"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why does it have to be so difficult?

Why does it have to be so difficult to work with the school regarding Carly and her education? I really hate that it's so difficult. It really shouldn't be. Except that they think, they know, my daughter better than me. Just because they have read articles about some kids with Down syndrome. They believe that holds truth to all children with Down syndrome.

The problem?? Well, Carly uses ASL signs as her main form of communication. Yes. She does talk some. She is adding more and more words to her vocabulary every day. She knows her ABC's. She knows her colors. She knows all of her shapes. She can write her name. She can write the alphabet. She is beginning to spell words. She can even recognize words that I spell out loud to her dad. So she won't know what were talking about. For example: Carly really dislikes it when it rains. I spelled r a i n to Paul the other night because we had a chance of rain in the forecast. Carly heard me and yelled, "NO" and then went on to sign "sunshine".

All I want the school to do is learn some signs. NO ONE knows signs at that d@%* school. Not one single person. How is Carly suppose to learn when know one can understand her??? She is getting frustrated and actually very bored. She is even falling asleep in class. Which is so not like her.

Last week we had a meeting with Carly's 'team' of educators. We got nowhere fast. The principal suggested putting Carly on a reduced schedule to see how she does. We decided we would try that for only a couple of weeks. Well, Miss Carly is thrilled to be coming home. She is happy and playing. She is writing, coloring and doing her puzzles all afternoon. Oh, and she is taking NO naps while at home. She hasn't fallen asleep one single time since we started this last Wednesday. That tells me. My poor daughter is so very bored at school.

The school will not address my questions regarding them learning signs. They completely ignore that issue and turn the conversation quickly onto another subject. I've even provided them with resources regarding ASL signs. Still, they ignore me.

Today I got in touch with a local advocate group. I was told to fight tooth and nail to get an interpreter in the school. I was told that one should have already been in place. Without one, Carly is not getting the appropriate education (per F.A.P.E) that she is entitled to. I was also told to fight to revamp Carly's curriculum to her needs. So far, they have not done this. Again, Carly is not getting the appropriate education that she is entitled to.

As much as I hate having to get nasty with other people. It's time to get down and dirty. I hate that the school is forcing my hand at this. I really don't like it when I have to get nasty. However, I can and I will. I've had to do with doctors many times over, so I'm not really afraid to. I just really hate that it comes down to this. I will now be labeled "that mother" in the eyes of the 'educators'. Albeit, the advocate group put it best, "Carly is regressing". In fact, the advocate group said they were surprised that Carly isn't having behavioral issues as a result of being neglected/cheated out of learning at school.

This is why I went to that d@%* school back in the spring. I wanted to make sure that moving Carly on to first grade was the right move. I was assured that it was. Well. Doesn't look to me that it was the right move. Not if they aren't willing to meet Carly's needs. Needs that will likely need to be altered throughout her school years. I realize that Carly may not be able to keep up academically with her peers, but she is very capable of learning. She has proved that a million times over.

As for the reduced schedule. I will be putting a stop to that. It has bothered me from the first day of the trial. Carly is missing all of her xtra's. Such as ~ gym class, music and art and recess. Those are huge areas for social growth. Carly needs that so much.

Sure wish I knew why it has to be so difficult.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me Monday.

It's Monday, again. Another week to try my hand at the Not Me Monday post, created by MckMama. Jump on over to her blog and join in. If you dare!

This week, I did not run over one of our kittens while running out on an errand. And then choose not to look to see the damage I had done. I would never opt to back my car up a tad to see if said kitten would run or limp away. I would never put my car in drive and nudge forward a tad waiting for said kitten to run off. I would not, under any circumstances back up again in hopes that the squealing kitty would run off. (it did and is okay now..can you believe that!) I would never do anything quite like that. Not me!

After going to the grocery store last week, I did not forget to purchase cat food for the poor kitty, who I just run down. I'm not feeding said kitty oatmeal, eggs and bread crumbs until Paul brings cat food home tonight. Nope, not me!

I did NOT argue with Carly's speech teacher during a meeting last week. This teacher who thinks she knows my child better than I do. I would never argue with anyone regarding my daughter. Not me!

No way did I mess up my menu plan last week when Paul wanted to go to a Mexican restaurant. I would never mess with my planned out menu for the week just to get a night off from cooking. Not me!

My menu plan...

I've gotten a jump start on my menu planning today. Normally, I have it set in my mind, but not actually written down until at least Tuesday.

