Monday, April 28, 2008

WARNING! My first real complaining post!!!

Here's my situation. I have a kidney infection, a fever of 103 degrees, I feel like I'm going to pass out, I can't eat anything because I feel sooooo nauseated, I can't keep my eyes open because I'm absolutely exhausted and I'm sooooo shaky! Seriously!!! When will the health problems stop!?! What on earth am I doing wrong here!?! Give me a little break!!! There is something completely different every month! I woke up around 4 a.m. on Thursday with the worst back pain and nausea and So I called the doctor but they had no openings so I had to wait it out this weekend. And now today I'm miserable! They didn't have any openings at the doctors office for today either, so I have to go allll night like this until almost noon tomorrow!!! I have chugged down an entire bottle of cranberry juice for the past 4 days and if I take another sip I swear I'll throw up. Seriously, if they have to hospitalize me I'll freak out. It's not my fault that they didn't have any openings every time I called...or they plain just forgot that they put me on hold. I can't handle another health crisis...emotionally or financially! Every stinking day we get a new doctor bill, or a statement saying that our insurance won't pay for something because the surgeon used an assistant instead of doing it himself without telling us. So, since the assistant is out of network we have to fork the bill! Sooooo unfair! And the insurance won't pay for the anesthesiologist because their computer says it was unnecessary. How on earth is being put under for a surgery unnecessary? Mike doesn't have any more time off either. I know there are soooo many people out there with worse problems than me and I should be counting my blessings that I have all my limbs...and I can taste...and see....and hear....and I don't have to have blood transfusions every week...and I don't have a colostomy bag....and that I'm even alive. But sometimes, it just feels good to complain once in a while. Okay, I'm done now.

*UPDATE: I got in to see the doctor today and he was pretty upset that they didn't try harder to squeeze me in. That was good to hear. They did a bunch of blood tests and some other "samples". And I now have antibiotics and PAIN KILLERS!!! Yaaaaaaay! I have to have an MRI tomorrow to see the damage done to my kidneys and see how they are functioning and make sure the infection hasn't spread to anywhere else. I'll find out the results from the labs tomorrow to see if I need to be hospitalized. Eeek! Thanks for all of your prayers!

Fun in the sun, and a little bit of drama!

We got a fun new water toy this week since it's been so hot. It's this giant beach ball that you hook up to a hose and it sprays out water. The kids have had so much fun with it! It has been so nice to just let them play while I relax on a lawn chair and put my feet up and enjoy being outside. As you can see, Aaron thinks it's a giant drinking fountain. I am so happy that they play together now and can entertain eachother for a while. I've been longing for this day!

As for other news, not too much going on. My cell phone was on the fritz for about two weeks and I felt so disconnected from the world! Well, my family anyway. So, I took it back into a Verizon store and they replaced it for free, but I wasn't able to get all my information or pictures off of it, so that was kind of a bummer. Hopefully Rachel still has her pictures of McKayla on hers to send me again so I can put her up as my screensaver! (got that Rach? *wink* )

Youth Conference was this week and my oh my...there was sooooo much drama! I couldn't believe it. Unfortunately it seems most of the drama was from our ward. One of our girls was caught making out with a boy in one of the classrooms during the of our girls wore an immodest shirt that didn't cover her belly and had to wear a big heavy lettermans jacket to cover up which really stunk for her when the air conditioning broke down in the building and the gym turned into a of our girls wore sweats and a T-shirt with a swear word on it to the formal dance...a Beehive (yes, one of mine) showed up at the dance because she has a crush on one of the boys there and she was promptly taken home by our Y.W. President who needless to say was NOT very happy about it...the big bowls of candy (about $20 worth) were stolen from the refreshment table (I saw two ghetto boys dump them down their shirts and then they ran off...thankfully they were not from our ward)... one of our girls broke her foot at the service poured through half of the service project which of course was outside (at Brazos Bend state park! Alligators, poisonous snakes and youth with shovels!).... lots of fire ant attacks... and as expected LOTS of boy drama (Blah). Then, last night was the testimony meeting and it made it alllll worth it! The spirit was so strong and I felt so much better afterwards. Then, all the youth got up and sang the EFY theme song...the one where the Young Men sing "The Army of Helaman" and the Young Women sing "As Sisters in Zion" together. About half way through when the Young Men started singing, they all stood up and sang, and then everyone else stood up and joined them in song and I just lost it! I was bawling my eyes out because it was so wonderful and spiritual and beautiful to hear our youth sing that song together. It was a neat experience and I was so glad to be there for it! We really do have amazing youth, and I'm learning quickly that I can't own their problems. I can be there to help them through them...but I can't own them. I'm learning that the more I see them struggle the more I love them because I've been there, too. I'm learning that you can't trust gossip from the girls....and I'm learning that more than anything, they need a leader who will love them no matter what, and will always be there with open arms and a kleenex for them to remind them that they are a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves them, and that they CAN make it through it...drama and all!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Aaron's first trip to the ER

