Saturday, May 31, 2008


That's how old I turned this past Thursday. I'm 26 years old. I am almost done with my Associates Degree, I have been married almost 6 years, and I have a 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son with another child on the way. On one hand I feel so old. On the other I feel too young to have so much in my much that enriches it and fulfills it.

Anyway, I spent my birthday running errands and tending to my son who came down sick that night: severe diarrhea for 2 days now and a temp of 101 for as long. I'm now sleep deprived and exhausted and FEELING older than 26. But, I am 26 none the less: an old 26 or a young 26 depending on the day.

Please Continue to Pray

I posted earlier this month about the passing of an online friend's son. He had cancer (Leukemia) and the chemo and antibiotics killed his gut. Anyway, she continues to update his site/blog with updates as to how the family is doing, but mostly about how she is doing. She's having a difficult time, as I would imagine. She lost her SON! Her son who was so close to her they were very close friends. The pure pain and raw grief that spill forth from her words as she writes inevitably brings me to tears. I feel helpless to help her or bring her even the tiniest amount of comfort because she was "just an online friend." I feel so much hurt for her pain and wish SO MUCH that I could even help shoulder the burden. But, I know that I can not and not one can except Our Lord. So please continue to pray that God can give her more and more good days, days without the guttural, primal excruciating pain that leads to her moans and sobs, and more days where she can find peace and help her to learn how to be a mother to her other children who have been without her for SO long. Please pray that these days pass quickly for them all and she'll wake up and find 6 months has passed, or even years have passed, and the pain is now a dull ache, a hole in her heart that doesn't hurt like it does now. I just want her and this family to find peace and to desperately ease their hurting...and praying for them is the only way I know how.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Cow

So, after our trip to the ER, since it was past dinner time we decided to go to BK to get some burgers and fries for the kids b/c they were so good (and BK has a nice $1 menu). We rounded the corner of the building after paying and picking up our order, and this is what we saw across the parking lot in the grass at the edge of the parking lot.

Yup, a beef cow had gotten out from the neighboring pasture and made it's way into the BK parking lot.

I called the Sheriff's Department (b/c Animal Control only deals in dogs and cats) and the conversation with the Dispatcher went something like this.

Dispatcher: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department, how may I help you?

Me: I'm calling to report a cow loose at McIntosh and I-4.

Dispatcher: You're saying there's a cow loose?

Me: Yes ma'am.

Dispatcher: Is the cow on McIntosh or on I-4?

Me: Well, actually, it's in the Burger King parking lot there at McIntosh and I-4.

(I heard silence and then some snickering in the back ground. It appeared as though the Dispatcher lady couldn't decide if this was some sort of prank call or not)

Dispatcher: There's a cow loose in the Burger Kin parking lot?

Me: Yes ma'am.

Dispatcher: Seriously?

Me: Yes ma'am. I took a picture with my cell phone.

Dispatcher: (laughing hysterically by this point)

Me: Well ma'am, I guess the burgers are going to be fresh tomorrow! (laughing hysterically too by this point)

Dispatcher: (cracking up and roaring with laughter by this point because of the sheer irony of the situation: a cow wandering around the parking lot of a Burger King) Oh My GOSH!

Me: Yes ma'am. This isn't a joke. I am calling you because Animal Control apparently only deals with dogs and cats and not live stock, so I figured calling you would be the best choice since you could send the appropriate people out to handle the situation before the cow makes her way into McIntosh or worse, I-4.

Dispatcher: Thank you for your call, we can handle the situation and I'll send someone out right away.

That was the end of our call. So, when my children ask me to explain irony to them when they're older, I'll simply tell them: a cow getting loose and making it's way into the Burger King parking lot to graze.

Sweet Pea and the ER

With hands shaking from nerves, I had to take my precious Sweet Pea to the ER yesterday. I was nervous b/c a) she was hurt and b) the last time we took her to the ER (at 14 months of age with a broken leg from a freak fall off her changing table, and how we discovered her low bone density) she was taken away from us by DCF and I was accused to snapping my precious little girl's leg like a twig (and even some people close to me doubted my side of the story, siding with the ER Dr. to add insult to injury).

