Friday, December 31, 2010

Goals for 2011

Everyone keeps asking me what my goals or resolutions are for the New Year...

Quite frankly I don't have a clue.

Right now everything seems to be hanging in the balance.

I'm currently waiting to find out if I can announce that the 'rabbit has died'...will find out in the morning...

I tried to reflect on last years resolutions only to find that any resolutions I did make flew out the window when we moved to Tennessee, leaving Oklahoma behind. I cannot say that I'm disheartened by not keeping any of those goals or resolutions. I'm ECSTATIC about not having those goals still lingering over me.

I did have a few goals that did not revolve around Oklahoma, but I didn't write them out anywhere...

Goals that I had going into 2010:
Remove that blasted Mirena - accomplished, finally, in July...
Start school - accomplished in March
Find out whats going on with my arm - optimistic that I'm now on my way to recovery, started in May, but no real progress until November, great progress since...
Find out whats going on with Mikaila and why she was delayed - worked on it all year, no real progress until July, when her adenoids were removed and tubes put in her ears, REMARKABLE progress since
Get an answer on Mikeal's medical stuff - Answered in January, as hypothyroidism, still working on getting it stabilized and getting him to take his medication on a daily basis.
Lose weight - failed miserably, stupid hormones

Goals that I have going into 2011:
Lose weight - buying a treadmill or elliptical machine as soon as I get my first stipend check, any day now
Continue to help my children be all that they can be - Mikaila is starting preschool so that she'll have interaction with other children who are not speech delayed and she will be getting speech therapy. Continue to work with Mikeal to get his medical condition under control so that his behavioral issues will come into better control.
Be supportive of my husband - help to find a program of study where he can get the rest of his ASE certifications and still be able to work.
Contribute to the family income - build up my product base to offer more items that persons would be inclined to want to purchase on a regular basis.
Organize my time better - buying a desk calendar so that I can write everything out where it would be easily seen on a daily basis, instead of my pocket planner that I keep losing.

That is all I can think of at this point...I reserve the right to modify, remove, and add to the list as I see fit throughout the year.

Enjoy and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Admit It....

I can be a completely crass bitch.

I can be... I attempt to choose not to be.

There are times that I see or hear something and can't help but think that to be as ignorant, stupid, or heartless as some others make themselves out to be must be a blessing.

I often find myself lost in a quandry as to what to write or say in many situations.

Some situations a consoling hug doesn't seem to be enough, but words aren't appropriate either. Other situations one could talk until they're blue in the face and all that is required is a good slap across the other person's face.

Other situations require that all you do is shut up and listen. While other situations require that you offer meaningful support, guidance, and information.

Knowing the difference between any of these situations is HARD!

There are times that I should merely just sit back and listen to someone's situation, but instead of listening I find my mind wandering or trying to think up a way to 'fix' their problem or think of what I should say to them.

Other times I've found myself reading something and wanting to say something, know that something is expected of me to say something and words or actions evade me. Situations that all that may be required of me is a hug, but I can't find it in me for whatever reason.

Then there are other situations that the subject or person can be beaten with a stick and the information still not reach their gray matter and I just have to walk away...often resulting in me running long and hard at the mouth (or fingers).

There have been times that I've read something or heard something that all I can think is 'that person really doesn't get it'...and have found myself wishing ill towards them....then modifying that ill will consistently until I've driven myself mad with guilt over wishing it in the first place....which is healthy I suppose, it proves that I do have a conscious and that I really honestly don't wish ill will to others...the guilt is from having the thought in the first place.

I can't really say I judge others and their choices. I'm mature enough to recognize that we're each beings of freewill and how I choose to display my freewill varies from how someone else chooses to display theirs, but I do judge those who appear to be harshly judgmental of others.

Sometimes I let my crass bitch side shine. To say I feel good in the moment is an understatement. In the moment I feel exonerated! Free somehow. Almost like that feeling of being constrained in a three sizes too small bra and the clasp finally being undone...but then the weight bears on me and I feel the need to put a bra back on...tame things back a bit.

Over the last few months I have worked to wear a bra that properly fits...this has involved throwing out some of the ones that are 'much' too small while minding that I keep at least something on to hold me back. Once in a while I still find that one will become a bit those cases I work to adjust the restraints, put some distance between myself and the restraints, or just throw them out before I feel the need to just snap.

It is work...but as I've worked towards this goal I don't find myself feeling quite so annoyed so often. I don't feel the pressure to just blow up and attack with a pair of scissors.

Now, I'm still working on finding exactly what makes me comfortable all of the has been kinda like walking a tightrope between severely passive aggression and violent verbal aggression...two sides of the spectrum that I like to bounce between. I figure one of these days I'll find the middle where I'm completely the meantime I'll keep trying on the different styles of sizes I run across.

