Friday, July 31, 2009

Flashback Friday...or not so much...:)

SO...this is a flashback...but to Em's birthday party...

She had her party at Pump-it-Up...I am still sorting through the 100's of pics that her daddy took...but here are a few and more about her birthday soon!

I became the favorite slider of the much so I think I went down the slide with every kid at the party, AND I got a blue streak on my butt!!!

We had so much fun!!! I really did enjoy putting on my socks and playing with the kiddos! Thanks to everyone for coming and I will get thank you's out soon, and more pics to come!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

God is Good and other random things... :)

So...are you ready for my news????????

Drumroll please....
I got a new job! A part time teaching position at a private preschool! I start on the 17th of August, and my last day in the publishing world is August 7th! I am so excited. I feel like this is a gift from God. I have been praying, along with everyone I know, for a way to be home more and still bring in some money. I have been praying for God to be VERY specific with how it is going to happen. In the past two weeks he has made it VERY apparent to me what I need to do. It seemed like everything really started happening after I shared my secret/story with all of you here. Could that have been what He was waiting for me to do? Tell the world so to speak, come clean, and be truthful? I am not sure. But I can tell you that I feel forgiven. I feel like I have been set free, ladies! Truly set free. Not just from a situation that is less than perfect in my work life, but truly SET FREE!

He has taken off my chains, and He has set me free! I am so thankful! I can't tell you how much my heart is rejoicing, every minute of every the trick is to keep this feeling.

Someone told me once that God will have His way, you are either living in plan A or plan B. I feel like I have been in plan B for a long time. A VERY LONG maybe I have come full circle back to plan A and now I can attempt to stay there for awhile.

Now on to other random pieces of business...Vickie...I have not forgotten your dress.... and Kristi I will send you your giveaway stuff in the next day or two...I am finally able to focus on my blog, my business, my Bible study that I lead, and my life....YEAH! Please forgive me for not posting for so long...tomorrow will be about Emily...her birthday was Monday and I have yet again won the mom of the year award for not posting about her on her birthday! YEAH me! I don't know where I am going to put all those awards I am running out of room on my mantle!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Remember Me?

Well, I think I am ready to come back and get started on this stuff again. I made it through the week and now I am waiting on answers. I am sorry to be so cryptic about all of this, but please know it is nothing bad. I am just not ready to tell the world about it yet until final decisions have been made and we are moving forward. It is very exciting and I can hardly stand it that I can't tell you, but for once I am going to do what my gut tells me to do. That gut is hardly ever wrong! :)

Here are a couple of gratuitous pictures of Emily. She is turning 4 on Monday, I can hardly believe it! The first year seemed to take forever, but every other year has just flown by! Ben is starting kindergarten in 4 short weeks! Then in a year she will go too. They are just getting SO big! They are not my babies anymore.

Okay...sniff, sniff....let's move on! Emily had dance camp with Lilly this week and I have a few pictures that I can share with you. I only got to go on Monday because Ben had an eye appt and got his eyes dilated. I took the day off after the dilation and he and I went up there at the end of the class, and then out to lunch with Tracy, the girls and the twins. Five kids is ALOT with two toddlers running around! are the pictures...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So I totally suck, and there is just no other way to put it. I have not posted since I put up the giveaway...that totally bombed, but I know that has something to do with exposure...right? :)
Anyway I have been wrestling with some serious personal issues. Nothing like I have been posting about, but serious none the less. I will fill everyone in very soon, but please just pray for me to have God's wisdom and love. Thanks everyone, I will post soon. I have several in the works just no mental energy to get it done. Sorry! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


So I was intending to do this earlier in the day...but it did not get done. I have been really tired today and grouchy tonight! The picture is not great, but it is cute!

I made a new item for the store and I thought I would give one away before I put them in the store. I made a business card holder. Now you can have a business card holder, tissue holder, checkbook holder, and a wristlet that all match! And who doesn't love to match!

I am giving away a business card holder and a tissue holder.

Here's how you can enter, only two chances this week!

1. leave a comment telling me what you think about it
2. tweet about the giveaway, or get a friend to come by and comment (for those of you who do not tweet!) :)

Giveaway ends on Friday, July 17, 2009!

hmmm....ready for the next installment

Okay, so after many many many phone calls and heartache, I finally get the CPS cased closed and then expunged. By this time it is almost July. Emily's birthday is coming up. Year one is almost over and I can't believe it is almost done. We start planning her first birthday party.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention that we saw the pulmonologist and found out that she has asthma due to her hemorrhage when she was born. He starts her on meds and it immediately begins to get better. She does get pneumonia once more this year, but we are able to deal with much easier. Things begin to look up for us on the health front. I feel like a horrible mother because I should have pushed more in the beginning. I mean, duh, right????

As we are planning the party at our house, I am falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of mental instability. And we are falling deeper and deeper into financial instability. I begin the paperwork to cash out my teacher retirement to get us out of trouble and put some away. And I begin counseling and medication. I was starting to realize that there was something truly wrong with me. Even though I was seeing a counselor I was not honest with her. I am not sure I was honest with anyone during this time, not even myself. I was living so many lies that I am surprised I could keep them all going. My rock bottom was coming and fast. I was hurtling toward the earth at break neck speed.

