Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Art Journals Initials

I had such big plans for our Summer Art Journals but then my little hospital trip sort of derailed our artistic fun.

However, we are back in business now!

For this project, we used painters tape, our art journals, and water color paints. Nothing special, just the kind like this.

I only mention that because I want people to realize you can do art without anything fancy! No need to visit an art supply store.

First, you tape off the letter you want to make.

Then pick up all the little pieces of tape before your mother fusses at you.

Next, paint all over the page. Use lots of colors!

Leave no white spaces!
Silly Sweetheart....doesn't she know Sweetheart starts with an "S"? ;)
 And Little Bit starts with an "L"? Oh well, you can do whatever letter you like.
When the paint has dried completely, peel off the painter's tape and...

You will have a beautiful piece of art!!

Have you done any work in your Summer Art Journals? Please share a link if you have!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Conspiracy Theory

I'm really starting to think...

...that all this acid reflux stuff is a scam.

Oh, I believe acid reflux is real. It's just that it seems to be quite tied up with the pharmaceutical industry. Ahem.

And I might have been surprised to see on the list of "natural herbs that treat acid reflux" TWO THINGS that I have been told to avoid by the medical industry.

Hmm. Interesting. That's all I'm saying.

I already believe that diabetes is a big 'ol scam. They could cure everyone tomorrow but that isn't going to happen because it's all tied up in money.

Do you know how badly I wish naturopaths were covered by insurance so we could afford to go?

Tomorrow I visit our new doctor. I already saw her for Baby Bee's newborn appointment where I announced we would be following Dr. Sears' alternate immunization schedule and she said,


And then went on to say that she thought that was a good schedule but she might even be more conservative in a few areas. I nearly fainted. I found a family doctor who is on board with that? Wow!

So I can't wait to see how she can help us with the acid reflux and the diabetes. (S sees her later this week.) We're hoping it's more about diet and real solutions than medicine. If I read her website correctly, I believe it will be.

I've sure been praying about our health. We want to be healthy enough to raise our girls all the way up. And to work in God's Kingdom. I don't want good health to become an idol, but I think we need to do what we can to stay healthy.

Don't get me wrong, we're thankful for the doctors who patched me up in the hospital. It's just that I got put on the set course of treatment without anyone asking me a single question about my history, symptoms, lifestyle, etc. I'm anxious to see a doctor who treats our whole family and looks at the whole picture of our health.

Sorry if I sound a bit's just that I've been researching.

Dangerous, I know.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer School

Last week we started to finish the school year. Got that? We had a little over a month off what with all the babies being born and the fun hospital visits and it was time to get 6th grade finished up.

I got a glimpse of how this next school year is going to be.

This quickly resulted in....

You know, because the baby squeaked out an unhappy sound. And we can't possibly allow the princess to be unhappy! But I was proud of Sweetheart for continuing to work. This baby is a great distraction, I'll tell you.

Sweetheart is just doing her school work three times a week. Little Bit and I start with some new math curriculum today. And of course we'll all continue to read as we can fit it in.

I have 2 doctor's appointments this week and I cannot WAIT to be done with all these doctors!! I started really, really feeling good Friday night/Saturday morning. In fact, we went to the beach for Baby Bee's first trip (on the outside) early Saturday morning.

We tried her sunhat on the day before. She wasn't sure we knew what we were doing.

But when we got there, she had no problem relaxing.

No problem at all...

Probably because she doesn't have to do summer school work, huh?

Monday, June 18, 2012

One Month

And boy what a month it has been!

She is not one month old in this picture, but I still like it.
Our Health
My baby girl is one month old today. Today I go to the doctor's office for a follow-up from my hospital stay. Uh...the second hospital stay. The doctor who fixed my bleeding ulcer. Then next week, I go for my follow-up appointment for my first hospital stay. The doctor who delivered Baby Bee.

Got all that?

Oh, throw in a doctor's appointment with my primary care doctor too. Just for fun.

Being 41 is awesome so far!

I have still been having little dizzy spells and a feeling of weakness every now and then. It was really concerning me until a friend pointed out that was probably from the anemia. You know, losing that much blood can make you anemic. Even if they pump four units of blood into you at the hospital.

So I've been researching iron-rich foods and downing a lot of them. It really helps. I'll be talking to my doctor about diet. And then S is going to see the same doctor soon because his blood sugar is in no way under control. So he'll be talking about diet too. Praying we can get him squared away because now that I'm doing better, I'm increasingly concerned for his health. I know we can get ourselves under control--we just need some guidance.