Right now I'm feeling frisky...and bloggy....
I'm not terribly sure how to sum up 2010. Its been a year of growth in many ways.

I started off 2010 with plans of buying a small TINY house, in Oklahoma, that was on a well that couldn't keep up with the demands of a family, even a small family like mine...Doing massive repairs to the house, building a privacy fence, adding onto the house, moving to a large house, in Tennessee, that's on county water, relatively private, and outside of a few necessary cosmetic things not really in need of great repair.

The stark difference between living here and out in Oklahoma is so night and day it's not even comparable.

I'm finding myself very happy with my life. I am surrounded by friends and their families that make life feel like it's worth living again. I'm still battling some aspects of my depression, but the things that had me angry, bitter, and in a dark hole at the beginning of last year no longer bother me. Don't think that these things aren't still present....they are, they just no longer bother me like they used to.

I still have an array of drama queens in my life who think it is becoming for them to act like petty children, but now instead of being highly irritated by them and their bitterness towards myself and my family I find them amusing....their emails and random anonymous comments to my blog actually bring a smile to my face. I figure if my public posts bring some poor soul grief because my life is actually better than theirs then I'm obviously doing something right.

I started school back in March, shortly after moving here to Tennessee. Its a bit stressful at times, but every bit worth it. Mikaila will be starting pre-school next week, so in light of having nine 'free' hours a week I've decided to bump my school schedule up from part time to full time. After getting through Anatomy & Physiology during Thanksgiving & Christmas and passing it with an A, I'm fairly confident I can breeze through a full time schedule for the next few months at least.

I also started up a small homemade items shop in November...items vary from ornaments to jewelry to knitted scarves, socks, and hats...

Aspects of my health have improved. I can once again feel my left hand, my back no longer hurts like it did, and with Mikaila FINALLY sleeping through most nights sanity is starting to creep back into my horizon. Until I find out some information 'next' year...then some insanity might creep back in, just in time for the Fall....stay tuned over the next few weeks....

Mikeal has been doing great - still adjusting to remembering to take a medication on a daily basis - but school has been great. It is actually proving to be a challenge to his this year, which is reassuring to me because it means he's actually learning something and not sitting around bored all the time!

Brian did switch employers this year, but he's still in the same line of work and still supposedly in line for a management position. I know he's considered putting in an application to work at the Nissan plant on the other side of Nashville. I suppose we'll see what comes of that. He's currently in the middle of rebuilding our new truck, so far the work has come along beautifully. you can see the progress for yourself in previous posts...

I have so much I want to say about 2010! In short it started off a bit rough, but time, patience, hastily thought out decisions, and rollercoaster adventures things have ended up spectacularly. Its amazing just how many things can change in just a year. I read back through my posts from the last year and it's just weird to think how far things have come since...

So, as I bid ado to 2010 I am looking forward to 2011! This may actually prove to be a year in which I make real resolutions and goals for the coming year, instead of just vague intentions that sound good at the time.

OH...and I absolutely canNOT wait to get started on planning my garden and expanding it this year!!!! Not really in a hurry for spring to get here as I still have a lot of prep work to get done before then, but I'm so happy to get a full planting season in this year and can't wait to see what comes back up from last year! Can you believe it - I even had some lettuce pop back up late this fall...even though the snow and ice did cut its life short, it was exciting nonetheless!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Truck Rebuild 2010 pt 4

The manifold is clean!!!

And now silver...
Valve body covers are going to be red.... for him to get to work on cleaning the actual heads....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Truck Rebuild 2010 pt 3

We can see the heads!!!

As you're likely able to distinguish...the 'orange-red' side is encased in the lovely rust sludge from the blown manifold gasket. The other side is black, as it should be, should not look like black sludge either.

This is a prime example of what happens to an engine that is not properly cared for...the wrong antifreeze and mixing the two types of antifreeze will cause the radiator to rust and the antifreeze to turn into sludge, etc as mentioned yesterday. Not changing your oil on a regular basis and using crappy oil will cause a build up of oil sludge. Sludge of any and all nature is BAD for an engine!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Truck Rebuild 2010 pt 2

Progress is being made...

This is the 'spider'...also commonly known as the fuel injector...pretty nasty looking
YAY! The manifold is out!

The distributor, also fairly nasty, but no significant damage, so should clean up nicely!!!The manifold...VERY nasty and full of 'lovely' sludge...
But it is cleaning up fairly well.... YAY

Truck Rebuild 2010

...hoping the rebuild is done before 2011....

The other night, on his way home from work Brian, had a head gasket blow in our 'new to us' 1996 Chevy S-10 Extended Cab pick-up. We've only had it for just over a week, with this weekend being the first real weekend Brian would have to check everything out...Instead he is getting to rebuild the whole top part of the engine.

