Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Me Monday - We're Walking Edition

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. Are you feeling guilty for not buying your Christmas Tree in time or for taking the Christmas sugar cookies you baked for the kids to decorate over to their father's family's house so that they could get their house all messy from icing, sprinkles and little hands decorating them? If so, you can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This Christmas, I did not go see me Daddy in the hospital, only to miss my son taking his FIRST steady 11-step walk! Instead, his father and their family did not get to enjoy watching our youngest babe follow in the footsteps (literally) of his older cousins and siblings for the first time.

I also did not discover my washing machine stopped working (the thing in the middle won't spin) and I didn't call my friend, Beth, at 10am in the morning (thus, waking her up) to tell her my washing machine broke (her husband is not a MUCH better Mr. Fit-It than Joe...haha).

And finally, I did not buy my oldest daughter her first shaving kit for Christmas (she is 10 1/2 years old) because she REALLY needed it. Nope, not my daughter who was NOT born with hair on her shoulders...haha. How old do you think that didn't make me feel?

What did you NOT DO this week?

Happy New Years!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dad Update

Despite having Daddy in the hospital, I can honestly say it was a Wonderful Christmas for our family...there is truly so much to celebrate for our family along with Jesus's birthday. We still had snow on the ground, and still do in some places, we had time with family and friends, we had safe travel in the rain and we still have Dad.

After opening presents with my family, Trina and I went to see Dad. We took him gifts (Theme: 'Now and Later'...stuff he can use now in the hospital, and later when he is better) and I showed him pictures of the kids from Christmas morning...I had also video taped the kids sending him Christmas wishes, so I he could see them, but my camcorder died...right when I turned it on to show him...ughh. But, he was glad to at least see the pictures. We also watched A Christmas Story and he ate pears and pimento and cheese sandwiches for Christmas lunch.

I had a chance to speak to the doctor who was there yesterday, who was really nice and spent a good amount of time answering my questions. I got the results of the MRI...the results are both good and bad, but mostly good. The MRI did show some 'spotty' neurological damage which indicates he did have some sort of very mild stroke. Fortunately, the damage is limited to spots throughout the brain in areas where he has plenty of extra neurons which will pick up the slack...so, while his speech is a bit slow, the doctor has no doubt he can have a full recovery (well, mental recovery, he will still be somewhat limited physically from everything he has been through...just minimal, common sense stuff that anyone wouldn't do after these types of surgeries, nothing major)...So, we are truly optimistic that he will sing again and so is he! He will be on medicines...for the rest of his life...to prevent future strokes as he will now be more likely to suffer one in the future.

We still don't have a realistic idea of when he may get out, but hopefully in the next few weeks...which is what has been thrown around.

Our family is enjoying a nice, week-long vacation together...no work or school until Jan 4th.

Yeahh!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well, this is and will always be my very first 'Merry Christmas' Blog Post...I will tell you there were times today (well, yesterday) that I didn't think I would get to write this post (considering my computer crashed yesterday and I had to drive to DC to get a working computer...and to drop my poor 6-year-old-on-its-last-leg-probably-crashing-as-we-speak-destined-to-never-work-again-computer off at our IT company's office...also in DC.

I also began the day (yesterday, Christmas Eve), without a Christmas tree...see, the tree we bought, (yeah, the one from the Dollar General See here) was a huge let down...on the same day my computer quit working, our FAKE FIBER OPTIC TREE also quite working...ie: the lights wouldn't turn on. So, I went over to see what was wrong. I grabbed a hold of the base and wouldn't you know it...the FAKE FIBER OPTIC TREE (that I paid $35 for from the Dollar General) FELL OVER!!! Yes, it just plopped right on over...ornaments, angel and all...down to the ground. I mean, I was devastated, probably more than the kids..who just looked on in shock (remember, they liked THE FAKE FIBER OPTIC TREE)...and thus, we were officially treeless on December 23rd.

So, the girls undecorated the tree, I put it back in the box, called Dollar General and accepted the fact that for the first time EVER, I didn't have a tree for my children 2 days before Christmas.

And with that, today I was on a mission (well, actually about 7 missions), but the two most important 1) Get a 'functioning' computer 2) Get a Christmas Tree.

By 11am, I had picked up the laptop, dropped off my computer and was leaving DC. I decided to drive down Rt1 from Triangle to look for trees...on Christmas Eve. And, I saw 1, just 1, tree stand and guess what, nobody was there. Now, as much as I hate to admit it, in just that one moment, I thought about going over there, taking a tree and leaving some money in the storage bin they had. But, I thought it out rationally and decided to move on to a better solution (after all, going to jail was not 1 of my 7 missions to accomplish for the day).

