Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Since I am not at work, I am unable to check my facebook or myspace, which drives me nuts. The only internet access I have is at the public library which blocks all those fun sites. SO- if anyone wants to know what I am up to- gotta check out this blog.

The most wonderful outstanding news I have to share is that I had an ultrasound yesterday- and my Cervical Length is more than 4! For those of you who have never had any pregnancy complications- this is freaking outstanding for someone with an incompetent cervix! I am so geeked about that I can hardly believe it- mind you cervical length can change daily but at least right now I am doing great!

Gary has been sick since thursday! Not just under the weather but flat out sick as hell. He has some sort of virus that has taken over his mouth (that hand, foot, mouth thing I believe!) and he has been unable to eat since Thursday last week. He has lost over 20 lbs in less than a week. He has been to the doctor three times and has been unable to work. He can barely get out of bed. He was at the doctor again today and if he is any worse he needs to been seen again on Friday. They have mentioned putting him in the hospital because of dehydration. Hopefully he will start feeling better soon. This is supposed to be a 7-10 day thing and we are on day 7 today.

The snow is driving me nuts. Gary has to drag himself out to plow every couple of days and I am in no shape to shovel or brave the weather getting stuck.. While my cervix looks great now I still have to be resting as much as possible since last week Thursday at my regular OB visit my blood pressure was quite high.

I think we are ready for Christmas- and if not- it's too late now. Just have to wrap the things we have for Gunner and I'm done. By the way the snow is falling today I am doubting we will make the candlelight christmas eve service at church since Gary will be in bed and venturing out with my 4 year old at 11:00 pm tonight probably isn't a great idea.

So all that is left to say is Merry Christmas- hope you all have a wonderful holiday- be safe in the snow!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not much to tell

Doctor appt was routine- except for the blood pressure. Mine was like 138 over 91 and that earned me the privledge of laying on my left side for 10 minutes till the doc came in and checked it again. By then it was 134 over 68, and all I could think was "one way or another I will be on bedrest". This doc is setting up my ultrasound for next week- they are doing the growth thing and checking cervical length. She wants me to lay low and rest till I have to go back to work Jan 5th- then after 2 days of working she wants to see me again to see how I am handling work and being up and around. Doesnt sound very promissing as far as continuing to work- but whatever it takes to get this kid here safe and sound.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Doc appt today!

I have to go to Grand Rapids today to pick up Gunner's Christmas pictures and since I am making the trip anyways- I changed my doctor appt from Monday until today! Hopefully I can talk them into an ultrasound to check cervical length and maybe pics of the peanut. Tommorow we are supposed to get a crap load of snow and more snow on Sunday night into Monday. So I am hoping to finish up all my shopping and galavanting today in Grand Rapids and not have to make that trip again! I'll let you know what the doctor says later!

Monday, December 15, 2008

17 weeks (yes I am still counting!)

Hope you all had a safe drive into work this morning. Myself, I was quite annoyed that I had to go in at all. I have to try and remember that this is the last week for me until after the holidays. Gunner is pretty excited about Mommy and he having so much "bacation" time.

Last week was just average except for all the snow we got in the middle of it. Gary spent a lot of time plowing, and go figure "agent orange" sounds like she is ready to blow. Wednesday we got pictures taken of my sibblings and our children which is a surprise for my parents for Christmas. Gunner about knocked his bottom teeth out at Menards (trying to go through the turn stile on the way out!) (Man was that funny!) and he also cut his own hair the day before the pictures. Luckily he just got a couple spots on the side and it was easily disguised. Gary worked his tail off, I don't think he got home before 11 pm any day last week. Friday night Gunner and I stopped in at Nana's for pizza which included all of my sibblings again and our kids. Mom was pretty stoked that all her kids were all together.





Saturday Gary spent the day hauling the Christmas decorations out of the basement. He wasn't really impressed with the amount of it all. The tree ticked him off and Gunner drove us both nuts. But it is up and the train set is even under it. Saturday night we dropped Gunner of at Nana's and my sister, her husband and Gary and I went out to see 4 Christmases- which was hilarious. Afterwards we went to Ruby Tuesdays. They have been together since Rachel was a junior in high school and this is the very first time we went out together. We had a great time. I felt bad for Tim who is still on crutches- that weather was horrid. BTW- Tim is doing ok, still not real sure on the outcome of his foot but it is pretty minor considering he fell over 7 stories. The scar on his forearm from where they took the skin graft is pretty nasty but again in the scope of things- it's no biggie.



Sunday we were up early and off to church for the preschool Christmas program. Gunner did well. Somehow between when we left him in his classroom and the time they walked into the sanctuary he completely untucked his shirt which mortified me, but he was still adorable. He is just Gunner- that says it all. My parents, Gary's parents, and my brother all made an appearance. My sister was there since her son goes to preschool also. So again my mom was all emotional since all of her kids were in church (and no one died or got married!) After church it was grocery shopping and laundry. We headed over to Gary's parents for dinner and ended the night watching Survivor.

Gunner didn't have school today because of the weather and Gary didn't go in until 1:00pm which ruined the whole day for him. We did a potluck at work and tommorow is the pizza party on the service floor where I work. I have felt ok. Tired all the time and if I am up and around all day by say 5pm I am exhausted and my sides ache like no tommorow. I have the occasional cramp here and there but nothing frequent or intense. It feels like a bowling ball is sitting on my pelvis at times. A heaviness is all I can say to explain it. When I feel that way I try to stay laying down for as long as possible. I'm still very anxious to get back to the doctor and be more insistent on an ultrasound to see what my cervix is doing. The next few weeks of laying around will be helpful, but going back to school in January is a little frightening. Hopefully it is just me being paranoid and pesimistic. I would love to carry this kid till May. My 20 week ultrasound will be before I go back to school so hopefully that will take care of any left over worries.
I also hate snow, ice and winter in general. Just in case you were wondering!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mondays are so ..blah!



I did survive the end of last week. Going back to work was hard. I don't want to be on bedrest by any means, but it was nice being able to lay around and relax for a bit. It makes me way less nervous and stressed about what is going on with my cervix. Wednesday was rough being the first day and getting used to sitting up instead of laying down. Thursday I was in pain, going shopping on my lunch hour was a very bad idea. Friday I laid as low as possible at work trying to avoid feeling like I did on Thursday. Gunner and I were both in bed by 9:30 on Friday night since Gary told me he would be extremely late. (Which he was all week)




Saturday morning I headed out with Gunner( and Jennie along to help). We went to GR to get Gunner's christmas pictures taken. Even if I was feeling fabulous and was not pregnant I would still need Jennie's help on picture day. The roads were crap (Gary was right) and we had to go pretty slow. Pictures went well, afterwards we went to Olive Garden for lunch and headed home in the snow. It took about an hour and 40 minutes to get back. I hung out for the rest of the afternoon with Gunner while Gary worked on the Agent Orange (the plow truck) We opted not to go to Gary's work Christmas Party since it was in Grand Rapids and the roads probably were worse not better. Instead we did grocery shopping and took Gunner to Pizza Hut. Gunner was fine with that, he doesn't like Gary and I to do anything without him anyways.






Sunday was a day of rest for me. I laid around all day getting up only to get a snack or do a little laundry. And I have a laundry helper- Gunner picks the stuff up off the floor that I point at and throws them in the washing machine. Repetative bending is on my don't do list. Gary went to my parents to plow their driveway and Gunner decided to spend the day with Nana and Papa. Gary picked him up around 5:00 pm. I had to get ready for the women's christmas dinner at my mom's church so the boys were on their own for the evening. The dinner always is nice, except for the company at the table. The pastors daughter who is 12/13 (somewhere in there) sat across from me and was a complete heathen. Food on the floor, talking during the program, making rude noises, playing with the candles. You name it, my four year old could have done it better. So what should have been a nice evening was ruined by the little monster at my table, and the fact that her mother let her get away with it. What I also find totally ignorant is when someone there who knows all about Gunner his prematurity, and my cervix issues asks me dumb questions. "How far are you hoping to make it this time?" What kind of F-ing question is that? Seriously- Umm how many ways can I answer that and tell her to piss off at the same time? So I looked her straight in the face and said "well if I don't make it till the end of January the baby doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell" Yes I said hell at church. She almost choked on her coffee. I then followed up with we would take however many weeks we can get especially since everything after 27 weeks (which is the end of February) will be a new experience for us. It is like having people you know and know your story complain about being tired of being pregnant in front of me. That kind of thing actually cost me a friendship back when Gunner was born. I just can't forgive that person for being so selfish and inconsiderate in her comments to me. It was a stressful evening, good thing I had rested up all day.






