Saturday, June 27, 2009

On the bright side...

Things are looking better here!! We've had 2 very good nights of sleep and that makes everything happier - especially for me! Today was Molly's best day post-surgery. She didn't need any Ibuprofen or Tylenol all day and she played all day, too. We did a urine sample on Thursday (which the lab lost!) and repeated it again on Friday and Molly does have elevated white blood cells which indicates an infection. We started a new antibiotic yesterday and she says it doesn't hurt anymore when she pees. Yea! The ultrasound we had on Friday was a bust for the most part. The technician couldn't scan through the surgical tape on Molly's tummy so she couldn't see her bladder. Ugh! Why did we have to go in then?? They were able to look at her kidney's and they look great. The whining and crying is considerably less and she is eating well. Our doctor truly thinks that the stents could be bothering her but the ibuprofen seems to keep the inflammation to a minimum. These stents are larger than any she has had before. They need to stay in for about a month. We pray, down on our knees, that when these are removed that we have no further problems. The surgery last week should have corrected the problem. Fingers crossed (yet again!).

On a different note Mike and I watched the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. So strange. Did anyone like it? We have bombed the last few picks that we've done so we need some good suggestions on movies to rent. Any suggestions?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nothing to really write...

This has been a very long week. A lot of tears, a lot of whining, I'm surprised I have any hair left. I would have pulled it out a LONG time ago. Molly does not have an infection in her bowel. After reading some more about it I am really, really glad. It sounded nasty. She could have a bladder infection going on but we don't have her urine culture back yet. We head to the hospital tomorrow morning for an ultrasound so our doctor can see how her bladder is emptying. I am very excited because I have a baby-sitter for Cam and Amanda. A nice girl from our church is coming and this will make life so much easier - for everyone! Molly has had quite a few ultrasounds lately so this won't be a big deal for her. While I'm watching I always think it's so much more fun to have an ultrasound and see a little peanut in there. I can clearly remember my first ultrasounds with all of my kids. So exciting! Bladders, kidneys and stuff - not as much fun.

Today was a sad day in the entertainment world. I can't say that I was ever a huge Michael Jackson fan. His first solo album, Thriller, was very popular when I was in late elementary school and early junior high. I remember the vinyl looking red jackets with all the zippers being popular at school. I remember that the Thriller video was really long. I'm sure Michael Jackson had some of the first video's ever played on MTV. I just don't have a particular memory about him to share. I'd love to hear if any of you did, though...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deep cleansing breaths...

It has been a tough few days. We have one super whiny girl on our hands (aka Molly). She seems really uncomfortable and I believe her bowels might be cramping. Our doctor wants a stool sample that I haven't been able to get yet. There is a chance that Molly has an infection from too many antibiotics in the hospital. They really dosed her up good there. She has many of the symptoms of this kind of bacterial infection so we will see. I think her incision seems to be healing nicely, she seems happier (if you can believe it) from having the catheter out yesterday and being home has done a world of good. When will this roller coaster end?? Please pray that the stomach and bowel pains are related to a bacterial infection and can be easily solved. Molly has been through a lot.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day...

I have been a neglectful wife today. I totally forgot that it was Father's Day. I remembered on Wednesday and thought that I would have plenty of time to go get treats and a card on Friday. Well...we know that didn't happen. This morning I looked at status updates on Facebook and my heart sank. I had forgot that this was Mike's day. I had slept in with Molly and when I got up Mike was making all of us breakfast instead me making it for him. That's the kind of guy I'm married to - the one who puts all of us first. We have so many things to be thankful for today but first and foremost I am thankful that Michael Shook came into my life and was persistent enough to not leave. I thank God every day for him and I thank God for bringing us together. He is a caring man, a patient husband and a very generous father. He loves us more than anything and we all adore him back. Mike and I had many fun years together before we had children but the 5 1/2 years since have been the best. Mike watched all 3 of our children being born and still thinks it was really cool, even with 2 of them being c-sections. He has held me when I was the most sad when my Grandmother died and ached just as much as I did. He has held my hand and protected my heart when we have watched our daughter go through so much lately. He has assured me every time that it was going to be OK. He has provided for our family even during days when we didn't know what God intended for us. He is my rock. I know that this wasn't the most ideal father's day but I promise we will have many more fun days ahead. I thank him for sticking with me, for being my teammate and for being the best father ever. We have so much fun as a family! I love you, Michael...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My immediate wishes...

Yea! We are so happy to have brought home Molly this afternoon. She's very tired, uncomfortable and annoyed with the catheter but we are at home and she will do so much better here. I have some immediate wishes that I am praying on. They are:

- that we are able to keep Molly's pain under control and she is comfortable.

- that she doesn't get a fever. Anything higher than 101.5 would be considered serious.

- that the catheter can come out on Tuesday rather than Wednesday. It's very uncomfortable for Molly and she doesn't like anyone touching it. Emptying it isn't fun either. But this isn't about me. :)

We are praying for a quick recovery and that there aren't anymore set backs. We only want to move forward! We have one tough cookie on our hands!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Doing a little better...

I wanted to updated my blog regarding Molly. She is doing as well as can be expected. She's uncomfortable from the abdominal surgery. She's grouchy. Nothing sounds good to her for dinner. These things are all normal!! Drinking is the most important thing right now and we're encouraging lots of sips. We are optimistic that we will go home tomorrow. Molly will have to go home with a catheter for about 5 days but Mike and I will be able to take care of it at home. Home - that word sounds superb to me! I am so glad to take Molly home to our own house. My mother-in-law will stay through Tuesday morning and the extra help will be really nice. Mike and I pray that Molly continues to heal, is relieved of pain and gets back on her feet soon. Our church starts VBS a week from Sunday and I would really like for her to be able to participate. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A quick update...