I called my Sister and my friend, Beth, who BOTH told me to call HOME DEPOT! And, let me tell you...were they right. I called Home Depot, and I asked the customer service person if they had any live trees left...'let me check,' she said....'Ok, ma'am, we have about 15 left and he is back there trying to GIVE them away.' PAUSE....Can you believe it??? So, I headed on over to Home Depot, I walked to the nursery, I looked at the trees, and I took my pick of the bunch.

I drove home all the way, about an hour, savoring the smell of that REAL, REAL, REAL Christmas Tree, as if I had never smelled one before. I was so grateful to Home Depot for making our Christmas a little more REAL! Thanks Home Depot! You really did a good thing today!

Happy Birthday Jesus!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

'Not Me' Monday - Let It Snow Version



Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

This weekend we did not get almost 2 feet of snow here in central Virginia. Said snow did not prevent our annual trip to the Christmas Tree Farm to get our Christmas Tree (they did not close for the season due to the snow). I did not instead go buy a "FAKE" fiber optic tree from the Dollar General. I mean, I HATE fake trees (no offense to anyone who chooses to use one, it is just not my personal preference), so I definitely would not have spent $35 on a FAKE FIBER OPTIC TREE, especially from the Dollar General. Nope, not me!

Even if I had bought a fake tree, my 3 small children would not be in such fascination with the fiber optic-changing color-lights that are built into the tree that they just stare, and stare, and stare at it. Surely they would not appreciate such a FAKE example of what a Christmas Tree should be! Not My Children!

Finally, I would not have been so crazy to have loaded my entire family into our van on Saturday to drive 40 miles on snow covered roads just to get to a Wal-Mart with fully stocked shelves and no lines! Surely, no mother would do something so insane. Not me!

So, what did you not do during this winter festival of snow?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

UPDATE: Daddy is going in for an MRI today...please pray that it comes back normal...we have been a bit worried as he hasn't quite been himself since they woke him up, which is somewhat normal, but it has lasted a week now and they want to test for any abnormalities in his brain.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Far, Snow Good!

Well, we have about 6-8 inches on the ground (and decks, and cars, and trees) and I am happy to report that I woke up this morning, with lights, food, and 3 children excited to see what lays ahead of them for the day.

I got to thinking this morning, how I am so excited to be 'trapped' inside with my family. No, we still haven't got a tree. No, my Christmas shopping still isn't done. And, no, I was not prepared to spend the last shopping weekend before Christmas 'trapped' inside of our house (well, I haven't exactly tried to get out yet, but I can only imagine we are officially 'trapped.').

But, as I am sure many of you know, this time of year shouldn't be about the Christmas tree, or shopping, or having the best decorated house (after all, I don't think you would be able to have seen any ones Christmas lights last night) although many of us are often preoccupied with all of these things...Rather, isn't this time of year supposed to be about sharing the Joy of Christ's Birth and spending time with your family? I have no doubt, that on this last shopping weekend before Christmas, it was God's Intention of snowing us in...with our families...so we can spend this time with them, instead of out, in the hustle and bustle of the malls and streets, shopping for presents and buying last minute Christmas Trees.

So, we have heat, lights, food and Internet (now that Vic swept my satellite dish off) and most importantly, we have each other.

So, I am happy to report...Snow far, snow good!

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Friday, December 18, 2009

'Be Careful What You Wish For.'

Just the other day, I was emailing one of the guys at our student insurance administrator's office in Ithaca, NY. I was telling him how envious I was of them for their quite regular snowfall...and, in his reply to me, his exact words were, 'Be careful what you wish for.' Well, Ken, I think you were right (Are you a weatherman in your part time job, or is this just pure coincidence that they are calling for UP TO 18" HERE????). Because, as excited as I am about our seemingly pending blizzard, I am praying, hoping, wishing, pleading that our electricity stays on. I am sure I will be posting pictures of snowmen, snowball fights, 4-wheeling, and bundled-up-babes tomorrow (if we can have electricity). This is from weather.com:

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST SATURDAY NIGHT.
SNOW WILL CONTINUE TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING... FALLING HEAVY AT TIMES. SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED... RANGING FROM 12 TO 20 INCHES FROM TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING... .WITH THE HIGHEST SNOWFALL TOTALS OCCURRING OVER THE WESTERN SECTIONS OF THE WARNING AREA... OR APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND NORTHWEST OF A LINE FROM FARMVILLE TO BOWLING GREEN.


WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, I am so pelased to report that father is doing VERY well in his physical recovery...they had him from the bed to his recliner chair and back, with assistance of course. There are even talks of moving him out of the CVICU tomorrow...However, there is a small problem with his oxygen/carbon Dioxide levels...so he is a bit, well kooky. I won't divulge the immediate details, at least not until we know this isn't anything permanent...but, once we do, I promise, I will have many stories to share about our father's imagination, many.