Sweet Pea was playing with my friend's youngest daughter (Blog link SAHM and Air Force Wife). We don't know if they got mad, or the play simply got out of hand, but some how Sweet Pea ended up being pushed into the desk and cutting open her eye lid just below her eye brow. It didn't bleed all that much, but when I got her eye cleaned up and the blood down to just an ooze I realized the cut was deeper than a scratch and needed medical attention. I called our ped's off and had him paged to find out where he wanted us to take her (he has hospital privileges at one of the hospitals in the area) and he said to just take her to the local ER (not his hospital). My friend dropped off me and the kids (DH was at Busch Gardens w/ the car and car seats) and DH met us at the ER. We were in and out in an hour, and thankfully the ANRP who treated Heather was so thrilled that I am a Lactation Consultant that she was more interested in asking my opinion on tongue tie in a baby (her grand son) and viewed me as a professional peer (just with a different specialty) so she never questioned Heather's injury. That was my biggest fear: that b/c the injury could easily have been received by a hard slap or punch out of aggression that I would, once again, fall under the suspicious eye of Dr's and DCF.

I was right in taking her though. She needed her cut glued shut. She never whimpered, just asked questions about what was going on, and watched TV the whole time. She was SUCH a big girl and I was (and am) SO proud of her!

Oh, and FWIW, I was able to back up the ANRP's concerns and agree that with tongue tie to the level she's describing it needs to be clipped. For those interested, tongue tie can cause much more damage to a baby than just cause problems breast feeding. It can cause the palate of the mouth to become misshapen, or not shape properly, which can restrict or compromise blood flow to the teeth and not only cause crooked teeth, but even cause teeth to die off and leading to false teeth and bridges. There's much more in play than just breastfeeding.

So, today my little girl has a nice shiner and glued eye to show off her fun times with her friends. And yes, she's already asking to go play with her friend again. My girl, the social butterfly like her mama!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Pharmacy Post

The Pharmacy. You get your prescriptions filled there, right? You go with a little piece of paper that has illegible handwriting from your beloved doctor, hand it to a mousey guy in a lab coat, sit around for an hour twiddling your fingers while telling your child no, they can NOT eat the midol/candy/vitamins and no, they can NOT play with all the toys in the toy isle, pull all the books off the book rack, or open all the bottles of soda. Fun, right? You leave with a little bottle in a bag (liquid if you have small children, pills for yourself) and now legible directions on how to dispense this medication, and go home to heal yourself or your child. Simple, right? (insert major eye roll)

Apparently my pharmacy (Walgreens on Thonotasassa/Baker St. for those that know me) can't get it right.

My migraine started Sunday night/Monday morning with the arrival of a nice new pressure system that brought with it some MUCH needed rain. I lay in bed in agony, poor hubby unable to help and by now (after 6 years of marriage) so accustomed to my pain that he just ignores me unless I ask for something (what else can the guy do when he can't ease my pain? He enjoys surfing the web, playing games, watching TV, and if hte kids are up he tends to them...for which I am eternally grateful). By 3:30am I knew I needed help...and my migraine meds weren't cutting it. So, I pulled out two prescriptions that I'd had stashed away from the ER (from one of my frequent trips to the ER for migraines this pregnancy...they now recognize me on sight, sad huh?), handed DH the insurance card for my new secondary insurance (yay! no more co-pays!), and off he goes to the pharmacy for me. I could kiss and hug this man for doing this for me at 4am, but I'd have probably thrown up all over him from the pain so not a good idea.

He comes home 45 min. later (it's a 10 min. drive each way normally, but we are now dealing with road work so it now takes longer at 4am. He tosses me two bags and I notice the receipts: we had to pay the co-pays! I asked about this, asked why we had to w/ the secondary insurance, and he said he didn't know but he'd given the pharmacist the insurance cards: both of them. Oh well, I'm in too much pain. I down a LorTabp with a side of soda and go to bed.

I wake up several hours later, take the other (larger) half of the pill, puke (new symptom this pregnancy: I can't take narcotics w/o puking...lovely), and lay back down only to discover that I'm now nauseous, high, and yes, still in pain. (Oh, side note: while I'm puking at 7am, my precious little son runs into the bathroom, pats my head, and hands me a clean wash cloth...he's such a sweet boy. However, he was then joined by his sister and I found myself puking with an audience cheering me on...Go away, kids! Let mommy puke in peace!)

I spend the rest of the day downing Fiorocet every 2 hours, and finding my migraine fluctuating between all out migraine and just throbbing headache that felt like my eye ball was being stabbed with a knife. Even my emergency chiropractic adjustment didn't get rid of it.