Today getting out of bed was awful. I set the alarm for 6:30 pm instead of am but luckily woke in time. I hated leaving the house and am dead tired. Gunner and I are counting down the days till Christmas Break! Mommy gets 2 full weeks and have the option of taking a 3rd if I want to use my vacation. So we will see how things go and what the doctors say between now and then. I completed my day by fighting with the bitches at the dentist office. We have had a large insurance credit on our account for over 2 months which is supposed to be refuned to us and they keep fighting us about it. This is just one more reason I hate the place- I could go on forever with examples of reasons why they suck and are totally unprofessional but that would be overkill so I will just say this was the last straw. So I was finally pissed enough to cancel any appointments I had and tell them I wanted a copy of my file. And was told no. Can't have it, if I want a copy of x-rays have to pay for them. Mind you both of my dental insurance companies have already paid for those freakin x-rays twice. That was it, I told her to piss off. (not in those exact words!) And go figure the "insurance" lady in the office who is supposed to call me back, hasn't. Imagine that. Gary is super busy at work, which makes for nice paychecks, but he is dog tired when he drags home at 11:30 at night. And it is hard on Gunner not getting to see him at night. Usually means Gunner goes to sleep in my bed so his dad can wake him up and at least cuddle him before he puts him in his own bed. Looks like today is going to be another miserable one for him.






I don't go back to the doctor till Dec 22nd, and then hopefully we can schedule my 20 week ultrasound. I want that done before the kids come back to Ferris so if there are any changes in my cervix that are bad, I can make the decision about going back to work or not, and give work time to find more help. It drives me nuts all the waiting. I want to see more pictures of this baby. I want to see a nice long, closed cervix too!


The picture is of Gunner and his "pilot jacket" which showed up in a package from Grandma and Grandpa Bruce on Saturday. Gunner is in LOVE! He won't take the darn jacket off. He is also informed us that he is going to fly big jets really fast when he gets older. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa- Gunner loved his surprise!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Getting you up to speed-

So- I'm finally back at work. Yeah ( I think!) Last week was brutal. Tuesday we got to the hospital around 9:00 am when we were supposed to. I got checked in, gowned, IV'd and the waiting began. Seems my doc was running behind from his prior surgery so instead of 10:30 surgery time we didn't get rolling until 11:45. The only bad part was the spinal. The doc doing that did my epidural when I had Gunner and was fabulous so we requested him again. This time he had a hard time getting it exactly right. So while I am on the operating table leaning forward curled into a ball with my OB doc hanging on to me the old "I'm going to be sick" sensation hit me hard. I had to sit up a bit and my doc grabbed the trash cart since the nurse couldn't locate a basin right away. Once I sat up and got a little air the feeling subsided and then he could finish the spinal. Once it was in place I had two lead anchors for legs and got situated on the table and the "fun" began. It is weird being awake through something like that. There you are laying on the operating table with your naked bottom half hanging out there for the world to see. While my OB doc was scrubbing up the nurse covered everything, but still those few minutes are the most embarrassing ones you can imagine. Then while they are stitching my cervix up you can feel them pulling the sutures tight, it like almost shakes your whole bottom end, if I hadn't felt so awkward I would have laughed every time he pulled a suture snug. He got two stitches in, which made me pretty happy and I was off to the recovery room.
Recovery rooms suck. The nurses there drive me crazy, while this time they were more caring, I really don't want to hear them complaining about how busy they are or when they are going to get to take their lunches. I am here, I am awake, if you want to have that conversation don't do it over top of me. The biggest concern was where to send me. They can't get rid of patients fast enough. I was a tough one. Couldn't go to Outpatient because I had a spinal, couldn't go to short term since I had a cerclage, the 9th floor (L &D) was full, so I had to hang out until a bed opened up there. Once I got upstairs they got me some juice and checked the bleeding and told me once I could pee I could go home. So I got up and attempted to walk to the bathroom. That is the wackiest feeling, your feet are there but then again they aren't. Once I did my business I was dressed and out the door. Which was still around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.
By the time Gary got me home I was in excruciating pain, which I found out was from an extremely full bladder which I couldn't quite feel yet. Once I got rid of the pee I was just uncomfortable. I climbed into my bed and stayed there the rest of the night. This would have been about the end of the tale if I hadn't had to get up about 3 am to barf my guts out. Kind of made me wonder what was coming up since I hadn't eaten anything all day. And as luck would have it the puking session was followed by hours on the pot with diarrhea. I would have worried about it if the same fate hadn't hit my hubby and Gunner the next day also. Thank you to whomever I caught that bug from. The cerclage wouldn't have been nearly as fun without the extra sickness.
The rest of the past week was pretty tame. We went to my moms house for Thanksgiving, Gary took care of Gunner and I and we did pretty much nothing. Yesterday I drove myself to my doctor appointment and got cleared to come back to work. My OB is not one for taking tons of ultrasounds or measurements. He feels that a cervical length on me is pretty irrelevant. My cervix was almost nonexistant to begin with. What I have now may be what I have till the end or it may change. But who is to say what will be enough for me. If I start having any complications then we will be more aggressive, but if I am feeling fine he would rather leave things alone for now. I guess compared to all the people I have heard that go every two weeks for TVA's it is really lenient, but I do have a healthy, happy 4 year old son because of this man- so I guess I will just go with it and trust his opinion. I am bummed that I won't get to see my peanut more frequently- but hey in 5 weeks I will get my big scan so hey what the heck.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The big "C"

So our last normal weekend together- shot. Gary has an abcessed tooth and was miserable most of the weekend. We did manage dinner at Olive Garden after he sold some rims and tires to a guy by way of craigslist. On the way home we ended up driving past our exit and heading right up to the emergency room. Gary got an antibiotic and some pain pills and home we went. When he woke up Sunday morning he looked so darn cute. Gary didn't think so, but that one big chipmunk cheek just cracked me up. At least his pain had died down some.
I had to babysit so Gary just helped keep the house clean since my mom had been over most of the day saturday helping us get organized for the upcoming week of me being out of commission. Gary had to help my dad do another shitty job. One of his big horses colicked- and there was nothing to do but the humane thing. So Gary spent several hours helping my dad put the horse down, get it buried and the barn cleaned out. Not a fun day for anyone. That is two horses in about a month for dad. It was pretty sad, even though the horse he lost yesterday we believe was behind the broken leg the young one suffered earlier. Having pets sucks.
Today I am wrapping up a bunch of loose ends at work. Trying to get everything set up for my absence. Hopefully it will only be a couple days. But better to be safe than sorry. One thing that bites is I do all our bill paying online. We have no internet connection at home. So if this is the beginning of a long term bedrest I may have to do something about that. Hopefully I would at least be allowed to make the trip to the public library once a week if I am on bedrest. It is only about 5 minutes from our house and besides the books to keep me sane- they have internet access. I will honestly go nuts without being able to putz around on facebook, myspace, this blog and blogs of friends I keep up with.
I am getting nervous. While I have been counting down the days till my cerclage I can't believe it is actually almost here. Don't get me wrong- no second thoughts about it. I want the cerclage (like yesterday) and I know it is really the only option for me, but once it is done my complications become so much more real. Instead of saying I will have to take it easy, I will have to take it easy. I may even end up on bedrest right from the get go. It's kind of a crap shoot. I may end up sitting here at work unable to reach the keyboard around my gigantic baby belly. (which I am hoping for!) So- tommorow is the big day. Gary and I will be out the door at the crack of dawn. Gunner will be at Nana's house and hopefully around 10 am the new peanut will be sewed in nice and securly. Not to be seen other than via ultrasound until 37 weeks or so. Since we have no internet connection- updates will be few and far between for a week or so. Wish us luck- keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Gary

Tuesday was interesting. While battling a horribly painful back since Sunday there were some "new developments" after a bathroom break on Tuesday morning which freaked me out. (I will spare everyone the details) While for some people what I saw was completely normal during pregnancy for someone with an incompetent cervix it can mean the beginning of a changing cervix which is bad news. I called the doc and they wanted to see me just to be sure. Gary took the day off and went along.

