December 20, 2007

Total rant...

Why is it that people find it totally OK to clip their fingernails at work? I mean, It is one thing if your tear off part of a nail and have to trim the rest off. I understant that, but all ten fingers?

For the love of Pete! There are other places to do such a thing! It doesn't even bother me so much at home. But the thought of someone else's DNS flying about the air near my desk with their dirt on it just sends me over the edge. It's not like they vacuum these offices (if they do, i can't tell).

The funny thing about this is that at my last job, there was someone else that did that and it totally drove me nuts then, too.

OK. Rant over

December 02, 2007

So what we have been up to this weekend?

We have been busy little bees this weekend. We have spread out decorating the house over 2 weekends. So here is what happened last weekend:

So we set up the tree in the den and the moved on to the mantle hanging our Pottery Barn stockings. Then moved on to set up out "forest" in the dining room (just need some "snow" to complete it).

On our tree this year (and last), we bought a bunch of Making Memories frames and plaques (with a Christmas Tree shape) and we printed pictures from the year and put them on the frames. Finished the tree out with red ornament balls and red beaded garland. See the close ups:

In other fun, we drove down to Tulsa to go to Rhema Bible College to see all of the Christmas lights. Reid was beside herself. There is just a lot to walk around and see. Here are a few:

The lights to this bridgeway are timed and change with music.
So today we put up lights on the house. We promised Jackson that we would this year since we ran out of time last year. He was itching to help. Then he decided that playing in the leaves would be more fun than helping Dad with the lights (since he couldn't get the lights clipped on).

So, that is what we have done. Any one else?

November 26, 2007

There is still nothing like Mom

So Jackson asks me for a hug. He says that he likes my hugs. But then he says he likes Mom's hugs; they're comfortable.

I agree.

November 07, 2007

A little behind

OK. So I have been a little out of pocket. We have had to deal with Heather's dad and it has just gotten out of hand.

Some images of the last month:

So we have been in Winfield every other weekend for the last month-and-a-half. Heather's dad is not doing well. So it has been crazy because he was so out of it that she and Kemper (her brother) put him in a nursing home 1) because it was too much for Sue (his girlfriend) to do by herself and 2) because Sue was too much for Heather and Kemper. The whole discussion was they will do the home for 6 weeks and then re-eval. Long story short; Sue let a scenario occur even though she had been told what the plan was and didn' go along with Kemper and Heather and we wound up moving her dad.

So during October, Heather A and Price came down to go to the Pumpkin Patch. They all had a ball, as ususal. And of course there were wall-to-wall toys in our den. Price and Reid enjoy thenselves. And they both love to chase Jackson down.

The last picture is what Heather took to Jackson's school for his Halloween party. It is Ritz with peanut butter inbetween and pretzels for the legs. The eyes are raisins and have just a little peanut butter on it to hold them on.

September 13, 2007

Improving Conditions

Again, fromHeather's blog:

