if she still had her handyman and if it was something he could do. She text'd back and said her guy had retired. I knew there was no way I could afford to have an electrician come out. The delivery guys assured me it was an easy fix but electricity and me? I'm not a big fan of messing around with it.

I sent a text to a friend of mine who I knew was very handy and asked if it was something she had the know-how to do. Of course it was, came the answer. I sent her a picture of what type of outlet I needed. No problem! After her work day ended, she stopped at Home Depot and picked up the outlet - as well as de-mosser for my roof because we had been talking earlier this week about how much I needed to do something about the moss on my roof.

She arrived. She saw. She did. She changed the plug-y thing, she completed the hook up of the dryer (which included another trip to the hardware store. Bless her buttons!). After that, she helped me get the Christmas decoration boxes into the attic, removed the snowflake from the house that I couldn't remove, and then climbed on the roof and spread the de-mosser stuff. She rocked!

I am in awe over the blessings I have had come my way this week. I have been so completely overwhelmed with my life these past few weeks and I was starting to see the water rising ever closer to my head, threatening to pull me under but this week? This week I have been showered with so much love that I *almost* don't know what to do with it all.

Monday the blessing of friends wanting to help my with a new washer and dryer.

Tuesday I had a medical test that was absolutely no fun and Stephanie was there every step of the way to hold my hand and get me through it. She took care of me for the entire day - which is exactly what I needed. And she will be there for more "no fun" parts in the coming weeks.

Today the blessing of another friend jumping to help - and then she went above and beyond what we talked about her doing.

Makes me wonder what tomorrow will bring.

I am very lucky. Very lucky indeed.

The Post Even I Can't Believe

I am the proud owner of a new washer and dryer set. This time last week, it was the furthest thing from my mind and certainly not a reality I could even entertain. The dryer was squealing because it needed new glides (and a new drum, I was told last time they repaired it, but I was going to just have new glides put on because a new drum was almost as much as a new dryer) but I was dealing with the noise because I didn't want to incur the cost right now.

Then Saturday, the washer made a terrible, horrible noise and just like that, it was down for the count. No draining or spinning would it do and it had a whole lot of water sitting in it - to mention soaking wet clothes.

It was late in the day but I called the repair place in the hopes of scoring a Monday appointment. I was overwhelmed with the thought of what it would cost. They told me they could come Tuesday and rattled off mind-numbing numbers. I made the appointment and hung up, feeling very defeated.

Monday afternoon I was on Facebook killing a bit of time before heading over to pick the kids up from their after school activities and a friend of mine pulled me into a chat. This is a longtime friend. She and her partner live across the country and have come out about 4 times to visit over the years. Each visit has left me with some really great memories. They keep up on the kids and me through this blog and when too much time has gone by between postings, they will always send out an email to see if I'm ok. Their emotional support has been invaluable to me over the 14 plus years I've known them (or has it been longer?).

Anyway.....the conversation went a little like this:

Fairy God Mother #1: Hey are you feeling?
Casey: The bronchitis is better, thanks for asking. How are you?
Fairy God Mother #1: We are good. I miss your updates on Naptime Chronicle. How is the dryer doing?
Casey: The washer has joined it. Repair guy should be here tomorrow sometime. I'm sure that bill won't be pretty. :( But having working machines will be nice.
Fairy God Mother #1: time to get a new pair...
Casey: It is. But sadly, that won't be happening. Too much money. (and right here is where I took out some health related stuff that I don't feel like sharing right now) (also took out other general conversation pieces from here)

Fairy God Mother #1: Fairy God Mother #2 says hello and we have talked about sending you some money for the washer and dryer...what do you think
Casey: Ummm.....I don't know what to say.
Fairy God Mother #1: Well if we send you some will you take it?
Casey: This is really, really hard for me......but yes. I would gratefully accept it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (and you just made me get all teary)
Fairy God Mother #1: OK, go see what you want and let us know how much you need
Casey: wait. for a new set? (side note for the blog: I had been thinking a little money to help with the repair cost. A new set was unfathomable to me.)
Fairy God Mother #1: Yep We know it is hard to accept and Fairy God Mother #2 didn't think you would accept, but it is something we would like to do
Casey: Seriously? I'm in shock. Serious shock.
Fairy God Mother #1: Well don't be...just go shopping.... and have some fun. Call and cancel the repair man

(this is where I take out a chunk of conversation but this is where it ends up.)

Casey: This is amazing. THANK YOU.
Fairy God Mother #1: YOU ARE VERY WELCOME! now that is said and we don't need to say it again

The set was delivered this afternoon. It's much bigger than my old one both in overall size and what it can hold. The dryer is supposed to be much more efficient than the old one (the old set was about 15 years old) and it's just so dang fancy. Lights and chimes and......well...I feel like I need to go back to college to get a degree to figure out how to work it. That, and I need a step stool because my short legs make it difficult to reach the dryer controls. As long as I am wearing my Dansko's, I can reach it well enough. :) Oh but how I love it! I've walked by it a zillion times just to admire it. I am actually looking forward to doing laundry. :)

So to my Fairy God Mothers....THANK YOU!!!! Your love, kindness and generosity go beyond the bounds of what I could ever dream of. You will never, ever know what this means to me. Waaaaay more than clean laundry. Waaaaaay more than simple kindess. Waaaaay more than I could ever say. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I am overwhelmed with your love and generosity.

The old:

The new:

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fine and Dandy

Can I get an Amen on this one??

When people ask how I am, my automatic, and conditioned response, is "Fine. You?"

Take this week, for instance. I'm not fine. I've been as sick as a dog since Friday. So sick that I forced myself into my car Monday morning and headed to the doctor. The medical assistant called my name and asked "How are you today?" "Fine." I say.

FINE???? I backed up a second and said "Actually, pretty cruddy." To which she responded "Yeah - or you wouldn't be here, right? I don't know why everyone always says 'fine'."

The doctor came into the room, after hearing my barking, hacking cough from the room next door. She asks "How are you?" I just stared at her...too exhausted to even come up with "Cruddy."

That's one over the top example of how automatic the response of "I'm fine." is a big, fat lie more times than not. (I have bronchitis, by the way. Feeling human again after an in-office nebulizer treatment, three days (so far) of antibiotics, cough medication and an inhaler.)

But think about it. How many times do you pop off with "I'm fine. You?" when asked how you are. Why do we do that? I heard once that people don't really care how we are. It's a polite inquiry that the person really doesn't even care about. I think that sucks.

A long time ago, someone told me what "FINE" actually stands for.

Fucked Up

So come to think of it.....maybe most of us ARE fine. :)