My rock bottom happened right after Emily's birthday party. Chris decided that he was tired of living in the dark about our finances once and for all. OH SHIT...what was I going to do? I really only had two choices...either stay and come clean, or leave. I actually contemplated leaving. The more meds I got into my system the more I realized what I had been doing, and wondered what the hell I was thinking. I hoped that my teacher retirement would be enough to get us out of trouble. I had also hoped that it would come before Chris found out, but, no such luck.

There are threats to leave from Chris, and offers from me. He begins to sort things out and see just what kind of mess I have gotten us into, and so begins his path to grace. I am continually amazed at how much grace he extended me when he did not have to. When I think about it now I wonder how we ever survived.

He was so angry at me, and for good reason. I had lied to him so many times. I wondered how he was ever going to trust me again. Were we going to make it through? Well, we did. That is the short version. The long version is that we are still healing from the damage that I caused with this. My husband extended so much grace to me that within a week of finding out about all this and sorting it out he told me that he forgave me. Told me to stop beating myself up and move on. He loved me and that was all that mattered. I have spent the last four years punishing myself in lots of different ways to try and make it better, but punishment didn't help. You see I think the worst of it was that he was able to forgive me. I wanted him to get so angry with me that he left. Then I would be justified right? Then all the things I had been "preparing" to do would have worked out. But he was able to find grace. Grace that I would have never thought possible for another human being to extend.

Is everything perfect for us, not by any stretch of the imagination. Do we still fight about money? Oh, absolutely. But, are we stronger than ever? YES. God walked with both of us through all of this. He was there even in the depths of depression and psychosis for me because we could have been in a lot worse trouble when he finally took control of our situation. He was there when Chris found out and kept his heart from becoming as hard and cold as a stone. I could be living in a war zone, but instead I am living with a man that loves me so deeply and completely that he is able to forgive me. Does he insist that I take medication? You betcha! Is that okay with me...ABSOLUTELY.

Tomorrow I will post about other wonderful things that God did in the midst of this situation. So, now all of you know my deep dark secret. I feel better letting it out, and I know the Lord had some purpose for pushing me to tell all of you. I can't wait to see how he works all of this out for good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Favorite Blog of the Week

So this week my favorite blog is Spirit Jump! If any of you are looking for a ministry...this one would be awesome. I think everyone should take a look, that is all I am going to say. It is powerful! I mean REALLy powerful!

Have fun! :)

here we go again....

So the nice ladies from CPS walk across the threshold of my beautiful home...not! I offer them a seat and something to drink all the while wondering WTF? Yes...I used the F word. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what they were doing at my house. Did someone actually call CPS on me? What did I do wrong?

So the younger of the two, who obviously did not have any kids began talking to me like I was an fin idiot. She ask me how Emily was doing, and all the niceties like I had invited her over, but you could hear the condescension in her voice. The older of the two ladies, who obviously had children, was talking to Ben. They were both taking in their surroundings. I apologized profusely for the crumbs all over the living room floor and nervously told them the story of what had happened earlier in the day with the bread, which I offered them some, and having to work during nap.

The conversation continued and the younger woman asked me how my PPD was. And informed that the social worker at the hospital was worried that I might hurt my children. WTF???? the woman that I spent all of two minutes with? She told me that this woman noticed that I was really stressed and I had mentioned that I had PPD. you tell me...if your six month old child is in the hospital for RSV and has not slept for the past six months would you not be a little stressed? PPD or not? AND don't the majority of women get some sort of PPD? REALLY, SERIOUSLY? You see this still pisses me off to no end. If she was so efin worried about me why did she not just come back and hang out with me? Make me feel a little better? See if there was anything, like food, that she could bring to me. Because did I mention that getting food at that hospital when you can't leave the room is a bitch? YEP....they make you buy meal tickets, are you supposed to do that when your child is upstairs and there is no one else in the room with you?

Anyway...I totally digress....

She asks me if I need help. OKAY...another absolutely stupid question. WHAT MOTHER doesn't need help? What mother wouldn't love to have a live in maid/nanny that does it all so she can get 9-12 hours or glorious sleep a night? Can anyone tell me this? So I said yes I would like help, but that we could not afford help. Then she proceeds to tell me about a volunteer organization that would come and hold my baby while I sat and watched. Wow, this is helpful. Hold my baby, awesome...give me some of that kind of help. I am trying really hard at this point not to throw her right out of my house on her ass. But can you do that to a CPS worker? I really don't know.

They stayed a bit longer. I actually liked the older woman. Would have liked to have a real conversation with her. Then as they were finishing up I was asked to provide them with references. The kids school, their pediatrician, and five personal friends who could vouch for me. WHAT? Now I was going to have to tell my friends about this visit. PERFECT!! So I give them all the information that they ask for and they say bye to me and the boy wonder and touch Emily. I wanted to smack both of them now. Don't touch my child without asking. I don't know you and you don't know me.

