22 February 2008

lose 30 pounds in 30 days...guaranteed!

...all you have to do is have an unidentified digestive problem that prevents you from eating and/or holding down any food or liquid for days on end....and....wa la! Instant weight loss.

Actually, it's not really very funny at all, and I've spent too much wasted time worrying about what may or may not actually be wrong with my husband, so I'm not going to devote much more time here. In a nutshell, Glen has always had a weak digestive system. He's always been quite susceptible to stomach stuff. Since Thanksgiving, though, he has had this (as yet) unidentified problem that runs in cycles. We've thought detoxing (he had recently changed his diet for the better right before the onset), food poisoning (realized the odds of that happening so many times in so many weeks...probably not), stomach bug (hmmm...odds are slim that only he would catch it...over and over and over), ibs (symptoms don't really fit), chrone's disease (again, symptoms don't totally fit), to what I tend to think the problem is. Giardia. One little word. Life, as we know it, comes to a stand still. Think one day feeling totally fine, next minute, the onset of symptoms you know is the beginning of what you hope is only a day or so of feeling miserable beyond words. I will you spare you the details (google it if you are so inclined...be warned), but suffice it to say that it's bad. What makes it really hard, though, is finding a doctor that will actually listen and try and find out what's wrong, not just try and give you a pill to alleviate the symptoms. Don't get me wrong, I very much want my sweet husband to feel better, but even more, I desperately want to find out what is wrong with him, causes him to not be able to drink even a small cup of water without vomiting or going to the bathroom all night long, unable to eat anything for days, hardly able to walk for weakness, and caused him to lose close to 30 pounds basically since Christmas. It started out him only feeling bad for a day or so here or there, then fine for awhile. But this last episode has had him sick since last Saturday. He was finally more normal last night, although he did throw up again a little this morning. Anyway. He's feeling better now.

So...giardia. Traveller's sickness. It's actually quite common, a lot of people get it and don't even know that they have it and their body takes care of on its own, but for some reason (weakened digestive immunity?) some people are floored with it. The reason I tend to think that's his problem is two fold. The first being that he went to see a lady that does electro-dermal screening and that's what popped up on her findings. We'd never heard of it before and up until that point had been baffled. I looked it up online and the symptoms fit exactly. She wanted to treat it herbally. Okay....if he could actually keep anything down and we had time to do it that way. Treating it that way can take awhile. Plus, a good friend of mine who is very into herbs and treating things naturally said that is not really the way to deal with a parasite. Parasites are stubborn and evil and you don't want to be easy on them. Kill them and kill them fast....before they wipe you out, basically. I'm all for natural as well, until my husband is literally shriveling before my eyes. I say bring on the meds. (For all you natural healing types out there, we did try the herbal thing briefly, but quickly realized he needed treatment fast. He has been on a probiotic with immune building stuff added in for a few weeks now.)

So, visit to the family doctor. A round of flagyl. Glen is feeling better...yay! For a little while. Then it came raging back, twice as strong. This last bout has been the worst by far. (The guy is amazing, though, he has still managed most days to get out long enough to deal with his jobs, in between napping in his van and knowing where the nearest bathroom is at all times (sorry...too much information). He also stays in a sweet mood toward me and keeps a great sense of humor with the all of us...even if it is from the couch.) Okay, he calls the doctor back, they say "hmmm...maybe ibs. I say no, my research tells me probably not ibs, probably giardia as again, this is how it effects some people." Well, they don't really want to deal with it. I actually really like this doctor, but he's a family doctor, not a GI doctor, and I think they just don't really know what to do.

So, the GI doctor is finally able to see him yesterday. By this point Glen is finally feeling quite a bit better. The GI doctor doesn't think it's giardia. He says it should have shown up on their testing (my research says it is notoriously hard to test positive for, but the dr says he has a newer test that's accurate), and the flagyl should have taken care of it (my research says for some people that is definitely not the case, it takes more than one round of meds, and this stubborn parasite can actually live outside the body for a long time, so it is easy to reinfect...but whatever, he's the doctor). Fast forward to March 4 (praying he won't get sick again before then) when Glen gets to go for some oh-so-fun testing. Yuck.