Blood pressure good, weight down 1lb, cervix (are you ready for this) looks much better than it did 2 weeks ago according to the doctor! He was kind of puzzled about it actually. One of his thoughts was that there was more pressure from my bladder. So he had made a note that during my surgery if my cervix doesn't look "good" then he will fill my bladder up ( I will have a catheter for this) and then hopefully it will give him more cervix to work with. So not only did I not have anything wrong except for a sore back (they checked for all kinds of infections also) my cervix looked better which makes me feel a little relief. Now only 5 days till my cerclage!

On the way home I called mom to tell her what was going on and she mentioned that she and dad had a rough night also. Dad is diabetic and had another low blood sugar attack during the night. This one was so bad that mom had to call the ambulance because he was beginning to slip into a diabetic coma. The normal routine wasn't helping. Luckily by the time the ambulance showed up he was coming out of it, they just checked him over and said he seemed ok. So dad spent the day feeling really shitty which is what usually happens after one of his attacks. Mom is getting him set up to see the doctor since he has been having a bunch of low blood sugar attacks at night recently. Something in his medications needs to be adjusted.

Today is Gary's 32nd birthday. No big plans today. Our anniversary was Monday so this weekend we are going out to dinner and a movie. It may very well be the last time we go out until after the baby is born depending on how the cerclage surgery goes and my cervix behaves. My dear mom is coming over this weekend to help me get my house cleaned from top to bottom before my surgery.

Gunner is also excited because Mommy and Daddy only have to work one day next week. Little does he realize Mommy will be out of commission after that. We are not going to talk about the surgery with Gunner since when my mom mentioned surgery he flipped out. Gunner got all panicky and started to cry about not wanting mommy to have surgery. I figure telling him Mommy had to see the doctor should be enough for him. If we tell him Mommy might need some "pokeys" (shots) he gets terribly upset. Why force the issue. He is already overly protective and super careful around me because of "the baby".

Ironically since my back is feeling somewhat better, the pregnancy fairy decided that I should now be blessed with a sinus headache and bloody nose. If I think about it logically though I will most likely be pregnant at least 40 weeks, as horrible as I feel, I am sure with my luck I will feel this way for as long as possible. Which is ok.

Monday, November 17, 2008

13 weeks and counting

Well that I survived yesterday is nothing short of a miracle. As I was getting dressed after my shower I got a sudden intense pain in my lower back and from that point on the day went to pot. I could hardly stand up let alone breathe. Gary has put his back out numerous times, at least once a winter to be exact. Myself, I have had back aches and pains but nothing a hot shower or a long nap doesn't cure. Nothing helped this. Gary wanted to play chiropractor and adjust me, but I refused with tears and sobs of pain. I spent most of the day laying in bed. I know that lower back pain is often a sign of preterm labor but I am going with the fact that this was sudden and instant and am assuming I put it out. I also didn't have any other signs to be scared of, no contractions or bleeding so I am waiting to call the doctor's office this morning to see what they suggest. I do feel a great deal better this morning, but better than yesterday isn't saying much. I am secretly hoping the doctor's office wants to see me anyways just to check things out. I can't help be a worry wart. I have 8 days till my cerclage and then I hope I have a bit of confidence. Maybe then every ache and pain won't cause stress and anxiety on my part.

Today is also our Anniversary! We have been married for seven years. Although it's been over 15 years since we went on that first date. February 13, 1993! I was 14 years old- way too young to get involved in the realationship we started, but it worked out in the end. It's kind of weird to think that Gary has now been a part of my life longer than he wasn't. I was 14 when I met him and we have been together (off and on) for over 15. Weird stuff huh.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The blah's

Do you ever just wish you could take a nap that would last for say.. 6 months? Today is one of those days that I think I would have been better off staying in bed. I am exhausted, getting up to pee every hour and a half has that effect on you. I'm pissed off because my SIL is coming up to my inlaws this weekend, and my MIL has already told her I am pregnant even though we specifically asked her not to. In case you didn't know I despise my SIL. I can't seem to get along with my husband (which most of it goes back to the SIL issue today) and he has officially hung up on me twice today. If it wasn't for Gunner that six month nap would be the route I opted for.

It's Friday but I can't even get excited about that. I am at least not suffering from the "all day" sickness that has been my constant companion this pregnancy. My digestive system doesn't work right which makes me bloated, gassy and uncomfortable, which in turns makes me even more pissy. I can hardly wait for this afternoon. I think I am going to get Gunner and hole up in the house all weekend. Deer season is not a special occasion for pregnant women and small children. Most likely we won't have any company, they will all be in the woods. We have a ton of stuff to get done before winter really sets in, but once again, most of it will be left undone come Sunday night.

Wishing all you hunters a great weekend, don't shoot yourselves. On the bright side only 11 days till the cerclage, 3 days till our 7 year anniversary and 6 days until Gary is 32!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A sad morning

Well today is the anniversary of Jake's death. Jake was the world's most wonderful dog. Mom and Dad had to put him down two years ago today. For some reason my mother and I remember all these morbid dates! I still sometimes expect to see him rounding the corner as I step in Mom and Dad's house. Especially at night, if I walk in when it is dark, Jake always used to come into the kitchen "ruffing" and we had to say "Jake- it's me" to get him to quiet down.



To make a sad day worse, dad found one of his young horses down with a broken leg. Fire didn't come into the barn last night and dad just figured he was off being stubborn and left the door open for him. Dad didn't look for him until this morning. He found him down and struggling to get up. My dad while being a totaly hard butt on the outside is a complete softy for animals. He went out to take care of Fire himself instead of calling the vet, mostly for time reasons. It is by no means something that can be fixed and he is in pain. Dad feels completely guilty for him laying outside all night suffering because he didn't go find him so wants to get it over with as soon as he can. While some may not agree with shooting an animal it was the quickest way to end poor Fire's suffering. The worst part is not knowing how long he had been down and having no idea what happened. My first conclusion would be to blame Belle- the oldest, meanest horse dad has. Belle has a nasty habbit of kicking the shit out of all the other horses. I hope this will be the end of her reign as queen bitch on dad's farm. Although deep down in my heart I am hoping she wasn't the reason Fire broke his leg. Now Papa will have the heartache of explaining to Gunner that Fire is in heaven with Jesus. Gunner will be devastated, he loves all the horses!

While furry friend wise we are pretty sad, the human kids are doing well. Gunner spent some time yesterday with his friend Paige and her family, which gave him a break from being stuck inside since the weather was so yucky. It also gave me a break and a chance to hang out all day and catch up on the humungous pile of laundry we had going. It's amazing how much dirty laundry three people can create in a week. The gremlin I'm carrying is easing up a bit and I don't feel quite so sick all the time. I am actually having spurts of pigging out here and there. So far I have only lost weight but I do try to keep a close eye on it. I know I will have to gain some, but I want to keep it under control considering all the extra I already have.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Appt with the Doctor

Yesterday was my first real doctor appt. I had to be there at 4:00. I got there a few minutes early and got to wait, which was agonizing. Most people enjoy going to the doctor. I dread it. I wanted to see this peanut, I wanted to hear some good news. Well one out of two isn't bad. There is only one very active little gremlin in there. It is measuring 11 wks 6 days according to the ultrasound. (about 5 days ahead of schedule) Then there is the issue of my cervix. Once the doctor found it that is. It is always reassuring to hear the doctor say "you do have a cervix right?" While I realize that is just his sense of humor, it totally deflated any dreams of the realtively normal pregnancy I was hoping for.

My cervix is about 1/4 of the length of the average woman. He didn't give me a measurement, which I am thinking is good, just more to worry about. My cerclage date is November 25th. The doctor I saw yesterday placed the last cerclage and I am opting to have him do this one also. He doesn't seem too concerned, and also told me that it is way too soon to be worried. He won't do a cerclage till 14 weeks but is happy that I want mine as soon as I am 14 weeks. He also told me that the baby doesn't put pressure on the cervix till somewhere between 16 and 18 weeks so there is no reason to do it sooner. As he put it, "incompetent cervix" is not an issue before the 2nd trimester. He also mentioned that the biggest issue with a short cervix is infection. Which was a problem for me last time, but again, the membranes had been exposed before they did the emergency cerclage so it was a totally different ball game back then. All in all he was very positive and upbeat, I guess I just have to be the same. I have to beat my inner demon who is a real pessimistic SOB.

Gary has already put in for the time off work, and even though no one is supposed to have time off before the holiday at his work, this qualifies as FMLA and he will not get any hassel about it. So he is geeked that he will get to be off from the 25th till Dec. 1st. I am worried I will want to kill him in that amount of time. It will be a good crash course for him with Gunner. Hopefully we won't have to ever get used to me on a long term bedrest.