So they leave and I sit down on the couch by the phone with my list of friends to call. Damn it. I call my friend Andrea first. She is SO pissed. She can't believe that someone would have actually called CPS and that they would have asked for the references. She had just had Jack and was home on maternity leave and her mom was there. Her mom was even incensed about the whole thing. This made me feel better, because if you are honest with yourself even if you are the mother of the year, if CPS shows up at your door you begin to wonder what you have done wrong, and if you should have your children taken from you. Of course this really only lasts for awhile then you just become so freakin angry again. I called all my other friends and told them what was going on, the pediatrician, and the school. SHEESH...those were embarrassing phone calls. But everyone reacted the same, so by the time I was done I felt a little better. When the workers left they said they would be back. So now I would just sit and wait for them.

One of the teachers at the school came over that week to give Chris and I a break. And I went out with my friend Andrea that week as well for a glass of wine. Both were heavenly. I heard nothing else from the CPS workers except a note left on my door one day when I had taken Emily to the doctor to get her cleared to go back to school the next week. So you figure it is over right? WELL...think again my friends.

I hear nothing from CPS for months. Then sometime in May I think it was I get a call from the director at the school and she tells me they have been to see her, and they divulged information about my case that they should not have. They actually told her that I would not except their help so they could not close my case, AND that they had made several phone calls that I had not returned. LIES...LIES...LIES...i had had no return phone calls or visits.

Attorney time. I call an attorney to find out what I need to do. I call the case worker's boss and leave a message. I call the caseworker herself, btw that is the young one. I have to resort to sending a letter to tell them to close the case. Cases are supposed to be resolved within two months, and it had been more than two months by this point. Not only did I want my case resolved, but also my record expunged.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. I was still being covert about money. I was still letting it all fall apart. But I had decided to cash out my teacher retirement and that would pay off the debts and give me some extra cash when he did leave. Yep I still really believed that he was leaving. If you have never experienced this feeling you have no idea how real this is. You TRULY believe what your mind is telling you, and in your mind you can justify it all. Now if someone asks you to actually talk about it then you start to see the flaws, but most of the time you just gloss over those.

Monday, July 13, 2009

next episode...

So we find out that Emily does not have leukemia just some weird infection thing that never really showed up. I believe that we had divine assistance in this matter. Everyone we knew was praying and praying hard for us. The Christmas tea went off without a hitch, thanks to Tracye and her mom, and things seemed to be status quo for just a little while.

Christmas came and brought with it a severe headache for Ben that landed us in the ER with him. Emily seemed to be doing "okay". She still wasn't really sleeping, but things did seem a bit better with her. Ben told us he had a headache on the evening before Christmas Eve. This messed up our Christmas eve plans, but everything turned out fine. We found out he had a sinus infection after a CT scan, and a very long day in the ER. Poor baby.

Christmas day came and we enjoyed it as a family. I was somehow able to hold things together enough to have a good day. Then right after New Year's I began planning Ben's second birthday party.

During this time I took out a loan and stashed the money. This was a small loan about two grand and stashed it. I did not tell Chris about the loan or the cash advances on the credit card that I had taken out. He had really begun pressuring me to take the finances back over, but I saw this as a way for him to take all the money and leave, because truthfully wasn't that what I was essentially planning?

I kept simmering and seething on the inside about everything. This just fueled my psychosis. Everything that he did just caused me to sink further and further into the abyss. However, it was not his fault. And I was told that it really wasn't mine either, but I believe differently. I believe that if I had swallowed my pride and taken my anti-depressants I would have been able to avoid these issues, but....

We had lots of explosive fights over sex and money. The two biggies. We began trying to refinance the house because we had an ARM so we wanted to get out of that. He found out that my credit was off, but didn't really know why so we had to refinance in his name. This further fueled my mental state. Now everything was in his name. Until the refinance the house had been in my name because of him graduating and not having a job yet. Now I didn't even have that. Both cars were in his name, my name was not even on the title. Now the house was in his name and my name not even on the title.

We made it through Ben's birthday party extravaganza, and somehow made everyone believe that everything was fine with our marriage, and me. I am not sure how his happened really. By the time Valentine's day rolled around we were not speaking to each other because of money issues. We were sinking further and further, and I was so far down that I am not sure I would ever resurface. I very rarely had coherent thoughts anymore.

Then on the 15th I worked from home and the daycare called in the afternoon. Emily had had a little cold, but nothing real serious, or so I thought. Stephanie called and said that Emily had "rails". I had no idea what this was and she explained that it was so hard for her to breathe that you could see her ribs every time she took a breath. And that if I didn't come get her they were going to have to call an I wouldn't come get her. I went immediately and headed straight to the doctor. Our pediatrician was not in the office so we saw the other doctor. He called Children's and told them we were headed there. So we took Ben to grandma's and headed to Children's. He was afraid that Emily had RSV. SURPRISE...when we got to Children's we found out...yep...she has RSV.

That night began our four day stay in the hospital with RSV. It was horrible. We watched them suction and suction and suction stuff out of her lungs. While in the hospital we were visited by a social worker, which is par for the course in a "free" hospital. She spent all of two minutes talking to me and then had to leave. I did not think another thing about it. She never returned to our room.

When we got home we visited our pediatrician to hear that maybe we should go see a pulmonologist. think? I was getting a little fed up and bitter by this point. I loved her, but come on.

