Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My dad, St. Vincent's and the poopy diaper

My dad had to go to the ER at St. Vincent's yesterday. He had 6 bypasses on his heart before Tucker was born, and has since had another bad heart attack last year, around this same time, that we were afraid he was not going to make it out of. So, when he felt some bad chest pains Monday, he was wondering if they might be indigestion, but called his cardiologists office just to check. Dad had undergone a stress test the week before and evidently the doctor's office had left him a message at home to let him know that he needed to call the office to be admitted, because they had found an irregularity on the left side of his heart. He thought the nurse told him to take an ambulance to St. Vincent's ER, but what she meant was, to get to the office, which is across the street from the hospital, as soon as possible because they needed to make sure he wasn't having a heart attack. Long story short, his enzyme levels from the ER came back negative for the enzymes that are present when there has been a heart attack, so it was probably just indigestion. However, because he went to the ER, they admitted him into the hospital and put in him on the no eating or drinking after midnight because he would have the cathertisation the next day. He didn't have it done until around 5:30 this afternoon, and thank the good Lord above, it only showed that his arteries were narrowed in places. He thinks that they are just going to adjust his medication.

Funny and crazy part of the day was that I had both my cell phone and my home phone in the bathroom with me this morning when I decided I should take a shower. Connor was amusing himself with cars on the bathroom tile and I was in the middle of shaving my legs when the house phone rang. I jumped out of the shower, water, shaving cream and all to answer the phone thinking it was my dad telling me that they were about to take him for the cathertisation. It turned out to be the nurse at Tucker's school. Tucker had a rash on his face, arms, and legs and she was afraid he was having an allergic reaction to something. I told her that he had just started taking Stratterra two weeks ago for ADD and that might be the problem. She urged me to get there as soon as possible. I turned around to get back into the shower to finish shaving my leg, and wash the conditioner out of my hair and who is standing in the shower? Connor, pjs and all, smiling and saying, "sower too, sower too." I had no choice at that point but to strip him down and bath him as well. We got out and got dried off, I put a diaper and clothes on him and sat him in front of the tv in our bedroom to watch Bear in the Big Blue house. I attempted to put on some make up because I knew that I would have to either go straight to the pediatrician's office or straight to the hospital to see my dad. Finally, I was almost ready when the nurse called again and wanted to know how much longer I was going to be. I was thinking, "Sheesh woman! I am trying my darnedest to get out of the house as fast as I can." We got to the school and I realized Connor had no shoes.

I checked Tucker out, called his doctor, they said to bring him in immediately and to give him benadryl. I ran by the house to get Conman some shoes, and grabbed a different shirt off of the drying rack to put on thinking it was dry. It wasn't, but I thought it was at least halfway dry. It wasn't, so I was stuck wearing a wet shirt and then went to the pediatricians office. The parking lot was so packed that i drove around 4 times and couldn't find a spot. They share an office building with a bank, and evidently the bank customers were taking up the spaces. So, I called the doctor's office and told them that i would keep an eye on Tucker's rash after the benadryl had time to work and go on to see my dad in the hospital. We got to the hospital and I loaded Connor into the stroller, argued with Tucker to put his jacket on, and freezing in my wet shirt went to see my dad. St. Vincent's is a confusing hospital, but thankfully I had Tucker there, and new my way around pretty good. We got into daddy's room and had not been there ten minutes when I started smelling what I thought was somebody letting one rip. I looked at my dad, and asked, "Is that you?" He laughed and said "no, I think Connor has a stinky." BAM! It dawned on me that I had not packed his diaper bag and had no diapers.

I will conclude here, with saying that I ended up taking a 30 min trip around St. Vincent's hospital in search of diapers, and almost had to pay 6.00 for a tiny pack of convenience diapers which consisted of two diapers of indeterminable quality or size, a tiny thing of wipes and some diaper cream. I was in line to buy them when a SWEET mom behind me said, "Do you need diapers? You can have two of mine." She reached into her sons stroller and gave me two huggies and I have never wanted to kiss someones feet so much in my life! Thankfully I had some wet wipes in my purse so we made it fine.

Please pray for my friend and her husband tomorrow, and for my sweet Daddy to get home tomorrow with no complications from the procedure today.