But enough about our health....what else is going on around here?

Our Family
Well, it's been completely, totally, and 100% awesome having S home so much. (You know, now that he's just working one job.) The house stays in order better, we've all seen more of him, our family does things together. It's really cool. Of course, cutting out that second income means eating at home a LOT more. Which really goes along with our diet (see above) anyway. So I guess that's a good thing.

Our Homeschool
I originally told the girls they could have a month off after baby was born and then we would start "summer school." What that means is, Sweetheart has to finish up the last few weeks of Sonlight. She has to do math lessons at least 3 times a week--more if she annoys me. And Little Bit has to read to me every day and work on math. BOY does Little Bit need to work on math. The child can memorize whole movies--why can she not grasp the addition and subtraction facts? Seriously, her memory is freaky good. She misplaced her DS one time a few months ago and came and told me, "Mom, the last time I was playing my DS was at (a restaurant) when we ate there on a Saturday. Remember? We had just been to (a store) and then we stopped to eat?"

Uh. No, actually, I didn't remember that because IT WAS OVER A MONTH AGO! Very good memory, that one. You can pull an outfit out of her closet and she can tell you where she was the last time she wore it. If we lose anything in the house--she's the one we call. She remembers where she saw every little thing.

Which tells me she is very visual. So I have been making lots of math manipulatives to help out with the  math. Also, I've been pinning lots of activities on Pinterest. Unfortunately, I'm not quite ready to go on the math activities today, but Sweetheart will be getting started on her stuff so that's good.

Getting Back to Normal
I guess we are as back to normal as things are going to get. I feel pretty good as long as I eat my Cream of Wheat every day and rest some every afternoon. Baby Bee is getting on a really good schedule. She's a very easy baby. The Lord's mercy! With all the upheaval we've had lately, He knew we needed an easy baby!
Anyway, hopefully things will be getting back to normal around this blog too. I've missed "talking" with you all! Of course, my arms are busy and full more lately and it's harder to find time to blog...but I'm hoping to be more regular and also have more interesting things to talk about than my iron levels.

You're welcome.

Oh no! It's coming true!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In Which I Don't Even Know Where to Start

Wow guys. Last week was a doozy. I haven't even finished processing all that has happened to us. All I know is God is good. And last week was not my favorite.

So last Sunday night was when I got up to go to the bathroom and passed out. Somehow, before I went out,  I managed to call out to S that I needed him. And miraculously....he heard me. Really--that's amazing in itself. Throwing up the blood kind of woke me up.

I got my first ever ambulance ride. S managed to call a friend to come get the big girls and get Baby Bee and himself to the ER right behind the ambulance. My sister joined us and then later my mom took her place. My parents were out of town and I think S called them about 4:30am. They got up and came right home. Anyway, we were in the ER for over 12 hours. Baby Bee was there the whole time with us and thankfully we had a private room with a door that shut. We were concerned about her catching something in the germy ER, but with the private room we felt better. We made good use of the hand sanitizer on the wall. It took S, my sister/mom, and myself to navigate all the tubes and wires and IVs, but I managed to nurse her 2 or 3 times in the ER. Blessing.

They came to get me Monday afternoon for a scope to see what was going on. It was then we learned that Baby Bee would not be able to stay with us in the room. Also, with the meds I would be on, I would not be able to nurse. My wonderful family jumped into action and bought an electric pump for me. Sister did the running to the store for whatever we needed. S had grabbed the "emergency" formula I had stashed in the kitchen cabinet before he left for the ER. I was going to throw it away or donate it all, but then my mom told a story about how she had to to the hospital when one of my sisters was little and my dad had to feed the baby in the car. So I paused...and stored it all. Along with the one sample bottle that came in the bag of free stuff. Providence.

The scope revealed a bleeding ulcer and a hole in a mid-sized vessel behind the ulcer. My hemoglobin level was a 6. For a woman who just gave birth, it should have been a 9 or 10. At 8, they usually do transfusions. I was there. It's a good thing my level was so low, because I think they would have all just chalked it up to having just given birth. My really low levels got them to looking for other causes. I got 4 units of blood before my level got up to a 10 three days later. I sure felt better with blood in my body! And I am very grateful for those blood donors. Providence.