What a day! This morning around 10:30 Whitney and Aaron were playing in our bedroom. All of the sudden Aaron started screaming and crying. We have this little metal side table thing next to our bed. It's about a foot wide, and three feet tall and it had somehow tipped over on top of Aaron. It doesn't weigh very much, but he was sort of pinned under it face down and there was blood on the floor. My first reaction was of course freak out and somehow try to stay calm at the same time. I was so scared to pick him up and see where the blood was coming from. It was too much blood to be from a bumped lip, and I was worried it would be his eye or something. I picked him up and turned him over and he had a pretty good gash in his forehead. There was blood running down his face and on his shirt and on the was a mess. So I put pressure on it and we ran to the kitchen to grab a towel and a bag of frozen peas and I franticly called Mike to tell him to come home so we could take Aaron to the ER. (This is exactly why I wish we had two cars!!!) I got the bleeding to slow down and Mike got home (and ate lunch...yeah.). I changed my shirt (it had blood all over it) and took Mike back to work trying to hold back tears. He used up his lunch break eating lunch so he couldn't come to the ER to help me out. I was thinking, "How on earth am I going to do this!?! How am I going to hold him still while they sew up his head and try to take care of Whitney so she isn't traumatized through this!?! What if I can't handle it? What if I pass out?" I was absolutely terrified! This is my first experience with anything like this so of course I was in the Land of Worst Case Scenarios, picturing this long hooked needle aimed at my screaming son's beautiful little forehead, with Whitney standing in a corner crying while I'm trying to hold Aaron still so the doctor doesn't miss and get him in the eye or something. So when we got to the ER clinic I asked Whitney if it was okay if we said a prayer. I prayed that everything would be okay and the doctor would be able to do a good job and that Aaron would be calm and not be scared and that Whitney and I would be brave. So, we went in and waited forrrrrrever and Aaron was a little monster in the waiting room. He was running laps around a great big coffee table with 4 nice sharp corners (yeah, go figure) and the nurses probably thought I was a horrible mom when I freaked out and had to try to hold him on my lap so he didn't do any more damage. Anyway, we went in and they were able to get it closed up with glue and a steri-strip instead of stitches!!! I swear the Hallelujah chorus was playing in that little emergency room! Aaron just laid there on the little bed so still and calm like he was ready for his nap. I was sooooo relieved! And Whitney was in the corner...but she was playing with her dolls that she brought. Before we knew it, it was done and it looks great! It won't scar as badly since they used glue to close the wound and of course I am ecstatic about that. I love his little forehead!!! I'm so glad he's okay and that everything went well and that Heavenly Father answered my prayer today! It'll make it easier for me to not be so cranky at Mike when he gets home from work. Here's a picture from his was the only time I could get him to hold still to take a picture! He was so tuckered out!

Matt's going to ROME!!!