By the way, the next time I am green with envy about you northerners and all of your snow, I will most certainly Be Careful What I Wish For!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Oh, right, I do have children!'?!?!?!?

Gosh, I feel so horrible...so, much of my life over the past few weeks has been spent focusing on, thinking of, praying for, and talking about my father. I just realized it has been almost two whole weeks since I so much as mentioned my children on 'Our Family Blog.' I will take this time, while I am thinking about it, to update you on a few highlights about the kids.

I will begin with Victoria...last week she was inducted into the SCA as her classroom representative. I was honored to watch as my oldest began her journey into being a Big-er Kid! I was certainly proud of her as she got her certificate and sat amongst the other 'chosen' students. She is certainly maturing into a wonderful young lady.

Evelina went to the Children's museum in Richmond with her PreK class...she has been getting Green Smiley faces every day and will get to do her very first year of Christmas shopping on her own at the Holiday Shop at her school. Not only is is fun for the children, but it is also fun to see what they pick out for everyone. I am sure I will get a good laugh out of it...(one year, Vic bought Joe a flashlight that said "#1 Grandpa" haha...I almost died laughing).

Joe Jr is now standing up, completely unassisted, on his own for a good period of time...he has already taken a few, and I mean a few, steps, so I think he may be getting ready for full mobility.

I will admit, NOT ONE of my children walked before they were 1!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT ONE!!!! But, at least I am not a parent over obsessed with my children achieving milestones ahead of the curve...

So, that is about it...other than we still haven't got a Christmas Tree...We will definitely get it this weekend...Plus, I like to leave it up at least a week after Christmas, so at least it will last! We (well, Joe) will go cut it down at the tree farm right down the road...we just pick it out and he cuts it down and they wrap it up! I will take pictures once we get it all up and decorated.

Hope you all have fun preparing for Christmas!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

'Not Me' Monday - 'He's Awake' Version

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.


I will start off by saying I did not get to see my Dad, awake, for the first time in almost 2 weeks today...after he didn't have 4 surgeries and we almost didn't lose him.

I was not highly upset when I was at the hospital to see my Dad, at 11am (very strict 11am-1pm visiting hours), and I couldn't see him as they were doing new lines on him.

I did not bother the nurse at the desk, 4 times, before he finally let me in to see my Dad.

Also, once in to see my Dad, I did not frustrate my Dad, by not being able to understand quite what he was trying to tell me (he is still intubated...how is intubated spelled anyways?).

I was also not EVER so grateful to see my Dad frustrated...as this would mean he is going to be just like the old him...I swear, I don't, nor have I ever, frustrated my father....never, not me!

And finally, I did not go see my dad today, after not showering ALL WEEKEND as our hot water went out...again...Nope, not me, I would have surely found a way to shower before going to see my Dad, in the hospital...

Want to be part of the 'Not Me Monday party and be brutally honest about what you DIDN'T do this week? Then head on over to MckMama's Blog to join in on the fun!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Road To Recovery

So, yesterday proved to be another huge milestone for Dad and his wonderful team of doctor's and nurses. He was all put back together and was a 'good boy on the operating table,' as his surgeon put it. He also had another machine removed tonight (the 'balloon thingy' as my sister calls it) which helps maintain his BP...and...the nurses have began slowly decreasing his sedation meds; it may take a few days to get him awake as it is a slow process. I can only imagine how much pain he will be in, so as far as I am concerned, I am a bit nervous about him having to deal with it when he wakes up.

But, after almost 12 days if him being sedated, I am also bit anxious for him to wake up...so I can 'calmly' tell him how much I love him, and how much his grand kids love him, and so we can show him all the cards he received (especially one in particular...sissy, we may have to wait to show him 'that' one, he may laugh just a little too hard), and so he can see all the pictures we put up, and I can't wait to 'gently' give him a hug.

I am so grateful right now...to everyone who prayed, or called or emailed, for the Fairfax CV ICU unit, for God's decision to let us all continue sharing our lives with him, but I am also grateful for my father's will to fight to live through this all. It shows how much he loves life...and us all!

With open arms, I welcome The Road to Recovery, and no matter how long it may be, I am ever so grateful that my father is on it.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Thoughts From A Loving...Sister!

Before I move on to my main post, first things first...Dad's surgery was a success from the doctor's point of view (sounds good to me, too)...he has a long recovery ahead of him, but it looks like his will to live, his surgeons, our prayers and God pulled him through today.

THANKS TO THEM ALL!


