Friday, April 30, 2010

To sum up.

My son was in the shower getting ready for physical therapy on Wednesday when youngest son yelled to ask him something and he didn't answer.  My husband heard this exchange and yelled louder for him.  He didn't answer and my husband said "if you don't answer I'm coming in!".  Again, there was no answer so my husband unlocked the door and found our son on the floor with blood around his face and vomit, a nightmare scene for any parent.  I had come into the living room at this point and my husband told me to call 911.  I did and then ran around panicking until they got here.  it seems like it takes forever but it was probably less than 15 minutes.  While they were here I did my lovely fall in the back yard.

They took him to the local hospital.  While there, a blood clotting test was abnormal and so they thought that he might have had something similar to a stroke. (!)  They kept us for 6 hours of so doing tests then sent him via ambulance to the children's hospital in Louisville where we spent another 5 or so hours in the ER there before being admitted for observation.   He had CAT scans, EKGs, echocardiograms, multiple examinations, x-rays of his chest and ankle (to make sure he hadn't re-injured it) and they found no further abnormalities.  The blood clotting test was only slightly abnormal and they said that could be from his forced inactivity after the ankle fracture.  After he was cleared by the cardiologist, he was sent home.  The whole ordeal was only a little over 24 hours, but it seemed much, much longer.  Now he has to follow up with his primary care physician in a week and continue the other medical care as directed by his ankle surgeon, physical therapy etc.

I was afraid for him to take a shower today, but he did it and had no problems, thank God.  Now we just need to rest, calm down, try to make up our sleep and rehydrate ourselves.  Both my son and I were without food or drink while in the second ER although the first ER did offer me a drink, but not him.  Finally, when we got to the room at 3:00 am or so, he got to eat, but I can't eat close to the time that I sleep and I chose trying to sleep over eating.  I attempted to sleep for a couple of hours, I think I might have slept about 1 hour and then I got up and walked downstairs to McDonals for coffee. 

I hope nothing like this ever happens again.  I did not enjoy the experience.

Small favors.

We called the cardiologist and the monitor can come back tomorrow so I don't have to take it!!!

We're home.

He did get to come home last night.  We're all exhausted and the boy, Dad and I are very sore, him from his fall, Dad from picking him up from his fall and me from falling in the back yard while trying to show EMS the best way in.  I tripped over my new tomato/pepper garden edging.  So we don't know why he passed out.  He was checked for heart problems, blood clots, seizures and all kinds of things, but all the tests were negative.   This may be due to his inactivity after ankle surgery and may have just been a drop in blood pressure.  Anyway, we take the heart monitor back to the cardiologist today and we'll follow up with his regular doctor next week. 

If I didn't have to drive 100 miles today to take that monitor back, I'd be taking a nap right now. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010


My oldest son passed out in the shower yesterday and was admitted to the children's hospital last night.   If all goes well, he should be released in a few hours to come home.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Doing a little DVD schooling this week.

We got some Drive Through History DVDs and some Engineering an Empire DVDs that came from Netflix and some Biology DVDs that we need to give back to a friend soon, so we're watching some things and learning and trying to endure the endless days of rain.  Somebody said that it might stop raining tomorrow.  I sincerely hope so.  I know we need rain but if I got to choose when it would rain, it would be every night between 12:00 and 1:00, a nice light rain that wouldn't wash out the driveway and would water the plants nicely, but would mostly dry by morning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rainy Monday.

It's another rainy day.  I think 4 in a row.  It's good for my newly planted tomato plants though, I guess, although I personally would like to see the sun.  We saw a very cool rainbow on the way out to eat Saturday.  We could see the whole thing, both ends and it seemed like we were under it.  Today I got up at a reasonable hour and felt all right and got my list completely done really early.  It's a nice feeling.  We do have a PT appointment later today and probably I could use that as an excuse but since we have PT 3 times a week now, I think that's a bit much.  There really is no reason I can't do it when I only have to drive to the nearest town and it's only an hour long.  When I have to take someone to Louisville and I end up being gone for 4 hours or so, that's a little different.  I'll use that as an excuse!

I've had some trouble with feeling sad this weekend and I guess the rain doesn't help, but I'm thinking of spending my birthday money today and maybe that will help my mood?  Meanwhile, the kids have to do school today because I'm done.  My youngest son is afraid that I will get it done every single day until schools out! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adventure night.

