Friday, December 31, 2010

As the year comes to a close

Today is December 31st, 2010. As 2010 comes to a close I think about this past year and the year to come. This year has had it's ups and downs as does any year. Over all it's been a good year and we had a nice surprise finding out we're having our 6th baby :). I think I am more worried than excited about what 2011 has in store for us. We move, my husband goes back to sea duty and we'll be having another baby and our current vehicle is too small. Moving and going back to sea duty is something I'm honestly not looking forward to. I'm almost a little scared to do the whole sea duty thing again. We'll have 6 children and my husband wont be around much. It's hard doing it on my own. We're hoping to get orders to CT, so I can at least be near family. I would definitely look forward to that. That's another scary thing though, we don't have orders yet and we still don't know where we'll be moving to this summer. We need to try to sell the house and the sooner we have orders the sooner we can plan. This is one of the things I really dislike about this lifestyle.

With that said, I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful this will be a good year and things will get better for us in one way or another. I'm hopeful we'll get the orders we're wanting and I'm hopeful something good will happen for us as far as our vehicle situation goes. I'm very much looking forward to welcoming a new baby :). I'm looking forward to watching my children grow and learn and I'm looking forward to the new adventures we have to come. Maybe this will be our year.

I don't make resolutions, but I do have some goals. I want to be more optimistic. I want to be an even better mother, wife and homeschooler. I want to take more time to see the good in people and I'd really like to find a way to help us with our financial situation.

Happy New Year Everyone. Take care of yourselves, be thoughtful of others and give as much love as you can :).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Really easy and yummy Snickerdoodle recipe!

These snickerdoodles were very easy to make and they taste great! I doubled the recipe and made probably 5 dozen cookies. These are soft snickerdoodles!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (softened)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 3/4 cups flour (we used organic flour with no Barley because of my son's barley allergy)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.

Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.

Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture (I actually scoop out a small amount with my hand and roll neat balls).

Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.

Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.

Remove from pan immediately.


Don't they look yummy? :D



This is not my recipe. I found it on food.com :).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This is who I am

I'm a mother and a wife. I'm many other things within myself, but my life is centered around being the best mother I can be to my children and the best wife I can be to my husband. I suppose it means those are the things that define me. Right now, at this time in my life, I am okay with this. Every decision I make and everything I do I think of my children and my husband. I feel like that is how it's supposed to be.

Christmas is 4 days away and I'm loving every moment of the Holidays with my children. I am so proud when I ask them what Christmas is about and they answer "Christmas is about family, friends and giving to others." This is what I've always wanted them to get from the holidays. They love receiving gifts of course, every child does! But they are not greedy and they definitely don't feel entitled. This makes me so happy. They enjoy giving to others and they enjoy making other people happy. I have always and will always want to instill this in them. Giving feels so much better than receiving. That's why we give, even when we don't have much to do so. This is not just during the holidays, but all of the time, as I feel it should be.

I live to see the magic and innocents in my children's eyes during this time of year. Everything is just more magical. My wish for them is to be happy, healthy, gentle, kindhearted human beings. I want them to grow into just good people. This comes back to where everything I do is about them. Something I have always said is, I am shaping the future, as is every parent. Everything we do or don't do, has a direct impact on the adults our children will become. I want to do the best I can to hand the future amazing individuals. I know I'm not a perfect mother or a perfect wife, but I try my best. I put all of my heart and soul into all of them.

I'm passionate about the choices my husband and I have made for our family. Despite opposition or negative feedback about some of those choices, such as homeschooling, we know we are doing what is right for our family. Different things work for different people and this is what works for us. All of our choices were not generally the easiest path, but they have so many positives for us.

I'm a rocker mom, an eco-friendly mom, a free thinking, offbeat mom, a homeschooling mom... You get the idea. This is who I am :).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency

Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency... This is my oldest son Alex's final diagnosis from his Endocrinologist. He's been seeing an endocrinologist for close to a year and a half for his obvious short stature and late adult tooth eruption. The Dr. took his time and did everything by the book to come up with an accurate diagnosis.

Alex is nearly 8 1/2 and he's about the size of a 6 year old. The past 6 months or so him being so small has really started to bother him. Everyone thinks that him, Cameron and Wyatt are triplets. When we say he's 8, people act shocked. Recently you can see the look on his face when those things happen, it obviously bothers him quite a bit. He also wants to start HGH therapy very badly despite his fear of needles. He said he's willing to be tough if it'll help him grow. This is a long term therapy. Roughly 8 - 10 years of daily injections, 6 days a week. It will definitely take some getting used to.