Now, before you all begin to run when you see us coming, none of the rest of us have whatever this mystery is, so it's not really contagious. And trust me, in a family of 8, if someone has something contagious, someone else will get it. And, in all honesty, it could be ibs or something like that. Hopefully, prayerfully, the testing will show us what the deal is and how to help him feel better. We just want it gone. He cannot afford to lose anymore weight, actually. His pants literally fall off of him. His hips can't even hold them up, they will slide right off if he doesn't wear a belt :o) So, for whoever may read this...if you will please pray for him and that his doctor will find the problem and that it will be gone.

And one other prayer, the secret one that has really been mostly unspoken in my mind, although I have mentioned it on occassion to Glen, but I don't think he realizes how it's kept me up at night this week when I'm nursing the little boys or been lying awake listening to him in the bathroom...I have always been scared of this year. Glen's dad died of cancer when Glen was 7, and I have always had this little thought in the back of my mind that something would happen to Glen when Caleb, our oldest son was 7. I've never dwelled on it, or believed it, but it's been a little nagging thought. I've been able to keep it at bay even through the last few months, but this week...well, I've been bothered by it. We had a neighbor a few years ago, that began to get mysteriously sick, slightly, very slightly similar symptoms to Glen, and by the time they finally opened her up to find out was wrong, she was so full of cancer that that she died the following week. Now, I don't believe that is what is wrong with Glen, I don't accept it, I'm not speaking it over him or any of that stuff, I just want to know what's wrong with him and fix it. And I want a doctor that will listen to us, talk with us, and figure it out.

So anyway, prayers would be much, much appreciated. And I plan to enjoy a nice night with my husband tonight and have a fabulous time giving my sweet sister her very first baby shower on Sunday!

Updated to add...it's just celiac!  Ha ha, just.  But seriously, compared to not knowing, it's no.big.deal.  Thank you, Jesus!

14 February 2008

everything you ever wanted to know about...me!

So my friend Jennifer at Home Keeping Heart tagged me to write 6 interesting things about myself. I'm not so much into playing the tag thing "officially", plus I don't know of that many people that actually read this, so I'm just going to do the list without all the rules and tag six more people part. I will say, though, that I would love to hear six interesting/random/quirky things about Lori, Wendy, Kohana, and Crystal (I'm without my regular computer for a few days, so I will have to come back and link to Crystal), but no pressure at all, guys :o) I'd also tag Rachel, but she just did it from a different tag, so I already learned some fun stuff about her.

Here goes...

1. I had scoliosis surgery when I was ten. I have two herrington rods and nine screws in my back. The surgery made me 2 inches taller, but I never grew in height again after that. I am 5'2" which means I was fairly tall for a ten year old, but on the shorter side for an adult.

2. My parents are 4 years, 5 months, and 26 days apart in age. Glen and I are 4 years, 5 months, and 23 days apart in age.

3. Glen and I started "dating" between my junior and senior years of high school when I was 16. After only a week of "dating" (we had know each other for about 4 years and been friends for awhile), we were sitting at the playground of Bellevue Mall and had a conversation about how we knew we were going to get married. We got married 9 months later, two months after I turned 17.

4. I have serious OCD tendencies. People say that, but I really struggled with it until recently (that's what having six kids will force out of you!). My brain has to feel "symmetrical" and even or I feel very off balance and confused and cannot function very well. Seriously. I did the "turn the light switch off and on over and over until it "feels" right" kind of stuff all the time growing up and I really thought something was wrong with me. I've gotton better, but if you look at my storage room, I have six large containers of tide, all lined up facing the same direction, 4 large packages of paper towels stacked up "properly", who knows how many packages of toilet paper, diapers (in current sizes as well as future sizes), and wipes stacked up, labels facing the same direction, and all 48 Adventures in Odyssey sets, all the Hardy Boys, Boxcar Children, and any other "set" must be stacked in proper numerical order. I usually have several cases of fruits and vegetables, spaghetti sauce, chips, noodles, etc. in my pantry stacked up in order. My extra freezer has plastic containers inside of it so all the casseroles can go together, all the frozen & marinated chicken, all the veggies...you get the picture. Like I said, I have gotton better, though, as that's what six pregnancies close together will work out of you. I finally am able to let my children put things away and not make everyone's day completely miserable if it's not done perfectly. Gee...my first five children were named in alphabetical order, the boys have the same middle name, and the girls have the same middle name. Then came Haven and I finally got over some of it (Haven will go down in my personal history as the child that threw me off my track...see #6). There are still days, though....