FFW to today. My OB calls this same pharmacy and leaves an Rx for more fiorocet b/c after weeks of migraines I'm almost out. We take Sweet Pea to the ped. and get 2 more Rx for her, plus one for my little man for more of his eczema oil (it's the ONLY thing that keeps him from having quarter sized open weeping, oozing wounds all over his body from his eczema). I take my bag of meds from yesterday with me to dispute the co-pays. They find themselves (they, that is the pharmacy people) with all my Rx's and problems, etc. and finally it's all sorted out (hey, I had a GREAT conversation with my dad while waiting about a house we're trying to buy...he's agreeing to co-sign so now we're just trying to find the best interest rate to finance it). Finally,they call me up to the counter, hand me a dozen bags, issue a refund, and I leave. The reason I'd been charged a co-pay? The pharmacist on call the night before HADN'T EVEN ENTERED MY NEW SECONDARY INSURANCE INTO THE COMPUTER!!!! This annoyed me, but hey...what ever.

I get home. Sweet Pea's once again burning up. I give her more Motrin, and go to give her the 1st dose of HER z-pack and find to my horror THEY DIDN'T MIX UP THE POWDER!!!! They sent me home with a bottle of powder! What if I'd NOT been an experienced or thinking mommy? What if I'd measured out 1 tsp. of the powder for her to take (in a spoon of yogurt, milk, etc.)???? She'd have been REALLY sick! The powder is concentrated, which is why it has to be mixed up (plus it makes it easier to take). So, back to the pharmacy we go. 2nd trip.

The Pharmacist, when I told/showed her what happened, started screaming at some poor girl right out of pharmacy tech school. I've never seen a pharmacist so mad before, and never seen one scream at their assistant in front of customers like that...but they knew if this had happened to someone who didn't have a clue what was going on, it could have been serious. They apologized profusely, corrected the problem, Heather and I leave (by now it's 2pm and we haven't had lunch...which is making me very nauseous). So, we have to go by McD's and order from the dollar menu b/c DH and I are broke college kids trying to get by until we're done with school.

I get home, give her the medicine, DH goes off to work and all is well in the world.

Until my last fiorocet wears off.

I dig through the million or so bags we'd bee sent home with to find my new bottle of happy pills (aka, migraine meds!!!). Imagine my sheer horror and outrage to discover that I'd been sent home without it!!!!

Yes, I had to drag two children back out into the heat, drive ANOTHER 10 min. each way, while in excruciating pain, to get my meds that they didn't give me. I was beyond livid. I was looking at a TOTAL of 1 hr of drive time just going to/from the pharmacy! Oh, and gas is around $3.80 right now.

I called the store and asked to speak to the store manager. 1 mistake at 4am, okay...I can understand and they fixed the situation. 2 mistakes, one that could have harmed my daughter, okay...annoying, but hey...everyone makes mistakes, right? We all had/have to be new on our job at some point, right? THREE mistakes, costing me a total of an hour of driving to/from the pharmacy in agony w/ 2 whining kids (plus the wait times) and I'm mad. It's inexcusable. The store manager was mad to hear how we'd been treated, and mortified about what happened with Sweet Pea's Z-pack. (me thinks that poor girl will be loosing her job based upon how mad the store manager, pharmacy manager, and pharmacist were) He told me the medicine was ready, and in compensation for my time/gas/frustration/pain there would be a gift card in my prescription bag when I got there.

So, while we had to spend much more gas than we'd budgeted, at least we were able to get the ink cartridge for our printer re-filled!

I'm still in shock and awe over what all happened. And to think: this is our only option for a "close" pharmacy! Yes, this is why we're trying to buy a double wide in a mobile home community right now: cut costs, save on gas, and GET THROUGH SCHOOL! *sigh* At least my little girl is resting w/ her meds and my migraine is finally gone.


My precious girl is sick. Both of my children were cursed with their father's allergies, Little Dude being allergic to over 100 things that we know of for sure (thanks to the marvels of allergy testing done at the tender age or 8 and 9 months).

Well, it's that time of year again. Allergy Season. The trees are growing new leaves, the flowers are in bloom, the yards are being cut weekly...and my kids and hubby can't breath. Plus Sweet Pea got a cold. Oh, and being my child who is so tender hearted and kind and generous she shared it...with me. I ended up with a throat infection hacking up stuff that resembles slimy sludgy mucousy stuff from some B rated SciFi movie and on to a Z-Pack! (apparently while pregnant ANY infection in the body can go to the uterus and/or baby and, well, we don't want isn't viable yet). Anyway, over the last couple of days she's gone from coughing, sneezing, stuffy head/sinuses and runny nose to coughing, sneezing, stuffy head/sinuses and NO runny nose.