Last night, we had 2 gift cards that were going to expire and we needed to use them.  One was to The Cheesecake Factory and the other was to a Japanese restaurant.  So the 4 of us who can walk (big boy chose not to go, on crutches, with it pouring down rain), set out.  We had a really good time.  The Japanese restaurant was one of those where they cook your meal right in front of you and the chef juggles and puts on a show.  The kids really liked it.  They give you so much food, though, it's crazy.  The 4 of us split 2 meals and still couldn't eat all of it.  Then we were so stuffed, we had to get our cheesecake order to go.  It's in the fridge right now, 4 regular with strawberries and 1 godiva. 


Thursday, April 22, 2010


My youngest has gotten interested in card tricks because he got a book on how to do them out of the library.  For the past couple of days, he would lay cards out in front of me about 3 times a day and then say "nevermind" and go away and plan some more.  Then this morning, he came in here and asked me to divide a deck of cards into 3 piles.  I did.  Then he asked me to pick one.  I did.  His face fell and he said "nevermind" and left.  I heard him in the bathroom a minute later saying "A 75% chance she would not pick that pile, but she did!".  I guess I did it wrong?  Anyway, tonight he's switched from card tricks to making handkerchiefs disappear in a magic bag.  Since it came in a well made magic kit for kids, it's pretty much fool proof.  Which hopefully means that I can't mess it up.  :-)

The walk.

My daughter and I went for a walk today.  Apparently, the other day, in the van, I promised her that I would take her on a 3 mile hike.  Apparently, also, I didn't say "maybe" or "if my joints aren't hurting".  I can't believe I was so thoughtless.  So today, we had a lesson in keeping your word even if you are old and can't remember.  Thankfully, she let me out of the "3 mile" thing and we only walked a little bit.   I'm really not sure why my joints are giving me so much trouble, if it were only my knees and ankles, I'd assume that they are tired of carrying around the 'fat' part of the fatcat, but it's my elbows and shoulders too and I can assure you that I have not been walking on my hands.  Now we're back and she's got to finish school and I'm going to finish up making my birthday cake.


Yesterday was my birthday and I don't want to even think how old I am now so we won't go there.  I got some wonderful cards, a necklace from my daughter and money.  Money is kind of a do-it-yourself birthday present.  I get it every year.  I'm not complaining.  I look forward to it.  The only problem is, that I am pretty bad at spending money on myself.  There are a lot of things I want and one thing I want most of all but won't buy for myself.  I really want someone to come in and clean my house.  Every year I promise myself I'll really do it this time and I never, ever do.  There are a couple of barriers to my doing this.  One is that I'd have to make the phone call.  I still have that phobia-ish-thingy - I'm not sure what to call it.  It's not that I am afraid to make phone calls, I don't get nervous or anything, I just put it off - for a very long time.  I have procrastinated phone calls for almost a month before, getting up and writing it at the top of my list every morning and then not doing it.  The second thing is that I'd feel that I had to pre-clean before the cleaners got here and I just don't know if I have the energy for that.   I guess that's it.  Only 2 reasons I don't buy myself what I want for my birthday. 


I know that I'm weird.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The crutches.

My oldest son is getting better on crutches, I think, which is a good thing because I think he's got at least a couple more months to go on them.  He starts physical therapy today, but he's still non-weight-bearing and will be for a while.  He still sounds very loud and clumsy going through the house and my youngest son has started running through the house ahead of him yelling "Crutch zone, clear the area!"

(Like they do on Mythbusters when they blow something up, except they yell "Blast zone, clear the area!")

Monday, April 19, 2010

Slowly getting a few things done.

I got up this morning and printed out my new week's list, then did a few things around the house, then when I came back to start on my list, I realized I had done almost everything on it.  That's good.  I'm trying to establish routines which seems to be very difficult for me, so I'm glad that these things are starting to become routine.  I did them without thinking.  Maybe at some point exercising will be routine?  I guess it's possible.

I even made a couple of phone calls.  If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I hate making phone calls.  I didn't even think about it this morning, just picked up the phone and did it.  Maybe I'm getting over that problem too? 