To have a diagnosis makes me happy and sad at the same time. I am glad to have the diagnosis finally, but I am sad that he has a deficiency. I do realize how lucky we are that my children's issues thus far, are very minor in the big scheme of things. They are all healthy and happy.

This is one situation that we didn't have a fight with Tricare! I wanted to actually make sure I pointed this out, because more often than not I have to fight with them about something. They approved this in one day. Thank you Tricare.

I intend to sort of document Alex's therapy on my blog, maybe monthly? We'll see how that goes. Right now Alex is 8 years and 4 months old, 46 1/4 inches tall and 48 lbs. Hopefully he'll be starting his therapy before the first of the year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A lesson in life and compassion

My husband and I always try to make donations or help people whenever possible. Whether it be scraping together money for someone we know needs help, anonymously dropping toys at the doorstep of someone who can't afford gifts for their children for Christmas or just paying for someones coffee or a meal to brighten their day. Even when we're having a hard time ourselves, we always try to do something. We've involved the kids before by having them get together things to donate, but this holiday season I wanted to get them a little more involved. As much as we can for their age anyway. Alex is 8 1/2, Cameron is 6 and Wyatt is approaching 5. The other 2 are still just too young to understand it.

After thinking it over for a few days, I decided that I would take the boys to the dollar store and load up on some hygiene items to donate to the family shelter here, Crisis Ministries. Before we went, I discussed what it means to be homeless with them. Cameron wanted to buy them beds and homes instead of hygiene products and I told him if we could afford to, I would do it in a heartbeat! We're having a bit of a tough time financially, so my budget for this wasn't big, but we managed to get 30 toothbrushes, 30 bars of soap, 2 boxes of laundry soap and 3 bags of sanitary pads! I thought that was decent for $25! The boys were actually very anxious to "bring the stuff to help the people who need it."

On Monday we headed out to bring the box of stuff to donate to the shelter. By the time we arrived the donation center was closed, but we called and the woman in the shelter was very nice and just had Tony and the boys go right into the back of the family shelter with her to bring it in. She brought them into a common area with tables that had many people inside, some with small children. She told everyone that the boys had made a large donations of soap, toothbrushes and things like that. Everyone said thank you and applauded the kids. Tony had the boys wish them all a Merry Christmas and some of them shook the boys hands as they walked out. The appreciation they showed the boys really touched me. I'm tearing up right now thinking about it. I don't know if it's pregnancy hormones or what...

The boys walked out looking as if they felt accomplished. I could tell it had an emotional effect on Alex. But I'm glad it did, I wanted them to feel compassion for the people who had to be there and needed those items they donated. I talked to the boys when we got home and they all said it made them sad to see so many people who were homeless and needed to be there, but it made them feel good to give them things they need. We discussed how we all want to do more when we can and what types of things we plan to do. I couldn't have asked for them to get any more out of this experience. They took from it exactly what I was hoping they would. They have a little more understanding of the circumstances some other people are facing and they have compassion for them. To see the compassion such innocent little people can have is really amazing. I want them to hold onto that.


I had Alex write something for me about it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The season through their eyes

Last night we all took a trip to the James Island Festival Of Lights. It's a really beautiful light display that even makes us adults feel happy inside. They have a little train ride around the park, fire pits to roast marshmallows and Santa to go visit and take pictures with. We decided to go on a Tuesday evening to avoid crowds and it also happened to be very cold for here in SC, around 34 degrees. We bundled the kids up and headed on out there despite the cold. There was no wind, so it wasn't too bad at all!

I spent most of the time just watching the kids and seeing their faces light up looking at everything. When we roasted the marshmallows they acted as if it was the best treat they have ever had. As we walked through the paths of the park, their eyes sparkled as we passed the displays. They would point out the different lights with such excitement. We all walked over to see Santa. The older 3 boys were so excited and jumped right onto his lap to tell him the 1 thing they all really wanted for Christmas. Cameron wants a real jet pack of course!