I also have come to the conclusion that I am not worried about making it through my whole pregnancy without bedrest any longer. I was really hoping I could do that to make things easier for everyone at work. I hate being the reason for inconvience. I didn't want Kelly( who I really like!) to be overloaded with tons of stuff or them to have to hire a temp. Right now, if I make it through this semester without bedrest (which would be the month after my cerclage) I will be pretty happy. My focus has to be on this baby, not about making things easier for everyone at work. Guess that is the one fabulous thing about belonging to the union here at Ferris. And today is officially my one year anniversary here at Ferris. That means it's official- I'd have to do something outlandishly stupid to get fired or let go. The FMLA covers me completely for this pregnancy now too!

Another good thing about my cerclage date is my best friend who is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital we go to will be working that day. She can check in on me and be the one to keep an eye on the baby before and after! So not only will I be worried, she gets to worry too! I actually feel bad for her, knowing everything she does, seeing all the things she sees and having to deal with me going through it must stress her out. Gunner about killed her last time. She didn't let on how upset and worried she was last time until after we were out of the woods. Must be I was too messed up on the drugs to realize how bad she looked each time she came into my room. I was totally oblivious to her being upset.

Gunner was super excited about seeing the pictures of his baby! He looks them all over and tells us what is in each shot. He also pulled a couple more names out of his butt yesterday. Calvin for a boy and Pissant for a girl. He gets the Pissant from his Papa. (yup sounds just like it is spelled: Piss- ant) My dad has always had these messed up nicknames for us kids. I was his Pissant when I was little. I guess you have to know my dad to understand his terms of endearment.


I aslo spent some time at the funeral home yesterday. My Aunt Kathy died last weekend and her funeral was yesterday. While I didn't attend the funeral since it was at the same time as my doctor appointment, I did stop at the funeral home on my way to the doctor. My cousins all seem to be doing ok. What is sucky is that my Aunt just buried my oldest cousin a couple months ago. So the family has lost a sister and a mother all in a short time. Personally I was not overly emmotional since I am not close with that side of the family. But I feel bad for everyone and my heart hurts for my dad. Mom said he had a real hard time with it yesterday. She wished I could have been there, but seeing my dad cry is not something I want to do.

So that is the update. If I can figure out the scanner maybe I can scan the ultrasound pictures for everyone to see. Don't hold your breath though, I'm not very computer savy. Keep praying for this peanut! We have a long road to ahead of us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

10 weeks and counting

So, today I am officially 1/4 of the way through my pregnancy. It's been a rough quarter. I feel like hell most of the time. There will be little glimmers of normalcy here and there, just enough to remind me that I will survive this thing. The worst part is I am just getting going. Maybe it was because I felt so wonderful when I pregnant for Gunner that I am having a hard time dealing with being sick. And maybe I just forgot how bad I felt the last time because everything that happened after 20 weeks was way worse than a little nausea. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am almost 5 years older? Whatever it is, I am a wimp!

Since it was cold and rainy all weekend, nothing got accomplished. Gary did get the second dresser moved out of Gunner's room and into the garage. Gary and I are moving our room which is currently upstairs, into what used to be Gunner's toyroom. So I had to rearrange his furniture and put quite a few toys in his room. The toyroom closet which we could barely open the door to, is clean and awaiting our clothing from upstairs. (Ok most of it is on the couch since I never take care of it.) Why are we moving? The stairs. Once I get a cerclage I will more than likely be told to avoid the stairs. Depends on how things go, stairs may be completely off limits. And if you know me, and how graceful I can be, there is no reason to tempt fate by climbing my big pregnant self up and down the stairs several times a day.

I am also hoping since I will be right next to Gunner's room now that I can break his habbit of wetting his pull-up at night. I'm thinking that on one or more of my many trips to the bathroom at night, I will drag the little guy with me and make him use the bathroom to get him into the habbit of not sleeping through the urge to pee. And then maybe I will be able to get him to go back to sleep in his own bed instead of coming into mine after he wakes up once he is already wet.

That's about it. Nothing overly exciting to report. Gunner is getting geared up for Halloween on Friday. Gary has the day off so he can go to his class party and go with us trick-or treating that night. On Thursday I go to see the nurse for my first OB visit. That will be extremely disappointing. Most likely it will be lets talk about how you are feeling, take your vitamins, watch your weight, how did you last pregnancy go, here are some handouts, see you next time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Little bit better!

Ok- so I am actually feeling human today! Then again it almost scares me when I feel good- it gives me this false sense that there is nothing wrong with me... and then wait a minute- I'm pregnant and pregnant for me isn't exactly normal, routine or easy. At least I am feeling like I can survive the next 7 or 8 months.

Tonight I get to go watch Jennie Kizer play basketball! I saw a few minutes of her game on Monday and she has so much potential! I can't believe that the beautiful young woman running up and down the court with the long blonde hair is the same little baby I used to snatch up after college classes and nap with. The adorable toddler we loved to mimic as she pronounced words. Jennie is by far the best player on her team, and even though she is only in 7th grade, I can imagine how good she will be in a few years. Gunner is at Grandmy's house and being the mean mom that I am, I am going to leave him there till after the game! Grandmy was planning on him staying late anyways.

Lots of family drama. Mom told me Sunday that my brother and his wife are getting a divorce. Am I surprised? No. I do feel horrible for my nephew Trevor, the poor little guy is going to go through some really rough times in the future. Hopefully his parents can at least be mature about the split. Who knows, maybe my brother will make appearances on the holidays now that he won't constantly be at his in-laws for the whole holiday. But will that be a good thing? Who knows. Honestly I don't care. It may make mom and dad happy, so I guess I will have to be a good sport and put on that smile for longer.

My Aunt Kathy has terminal cancer. She is my dad's sister. Again I feel bad for her and her children, but I am not devestated by it. I have never been close with any of my dad's side of the family. There has never been anything but drama, drama and more drama from any of them. That is when they are not in prison. With the exception of my cousin Julie who I have recently gotten in contact with through myspace and I think my cousin Marilyn may be another one who finally has it together also. There are a lot of decisions to be made now. The family has to decide what to do since she is currently on a respirator and in a coma like state. This also leaves the subject of my crazy grandmother. I am not being cold hearted (like Grandma always has been) Grandma has alzheimers and is in really bad shape. Up until now Aunt Kathy has been taking care of Grandma, now the only one left to step up to the plate is Uncle Paul. My parents took their turn of over 3 years and it almost killed my mother. Litterally. My dad is all for a nursing home since in reality, it is where she needs to be. Everyone else has fought that call from day one. My guess would be they don't want all of her money spent. That is what it usually boils down to with them. We will see what the next few weeks brings. I am just praying all the stress doesn't kill my dad with a stroke or heart attack. I will be superbly pissed if that happens, and believe me each and every family member will know it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Well I made it through another weekend, barely. I honestly feel like crap. My stomach is a mess! I am not sick enough to throw up, just to feel rotten pretty much the whole day. My bowels, either work too much or not enough, no where in betweeen and I am very uncomfortable. I feel so bloated I think if you picked my with a pin I would fly around the room making a whizzing noise like a balloon. I am exhausted. I can't get enough sleep these days. And I am only 9 weeks pregnant. I have at least (thinking positively) 28 weeks to go.

A lot of my discomfort is self inflicted. I let worry and stress get the better of me and I shouldn't. I guess it is time to stop caring about anything but a healthy baby. I am a ball of confusion. As horrible as I feel I wonder how I could possibly make it another 28 weeks. The worst part is waiting to see the doc. I want to know now what my cervix looks like. I want to see an ultrasound now. I want to prove there is only one baby, NOW! I have never been a patient person. Guess Gunner got that one from me.

If your reading this, keep the gremlin in your prayers. I pray daily for the the health of this child and the strength to keep on smiling when I feel so blasted miserable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Attack of the Gremlin

So for everyone out there, "gremlin" is our term for this creature growing inside of me. Last week the gremlin made life pretty miserable for me. Well, maybe it was the gremlin and a touch of the flu. I got a flu shot early last week and felt like someone ran me over with a bus for the remainder of the week. I was sicker than all get out and was really worried about facing several more weeks or months of feeling that bad. I also had a lot of belly aches and pains. Which may seem normal, but for someone who is worried about carrying a pregnancy to term, aches and pains set off all kinds of mental alarms.