So the appointment for the pulmonologist was made for the first week in March. The church called and meals were set-up for us, and friends began calling to bring us support and food. I felt a little more in control of myself when I was at home with the kids that week.

Tuesday after nap the doorbell rang. I thought it was someone from church so I opened the door. Now let me tell you what my house looked like. I had fed Ben some banana bread before nap as a snack and he had ate it at his little table. There were crumbs everywhere. I had to work during nap so as soon as I got them both down I went straight to the computer to work while they slept. I knew Emily would really only give me about an hour.

Okay, back to the visitors. I opened the door to two women that I did not know. Jehovah's Witnesses went through my mind, but no I could only BE so lucky. One of the women introduced herself as Ms. So and So from CPS. WHAT DID YOU SAY? CPS? Really....she asked, can we come in? Well, is a mess...but come on in.

That's it for today...gotta keep you guys on the edge of your seat, right?

Should I do a flashback?

I feel like my posts the past few days have all been flashbacks, but here you go...a gratuitous flashback picture of the kiddos... :) The first one was setting up and it is just funny...the second is really cute I think....

Happy episode in a couple of hours! :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Next episode...

I called everyone involved with helping me with the tea and let them know what is going on. That if Emily got worse or if we heard a positive on the prognosis that I would not be there for the tea and that someone else was going to have to run the show. So we went through days of waiting and waiting. I finally found the paperwork from her visit to the NICU.

I began to scour them and look up all the words and terms on the paper. As I read it over and over again I realized how stupid I had been. Why hadn't I read all of this when we got home and forced myself to understand all the medical terminology. I am not usually a hide my head in the sand kind of gal when I am presented with problems, but that is just what I had been doing all these long weeks. And I am not going to say that I didn't a little later on in this story, or that I don't occasionally do it now, but I was not going to do it anymore when it came to my child. Someone was going to listen to me, and someone was going to help us.

The paper said that we should have been expecting this all along. It told us that Emily had a condition that caused her to have too much blood in her body. This condition was often the cause of childhood and adult onset leukemia. The condition is called Polycythemia anemia. It often occurs in babies but is usually cleared up with a "blood letting" before they leave the hospital, but Emily's had needed more than one and held one, or so it said on the paperwork. It also said on the paperwork that there was a 60% mortality rate for babies that have a pulmonary hemorrhage when they were born. Yes, I finally read what had actually happened to her, a pulmonary hemorrhage.

So Emily and I sat in my house for days waiting on word from the doctor. She called every day, we went to the office every day, tests, calls, prayers, and tears. That is what our life was like. Then on Friday the doctor called with news that the first preliminary culture had come back negative. But we weren't out of the woods yet. So I decided that I would go ahead with the tea and do what I needed to do.

As all of this was going on I was able to coherent for most of the time. Having to protect my child somehow pulled me out of the psychosis for a bit. Somewhere in all of this I completely gave up the nursing Emily. I gave up the pumping and the nursing. However, I did not go on the antidepressants either. You see, I was better now. Right? I had somehow been able to do the things I needed to do...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Giveaway Winner

I am so excited because I had more entries this time...hopefully next time I will have even more. Thanks for participating and I will have another giveaway next week. I want to make this a weekly thing! :)

*Drumroll* The winner is: Vickie!

Next episode...

I think these are going to turn into "episodes". I can only write a little at a time and I am not sure if I can finish all at once. :)

That night was especially stressful. Emily did not sleep except on me, which by this time was not all that different than any other night really. But I did not sleep at all and worried myself to death. I worried that I would lose her and how was that going to affect me and the family. Finally the sun came up and the night was over.

I found that I dreaded the night. The night was when I was really unable to keep myself and my thoughts under control. The day I could function and I could make everyone believe, or so I thought, that everything was okay and under control.

At nine that morning we are the doctor's office. Sitting in the chair waiting for the the nurse to call us back. One thing about Emily she got really used to going to the doctor. Still to this day she will go and hardly make a fuss at shots and they can poke and prod her and she will just sit there and endure the whole thing. So she was quiet in the office, as usual. No one saw what we were seeing at home. No one saw her be inconsolable. No one saw her cry for hours and not stop, even if you were holding her. Was I crazy? These were the thoughts going through my mind as I waited.

The nurse finally calls us back and we go to "our room". It was uncanny, but we were always put in the same examining room. The pediatrician comes in and sits on her stool. She is very concerned and quiet. I can tell she is trying to figure out how to tell me what she needs to tell me.

"Melissa, I am not sure you know what an elevated red blood count means or not, but it is really indicative on one thing. We are concerned that Emily has leukemia."

WHAT? LEUKEMIA? What? Immediately the tears begin to roll down my face and very soon I am a complete and total blubbering mess. The pediatrician remains calm and tries to console me. We are friends after all. She puts her arm around me, but nothing helps. I finally get myself under control enough to listen to what she has to say.

"I want to do a few more tests to rule some other things out while the culture is out. It will take seven days for the culture to come back and give us any definitive information. But she could have a UTI that she is just not able to tell us about so I am going to do a test for that, and we will take some more blood and I want you to come back each day and lets take her blood and keep an eye on her counts. Also, I want to warn you that if she gets a fever you must take her to the Emergency Room. I will meet you there, but she must go immediately. If she starts showing the signs of the infection in her body it could be bad."

By the end of this speech I am numb. I can't cry anymore which is amazing because most of the time that is all I do. So I consent to the tests she wants to run on Em and we begin. If you have never seen a baby get a catheter, this is something that you want to avoid like the plague. I am telling you that it is quite possibly the worst thing I have ever had to endure in my entire life. Including unmedicated childbirth, kidney stones, gall stones, and the like.

As you can probably imagine, the tests come back negative. We know before we leave the office that morning. I resolve to go home and find that hospital paperwork and scour it for any reason this might be happening to us. And I must go home and figure out where we are on the tea and what's going on.

On the way home I call Chris and then Tracye. I tell them both what the doctor has said and Chris has almost no reaction. This pisses me off. To no end. How can you hear news like this and have no reaction. Then I move from pissed off to real white hot anger. How could you let me go through all this alone? How could you make me hear this news all by myself and then when I call you and tell you, you have absolutely no reaction? But...I said none of this. I just added it to my reasons why he was going to leave, and started to simmer. You see we could not be in the same room with one another without eventually screaming at one another. It was around the kids we would hold off until they were in bed. But, the screaming match would commence. And OMG...we were good at it. We had been married almost 12 years by this point and lots of bitterness and resentment can build up over 12 years.

In the midst of all this I was in charge of our finances. YEP...that's right crazy woman in charge of the money. How could anything go wrong there, right? I was a freakin disaster looking for a place to self-destruct. Because one thing I am not good at, is money. I can fake it for awhile, but in the end I am just not good with it. This is because I don't really care about it. I can live with it or without it. Either way, my life can be good. That is when I am sane, and take meds and am not possessed by some other evil force. During this time, I was not sane, I did not take meds, and I truly believe that I was possessed by some evil force. I would not let Chris know what was going on with our money, and we weren't really making it. I was paying some bills but not others. I was stashing cash away for the time that he left me. We were paying outrageous medical bills. I took out a cash loan to have extra money. I was spending it left and right. We ate out every night, pharmacy bills were eating out lunch. I really could have used some help from the financial genius who lives in my house, BUT.....remember me? So most of our fights were over money and him not having a clue what was going on in our finances. I could not admit to him that I really had not clue either.

Okay this is it for today...I can't do anymore. This brings up so many feelings for me that I just can't put away easily. Now on to other things in my life. Life is good really good for me and our family. We have our struggles like everyone else, but we did make it through this. I think that is what I am supposed to see here. We made it, and really it lasted only a very short time. It felt like forever when we were walking through it, but, in retrospect it was only a year of our life. One year. In the grand scheme of things that is not much right? But it is bittersweet because I also realize that we wasted a year. That I wasted a year of my life, Emily's life, Chris' life, and Ben's life because I was too prideful to ask for help. I didn't want anyone to know what was going on inside of me. The war that was being waged in my mind was something that I felt like I should keep quiet. And of course I had to hit rock bottom before things would get any better. I am not sure I can keep writing to tell you how I hit that bottom, but I will try. This part of our story, right, and the blog is called the story of us, right?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Part 4 of Our story

I don't want to bury the giveaway so make sure you scroll down to find it. I hesitated to post this until after the giveaway...but that would be copping out right? Hmmm...I wonder why I decided to start the giveaway yesterday.... :)

Anyway...if you are reading this scroll down to the very next post and enter to win the giveaway...

So here goes today's installment...sit down and you might want to grab some tissues...or maybe that is just me. :)

So we give Emily the reflux medicine for about a month with really no improvement. I know something is really wrong, but I feel like I keep hitting a brick wall, and some days I want to really hit that brick wall with my car. Every time we get in the car to go anywhere she screams the WHOLE time so mornings on the way to work are so much fun for me, and afternoons on the way home. Poor Ben is being neglected by me most of the time, but not daddy. For this I am becoming very resentful. I really want to spend time with Ben and hold him and kiss him. The only time I really get to spend time with him is at bedtime. I give him a bath and read to him. I miss his sweet kisses and his loving nature. He by the way seems no worse for the wear. He is a very resilient kid. I imagine by divine design. The Lord knows the plan, and you don't. This is further proof of this. He gave us Ben first for a reason, but I will expand on that later.

Do you remember those papers I put away when I came home from the hospital, well I go searching for them. I have to search for days because as you can probably imagine housework was the absolute last thing on my mind. During the search Emily gets some weird infection. She is sick. You can tell she is sick, but there is no fever, and no outward signs of illness. The first thing that goes through my mind is damn it, not again! Sorry, but I am being real here, right?

So I leave work early and take her to the doctor. The doctor and I were already friends, but now we are becoming almost like bff's. I see her every week. We are planning social events together and she is offering to take Ben with her son to do different activities. I must have looked really pathetic, or seemed like someone really cool. But, I am thinking I know which one it was. ;)

The doctor decides to take blood. So we go to the lab and they draw blood. I am so used to nothing really being wrong that I am ready to leave and get the boy wonder something to eat and wait on the call from the doctor to tell me it is nothing and stop dreaming up reasons to come in and see her.