After visiting Santa, we took the train ride through the park and the kids were the most excited I've seen them in a very long time. All 5 of them had smiles on their faces and they looked all around at everything in amazement. Zayne kept telling me he loves me and smiling at everything. Cameron kept pointing out displays to me and Wyatt did the same with Tony. Alex sat quiet with a big smile on his face taking it all in. Annabella kept laughing and giving daddy kisses. In those moments I realized this is what it really is all about. We were together, enjoying the sites as a family. We were all happy and carefree. For those moments none of us had any worries. We were all just happy to be there with each other, happy to see all of the beautiful lights and for that time feeling the magic of the season that us adults often leave forgotten in our childhood. We were all just happy and content. Our children make Christmas exciting for us every year. We love to see them excited about the lights, the decorations and the music.

Last night, my husband and I saw the season through our children's eyes. It was beautiful. Their innocents is inspiring.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Pictures

I wanted to share the Christmas Pictures I took this morning of the kids with my blog readers! :)
I convinced my husband to help me on a whim before he had to go to work! Hah! I'm a pain in the butt spontaneous like that. I think they came out pretty cute!

Christmas Picture 1

Christmas Picture 2 - Laughing
Each of them alone









Monday, November 29, 2010

The Fight Is On... Apparently.

I am going to be blogging along the way as we deal with the issues we've been having here at Naval Health Clinic Charleston. This is my way to sort of keep record and maintain accountability.

This complaint explains 2 different incidents I have dealt with recently and have been unable to make a complaint about at Naval Health Center Charleston. There is no ICE form or any feedback forms available online or at the clinic to do so. This is proving to be very frustrating for us and now we're being forced to go up the chain of command to look for resolution. I was instructed to write up this complaint.

Do they REALLY? I think not.

This is my complaint about the unacceptable substandard level of care I have received at Naval Health Clinic Charleston.

On November 19th, 2010, I had an appointment at Women's Health for a prenatal visit. I was there for more than 2 hours past my appointment, which would not have been too much of an issue to me if there hadn't been few patients and multiple staff sitting/walking around chatting, literally doing nothing.

It took more than 20 minutes just to check me in because my file was such a mess. My name was wrong in multiple different ways (spelling, name etc.) on every single item in the file. The woman checking me in had to go over every single item and redo all of the labels. This is an issue that was previously brought up by the ultrasound tech on October 28th, 2010. She physically walked my folder over to one of the staff and pointed out that my file was a mess. In more then 3 weeks time, no one fixed that file.

When I finally saw the midwife and addressed the very long wait and lazy staff I witnessed. She told me to get used to it. I was also given the worst, most painful pap smear I've ever had and I've had 5 pregnancies, so this isn't a new adventure for me.

When I was ready to checkout. The woman in the office that does the checkouts left me sitting for roughly 15 minutes while she chatted with an AD female CG member (I overheard a personal conversation). That is when I got up and said something to a nearby HM, expressing how displeased I was. He was the first kind staff member I had dealt with that day and promptly took me into his office to get me checked out.

While waiting to checkout, I was looking over the paper they had given me to hand in while being checked out. They had my blood type wrong. I find this to be just about the most unacceptable thing I have encountered in all of the issues I've had with this base clinic over the past 3 years, due to it being a dangerous error. This is my health and well being. It also makes me very concerned and very uncomfortable. I question and doubt the integrity, reliability and professionalism of the staff. This concern extends beyond just this department. I have serious concerns with the whole Naval Health Clinic Charleston.




On November 17th, 2010, My 12 month old daughter, Annabella, had her 12 month well baby visit in Pediatrics. Two male corpsman were in the room to get her vitals and stats. One did the physical work and the other, HM2 Bin**** sat down writing it all down (except for when he measured her head). My daughter is very scared of the staff at the clinic, to the point that when they touch her, she cries and screams. HM2 Bin****, was very rude to me about this. He asked me several times if I could make her be quiet as well as rudely asking what her problem was. He was clearly very flustered by her crying. When he stood up and measured her head, he was rough with her as he did it (and took an incorrect measurement as well). The other corpsman remained professional and even cheerful despite her crying.

When my daughter was weighed, HM2 Bin**** commented with a very apparent rude tone, that she had dropped on the weight chart, while scowling at me. My daughter is healthy and just thin. Any health issues were ruled out and she is very nutritionally sound. I did not appreciate his obvious disapproval, when he does not know the medical history of my child and he is not a Dr. This was also not my first encounter with this extremely rude and arrogant corpsman, HM2 Bin****. I absolutely will not let him touch or go near any of my children again.