See...this is what happens when a person uses not only the wrong type of antifreeze in their radiator, but this also happens when they mix the two types of antifreeze...You get a lovely 'rust' sludge...

This rust sludge then works it way throughout the engine...making stops at the thermostat housing, where it works to build up the pressure and causes the engine to not really know the correct temp of the engine, thus causing even more antifreeze and coolant to make its way through the engine...

This lovely yellow looking stuff is where antifreeze got into the Intake Manifold by way of a blown intake manifold gasket, as you can see through the vacuum port. This can cause many issues in and of itself. The Intake Manifold gaskets are not a hard repair on these engines. GM's are notorious for this type of repair as the intake gaskets usually have to be replaced every 100,000 miles. Fel-Pro Gaskets make a problem solver kit for this. Luckily, those gaskets are included in the head gasket kit that we bought.

Brian now has the lovely task ahead of him of dismantling the top half of the engine, cleaning out all the sludge, rust, and grime build-up. And praying that such things, as this MAP sensor are not completely shot and also have to be replaced.
For Brian to take this to a shop to be done he's looking at minimally a $1000 repair bill...THANKFULLY I have a mechanically inclined husband, who also works in a parts store (thereby getting us a discount on parts)....I may have to spend this next week sharing the car with him again, complete with 6am wake-ups and multiple trips back and forth into town for doctor, dentist, physical therapy, and work...but the repair should only cost us about $400 out of pocket...This includes the price to replace all the heater hoses, radiator, water pump (maybe), gaskets for the entire top of the engine, cleaner for everything, two oil changes (at least), antifreeze, torque wrenches we don't have, and etc...

Just remember, OIL AND ANTIFREEZE should never mix. This is a sign of a blown head gasket. Never drive a vehicle that this has happened to until it is repaired properly. It may be ok for a few minutes in order to get it off the road, but signs of this condition are poor performance, engine skipping, very quick overheating, knocking, pinging and engine shutdown. if it gets too hot you can wind up replacing the whole engine as you can literally MELT the main and rod bearing to the crankshaft, snap a rod and knock a hole into the engine block.

**post completed in part by my lovely husband**

Friday, December 17, 2010

Confusion with a Side of Anticipation...

AF, for me, has always been right on time - 28 days. Generally I can pinpoint it down to the hour even, based on 'symptoms' the day before. This last few weeks, though, has completely thrown me for a complete loop and its just driving me a bit batty.

On Nov 14th I started, right on time, all 'normal' symptoms, etc. BUT then on Nov. 28th (CD14) I basically started again, except the only 'symptom' I had was bleeding - no cramping, no nothing else - and it lasted about twice as long as 'normal' - almost 6 days, instead of just 3-4.

On the 12th of Dec I tested (day 28, if you go by the 14th start date) but it was a solid negative. Its the same type of test I've used in the past... I haven't tested again since...

Now, because AF still hasn't shown (CD33) I don't know if I should just wait until day 28 after the new start date of Nov 28th, which would be Dec 26th, or if I should just test until either a test comes up positive or AF shows. I would just have my doc do a blood test, but she's out of the country until after the first of the year for Christmas Break.

Now, I haven't been on any medications for several months that would potentially screw up AF and just started on Zoloft last week, so I'm confident that its not a medication. I also really haven't had any significant pregnancy least not any that I've had in the past...but at the same time I've only really had very noticeable pregnancy symptoms when I've been pregnant with girls. My pregnancy with Mikeal wasn't really all that noticeable, outside of the cravings for steak with onions, weight gain, and violent puking episodes in my last trimester. With all three of my 'girl' pregnancies I had to use prescription heartburn meds for all of the pregnancy and I suffered from horrendous migraines from the get-go.

So far - no heartburn and the only migraine I've had has been related to an allergic reaction a few weeks ago. I don't think my boobs are any more tender that they would be at this physical therapist has me working muscles I wasn't aware existed prior to earlier this week, so maybe the soreness I have is related to that...

So maybe AF just decided to 'hiccup' and give me a double dose this month? That or there is more blue in our future. That'd be one hell of a way to round out the year - calling my mom to let her know that not only are her two sons expecting new bundles of joy at the end of July/beginning of August, but now her eldest daughter is also expecting a bundle towards mid-August. Only time will tell at time point...or taking a test...a test I have to remember to pick up.

Monday, December 13, 2010

On the First Day Of Christmas....

In 2006...

Mikeal, my eldest son, had a visit with Santa. Not just any visit, but his first 'real' visit. He was four years old at the time. Young enough to believe and old enough to respect the power of the office of "Santa".