It's late. I'm tired. But, I wanted to do a quick update or as quick as I can do it.

After our Dr. got in to the operation room he attempted to feed a wire through Molly's urethra to get to her bladder and then her ureters. The wire wouldn't budge through the ureters so he stopped and came out and talked to us. He really felt that since Molly was already under anesthesia that we needed to go ahead and repeat the surgery that we had originally done in January, the reimplantation of her ureters. After opening Molly up he quickly realized that the balloon dilation would have never worked. Our doctor and his partner both participated on the surgery and they both spoke to us afterward and seem very confident that this problem has been correctly fixed. Molly will have a catheter for a few days, we'll probably come home with one, but this will allow all pressure to be taken off of her kidneys and bladder. A set of stents has also been put in for extra support. Those will eventually come out. Molly is resting comfortably and is very sleepy but doing really well. We appreciate all the emails, prayers and good thoughts sent out way! Will update later...


Another visit to the Children's Hopsital...

This afternoon Molly will have an outpatient surgical procedure that will hopefully make it possible for additional major surgery to be avoided. Our doctor will inflate a surgical balloon into her urethra, go through the bladder and expand it in her ureter. Molly has scar tissue in her ureter that, without the stents in place, causes a pin hole opening for the urine to be flushed from her kidneys. This whole is too small and that causes back pressure on her kidneys and unnecessary stress. We have been given a 50/50 chance that this will fix the problem. I have prayed for the right answers and I hope this is successful. I do not want to keep traveling down this path. It's hard to explain to a 4 year old why we keep having to go back. Especially when she feels so good. If you have been reading my blog over the last few months you know our story. Any prayers sent our way would be greatly appreciated! God is good. All the time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One year later...

One year later...

I have a 5 1/2 year old, a 4 year old and a 2 year old.

I have more gray hairs that are expertly covered by a superb hairdresser!

I live in Morton, Illinois.

I have moved from a 4 bedroom house, to a 2 bedroom apartment and now to another 4 bedroom house.

I attend Morton United Methodist Church.

I have felt like a newbie many times.

I have been to Chicago three times in 8 months (and loved it!).

I spent Thanksgiving weekend in St. Louis.

I have leaned on my brother and sister-in-law more than I ever thought I would.

I know the inside of a hospital more than I ever thought I would.

I have attended my first Pumpkin Festival parade.

I have watched my daughter Molly perform in her first ballet recital. Very cool.

I have loved my family even though it has to be long distance.

I have survived a hard year! We are survivors! The Shook's are survivors!

One year ago today our world was turned upside down. Mike came home to tell me that he had been laid off from his job in Rochester Hills, MI. It was a devastating experience yet I know, deep down, that this was God's plan for us. When one door shuts another opens. It may have required me to expose myself, to put myself out there, to move, but it has all been his plan. I am trying so hard to go with the flow in life. My heart breaks for those out there who are struggling to find a job. My heart breaks for those who have felt the same scared, frustrated, angry feelings that we have felt. It can be really hard to have faith, it can be really hard to hold your head up high. I know because we have been there. What a difference a year can make! I live in the Land of Lincoln. We visited my brother and his family last March for Easter and I never in my wildest dreams thought that 4 months later we would be 30 miles from them. Never say never! Mike and I prayed that God would show us what road to take and he did. And I know I'm right where I'm suppose to be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A road trip...

We are headed to the promise land tomorrow, oh I mean Ohio, for Mike's class reunion. We are leaving on Thursday at noon so we will get there late on Thursday night. Hopefully by 11 or so. I think we are all way over due for a dose of family so this will be good. We haven't seen any of our Ohio family, except my mother-in-law who came in February when Molly was in the hospital, since Christmas. Since then my dad, my grandfather and my mother-in-law have all had hospital stays. It is really challenging, especially regarding my Dad, when they are in the hospital. My heart says to be with them but my little people make it hard to do so. I really struggle with the right thing to do in those circumstances. Unfortunately I don't think there is a right answer...

Anyhoo, I think Mike and I are secretly psyched to have an evening out at his reunion. I'll make fun of how hokey the country club is where it's being held (and it is hokey!!) but it will be great to hang out with friends that we don't see often for an evening. Going to Mike's reunions are always better than mine because I have an instant partner in crime. Mike is a twin and his brother, Mark, will be there as well as his wife, our sister-in-law, Emily. Many of Mike's classmates have fun wives but it's always better when you know someone. We have already briefly discussed our outfits so it won't matter if we are over dressed or under dressed because we will be similar. I already know that this shindig isn't a dressy evening! There will be a blue jeans and t-shirt couple mixed in for sure. Gotta support their NASCAR driver, right? It's really an "anything goes" affair. Details and pictures to follow...

Until then O-H-I-O!!! Go Bucks!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Amanda #2!!...

It's hard for me to imagine that today we are celebrating our baby's 2nd birthday. All my children are my babies but this is the birthday of our littlest bundle of spunk. She was a spitfire from day one and we have had 730 joyous days of her love. Amanda wants to do what ever her big brother and big sister is doing and is determined to succeed like a 5 year old, not just a toddler turning 2. Mike and I aren't sure if her life as made us feel younger or much, much older. Some days its a little of both! We look forward to many, many more birthday's and many, many more fun experiences with her. Happy birthday, Miss Amanda! We love you!

This is one of our favorite pictures and is just minutes after Amanda was born.

Our first family picture!

Our little Nemo at Halloween 2007

One year old

Christmas 2008

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The beast has been tamed...

Here are before and after pictures of the shrubs that were just driving me crazy!! I am so glad that we were able to trim them today. It is such a good feeling to have tackled that beast. