Bubble Boy


Remember this?

I’m pretty sure this is going to be my son. After the past two weeks, I don’t know what to do with him. He has gone into anaphylaxis twice. The first time was a narrow-miss, and I’m thoroughly convinced God intervened that day. We went to church, and came home after a quick run to HyVee. We had a lunch of frozen DiGorno, and laid Parker down for his afternoon nap. The plan was to take him over to Grandma & Grandpa’s to hang out while we took the older girls to see Avatar in 3d.

About 20 minutes into his nap, Ryan heard him crying. He went up to check on him, which is odd. Usually, we’d let him try to fall back asleep on his own, and would give it a few minutes before we went after him. Ryan brought Parker down, and hollered at me to come & look at this. Annoyed, I asked what he wanted, and he repeated that I needed to come to him.  I took one look at Parker & flipped.

His face was unrecognizable. His eyes were swollen shut. He had hives from the top of his head, down to his toes. He was flushed solidly. His lips were puffy and blue-ish. And he was hardly breathing. In fact, after Ryan took him out of his crib, he didn’t cry for another 15 minutes. I called 911, thinking he was just having a bad case of hives. They sent the ambulance out, and I was holding on the phone with dispatch when I noticed he was taking ragged, shallow breaths.

We sent the girls to the front porch, to keep them out of the way (and from seeing Parker’s condition & terrifying them). They yelled that the ambulance was there, and the paramedic ran into our living room. He took a single, 3 second look at him, and said “I’m not stabilizing. We’re going now.”

And into the ambulance I went, following my baby boy who was wearing nothing but a diaper. I was carrying my shoes, yelling instructions back at the girls & Ryan. The neighbors were all gathered around, offering assistance with the girls. We took off before the doors were even completely shut.

The paramedic (Brian) tried to get the history from me, and all he got was my hysterical bawling & blubbering. He managed to get out of me the basics, and proceeded to give Parker a couple different injections of life-saving liquid. Epinephrine, I think.

We got to the hospital, and they rushed him into a room that was already occupied by what looked like a 20-something guy with a broken bone. They pulled the ever-trusty curtain divider out to shield this poor guy from my sons demise. I’m sure that it helped to minimize the impact from Parker’s shrieks of pain as they tried to get an IV into him, gave him a couple more shots, and drew some blood. Right.

They couldn’t get an IV into him, so he had an intraosseous infusion put in. Read: Drill. Bone. IV.

What a fun trip.  We stayed the night in the hospital with him, and watched as his IV (in his knee) made his leg plump up as it leaked. They removed it, but his leg remained abnormally large, more like our 6 year olds leg than a 16 month olds. He was released the next morning, and we had an appointment set for the allergy doctor.

The following Saturday, 6 days later…

We made a meal-in-a-box junky thing for dinner and settled down to watch Colonial House. Parker ate up his bowl of chicken dumplings, and started to fuss. Not thinking, I got him a second bowl, and started feeding him bites. He kept fussing, and I sat next to his booster chair. Not even 5 minutes after we started eating, I saw three hives on his chin. I looked at Ryan, told him to grab his Epi-Pen, and looked back at Parker to see another smattering of hives, and his face turning red.

911 again. Same paramedic, same ER doc, same scenario, only this time they were able to get a regular IV going. We were there for just a few hours that time, and I didn’t have to jab the Epi-Pen into his leg. (Thank God!)

He went to the allergist this week, and was tested for soy. It came up negative. We are leaning towards getting a second opinion from an out of town allergist, but haven’t yet.So we have no idea what he is allergic to, and no  idea when he might become anaphylactic again. Awesome, I know.

Oh, one more thing. I took a break from the hospital during his overnight stay to run home & get toys, clothes, and a diaper bag. I called up Ryan’s grandparents and asked them to keep our dog for the night. I got the gear gathered, and put our dogs kennel into the front seat of our Mustang. About halfway there, he pees all over his bed, and the kennel tilts backwards, so it starts running towards the seat. As I tried to pull over, he threw up all over the other half. I’m already on edge from Parker, and then the dog & his bodily fluids. I seriously considered just shoving his kennel out at the corner, but I figured an Grabber Orange Mustang would be easy to track down, so I called my wonderful mother in law, and dropped him off there, where she gave him a bath & he cuddled up to my father in law all night.

Sheesh.

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Some wedding highlights…2010


It’s been over a month since our wedding, and I haven’t posted on it yet? What kind of bride-zilla am I? Sheesh.

I won’t need to talk too much in this post. (Pictures are worth at least a thousand words, right?)  Click on the thumbnails, and a full-sized picture will open. Then, either click the photo or on the link at the bottom to go to the next.

(Please do not copy any photographs. Rights are reserved to myself, and Photocreations by Tammy. Please send me a message if you would like written permission to use my photographs for something.)

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I am not blog-illiterate!!


So why can’t I get a photo slideshow to work?

Any of you know how? Please, enlighten me with your amazing WordPress secrets!

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Has it really been six months?


I think it’s safe to say that I am no longer an Oregonian, although actually putting it in writing make me grimace a teensy-tiny bit. What is it about Oregon, the Northwest, that grows on you? It just stays within you, as much as mildew stays in clothes, or sand in your car after a trip to the beach.

Confession moment: I still have my Oregon license. It has our Portland address on it. Although my name is now legally different, and I need to change it, I can’t give up that license. Why cant the lovely woman at the DMV punch it and give it back? Why must I physically hand her the last bit of Oregon in me, for her to toss it into the round file system? Why, indeed.

Um, our car plates are still 100% Oregonian, also. We have postcards hanging in our “Northwest Themed Laundry Room”, along with framed pictures of Cannon Beach, and a watercolor purchased from Pike Place Market in Seattle.