Over the weekend, we did some unschooly stuff, mainly watching "Engineering an Empire" which seems to give a lot of history in a way that my boys especially enjoy watching.   I'm thinking maybe we can count that as a couple of hours of school time.  Hey, at this point, we have got to take what we can get!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What I wish we did.

Okay,  I listed what we do in our school.  Now I'm going to talk about what I wish we did more of and less of -- and there are quite a few because our family is far from perfect.  I wish we would get up earlier, go to bed earlier and be a bit better at getting places on time. I wish we kept our home/school neater and less cluttered.  I wish we made more time for fun outings.  The kids and I like to just go walking around our hometown and look at the trees, houses and historic things, but we hardly ever do it, maybe twice a year?  I wish we'd spend more time on notebooking.  We do it sometimes, but I think it's such a cool thing, I wish we did it all the time.  I wish we did more exciting science projects.  I wish we had other people over to our house more but (see above about the neater/less cluttered thingy which has become more of an issue this year since we don't have to clean for foster care anymore and I am having difficulty with my attitude!).  I wish we had more kids.  Having kids to me was like winning the lottery and we won big 3 times, but I'm greedy.   I wish we all did less procrastinating and less whining.  I wish we were better about sitting down to family meals at the dining table.  I wish we did more reaching out to other people.  I'm reading a book about how every family can make a difference, which is cool.   I think I may print this post out to remind myself of what I want to do so on the days I'm thinking of what to do, I can consult this list.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Once upon a time

a long time ago when I named this blog, I should have named it "The Lazy Homeschooler" because really I am.  I admit it.   I said a while back I was going to outline our "educational philosophy" which sounds like too fancy a term for what we practice, but I can't think of another one so here goes.

1.  We work from a list because schedules don't work all that well for us. We do not tend to stick with schedules well, but we're good at checklists.  The kids checklists are not all the same, but include spelling, math, writing, grammar, exercise, cleaning, personal hygiene, art, decluttering (always an ongoing process) and biology.  This sounds like a lot but they don't have a lot of each thing.   For example we use Sequential Spelling, which takes my daughter about 2 minutes a day, my youngest son about 5 minutes.  The Grammar with a Giggle program we do takes 5 minutes a day, maybe 10.   I'm fortunate that my husband teaches the math for our homeschool.  He uses Teaching Textbooks for the oldest and right now a variety of things for the younger 2 kids.  He'll probably switch the younger 2 kids to teaching textbooks in the fall as well.  They are in the same math level even though they are 2 years apart in age.  They came out of the public school nearly at the same level and it's been easier to keep them together.  I also teach grammar and biology as a group.  We do notebooking for the biology too, when we do it, which we haven't been lately.  Too many doctor appointments. 

2.  The rest of the work that the kids do at home is what I call the unschooling part.  My oldest son has been teaching himself computer animation with a program called Blender and also teaching himself to play the guitar.  He does a lot of drawing, expanding on the art class we had last year.  The girl does a ton of art, jewelry making, cooking and pet care.   My youngest son reads a lot, watches and absorbs what his older brother is doing on Blender, day dreams and imagines.  He also carries out of a ton of self initiated science experiments.  There are a lot of unidentifiable (to me) things in the freezer for example.  The bathroom is also a place where he does a lot of experimenting.  Don't discount this type of learning.  It is important for kids.  They also are required to go outside and play. 

3.  We go a lot of places, field trips, the library, the all important socialization with other homeschooling families, the state fair, the grocery.  We also watch a lot of educational DVDs from Netflix and check a bunch of books out of the library.  We participate in 4H and 2 different homeschool groups.

4.  We take care of our home together.  Whenever there is something needing to be done, the kids are expected to pitch in.  Consequently, they know how to clean, cook, change a tire and rebuild a carberator.  (I can't even spell it, much less identify it or fix it!). 

Today when I think about it I feel pretty good about the way we homeschool.  Somedays I am filled with self-doubt. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This week.

