September 27, 2016-Happy 5th Birthday Keaton!!

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  • Day 7! It's me! (Tara) I'm back! Please rise and join me in the singing of Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow. Hymn 375 in the Baptist Hymnal. Seriously, I wasn't joking around-get off of that couch! No, we are very blessed around here and are definitely praising God.
  • I will start with the kids and then move on to mine and Robby's day. Our birthday girl Keaton woke up at Nonna and Pops house this morning and was delighted to see a birthday sign for her. I believe that they even had a special birthday treat to begin her celebration.
  • Keaton and Whitman went on to school. Whitman again did fine at school so that was much to our relief that this craziness at home isn't affecting him. Keaton was snack helper at school today and brought cupcakes for her birthday, she was serenaded by her class and all of her classmates even made her a special birthday book with pictures that they drew. 
  • Meanwhile, the others started waking up Grannymom's house. Campbell and Graham were the first to wake up and Anderson and Reagan slept a bit longer. After breakfast, Grannymom started everyone on school and hopefully that was finished without too much drama.
  • Their afternoons were all spent playing.  Keaton and Whitman played outside with the Roys and the others played game after game of kickball. Around 5, Robby headed to pick everyone up and take them out for a special birthday treat for Keaton. We don't do a whole lot on birthday days-doughnuts or candles-but he felt like she needed a bit extra since this has been a crazy past few days. She will have a party but Reagan's party will come first, followed by a re-do of Robby's birthday and I need to be healed up before we schedule all of that.
  • Once at home, the kids had supper and then it was partay time for the little birthday girl. Robby bought cupcakes so we celebrated and then there was even a Redbox movie.  It was late but everyone climbed in to their beds full, entertained and happy to have a momma that feels much better (and was actually awake to tell them good night.)
  • Now my day: My morning started at 3 when I woke up needing another pill. I had been making it until 5 each morning but not this morning. Usually by the time I take a pill and lay down, I am already feeling better. Not today-I had a shower then to help which did while I was in it but you can't really sleep in the shower. And I am know that after a week of surprise bills not even including our new medical bills, Robby is probably not looking forward to my water bill for this month-I have spent hours in the shower this last week, at least 2 hours a day.
  • I did a bit of moaning and groaning and tossing and turning but by 6 when Robby got up, I was already dressed and ready (yep, I had had another shower). He asked if I was nervous and the answer was not really. I would change that answer later in the day when I heard words like-breathing tube (that just sounds scary), EKG (I passed but needed one on file), stent (no worries, it isn't hanging out-is that too much information-Robby will censor me if it is) and pee the color of red kool-aid (so very odd but not a problem.)
  • We arrived after 7 and were promptly checked in. Then we sat in the waiting room for a very long time-I was very aware of this because I was in pain! I didn't think I should take another pill since it wasn't really even time for me to have a second much less a third. Eventually, they took me back-I changed, they started an iv, did blood work and more checking in.
  • After that we waited some more until Dana arrived and she distracted us for a very long time. So glad she was there or we would have possibly gone mad just waiting-she helped get some details and get me some pain meds. Shannon came too and helped entertain us for a bit. 
  • We met my doctor and she showed us my CT scan which was neat to see-would have been neat to get a copy for the kids, if I could have remembered every organ that she pointed out to us. Then she pointed out that blasted kidney stone on the CT scan and said we would get started and that we did. I pulled out my contacts, the lady gave me some meds and I vaguely remember agreeing for Robby to take my picture (which I don't remember him taking.) 
  • I then remember scooting over to the hard table in another room and then the nurse taking off my oxygen and showing me my kidney stone. I looked at it but had to ask later to see it because I was still pretty groggy. She then asked if I wanted water, cranberry juice or sprite. I don't recall answering but I am sure she saw my broad smile after she mentioned something other than water or cranberry juice. A few minutes later, Robby was in the room and I was holding my drink can. I was groggy but not in pain-the best feeling ever.  The nurse showed me my kidney stone and later during super as I described every graphic detail I could think of to the kids, I said that it was about 1/4th of the size of a raisin. Tonight though Robby said it was more like 1/8th of a raisin and then he suggested that it was maybe the size of a big booger. Either way, booger or raisin, it looked bigger than 5mm to me.
  • It seemed like just minutes afterwards, I was shoved in the bathroom with Robby who was passing me my clothes as I went to the restroom. The wheelchair was waiting outside and then he went to get the car. After he picked me up, we stopped on the way home for my meds (stool softener, anti nausea, antibiotic, anti bladder spasm and a pain pill) I know that Robby spent a bunch on these pills since we needed to have them but Hallelujah I have only taken the 2 I have needed (#1 and #3). 
  • Once at home, I rested and Shannon came over with supper and soon Robby was off to pick up the little ones from the Grandma Team. Let's just stop for a moment here, other than the babies and Robby's little heart surprise check up last year, we have never really been sick before. Words can not express how grateful we are to have such a village. Not only have both sets of our parents have dropped everything for us for the last week, but so many other people have helped us as well. Dana and Shannon coming to the hospital, Stephanie and Shannon bringing meals, Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Stacy making the kids days at school easier and a bit more special, Jason checking on us and being our delivery boy, Candice and Sara hauling my kids around for 2 Wednesdays (tomorrow too), Candice taking Reagan to Branson for the weekend, countless meaningful offers to do anything to help and most importantly all of those prayers that were sent my way (seriously, I felt them-though I believe that ya'll slacked off a little last night but I'll forgive you if you send up a couple more for us over the next few days.) Thank you so much!
  • I am still doing pretty good and have no pain which makes me happy, happy.  I am still a pretty weak but that could easily happen when you do not eat for almost a week. I have a follow up in 2 weeks so hopefully all will still be well but I do know that I am pretty exhausted tonight-but I am sure that Robby, who has been Mom and Dad for the last week, is even more tired than I am.