It’s not all bad, this Iowa thing. The people are wonderful, our town is safe, and we have family just a phone call away. It smells like home, it sounds like home, it looks like home…. It is home. I feel defensive when people laugh at Iowa.

I wish it was possible to live in two places at once. I guess the 70 & up crowd does. So do long-haul truckers, for that matter. Or our soldiers, but I guess they probably don’t consider Iraq or Kuwait home.

Maybe that’s the key– we need to buy a Winnebago (coincidentally, that company is an Iowa company) and hit the highways. Oregon in the spring/summer, Iowa in the fall/winter. It would be the best of both worlds!

In a related matter, anyone have an RV for sale?

Yeah…

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Dare I say it?


I think it is quite possible that I will learn just as much as the girls will from homeschooling. Have you seen this so-called ‘new math’? Try explaining to an 8 year old why you have to regroup the tens or add up to the nearest whole number, then subtract the difference from the difference. Yes, that is what I meant to type. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to my 1990’s math brain, either. Used to be that someone would just borrow 10 from the column to the left to figure out what 274-197 was.

And language! The only thing I remember about parts of a sentence is what I learned from MadLibs. Now, not only can I tell you what a simple subject, a simple predicate, complete subject, and a complete predicate are, I can also combine them! Good thing too; my grammar is spotty on my blog. Heh.

As far as science is concerned, we’re chugging right along. I’ll be the first to tell you that universe science is of no use or interest to me. Until I hear from CNN that Ceres is planning on making Earth’s atmosphere it’s new home… Well, I just don’t care. This quarter is all universe science, too. Next quarter, we start with Earth science. Now THAT is something I can sink my teeth into!

Is it pathetic that I have learned more in the past 10 years that I have been OUT of school than I did while I was IN school? I learn more from Google than anyone. Don’t know the answer? Google it. Can’t find  a place on a map? Google it. Need to see what a glockenspiel is? Google Image Search.And if I need to know more about the universe, I’ll check out Google Sky.

Perhaps I should turn over my homeschool parent responsibility to Google.  Perhaps some of the school districts should turn over their teaching responsibilities to Google….

I jest, I jest.

In all seriousness, HS’ing is going great so far! We’re also doing a big ol’ study on Pioneer America, which includes all the Little House books, and a fabulous book called the Prairie Primer. Check it out.

That’s all for now. Our day starts bright & early… Oh, wait. No it doesn’t. We start at roughly 9, sometimes 10. In our PJ’s.

Why WOULDN’T you homeschool, with perks like that?

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What a crazy few weeks!


It has been chaotic in our household since the 26th of August. That was the day my mother, grandmother, and the two girls arrived from the great Northwest. Their first words after stepping out of the Omaha airport? “Oh my GOSH, it is HOT here!” Heh heh heh…

They spent ten days here in Iowa, in our house. Surprisingly, we all made it through without losing our sanity. It all went by at lightning speed, too. We drove them around town, which took all of 15 minutes. We went to Pella, and watched the glockenspiel. We ate Dutch letters, turn-overs, and cookies at Jaarsma, then walked along the canal, and took silly tourist pictures with the kids, in GIANT Dutch clogs.

The day before the wedding, we spent pretty much all day at the Lodge. We decorated, ate, and decorated, and then went to my in-laws and ate some more. Good times, good times.

Our wedding flew by, without a hitch. Pictures, ceremony, pictures, food, pictures, cake, dancing, bowling, pictures. We had a blast, and it didn’t last nearly long enough. I am eternally thankful that all of our children were there for that day.

We had a combined birthday party for the three youngest girls, because #4 was gone for hers, and #’s 2 & 3 have August birthdays.

I also took them to the Prairie Learning Center, and we tried to see some buffalo to no avail.

On the 5th, we drove them back to Omaha, and tearfully said goodbye to the kids. And that was that… back to normal life.

August 9th, we began our year of homeschooling. This first week went by fairly well, although we did slack off a few days. Next week, we will stick to our schedule (created with help from Managers of their Homes). I must say, we aren’t behind on anything, and that surprised me. Most days, it took us all day to do our work, rather than the 4 hours my schedule says we would need. Could be because of that adorable tyrant-toddler who insists on climbing into his sisters desks…

Today is my 27th birthday, and I feel like I should be turning 37. We are heading out to the Iowa State Fair today, and I’ve donned my walking shoes. This is serious business. No flip-flops to wear me down, nor will I be carrying a clunky purse. Today is a day for food on a stick, giant hogs, and tons of butter.

Happy Saturday!

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Yes, it is overdone.


God Bless The Broken Road.

We are NOT playing this at our wedding, much to my chagrin. I love it. I think the lyrics fit our stories perfectly. But it one of the most overplayed wedding songs since Pachelbel’s Canon in D… And my betrothed ix-nayed it immediately. I know YOU have heard it– everyone has heard it. Since we aren’t playing it, I thought I could use it in a blog.

Every word of this song rings true for us. The road we began walking down is a far cry from the one either of us thought we would be walking today. I find it so amazing, frustrating, and wonderful the way life works out. Sometimes– a lot of times– it seems that the harder we try to keep something (be it a person, place, or thing), the harder it is to hang onto. It’s been a rough battle through life for this lady.

And honestly, I couldn’t see why I was having to go through any of it, or why I was so unlucky as to be stuck with the life assignment I drew.Why my relationships fell apart. Why things happened the way they did.

But now I do.

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

[Chorus:]
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

[Chorus]

Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

All of the downright terrible things that have happened, all of the mistakes I’ve made, all of the stupid decisions that I let lead me astray have led me to here.

The day before my wedding. To my best friend, to Ryan.

I can’t wait.

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