It was innocent enough. I'd taken him to the family Christmas Party where I worked. He played in the bounce house outside with my supervisor's grandkids, he snatched cookies and candy canes from anyone who offered him one. Then when the big man finally arrived he waited his turn to share his Christmas wish.

It happened to be a moment of truth. A moment for believing again. The very moment that changed my life forever....even if at the time I didn't realize it.

See, I didn't grow-up with Christmas trees or least not in the sense that kids are accustomed to growing up with them. My family was dirt poor. Our house, although built brand new, when I was 5, did not have plumbing. My parents did not have the money to have a well dug on the property and city water stopped at the top of the hill. So every Saturday my mom hauled all of our laundry to the laundromat to wash it. On every Sunday we filled 50 some-odd 5-gallon buckets, with lids, full of water from my either of my grandparents' houses. We cut down trees all year long off our property so that we could have firewood to stay warm all winter. We raised our own hogs, goats, chickens, and rabbits that we would collect milk and eggs from and butchered the rest as they grew large enough. Every Spring we'd sell the new babies. My parents weren't disabled, in fact they both had decently paying jobs. They just weren't terribly responsible. They hadn't really been taught how to properly manage their money. Then, having four children, within the first 5 years of their marriage, did not help a great deal dad was 25 when my baby brother was born, my mom only 23.

Back to my Christmas point...

I can solidly remember only ever having two Christmas trees, ever, growing up....I know we had one the year my sister was born, I was 2.5, but I only know that because of the pictures of the three of us standing in front of the tree...myself, my younger brother, and my sister. I don't remember that tree. The first tree I do remember us having I was 10. My parents had dug it up out of the woods of our property and placed it in a 5-gallon bucket. I remember decorating it with a crocheted string that I had made - I'd learned how to crochet a little bit a few months before. We'd also made the few ornaments that were put on the tree that year. Charlie Brown would have been proud. We had a variety of gifts that year. My parents had signed us up for Angel Tree gifts that year. I already knew about the truth behind Santa...many years of disappointment of going back to school without my own grandiose stories to tell had already jaded me. That year though my faith in my parents rekindled a bit.

The next year we also had a Christmas tree. It caught fire a few days before Christmas. 'Fortunately' the only substantial damage was to the tree and gifts that were under the tree. It was a bit disappointing, but I don't remember it really being a bad experience.

The following year we moved to Oklahoma, in with my paternal grandparents. My Papa was an over the road truck driver and he always managed to be able to be home around Christmastime, so all of the family seemed to be around for that. That was also the first year my Granny stopped doing Christmas and Christmas trees. She'd renewed her faith and was starting to live her life back according to the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses. It didn't bother me. I actually welcomed the lifestyle. Learning the 'real' truth behind the various secular holidays and customs was liberating in a way. I no longer felt like I was burdened by knowing God, but being financially incapable of serving him 'correctly' by not having lavish Christmas celebrations and the like. I do harbor a guilty conscious about not still practicing, but this isn't the time or place for that, not right now.

I didn't have another Christmas tree until Mikeal was 2. I was 22. That Christmas absolutely sucked. I'd finally started getting my life back in some sort of order after leaving my ex and going through a massive bout of depression. I worked my tail off to buy a fake pre-lit 6ft tall tree, complete with a skirt, garland, silver and red balls, as well as some silver bows. The tree was simple, but it was beautiful. The reason it sucked, you ask? I had left Oklahoma and moved to Texas. No big deal in itself, but my ex-in-laws made a huge stink over it when I'd left in August, taking me to court in September, then again in October. At the October hearing I agreed to let them have Mikeal every other month, for a month. I was still trying to play that game 'nice'. In November, when I should have been back up there to pick him up the clutch in my '96 Galant went took the transmission shop from the 2nd of November until the 23rd of November to 'find' the part - a fly wheel. The only reason I they 'found' the part was that Friday, before Thanksgiving, I got rather pissy about their jacking me around. The repair bill was already well over $900 that I didn't have, then add in the $30 a day, one way, for cab rides back and forth to work...thankfully different friends did lend a hand in that department, as they could. I started calling various parts shops in the area. It was after 5pm, on a Friday. Within 15 minutes I had placed only 3 phone calls and all three places that I had called had the part, in stock, for $75. I threw quite the 'bitch fit' on Monday morning, before Thanksgiving, to the transmission shop. My car was ready for me to drive off in by the close of business on Wednesday, at noon. I paid the 50% of the bill that they required that I pay before I could drive my car off...and over the next few months ran that company through the ringer for their shady business practice with me. I ended up getting that original 50% back from them, without having to pay a dime. However, because of the extreme expense involved with just trying to get my car fixed I was unable to pick Mikeal up that week. So arranged for him to spend a few days over Thanksgiving with my mom and sister, then they 'returned' him back to my ex-in-laws. I was going to pick him up around Christmas. My depression started reeling me back in.