The final issue I would like to address in this complaint is the fact that there is no ICE form available online for Naval Health Clinic Charleston on the https://ice.disa.mil/ site or the www.med.navy.mil/sites/chas/ site as of today, November 29th, 2010. There are no feedback forms available for Naval Health Clinic Charleston whatsoever. The email to the HMC that is provided, I've never received a response from.

On November 29th, 2010, my husband EMC Lay***, went into Naval Health Clinic Charleston to ask about getting an ICE form. Of the multiple personnel he spoke with, no one had any idea what he was speaking about. He was only given the generic opinion card, that I am attaching this complaint to. I find it absolutely unacceptable that there is no way to make a formal complaint without having to take it up the chain of command.


Sarah Lay***
757-***-****

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Base Clinic Strikes Again

I am one of those military dependents who try to see the best in the military facilities and yet, I'm let down time and time again with poor care in one way or another. Today was another bad day at the military clinic and it was the last straw for my husband and I. We're switching to Tricare Standard and will pay to choose civilian providers come Monday.

I'll try to make this story as short as possible. I waited almost an hour past my appointment just to be called back. Now this alone was irritating, but would not have bothered me too much if they were actually busy. There were hardly any patients and all of the staff, including the drs and midwives who were seeing patients were taking their sweet time getting to patients, laughing, bullshitting with each other... you get the picture. When I was called back for my weight, BP and to be checked in, it took around 20 minutes just to do that because they had my file so messed up. Every paper had my name spelled wrong in various different ways. The woman had to re-label every single paper in my file. When I was finally put into the exam room, I waited a while longer in there.

By the time the midwife came in, I had been waiting nearly 2 hours past my appointment time. I told her I was unhappy about this and she pretty much told me tough shit and to get used to it. We went over my blood work, she asked some questions and she went on to do the most painful pap I've ever had. It was terrible and I've been having cramps since.

After that was all said and done I had to go check out. The woman who does the check out was sitting there having a good old time chatting it up with an AD female Coast Guard member. Finally after waiting for 15 minutes listening to them enjoy a personal conversation, I stood up and told the HM1 in a nearby office I was about to blow up on someone. He was actually very nice, despite my obvious frustration and what I can only imagine came across as bitchiness. While he was checking me out, I realize the paper sitting there waiting to go into my file had my blood type listed as O+... I am B+!!! I told him this and had him note it on that sheet of paper, but I still have no idea if it is correct in the rest of my file or not. The file was so messed up, I will not be surprised if it's wrong in there as well. For me, that was the final straw. Having my blood type wrong in my medical file is dangerous! It's also scary.

This facility is nothing but chaos. When you ask people where you need to go for something, they every time, without fail, send you on a wild goose chase (thus far in my experience). No one knows where anything is, no one knows the procedures for anything and most of them are painfully lazy.

I am currently waiting to see if DHEC here in the state of South Carolina will grant me a waiver to use the Charleston Birth Place here in North Charleston, SC, because they have a rule about women who have had 6 or more pregnancies not using birth centers. It's a terribly outdated law and I'm the 5th waiver they have asked for. The others were granted, so I'm hoping mine will be as well. We were waiting on this to switch over to tricare standard, but now, we're switching regardless. It's so frustrating to me that the majority of my experiences with the military facilities have been very negative. I know many others who share the same feelings.

Here's to hoping DHEC grants my waiver!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our Tradition

Every year, my husband and I take all of the kids to the pumpkin patch before Halloween. Wherever we are living, we always find a place we can take the kids to pick out pumpkins. It has become a family tradition of ours and we all look forward to it every year. It's always a really great time for us to spend together. My husband and I love seeing how excited the kids get every year! Today we had planned a family day for us all to go to the pumpkin patch and then later the Aquarium (we have family passes we want to take advantage of lol). We didn't tell the kids what we were doing and they were all very excited when we got there. I really enjoy the time we all have together. It makes me happy.

Here are some pictures of our pumpkin adventures.

