The most important thing - Jackson is a new kid! I was looking at him today at lunch and noticed a brightness in his eyes. It is the only way I know to describe it. It sounds weird, but his eyes sparkled and I couldn't get over how much better he looked in his face. The rest of his body looks great too. He still has some redness and eczema on his legs, feet and hands, but he has cleared up everywhere else. The other change - he doesn't itch constantly. We sat through dinner last night for almost 45 minutes and he never scratched once. It has been a long time since that has been a reality for him.
The doctors decreased his soak/seal to twice a day this morning and eliminated one of the steriod creams. We met with the social worker again this morning and he taught Jackson some breathing techiques to use when he is itching and feeling bad. He taught Jackson one technique yesterday that Jackson is already putting into practice. He taught Jackson to put something (stress ball, stuffed animal, etc.) in each hand when he felt the urge to scratch. Wednesday a.m. we were working on his homework and he said, "Mom, I need my baby alligator (beanie baby)." I told him that we weren't playing, we were doing homework. He replied, "But, I need it. I am going to itch." So, he did homework with his pencil in one hand and baby alligator in the other. He never scratched. Way to go, Buddy!
The social worker also talked to me about working with the school district on a 504 Plan for Jackson. It is essentially a plan that acknowledges Jackson's health issues as a disability and requires the school district to accommodate Jackson when he needs support during times of illness. That support might be - allowing him to hold his two stress balls/stuffed animals to prevent scratching, giving him time out to do his breathing exercises, or giving him more time to complete work when he is having an episode of allergies/asthma/eczema. We will be working with the school counselor, his teacher and the social worker on that when we get home.
In some ways, today, I feel like we have let Jackson down in the last year. The solution to his major problem - eczema - is discipline to keep the skin hydrated, sealed and medicated when necessary. We haven't done his lotion after every bath. We tended to wait until he was in a flare to treat it. This trip, I have learned, the key is to keep up the routine, even when his skin looks good.
We finished all of our daily appts. at the hospital today at noon and had the afternoon off. We headed for the Denver National History Museum. Jackson loved it, especially the Space Odyssey exhibit. He wants to go back tomorrow. Tonight, we hit the pool, worked on more homework and we have now rented Meet the Robinsons. We have had a little relaxation time and that has helped our moods, immensely.
We are planning to come home Sunday. I expect the allergy/skin docs to release us Friday. The social worker wants to meet with us Monday and Tuesday, for one hour each day. But, the cost to change our flight and extend our stay is more than we are willing to pay in exchange for two hours of treatment. We will followup with a behavioral specialist when we get home. Plus, we are ready to get home and Damon and Reid are ready for us to come home. (BTW, yes we are)

God's Blessings

This is taken from Heather's blog posts.

2 Plane tickets to Denver - $512
Being stuck in isolation and ignored by the nursing staff for hours- $Lots of money charged to our insurance company
Seeing God's painted sunset over the Rocky Mountains - Beyond Priceless
Jackson and I arrived in Denver yesterday afternoon, made it through the airport, to the rental car and to the hospital, all in good time. We were cruisding. We met with four doctors Monday afternoon and they determined Jackson needed to go into the Day Program, rather than the outpatient program, meaning we would spend all day at the hospital rather than just come in for appts. They also determined he needed to be admitted for one night to start the intensive soak and seal therapy on his skin, give him some medication to sleep, and monitor his oxygen levels for the night. Not a big deal. We did that the last time we were here. We also had to be isolated due to Jackson having MRSA bacteria on his skin. This bacteria is not a danger to people with normal immune systems, but it is a deadly to others with compromised immune systems - ie people in hospitals. We were prepared for isolation - came prepared with lots of entertainment.
The doctors have been great and were very good getting us the meds we needed, getting him set up to start the soak/seal, answering questions, etc. Then, there was the nursing staff. Let's just make this story short - the nursing staff has not only been lacking, but pretty much nonexistent. Our night nurse was fantastic, but during the day, we are largely ignored in our little kingdom at the end of the hall. If Jackson needs something (food, towels, meds), I have to call and ask. What is our schedule for each day - we get to guess. Tuesday morning, I lost it. I was tired - didn't sleep well in the hospital room. I was frustrated from the lack of information about what we were supposed to do that day. I was tired of calling and asking for everything. And, I was getting tired of being ignored. We hadn't seen a nurse in over 2 hours, Jackson's breakfast was MIA, and Damon and I were on the phone still trying to hash out the insurance coverage (it's still not all covered). I was done and I had my little mommy breakdown - first to Damon and then to one of the staff members. And, the response, I had a nurse come in and pretty much explain to me that I was pretty much overreacting. I love being talked down to! And, I was yelled twice - once for not giving Jackson his medicine on time and a second time for not coming out of the room with gown/mask/gloves on. Guess have to tell me to put that stuff on and SHOW ME WHERE IT IS!
The rest of Tuesday didn't improve much, from the nursing care aspect. But, the good thing is Jackson is responding to the treatment and already looks much, much better. He also got through the worst testing - the skin scratch tests - and he did great. We also met the social worker, who was able to give us some tips on helping Jackson cope with the itching and the stresses of being chronically ill.
Tonight, we were able to check in to the hotel and get out of the hospital. That is a huge help. We hit the Super Target across the street, ate some dinner, and came back to the room. Jackson did his third soak/seal of the day and he is asleep. Tonight, I did bring out some of the get well cards I brought from people at church. He loved those! He just smiled and kept asking me to open another. I have more, but am spacing them out over the week.
Damon and I were talking tonight this all worth it. Yes, I think it is. Jackson was able to get through dinner tonight without scratching; that is improvement. He also looks much, much better and by Thursday, I think his skin will be completely clear for the first time in over a year. I have also had a chance to refresh my knowledge of the soak/seal method, which is the single-most effective treatment for him. I also think our time with the social worker, tomorrow, will give Jackson some addtional coping skills.
More adventures tomorrow....