This weeks menu as follows:

  • Mon. - Chili and corn bread muffins
  • Tues. - Meatloaf, boiled potatoes & veggies
  • Wed. - Pulled pork sandwiches-(leftovers from this menu plan) & coleslaw
  • Thur. - Soup with ham and provolone cheese paninis
  • Fri. - Pizza night
  • Sat. - Bratwursts & potato salad (made with xtra potatoes from Tuesdays meal)
  • Sun. - Roast chicken & roasted potatoes with green beans

Menu for week of 10/5:

  • Mon. - goulash, potatoes & veggies
  • Tue. - stuffed ravioli, salad & garlic bread
  • Wed. - baked pork chops, mashed potatoes, gravy & veggies
  • Thur. - burgers, baked beans & fries
  • Fri. - Pizza night
  • Sat. - BLT's
  • Sun. - roast in the crock pot, noodles and veggies
I'm sharing my recipe for the beef stew that we had last week. It's really good and really easy to make. Just click here for the 5 hour beef stew recipe. You wont be disappointed if you choose to make it!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Show Us Your Life Desserts

Hop over to Kellys blog and find some yummy recipes. This is a very simple, yet very yummy pie recipe.

Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz Cool whip
1 pie shell (baked)
3/4 C peanut butter (I use crunchy)
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 2/3 C milk

Crumble the peanut butter and powdered sugar together in a small mixing bowl.
Mix pudding and milk in a separate mixing bowl.
Sprinkle the peanut butter/pwd sugar mixture on the bottom of the pie shell. Use about 1/3 of the mixture. Then pour the pudding mixture over the top. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the peanut butter/pwd sugar mixture on top of the pudding.
Top with cool whip and sprinkle the remaining peanut butter/pwd sugar mixture on top. I don't always do this step. Sometimes I just split the peanut butter/pwd sugar mixture in 1/2. Sometimes I shave up a chocolate bar to place on the top.
Chill for at least 1 hour and then serve.

It's very yummy and quite easy too!

Looking Back 2004 part 3

** Not sure why this posted on 9/24. It's scheduled for 9/25....Oh well...don't sweat the small things right?**

Five years ago today, September 25, 2004, our lives changed in a way that we could never have imagined. Leukemia. Not in our craziest, wildest, most horrible dream of dreams could we have imagined that leukemia would enter into our lives. Shock. Horror. Fear. Agony. A sick feeling in pits of our stomachs. Oddly enough, relief set in. Relief because now we knew. We knew that our precious little 32 month old Carly was in the place she needed to be. A place that could quite possibly cure this horrible evil leukemia. 7th floor Mott Childrens Hospital. The pediatric cancer/oncology unit.

We found out while in the ER, that indeed a virus was going around and causing this type of rash. However, Carly looked terrible on this day. Her lips were white. You couldn't even see the tiny nipples on her chest. They were completely faded away. She was in obvious pain. She had quit walking that morning. She flat out refused to even stand up.

The blood work was ordered. STAT was written on each tiny tube. It wasn't long before we had our preliminary report. Leukemia. Unclear at that time which type. They assumed and even prepared us for AML. As many of you know, AML is the most apt leukemia to strike our children born with Down syndrome. Although, that assumption would prove to be untrue.

Nothing could really have prepared us for that 7th floor. The eerie silence of being admitted to and taken by stretcher, from The University of Michigans ER, to that horribly scary 7th floor. I will never forget the strange silence as we were taken to our room. It was late at night, but still It was a very strange silence. Much different than the 5th floor at Mott - the cardiac floor.

Carly was admitted on the late evening of September 25, 2004. She was in disparate need of blood and platelets. Those were ordered. The battle began. Within two days, Carly had her broviak placed. September 28, Carly had her very first chemo. Our diagnosis of ALL came the 26th. As the doctors put it. This was the "better cancer". I couldn't and still can't figure out why anyone would say one is better than another. It was cancer for crying out loud.

The following video is something I pieced together. You'll see pictures of Carly just weeks before the evil cancer hit her. You'll see pictures of her soon after having her haircut while on the 7th floor. You will see pictures of our family, trying to carry on with live. There are pictures of Carly at her absolute most worse. That would be the time spent on the 7th floor, fighting with all her might to survive a very rare blood infection. An infection that caused her brain to swell. That infection required 8 different IV antibiotics that I had to learn how to run through her broviak. These ran all day and night. Around the clock. It was horrible. (This is the infection that left damage to her brain. The part of the brain that controls the left hand and fingers). You will also see pictures of our clinic family. The doc's and nurses who brought Carly through this. Her very last chemo infusion is also included. Along with Carly giving herself the very last dose of 6MP or also known as Mercaptopurine (oral chemo). This video is only a glimpse into our lives during those 26 months of chemotherapy.