Nothing really exciting in gremlin land- still to early for anything really cool. Today the gremlin decided that Chineese food is not on the list of acceptable things to eat. It would have been nice if I had been given the memo before lunch, but believe me, I got the memo after lunch. The gremlin is attacking my insides and making me pay dearly for that exceptionally tasty (and small) portion of General TSO chicken and rice.

It is going to kill me waiting for my doctors appointments. I see the nurse on Oct 30th and then the doctor on Nov. 4th. And yes they still want to wait that long to see me even with my history. Hopefully on the 4th we can talk about a date for my cerclage. The sooner the better in my opinion! I want to hear a heartbeat and see ultrasounds! Hey- that is one small bright side to being a high risk pregnancy- I should get lots and lots of ultrasound pictures of this gremlin.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thought for today...

You can be too informed. I have spent a lot of time surfing the web and reading up on cerclages, incompetent cervix, and the like. What conclusion have I come to? My freakin head hurts and now my stomach is upset thinking about everything I have read. I like living with my head in the sand. I will continue to act as if nothing is wrong until my doctor tells me something is wrong. When I go for my cerclage- I will get whatever type he thinks is best and do whatever he tells me to do. There is absolutely no reason for me to read all of these other sad stories about the bad things that have happened to other people. I feel horrible when I read these stories! I am in no way shape or form trying to lessen the importance of these people's loss- but for my own sanity- I can't read that stuff anymore! Here I thought I would be doing something good, by informing myself. Nope! I can't deal with it all.

I am officially 7 weeks pregnant today. That means at least 30 more to go. I will be positive and fully expect to carry this peanut to term. I will hopefully be so uncomfortable and miserable that I am unable to sleep or sit for long periods of time. I hope my stretch marks beat all others and this kid gets so large it kicks the snot out of my ribs. I missed all that the first time, I am welcoming it with open arms this time.

On the bright side- we called Grandma and Grandpa Bruce this weekend and Gunner got to share his news! Grandpa made him repeat himself about 4 times- luckily Gunner cooperated and didn't refuse to keep saying "my mommy has a baby in her belly" Grandpa Bruce is going in for some tests today so we will have to call and find out how he is!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A little more info

For those who actually read what I put up here. Yes we are expecting our next child. I am not very far along, only 6 weeks. My due date is May 25th, Memorial Day! Around 14 weeks my doctor will do a cerclage (sew my cervix shut) and other than not being able to lift anything over 20 lbs I should hopefully be able to continue with a fairly normal lifestyle. There will be no sex- but that is a small price to pay for a healthy baby. Gary is ok with it, or he is ok with the idea of it. It may present more of a challenge later!

We will not be finding out the sex of this child. We didn't with Gunner even though we had numerous chances to. We also will not be sharing our ideas for names. Sorry, don't mean to offend anyone but the last pregnancy I was put off by a pregnant friend who had chosen a girls name VERY similar to one I was in love with. So, if no one knows, no one can steal my ideas and I have no reason to be pissy about it. Solves that problem doesn't it? I will tell you while the name will not be completely ordinary, it won't be bizare either. Don't expect a Jacob or Emily, or Apple or Phinneus for that matter. It will have to be a little different since Gunner isn't exactly ordinary.

Gunner is extremely happy! He has been asking for a brother or sister for over a year. He also has told me without no hesitation that I am going to have two babies. I am hoping that is just his little immagination as opposed to a sign of the future. He asks me everyday how my belly is and how his baby is. He also realizes that pretty soon Mommy won't be able to carry him anymore. We also are using a guilt trip to try and get him to stay dry all night. We have told him he needs to be a big boy and go potty at night so we don't have to buy pullups anymore. We told him when we stop buying pullups we can start buying diapers for his brother or sister.

His rationale is instead he will just get another job to pay for his pull ups. In case you didn't know he works several jobs already. He hauls milk (what daddy used to do part time), he hauls for the amish (papa), he drives Conways (where daddy works) and he also works construction (uncle tim). How does he have time for all this? I am not sure. I also am not sure why he insists that he has jobs. I guess it goes back to explaining to him why daddy and mommy have to work. We told him that we have to work so we can pay for food and toys. Now he works to pay for food and toys also. He also has some wonderful hunting stories. Did you know that when Gunner was his dads age he hunted bear in alaska? That is what he tells us anyways. In those words.

Lots of change is on the horizon for all of us. Hopefully it will all be good or at least we will be able to sail through most of it unscathed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

Just a new picture of Gunner!
Hope you can fill in the blanks.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tubes are in!

Well, we were up at the crack of dawn this morning, and made it to the hospital for check in by 6:30. Gunner wasn't feeling particularly social, but at least he wasn't being nasty. They did all the vitals and showed him too his room, where they had us strip him down to the skivies and put a (too short) hospital gown on him. He got a kick out of it. And of course Mommy got pictures out of it. Yes, horsey girl went with us to the hospital.
Since Gunner was the youngest he got to go first! At 8:00 am on the dot a nurse came to get him and we walked with him down the hallway. We had to stay in the waiting room as he continued on. He was a little troubled when we stopped at the waiting room and he realized we weren't going all the way with him. I do believe it was much harder for me than for him though. I held the tears in until he was out of sight. I also got the "It's only tubes" from his dad. And in all honesty by the time I got my self under control the doctor was coming in to tell us he was all done. He talked with us for about 5 minutes then left. After he left I pulled out my cell phone and it said 8:16. Pretty fast stuff.
They wheeled him back by us about 5 mintues later and we followed him back to his room where the drama began. The anestiologist told us when they go under in a bad mood or upset they usually come out that way also. He must have been pissed when they put him under. He was crying and yelling at Gary and I to get away from him and to get out of his room. The nurse was the only one allowed to stay with him. He said his throat and his ears hurt. He allowed me to stand by his bed when the nurse went to get him juice and tylenol and then I was promtly told to "get out you mean mommy". After about 10 minutes he decided all he wanted was for me to hold him. We got his pj's back on and then about 10 minutes after that we were able to leave. We literally we out of there before 9:00 am. Gunner cried most of the way to Grandmy's house. He had me pull over twice since he thought he was going to throw up. Nothing more than a few dry heaves and a couple of spits on his part for good measure. When we got to Grandmy's I sat in the recliner with him and started to rock him. Within 2 minutes he was out.
I called around 1:15 and he is pretty much back to himself and is outside wandering around with Grandmy watching Grandpy work on their addition.

Here is a bonus picture of our ER visit. I didn't get any good bloody shots of it before we went to the hospital.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just a random update

Last week went by pretty fast, almost as fast as the weekend! Gunner saw the ENT on Wednesday and he is getting tubes in his ears on this Wednesday (Sept. 24th) FINALLY!! Now I was never one to want tubes in his ears, but when we average 6 ear infections in an 8 month time frame, something has to give.

Uncle Tim was discharged from the hospital on Friday. He is staying with his parents in Kent City since his brother still lives at home and can be there to keep him company and help take care of him. Sounds like the home health nurses will be there pretty frequently and then this week he sees a plastic surgeon, since he will need a skin graft. They have all kinds of things in the works, but all the details, I'm not sure of.

"Uncle" Dale was in town to visit on Friday and brought Gunner a kick butt cowboy hat he picked up in Kansas. I must say my little man makes that hat look good! I think we are back to being a cowboy (again) for Halloween now that we have the new hat. We were thinking soldier, but Gunner is obsessed with the guns, and shooting people so we have vetoed that one especially since he will wear his outfit to preschool.

Saturday night we made a trip to the ER. Nothing major. Gunner was walking towards the little beater s10 pick up Gary drives around on the weekends carrying his booster seat so he could go with Gary. It was just about dark and Gunner tripped on a rut in the yard from the cement truck and fell. He cut just below his elbow pretty badly. We were in route to Nana's house and Gunner wanted to keep going. When we got to Nana's we cleaned it up as best we could and Gunner told us he hit it on "Little Red" (the truck) Well what he hit was a rust hole that cut his arm. Gary even went so far as to take a toothbrush and scrub the cut under the faucet (my poor baby was so tough!) but we were unable to get all the pieces out. I thought the cut was bad enough to warrant a stitch or two possibly. Long story short, at the ER they were able to remove the rest of the debris and just butterflied it up well with some material we are not supposed to get wet for a week. Keep a 4 year olds arm dry for a week? What are they nuts? We are trying anyways.