I started my new old exercise routine Monday, going back to a time when I was faithfully exercising and putting that routine up again, on the bathroom wall where I'll see it and asking the kids to check and make sure I do it.  This is what worked in the past, so I hope that it will work now.  I was excused Monday because I had to take my Mom to the doctor, then I did it yesterday, then today I had to take Mom to the doctor again.  Then tomorrow I have to take my son to the doctor so I'll be excused then.  Eventually though, I hope to be able to get going on it again and get in better shape.   Yes, I could get everything done before or after the doctor's appointments but I don't want to have to rush around in the mornings before I go, so I don't.  Tomorrow's my son's postoperative check and hopefully it will go well.  The doctor Mom saw today does not recommend surgery on her back without trying some more of the steroid injections in her back so I guess we'll go with that. 

We're getting some house/yard work done a little bit at a time.  I got the old fence pulled out yesterday, some spring flowers planted and some big sticks out of the yard so my husband won't run over them with the mower.  We're getting some school work done in our usual manner, half formal regular school and half unschool or maybe 1/4 and 3/4.  It varies by the day but it's mostly getting done.  

My work is not going well.  It seems like every day has new challenges.  The typing program keeps locking up, my computer just goes off for no reason or the dictionary on my expander erases itself again.  This week it can't recognize simple things like 
"tp" for "the patient" or even the name of the hospital.  Sigh.

Anyway, that's this week at a glance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not sure what to do.

Our oldest son has finished some subjects and I'd like to add some others in.  I don't know what though.  I'd like to schedule his next clep test, but I'd really like to make sure that he'll be able to walk by then because he will have to walk to the building where the testing center is, so I'll need to wait to schedule that after he sees the doctor again.  He's going this week to see his doctor for a postop check and my mom's going to a back surgeon for a preop evaluation.  If she has her surgery soon, I'm not sure how I'm going to manage her hospitalization, recovery and physical therapy with my son's continuing recovery and physical therapy, my work and school.  I guess instead of getting my son something else to study, we need to work really hard on the biology that we already have. 

I've been reading a book called Switch about making hard changes and I've realized that I need to think back when things were working well with school, exercise and household management and try to use the system that was working then, instead of the system I'm using now, which is not planning anything and not getting anything done.  That's not working out all that well for some reason. 

Friday, April 09, 2010

A full week.

Well, we went ahead and took a full week of spring break without really getting any significant spring cleaning done.  Sigh.   The hard part for me is always getting started back after a break.  There is usually a lot of whining and not all of it is from the kids.  Still, we need to start back, even the kid who has had surgery needs to get back into the groove.  We'll have 3 doctors appointments that will interupt our week, so in other words, we'll be right back to normal.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

You won't believe ...

what the gluten free bread I got yesterday tastes like!


I had a grilled cheese sandwich today for the first time in months.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

If I were in a better mood,

I'd write a hilarious blog post about my day, the oversleeping, taking mom to the doctor (more on that in a minute), spilling coffee (again! but not on anything valuable this time), and how the salsa jumped out of the fridge and attacked me, how the one street that I needed to turn on was missing the street sign ... I could go on and on.  Unfortunately, I don't want to.   I'll just stick with the facts today and save the hilarity for another day.

I took my mom to the back doctor finally and he wants to do surgery.  He says that it is a pretty common procedure and he does it all the time.  Mom will have to go see his partner next week before we get it scheduled and make sure, I guess, that he concurs that she needs surgery.  Anyway, that's one of those visits done.

Oldest son is doing fine.  He's off the pain medications. He still can't walk worth a hoot with the crutches so he's keeping the walking to a minimum, just to the bathroom and back.   He has 4 people to wait on him for everything else he needs.  Every time he gets on his feet to go though, I get the urge to yell "He's on the move, duck and cover everybody!" because he is so reckless! 

We're doing spring break this week.  We've attended 2 of the library's activities for the tweens, first a crafts class which was kind of unimaginative and then a really fun improv class.   I will count those hours as school hours, so this week won't be a total loss.  I may even do the TAKS tests with the younger 2 kids starting tomorrow.   I don't know.  I wanted to work on my kitchen island redo today, but it's going to rain and the first part of the plan involved painting and staining wood out on the deck so that's probably out.  I'll recheck the weather forecast, just in case.

In case you're wondering what an improv class is, the kids played all kinds of games, where they each told one word of a story, they tied themselves in a human knot, did charades and my favorite game (of these), 3 headed expert.  Then 3 people get in the front and they have to answer questions about the subject they are experts in, but each of them can only say one word.  My son participated in an expert panel about penguins who wear flip flops, which was very funny.  He's a natural with improv because he thinks of things so fast.  They even drafted me into an expert panel on rainbows and for one of my words I got to say ROY G BIV.  Fun. 