Matt got his mission call last night! Rachel called me from his apartment when he was opening it so I could be a part of it. It was so exciting! It sounded like he had a huge group of friends over there with him, too! He's going to be serving the Lord for 2 years in the Rome, Italy mission!!! I couldn't believe it when he read it...the first thing I thought was "Wow. Matt in a toga. It's perfect!!!". I can't believe he's going on a mission!!! It seems like he just grew up so fast. And kept growing and growing....(he's so tall!) I'm so happy for him and so proud of him! He'll be such a wonderful missionary. He is such an amazing person and he just has this love for everyone! People won't be able to resist him and I'm sure his companions will have so much fun with him. I can't wait to hear the stories from his mission. His adventures at BYU are already so funny...I can only imagine the adventures and experiences he'll have on his mission! I'm sure gonna miss him, though! I hope Mike lets me go to his farewell.....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Boy. I just love waking up in the morning, checking the forecast and seeing this. This is today's forecast. Fun, huh! "Good Morning, Houston! Well, looks like you're going to have a horrible day! Make sure you have your wills in order and your weather radio on! Tell your loved ones how much you love them, do some repenting, and clean out your tornado closet or clean your bathtub! Actually, you might as well just keep that mattress in the bathroom today. And we sure hope you don't live in a trailer court, if you should probably just go spend the day somewhere else. We don't recommend your local Wal-Mart. Those tin roofs will rip right off. So, Houston, keep your eye on the sky! We meteorologists are sure getting a kick out of this, this is what we live for and thrive on! But it's probably not much fun for y'all! Oh, and if you run into the Tin Man or the Wizard of Oz himself, be sure to give them a friendly hello and maybe grab an autograph or two! Ha ha ha. All joking aside....hold on tight!"

Monday, April 7, 2008


I finally got to add pictures to my dad's blog about Ginger(that's the blog after this one). I think it adds so much to the blog. I wanted to add more, but that's all it would let me do. There was the cutest picture of Ginger's friend (the neighbor dog) sitting at the fence watching. And one of Ginger's last car ride.
Thursday was a hard day and I word Ginger's first dog tag from when she was a puppy on a chain around my neck. I thought somehow that would help me to feel connected with her all the way out here in Texas. I cried harder thinking of what my Dad was feeling because they had such a sweet connection. She adored him and he adored her. I longed to be home and just hug him tight and have a good cry. He's so strong and brave and I'm so proud of him. He showed such mercy and Christlike love. I don't think I could have been that strong. And Ethan...oh, my Ethan. He turned into a man that day. He's never known life without Ginger, and he was brave enough to be there through it all.
I loved Ginger, but I never really got to have that sweet connection with her much because once I gave her a bath with the hose (I thought the nice cold water would feel great on a hot day) and instead it traumatized her and whenever she'd see me she would go and hide in her doghouse after that. After a few years she would let me sit by her and scratch her back, but I'm not sure she ever fully forgave me. ; )
My fond memories of her are more of Idaho memories. Like her escaping over the baby gate when she was a puppy and she and Brett being the same size. I remember how she used to freak out when we'd turn the sprinklers on in the backyard and she'd go and try to bite the water. And how she used to poop socks....but we won't talk too much about that one. She was a wonderful dog and we were so blessed to have her in our family. It will be hard to go home and not see her sitting by her lilac bush, or "standing guard" on the front porch, or hear her begging for treats from the neighbors. I hope we get to see her again someday...I'm sure it would be a wonderful reunion.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Hi Family,
This was a very tough day. It was emotionally draining, but peaceful when it was all done. It was evident, after the visit to the vet yesterday, that we should let Ginger go. Her body was frail and getting worse each day. Her back hips and legs were starting to give out on her. It was time to say good bye. This morning before going to work, I peeked into her dog house and thought she might have already died during the night. She didn't look up at me like she usually does. As I watched closely, I could finally see her shallow breathing.
I called the vet from work and they said I could bring her in at the close of the day - around 4:45 PM. It was a hard day knowing what I was having to face. I came home from work early and thought I had better start digging a grave. I didn't see Ginger anywhere and wondered if she had already died in her doghouse. I was almost wishing that were the case so I wouldn't have to go through the ordeal at the vet's. I found her around the corner of the house alive, laying under the lilac bush. I cried some more and hugged her.

I thought I would bury her in a big box and started digging a hole that would fit it - under the lilac bush - her favorite spot. Ethan came home from school and told me he had also had a tough day. His teacher noticed him weeping on occasion and sweetly comforted him when he explained why. Ethan and I hugged for a little bit then he said that "it was the best thing for Ginger." He grabbed a shovel and started digging. We were pleased to find out that after a layer of rocks and gravel there was fairly soft sand. We dug a pretty deep hole. We also discovered I accidentally sliced through a sprinkler line and had to do a quick splicing job.