I love my family so very much. I'm so lucky to have each and every one of them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Focus On Bullying

I'm blogging today for all of the kids who are being bullied. Not just the kids who are bullied for being gay, but those being bullied for ANY reason. The bullying crisis is finally getting attention, but the attention is specifically on the bullying of gay teens because of the publicity the recent suicides of gay teens is getting (one of them never came out as being gay, but he's still lumped in there). I'm glad there is a focus on the gay aspect, there absolutely needs to be more acceptance and tolerance. However, I feel as if the rest of the kids/teens being bullied just as badly for other reasons, are being forgotten about. They deserve people to fight for them too. The kids who are bullied because they aren't cool, because they dress funny, because they aren't as attractive as their peers feel they should be, because they are shy, because they aren't an acceptable color, etc. etc. etc. They ALL deserve to have someone fight for them too. How can a change truly be made when we're all preaching the acceptance of only one group?

Teen suicide is not new. Teen bullying is not new. Bullying to the degree that it is now, was even happening 10+ years ago. I lived it. Back then cyber-bullying wasn't even a crime, it didn't even have that name. Death threats I received via AIM were dismissed by the police without a second thought. I am so grateful that this terrible, often criminal bullying is finally getting public attention. However, it needs to have focus on all of it, not just 1 group being bullied. The straight girl who is dragged into the school bathroom by a group of girls and sexually assaulted just to humiliate her or the straight boy who is beat nearly unconscious just because he dresses different. Do they not deserve the same support and outrage for what is happening to them as the gay teens are receiving? They absolutely do.

We need to stop making them feel alone! So many of these teens already feel alone and now they are still not getting the support for their situation because they aren't gay. How is this any better than what people have done to the gay kids? It's not. The kids and teens who are suffering right now need our support. Every one of them. Not just one group of them. They ALL need to know that we will fight for them, they ALL need to know that we want to make a change and they ALL need to know that people care about them. Now is the time to give the support and fight for them all. They deserve what I did not have when I was in their place years ago.

To every one of you who feel alone right now, who feel like it's not worth going on, who feel like things will never get better... It WILL get better. I will fight for you. I love you. I was in that place as a teen. I went through it all during middle school and highschool. My schools had stuff who turned a blind eye to it and when my parents confronted the school it made everything worse. There are many things that happened to me that my parents never knew about because I knew I couldn't tell them or it'd get worse. I was dragged into bathrooms by girls and sexually assaulted to be humiliated. I was pushed down stairs. I had my hair pulled. I was spit at. I was called horrible things. I had rumors spread about me regularly that had no truth to them. I was kicked and punched. I was threatened on the internet. My highschool boyfriend and I even had a web page dedicated to us. I could go on, but I think you get the point. There were so many times I had wished I was dead. There were many times I seriously contemplated suicide because I thought it would never get better. The bullying and harassment was so bad that my parents pulled me out of school.

The day I signed out, a couple of the staff told me "Maybe if you tried to fit in a little, things wouldn't have been so bad." Thank You Mr. Brian S. Bentley and Ms. (Mrs?) Michelle Letendre, who are STILL part of the administration there at Diman Regional Vocational Technical Highschool, for making me do it on my own, because I just didn't try hard enough to fit in. You turned a blind eye because the popular students that bullied me were.. well.. popular. You let many of us be tortured. That's okay though. I went on to get my diploma, I've gone on to make the life I've always wanted for myself. I have used my experiences to make me a stronger, better and more compassionate person. I love who I am today and I'm in a much better place than a majority of the people who made my life so bad back then. Perhaps you should look back at all of the things you have let happen to students in your school and lets those things make you more compassionate people.

I am living proof that it gets better. What some of you are going through is not what your life will always be! You will go on and do great things. I found the strength somewhere and you can too. I'm so glad to be here and to watch my children grow. I'm so glad to be here to experience life. I'm so glad to be here to see it. You need to be here to see and experience all of the great things you have in store, whatever they may be. I want you to be here for it. It gets better.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon

This is the quote that came to mind this morning. Great quote huh? I thought so. Anyway... lets get to why this quote came to mind. First thing in the morning my husband made a quick run for some coffee. He not only brought home the coffee, but also a pregnancy test. He handed the test to me, much to my confusion and told me to go take it. I wondered why. We've been very careful and had been planning to have another baby in a few years, maybe after he's done with sea duty. Right now we're very upside down on our van, which is only a 7 passenger and we could use to be a little better financially. Overall, waiting was the best choice, so that's what we were doing. So, I go pee on this test, while snickering at my husband. There's no way I'm pregnant of course. I wash my hands and start to brush my teeth and I looked over at the test assuming it's little digital screen will read "NOT PREGNANT", because after all, why would I be? DUH. Much to my surprise it read "PREGNANT" holy sh*t! I walk out, probably with my jaw on the floor and handed the test to my husband. He just laughed and said "I knew it!"

