If I know you, and you're reading this blog, you have two choices:

1) Feel free to pretend you haven't, should the contents be offensive, sensitive in nature, or just TMI (Too Much Information).
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Mar 24, 2009

Follow Up

We got a call from social services late in the afternoon. I had been anticipating a call...or not a call, all day. Truly couldn't decide if I was excitedly anticipating, worried, or going to be disappointed. I was certainly a bit on the anxious side.

The worker called and confirmed that we were "open" -meaning we could take a child or children into our care. I asked if this was about the the two little boys we had heard about and she confirmed. However, she had misunderstood some inner office communications and , while she had called earlier in the day, wasn't sure if we would have taken the boys or not.

Apparently she had called earlier in the day looking for placement, but when she did not reach us, did not leave a message because she wasn't positive we were available for placement. In the interim she placed the boys in a different home and at this point was confirming our availability for the future.

These things, they happen for a reason.

Käri and I did discuss it and said that we would remain on the available list. And that is that... for now.

Mar 19, 2009


My elbow was so painful this morning I took 4 children to the clinic with me... This has been going on for a couple of months now. Initially, it was off and on heat and burning in my elbow, soreness at the first onset, after doing some heavy duty pruning. Now, it's daily and constant. I haven't wanted to mask the feelings with ibuprofen and so haven't been taking it on a regular basis- I'm ready now. It's numb'ish and I can feel, but not see the swelling, radiates down my arm and makes my pinky and ring finger feel tingly and numb.

Tendonitis? Tennis Elbow? Strain??

I walked into the clinic a bit before 9 and was quickly ushered into a room. My double stroller barely fit... For an hour and 20 minutes, I kept the 2 Three year old's entertained and amused and the two 6 month old's content, fed and happy. The nurse took my blood pressure, temp (99?), asked for symptoms, reasons I was there etc. After I continually promised treats for Julia and Ruby for doing a good job, the dr. finally arrived. Without once putting his hands on me, and only asking me where the pain originated from- he diagnosed me with Ulnar neuritis- some sort of nerve injury/damage originating on my funny bone. He told me he thought thats what it was and that they would be sending me for further testing- an EMG- and they would let me know...

I literally stopped him from leaving the room by reaching out and saying " hey, wait a minute, what does that mean, what kind of test, what do they do, what about these other sensations I have, what do I do in the meantime??" With his hand on the door knob and the door half open he tells me "not to worry about it, they'll do the EMG and let me know". Again, this time a bit stronger, "okay that's fine, but what does the test entail, who makes the appt, what can I do in the meanwhile, can you explain your diagnosis?" He turns again towards me, by this time Julia has lost her patience as well, and is whinning at my leg "eat, mama, eat" repeatedly, and says "they'll put a series of needles in your arm to test your nerves and then we'll know more..." and leaves the room. I think the whole episode took less than three minutes.

At the nurses station, I stopped to ask how the referral is made for the EMG- they assurred me they would call with an appt. And with that, I left. I walked out of the lobby at 10:26.


Edited to add: Forgot the best part- if it is Ulnar Neuritis, surgery may be the best recommendation. Sweet.

Mar 18, 2009

A new week a new, possible, dilemma

We got through last week! Grandma ended up with some nerve damage to her foot as a result of the hip replacement- The good news is that it seems the feeling is slowly returning, and the hiccup qualified her for a bed in a more intensive rehabilitation center that is about a half mile from our house!. She's keeping a good attitude and her hip is no longer causing her pain- Yeah!

The funeral service went very well. It still feels odd that grandpa is 'really' gone
, not just absent. We assume he is at peace wherever he is and hopefully is playing golf with memories intact.

The cheek biopsy was obviously clear- I was so prepared for the worst and am thankful, so thankful, that it was simply a veiny knot type thing- official medical jargon!

On Sunday I received some news from a friend that a distant relative of his had been removed by CPS. A three month old in trouble. As usual it sent my head spinning, and while I had no illusions of physically caring for that baby in a foster placement, it put me into that thinking mode. That place where I think "We're healthy, we know kids, we're good at this baby kid thing (you know, mostly), maybe we should be continuing to do foster care." Monday morning I was sharing the minimums of the story of the three month old with another friend and we exchanged stories of current foster placements with other families that we know. During that conversation, I found out that there is a sibling group of two (two year old and 3 month old, boys) that are currently in shelter care (often the first stop after a removal from birth family, to determine the goal for the kids and parents). These boys stuck with me for various reasons.