I stroll the kiddos back over to the office and tell the office staff that I am going to leave and the nurse comes out and says...She REALLY wants to talk to you...can you stay?

I tell her politely that I have to get Ben some food and nurse Emily, because by this time every one is cranky. Even the boy who never gets cranky is starting to lose it. The nurse tells me that she will call me in 30 minutes. So I leave with the kids a little worried, but not too concerned really. I have done this so many times before and the phone calls are always...Melissa, nothing is wrong she is fine, do you need to go out for a drink. I am not kidding. Really I am not. She was so worried about me, and so was everyone else who came into contact with me even if they didn't say it.

The pediatrician called in less than 30 minutes and said I have some bad news and I really need you to come into the office tomorrow so we can discuss it. *Insert Panic here* Now I will tell you this is NOT what you want to hear from the doctor. I inquired as to Emily's prognosis and she told me that here white blood count and red blood count were off, and a serious cause for concern. Especially since she was not exhibiting any outward signs of infection. She said we could discuss more in the office the next morning but there were more tests she wanted to run. So I place a very tearful call to my boss and tell her once again I would not be into work the next day, and maybe not the rest of the week.

Oh did I mention that the Christmas tea was the following weekend? This happened the week before the tea. Yep that's right the week before.

This is where I will end for today. Please know that I do not want any one's pity. I feel the need to share my story. And I will tell you all the wonderful things that have come from this story before it is over. Because even though there are terrible things to come, there are also wonderful healing things that I never would have experienced if I had not walked through this trial. And I will also tell you that God is Good....He is Good.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

GIVEAWAY!!!!!! I am having another giveaway...hopefully i will have more entries this time... :)

I am giving away this...

So I am going to give you a chance to have four entries....

1. leave a comment here by Friday, July 10, 2009
2. Got to my etsy and heart my shop
3. tweet about the giveaway to all your friends/become one of my followers on twitter
4. send a friend...if you send a friend and they comment i will give you a fourth entry, and they will get an entry!

SO...if you do all four things you get four chances to win this VERY CUTE dress...also please make sure I have some way to contact you if you win! SEND ALL your friends! AND I will make sure it is the size that you want so no worries about that!

Emily's Story part 3

I am calling this Emily's story, but I realized this morning that it is my story too. It is helping to write this down even if it was four years ago. I don't think I have processed it fully in these last four years. It has only been very recently that I have come out of the dealing with Emily fog. And, please don't think I say that with any bitterness. I LOVE MY CHILD...dearly...I would never trade her or any of this for anything. Because of all the things that I am writing about, she and I have a DEEP bond that I never would have had otherwise. I have a deep bond with Ben as well, it is just really different. Emily is my girl, she is my precious little girl that slept with me almost every night for two years, and on my chest for 18 of those months. I resented her for a time, but what I have come to realize is that I did not resent her, but God. But I will get to that. This is just a small disclaimer because I do not want anyone to think that I don't feel truly blessed by this child every single day of my life.

Now that that is said...let's get on with the story...

We left off with Emily at 12 weeks old. So if you haven't guessed yet that at 12 weeks old things did not magically change. I was slipping deeper and deeper into my depression, and I had to go back to work. I had been working most of my maternity leave, because that is just the way it goes in publishing. But, now I was required to go back into the office for about eight hours a day, and be coherent and do my job. So Emily went to school and I went to work. Nights grew increasingly worse because there was absolutely no time to catch up on my sleep. And I should fill you in on all the things I was trying to do as well.

I was on the Women's Ministry Board at our church and one of my responsibilities was to plan our only outreach for the year which was the Christmas tea. And now I know what you are thinking...WTH???? But stick with me remember me control freak who can't give anything up or let anyone down? Yeah well if you forgot there is your reminder. ;) So Tracye dedicated herself to helping me with this monumental project. And without her I would NEVER have been able to pull it off. I actually should not even say that I pulled it off, I should say that she did. I did my fair share yes, but she pretty much planned it and pulled it off. She is forever my hero. I will never be able to thank her enough or really express my complete and total gratitude.

So newborn, 18 month old, husband, working, and planning the Christmas tea/brunch. Under normal circumstances this is a lot and anyone who decided to do it would be crazy, but these were not normal circumstances by any stretch of the imagination.

This is where things start to get really difficult. If you can't tell that I have been stalling, I have. This is the part that I keep hidden, deep down in the depths of my soul. I hold there and never let it out. I always worry about what is going to happen when I let it out and it just seems like I will die so I keep it hidden. So if I keel over writing this you will know why. :)

At twelve weeks I took Emily in for a check-up and told her pediatrician that things were not any different. She still wasn't sleeping and when you did lay her down to sleep she would sleep for maybe twenty minutes before you could see her wake herself up. She looked like she was in pain and uncomfortable. I kept endless notes and logs about her. I was literally going crazy, certifiably crazy. I was living off about three hours of sleep a night, some nights no real sleep at all.

So the pediatrician told me to take her to get an upper GI to see if she had reflux. So we headed to the hospital and they did the upper GI, and yes of course she had reflux and it was affecting her lungs. reflux medicine in her milk. Okay, so this helps, a little. We are both so very sleep deprived, but I am somehow managing to make it to work and get something done, plus be a mom. But here is where the honesty starts to come in...not a wife.