Yesterday, the fever set in. I had a migraine and couldn't get her to the ped. so I did what I usually do, upped her decongestants and started the motrin.

Today it was worse. Waking temp of 102. My OB calls in more migraine meds for me (THANK YOU HOPE! YOU ROCK!) and off we go to the ped. Sure enough, just as I suspected: sinus infection. (BTW: i LOVE our ped! He gets us in as soon as we can get there regardless of what's going on....and he's this way with ALL his patients! No calling and crossing all bodily appendages praying that your sick child whose eyes are glazed over and temp is 107....b/c yes, Sweet Pea's fevers get that high in the blink of an eye...can be seen SOMETIME that day...he sees you as soon as you can get there...and you rarely wait more than 30 min. with 5 being the norm).

Of course, by the time we got there her temp was normal thanks to the Motrin, but they still know her body's MO and checked her. Thank you clogged, infected sinuses. I never thought I'd hear the day that a 4 yr old ASKS for us to squirt prescription saline up her nose! LOL

As for our escapades with the pharmacy, well, that's another post. (off to start the next post...) Does a Body Good

Jiang Xiaojuan, Jiangyou County Public Security Bureau in Sichuan is an ordinary civilian police, she was in the picture shelters for the earthquake victims in an earthquake orphans breastfeeding.

CHENGDU, China - A Chinese policewoman is contributing to the country’s massive earthquake relief effort in a very personal way -- by breastfeeding eight babies.

A newspaper in Chengdu, the capital of quake-hit Sichuan province, devoted a special page to the 29-year-old woman, calling her a “hero.”

The woman from the quake-ravaged town of Jiangyou has just had a child herself, the Western Urban Daily said.

She is nursing the children of three women who were left homeless by the quake and are too traumatised to give milk, as well as five orphans, the report said.

The babies who lost their parents have been put in an orphanage which does not have powdered milk, it said.

An estimated 50,000 people were killed in the May 12 earthquake, China’s worst natural disaster in a generation.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Birth Order

I usually just do these things for a laugh and leave it at that. This one, however, seemed to have hit the nail on the head so I thought I'd share.

You Are Likely a First Born

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty.

At work and school, you do best when you're researching.

When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.

Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.

You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away

I have been SO emotional today because of this, and will attempt to type this out without crying again.

A friend's son passed away this morning. He was 6 years old.

There's a mother I know. She is a WAHM (work at home mom) and is on two online forums that I frequent so I've know her/about her for a while. About 2 weeks after Heather was born (yes, 4 years ago) the day before her 3rd son's 2nd birthday, this boy (named Samuel) was diagnosed with Leukemia. They started chemo and after a nice battle (during which he had a younger sister born) he went into remission. After a while, he came out of remission and they opted to treat him holistically. Once again, he went into remission. He eventually came out of that remission too. Last August/September he ended up getting massive amounts of antibiotics that destroyed his gut. (For those that don't know, antibiotic use kills all the flora in the gut, even the good stuff...which is why we try so hard not to use antibiotics unless they are truly needed...and we only use them along with double doses of probiotics to help keep the good flora in the gut prevent yeast infections and from killing the gut). He was on steroids for several months and that masked his symptoms.

All week I've been following his mom's blog more intently than usual because she made note that Samuel was at the end. They were no longer trying to save his life because his gut was dead...and you can't live without your gut. He ended up on enough medications of two pain meds to kill a grown man, and that was what it took to ease his pain so he could color and play with his brother and sisters.

His parents are Christians. The depth of his mother's love for the Lord is evident in her posts. The last day of her son's life she wrote about how much Samuel must love his family because he should have died many times over and continued to fight to be with them. She stated that if her son loves his family that much, how much more must God and Jesus love us? She wrote about how this is NOT God causing her son to be sick, but Satan attacking the world and us as Christians. She said that soon her son would be with God, and the cancer demons that have hurt him for most of her son's life would die along with her son's earthly body while her son danced in the presence of our Lord.

How strong is this woman? The depth of her love for the Lord and her son is inspiring.

Samuel went home to be with our Lord today. Early this morning.

My heart aches for Jen (his mother). I am a mother. I have a little boy who is only 6 weeks older than her son was when he was diagnosed with cancer. I look at my little boy, and see the life and joy in his eyes my heart breaks. Her little boy was filled with just as much joy and life and love. He was born at home, into the loving arms of his family, surrounded by his family, and he left his world the same his parents' arms surrounded by his family. His siblings have learned a painful lesson about love and life. So as a mother, my heart breaks and aches for this mother and her pain.