August 01, 2007

A dizzying day

6:30 A.M.
Heather nudges (more like slugs; that's what it can take) me awake from my slumber. She says that she is sure that we need to go to the hospital. What she thought were Braxton-Hicks that had been going on since midnight-30 she is now convinced that they are so NOT. We laughed. This is August 1. Jackson could not really come on his due date. That is just rarely heard of.
So we get up and get dressed and head over to the hospital prepared to turn around and come home. We'll sure enough they say Heather is not in labor; she hasn't even dialated. But they want her to hang around a little while to watch her. OK, done this too.

We'll then shortly after that Heather says that she feels like she is going to be sick. The nurse turns and says "Oh, honey. your not going to be sick."Silly nurse. When Heather says that she is going to be sick, believe her. Sure enough Heather begins to get sick. That's when we knew we were not going home and back to bed. She went from 0 to a 3 like that.

Forward a while later and Heather is all happy with her epidural. I notice her lips are blue and her hands are cold. She is having issues from the epidural. Nice. So she in given drugs to increase her blood pressure. One problem. They cross over. So Jackson's pulse goes up higher than they want. They wait; we wait. They watch; we watch; Repeat. They come in and say "You're going to have a c-section." Heather was so happy; she was done with the whole labor thing. They go to page her doctor. No answer. They page again. No answer. They call his house. No answer. They call his cell. No answer. Turns out he went out of town for the weekend and did not check out. Nice. They take Heather in at 4 and 8 years ago at the time this posts, Jackson was out and making his presence known.
8 years later and the trials of asthema and allergies (and how many prescriptions along the way) and the the fun orWii and baseball/t-ball. Growing up, lost teeth, starting school and now in third grade (we'll just chalk 2nd grade up as a trial), getting up in front of the whole church and declaring your faith and being baptised. Many happy times.
Happy birthday little buddy. Happy birthday indeed.

Jackson update

Heather took Jackson back to the infectious disease (ID) specialist today and almost all of immune system tests came back normal! Two weeks ago they went for initial visit and they did a blood draw on him--6 vials of blood. That is not a blood draw, that is a full-fledged donation. The kid didn't even get juice and cookies after that!

The one test that came back abnormal was one that we expected - the one part of the immune system that reacts to allergens. His level ere very high (930 and normal is 0-60), which was expected with his history of allergies/asthma/ezcema.

But the immune system tests that analyzed his ability to fight infection all came back normal!! "The soldiers are there and on duty," according to the doctor. In other words, his immune system is healthy and functioning as it should.

The doctor's explanation for Jackson's recurring infections is simply, if his skin has breaks in it, skin infections will follow. We must keep his skin healthy if we want to stop the cycle. The ID doctor said that he was glad we were are going to National Jewish Medical in September. He said the team at NJ can help us find strategies to keep Jackson's skin as healthy as possible.