This is also the part of the story where my PPP or Post Partum Psychosis begins to creep in. I somehow decide that Chris is going to leave me, and in my brain I begin to plot how this is going to happen, and I'll be damned. He is NOT going to leave me, and if he does he will have nothing...I MEAN kids, no money, nothing, and I would have what I needed...right?

My brain became consumed with these thoughts all the time. I didn't know where they came from, and when my head would clear I would wonder what was going on. My coherent moments were few, but they were there and I would make a pact with myself to keep them and to stop the preparations I was making. But then, they were gone. I couldn't hold onto them anymore than you can hold onto a wisp of smoke. They felt like they would just float through my fingers.

Okay...this is all I can do for now. I know some of you who know me actually know what is coming next. If you can believe it things with Emily actually get worse, and I continue to get worse as well. It seems like a lifetime ago, but still so real to me. Chris if you are reading, which I am pretty sure you are not, I am sorry, you should probably skip this unless you want to relive the whole thing over again, sweetie. And I have to say my husband is saint material. I don't think there is anyone out there who could love me more. We have our moments, but I love him and I know with every fiber of my being that he loves me. As I finish up this story in the next day or so you will see just how much he loves me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Part Two of Emily's birth story...

I won't continue to chronicle her life every day until her birthday, but I thought I would at least finish what I started yesterday. It is still VERY difficult to remember her first 18 months of life. But for some reason I am feeling like I need to write this down.

Emily was in the NICU for seven days. The first four days because of her lungs, and the last three because of jaundice. She was literally glowing. When you see the pictures from yesterday you will notice that I am holding her with a lighted blanket. If you took her out of her warmer you had to keep the blanket on her. Her little eyes were kept closed all the times because of the lights. I had a very hard time looking at her. I remember thinking the whole time that I just wanted my baby to come home with me.

The day I went home from the hospital I cried the whole way home. Then I had to go into the bedroom where her bassinet was and I almost passed out. Of course I felt like no one understood what I was going through at all. Everyone around me seemed to have healthy babies. I had to call my mom because I couldn't drive since I was on pain meds for my gall bladder. She came up that evening and the next morning we started going up there every day until she was out.

Every day I would try to talk to the doctor about what had happened, why, and what the long term prognosis was going to be, but I never got an answer. I kept being put off. Then came the day to go home. We went through our exit class and were told that they wanted us to stay in the NICU one night with her. So we went home and got all our stuff and my mom and I stayed with her. Our very first girl's night!

I loved putting her diapers on away from the watchful eyes of the NICU staff. They had been watching my every move since she had been admitted to the unit. And if you don't know me very well then you might not know that I am all about control. Unmedicated births of my children had way more to do with control than it had to do with how the meds affected them. That entered into it, but if I am honest with myself I KNOW the real reason.

So the next afternoon we were on our way home, FINALLY. Her first ride in rush hour traffic...UGH! Then when we got home she was a perfect baby...seemed just fine. I put the hospital paperwork away and decided that I didn't need to read it. She was fine now, right?

We had three weeks of bliss...then the fourth week things began to really change for her. I noticed she wasn't sleeping at all. I mean AT ALL...I know you are all saying...that is the way newborns are, but the kid slept MAYBE three hours a day. And when I say a day, I mean a 24 hour period, not during the daytime hours. And she was ALWAYS unhappy. ALWAYS.

Of course I had done this before so I took her to the doctor, totally frazzled. Our pediatrician, a good friend, God love her, told me she thought I might be having a hard time adjusting to my second child. Please don't think I blame her for anything, because I don't. It is hard to know when everything looks fine. She also told me that Emily had colic and that when she turned 12 weeks old that things would be fine. I just had to make it through the next 8 weeks. I kept protesting, but she was sure, so I believed her.

So we somehow survive the next 8 weeks. I start getting a sitter to come and relieve me one day a week so I can get out of the house. My friend Tracye started really taking care of me. She would call every day sometimes two or three times a day. She also came and took Emily for a day away from the house and brought her back after dinner. I would NEVER have survived without her. I began to slip deeper into post-partum depression and a little psychosis. I didn't want to take my anti-depressants because I wanted to nurse her...yes I was holding onto this in the midst of everything else. JEEZ...the silly things that are important to us. I HAD TO BE SUPER MOM...right?

So the eight weeks pass with VERY little sleep for me or Chris. Things do not get better. But that is the next part of the story. It gets better I promise...tomorrow's post will probably be the worst of it...but please keep reading. I feel the need to post this and tell anyone who is reading. The Lord is leading me through this.


Here is my fashionista...modeling my new product for the store! I made three last night they are so easy to make and fun! I am thinking of having a giveaway...what do you guys think???

Monday, July 6, 2009

Favorite Blog of the Week

Okay so you remember that I was going to do this on Saturday's? WELL.....not so much!

My favorite blog of the week this week is a scrapbooking mommy blog. She is great and a follower too! Go take a look at her blog she has some cute scrapbook layouts, but other stuff too! Click on her button over there on the side!