5. I can move my pinky toes independently of the rest of my feet (which causes them to look like little aliens), as well as burp on demand. Needless to say, my boys think I am super cool :o)

6. Despite my OCD tendencies, I am notoriously bad with dates. Once again (just this morning), I sent one of my children dressed up for a school event...on the wrong day. Yes, Ethan has now joined Caleb in the "my mom embarassed me by dressing me up on the wrong day" club. At least this time it didn't involve face paint....only a toga and an ivy headband :o)

That's it. Happy Thursday :o)

08 February 2008

an eventful evening~

I don't actually have a lot of time this morning, I am going to do some preparations for my sister's upcoming baby shower and then I'm back home to head off to the women's retreat (full night sleep...here I come!! whoo-hoo!), but we had a very eventful evening the other night that I really want/need to write about.

First of all, let me preface this by saying that never in my entire life have I "hidden" during a storm. Never growing up, never since I've been married. My general feeling is that usually, I love a good storm, two, I figure God is in charge of the weather, Jesus said to the disciples, "Why are you afraid ye of little faith?", and thirdly, I would rather just be in bed :o)

Well, the other night started out like any other night we've had a huge storm system. Not too worried, figure all our family will call if we should be worried, and we'll go from there. But again, we've never made the decision to actually take all our children to the basement.

Tuesday night just felt...different. A few weeks ago Glen and I had a couple tell us together that the Lord was going to start speaking to us and showing us some things through dreams, and I don't know about Glen (maybe I should ask him, huh?), but since that time, I have been dreaming TONS and I actually feel like with a few of them God has told me specifically what He's been showing me. (This, by the way, is a very new way of God talking to me). Anyway, I recently had this dream that was very nerve wracking, actually, I can't remember real specific details other than it involved a barn with an entrance and an exit, some stairs, a very angry bull, and a helpless baby. The point is not the exact details of the dream, but when I woke, I felt the Lord telling me that we needed to be proactive in protecting our children from known and obvious danger. From the anger of the enemy against our family as well. We need to be on the offensive as well as the defensive . I got the indication that if I knew something was going to be a danger to my children or sensed something in my spirit that was against them, it was my responsibility to proactively protect them. Common sense, right? Well, like I mentioned in my do's and don't for baby post, I am very calm, very laid back. (I should probably add here that I do smile and laugh with my children, but for the sake of the post I was trying to make a point. It does, however, take a lot to make me laugh out loud hard. But yes, I do smile and laugh and have fun with my children. On a regular basis, in fact :o)

Anyway (I get off topic so easily...), Glen and I are both very laid back when it comes to things, so it seems that we needed a little extra push in this situation.

Like I said, Tuesday night just felt different. The tv satellite kept going in and out, my aunt as well as his mom called to tell us this storm was BIG and headed our way. No big deal, we always just smile and nod and go to bed. We were both uneasy this time. We had put the kids to bed a little earlier and were laying down to go to bed, but couldn't settle down. I kept getting up and looking at the sky (our house is set up kind of high on a hill overlooking more of a valley kind of area, so we have a good view of the horizon) and pacing around. Our tv had totally gone out by this point, so we didn't really know what was going on other than a crackly radio. I'm watching the cat who was lying calmly on the porch. I kept pacing and was seeing some very yucky looking clouds.