The night before I had planned to make the 10 hr drive up to pick up Mikeal - I had half a shift to work the next morning, then was leaving immediately from work - my sister sends me a message over YIM. My ex-mother-in-law had called her and told her that she was planning on taking Mikeal up to Kansas City to visit his child raping father, in the halfway house and that they were leaving in the morning. I immediately called the work voicemail line and left a message that I wasn't going to be into work the next morning because of this. I made that 10 hour drive in less than 6. I was told, by the ex-mother-in-law, that they were flying out at 8am. I drove straight to the airport in Tulsa. NO ONE at the airport had seen either of them, my mom, step-dad, sister, her fianceé, and myself all scoured every inch of that airport and grilled every security officer there. Not one sign of them, anywhere. I called up my ex-mother-in-law again, it was now 9am. She gave me the story that they'd decided to take a bus instead to Kansas City. I flew across town to the bus station. No one there had seen either of them either, not that they were all that convincing. I was in full dead pissed off panic at this point. I did not want to wait another few weeks to see my son! I had already jeopardized my livelihood at this point by not being at work that morning - it was mandatory - show-up or be fired. I was not going back empty handed without my son! I went out to where my ex-mother-in-law had been living. Her car was there...parked right there in the street, complete with its forged paper tag. Her sister answered the door, but claimed to not know where Drucilla was, nor Mikeal. I called the police again at this point. An officer came out, talked privately with the ex-aunt-in-law, came back and told me that because there were no custody papers then there was nothing he could do. Said that because my ex-who was, if you'll remember, in a halfway house, another 8 hours away, gave his mother permission to keep Mikeal then there was nothing I could do about it. The ONLY way I'd be able to do anything at all about it is if Mikeal was there physically and he wasn't going to go in and search the house for Mikeal.

I was utterly defeated. Shy of doing something that would land me in jail my hands were tied...and going to jail would not serve my purpose either.

I slept for a few hours at my mother's house before heading back home, completely drained and defeated. Fortunately my employer was sympathetic and I did not lose my job or holiday bonus.

The friends I had left in the Tulsa area were awesome over the next few weeks. They'd take turns staking out the place my ex-mother-in-law was staying. On January 6th I got the call around 9am that one of them had seen Mikeal there and that he was in fact staying there again and that it did not look like they were going to be leaving anytime soon, but if he did happen to leave that they'd follow him and keep tabs until I was able to be there, in person. The timing had sucked because I wouldn't be getting my paycheck until later that evening, at the end of my shift. A friend of mine, at the time, offered to pay for the trip, and off we went...with both her and her own 2 year old in tow. The trip took almost 8 hours this time...still a few hours shy of the 10 hour 'normal' drive, but she had a 'short' cut that had me going all over the freaking state. I showed up where Mikeal was at though, so that was a moot point in the end. I showed up close to 10pm. They were all there waiting on me. My ex-MIL, her sister, and a friend. Now, I'm not a small woman by any means. I stand 6ft tall and even when I'm sporting a loose size 10 pair of jeans still weigh over 200lbs. These three women were each individually three times my size, despite being a foot shorter than myself...not to fail to mention the fact that two of them (ex-MIL & her friend) were multiple times over violent offenders - the things you learn about people during court hearings.

I walked out of there with my son. I had to hear multiple questions for the next week or two asking me who I'd been in a cat fight with, but I had my son. The law backed me up this time, fortunately. I think I actually shocked a number of my co-workers when they'd half-heartedly would ask me who I'd been in a cat fight with and I answered promptly, and proudly, my ex-mother-in-law, her friend, and sister. You don't mess with the momma bear. You just don't. I had a few bruises and scratches. Not a single one of them walked away without stitches or a cast.

Again...back to Christmas.

It sucked that year. But the new year started off with a bang.

The next year didn't suck in the same sense, but I did end up having to move back to Oklahoma, from Texas, so that I could establish residency there, while living with my mother, so that I could completely pay for my divorce and avoid another such situation. Brian and I also quit talking at this point in time. My ex was back out of the halfway house for the time being, and living back in Oklahoma, so the divorce proceedings weren't going to cost me my year's wages. I actually lucked out in a way this time around. My ex ended up purposely neglecting to show up for any of the court hearings. I walked away with everything I wanted, including him only being allowed two hours a month of supervised visits. Visits he's not taken advantage of since, neither has his mother.

By the end of summer in 2006 I was back in Texas and Brian and I had started talking again, he was going to be moving back in with us in December, after I got set up in my own apartment.