September 26, 2016

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  • Day 6 ... we have a plan.  It did take a few tears I think to get there but we have a plan. Tara was calling her doctor right at 7:30 to see when we might hear from the urology clinic.  
  • We did have to do a little scrambling because everyone was sleeping well upstairs but I did get off in time to take Whitman to Nonna and Pops and drop Keaton off at school.
  • I went into work and Tara did have the big kids school laid out for them to work on this morning.
  • I got a text from Tara mid-morning. Her doctor's office had called back and said they had an appointment for her to see a urologist on Thursday. (Wrong answer!)  Tara admitted to shedding a few tears on the phone and the nurse quick said, "I don't think that sounds like it's going to work." Tara quickly agreed and the nurse promised to see what she could do.  Within the hour, the nurse had called back and they had managed to get her an appointment at 1:45. (There was some confusion over whether we were self pay vs. insurance.  Does that make a difference when trying to get an appointment?  Not sure but we do have insurance so who knows.)
  • I finished up my work (not sure if my work people think I will ever work a normal day since it's been crazy since we've gotten back from vacation).  But I got home to find Reagan and Graham out playing with the neighbor kids. Anderson and Campbell were still trying to finish up school.
  • Neighbor kids had to leave soon though and I fixed some lunch and then it was time for us to load up.  Nonna had picked up Keaton from school and we took the big 4 to Grannymom and Grandpa's and went on to the clinic.
  • Paperwork, x-ray and waiting to see the doctor occupied us for an hour and half.  The doctor made his way - said the kidney stone had been trying to work its work out but wasn't sure if she would be able to pass it on her own.  He said we could wait it out (up to 30 days) or Tara could have outpatient surgery. Tara said I might have answered a little too quickly but I did say we would vote for the surgery vs. waiting 30 more days.  For Tara's sanity sake (or maybe mine), we both felt surgery was the best option.
  • Dr. Langford was leaving town tomorrow but said was his partners could do the surgery tomorrow, so we met with the scheduler and got a slot at 7:15 tomorrow morning.  
  • Meanwhile, we went to pick up the big kids who were just about to begin a kickball game with Cash and Grannymom. We let them finish while sampling some of Grannymom's cookies before heading to pick up Whitman and Keaton. 
  • We got home and Tara was back in pain and headed to bed and the rest of did a few chores but also had a bit of down time.  Heated up some supper and then it was time to head back out. Keaton and Whitman are spending the night with Nonna and Pops and Reagan, Anderson, Graham and Campbell are spending the night at Grannymom and Grandpa's.
  • Maybe tomorrow Tara will be blogging :)