Fast forward a few minutes...keep in mind, all of our children are in bed. The five older ones are upstairs, the baby is in our closet (yes, our baby sleeps in our closet. all our babies since ethan have slept in our closet. it is a large walk in closet that has an air vent, so no worries for my internet friends :o). My aunt has called us back. Glen is pacing, I see some very yucky clouds that are suspiciously looking like they want to funnel, the wind begins blowing hard, the cat gets up, I decide we need to go to the basement. Our power goes out. I head toward our room to put on my shoes, I think (hear God?) "you don't have time to get your shoes," I head back toward the living room to head up the stairs. Glen is looking out the front door. Anna and Caleb are running down the stairs and Glen yells at them to go to the basement, Caleb is saying he saw a tornado out the window. He and Anna don't want to go down without us, but Glen is yelling for them to run. I am running up the stairs, I grab Noah out of his crib, I run down the stairs holding Noah, back to our room, and grab Haven out of the closet. At this point Glen is yelling at Moriah and Ethan to get up but they are sound asleep so he's having to grab them and carry them. We have our arms full of babies and are attempting to run downstairs to the basement in the dark. We meet Anna and Caleb in our safe room. They of course are hysterical having to wait for us down there in the dark knowing there was an actual tornado. It took several minutes for Glen to get the flashlights out of the kit since it was total darkness. All the kids are scared. At this point I'm totally calm (read: oblivious). Once he got the flashlight on everyone calmed down. Sweet little Haven thought the whole thing was a great adventure. After I nursed him he sat with Anna and was just looking around with this adorable little face like he was in a dream. He was very curious about being snatched from his bed only to wake up in a dark little room with all his favorite people :o)

So, we head back upstairs and make a pallet on the living room floor for the kids to sleep on as we've been told another, potentially stronger storm is set to hit later on. I ask my aunt to call us if another storm is coming, and we all go back to sleep. It is at this point that Glen tells me that he actually saw a large-based tornado (not a weeny little skinny twister kind) about hundred and fifty yards or so from our house. If it had been either just him or Caleb saying that, I would have wondered "Did they really, or did they just think maybe, were their eyes playing tricks with their minds..." you know, all those questions. But the fact that they both described the same size tornado, in the same spot, seen from different floors of our house at the exact same time, leads me to believe it was genuine.

Fast forward a few hours....get the phone call. This time, we're not playing games. We wake up the kids (calmly this time, I might add) and head back down, only to realize, when we get downstairs, that Ethan is not with us. He had laid back down on the floor and gone back to sleep. Glen heads back upstairs to get Ethan. We stay down there for a little while and then head back up.

The next morning we were all tired and amazed at the night before. As a family we've never had an event like that. Glen went off to work early and the kids and I were home all day. We were without power until 7pm, so we actually had a nice, calm day. I couldn't get on the computer, do laundry, or anything. Our water is from a well that uses a pump, so I couldn't even wash dishes. We did school, napped, played games, and talked. Talk about debriefing! All day long it was all they talked about. They wanted to talk about what they saw, what they heard, who said what, who went where and when, why Daddy had to go back to get Ethan, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. And to top it all off, some books I had ordered a few weeks earlier that took awhile in coming finally arrived that day. The Kid's Guide to Weather Forecasting and The Scholastic Encyclopedia of Weather. How ironic. Needless to say, they were a big hit.

So, lesson learned. Better to inconvenience ourselves and head downstairs before the tornado sighting. That way we avoid the grabbing babies and running scenario. We will be putting carpet down in our safe room and storing our blow up mattresses and sleeping bags in there along with enough flashlights and batteries for each kid to have one, along with some snacks and water and a strong radio. Possibly some books, games, and coloring stuff in case a storm comes during the day. We stocked up on candles and lighters the following day.

I learned that God is God of the weather and I don't have to be afraid, but he did give me a brain, a good one, and he expects me to use it (does it sound like I say that to some certain little people often??).