This week is tubes and possibly a birthday party for my grandmother on saturday! I also think Gary is taking Friday off again- lucky guy. Too bad he has to spend his days off working so hard.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Uncle Tim

So Tuesday night started out ok, and got really bad, really fast. My sister Rachel got a phone call around 6pm telling her that her husband Tim had fallen at work and broken his ankle. Tim works construction and has been working in the Flint area lately. Rachel had just spoken with him around 5 and he was fine then. I headed home thinking, that sucks, but not much else. When we finally got all the details, they were terrifying. Tim fell alright, from the 8th floor of the building they were working on. He was throwing some large pieces of pipe out of the window into a scrap pile below. The piece he threw had an elbow on it and caught his shirt and threw him off balance and he went out the window with the pipe and landed on the pile of scrap metal. Amazingly enough and by God's grace he is alive and has relatively minor injuries considering how far he fell. The rescue crew took him to Hurley Medical Center and they are doing the best they can for him right now. Tim as of right now has a broken femur a demolished ankle (on the same side) broken ribs, possible broken arm and cuts and bruises on his face. As I writing this he is headed in for his second surgery on his ankle.

We have been doing our best to help Rachel get him transferred to Spectrum. Hurley is in a bad area and is a filthy hospital. Everyone that has been there to visit has been appalled at the condition of the floors, bathrooms and Tim's room. Hurley is not a major trauma center they are way out of thier league. We have talked to surgeons who work for Spectrum and they have urged us to do what we can to get Tim transferred as soon as possible. We have also been told the first mistake made by Hurley is not to have airlifted him immediately to Spectrum. The guy fell 8 stories, admit it, you are way out of your league and not equipped to handle this Hurley! If not Spectrum he should have been sent to Uof M. Somewhere where he could have gotten better trauma care immediately. Now part of the problem is that Tim was conscious through it all, talking, yelling, screaming in pain. No one could believe he wasn't hurt worse. They might have chalked it up to a miracle and thought they could handle it. Or maybe they were misinformed like the inital report in the paper stating he only fell 4 stories and landed on a platform of some sort. Either way we want him out of that damn place now.
The biggest obstacle in moving him is that we are told he isn't stable. Why isn't he stable you ask? Wednesday morning (yup over 12 hours later) they did a cat scan of his head and neck. And as of last night they still did not have the results, so they can't tell if he has neck injuries so therefor he is not "stable" and can't be moved. And my sister was told that it is normal for it to take that long to get results back. Guess we better hope he isn't bleeding internally anywhere huh? The fact that it took all freaking day and still no results of a cat scan is prime example of why we want him moved! The guy fell over 8 stories and they didn't think to do a cat scan of his head and neck till the next morning? What the hell- I am no medical student but even I can make the connection as to why he should have been scanned from one end to the other immediately!
So here I am waiting for more word on what is happening and what is going to happen. Tuesday night was really hard for me. Call me emmotional, but I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that he was alive. I keep seeing this image of him falling over and over in my head and all I can think about is what must have gone through his mind, the pain, the fear. And then we come back to God, thank you Lord for sparing his life. Thank you for granting my sister and nephew the miracle of not having to say goodbye. By all means, we should be attending a funeral not making trips to the hospital to visit him. It is utterly amazing the things God can do. Thanks for this one Lord.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Preschool

Well first off, we had a very uneventful Labor Day weekend. I got to go shopping at the outlet mall on Saturday for school clothes for Gunner and had a great time. Gary and Gunner spent the day together and somehow made it ok without me. The only thing that stands out about the whole weekend was that I spent most of it making peach jam and freezing peaches. Gunner was exceptionally "great" help, but we got through it alright. We had an extra day in our weekend was about all that the holiday weekend amounted to for us. Unless you count worrying about what the hell happened to Gunners face as important. On Thursday the 28th of August, Gunner got all of his innoculations at the doctors office. One of them swelled up and got really red and on Saturday his face broke out with what we thought were cold sores. I was absolutely furious. I had no idea where he got a cold sore from and it really pissed me off. We spent the weekend applying abbreva and carmex and hounding him to keep his hands off his face. One of the sores got better and one got worse.
On Wednesday morning we got up and got ready for preschool! Gunner was pretty excited since his friend Paige would be going this year. We both went along to drop him off and I must admit, I handled it much better this year. The only time I cried was after Paige started to cry alligator tears and then I couldn't help it. I felt a little apprehensive about the sores on his face but after all they were looking better so it should be fine, Right?- Wrong!

Daddy gave him big hugs and kisses goodbye (I did too, but no one but myself knows how to operate a camera) and we were off to work and Gunner and Paige were on their own. Last year Gunner ran down the hall screaming after us, this year he did fine.

Nana picked Gunner up and then proceeded to call me around 1:30 and wanted me to know that the sores on his face were much worse and seemed to be spreading up his cheeks! Fabulous- now I know for positive they aren't cold sores and we just exposed the whole preschool to... IMPETIGO! Yup, I'm the mom responsible! So after our visit to the doctor and an oral antibiotic and a cream- Gunner is on his way to being healed up. I must say I am greatly relieved that it wasn't cold sores- since those would end up terrorizing us forever. Gunner stayed home with his Daddy on Thursday since the doctor didn't want the kids at daycare exposed any more than they already had been. Today his face look much better and he was off to school again!

I can't believe how grown up he has gotten in the last year. Every day he amazes me more, now if I could just get him to listen and follow directions. Before I know it another year will have passed and he will be getting on a school bus heading off to kindergarden. I am so not ready for that one! Hopefully this year drags on...and on... and on...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Birthday Pictures and Audiologist Appt.

So last Thursday was a fun one for us. Jennie Kizer spent the night which made Gunner extremely happy! On Thursday morning I got up and fixed Gunner and Jennie chocolate chip pancakes (?) and then headed out for my dentist appt. When I got back we got Gunner ready to go and went to the audiologist appt we had set up. Why the audiologist you ask? I honestly think that his pediatrician was just trying to make me feel better by proving his ears are fine. I have been pushing for tubes since we have had so many ear infections and the pediatrician doesn't think he needs them. SO anyways, the audiologist appt was only about 5 minutes long because his left ear was so full of fluid she couldn't get any kind of reading since his ear drum would not move at all. And we got our appt with the ENT for Sept 17th.
After that fun we did Burger King for lunch and Gunner got to run around playland for a bit. We loaded up and began our quest to Grand Rapids. My sister had us on the lookout for Little Einstein birthday invitations for my nephew. Since my sweet son fell asleep in the car and we had some time to kill- I checked out a couple of the party decor stores with Jennie sitting in the car with Gunner while he slept. When he woke up in a good mood Jennie and I were dumbfounded. He is always grouchy when he wakes up! We headed to Sears for his 4 year pictures and he was an angel. Another miracle! We did a little bit of shopping at Sears and then Old Navy and also every place someone suggested for Little Einstein invites. We completely struck out on the invites by the way.


Around 5:30 we headed to Chucky Cheese, which was Gunners reward for good behavior. Daddy met us just as we started in on the pizza and we had a nice time chasing the spoiled child around on the rides and games. Gunner opted to ride home with Jennie and I as opposed to riding with Dad. We made one last detour by the dairy bear in Howard City for icecream on the way home. We had a great day with Jennie which just reinforces how much we love her and how we would keep her forever if we could.
I don't pick the pictures up until the like 28th of August so early Sept will be the first anyone sees them in person.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our Sad Weekend

Well we survived, which I knew we would, but it really stunk!

Friday night Mr. Bear had several hours of loving, back rubs and "good dog" hugs. He had a wonderful meal of meat scraps, gravy and italian sausages. We spent a good deal of time on the deck just hanging out with all the mutts and tried breaking the news to Gunner that tommorow Bear would be leaving us. I had left them loose all day on Friday so Bear wouldn't spend his last full day with us chained up. (who knows what those dogs did all day) I do know that the huge hole he dug in the mulch along side the house will be forgiven and probably left alone for quite awhile. I hope he visited the neighbor dogs and ripped up at least one bag of garbage for the neighbors to remember him by. I would have especially been proud if he had killed one more loose chicken from down the road just for old times sake. I honestly don't think he felt well enough to do too much damage.

I also left the goofy dogs unchained all night long. Usually this would result in huge holes in my flower beds but for some reason I think they all spent the night on the porch. Maybe they were waiting for more scraps and handouts which for some reason kept showing up every couple hours till I went to bed. They cleaned up all the lunch meat and the chicken fajita strips that were unopened until then. It was hard to go to bed knowing what was coming in the morning. At least it was for me, the boys seemed to sleep well.