Love to all,


Sad news for my friend

If you read my posts earlier in the month I asked for prayer for Amanda and Craig Snead, and their 2 week old baby girl Addie. She and her twin sister Catie were born with Trisomy 13 disorder. Catie passed away after only 9 days, but Addie made it until this past Saturday. I had no idea as I had not heard from Amanda in a few days. My friend Christine called me today to tell me the news. The family is holding visitation tomorrow in Gadsden at Collier Butler funeral home from 11-1 pm. the funeral will be at 1:00. Please pray for Amanda, Craig, Wilson (3 year old son), and Amand and Craig's parents as they grieve. Life is so precious, and it breaks your heart when you see it taken away so quickly.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Another note

In my previous post I mentioned how upset I am at Tucker's ADHD diagnosis and how I try to remind myself that the small bumps I encounter on this road of life, are nothing compared to the sink holes that others find themselves in from time to time. I have learned through life experiences that if you don't appreciate every single thing that you have been blessed with, or start taking credit for what you have, or complain about what you don't have, God will give you a good kick in the pants. He is merciful, and thankfully, He sent his son to die for our sins. However, Jesus' sacrifice does not keep God from giving us gentle reminders on a daily basis that He is in control. He is our Father after all, and He is the one who wrote the words, spare the rod, spoil the child.
On the flip side, He takes care of us even when we don't ask him to or feel as though we don't need His help. I had a difficult childhood in some ways, and when I went to college and after graduation, I rebelled against God and what I knew to be the right path. Now that I am older, and look back, I can see where God was with me in some of my darkest moments. He held the steering wheel for me on the nights I drove back and forth from Gadsden to Birmingham when I couldn't see the road through my tears because my mother was dying in the hospital. (Praise God she didn't). He kept me from killing myself with alcohol on the nights that I went out with my friends and downed a bottle of tequila plus who knows how many more beers. He kept the boys that I thought that I loved out of my life so that I would come back to Him through the godly man that He sent to marry me. I especially felt his hands on me when Connor was in the NICU for 14 days. Through Connor's experience, I changed my attitude toward life and what it really meant to be a disciple for Christ. I still slip up from time to time, well, a lot of the time, but for the most part I try to do as Jesus would do, when I am dealing with people or situations. I am not taking credit for any of my actions, I just write that to say, that God works in every facet of our lives especially when we feel that he is further away from our hearts than he has ever been before. We are His children, and no matter how hard we push him away, he never leaves us, even when we blame him for what has gone wrong in our lives.

I don't know why I was led to write this tonight, but maybe there is someone who is reading this post who feels separated or abandoned by God right now, and this will help them. The poem Footprints has been in my mind a lot lately and I will post it here:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."
Mary Stevenson

Rain, Rain Go AWAY!

Due to the rain, Tucker's last two soccer games have been cancelled. They are making up one of the games this Tuesday which rocks, because I will be able to see him play.
This week was not a good one for our household. Not one thing in particular, just a series of unfortunate events. Tucker was officially diagnosed by Dr. Joe as having ADHD with anxiety. Tucker did really well in his interview with Dr. Joe, and the doc was very impressed with his intelligence and his vocabulary. He seems to think that once he gets his attention deficit under control, he will do extremely well in school. I have mixed feelings about Tucker's diagnosis. On one hand, I am glad that they make a medicine that can help kids with ADD. Tucker is bright, he does very well in math, but when it comes to memorizing the stupid sight words that the school system requires kindergartners to do now, it is tough on him. We were working on his sight words the other night, before his appointment, and he broke down in tears because he was so frustrated. He would know three whole pages of words one time, then two seconds later he could only remember half of them and it was because Connor was making noises in the next room. I have ADD too, however mine went undiagnosed, so I understand his frustration. I told him that there is a light switch in his brain that shuts off on him when he gets distracted by things going on around him. This explanation made him feel better, especially when I told him that his mommy had the same faulty light switch. Brad thinks that I am too easy on him, but when he broke down in front of me the other night, I put all 57 pounds of him in my lap and held him like a two year old until he calmed down. It is so sad to see your child upset by something that is totally out of his control.
On the other hand it makes me so sad to think that he will be on medication now. Dr. Joe prescribed Strattera, which is a non-amphetamine ADHD drug that helps more with the anxiety that comes as a side affect of the disorder. The side effects of Strattera are a lot less severe than with Ritalin or Adherol. His appetite should not be affected, but he has to take his pill with his dinner because it can cause an upset stomach as well as drowsiness. So far, his stomach has been okay, but he told me that he is sleepy by the end of the day at school. It takes two weeks for Strattera to get into his system, and until then, we really won't know if it is helping with the ADHD or not. I met with his teacher, who is WONDERFUL, the day after his appointment with Dr. Joe. Our parent teacher conference just happened to be scheduled that day. She was happy that Tucker was going to be on medicine, because like me and Dr. Joe, she can see his potential but knew that the ADHD was holding him back and frustrating him.