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Take some time and read the following facts:
  • Each day, 46 children are diagnosed with cancer
  • One in 330 children will develop cancer by age 20
  • Although cure rates are steadily increasing, 35% of children will die
  • Cancer remains the number one disease killer of children; more than genetic anomalies, cystic fibrosis, and AIDS combined
  • The overall incidence rate for childhood cancers has increased significantly by almost 33% during the period 1975 to 2001
  • On average a treatment for childhood cancer diagnosis is two years
  • Cancer treatment can cause serious side effects that may last a lifetime
  • Research on the emotional impact of childhood cancer finds that parents and siblings report even greater long term emotional impacts than the diagnosed child
As we reach this 5 year mark. We look back and think. We made it. However, we try not to get to comfortable. As I have seen in the past 7+ years with Carly. Anything is possible. Anything, at anytime. We have learned that we have no control over what goes on. I hate that. I want to be in control, but it can not be that way. In the past 5 years, we have had to change the way we live. Life will never be as it was before cancer reared it's ugly head. This has changed each and everyone of our family members.

We once asked our oncologist when Carly would be considered 'cancer free'. Her words stung a bit. Her response was not what I wanted to have come out of her mouth. She said, "I don't like to use that phrase because once you've had cancer, you are no longer considered 'cancer free' ". OUCH! Those words really stung. However, I do see her point. Those of us who have never had a cancer diagnosis for ourselves are the ones who are cancer free. Those who have had to fight the evil beast...will carry that with them forever. Our doctor did tell us that the further we get away from the date of remission, while staying in remission is certainly a good indication that we may well be, forever done with cancer.

I must say. It is nice to be able to look back. 5 years. Wow! Unbelievable. Sometimes it seems like a life time ago. Sometimes, it seems like just yesterday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Looking Back 2004 part 2

As we returned from vacation, in Aug 2004, Carly's nose was very runny. Just clear, so I thought I'd give her a few days before heading off to the doctor. If I'm not mistaken, we returned home on a Monday. Late afternoon, early evening. Carly had a slight temp., nothing major. We treated her with Tylenol and she was doing okay.

Thursday of that week, I believe it was Aug 12., I decided to take her to the doctor. She was having a rough time sleeping at night and thru naps. Poor little girl. She had a double ear infection and a nasty viral bug. We got our meds and headed home for our 10 day treatment.

We continued on with our lives. And Carly had finally perked up. We spent time in the pool. Playing outside. Just having fun at the end of summer. We had treated her dbl ear infection for the 10 day course. She finished her last dose of meds on Aug 22. We ran Brad back and forth to the school for football practices. Took the big kids school clothes shopping. Got ready for Brad's first football game of the season which took place around the 28th or so.

By the very end of August, Carly developed a strange rash. My mind instantly went toward heart issues. However, she would get that darn low grade temp on and off. So, back to the doctor we went. The doctor told me that there was a virus going around causing this very type of rash. It sometimes would take a couple of weeks to get through it. Okay. I bought that. He's the doctor. Who am I to question a particular virus that's running rampant through kids in the community.

Jumping into September. Labor Day weekend to be exact. I finally freaked myself out enough that I made a call to UofM Pediatric Cardiology. I reached the on call doc. I mentioned what was going on and told her that I was very worried this was something to do with her heart. This very kind doctor told me that it would have nothing to do with Carly's heart. Her heart was repaired and she was okay. I was told to email our Cardiologist ~ he was away for the long weekend ~ and run it past him, if I thought it would ease my mind. You all know, I did just that. He emailed me back very quickly. He said that his daughters had this very same virus along with the rash, but that he would take a look at her if it would make me feel better. I told him, no...I'm just a wreck of a mother who needs to learn to keep it under control.

The week after Labor Day, Ashleigh had Carly come to school for one of her classes. She had to demonstrate life with a toddler. Ashleigh chose doing Carly's hair. We got to the school and one of Ashleigh's friends met us in the parking lot. She was gushing over Carly and asking how she was feeling. I mentioned the virus and the rash to her. After looking Carly over and much to my surprise, she said "oh, my little cousin has that very same rash. He too has been sick". Okay, my mind wasn't racing quite as much after that conversation.