I've been reading a book on Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance) and the more I read the more I am becoming convinced that several other members of my family are affected by it, mostly because of the long list of autoimmune diseases that are in my family and are also linked somehow to celiac:  Raynaud's phenomenon, Sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.  Now to try and convince them ... ?  I feel like a messenger with a very unwelcome message.   I went to whole foods today to try and find a good tasting bread substitute but I didn't find the one brand I was looking for.  I bought something else and i guess we'll see, when it thaws out.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Oh yes, and the boy is okay.

I forgot to mention that how my son is doing after his surgery.  He seems fine.  He's sleeping a lot and when he's up, he plays the Wii or XBox and computer games.  He doesn't seem to be suffering a lot of pain, thankfully. 

A good weekend, but.

We had a nice Easter celebration.  We got up early and went to church, then to my in-law's house for a wonderful lunch and then to my mom's for dinner.  The kids enjoyed their Easter baskets and I did not feel tired as I would have before I went on my gluten free diet.  I'm like a new person, without aching legs, aching skin, constant headaches and overwhelming fatigue.  It was like I've been being slowly poisoned and now I'm recovering.  I think this will be a permanent change.   I do miss yeast rolls, toast and crackers, but I can't imagine that the physical price I'd have to pay for eating one of those would ever be worth it. 

And now we come to the "but".  But, I've been in a bad mood off and on.  A really bad mood.  Sigh.  I hope I can figure out a way to shake this off pretty soon.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The weekend.

We've got quite a bit planned to do tomorrow and will be busy all day, church, dinners, Easter egg hunts so today, we need to get some housework done and some work work done.  I'll be glad tomorrow if it is done, but I don't want to do it.  Lately, the housework has seemed like even more of a millstone hanging around my neck (does anyone know the origin of that expression?) and I just can't cope with it very well.  Oldest son seems to be doing okay today.  He's been sleeping mostly and that's probably what he needs to do.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Surgery over.

My son got through the surgery okay.  When we first got back in the preoperative prep room, I explained about how his veins are very difficult to find and the last time he had surgery, they had to stick him 5 times and finally an anesthesiologist had to get the IV in.  Add to his difficult vein anatomy, his fear of needles (something he probably picked up in his 4 day NICU stay after birth) and getting an IV is a very traumatic thing for him.  Fortunately, the nurse listened and did not attempt to do the IV but went straight to the anesthesiologist and asked him to do it.  He got it on the first attempt.  My son was very brave and I was proud.

Then he went to surgery.  He was in there for a long time, I think it was about 2 hours, maybe just an hour and a half.   Finally they told me he was out of surgery but not really awake and then maybe half an hour later, I got to go back and see him.  When he was sufficiently awake, dressed and checked out, we managed to get him in the van and drive him home.  As we stopped in our driveway, my coffee cup (a travel mug, which was closed both ways that it closes) turned over and dumped out into my purse.  A lot of coffee.  My new purse is ruined.  That, coupled with the fact that I had had 3 hours of sleep, drove an hour, waited 6 hours in a waiting room all by myself, drove an hour home and knew I still had to make another trip to the pharmacy, put in me in a bad mood. 

Then when we got into the house, I discovered that my husband and 2 other kids had dismantled our foster care crib.  That really hit me hard emotionally.  It's been a difficult emotional week anyway and that did not help.   I've been trying not to think about that subject at all.  I know probably none of my readers understand me wanting to have more kids around at my advanced age, but I always felt called to adoption and then our China adoption fell through 3 years ago and then this.  The death of a dream is always hard and I've had this particular dream since I was 12.  I know that I really need to focus on what I have rather than what I can't have and I am trying to do that but I am not doing very well.

Anyway, on the way home from the surgery, my son's pain pills kicked in and he perked up enough to eat some kind of a bacon burger deluxe from Wendy's.  Then after a few minutes, his thought processes started to work and he said "I don't have to do school today do I?"   No.  And then the next question was "Do I get unlimited screen time?"  Yes. 

I'm so glad that it's over now and I hope/pray the healing goes extremely well.


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