So, that has gotten me down a little bit this week. However, one of my dearest friends in the world lost her 9 day old baby three weeks ago. The baby's name was Catie, and she has a twin sister who is still in the NICU at Children's hospital. Amanda's situation is so much more than what mine is, and what she is going through is a reminder that we need to take life for what it is and never, ever take a single moment for granted. Some of my hardest days, do not compare with a good day for some people who have dealt with so much more heartache in their lives. Please pray for Miss Addie, and Amanda, Craig and Wilson. Pray for God to continue to give them strength during these days, and to hold them up when they can't seem to stand any longer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Soccer is in full swing!

Today was Tucker's second soccer practice. I think that out of all of the sports, he loves soccer the most. He loves football and basketball, but part of the reason that he loves those sports might be due to the fact that his daddy was a phenom in both of those activities. Tucker always wants to make his daddy proud, so he tries his hardest at those two sports. He has played soccer since he was three, and he truly has a passion for it. There are two main reasons that I think make him love soccer so much:
1. He loves to run and chase people, and vice versa.
2. He loves to chase a player down with the ball and kick their feet out from under them and take the ball, and get applauded for it instead of admonished.

Tucker is so aggressive on the soccer field that parents around us even comment on how good he is at defense. If a player on the other team his the soccer ball and they are running twenty yards in front of him, Tucker will break out of the pack and be on that player before he knows what hit him and then Tucker will usually take possession of the ball. I love to watch him play. He laughs and smiles the entire time. He is very happy on the soccer field. I think that he is going to be a soccer player, and a swimmer when he gets older. He is a very strong swimmer due to his endurance and love of the water. I am proud of him, as you can tell. I will post some pics from soccer soon. I won't get to go to this Saturdays game because I have to work, but I will get Brad to take some pics. Thankfully his practices are on a Tuesday, so I get to see him play then. Connor is much easier to control on the soccer field as well. He plays ball behind me inside an unused goal meant for high school players. I can actually concentrate on Tucker most of the time. I also make sure not to talk to any mommies while I am on the field. I got scolded by Tucker on many occasions last year for "talking" instead of "watching"during practices.

One new cute thing that Connor has started doing this week is that you can tell him he can have "just one" of something and he will hold up his finger and say "one". Also, if you ask him if he loves you he says, "Nooooo." with this cute little grin on his face. He keeps doing that to you until he starts laughing at himself. He has also started acting out the "I love you" song from Barney. He surprised me with this on Sunday night when the song came over he gave me a hug during the words for hug, and a high five for the best friend part. That was the SWEETEST thing he has ever done!!! He is just getting cuter and cuter every day, I am so blessed with all three of my boys!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring, a season of new beginnings