December 13th that year was the Christmas Party. Brian made his way down to Austin, from Dallas, on the 14th.

Mikeal asked Santa for only two things.

1- That his mommy and 'uncle' Brian would get married so that he could have a good daddy.
2- That Santa would bring him a baby brother or sister.

Now remember, he was only 4.

After I got home with Mikeal that evening and he divulged to me what he'd asked Santa for I had to do a bit of 'damage' control. See, Brian is sterile for one. He'd been told by a few doctors that unless there was some sort of medically divine intervention there was no way he was going to be able to have children of his own. Then on the other point - Brian and I still had several things to work through before we actually committed to getting married, and at that point it seemed to be quite the slim chance. The bit about us living together was more of a mutual need fulfillment - he needed a safe place to stay and I needed child care that was available at all hours, for the price of free room and board and food. The 'benefits' part was only available during the times that we were actually 'dating' each other. Otherwise we slept separately...which was most of the time.

That year Mikeal got a few small cheap kiddie games and a remote control car. Our tree was one I was able to 'salvage' from the Big Lots clearance, already pre-decorated, fiber optic, 3ft tall, with a cracked base. Mikeal LOVED it. I was so happy. It was an AWESOME Christmas.

In March my father passed away of a heart attack. He was 44 years old.

Brian made the drive with Mikeal and I up to Oklahoma for the 'memorial'. It was just a quaint service of sorts. My siblings were there, my mom, stepdad, and some family friends. We had the dinner at my mom's house, and spent the afternoon and evening together - playing horseshoes, grilling, and enjoying one another's company. My dad would have been proud. It was exactly what I knew he would have wanted.

Brian proposed to me that evening. The surprise of that came at me like a pitch from left field. We'd already decided a few months before that we were best off 'just friends'...a stipulation I agreed to, even if it did utterly break my heart.

We spent that night at my grandmother's house, on her pull-out couch bed. We wouldn't find out for a few more weeks, but Mikaila was also conceived that night.

Mid-April my co-workers started harassing me about being pregnant. I took the pregnancy test, not because I thought there was a chance that I was pregnant, but to prove to them in pink and white that I was NOT pregnant, just sick and exhausted from pulling double shifts for the last few weeks.

Much to my utter disbelief, I was pregnant.

My due date 'week': December 22-26th.

Against the odds Mikeal's Christmas wishes came true. Brian and I married on Halloween, in front of the judge that had finalized my divorce the year before.

Mikaila was born on December 13th, the first Day of Christmas. She weighed in at a healthy 8lbs 4.6 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was so incredibly tiny compared to Mikeal, who at birth, was 9lbs, 5oz, and 22 inches long.

Every year since Mikeal has gotten exactly what he has wished for for Christmas.

In 2007 he asked for a bike and guitar. We were able to get both for him.

In 2008 he asked to see his Uncle Duke (who'd been away at boot camp) he got his wish, just in time.

In 2009 he asked for snow. It started snowing Christmas Eve, right after he went to bed. By the time he woke up Christmas morning there was 15 inches on the ground. A record breaking white Christmas. White Christmases are a RARITY in Oklahoma, much less in significant quantities.

This year he's really only asked for a (real) Transformer and a Wii. He's already received both of these gifts as 'early' Christmas presents....even if the real Transformer was just a $50 toy that actually transforms from robot to car, complete with sound effects, and myself or Brian have to do the actual full transforming part for him because of the 9000 movable pieces you have to get positioned 'just so'.

He also asked a few months ago for us to not have to worry about being broke...that mostly came true as well. I sold my van the weekend after Thanksgiving, thereby ensuring that we'd have an (expensive) Christmas and that bills and such weren't quite as tight as we had expected them to be for this month. Other things have transpired this month as well that have helped make it a VERY nice month in the finance department of our pocketbook.

So, where I am well past the age of believing in the fairy tale about Santa and his reindeer I am no where near the age past believing in dreams coming true. Even 'far-fetched' dreams have a way of coming true. I have to remember to remember this. Things may not work out exactly as I think they should, when I think they should, but they do have a way of always working out. I just have to believe enough to ask for it then take the necessary steps to help them come true.

Its either that or I have one hell of a 'good luck' charm of a little boy.

Big Girl Now

Mikaila turns 3 today.

But I'm turning into bed...I'll have to attempt to write up her birth story after I wake up...

For now I turn in with this picture taken a few hours ago... ♥

My gorgeous little Angel. ♥ (Yes, I am secretly jealous of her long eyelashes....her and Mikeal baby brother was also blessed with them)

Sunday, December 12, 2010


It doesn't mix well with ice.

Ice doesn't mix well with roads.

Icy roads do not mix well with vehicles.