July 26, 2007

More randomness

OK, how can this NOT make you happy:

It's just a jar of pickles you might say. Oh wait. Look closer:

What a nice way to be greeted as you pillage through the refrigerator. Especially when you have a 2-year old in full-out melt down. The effect of something just this simple giving you a moment of pleasure is completely lost on her. Oh, well. Her loss.

On to scrapbooking. So last year there was a class that Cathy Zielske taught on Big Picture Scrapbooking called Did You Know. So I took it. Here is my attempt. This was a digitally produced page:

So today I was reading the random blatherings (her description of her posts; not mine!) of Cathy's blog today and she posted an item from her 2peas days. Looks relatively similar to what she taught us in her class. Coincidence, I doubt it. Only she will know. Maybe she'll see my comment on her blog and look. Wouldn't that be cool.

OK. Wii may now resume (bad thing to have bought--too much fun)

July 19, 2007

Wii will play

Yes, we now have a Wii. If you have not heard about these, here it is:

This is really just a a cool thing. Depending on the game, you get you butt off of the couch and are actually participating in the game. The unit comes with a set of games called Wii Sports (you can see some videos from the Wii Experience here). Oh, my. The boxing can kick your butt. I stayed home with Jackson today, who was feeling a little under the weather, and wii (OK, I'll quit now) played quite a bit. Heather came home and said "How do I turn it on. I want to play tennis." Ten minutes later, she was sweatting. Shortly after, Reid wanted her turn. It was just too cute watching her try to swing the controller to hit the ball.

Heather and Jackson as set to go to Denver Sept. 10. He went to the doctor Friday and the took 6 vials of blood. That is not a blood draw; that's a freakin' donation. He didn't even get cookies and juice after that, man. I personally feel that he got the shaft on that deal.

Work is good. Employees who participate in a particular retirement plan today found out what our stock allotment was. All I'll say is I was suprised and thinking it was very cool!

Well, I guess I'll be off to bed here shortly since I do have to go to work tomorrow (darn it). We're off the Independence, KS to the water park Saturday and then to Wichita next weekend. Jackson wants to go to Kobe Steak House for this birthday. Pawpaw really opened a can or worms with that one. Kobe a japanese restaurant that cooks on the grill right in front of you. He is all over that.

July 10, 2007

OK, so maybe Kiddie Park is out

OK, so things have been interesting around here. Water. Lots and lots of water. Get this:

May 1 – June 26, 2007 6th wettest period ever in Northeast Oklahoma and at least 33 days of rain since May 1 [normally we have 20 days of rain]. For the same May 1 - June 26 period, we have had 15.2-inches of rain. As a reference, we had 8.89 for the same time frame in 2006.

The picture is just on the outer edge of downtown Bartlesville. Kiddie park is less than 1/4 mile from here. Can we was water-logged? Oh well.

Now back in 1986 there was a flood that was far worse than this, but having never been through one it was interesting. Like taking 2 hours just to drive 5 miles because there was only one road in and out of downtown. Then seeing the coating of mud left on trees and such as the waters receded. Then there was the smell. Oh Lord, the smell. Fortunately it didn't last that long but still. Sacrificing gas mileage to keep the windows up and use the A/C in the car was worth it.

On other notes, Jackson and Reid have begun swimming lessons. Jackson started last night and Reid had to sit with me and watch because her lessons are only Tuesday and Thursday nights; Jacksons are 4 nights a week.

OK, I'm off to get ready for work. Showering may be a good thing.

June 25, 2007

I need a weekend from the weekend

So, this weekend was busy. Heather's friend Heather A. came down from Arkansas City, KS with her boy Price. Reid loves it when Price is here. They are only 2 1/2 months apart in age so they both play until they cannot stand up.