*insert record scratch halt here* Hooooold on! I didn't think I was pregnant, why did he think I was pregnant? I asked him this. He pointed out my recent fatigue, nausea, complaining that the dog stinks even though she's had 2 baths this week alone and last, but not least, me wanting to eat pickles and peanut butter (yes together) out of the blue a few days ago. Now, why did these things not make ME think I was pregnant? Well... we weren't trying. We tried for the other 5. Possibly being pregnant was just not something that I even thought about.

After we discuss my being oblivious to these symptoms, I insist the test must have been defective and that he needed to go get another one. He ran out and bought a pack of generic "answer" tests, ya know.. to keep it cheap and all. I took another test probably about 1.5 hours after the first. I barely had enough pee, but I did it! I was determined the first test had to be wrong. After 3 minutes, this second test also indicated that I am pregnant. So here we are... most likely pregnant for #6.

On one hand I'm scared because he'll be going back to sea soon and we are going to have a tough time figuring out how to get a larger vehicle (because of being upside down on the van). On the other hand I'm thrilled because I really wanted more children! My husband is sharing the same feelings. We're happy/scared/excited/confused/thrilled/worried/ all at the same time. I know realistically this also means we will catch flack and get rude comments because 6 children is just too many to a lot of people. We hope that people can find happiness for us as well. We love our children and we care and provide for them well. That is most important to me. We are truly lucky.

We are a true example of "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Surprise!





If all goes well. We may have another member in our household come June 2011 :).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What have they done to me!?

My little spawns have turned me into a mushy pile of... mush. How do they do this? They are masters of manipulation, those sneaky little buggers. If they were to get any cuter, I would just melt into a pile of goo and forever be rendered useless. These children can go from making me want to rip my hair out, to being so unbelievably, sickeningly sweet and adorable. Even my baby daughter is a master at this. I believe it's quite possible that I have the most cute/adorable/sweet/awesome/loving/caring/amazing/smart children on the planet. Seriously.

I type this as my 11 month old daughter is chewing on the tail of her stuffed cow and banging together 2 toys, thinking it's the coolest thing anyone has ever done, my 2 older boys are doing school work and my 2 younger boys are playing together. They are all being so sweet and it's peaceful in my house right now. This is one of those mushy moments. I look at those 5 little stinkers and think to myself "How could I possibly be done having children?". I just can't. We have a while until we can have any more (finances, vehicle situation, The Navy etc.), but I know I'm not done. If I am to believe I have a purpose, this is most definitely it. Being a mom.

Last night my husband and I had one of those moments where we had a good reminder of just how sweet our children can be. He went to the kids rooms to check on them shortly before we went to bed. Wyatt, our 4 year old, had his stuffed dog and stuffed bear (who he HAS to sleep with every night) carefully tucked in beside him, each with their own little blanket. We were completely mush. It was just so absolutely sweet and adorable. Then, this morning, while breastfeeding my daughter in her nursery, she looks at me, smiled a big smile and said "mama", then went back to nursing. Again, completely MUSH.

What have they done to me? What have they done to us? Whatever it is, I don't mind at all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Something has to change

There has been a lot of talk lately about the suicides over being teased (or tortured to more accurately describe it) about being gay. It absolutely breaks my heart. Being a teenager is hard enough and then to be bullied to the point that taking your own life is easier than going on, is so terribly awful. There is something very wrong with this. The bullying that goes on now is a far cry from the innocent teasing of long ago. A person's sexuality should not matter, regardless of who they are. Some of the most wonderful people I know are gay. Being gay does not make them any less than those who are straight. They are people and absolutely no different in that aspect. Who you are attracted to and who you love does not define who you are and does not make you any less, any different or any less worthy of respect and basic human rights. I will never understand why to some people it is such a big deal. I just can't wrap my mind around why, in this day and age it is such a big deal. We're all different, yet we're all the same. Why not embrace individuality rather than shun it? Why not embrace people for who they are deep inside and not for who they choose to love? Being gay or homosexual, whichever you prefer to call it, is much more widely accepted now, but we still have a long way to go.