The following day we went out driving. I've never been close to a tornado, let alone seen damage from one in person. The devastation is amazing. The power of wind is strong (is there a lesson for me about the Holy Spirit and the voice of God, possibly? I'll have to think on that...). It looks like something off of the television. Trees look as if they were chopped off uniformly at the base. A couple of churches and homes, completely gone. Shredded trailers and belongings scattered everywhere. I'm still processing it, the kids spent a lot of time talking, I spent a lot of time listening, talking, answering questions, and they seem fine. They were actually quite the celebrities at school :o)

On a side note, an awesome testimony, actually, comes from my good friend, Hailijah, who lives close to me and spent a good part of the night in her crawl space with her kids. Her husband was out of town. A good number of her friends who were watching the weather knew that the tornado activity was very close to her home. Many of lus ater told her we were specificly praying for a shield to just surround them and protect them. They live in a wooded area very close to one of the devastated churches, yet not even their plastic patio chairs were blown over! I think that is awesome!

And once again, I am spending some time reflecting and being very, very thankful.

04 February 2008

everything you ever wanted to know about haven~

My good friend, Lori, (who, by the way I am so enjoying getting to know better this last year or so), said I should do the 8 interesting things about my other sweeties. I'll go ahead and do Haven, as he's pretty easy, and I'll get around to the others in the near future...


1. Is the rolling champ! Forget crawling...he'll just roll. (Why do all my children reach every milestone late and completely out of order??? Not that I mind, I'll take a 16month walker over an 8 month walker any day!!)

2. Has his own look now, but looked exactly like Noah for months. I'll have to post a couple of pictures sometime when I have time to compare them on my computer. I have some that were they not labeled, I wouldn't be able to tell you who was who...seriously.)

3. Was my most eventful birth ever (still need to post that birth story!) Suffice it to say that he literally fell out, snapped the umbilical cord, and was born in his water bag.

4. His full name is Haven Asher Rivers... He weighed 9lbs 8oz at birth and was 20 inches long. His name, as with all our children, has a very strong mantle of blessing, calling, and destiny. I still can't get my brain all the way around it, but it needed to be Haven Asher (all our boys' middle names are Rivers, as is Glen's). It has something to do with his calling as a Haven for his family, as a father and husband, as well as a depth that I can sense but don't fully grasp. Asher at its most basic meaning is "happy and blessed" but after learning a little about Hebrew from Jared Black at church, have had a new facet of that opened up. Asher literally means "fire on the head". So something about being a haven, a refuge, bringing fire of blessing and happiness to others as well as having a fire of blessing and happiness on him as a head and refuge for his family..., and I just can't really explain it. I didn't really understand why he was to have both names and I am excited to watch him grow into who he is.

5. Is drinking from a cup!! Thank you, Jesus, I get to go on the women's retreat and sleep!!!

6. Is completely in love with his brothers and sisters and thinks Anna is his second mommy.

7. Has the most ridiculous "mommy alarm" I have ever encountered. No joke. Next sentence to be taken in the most literal sense possible. Every single night, regardless of when I lay down to go to bed, regardless of how long I lay there before I begin to drift off, as soon as I begin to drift off, he wakes up to be fed. No joke. Every night. This hasn't been going on since birth, but has been going on currently for months. And the kid still gets me up almost every two hours during the night to eat (he looks hungry in the previous pictures, don't you think? Like he needs to eat, you can tell I hardly ever feed him...whatever! Mr. Head-In-The-95th-Percentile).

8. Is a joy and absolute delight that I still kiss every time I pick up and thank God for every single day. I am floored that the Father would give me such an amazing gift, far above all I could ever ask or imagine. I have the privilege of being called mommy.

bonus #9. Has that same scruffy voice all of my boys have that I absolutely love.

Okay, Lori, let's hear 8 fun things about Judah and Miriam! (Or James, if you want to consider him...a kid...just kidding :o) I am totally kidding!

01 February 2008

dos & dont's for babies

For those of you that know me in real life, I am an extremely calm person (read:boring). It takes a lot for me to crack a smile at something funny, it's like a twice a year event for me to laugh out loud. My blood pressure is stuck at 102/60. So when I saw this and was actually containing my laughter so as not to bother the sleeping kiddos....I knew I had to share.

This has got to be the funniest thing I have seen awhile...
(not sure what that may say about me, but whatever...
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November