Again. We went ahead with life. Carly continued with the rash. On and off fevers. Back and forth to the doctor. Who was still convinced this was a nasty virus. He decided to place her on a course of steroids. She took them for 10 days..(I think)... I was pleasantly surprised to see the rash going away. Woo Whoo! Things were looking better. Wham! another ear infection. Back on meds for 10 days. This time. Carly started throwing up. Her fevers were coming more and more often. Going higher at night (like always) and then suddenly breaking into a cold sweat.

I tried my best to keep this little girl happy. We played...when she felt like it. But this was the best way to entertain her throughout this ordeal.

Yes, this is her doll's stroller. My tiny little 21lb 32 month old daughter fit quite nicely in it. Don't you think?

I pushed her through this house for hours on end. This would make her so happy. I actually got to the point where I'd have to push her around while walking on my knees. It just killed my back.

Stay tuned for the continuation of Looking Back 2004

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday. Well, sort of wordless!

Busted...trashing Ashleigh's closet. And I mean...she TRASHED it!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Looking Back 2004

August, 2004. We were on vacation in the Smokey Mountains. A beautiful place. The perfect place to go and relax 6 weeks after Carly had undergone her 2nd open heart surgery. Carly was 31 months old in this picture. She was healthy. We were happy. Our family had such fun on that vacation.

We went to Dollywood. Carly had so much fun trying to climb that tree. She was is such a great mood that day. We spent most of the afternoon hanging out. Waiting and hoping to see Dolly. We didn't see her tho.,!

We hung out at our hotel. Played in the pool for hours at a time. Which Carly thought was too much fun. She loved it!

Paul and Brad exploring during one of our many sight seeing adventures up in the mountains.
Yes. We did see bears. I even snapped a couple of pictures, but for the life of me, I can not find them.

I believe that Paul was acting silly trying to get a smile out of Carly while she sat upon this rock watching all the crazy people jumping over a stream. Poor little girl. She was getting a runny nose on this day. It was our last day of our vacation. We spent time in another park up in the mountains. We would be heading North that night.

A picture of Ashleigh, Carly and me.

Before we headed north. We stopped at Brad's buddy's house. His family moved to the northeastern most part of Tennessee in 2002. Wish I would have snapped a couple of pictures going up their mountain. Holy cow...it was quite a scary drive up, up, up a tiny little narrow "path". (as the kids referred to the road) Honestly, I was too scared to even think about pulling out a camera as we headed up that windy tiny road, along the side of the mountain.

At this point, Carly was getting very whiny and clingy. It was quite obvious she was getting sick. Poor baby. This pic was taken just as we were getting ready to head further north on our journey home.

Stay tuned for the continuation of, Looking Back 2004.

*you finally see my face* ;o)
**Sorry for the poor quality pics. This was my 1rst digital camera and it was NOT a good one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Me Monday.

Here's another first for me. I'm participating in the Not Me Monday posts that MckMama started over on her blog. Head on over and check out all the Not Me Monday post and go ahead and participate. It may be fun. I know I get a kick out of reading all the Not Me Monday posts that others write about each week.

Over the weekend, I did NOT search through my wallet like a crazy woman in search of a measly $3 to pay for the remaining amount of $50 for a purchase I had just made at garage sale for a picket fence. Only to come up with $3 worth of change. Nope...I would never pay for anything in change. Nope. Not me!

I did NOT go over to my brother and SIL's new home, that is currently under construction as I post. Just to get jealous of their new 7,000 sq. foot home, when it's only just the two of them? I would never be so jealous, since I live in such a spacious 1300 sq foot ranch style home along with 4 other people. Nope, I'm NOT jealous. Not me!

I most certainly did NOT allow Carly to sleep on this Monday morning and then take her to school late. I would never do anything like that. Nope. Not me!

Lastly, I did NOT forget to order more checks from my bank so that I could pay for my husbands parking ticket. I did NOT fib to him about it and tell him I already sent it in. In hopes of keeping the peace. Nope. Not me! Which reminds me. I had better get those checks ordered!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

High School Players Inspiring Touchdown.

Such a touching story click here and to see for yourself. This brought tears to my eyes. This proves to me, that people can and do show compassion for our kids born innocently into this sometimes very scary world.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dinner Recipes.

Over at Kelly's Korner is Show Us Your Life Dinner Recipes. Head over and check out some of the many yummy recipes. Thought I'd join in today with a couple of our favorites.

Glazed Salmon

8 oz of Salmon fillets
lemon pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tb soy sauce
2 tsp Splenda

Place salmon in well greased baking dish, sprinkle with lemon pepper cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes @350 degrees. Uncover and baste on the sauce and broil till browned.