Vehicles that are only rear wheel drive REALLY don't mix well with icy roads.

Brian got a new truck today.

It is a 1996 Extended Cab Chevy S-10. Rear wheel drive.

It rained yesterday.

Temps dropped below freezing overnight.

It started snowing this morning.

By this afternoon there was quite a bit of it.

We had to go across town to get his new truck and visit his sick father, who is in town, from out of state, to visit.

The truck almost made it home.

The first massive uphill stretch of the road tried to hinder the journey.

Brian lost traction, while almost to the top of the hill.

I was following behind him at a nice FAR distance.

I was halfway up this hill when he started sliding.

I had to stop.

Only to turn about 100° in the road, to block the entire road, perfectly.

Then more traffic came.


I eventually made it up the hill, after I got the car headed in the correct direction.

Drove with one tire in the ditch until I got to the intersection at the top of the hill.

Then had Mikeal go from riding with Brian to riding with me, since I was most likely to make it home...a cop and a Good Samaritan helped Brian get out of the ditch he wound up in at this point.

Poor Mikeal was in hysterics. He was so terribly upset that 1) the truck slid everywhere, 2) he saw my car, complete with his baby sister, (who was sleeping peacefully) sliding back down the hill sideways, and 3) we left Daddy there.

I finished the journey home.

Over the next 1.5 miles I had to maneuver around 7 vehicles that were either unable to move, sitting in the middle of the road or that had slid off into the ditches.

I also had 3 deer try to plow into me...first time I've actually seen living deer on this road, it's usually turkeys I have to dodge.

I finally make it to the crest of the hill that my driveway is on.

My driveway is on the downhill side of the hill, around a curve in the road....

I slid past the driveway.

I drove down another 1/4 mile and made a U-turn in the middle of the large intersection at the bottom of the hill.

I made it into the driveway without issue that go around.

Brian walked in the door about 10 minutes after we did.

He too slid past the driveway.

His new truck is sitting in the ditch, across the street from the driveway.

Fun times.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Continuation of the Medical Updates....

In my last post I ranted about the apparent idiocy of doctors...I have a small bit to add to that to start with...

Shortly after writing that post I saw my doctor. I asked her for a refill of the nasal spray (sample) that I had been given by the allergist because it worked AWESOMELY for my 'normal' day to day allergy type flare ups...stuffy head, runny nose, the works...The allergist determined Vasomotor Rhinitis, which is medical talk for 'super sensitive nose, everything just irritates me'. I thought nothing of what was in the nasal spray simply because it worked AWESOMELY! I'd never felt so 'free' from tissues and sinus meds in all my life while I was using the nasal spray! So my doctor obliged and called in the script for me. Turns out my insurance does not cover that particular nasal spray, name brand, new, it had to be modified just slightly to a comparable nasal spray that is covered by my insurance. Again, I thought nothing of it, for one my sinuses had gone back to making me utterly miserable and I was just ready to get relief again.

After about two weeks of goings back and forth between the doctor and the pharmacy I finally had my nasal spray. Shot it up before I was even out of the parking lot. I expected there to be a bit of a 'recovery' time between the sinus infection I'd come down with and the time it'd take for the new nasal spray to take full effect. For the next TEN (10) days I suffered with the absolute WORST type of sinus infection paired with an INTENSE migraine. I'd take extra 'hits' of the nasal spray, praying that I'd get through it sooner that way....I really felt ready to die. It was HORRIBLE!

Late on a Thursday evening my husband and I were discussing my homework assignment - a PowerPoint presentation over the anatomy of the skin & associated skin disorders. Out of the blue, likely during another whine about my intense migraine and sinus infection my husband suggested that maybe the nasal spray was steroid based, since most usually are. I instantly popped up my search engine and checked into it....

Brian was dead on. NasaCort is *drumroll* a CORTOSTEROID...the main 'irritating' steroid listed in my 'I'm allergic to this medication' list. So I looked up the active ingredients of the 'comparable' nasal spray I had been taking, that did NOT irritate ingredient being a SYNTHETIC steroid. Now, where I was in INTENSE pain, from an obvious allergic reaction, I was also quite 'happy' about these findings. These findings meant that I'm not allergic to ALL steroids, just 'non-synthetic' ones. I promptly drove the 10 miles into town to WM to pick up some Benedryl, since none of the gas stations along the way seemed to have any in stock, and my husband had to be at work early in the morning, and didn't feel like making the drive.

I head straight for the pharmacy area of WM, and by the time I am at the check-out lane I've already opened the bottle and taken two...while standing in line behind an officer who works for the department of corrections. I really don't want to imagine what his thought process was as he stared at me out of the corner of his eye as I'm standing there, with the shakes, my face red, swollen, and puffy, wearing the first sweatshirt I picked up and a pair of my husband's flannel sleep pants, and flip hair likely sticking out in 50 directions to boot. I gave the short explanation that I was having an allergic reaction. Since he was in line in front of me he was out the door first.