When Gunner woke up and decided on pancakes for breakfast, I knew Bear would be happy. Eggs weren't his favorite. Bear had pancakes with syrup, bacon and sausage for breakfast (Kegger and Lucy just had pancakes) We spent a long tearful hour waiting for the time when Dada had to leave for the appointment. Just before it was time to go I told Gunner to give Bear one more big hug. Dada loaded Bear up in the "little red express" which is his name for his little beater s-10. By this time Dada who is the tough guy was crying too. We opened the window for Bear and leaned in and gave him last hugs and kisses and told him what a good boy he was and how much we loved him. He gave Gunner one last good bye lick which resulted in laughter and down the driveway Dada and Bear went.

The only details I really know from there is that Bear enjoyed a whoopie pie (oatmeal cream pie- the name goes back to Jake) and beefsticks on his last ride. After the vet visit where Dada cried too, Bear was buried in the "pet cemetary" at mom and dad's house where he is in good company. (Jake & Carri to name a few) Gunner is doing alright with it. He calls him by mistake when he calls the other dogs and has asked to cuddle Bear one more time. He also has told me he misses Bear almost hourly but doesn't seem to be too heartbroken. We have told Gunner from the beginning that Bear is going to see Jesus and will get to play with Jake, Bubba & Carri. We told Gunner that Bear was very sick, and old and was hurting. That the vet tried but couldn't make him feel better. For Gunner going to see Jesus is this awesome event which he wants to do himself. We have tried very hard to teach him that heaven is a wonderful place that we all want to go someday. Just not now, or anytime soon. His four year old logic is why wait? It is also hard to explain that if Bear is going to heaven where he will be happy, and free from pain, then why are you so sad mommy? He also hasn't really comprehended that heaven is forever, we will never see Bear again until we go to heaven. We have talked about what we think Bear had for dinner in heaven and what kind of dog house Jesus has for him. Which gets kind of silly and makes Gunner laugh with some of our ideas.

And then I am sure for some of you this brings up an argumentative topic. Just to state my opinion and what we are teaching our child... animals do go to heaven! While that may not be what you believe, we do. I would not argue with anyone about it, you are free to believe what you want, but I also would never tell your child something different from what you teach them so whatever your opinion is keep it to yourself. I can't begin to believe that God would create these faithful companions to love, serve and protect us and then not make room for them in forever. I don't care about bible verses or what certain religions think, what I think, feel and believe is what we are going with. And if for some reason I have it wrong, God will forgive me, and by that point I won't care any longer since in heaven there will be no sadness or pain. It makes us all feel better and in a 4 year olds eyes it makes sense.



Kegger and Lucy are moping around the yard, missing Bear and wondering where the snacks went. Kegger still has eye issues, which are no worse and no better. We are just going to keep and eye on him and see how he does, since the vet said a brain tumor was likely if the antibiotics didn't work. Gary and I have guessed that Kegger won't last the winter regardless. He is a basset mix for one. For two Bear and Kegger have been together since Bear was a 8 weeks old and Kegger was about 8 months old. Bear was in charge of all of Keggers grooming, he kept his eyes and ears clean. Yup it was quite gross, but they loved each other and were inseperable, until now. I am figuring Kegger will give up the fight without his best bud and the pet cemetary population will increase by one. Hopefully by then Dad has his skidsteer back because digging in the winter would be awful.

For all of you who have bothered to read this much, thanks! I know I have gone on quite a bit about a dog, but looking back over the last 10 years there is quite a bit to talk about. Until we moved into our current house right before Gunner was born, these dogs were like our children. They slept in the house and rode in the car whenever we went to my parents house or to a ball game. They were converted into outside dogs which was probably rough on them when Gunner was born. Luckily they weren't resentful of their little replacement. They all loved Gunner dearly, especially Bear. They watched his every move and loved to play with him, even when he didn't play nicely. It is amazing the unconditional love of a dog. Even though I have had little to no extra time to give these creatures for several years they still are faithful. Still loving and kind, and looking for our affection. At least I got to give Bear some of that long overdo loving before he left us.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tough Choices Update

So unfortunately I am afraid Bears fate was sealed today when I called the vets office. $279 for a bottle of pills that will last him 16 days. And then if it was working we would need at least another bottle. I guess the part that upsets me the most is that they didn't think to warm me about how costly these pills could be. I know they didn't know the exact price but couldn't they have asked when they ordered them? Not everyone has $279 (x 2 or 3) to spend on an 11 year old outside dog. I also could have bought the pills online if the vet had given me the prescription for $169. But still how many bottles would we have needed if they even worked at all. We also know he is making a killing on the pills, because shipping was not $100. I'm feeling pretty shitty about the whole thing and hope I can keep it together and not end up crying like a baby all evening. Gunner has flag football practice and I sure don't want every parent there to wonder what is wrong with me. I tried to take a few more pics of Bear and Gunner last night and maybe I will get some more tonight. I am assuming Saturday will be "the day" since Gary will be home to take care of everything. I'm thinking I will make Gunner a scrap book of Bear which will hopefully help with the millions of questions I will have to face from him. I have lots of pre Gunner pictures of all of the dogs and I am sure there quite a few in the thousands of pictures I have of Gunner that Bear is in. I am trying hard to keep in perspective this is a pet, who is pretty old, and wouldn't live forever anyways. I guess the hardest thing for me to deal with is the guilt. All those times I have yelled at the dog, told him to get away and leave me alone- when all he wanted was loving! Yes- I am a soft hearted blubbering fool, just don't tell anyone. Guess tonight it is leftovers and lots of treats for Bear especially.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tough choices

So we are back to the sick dog thing. Monday I had to take 2 out of 3 of our dogs to the vet. Bear, who was there 3 weeks ago, still has a bladder infection. Kegger has some kind of neurological issue with his right eye. $180 later, meds for one dog, meds for another one ordered but not paid for, and a 50/50 shot with each of them.


The vet prescribed ear drops for Kegger who is 11, th vet is hoping he has a middle ear infection. If it isn't an ear infection putting pressure on everything causing the muscle to spasm then he most likely has a brain tumor. So if the ear drops don't work then our option is to wait it out to see how fast he declines and pick the right time to put him to sleep.



Bear who is almost 11, can't shake the bladder infection. The vet is prescribing another antibiotic which he had to order. If this antiobiotic doesn't work then really the only sensible thing to do is put him to sleep. We could do a biopsy and such, but the vet said that was a lot to put an old dog through and he wouldn't recommend it. I called the vets office today and got more info on the drug- they can't tell me the price since the person in charge of that is out of the office today. Nice huh. So I get online and look up the drug and the doseage- the very cheapest I found it online was $140 per bottle and he will need at least two. The retail price is like $200. Who knows what the vets price will be. So what to do? If it appears to be working after the first bottle I have to order a second. Which will be at least $300 up to $400. If it doesn't seem to be working after the first bottle then we would have to put him down. Where do you draw the line? He is almost 11, I love him, but I will either have spent $500- 600 total to fix him up or $340 and then have him put to sleep. I guess what bugs me the most is that money is an issue. Yeah we can pay for it, but there are so many things we are trying to save for (propane this winter for instance) And how do you look at an old pet like that and say, "sorry buddy" "you're not worth $500 bucks." or even "sorry we need to spend our money on more important things". How do you even look at him and not feel like hell? I guess in all those times I have said I hate those damn dogs, I really didn't mean it because this is breaking my heart. What bugs me the most is not having a better hope, the vet doesn't know if the meds will even work. He says at his age he may not be able to shake this thing since it is so bad. Either way I may have to look at that goofy old dog and say goodbye, which makes me mad, because I hate being sad. My rational husband tells me that if the meds are more than $100 per bottle (which I can almost gaurentee they will be) then we should just have him put down. So that is what I get to think about until tommorow afternoon. Happy Freaking Wednesday.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Camping

Well, the past weekend flew by with us accomplishing a whole lot of nada. I had put a bunch of things in a yard sale that my mom, sister & family friend had. So on Saturday I spent my day manning the yard sale and relaxing with adults! My dear hubby kept Gunner with him all day! I couldn't tell Gary enough how much that free time meant to me. And since Gunner behaved so well we had to give in and camp in the tent in the backyard. Gunner has been begging to do this for several weeks, and without fail every saturday he gets in so much trouble for his behavior that he ends up losing the priviledge of camping (darn the luck!)
Daddy and Gunner dug a hole in the back yard, made the fire pit, put up the tent and we had smores. I kept hoping Gunner would change his mind and we could go inside but he was brave and the three of us spent the night in the tent in the back yard. I don't know if my back will ever be the same. Gunner had a blast and I guess that is all that counts. I felt a bit under the weather on Sunday so I spent the day hanging around the house (bathroom) and watching TV. Papa brought a huge load of straw over to park in our polebarn since he couldn't get it unloaded before the rain came. At last the barn has come in handy. Daddy had to go to bed extremely early since he had to get up at 2am for work today.
The bright side of that is he will be home tonight for Gunners first flag football practice.! I am hoping it goes well and Gunner likes it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday
Gunner Lucht Bruce
Well, we survived the Birthday Weekend! It started on Thursday night actually when the first birthday cards arrived and as you can obviously see, there were stickers in a card from Grandma and Grandpa Bruce which were quickly applied to a bare chest by my goofball and he even posed for a picture. Sorry about the skivies, some evenings that is all he will wear. Friday I took the day off to get the shopping done for Sunday, and I picked up a birthday cake to take to Nana's house to share with all of the daycare kids. I drove all the way over to Leppink's in Lakeview to pick up the cake, just because the lady that decorates the cakes does such a spectacular job. So I hung out at Nana's house with Gunner on Friday while we had lunch and later cake and icecream with about 15 other kids.