** I line my pan with the foil and then seal all edges. Makes clean up much easier.
** I double and even have tripled my sauce. I also baste it several times until browned.

5 Hour Stew

2 lbs meat - cut into bite size pieces
2-3 potatoes " "
2-3 carrots " "
2-3 onions " "
2 celery stalks also cut into bite sized pieces (if you have celery)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp instant tapioca
salt and pepper to taste
1 8oz can of tomato sauce

Place ingredients into 2qt baking dish in above order. Drizzle the tomato sauce over the top. This makes it's own gravy. Bake covered for 5 hours @250 degrees

** I normally make a bit extra of the brown sugar, tapioca and tomato sauce because we like ours with extra sauce/gravy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Flu season. Flu shots.

*******UPDATE******* I will be taking Carly in for her flu shot after school today. I had to fib a little. So, I'm sure I'll go to Hell. I told the receptionist that UofM insist that Carly have her shot ASAP, due to her allergy flare up. It's not really a fib. I know UofM like the back of my hand. This is what they would have said, if I would have called them....oops!

It's that time of year again. The time of year where everyone scrambles around trying to find a doctor or clinic to get a flu shot. Why is so darn hard to find a place to get a flu shot anyway? And why do they cost so much? Carly needs hers for obvious reasons. The main one being her heart issues. This year, I find myself a bit nervous about Carly getting the flu shot. First of all. I called the pediatricians office on Monday to see if they had any of the 'regular' flu shots in yet. They do. I was excited, for a second. I told the receptionist that Carly, with her medical history needed one. I was told that they could do it the first week of October. Really??? Hmm. I have, according to the doc's a medically fragile child who NEEDS a flu shot. Why, if the shots are in do I have to wait until the first week in October?? I did question that. I was then told that Carly could get her shot sooner if I would like. I'm thinking, oh good the lady understands the importance of Carly getting this shot sooner rather than later. Until I was told to bring her in on the 25th of September. WHAT??? Seriously, that really isn't much sooner. Sheesh! I also questioned when the H1N1, or as I call it the swine flu shot would be available. I was told, not until mid October. I'm really nervous about this one. Probably why I'm so worked up about the 'regular' flu shot. Everything I've read says that all kids/young adult up to the age of 24 need this flu shot. Especially the "medically fragile kids". Is anyone else as nervous about this new flu shot as I am? I really don't like the idea of Carly getting a new type of flu shot that really doesn't have much history behind it. Sure, they did a study, but I haven't found whether or not it was even completed. If so, I would really like to know the findings. Sure, I know I have to do my part and protect Carly best I can. Which means, following the recommendation of the CDC and of course all of her doctors. But for some reason, I'm really nervous about it this year. I'm calling the pediatrician again today. I want the darn flu shot already. Carly is battling allergies and I'm scared to death it will turn into a sinus infection like usual. If it does, then no flu shot until she is better. That could take weeks. I'm curious as to what your opinions are on the flu shot. The regular one and the new one. Will you be getting your kids in for one or both? Will you be getting yours? If so, is anyone else as nervous over it as me? Probably not. Ashleigh tells me all the time that I'm paranoid. Umm, sorry...just the way it is when it comes to health issues of concern with Carly. I'd say this is a HUGE health issue concern. So, yeah ~ guess I'm entitled to being nervous and a little paranoid Right? I hate flu season.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday.

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click to enlarge ;o)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Menu Plan.

I'm off to a late start with my menu plan for the next couple of weeks. Last week's accident at Paul's job site really threw a monkey wrench in my menu plan. So, you may see a bit of a repeat from last weeks menu.

I gotta tell you. This menu plan thing is great! I love it. I plan out our meals for two weeks...as you know! I take my list to the store. Check things off of it as I shop and I'm back out the door, through the checkout line and in my car with groceries loaded in the back of the van in approximately an hour and 1/4. Boom, bam. Done. Love it!

Ashleigh called last night. She is coming home for the weekend and had a couple of requests. Her favorite meals of course. She asked for homemade mac & cheese and chicken fried chicken. Knowing her, once she sees next weeks menu ~ lasagna ~ she'll want that instead of the mac & cheese. So, we may switch that up a bit, but no big deal.

I was really thrown off last week. Not following my menu. I was lost. I did manage a couple of days as planned. It did make for a bit of an easier time figuring out the next couple of weeks menu plan.

