Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Healthy Report for the Holidays

I had an appointment with my Gastrologist today and it went really well.  All my blood work has looked good the last few draws and I have not had any flare symptoms for quiet some time.  This is all wonderful news.  We will continue the treatment plan that we have right now, Remicade every eight weeks and 2000 mg of Pentasa everyday.  The best news of the appointment was that he does not need to see me for another six months and I do not need to have a colonoscopy in January.  I have had colonoscopies every January for the last 3-4 years.  It will be nice to not start the year off with Moviprep!

I have also had an appointment with my Rheumatologist.  She had upped my medication because I was still having some joint pain and swelling.  The dosage seems to have done the job and I would say that at this time between the 400mg of Plaquenil and the 25mg of Methotrexate the Lupus seems quiet.  I am feeling more myself then I have since January.  I still tire pretty easily but it is something that I can generally push through if I need to or nap off if I have the time.  After months of inactivity I am looking forward to joining a gym and slowly getting myself back into shape.  I will probably never be able to be the runner that I always wanted but I think that biking and the elliptical will help me reach my fitness goals. 

A few months back I had an eye appointment and they had found some discoloration on my eye that they thought might have been a result of my Plaquenil.  This last month I got more in depth testing done and it turns out that the scarring is not from my medication.  It most likely occurred sometime in my childhood and since it is not effecting my eye sight they are not concerned about it at this time.  They will continue to monitor it although he did not expect to see any changes over time. 

I feel grateful as we head into Christmas and the New Year for this healthy report.  This year has been especially difficult for our family with all my health issues.  When you have a chronic illness each day that you feel well is a gift and you learn to not take it for granted.  I feel that through the Lupus diagnosis I have learned so much about myself.  I had many ideas of what it meant to be a wife, mother and even a follower of Jesus.  God has taught me a lot and I believe that I can look back at this past year and truly feel James 1:2-4, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  God used this time to do some great work in me.  I believe that I have become a better mother to my children by letting go of unrealistic ideas that I was clinging to.  Also, I feel more...I am not sure if I can explain it very well as I am not that eloquent but I will try.  Dan has always been my best friend ever since we met when I was 17 year old.  However, these last few years as we have had children, jobs getting cut back and then added (and back and forth you know the railroad life), suffered a miscarriage, and my numerous health issues, I feel that we are more than just a husband and wife.  God has really been with us this year and I am thankful that in these struggles that we have faced we did not fall apart but we came closer together.

I know that sometime in the future I will get ill again.  It is just apart of the life when you have a chronic illness (or if you are a complete fixer-upper and have two) but I am so thankful for today.  I feel a solid 90% and I will take that with a smile!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emma Story - I am running away!

Yesterday, Emma comes running up to me with a very serious look on her face.  She says to me, "Mom, I am running away to go and live with Max and Dorothy."  (Max and Dorothy are our neighbors that live on the corner of our street.)  Now here is the part where I think that I am going to call Emma's bluff.  I say to her, "I am sorry that you are running away.  We will miss you."  Now, Emma just looks at me and then asks me for a suitcase.  I tell her that all the suitcases are pack away and she will just have to think of something else to use.  I go back to what I was doing and leave her to it.  This is usually about the time when Emma decides to give up the game.  However, today she did not give it up.  She was in her room for awhile and when she came out into the hallway she was pushing a Rubbermaid container with wheels on the bottom that had been filled with her babies and baby clothes.  She had dumped all the contents out of the container onto her bedroom floor and then proceeded to clear out all her dresser drawers and her hang up clothes.  She piled all those clothes in and then snapped on the lid.  She pushed that container to the top of the stairs and then put on her pink polka dot rain coat and her snow boots.  She carried that big container out the front door and began pushing it up the street to Max and Dorothy's house.  I wish that I had taken a picture of her pushing that container up the street all by herself. 

While Emma is doing all of this I am watching her out the front window.  Again, I am thinking that we will just call her bluff.  She will end up just coming home, right?  Nope.  She pushed that container all the way up to our neighbors house, up their front stairs and rang their doorbell.  Our sweet neighbor Dorothy answered the door and Emma said to her, "Dorothy, I am running away and coming to live with you."  Dorothy tells me later that she just thought that she would go with the flow and lets Emma in.  I see from across the street that Dorothy has let Emma in and I just have to laugh.  The whole time I am thinking that Emma will be the one to give in but no.  I put on my shoes and head over to Dorothy's.  When I get there Dorothy is barely keeping a straight face.  We chat a bit with Emma and Dorothy finally convinces Emma that I should take her clothes home but Emma is more then welcome to spend some quality time with Dorothy at their house.  Emma decides that this arrangement is fine and heads into the house with Dorothy and I chuckle as she walks away.  Dorothy graciously says to go ahead and go home and I can pick Emma up a little later. 