September 25, 2016

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  • Day 5 ... same song, same verse ... Tara is about the same with the pain coming and going.
  • Whitman joined Tara in bed first this morning, then Anderson was down soon after wanting to know the outcome of the Hogs game, followed by Campbell and Graham. We had to send Whitman upstairs to wake up Keaton.
  • The donuts had run out earlier this week and we've had plenty of poptarts so I did break out the pancakes and waffles which everyone was excited about.  Soon everyone was dressed for church ... and Tara had decided she was ready for a change of scenery.  She loaded up her pillow, blanket and pills. The kids thought she was going to church like that ... but we just dropped off her at the Brocks while the rest of us went on to church.
  • We made the rounds to see the grandparents before heading to class.  Jaymie was returning from last night's ballgame, so April and I had the 3rd-grade class to ourselves. It was pretty uneventful.  Gathered the kids and went to big church.  I went to get Whitman from class and then all were in the car headed to Nonna and Pops for Sunday lunch.  Tara had watched church on her phone from the couch and was resting when we arrived.
  • Nonna had a huge "donut" cake to celebrate Keaton's birthday.  Keaton had picked out the cake and icing.  She has been counting down her birthday for several days know and only has a few more days until her real birthday.
  • After lunch, Graham worked on a new Lego movie with Jason, Andreson watched some tv and the girls and Whitman played.
  • We got a text from Candice saying they were getting close to Little Rock and we could pick up Reagan.  So we loaded up and dropped off Tara, Anderson and Graham while me, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman headed to make a quick grocery store run before picking up Reagan.
  • Reagan had a blast and said she could get used to the RV-life.  They had a full day at Silver Dollar City and their RV was parked right next to the campground playground - pretty grand weekend for her. 
  • We got home and everyone pitched in on getting the laundry done before supper.  We all dug into some chicken spaghetti that had been thawing this week.
  • Kids had not seen the Angry Bird movie so they settled in for it and then enjoyed a couple of bags of popcorn, a bit of cream and lemonade.  I've decided that's the best way to keep everyone happy ... maybe not the smartest thing but right now happy is important.
  • After the movie, everyone picked up and headed to bed.

September 24, 2016

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  • Day 4 of Agony (well, not for me but for Tara)  New meds still are better than the first set but it's all temporal.  Tara can definitely feel when the meds wear off. I can always tell because she heads to the shower as it brings a bit of relief.  No real change and more waiting for her.
  • The boys slept a bit longer than normal since they were out a bit more later than usual. After a big win by Robinson High, they tagged along with the Wilson's to Senor Tequila for some late night nachos.  So Campbell was the first up, well maybe Whitman was as he joined Tara in bed, but I awoke to Campbell staring in my face. She had wanted me to come wake her at 7:30. Needless to say ... I wasn't up at 7:30.
  • Checking email this morning, I noticed the new Pie 5 was accepting reservations for their pre-opening celebration.  I made us a reservation for 1:00 thinking we would need something to do today and to let Tara have a bit of peace and quiet.
  • Mom called checking on us and thought we might enjoy going to see the Clydesdales that were in town this week. Word on the street was that they would be making an appearance at the Little Rock Food Truck Festival.  
  • We all did a few chores catching up on some that might have been missed earlier this week. Then we ended up scrambling to meet Mom and Dad for the ride downtown and leaving Tara to sleep.
  • Downtown was buzzing with people and we finally found a parking spot around 6th Street. Walked a few blocks and finally stopped to ask where the horses were.  Well, they weren't showing up until 1:00 and it was only 11:45 and a bit on the warm side.  The lady said they might still be in their temporary stables at River Front Park.  That was another half mile but we made the trek down there and did find the horses. Our timing was actually pretty perfect - we made it within the trailers before they roped off the area and then were there as they brought the horses from their stables to be dressed and readied for their parade to the food truck festival.  We were definitely up close and personal with the horses ... those are some big horses!
  • I made the trek to the car with Whitman and then picked up the others so we could make our reservation at Pie Five. With the chance of free pizza for all, there was a bit of a line but everyone enjoyed getting to pick out whatever pizza they wanted.  We even splurged and bought a big chocolate cookie pizza.
  • We made it home to check on Tara around 2:30 - she was still in bed.  So we thought we would clean the potties ... another chore that had been missed earlier this week.  Soon the kids noticed the neighbor kids were outside ... so they invited them in for some Xbox and Wii time. They were only here for about an hour before their mom text to come home.  So we had some down time and movie time.
  • Around 5:00 and with the sun finally fading, I decided I better tackle some of the mowing.  I hadn't mowed since August 23 or 24th - so basically a month of now mowing of these 4 acres and it's fairly noticeable.  I guess with the warmer weather and not as much rain this past month - it wasn't really too bad - more weeds than grass. I only got the part around the house down with the push mower but it still looked a lot better.  Meanwhile, all the kids (except Reagan who is still having a blast living the RV life in Branson) were outside as well with me riding bikes and scooters and trying to avoid the many ant piles.  I did bribe them with about 3 popsicles a piece to keep them outside and Whitman did manage to explode a coke can from the outside fridge as he was trying to get a water bottle. (Anderson and Graham were quick to help clean it up ... in fact, I didn't even know about the explosion until I was done mowing and Anderson reported what happened.)
  • Everyone came in for showers and it was already 7:00, so kids were eager for supper.  Everyone but Anderson had bbq (Andy had his leftover pizza). The kids then started a movie as we waiting for the Razorback/Aggie game start. 
  • Tara joined us for the game and Whitman went to bed.By halftime, the kids were getting pretty tired so they called it a night and asked me to wake them if the Hogs ended up winning. Hope I can make it to the end of the game. I'm tired!