Here's my menu for this week:

  • Mon - tacos
  • Tue - baked beans and franks, fried potatoes and applesauce
  • Wed - marinated crock pot pork loin, baked potatoes and veggies
  • Thur - homemade cheesy potato soup, dinner rolls & salad
  • Fri - PIZZA night!
  • Sat - homemade Mac&cheese, sloppy jo's and veggies
  • Sun - chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies

Next week:

  • Mon -lasagna, zucchini and garlic bread
  • Tue - chicken chimmichangas and corn cake
  • Wed - left overs night.
  • Thur - corn beef brisket (per Brads request) potatoes and veggies
  • Fri - PIZZA night!
  • Sat - beef stew with homemade bread
  • Sun - chicken and stuffing bake and broccoli w/cheese
Now for a recipe. This is the Potato burger recipe that someone asked me about a couple of weeks ago. It's very good and easy to make. It's a something my mom made quite often for us when I was living at home. I love it. My kids and Paul love it too. I've never actually seen a recipe for this. We just throw it together.

Potato burgers:

1 - 2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
small chopped onion (optional)
salt and pepper
1 package of shredded Bob Evans Hash browns
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 - 2 cans of milk (I use 1/2 water & 1/2 milk)

Beat your egg and mix it into the ground beef. Add salt and pepper and onion if you choose. Mix in the package of hash browns (we sometimes shred our own raw potatoes for this) until nicely incorporated into the ground beef. Form into patties ( I usually make my patties more plump than a regular hamburger patty) and place into preheated lightly oiled skillet. (I use a large electric skillet) Brown patties on both sides. You'll want to flip them carefully so they don't fall apart. In a separate bowl, mix your soup along with your milk. Pour soup mixture into the skillet and continue to heat. I cook it for about 30 minutes after I've add the soup mixture.

That's it. It's very yummy. I usually make it with green beans and even extra shredded potatoes, if I have any. If you give it a try, let me know. We think its very good!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Get Away.

We decided to take off for the Upper Peninsula (UP) on Friday. Paul needed to get away for the events that took place at work last week. My parents were up to the UP for salmon fishing at Sault Ste Marie/ the Soo Locks. Paul and I packed up our clothes, along with Carly and headed north.

We really didn't do much. Paul and my dad did fish some. Paul slept some. Carly and my mom played and played and played some more. We watched big ships come down the St Mary River. Watched as supply boats chugged out to greet them and pass on many barrels of supplies. We sat gazing at the International Bridge that connects Michigan's UP to Canada. (the bridge with an arch is the International Bridge)I even snapped a couple of pictures of the Canadian side of the St. Mary River. Then we hit the shops in town. You just can not go to the UP without buying their fudge, caramel corn and of course salt water taffy...YUMMY!

I really dislike going across bridges with water under them. I have a very hard time with that. It really freaks me out! So, I sat and snapped pictures as we went across the Mackinaw Bridge. I only snap pictures with a head on view. I refuse to look out into the water. Scares the daylights out of me. Although I really did try hard not draw much attention to my fear of bridges. Carly doesn't need to fear bridges like her mama does!

click to enlarge collage

We headed for home here in Mid Michigan and finally arrived about 9:00pm Sunday night. I was a crazy quick trip, but a much needed one for Paul. He needed to get away and get his mind off of everything that had taken place at work last week.

There is still no word as to the actual cause of death yet for Cedric. Friday, Paul's company held a grief counseling session and a mandatory CPR training class. Paul is already certified in CPR. He did however attend this training along with his crew of workers. Today, Paul is on that very job site, going over equipment, tools, safety issues and so on. Tomorrow he will attend Cedric's funeral with the rest of his crew. Wednesday, his company resumes work after being closed down for a week.

And so, we are home from our weekend get away. Back into the groove of things. Back to school for Carly. Who developed a runny nose after she got home from school on Friday. No fever. However, Carly rarely runs a temp when she is sick. Hopefully, this will prove to be allergy related and stay just that way. More often than not, her allergy junk turns to sinus junk and then she is down for the count.

I have tons of laundry to do. Isn't it amazing how much dirty laundry accumulates in one little measly weekend get away? I also need to get my menu plan up and running. Last week sent us into a tizzy. I didn't follow my menu as planned out. Too many things were going on. So, I winged it. Now, it's time to get back to business. I also need to catch up on all the blogs I follow. Missing a couple of days really puts you behind. Ahhh, weekend get aways!
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Friday, September 11, 2009

I Will Never forget.