I walk back over to our house when I see our other neighbor Wes outside laughing at the whole scene.  He had watched Emma pushing her clothes up to Dorothy's house.  Emma had told Wes what she was doing and told him that if Dorothy and Max weren't home she was going to come and live with him and his wife Cheryl.  He is laughing the entire time he tells me this.  I walked back in the door Dawson immediately asks me if Emma is coming back.  I tell him that Emma just needed some time away so she is staying with Dorothy for a bit.  This really begins to bother Dawson and he starts tearing up about how much he will miss Emma.  Then, Aubrey, who seems to understand so much more then I think that she should begins yelling Emma's name and looking for her.  I assure the kids that Emma will be coming back she just needed some time for just herself.  This seems to mollify them for a bit.

About an hour later I head back over to Dorothy's to bring Emma home.  She has had a wonderful time with Dorothy making Christms cookies and balloon animals.  I asked Emma if she was ready to come home and help me take care of the boys and Aubrey.  She turns to me and says, "Yes, let's go home.  You really do need me to help take care of those boys and Aubrey!"

As I have reflected today I think that Emma was feeling like she just needed to be with some people that make her feel loved and special.  I think that being the middle child in our family and Emma being as ornery and clever as she is can be hard.  She is such an important part of our family though, even if she may not always feel it.  I am so grateful for wonderful neighbors who love our children and can make them feel special and important.

I have also learned another important lesson...there is no point in trying to call Emma's bluff!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life with Timmy the Elf

We have continued to have fun with Timmy the Elf.  Here is what he has been doing this past week...

Day 9 - Timmy was holding baby Jesus and talking with the Shepherds.

Day 10 - Timmy was pretty tired after his trip to the North Pole so he snuggled down for a nap.

Day 11 - Timmy fought an epic battle against the dark side of the force.

Day 12 - Timmy sat by the fire with a good book.  Timmy loves Harry Potter too!

Day 13 - Timmy enjoyed a midnight snack.

Day 14 - Timmy hung out all day on our front door wreath welcoming everyone that came to the house.

Day 15 - Super Timmy to save the day!

Where will Timmy be tomorrow?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Timmy the Elf is here!

This year we have adopted the Elf on the Shelf tradition.  The kids and I have had a blast this first week with Timmy.  If you have never heard of Elf on the Shelf let me give you a brief explanation.  Santa has sent an Elf to our house and we have decided to adopted him.  The kids chose the name Timmy and each night while the kids are sleeping Timmy heads back to the North Pole to tell Santa all the wonderful (or not so wonderful) things that the kids have done that day.  When Timmy comes back he is in a different place in the house.  Each morning the first thing the kids do is run around the house trying to find Timmy.  The kids are not allowed to touch Timmy or his magic will disappear.  Dawson loves to remind anyone that comes within 5 feet of Timmy about this rule!  Here are some photos of what Timmy has been up to this week...

Here is our official adoption papers:)

Day 1 - Timmy sat on top of Emma's baby pictures that first morning with the adoption paper and a letter from Santa stuck on the wall below him.

Day 2 - Timmy was found on top of the Christmas tree with the lights on it.

Day 3 - Timmy was in the bathroom with a message from Santa written on the mirror.

Day 4 - Timmy decorated Dawson's window with red Christmas lights.

Day 5 - Timmy was pretty thirsty after his trip and so he had some milk.  He turned the milk green on accident though and to make up for the green milk he left Emma and Dawson new Christmas cups with fun straws.

Day 6 - Timmy was reading a book called Merry Christmas: Big Hungry Bear to some of the animals and dollies he has made friends with.

Day 7 - Timmy was fishing for marshmallows!

Day 8 - Timmy was so excited about all the new snow that he decided to have some fun of his own and make some snow angels too.

I have really enjoyed hearing the kids rush from their beds asking each other where Timmy is.  It cracks me up when they ask Timmy what in the world is he doing with the fishing pole or telling him how clean their teeth are.  I think that it has also been as much fun for me to think up new places for Timmy to be as it is for the kids to find him.  I look forward to continuing this new family tradition and hopefully passing the fun on to grandbabies too!