I just finished planting the flower garden that surrounds our mail box. After two and a half hours of hard work, I am exhausted.
I am the first one to admit that I am not the best gardener. My mother and grandmother, as well as my stepmom are all blessed with the green thumb. I on the other hand, have a black thumb. I enjoy planting flowers, and looking at them after they have been planted. My problem with gardening is that it requires you to remember to water the plants that you have planted. I have a short term memory issue, and am also pretty busy being a mom, and am not the best at remembering to water my plants.
Planting flowers brings me a good deal of joy. I love putting my bare hands in the dirt, no gloves for me, and spreading the soil around to make room for new flowers. My fingernails resemble those of an animal after I have finished planting, but the dirt comes out after several washings and an occasional scrub with an old toothbrush.
My mother in law, who I will now refer to as: She Who Will Not Be Named, is a "Master Gardner". She took the course and everything. Those people who live in her hometown know that she is out on the streets inspecting plants, and supervising teams of workers on a daily basis, all without pay. She Who Will Not Be Named believes that she knows the best color combinations, flower arranging techniques, and planting secrets that know one else could possible understand or know about.
When Brad and I were first married, our little house in Crestline Park had a iron window box which hung below our bedroom window. I could not wait for the first spring to plant flowers in that window box! As soon as it got warm, I went to Lowe's and picked out my flowers very carefully, choosing all of my favorite colors, red, blue, lavender, and yellow. I chose different types of flowers, some that would spread and hang over the box, others that would sprout up toward the sky and I would be able to see them from inside our bedroom. There was also the most beautiful Hydrangea bush underneath the window box. We had compliments on that Hydrangea every time we had a gathering at our house. I have a particular love of Hydrangea bushes, due to the fact that my Granny, who was a good Gardner, had Hydrangeas planted all around her house. I loved walking through the yard in the spring time looking at all of those beautiful blooms, my favorite was the lavender ones. When the blooms began to fall, I would pick them up and place them in a small shoe box, for a keepsake. The Hydrangea bush underneath our window box was the lavender color that my Granny grew, which made me love it even more.
One day, in late August, I was putting Tucker down for a nap inside the house and heard voices from underneath my bedroom window. She Who Will Not Be Named had come to our house for a visit. I walked outside to find SWWNBN and my husband digging up my hydrangea bush! I was shocked and dismayed by the sight and asked why they were digging up our beautiful plant. SWWNBN replied that the bush was throwing off the "symmetry" of the house and needed to be moved to the side of the house. Now, I have said before that I am not a master Gardner by any means. I do read Southern Living, and from the authors of that wonderful magazine, I have learned a few things about plants. One of the lessons being that you are not supposed to transplant any bush during the summer or early fall. It is guaranteed not to make it if you move a plant during this time frame. Knowing that my hydrangea was doomed, I watched as they pulled up the beautiful bush and moved it with the help of the wheelbarrow to the side of the house next to the carport. I silently told the Hydrangea that I was sorry, that I had no control of what had happened to it. Sure enough, by winter, it was dead as the grass that surrounded it.
The people who had owned the house we live in now, had been avid gardeners. They had a "salsa garden" in the back yard, and a beautiful front bed around the mailbox as well as a Azalea garden. When the flowers started to die in during the first fall that we had lived in our house I went to Lowe's and bought some pansies. I love pansies. They are so colorful in the fall and early winter, and bring a little bit of joy to the falling leaves and bareness that comes with that season. I bought all of my favorite colors again, and spent hours planting them under the mailbox. When I was finished I was so proud of my work that I took a picture.
Two months later, it had not even begun to freeze outside, I came home from work to find She Who Will Not Be Named at my house. She had pulled out all of the pansies in my mailbox garden and they were scattered in the yard. I asked what she was doing and her reply was, "They are about to die anyway, I brought some more flowers for this garden that will look better and last longer." I silently watched again as she replanted my garden, that I had been so proud of, and simmered deep within.
So, as Chicken Little says, "Today is a new day!" Brad and the boys are in Noxapater visiting his Memaw and I had all afternoon to myself after I got off from work at 12:30. The thought occurred to me that this would be the most opportune time to plant some new flowers around my mailbox. I normally do not have the time to go and pick out flowers and plant them, when I have the boys at home with me. I went to Lowe's as soon as I got off from work and loaded up a cart full of flowers, reds, yellows, purples, azure blue, and a lovely fern. Don't ask me what the names of these plants are, I couldn't tell you. I picked them by their color first, and then by how much sunlight they could take, and how much watering they needed. After I got home I unloaded all of my flowers and potting soil and walked over to the mailbox garden. The plants that SWWNBN had planted were dead, and I couldn't wait to pull them out. She has been planting that garden every season for the past four years, before I ever get a chance to do it myself. I started out with my garden spade, trying to get out some sort of tall monkey grass she had planted. I went and got the garden hoe from the garage and started hacking at these plants that were in the garden, with so much voracity that I was sweating. Then I walked back into the garage for the shovel, to get one bush out that she had planted whose roots were too deep for the garden hoe to reach. The next thing I know I am jumping up and down on the shovel, lifting and pulling the bush until finally it ripped free. I threw it behind me and attacked the "ground cover" that she talked about so often. Again, I had lost myself in my vigorous task, I was pulling at this ground cover with strength I did not know that I had possessed. With each handful of plant that came out, a little bit of aggression from my body was released. I pulled and threw the plants over my shoulder until I had completely cleared that garden of every speck of green. All that was left was dirt. I took the garden hoe and hammered it into the soil and pulled back the dirt until it looked new. Then I planted my new flowers. I didn't take a picture if it this time, but I am still proud!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentine's day surprise, Forrest and Polly's party