September 11, 2001. Do you remember where you were? What you were doing? I sure do. I was drying my hair in my master bathroom. I had my TV on in my bedroom, watching the Today Show. I was getting ready to go to the grocery store.

I realized something was up. I turned off the blow dryer and stood and watched one tower with smoke bellowing out of the upper most part of the building. I listened to Katie and Matt talk and within just a couple of minutes. I see the other plane. I actually recall screaming out loud, "Oh my God, it's going to hit the other building". And then, it did. I instantly got chills up and down my spine.

As I sat frozen and watching the coverage, fear swept over me. I needed to call Paul. I was scared to death for the kids, they had just started school for the day. My parents were out of state on vacation. I was freaking out. I called Paul. He was working at Detroit Metro Airport that day. Of all days. No one knew what the heck was going on. We all thought for sure, we would hear of more horror. And then we did. Pennsylvania. I was completely freaked out.

By the time I heard of the crash in Pennsylvania, I had already started on my way to the get groceries. As I drove and listened to the radio. I must admit. I was terrified. I wanted Paul away from the airport. I wanted to turn around and head to the kids school. I was crying like crazy. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I was 5 months pregnant with Carly. Not a great day for a pregnant lady for sure.

I walked into the store, and people were huddled around a TV that hung just inside the stores door. Watching the live coverage of what was going on in New York. Then I heard about the Pentagon. I hadn't heard about until that moment. I nearly fainted. I know I was weak in the knees. All I wanted to do at that point is get home. Home was 22 miles away. It may as well have been 2200 miles away on that day.

As I got home and put things away, I of course turned the TV back on. My oldest brother called me that afternoon. He's the one who recently retired from the Air Force. We chatted for a bit about the days events. Both of us pretty much in shock.

I was concerned for my other brother. He did a lot of traveling. I called to see if he was gone or still in the area. Thankfully, he was home that day and not in an airplane.

My parents also called that day. They were out West. They didn't know if they should head home or what to do. They were numb, like the rest of us.

I will never forget the images of that plane hitting the second tower. I will never forget watching the people scurry about the streets of New York City. I will never forget the images of seeing people hurl themselves out of windows trying to escape the smoke and flames. I will never forget watching, as the Twin Towers fell to the ground. I will never forget hearing those frantic calls from the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. I will never forget the images of the Pentagon.
I will NEVER forget September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of School.

Finally first day of school pictures. Not many though. Carly was in no mood for pictures in the morning. The little stinker! She was quite happy when she got home. I'm sure you can tell which picture is the one taken after school! She is saying, "cheese" in it.

So far so good with school. She is happily going in the morning now. We started putting her on the bus on Wed. She LOVES the bus. She only has a 10 minute ride to school each day. And, there is only one other child on the bus route. However, she does have a bit longer ride home. She is the last one on in the morning and the last one off in the afternoon. She has about a 20 minute, give or take, ride home so that isn't too bad. Like I said, she loves the bus, so that's okay.

I'm learning all about Picasa 3. So forgive me while I play around with collages! As always, you can click on the collage to make the pictures larger.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A very late Wordless Wednesday.

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You can click the collage to make it larger...I think!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sad day.

Around 5:15 today, I called Paul to see if he was on his way home from work. His crew was working 10hour days this week. To make up for yesterday. They don't get holiday pay. Unless they work on that day. No one likes a 32 hour check. So, they all were in agreement to work 4 10's this week.

When he answered I knew something was wrong. I could hear it in his voice. I asked him what was going on. His response, "we had a guy get killed on the job today". I instantly got chills up and down my spine. I know several of the guys. I was selfishly thankful that it wasn't Paul.

I hung up the phone not knowing who it was or what had happened. I was just sick. I knew Paul was not in very good shape. I knew there was nothing that I could do but wait for Paul to call me back.

Around 5:40 Paul called to tell me that OSHA had just released the crew. He filled me in a bit. It looks like an electrocution. Paul and another guy on the crew tried CPR for 15 minutes until the paramedics arrived. It was too late. This poor guy, who was only 35 years old was gone.

Paul is not in very good shape. He's the foreman of this crew. He feels very responsible. Even though he was not. He keeps telling me that all he wanted was to keep him from dying. But he couldn't do it. He said no matter how hard I tried. I failed. Bad. I've given him a Xanax and he's now laying down.

His boss called and canceled work for most of the week. The job of course is shut down while crime scene investigators and OSHA do their work. Paul told his boss, "I've done this kind of work since I was 16 years old. I never thought I'd be in this position".