At 4:40 I attached Ginger's leash to her collar. She was calm and walked beside me to the car. I helped her into the back seat and she sat next to Ethan. Still calm and not frantic and moaning like she usually is in the back seat. When we got to the vet, Ethan said he really needed to go to the bathroom before we got started. He said "Don't worry Dad. I just have to go pee". I told him to run inside and ask to use their restroom. I waited a few more minutes outside trying to maintain my composure. I took a deep breath and walked to the front desk. The receptionist smiled and said "Hello, what will we be doing for you today". I was kind of surprised because I thought it was clear that I had a 4:45 appointment. I took another deep breath and whimpered "we need to put my dog Ginger to sleep". She said she was sorry and would get the paper work. I signed the consent form and wrote a check. I had let go of the leash and Ginger just sniffed around the office going room to room. Different people greeted her as she made herself at home.
We were taken to a room where the lady doctor and a male assistant came to talk us. Ethan said that he would wait outside the door. I asked if he wouldn't mind coming in with us. I really needed him to be with me. He said okay and sat on my lap. The doctor asked if we had ever experienced this before. I nodded no. She explained that they would shave a lit patch of hair on her leg so they could find a vein. They would insert a small catheter where the medicine would go. She would first push a little saline through and then the medicine. The medicine was an anaesthetic that would relax Ginger, then she would sleep and the heart would stop.
They put a blanket on the floor and invited us to hold her while this took place. Ethan preferred to stay in the chair and covered his face. I knelt on the blanket, holding Ginger, petting her soft ears and kissing her on the nose. The doctor was very kind and gentle. She spoke softly to Ginger and administered the medicine. Ginger laid down on the blanket and looked very peaceful. Her eyes were still remained open, as the doctor listened for the heart beat. It had stopped and Ginger was gone. They asked if we would like a few minutes alone and I nodded yes. I gently closed her eye lids and tried to stifle my cry. Ethan and I hugged.
The assistant came back in the room with a blanket carrier to wrap her in. He gently placed her in it and tied the black ribbon in a bow. I was relieved to see this because I didn't know if my old bathrobe would have worked too well or was very dignified. I guess I was still in shock and I asked him if I needed to pay extra for this or had to return it to them. Pretty stupid questions, but he seemed to understand and kindly said "No. This is for you to bury her in. It's yours". Then he asked if he could help us put her in the car. I gratefully accepted the offer. He placed her gently in the back seat next to Ethan.
We drove home and both Ethan and I felt relief. I carried her to the graveside and set her down on the ground.

We went inside to tell give Mom a call. She was still at school helping with the knowledge bowl. Ethan and I went back outside and knelt down next to Ginger. I said a little prayer and we felt Ginger's head one more time through the fabric wrap. I placed her down in the grave and we proceeded to bury her. I think it was good therapy for us to be doing this together. We felt a sense of relief and peace. We gathered a few things to help decorate the grave including her dog dish, collar, leash, dog bones and a ball. Ethan organized them on the mound of dirt and talked about a head stone that he would design.

Our difficult task was done and we all felt much better. Muffy, the Lockhart's little dog watched us through the fence. Just as we stood up from the grave, the church bells started ringing down the block. Ethan said that was pretty neat. It was 6:00. We were both feeling very hungry and went to Dairy Queen for dinner.
We'll all miss Ginger. She has been a part of our family for over 13 years. A lot has happened in that time. She has been my companion when everyone else was gone. She traveled with me from Idaho. We slept in the car at the park in Gunnison on our move to Monte Vista. I felt so bad when I had to leave her at the kennel when I arrived in Monte Vista. I had to close on the house then drive to Albuquerque where the rest of the family was gathered for a Chatwin reunion. She was my pal. I'm sure our Heavenly Father knows this and will find a way for us to be with ALL of our loved ones again someday.
Thanks for letting me share this. Now maybe I can get to sleep.