What it all comes down to is there needs to be a change. Bullying needs to stop. Schools need to have a NO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to the serious bullying so many students have to endure. This thought extends beyond just the bullying of gay students. Many teens are bullied just as bad for various other reasons. It is NOT okay and something needs to be done to protect these kids. I was one of those students bullied to the point of feeling that ending my life would be easier. I credit a lot of my strength to keep on going to my boyfriend at the time. It may sound a bit silly, but he went through the same things and we were there for one another. I was lucky to have that one person at the time to help keep me strong. Being followed around the school, hit, beat on, teased, thrown down the stairs etc. was so incredibly hard. Even 10+ years later, I look back and it pains me to think about it. Back then, even the death threats I received via the internet were completely disregarded by law enforcement. Perhaps my experiences helped shape the person I am today, making me a more compassionate and tolerant individual. I am grateful for the positive that came from such negative experiences. However, I am one of the lucky ones who walked away from it okay in the end. Too many do not.

Parents, teens, schools, cities, law enforcement etc. all need to take a stand against this. This bullying is far more than innocent childhood bullying. It is down right cruelty. I have made efforts to try to become part of some sort of support for teens who go through this and have yet to really get responses back from the organizations I have contacted. There needs to be more support out there! The support that there is available needs to be better about responding and accepting help from those wanting to give it and be part of making a change.

Something has to change and we ALL have a responsibility to make some kind of effort to help. Whether it be teaching our children tolerance or being a shoulder for a hurting teen. Even if you don't think it effects you, this is something that effects everyone is some way, shape or form and we need to fix it. It's time for a big change.

I'm doing my part, right here at home, starting with my 5 children.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beautiful

This evening we had one of the beautiful sunsets we see here from time to time. I decided to take a few photo's. Beautiful sunsets like this and my children are the 2 things that can most often make me sit back and see the beauty that is around me. If only for a moment, I can see the beauty in things I often overlook and see details that I may have never seen before. During the sunset I studied the sky and looked at the details of the clouds. Things like that are just amazing sometimes. I need to take the time to stop and see the beauty around me a little more often. Maybe that's the answer to everything. My children are so happy and they see the beauty in everything, everywhere.


Different stages of the sunset this evening.







Saturday, September 4, 2010

Finding my place

I've been struggling with finding where I fit in. Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be who I am and I'm happy with being different. I am happy with where I am as a wife and mother and the choices I've been making. So, I'm not struggling with anything in my little world, but I'm having a really hard time finding where I fit in, outside of my little world.

I've always been somewhat of a black sheep in general and have struggled with finding people I really click with. I'm finding this to be an issue even in the homeschool community. I've talked to many really nice homeschoolers. My problem is, I just don't really fit in with most of them either and I want to! So far, almost every homeschooler I've met or talked to are very religious. That does not bother me at all, but I've found that when they realize we are not a Christian family, it makes some uncomfortable and some others tend to shy away. I'm not put off by people being very religious or anything like that at all, I'm just not religious myself. I've noticed people who are starting to homeschool will reach out to others instead of me, even if they have less knowledge to offer in regards to schooling because of the religious aspect. I know it's not on purpose (now and then people will flat out judge me openly for my non-belief, but not too often), but it still bums me out a little bit. The Christian base aside, we're all doing the same thing! Educating our children. I know people want to talk to who they can relate the most to, so I can't fault anyone for it.

Here I am, still looking for my place. I have very unique ideals, views, opinions and beliefs. I fit into both sides of almost everything. I wont give up on finding where I belong though. I know there has to be others out there who feel this way as well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The ER, Urgent Care and Starting Over

Last night we had a bit of a scare with Cameron. He broke out in terrible huge welts all over his mid section, thighs and neck. They progressively got worse pretty quickly. Tony took him to the Emergency Room and they were quick about taking blood, getting him on an IV, heart monitor and giving him meds to get control of the allergic reaction he was having. He was given Prednisone, Benadryl and Pepcid. The Pepcid spiked his heart rate to 165 and made him feel really sick. After they gave him meds for nausea and got everything under control over the next few hours he started to get better. After spending the night in the ER, he was discharged early in the morning with a prescription for Prednisone, Benadryl and an Epi Pen.