Paul could use some prayer right now. So could the family of the guy who lost his life today. His name was Cedric.

I'll post some picture of Carly tomorrow. She did end up having a great day!

Back in the swing of things.

Today is Carly's first day of school. She was not the least bit interested in going today. In fact, she told me she was staying home.

I woke up at 6:10 this morning. Rolled out of bed and headed to the shower. I had planned on getting Carly up at 6:30, but she woke up looking for me and crying. She strolled into the bathroom and sat patiently waiting for me to finish up my shower. She then decided she was hungry. After my shower, we headed to the kitchen and made her a fried egg sandwich. She refuses to eat eggs any other way. She ate every bit of it and had a glass of juice too.

Eventually, it was time to get dressed, brush teeth, go potty one last time, fix hair (never fun) and head out the door. Oh....I forgot to mention. It was raining outside. Carly really hates the rain. Luckily, it had broken to only a slight sprinkle by the time we had to head out. That made it a little easier to get her out of the door.

Off to school we go. Carly was happy as can be. Only because I had the radio blaring away. She danced and sang and was finally happy.

We arrived at school....and she wasn't happy any longer. She fought me tooth and nail getting out of the van. Finally, she caved. We headed in to her classroom. Found her seat and tried and tried to get her to smile for the camera. Shoot. I tried and tried to get her to just look at the camera. She wasn't about to. I'll try to snap a few pictures when I pick her up today.

I'm sure she'll be okay today. Probably she'll do better than me! First grade is so much more structured than kindergarten. That may prove to be a great thing for Carly. Carly isn't a kid who is big on change. She likes things to go along just so.

Tomorrow Carly will be riding the bus. She loves the bus. I'm selfish and wanted to take her her first day. The bus will be picking her up around 7:45 each morning. Which is the time we have to leave our house to get her to school, if I take her. We only live about 10 minutes from the school, so the route wont be too long for her.

As the day goes by I will get to cleaning my house...which may just stay clean a bit longer each day. ;o) Carly will get used to having a routine at school. She'll get used to playing with her friends again. And likely, we will be doing homework. Ahhh, back into the swing of things.

***I'll be posting a few pictures of Carly's first day of First grade later tonight. I'm hoping I can get a good picture of her after school today. I did snap a few this morning, but she was in no mood for the camera.***

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sesame Street Live.

Last Sunday Paul and I took Carly to Sesame Street Live. Thought I'd share a few pictures. A few, of my 120..haha!

I think if you click the picture, it will make it larger.

Carly really enjoyed the show. After the first 15 minutes or so! At first, she just wasn't sure why the lights were pretty much off and why all these screaming kids (who were a tad too young to be there in the first place) were doing just that. Screaming. She eventually watched and was mesmerized with show. She also enjoyed her Cotton Candy!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You know you're old when....

...your oldest kids teenage babysitter tracks you down at a school function and says, "are you the George's"? Paul and I looking completely stunned, "yeah, we are". She then goes on to tell us who she is. I about fell over. She has three kids of her own now. Her oldest two are the exact same age that Ashleigh and Brad were when she started babysitting them. 4th and 1rst grade. That's how you know, you're getting old. sigh!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Is there a Doctor in the house??

Why yes, that would be Doctor Carly!

She is first giving herself an injection. This is pretty much how she deals with the real injections. No big deal to her. She sits and watches without much fuss. When the nurse/doc pokes her, Carly says, "Duh"! and shrugs her shoulders. As if it's no big deal.

This is her favorite doll. Sadly, this is how she plays dolls. Well, that's not entirely true. She does like to push her dolls in their doll stroller. She likes to feed them and change their clothes. Well, actually she likes them with no shirts on! As for rocking and such...not so much. But this is the way she spends most playtime with her dolls.

I suppose this is just what Carly knows. Doctoring at it's finest.

This doll was a Christmas present last year from my brother and his wife. It's a doll complete with all things necessary for a good doctor in training. That would be Carly.

This doll has a 'hole' for the syringe on it's little bottom. When you stick the tip of the syringe into the hole, the doll cries and cries. Until you pick her up and stick a bottle in her mouth. Carly doesn't use that hole much. She prefers to do what she knows best. The syringe right in the chest. Just the place where Carly had two broviacs and one port during the course of 33+ months.

Before she received this doll, with all things necessary for fine doctoring. She would use our syringes that I get from the pharmacy to give Carly her Tylenol or antibiotics. I have a gazillion of them!

Paging Doctor Carly...