As I left out of the building a few seconds later I noticed that he was standing off to the side, checking out the selection at the RedBox machine sitting there.... I went on out to the van...

Moments later I saw him rush out of the doors, headed to his own state vehicle. I sat in the van for a few minutes while it warmed up a little and while I waited for the dizziness to pass...I was already feeling the 'relief' from the Benedryl.

The poor gentleman who was parked next to me pulled out to leave and be on his way...I watched as the corrections officer raced after him... I'm so glad I took those extra few minutes, I really wasn't in the right frame of mind to deal with an officer who had already convinced himself that I was some sort of fiend...and that the Benedryl was part of my recreational activities...

Within an hour of getting home I no longer had a severe migraine and my face no longer felt swollen from the inside out. I dealt with the residual bruising from the swelling for the next week, you couldn't see the bruising on the exterior, but I felt like someone had squarely smacked me across the face with a baseball bat at a great rate of speed...

I followed up with my doctor a few days later and she promised to file the appropriate paperwork to make sure my insurance would cover the one with a synthetic steroid, due to my allergies.

At that same appointment we again discussed my shoulder, told her that the muscle relaxers she'd given me were almost as effective as Smarties candies, I even took up to 3 at a time, while suffering from the allergic reaction, and never noticed any effect whatsoever, I didn't even get drowsy from it. So I just quit taking it. I'm not one to take something that is having no effect on me, when it should be having an obvious immediate effect.

She put in a referral for me to see the physical therapist, since my insurance won't cover an MRI until after they've explored every other treatment option.

I saw the physical therapist last week. She did her initial evaluation. Her evaluation came back *drumroll, again* that I have some pinched nerves in my neck. EVERYTHING fits this diagnosis PERFECTLY. The numbness, tingling, sudden sporadic loss of use, the muscle spasms, the headaches, the dizziness, the poor sleep, ALL OF IT fits perfectly into this 'pinched nerve' category. Oh, and while the physical therapist was moving my head around she also pulled it 'up' away from my body...the relief I felt was like HEAVEN. I don't think I've EVER instantly felt so much better than I did for those 30 seconds...her pressing my head back towards my body was equally the most horrible type of pain I've encountered...the result of that action of nearly complete loss of use in my left arm for about 3 days. I could feel to move it, it responded to general movement, but trying to do anything with my fingers/hand was just EXCRUCIATING for a few days...Not only did I have the barbed pencil feeling across my shoulder blade, but it also felt like someone was ramming pencils between my fingers just because I'd move them.

The physical therapist also mentioned that the pain & spasms in my shoulder blade area is most likely due to some of the muscles working overtime while others have basically atrophied over the last decade, due to the lack of even nerve impulses. She sent in an order suggestion to my doctor for me to go through physical therapy, three times a week, for the next 6-8 weeks, minimum. During the physical therapy sessions they'll put me on a machine that will 'stretch' my head up away from my body, while doing some minor exercises to help strengthen the muscles in my neck and loosen others. She also is going to have me get regular neck and shoulder massages - OMG, I think I fell in love with her at just the mention of those two things...two things I have BEGGED my husband to do, but with his own shoulder issues and hand issues and every other issue he's come up with over the years I count myself lucky to get one a year. She will also be hooking me up to a machine that will send electronic nerve impulses throughout my neck and shoulder to help further loosen and strengthen the muscles that have been injured, by 'faking' the nerve impulses. Of course she'll also move onto me doing exercises both there and at home to help speed my recovery.

Yesterday, during Mikeal's appointment, with my doctor, she mentioned that she just had the paperwork for my physical therapy come across her desk, and that she'd approved the therapy. She scored a small brownie point for that mention...generally when the kids and I have shared the same doctor they won't give me the time of day if I even ask about such things since I'm not in there personally being seen...I've had doctors that make me make a separate appointment for them to discuss my medical results with me.

So, in short, I'm completely looking forward to physical therapy and I'm hoping that it does actually work. I do still wish that my insurance would approve the MRI, but maybe in another 6 weeks...

I also saw the psychiatrist yesterday, as well as my therapist. The doc doesn't think I have severe depression or other mood disorder, but did give me the option of going on Zoloft and seeing how I do on it. I agreed to try it out, so I'll be starting on 25mg of Zoloft, as soon as I get the prescription filled and picked up. I didn't get to spend much time with my therapist mainly just because it was already time for me to pick up Brian...I sold the van last weekend, so we're still working out the one vehicle arrangements...