September 23, 2016

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  • Well, this is Robby blogging again so you know what that means ... yes, Tara is still not feeling well. Another long night for her in pain and nausea  With the weekend coming, Tara wanted to see if there was anything they could do.  She was on the phone right at 7:30 leaving a message for the nurse.  
  • The nurse called back at 8:30. They said they could change her meds to something stronger and maybe wouldn't cause the nausea. She said they would call in for a referral for a CT scan and we would hear back.  
  • They did call back just as I was loading the kids in the car to drop off Reagan for her Branson trip and the other kids at Nonna's.  They said we could come to Baptist immediately for a CT scan so Tara joined us in the car and off we went.  We dropped everyone off but Reagan, had my mom meet us at Dunkin Donuts to get Reagan so she could get her to Candice and made our way to admissions. We were prepared to wait but Tara was checked in and scan completed in less than 30 minutes.  They sent us home and said the doctor would call when he read the results. We did have a few minutes to stop by and see Tara's grandmother who had a heart attack on Wednesday. They suggested inserting a pacemaker but BeeBee decided she didn't want to do that so she was in the processing of getting discharged.
  • Stopped by Walmart because Tara was craving applesauce and hasn't really eaten in 3 days. We actually got there at the same time as Candice was picking up Reagan and off they went in the big RV.
  • The new meds kicked in quickly and Tara slept from 12:00 until 3:15  Meanwhile, the other kids had been picked up by mom and were having a grand time at the zoo.  Sounds like they covered lots of ground and had plenty of time at the playgrounds as well.
  • We waited for the doctor and finally heard from his office around 4:30.  The CT scan did confirm the kidney stone ... it's on her left side and is 5mm is size.  According to our Google searches, that's a bit above average size and has about a 20% chance of passing on its own (A bit discouraging.)  But also discouraging was the fact that the doctor said it would be Monday OR Tuesday when someone from urology would call.  That's probably typical time but Tara wanted to do something about it today.  But she took another pill and ...
  • Mom and Dad brought the kids home around 5:15 and they told us all about their morning at Nonna's and their afternoon at the zoo.
  • Soon after Mom and Dad left, the Brocks and Jason came with spaghetti for supper.  The Wilsons said the boys could join them at the Robinson High football game so I took them out to Robinson to meet the Wilsons while the rest of the crew chowed down on supper.  I made it back to eat and then the rest of us had a bit of ice cream.
  • The Brocks and Jason left, the little 3 had showers and they and Tara all went to bed. I'm now waiting on the boys to get home. I'm sure they will have lots of football stories ... or some kind of stories to tell.

September 22, 2016 - Happy Birthday to Me!