#1 They are black/African American, and I can't decide if it is a racist thought that we have always thought about having a black baby- kind of rounding out our color palette.
#2 It wouldn't disrupt our current birth order.
#3 There are so many kids out there that need good homes- and yes, I believe we are a good home, despite the occasional yelling...
#4 They are a sibling group, not just a single placement, and sometimes that is a hard placement to find.
#5 We have room for boys.
#6 We are healthy.
#7 The foster care stipend could be helpful in this current economic stressful time- although it doesn't work like that because the extra money coming in goes right back out again- and I am aware of that. (like hiring someone to help with cleaning the house...) Would we be doing it for the money- uh, no. would it help out? maybe.
And more...

So, there I was with these boys on my mind... I chatted briefly with Käri about them- who in the same breath said "sure", and "yeah, good luck with that".

I called one of our program contact people and left a message inquiring if these boys were even still in placement and what might be going on with them, early Monday afternoon. Late Monday afternoon we stop in to visit Grandma in her new digs -the rehab center- and who should be sitting there in Grandma's room? The very same individual I had left a message for earlier in the afternoon. I can honestly say I have never run into this person before, outside of our professional relationship. Apparently she works one day a week in the rehab center and this was her day... A little odd this coincidence. We didn't talk then, but she said she would call me on Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon she calls and we talk all about continuing to do care or not, pros, cons etc. I am clear with her about where I am coming from and that I wasn't calling to request placement, per se, but that the boys had struck a chord with me. She too, found it odd that we should happen to run into each other on Monday... She clarified that she thought they were still in shelter care and that no decisions had been made, howeve she also wasn't sure if they may have already been placed with a foster family or perhaps back with some relatives. I finished the conversation with J. knowing we were interested in hearing more about these boys, should she hear anything and if they needed a continuing placement.

Late this morning I get a message- The boys need placement. J got a call from a social worker requesting names of families that may be available to work with these boys and their eventual/hopeful reunification with their family. She didn't call to inquire about the boys, someone called her- not always a normal occurence- (the calls generally are filtered through different channels).

Are we maxed out? Are we crazy? If we say yes, would we be doing our other kids a disservice? Are we tired?- hell ya'. Could we fit more kids in our lives? What about the two 6 month old babies I take care of during the week? Is it do-able? (Yes- I do know it's do-able, exhausting and hard, but do-able). If we are asked to take these boys- what do we say???

And then there is that other voice that says 'what are other people going to think'??

Mar 12, 2009

Tender Headed

I never let them mess with my hair... IT HURTS!!!! Today I let them...

Mar 10, 2009


Too busy doing a happy dance to blog!!! That's right, no CANCER!

Whooo Hooo! and might I add a big 'ol PHEW............

Tomorrow- hip replacement... compared to the threat of cancer? Piece of cake! At least, let's hope so, right!

Thank you friends/readers for your support and good wishes. Raquel, Greg... I'm a little speechless- really- THANK YOU! just doesn't seem to cut it- I'll work on it...

Mar 2, 2009


It was ridiculous and hysterical all at the same time. Twice today, I have re-told the story and both times began hysterically laughing all over again.

Little bit of tension around these parts as of late. Lots of stuff going on, going down. More sad news came down the pike last weekend. Sad and terrible. A friend's nephew was killed- 19 years old- unexpectedly, surprisingly. The investigation is ongoing. Truly tragic.

Last night we were over at Grandma's house preparing her home for her upcoming hip replacement surgery- lowering her bed, attaching a hand held shower nozzle, etc. As Käri and I were laying in bed, we were discussing the upcoming surgery, logistics- her father's funeral service, incoming relatives, waiting for Käri's biopsy results, and the results from a recent blood test that shows her thyroid levels way off the charts... And off to sleep we went.

At 12:37 I wake from a sound sleep- laughing, chortling- cracking my self up. I could not get-a-hold of my self. My dream was a series of events- much like any other dream- that make no sense at all. One minute I'm getting shoved into the corner of the kitchen, trying to hold onto my drink, laughing, trying not to spill it, as it bubbles out of my glass (even now it makes me laugh)- the next, I'm taste testing, offering to pay the server and suggesting she keep the change. Käri's next to me (still in my dream) and suggests I get my taste sample back which only makes us laugh more.
I seriously wake myself up laughing. I have to stand up, force myself to get a drink of water- all the while I've completely woken up Käri- who wonders if I am awake or laughing in my sleep- and warns me to shush, worried I'm waking up the whole house. My sides are hurting, my eyes are tearing and my cheeks hurt ,I am laughing so much. I gather myself together, get back into bed and Käri asks what was so funny in my dream. I'm afraid to tell her for fear of starting up all over again, but I do, and I do. This time Käri is laughing right along with me. Are these events funny ? No. Am I dying with laughter? Absolutely.

I cannot adequately describe with words the laughter, the uncontrollable laughter, the unstopable laughter... I was dying. Still making me laugh today- brought me to tears again, retelling the story, typing this- chortling... I have never before experienced this. Too frickin' funny...

I'm thinking, maybe a little stress relief, eh?