Brad Boswell gave me the surprise of the century when he orchestrated a romantic night out for the two of us on Friday, Feb. 13th. I came home from work that night to find his parent's van parked in front of our house. I knew that his parent's were coming to watch Tucker's basketball game on Saturday, but I was under the deception that they were coming on Saturday morning. Therefore, when I saw the van, I just assumed that they had changed their minds and came to spend the night.
Following the normal hellos, and how are yous, I mentioned that we could all eat the Taco Soup that I had prepared on Wed night for dinner. Brad casually said, "You and I could go to dinner if you wanted to." I asked if he was sure and looked at his parents to make sure that they were okay to watch Tucker and Connor. Everything was a go, and I went upstairs to change shirts. I had been through a day from hell at the branch and was very tired, so I didn't feel like fixing my hair or dressing any nicer than I already was. I was wearing my glasses due to a cornea problem that I have been having and I must say, the glasses do not help me achieve a sexy look.
We got into the car and started toward Greystone, a nice area of Birmingham. Brad mentioned going to Wing's to eat and I was fine with that. I am not hard to please at all when it comes to eating out. As long as I do not have to cook it and clean it, I can eat anything, anywhere.

He turned into a newly developed shopping area that was on the way to Wings. He is a property accountant and is always talking about this new property being developed by this company, and so on so I didn't think anything about him saying that he just wanted to check it out. There are several nice little boutiques in this development and an Edgar's Bakery. There is also a very nice Italian restaurant that my friend Margaret Ann and her husband have eaten at before and raved about. Brad suddenly pulled into a parking spot and announced that he wanted to "check out" the bar inside this extremely nice restaurant, Bellini's. I said, "Ok, that sounds good. But I think it is expensive?" Questioning him to make sure that he knew what we were about to walk into. As we approached the door I saw the chalkboard sign read "Make your spring reservations now" and thought, oh well, we won't get in here tonight. We walked into the door and the Maitre De' asked "do you have a reservation" to which Brad immediately replied, "Yes, Boswell for 8:15" At that point I almost fell on the floor. That is when he announced that this was part of my Valentine's Day surprise, and that there was more to come!
What came next was a beautifully delicious dinner and a romantic atmosphere. He had planned the evening down to a tee. After dinner we went to see the Liam Neilson movie Taken, which was phenomenal. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Brad created the sweetest memory for me this Valentine's day and I will never forget his initiative, planning and sensitivity that night.

The next evening we attended an engagement party for Brad's friend Forrest and his fiance Polly. Brad's parents had driven our boys on over to Columbus after Tucker's basketball game, and when I arrived home after work we were able to pack and take a little cat nap before heading to Columbus for the party. It is a good thing that we got the nap because it took all the persuading and strength I had to get Brad Boswell to leave that party at 3:15 in the morning. He had a great time with his friends, but paid for it the next day, and unfortunately missed a trip to see his Memaw and Meme and Doyle. Tucker, Connor and I went to see the great grands by ourselves and had a great time. Memaw was disappointed that she didn't get to see Brad but I assured her that Brad and the boys would be over to go to the catfish opry with her on a Friday after Tucker's basketball season is over.

Tucker is turning into the sports enthusiast that Brad has always dreamed of. Tucker doesn't think of seasons in terms of Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Instead he remembers them by what sport is played when. He announced after the last flag football game that he played that it was now time for basketball, and then when it got hot, he would be ready for soccer. We are probably going to get involved in the swim team at our YMCA. He loves swimming and takes to water like a fish. I am ready for summer too. I am excited that this will be the first summer that I will be able to be at home with the boys 4 days of the week! We will have loads of fun and I can't wait for the memories we will make!