Today was a very big day! It began with EXTREME anxiety, panic, and nerves. I dropped my children off, with a dear friend, in the dark of morning. I commuted north bound...destination: Fairfax Hospital...purpose: Dad's Big Day!


En route to Fairfax, about 10am, I received a call from my father's surgeon asking me to give consent for my father's surgery, yeah, the one I was on my way to, that wasn't supposed to begin until 1pm. He explained that he was calling me as he couldn't get a hold of my sister and wanted to take Dad in the O.R. now. At first, I wasn't concerned that he couldn't reach her as I had just got off the phone with her and I knew we were both on our way to the hospital. But, after I gave consent, I tried, over and over again, to get a hold of my sister. She didn't answer. Of course, I begin to worry about my sissy...It is rare she won't answer calls...especially from the hospital...well, after 5 minutes of painstaking worry, my sissy called. All I can say is in that 5 minutes, I thought the worst. That something happened to her. That in that moment, I could possibly be without a father...and a sister.

Now, I have posted about how important my father is to me. He has been here for me throughout my entire life and I love him very much. What I haven't said is that the same is true about my sister. In the past 10 days, she has been a rock for me. She has taken the lead. She has calmed me, hugged me, loved me, put up with me and has even let me use her parking pass at the hospital. What more could you ask for in a big sister? Although, she did monopolize the $4 People magazine I bought at the gift store today (Yeah, it's hard to compete with Tiger Woods). Just joking, Sissy!

But, I wanted to write a post, just for her, so that she knows how important she is to me...

Sissy, I couldn't imagine having gone through this all without you. You have been strong, intelligent, resilient, brave, hopeful, protective, nurturing, comforting...you have been the best big sister I could have ever asked for. I hope you really do forgive me for peeing in your Barbie pool...If I could go back in time, I promise, I would change that one thing.

I know we still have a long journey to get Dad better, thank God, but I am so grateful I have you to share it with.

I love you, Sissy!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pictures of My Dad!

I just wanted to share some pictures of my Dad. I can hardly think of anything but him and it helps to focus on all of our wonderful memories instead of his current condition.

This is My Dad, My Sister, Vic and Eva at Eva's 1st Birthday Party!



This is My Dad Inspecting His First Cell Phone
(that I bought him for Christmas).



This is Me and My Dad on Christmas Day 2007!


I can't recall the exact event, but it was a cookout, and my Dad was here at my house
(I do know that much)!

This is My Dad at Eva's 4th Birthday Party!

(in March of this year...despite what the date on the picture says)

I Love His Expression!



This is my Dad and Vic at their First Father (Grandfather) Daughter Dance (50's style)!

He won a prize for best male costume by the way!


This is My Dad, Me and Vic at the Father Daughter Dance (It was a luau theme)!

And, if you look over to the left side of this page and up a little (in Vic's Bio), you can see the picture of Vic and Dad from the last Father Daughter Dance they attended (it was a Disco Theme)!

I will have more soon! You know I have tons more where these came from!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thoughts From A Loving Daughter

As far back as I can remember, I have been a Daddy's girl...I don't think I have ever loved anything, other than my own children..and God of course, as much as I love my dad.

I love my Daddy so much, that I don't care that he talks loud at restaurants OR that he wears thigh high socks and shorts (together that is) OR that he loathes household cleaning OR that he gets highly upset when a waitress forgets his lemons for his ice water. Matter of fact, I am praying that he can continue doing ALL of these things in due time.


Throughout my life, he has shown me first hand how to be kind, compassionate, understanding, faithful, honest, hard-working, giving, and, most importantly, he has shown me what is means to love unconditionally.


My father enjoys driving elderly people to their doctors appointment, singing (at church, with the New Dominion Choraliers, and in the National Philharmonic...yes, he LOVES to sing and is good, too), volunteering at the thrift store, going to Bible Study and being a man of faith.


I am proud to have inherited my fathers intelligence, his last name, his sarcasm, his forehead, his broad shoulders, his large upper-body and even his walk. I wish I had inherited his amazing singing abilities. Unfortunately, as much as we love to sing, neither my sister nor I were fortunate enough to get that trait.


Last night, I wanted to say so much to my Dad, but all I could seem to say to him was that I love him. I know they are only three, small words, but they mean EVERYTHING. I am praying that I will get to tell him that again soon.

Dad is not doing good as there were complications with his surgery and he is currently on a bunch of machines to keep him alive. His doctor gave us a 75% chance of him pulling through this. As an accountant, it gives me hope in the numbers, but right now all I KNOW for certain that I can do is put my faith in the Lord. The Lord is in control and I will let him guide the doctors and my father as he sees fit.

Lord, I know you may be calling my daddy home, and if you do I understand, but please, please give me the strength and guidance I need to get through this.
Our Father,
who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

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