Saturday we went to the Tulsa Zoo after eating at Red Robin in Owasso. That was really good. My Heather got the Teriyaki Chicked Burger and I got the Burger Parmigiana. Jackson has stated that he wants to eat there every time we are in Owasso. I guess that says something when the kid chooses that over Chick-Fil-A and anywhere that has a playground. We rode the train around the zoo and went in a few exhibits, but it seement to suddenly get really hot and sticky. We left after about 2 hours. Got some cute pics (I'll post some later). So Saturday night we decided to skip Kiddie Park since we were kind of wiped from the zoo and I from also mowin the yard. And it is not like the two little ones were going to notice. So, instead we went to Maggie Moo's (so darn good, too) after our dinner of steak and mashed potatoes.

So Sunday morning, we all got up and went to church. I swear, poor Heather A. Seems like every time she goes with us the Pastor's message is some verison of fire and brimstone. So after a simple lunch at home, we drove over to Claremore to Simply Scrapbooks. Came back home and then Heather and Price headed back to Ark City.

We had a good time but I think we were all zapped. Heather and Price will be back in 3 weeks. We'll get Kiddie Park in then.

June 17, 2007

So last week sometime Heather bought the kids a Slip-n-slide. But this one has two tracks; one for each kid to race each other on. As you can tell, one slipped, one just played in the water streams. I even got into the act. Fortunately for me (and probably for you also) there are no pictures of the Great White Whale (me) going down the toy also. I was suprised when I was sore two days lated. There were parts of me that were sore that I didn't realize that could be. Oh well, the kids thought it was funny.

June 15, 2007

It is finally Friday!!!!

Man, this week just seemed to take forever. OK, maybe just Thursday and today did. Here is a little funny for the weekend:

Survivor: Texas

Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, Texas is planning to do a season series entitled, "Survivor-Texas" The contestants will all start in Dallas, then drive to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, over to Houston and down to Brownsville. They will then proceed up to Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and Amarillo. From there they will go on to Abilene, Fort Worth and finally back to Dallas. Each will be driving a pink Volvo with bumper stickers that read: "I'm Gay, I Love the Dixie Chicks, Boycott Beef, I Voted for John Kerry, George Strait Sucks, Hillary in 2008, and I'm here to Confiscate Your Gun". The first one to make it back to Dallas alive wins.

Thanks to Kenny for this one (got it from his blog)

June 12, 2007


What is it that a parent supposed to do when you have a chronically sick child and no matter how much you do or fight to be heard and it just doesn't seem to be enough?

My 7-year-old has allergies to anything that grows beyond anything most doctors have seen and has an infection that we are able to knock down, but not resolve. At this point, we are able to tell doctors what meds we know when and we are not questioned. And yesterday, his allergist that we drive an hour to see looked at the wife and said "I'm out of tricks. We may need to see a pediatric infectious disease specialist even though he is not contageous." That, and he as been on 4 or 5 different antibiotics since Thanksgiving.

All that we do doesn't seem to be enough and, frankly, I feel like I am failing the little guy as a parent because we can't get this cleared.

We may have to be going back to National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver (the place where the international-traveling TB guy is at; they are a great hospital). We'll see what comes. Just a really stressful time right now. We are just trying to be discerning about what to do and praying that His will be done (funds for travel, timing and duration, etc).

June 11, 2007

Off and running...

OK. So I have practically driven myself nuts (and Heather in the process) of trying to get a blog going and get her to start as well. So she posted on her Xanga site to get me off of her back; I had not. Oops. Bad me.

I've been trying to decide what service to use. I'd really like to use Typepad because there are some things about it that Vox has that I liked (book and music linking with pictures) but didn't like all the ads and limited header options) But I'll save my pennies for that.

So, I was looking at Tara's blog. Damn. Even her picture of a dog is cool.I really want to spend more time in Photoshop and figure out how to do the shading so that it looks, you know, cool.

I guess I try to come up with something far more interesting next time around.

For those that I know who did not see this, The video below is Jackson's baptism. Happened on easter. Very cool. So proud of that bugger.