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  • Well, day #2 of the evil kidney stones and they are still here.  Tara's had another rough day ... she managed to sleep decently but was still up every few hours with pain and nausea.  The good news later in the day that the nausea has subsided but the pain is sticking around. Not sure if there are multiple stones but she said the pain seems to be in different places at the same time. Even though the doctor said to come back Monday, she's thinking she'll go head and call them tomorrow to see if they can do anything else. 
  • Meanwhile, the day continued around here. Anderson was the first one up but he wasn't sure if he needed to check on Tara or not.  I think he thought kidney stones might be contagious and he didn't want to go anywhere near her if there was a chance he could catch what she had.  We let him know he was safe but he quickly disappeared.
  • He soon returned with a homemade card for me and it even included 2 Rice Krispie Treats. Meanwhile, Graham and Campbell were stirring and soon got in on the birthday card making activities and they too managed to include Rice Krispie Treats with their cards. I woke Keaton and Whitman up since it was a school day for them.  
  • Got them dressed and Tara, thankfully, was able to help Keaton with her hair (or might not have been pretty).  The other did start on their school - anything of it that didn't require Tara's help) and I quickly ran Whitman and Keaton to school.
  • Made it back home and the others were already finishing up their school and got to their iPads fairly early this morning. Soon though it was time to leave.  On the calendar was a homeschool gathering at Amber's house for a swim party - Tara hated to miss but the timing couldn't have been better to occupy the kids a bit so she could rest.  So we all picked up Keaton and Whitman and headed to Benton.
  • Dropped everyone off but Whitman ... although he wanted to stick around and swim too - didn't want to overwhelm the other mom's with another little non-swimmer to watch.  I bribed him back in the car with a big bottle of Gatorade and then he promptly told me he wanted to go to Grannymom's.  Well, he had been there the past 2 days but Grannymom graciously said he was welcome back. So we headed to west Little Rock where I dropped him off and then came home to do a bit of work.
  • The neighbor kids were on their bikes in the driveway hoping the kids were home - I stepped out to tell them they were gone but would be home soon.  I soon headed back to Benton to pick up everyone and they were still swimming and didn't really want to get out. But they too had Gatorade bottles to woo them into the car. (Plus, they were excited to hear the Corsers were probably going to be outside when they got home.)
  • I had stopped on the way to pick up the kids to pick a bit more bbq - we had leftover buns but no bbq from the other night and I thought I needed a decent birthday supper :)  The kids weren't interested in eating when we got home because the neightbor kids were out and supper could wait.  They changed into their clothes and quickly headed out.
  • They were out a bit ... but soon Anderson asked if they could come inside and play.  Soon I heard the Xbox going and Anderson/Petyon were busy with legos.  I ran to meet Mom who was delivering Whitman. Keaton rode with me while everyone else continued playing in the bonus room. Everyone was still here when we got back and Whitman quickly found his iPad.
  • Neighbor kids left and showers began around here ... by the time we started supper, it was 7:00 and Nonna and Pops came bearing cake and ice cream.  We finished supper and then lit some candles and dug into the cake!
  • We managed to have a decent day but still hate to see Tara not be herself. I think I'll call a mulligan and celerbate my birthdayy when she is better!

September 21, 2016

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  • Well, first thing to say, is I am thankful for family and friends who fill the gaps.  This was not a day we had planned.  This is Robby typing because Tara is under the weather quite severely. She apparently has a classic case of kidney stones according to the doctor.
  • I heard her stirring in the kitchen bathroom around 5:00 this morning - she's not typically up at that time so I went to check on her.  She was doubled over and said her back was killing her. She had laid on the bathroom floor, the couch and the bed but couldn't get comfortable.
  • The kids were stirring around 7:00 but tried to stay quiet while still checking on Tara.  She got an appointment at 8:45.  The pain came and went - she even briefly thought about going to Bible Study (since they've missed the first two weeks due to our trip) but we decided I would take the big 3 to Bible study and the little 3 would go to my folks. Tara drove herself to the doctor - in hindsight not the smartest thing on our part.
  • I dropped the Whitman, Keaton and Campbell off at my folks and took the others to Bible study. The plan was to meet Sara but I missed her and decided to take the kids in.  Well, since they hadn't been there this year - there was all sorts of paper work to complete, snack signups, etc. The Bible study folks are serious about their forms and wanted to check that off their list - it didn't matter that the 3 documents I signed for each kid said, "I will not leave the premises while my kids are in class" and then I promptly left.  I think more of formality than an a hard and fast rule.  Except the lady at the front desk was new and definitely wanted me to sign the form saying it was okay for Sara to pick up my kids.  (I do appreciate the rules but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!)
  • By this time, Tara is texting saying that I need to come get her and we would leave the other car there.  We stopped to fill a pain medication and came home. It has been a long day for Tara - the pain medication causes nausea. The doctor has told her hopefully the stones will pass or she should come back Monday. (That seems like forever away right now.)
  • Plus, at some point this morning, Tom called and said that Beebee (Tara's grandmother) had had a heart attack and was at Baptist Hospital.  The first thought it was mild but by the end of day a decision to place a pacemaker was made - so that will happen in the next day or so.
  • Thankfully, between Sara and Candace the big 3 were well taken care of this afternoon - sounds like they even snagged a McDonald's Happy Meal at some point.  And Grannymom and Grandpa, of course, were busy spoiling the others.  Mom did say Campbell defnitely wanted her and the others to make a card for Tara and then they went to Rock Creek and later in the day to the Woodland Edge park.  Again, so thankful to have such great family and friends.
  • Anderson did have a previously scheduled dentist appointment to refix his front tooth so I briefly picked him from Sara's and then returned him after he was fixed up.
  • Everyone got the kids to church tonight where I met them and they were all excited to be back at SonShine Kids, 3:16 LIVE and IGNITE.  All went well - Reagan did report that she had a great time on the drama team and was excited that Camryn was on the same team.
  • We made it home - Whitman was sound asleep and went straight to be bed - while the big 3 showered and then everyone had a quick snack before bedtime.
  • We are hoping for relief soon and that tomorrow is not as dramatic.