Saturday Daddy was still working on the electrical side job he got roped into so it was Gunner and I for the day. I spent the day cleaning up and trying to convince Gunner to stay out of his toyroom and not make any big messes. We took Daddy lunch and then Gunner came home for a nap. We picked up the toys in the yard and attempted to weed my seriously overgrown flowerbeds. We stopped after two because there was really no point. The dogs have dug holes in them and the weeds are out of control- some strategic parking of cars will hide most of them anyways. When Daddy got home Saturday night he and Gunner mowed the grass and weedwhipped. We made cupcakes and cooked the burger for the tacos we were going to have the next day also.


Gunner scammed his way into sleeping upstairs with Gary and I, so we woke up Sunday morning with our 4 year old laid out sideways on the king sized bed. After a round of pillow fights and cheers since today was "my party day" according to Gunner- we headed downstairs for breakfast. Gunner picked (as usual) eggs, bacon and toast (after I vetoed icecream and doritos) Daddy and Gunner trimmed up the sad looking trees in the front yard then they took off to pick up the cake and balloons in Big Rapids while I chopped up all the toppings for the tacos. For the first time in 4 years I was actually ahead of schedule and not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. My dear mom showed up early with the fruit bowl and we got the taco shells frying and the chili con queso heated up.







Once everyone showed up we dug into the tacos, fruit and chili con queso. Lots of pop, juice boxes and beer to go around. It was pretty windy outside and luckily I had sat the little kids table out of the wind so only the older kids and the adults had to hang onto plates. Christian, Bry, Gunner and Paige sat at the little table together. Sam and Logan sat at the bigger table and Miss Lilly ate inside in the highchair.






I had gotten a Pablo Pinata and filled it full of candy. Mind you this is a new pinata that you pull the strings on instead of beating with a bat or stick. The whole pull the string thing didn't go quite perfectly, but after we shook the remaining candy out of Pablo the kids were happy. I hung him up inside since it was just to hot to be picking candy out of the dirt as it was getting sticky and starting to melt. The kids also had fun playing with the Backyardigans masks that Nana picked up for us. Uniqua is Gunner's absolute favorite.




We did a Dairy Queen Icecream cake and cupcakes for the party. While this cake is no where near as adorable as the one from Leppink's the icecream cake tasted fabulous! Even daddy who was not real big on getting an icecream cake was pleasantly surprised. Of course the flash on my camera only works when it wants to so the dark picture below is Gunner blowing out his candles.



Gunner's behavior wasn't too awful, but we did spend a lot of time waiting for him to get out of timeout. First we had to wait to have cake, then we had wait for him to finish up the second timeout before we could do presents.



After presents (and he got way too many nice things) the kids headed outside to play with the ball gloves (he ended up with 2!) and the ball tee and bat. That only lasted for a little bit before we had to open up the neat sprinkler he got and the kids got suits on and had fun running through the new sprinkler. How they managed to run around on the rough, nasty, dried out grass without hurting their feet was beyond me.



We relaxed and visited for quite a bit, and then everyone made their way home later in the afternoon, early evening. It was a long, but great day. Gunner didn't get cleaned up and ready for bed until after 10:00. He wanted to cuddle with Dada instead of going to bed and he literally fell asleep mid sentence on his dads lap.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's My Friday!

So I have become the perpetual clock watcher again.. even though it is Thursday.. today is my Friday. I have a million things to get done before Gunner's party on Sunday too! I've got like and hour and 15 minutes before I can leave and I swear the clock has stopped moving!

This week has been pretty average, fighting with Gunner, trying to clean up the house, giving in and putting Gunner to bed and watching something on TV. Work has been pretty slow. I spent a couple days this week helping Mike at work move stuff off the service floor so the "painters" can come repaint the floor. Not fun, but at least I felt useful.

One big accomplishment is I currently have Gunner going to bed by himself. For those of you who don't know our routine, he usually won't go to bed unless I am laying on the floor next to him. This week with so many things that need to be done I have told him that he has to be a big boy and go to sleep himself so I can work on cleaning for his party. It has worked all week. I am pretty proud of the little guy. Although last night he did tell me he didn't want to be a big boy. He did go to sleep by himself though. I also have been putting him to bed at a decent time instead of letting him stay up to see Gary. The extra sleep seems to have improved his mood somewhat.

Gary's "biotch" sister screwed everyone over again. My inlaws were supposed to take her youngest two kids back to her Saturday and none of them would be around on Sunday for Gunner's party. Now suddenly Saturday won't work because she and her husband (who is just as worthless as she is) have something to do Saturday night and since Sydney is at camp they have no babysitter therefore she can't meet her mom to get her kids. So since my mother in law doesn't want to miss Gunner's party she said Sunday won't work and isn't taking them back until Monday. Which means they will be at the party. And now I know I shouldn't care, it isn't their fault that their mom is a psychoitc whore, but I don't want any of them to have anything to do with my child. The further they all stay away from Gunner the better. I mean she has sent one Christmas present and gave one birthday present (since they were staying up here for the weekend) in Gunner's whole life. Mind you that would be 3 Christmas and 2 birthdays she has missed. And yours truly always makes sure ALL of her kids had Christmas and birthday gifts. I even bought for her step kids for awhile. Anyways I am just letting everyone know how much I despise my husbands sister.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Closing in on 4

It's that emmotional time of the year for me again. 4 years ago today I was laying in the hospital hooked up to a magnesium drip. Man I had no idea what life had in store for us. It has been a wild ride, which I pray never ends. I sit and look at Gunner while he is sleeping- which is the only time he is quiet- and wonder where all the time went. I can remember the boredom and uncertainty of the hospital like it was yesterday. I can remember the pain and the fear as if it never left. I still to this day get the jitters if I go back to visit the NICU, which is something I haven't done in ages and need to do. All the memories and feelings are so vivid- but I have noticed that some of the facts are slowly slipping away. There are a few things I have to look up in my journal to know. I feel weird about that. Shouldn't I remember exactly when each milestone happened?


My little ball of sunshine has been trying our patience to no end. Yesterday I had to take him to have his ears rechecked. No infection- no fluid- no excuse as to why he is behaving so badly. Dr. Rao is going to refer us to an audiologist to check his hearing. I think that was more for my benefit than anything. Dr. Rao knows I am looking for something- something to explain some of the behavior. So we will see what happens with that. Maybe he isn't completely ignoring us- maybe he can't hear us? Wishful thinking- I will bet he is just plain old ignoring us. Although I will give him credit, after I ended up crying about how frustrated I was about his behavior to Dr. Rao and Nana, he decided to behave extraordinarily well last night. I gave him back horsey girl as a bribe to get him to go home without a fight and we ended up having a great evening. If only we could have more nights like that.



Last Saturday night after a long day of working on electric at Ben's and around the house, we took the monster to the Mecosta County Fair. He had a blast and didn't mind that the ride attendants were all missing teeth, that when Gary walked over to get a drink some old drunk was hitting on me, or that tube tops don't belong on just anyone. Luckily he was too busy having fun to blurt out anything too embarrassing. We had the annual Elephant Ear- or should I say Gary and I got a bite and Gunner had the annual Elephant Ear.
Working on last minute birthday stuff for the monster. Backyardigans this year- just ordered the cake (from Dairy Queen) gotta find the pinata the kid has been buggin me for, and shop for the food which I will probably wait until last minute to do.