This afternoon Cameron's face started to break out in welts. I gave him both the Prednisone and Benadryl as instructed. Within an hour his whole face was swollen in welts and it was spreading quickly all over his whole body, so Tony brought him to Urgent Care (Nasan Medical, which is an AMAZING clinic!). He was again put on an IV, medicated, put on a heart monitor etc. We do not know what is causing this severe allergic reaction. The Dr. at Nasan suggested it it may be the second stage of his allergic reaction from the day before (I've never heard of that, but I'm not a Dr. so... who knows) which we think could possibly be a mustard allergy. They got control of his reaction, like they had the night before in the ER and discharged him after him spending the afternoon in their clinic.

This whole situation breaks my heart and frustrates me at the same time. My heart breaks for Cameron. He has been stuck with so many needles and pumped full of medication the past 2 days. I am frustrated because we don't know what caused this reaction. And VERY frustrated because his allergist (National Allergy, Asthma, & Urticaria Centers Of Charleston, P.A. - Patricia S. Gerber, MD.) is terrible (in my opinion) and has completely blown his allergies off. She has been so dismissive and very NON-proactive about everything, that we were already requesting a new Allergist before this mess happened. All of the tests they have done we have had to request. They did not even bother to run a blood allergy panel without us requesting it. They are the specialists, we shouldn't have to ask them to do their job. This whole severe mystery allergic reaction solidified to us that looking for a proactive allergist is the right choice. Not to sound dramatic, but my son could have died. He was close to going into anaphylactic shock. Things could have been so much worse and we don't even know if this is over yet. It's scary. I'm scared for him.

As much as I dread adding any more to Cameron's laundry list of allergies, we NEED to find out what is causing this as soon as possible. This is the most severe reaction he's ever had. This is dangerous. We need to start over completely with a new allergist and all new allergy panels.


This was Thursday night when the welts started. It become much worse than this. Today, his reaction was worst than the first night.

Friday, August 27, 2010

If one more person refers to us as "John and Kate plus 8"...

If one more person refers to us as "John and Kate plus 8" I quite possibly may throw something at them. It's just stupid and people use it as what they think is a comical insult. Quit it already! First of all, my husband isn't a gigantic walking douche like John Gosselin and secondly just about the only thing I have in common with Kate is the fact that we both have a Vagina. We don't have 8 kids, I was pregnant and gave birth to each of mine individually and TLC doesn't follow my life, which was and still is, far more entertaining than theirs *zing*. And ANNDD... While I am a bit of a clean freak, I'm not a control freak who treats my husband like a child. On second thought, he's pretty douchey, so he deserved it. Each time I hear it, which has been quite a few times at this point, I get just that much more irritated. News Flash people! It is not original! Many more have said it before you. If you want to throw what you think is a witty insult out there as you pass us by, try coming up with something that is ACTUALLY witty. Maybe even something funny. As a matter of fact, please come up with something truly humorous so I can at least enjoy your insult! I'm cool like that, if it's funny I'll laugh!

Kate, who I once defended, now nauseates me for many reasons. So being compared to her, even if it's just by some random idiot trying to make a funny, is pretty offensive to me.

There you go random rude strangers... If you want to say stupid crap to me/us PLEASE come up with something original, ok? Just an FYI, "Are you trying to be like the Duggers? *har har har*" and "What are you trying to get a TV show?" have already been taken.

These poor deprived Homeschooled children!

My kids must really be missing out, not going to "real" school... or are they?

This week we made 2 bookstore trips to look at, read and buy some new books, transfered plants that they grew from seeds into pots, looked for and studied vascular plants, looked for and found moss to study and made a homemade barometer.

But seriously, this week went really well. The kids are doing great with all of their work and they're having a great time while doing it! I couldn't really ask for any more than that :). We've had lots of hands on Science, looked at some books on weather at the Bookstore and bought some more "fun" reading material.

Our second trip to Barnes and Noble this week.




The kids plants. This will be an ongoing project because they are growing cress that they will have to care for and can eat later! (This is for Cameron's curriculum, but they are all involved.)



The older 3 boys looking for Moss. (For Alex's curriculum, but they are all involved.)



Please excuse our redneck Barometer... That's the only glass bottle we had that we were willing to empty out the contents lol. (Cameron's second experiment in his curriculum, but again, they are all involved.) PS. That's a balloon, not a condom.