Have a great Monday! :)

Flashback Friday (On Monday...hmmm...)

Four years ago today I was very very very pregnant with Emily. I was discussing with my midwife, Susan, the possibility of delivering Emily early because my gall bladder was about to explode and I could not keep any food down. I was MISERABLE, and to top it all off in a few days our air conditioner would go out and I would have to be the one to meet with companies to replace it. Before she would finally come we would have spent a couple of days in a hotel, about a week at Chris' mom's, and I would have been to the hospital for pre-term labor and gall bladder issues twice.

Then on the morning of July 26th I would go into the hospital to be induced only to find out that I had been labor all night. I didn't know because I was taking pain medication to be able to survive the gall bladder pain I was experiencing. My mom drove up to be with me for the day and my midwife spent the whole day with us during labor. Chris helped me through the pain with hypnosis. I walked the halls endlessly, sat on the birth ball, and did countless other things to manage my pain. FINALLY at about 11:30pm she decided that it was time to come out. I pushed about seven times and out she came. No stitches, nothing.

Now let me tell you if you don't already know, when you have one healthy uncomplicated birth, you really expect that the next one will be exactly the same. She was out about five minutes and it was clear that there was something wrong. These pictures are in the wrong order, but if you scroll down to the bottom you will see what we saw when she came out. She was whisked away to the NICU and the longest seven days of our life began.

When Emily came out she took a VERY DEEP BREATH. This caused all the capillaries in her lungs to burst and newborns' blood does not clot. So she just kept bleeding. From the outside we could just see that she was purple and she had this very weak cry. Susan told me that she was just not adjusting well so they were going to call the NICU and take her up there and we would see her soon. Well, when I got to my post partum room they came down to tell me that I could go see her. We walked to the NICU and were greeted by pediatrician on call and told that it was a freak thing and they were still trying to stop the bleeding.

We were terrified and spent the next few hours just looking at each other not knowing what to do. We had never even considered that our baby wouldn't be healthy. Then to make matters worse the surgeon came down about 7:00am to tell me that I would be prepped for surgery. OH YEAH, my gall bladder had to come out, I had totally forgotten. So Chris had Emily and me to worry about. So I went into surgery and everything went fine. I was in and out so quickly. After recovery we were allowed to see Emily again. They wheeled me down there and we saw all the tubes coming out of her. It was almost too much for me to take. They explained that she was stable and they were still sucking blood, but that she had stopped bleeding and they were going to have to take out some blood, and give her a transfusion most likely.

They sent me home two days later, and I was devastated. How could I leave my baby in the hospital? Then I started going up to the hospital everyday and pumping to feed her. There is much much more to the story, but that is enough for this post. These pictures show you her first few days of life. It is hard to remember, but since her birthday is coming up I thought I would try. I was also inspired by My Sister's Keeper that I saw last week. Ever since I saw the movie I have been thinking about how lucky we have been. It has not felt lucky most of the time, but we have been SO lucky! More tomorrow....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Red, White and Blueberry Skewers

First of all, let me say that I admire all the mommies out there that have more than two kiddos. Second, I want to thank Marie over at Make and Takes for her post about this wonderful, mostly healthy, snack for the fourth of July. It totally saved me last night!

Now for the post...hehe...

Last night I had five kiddos all by myself at my friend Cher's house. I had her two, Spitfire and Destructo, a.k.a. Cadence and Christian, who are 5 and 2. My friend Karon's little boy, Mark David, and my two the Boy Wonder and the Princess, a.k.a. Ben and Emily. Cher picked mine up from school to play for awhile before I got there and I picked up Mark David so his parents could have a nice anniversary dinner. The kiddos played and then we ate dinner. After dinner Cher snuck out to go see a friend for a couple of hours and I set up our dessert/snack. I have to say it was a BIG hit as you will see in the pictures! I never could have imagined it would go over so well. I am putting fruit on skewers more often. They ate way more fruit than marshmallows. I was amazed!

Cher had cautioned me to not give Destructo a skewer just some fruit. But I decided to let him try it, and he did GREAT! he loved putting the blueberries on and then pulling them off and eating them. He has great fine motor skills. And he didn't even poke anyone or try having a sword fight!
Spitfire putting fruit on her skewer.

Mark David concentrating on putting his fruit on the skewer.
Everyone working hard and smashing some blueberries...

look at my pattern...

Yummy...I can't wait to eat this one.

Look at mine, mommy!

Mark David making his yummy skewer...

FINALLY, we get to eat!

Look at mine!


YUMMY! Mommy this is the best idea you have ever had!
*beaming mommy*

Look at the boy wonder chow down...and Destructo was reaching for another blueberry to put on his skewer!

Mommy, that blueberry was a little sour...
Can I make another one?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I just noticed that yesterday's post was my 200th post! And I have not even been up and running for a year! YEAH! I am excited. I have a post about the cool cards I got from Jeannie over at Queenie Jeannie's, but I have not had a chance to take a pic yet. You guys are going to love them! I can't wait to show you!

Go check her out. I have been trying to put her button on the side since I had her at the favorite blog of the week, but IE sucks. It won't let me do it for some reason!

Enjoy your day and thanks for reading and celebrating my 201st post! :)