My parents took all 3 girls home with them. I cannot adequately tell you how upset I was to be away from my baby. To not be able to care for her. To not be able to feed her. It was comforting and upsetting all at the same time to know she was taking the bottle just fine. My parents are 76. They've raised 3 kiddos, but certainly aren't used to getting up with a newborn. S and I worried a lot that first night. It's hard to hand over your 2 week old infant to anyone--even awesome grandparents. But she slept her usual schedule and did great. Providence and blessing.

Tuesday brought another procedure: this time to cauterize and plug up the holes in me. I wasn't nearly as scared that second time. Oh that first time was horrible. They came to get me with no warning and neither of us really even understood what procedure was about to take place. Then they park you in a bay staring at the wall all by yourself for 10-20 minutes. I prayed a lot. I cried a lot. I laughed to myself when I saw the towel on the end of my bed. It was there because Bee had peed all over the bed when S was changing her diaper a few hours earlier. I was going into my procedure with pee on the end of my bed. All I wanted was to get home to my baby--to my family. I wanted to be OK.

I'm not a crier. I try not to cry and be an irrational female in front of S. I know when I'm being stupid emotional about something (hormones anyone?) and I don't put that on display. But last week I was a blubbering mess. And my sweet husband listened and comforted and reminded me that God was in charge. The big girls would come visit and I hardly even felt like talking with them. I was pretty sick, I guess. S went and got Baby Bee on Tuesday night and I managed to find a way to hold her even with the IVs that hurt when I bent my arms. I felt so much more hopeful that night.

Wednesday morning brought the news we were hoping for: I could go home! I was out of the hospital by noon, but still couldn't nurse until the next day. I am so grateful to not be pumping anymore. I worried the whole time I was in the hospital that Bee would forget how to nurse and was getting used to that bottle. I mean, we had only been at it for 2 weeks. But Thursday morning proved all my worries a waste of time. She had not forgotten.

I don't know what I would do without this man.

S was told by his boss to take the rest of the week off and to not worry about work at all. So he has been with us every day, taking care of things. It has been so nice and so needed to have him here this week. I feel pretty much back to normal now. I haven't driven anywhere yet and I was really nervous getting up to go to the bathroom in the night the first night home. In fact, I haven't really wanted to be by myself at all. I guess you could say the whole thing really shook us up. I guess that's understandable.

Little Bit was playing in the hospital bed beside me. She set this up and showed me. That's Sweetheart, Little Bit, me, Baby Bee...and Daddy taking care of me. 

But what I know is this: I did not pass out when I was carrying Bee across a room. I did not pass out when I was alone. I did not pass out when I was driving. We now know I had been bleeding for the whole 2 weeks since Bee's birth. Last Friday as I was climbing onto the bed to take a nap while Bee was sleeping, I nearly blacked out. I thought, "Wow--I'm so tired I'm dizzy!" But I did not pass out that day. The Lord was truly watching out for me. His timing is perfect. Remember that S just quit his second job? The one that kept him busy every evening and on weekends? Yep. He was with me this week instead of worrying how he would get that job done. Again--perfect timing.

I have thought and thought about what all has happened this week. Some of it I've pieced together from S or my sister telling me what happened, because I don't remember all of it. It was a rotten week as far as fun weeks go, but we got to see many blessings and the providence of the Lord in our lives. My faith has increased and I am more grateful for small, everyday things.

And that's the story of last week. We are left with blessings, restored health, an intact family, and hospital bills for two different hospital stays in 3 week's time (Bee's birth and my ulcer). The bills will be amazing, I'm sure. But you know what? I have seen the Lord's providence and I know He is already way ahead of us.

And He is good.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Friends Go to the ER Togethet

Well, today I'm coming to you live from the hospital. Sunday night I passed out and threw up blood. Got to ride in an ambulance and spend 12 hours in the ER. While we were there and I was receiving a blood transfusion, S walked into the hall and found Carrie (The Story if My World blog) and her husband. She's doing better now, but has a doctor's appointment this morning. Keep her in your prayers. As for me...the short version: I have a bleeding ulcer. Have a procedure scheduled today to take care of it. Am VERY anxious to get home with my girls--especially Bee. Sweetheart saw the whole "mom passed out in a pool of blood" thing. She seems fine now, but I hate that she saw that. Little Bit's tics, understandably, have been worse lately. Praising God that S quit mowing. He's here with me. Concerned about Bee. She spent last night at my parent's house drinking formula. I ache to hold her and nurse her again. Praying I'm home REALLY soon! Would appreciate prayers for your fellow bloggers whose warranties have apparently run out!