But my heart rejoices for Samuel. He is where my heart and soul long to be: with our Lord and Savior. OH how I long for the day that I am with Christ! I pray for the sake of my children that the day I arrive in Heaven is many many years from now, but until then I still ache for it. Samuel feels no suffering. He feels pure joy and peace.

The Lord gives us children...and sometimes He takes them away. He brings people we love into our life, be it friends, family, or spouse...and He takes them away. And when those people know the Lord as their savior, the pain for missing them here on earth (especially when a precious life is ended at such a young tender age) is countered by the joy, peace, and hope that we will see them again, and that they are with God...with Jesus! We find God giving us Joy and Peace and enabling us to rejoice for those that have passed! We celebrate their life, and we celebrate their eternal life! Praise the LORD! He is with Jesus!

So please pray for my online friend and her family as they grieve the loss of a precious child, and have to help their children understand the loss as well. Please pray that this peace is brought down upon them in such a multitude that it is almost overwhelming. Please pray that they are able to find joy and rejoice in their son's blessing: being with his Savior. Please pray that they continue to turn to God as their rock and to help guide them through the pain to come.

Okay, so I failed...and for the umpteenth time today I am once again crying. I cry from sorrow, and I cry from joy.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

BEWARE of Motherhood Maternity!

So I was checking my bank act. today and noticed a $20 charge from Parenting Magazine. I don't like Parenting Magazine, I've never subscribed to it, and my DH doesn't either. I called him at work and asked him about the charge. He freaked out b/c a) it destroyed our very tenuous budget for the summer (we're $600 a month short for the summer, but will be fine again come's just a summer thing) b) we never subscribed to this magazine!

So, I called the 800 number associated with the charge (thank you BOA for listing these numbers w/ the charges). They said they got my information from MOTHERHOOD! They asked if I'd recently been there and been asked if I want the two free issues. I said yes, I had and that I refused. I asked that they please cancel the subscription and please refund me the money. They said no problem, and the money will be back in a week (in the mean time, that's half a week's worth of gas that we're going to be short).

I then call Motherhood. After this crazy 3 min. long schpeel about how great their products are from some British recording, I get to the menu. You know, press 1 for ___________, press 2 for _______, etc. There wasn't any option for, "I'm pi$$ed off b/c you gave out my credit information" so I had to press "0" for the "general catch all I want to talk to a living breathing person."

Then, I get a message that all their reps are busy. No biggie, I'll hold for 2 hours if I have to to find out how in the HEDES they are legally able to give out MY PERSONAL FINANCIAL CREDIT INFORMATION. Nope. "Call back later" they say.

I found a number for Motherhood's corporate office and spoke w/ a person whose entire job is dealing w/ issues regarding the parenting magazine "promo" they have going on. How sad is it when they have an entire job dedicated to this??? Anyway, she is going to investigate to make sure that all the stores know if a person says no, it means no. She couldn't, however, answer my question: how is it legal for them to give out my information WITHOUT a signature from me? She did say that when you agree to the promo, if you don't cancel the subscription within the time frame (2 months) then they (Parenting) will charge you how ever you paid for your Motherhood purchase (if paid for w/ a debit or credit card, with cash you get a bill). So my question still stands: how can they give Parenting magazine my financial (debit card) information w/o my signature? I couldn't even get a real apology from the lady I talked to. She said she was sorry that protocol wasn't followed, but not that my financial information was given out w/o my permission.

For those that don't know, Motherhood is a maternity apparel store. I've never liked their return policies, so I shop there as little as possible, but their sales are really good and affordable if you're not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing you'll wear for 6-12 months. Also, my husband says that we did get the 2 free issues, but he didn't know about the little hitch on getting charged for them and thought they'd stop after the 2 months, or we'd get a bill and he'd just call and tell them thanks but no thanks. He doesn't know how wicked Motherhood can be, and just took over the finances in our home so is we've been in a bit of a "transitional" phase. Still, I never agreed to the two free issues so some employee messed up. But still...HOW can they sell/give out my debit card information????

I am still seething, hours later, and feel horribly violated. Some of my online forum buddies are encouraging me and DH to pursue a legal suit against the company if only to stop them from doing this to any other people. We're getting our $20 back, so I feel iffy in doing this...but they're right: this company is HUGE! The mother company oversees THREE of the biggest maternity apparel stores in the many other people are being ripped off or having their FINANCIAL information sold?

It's scary.

No, it's terrifying.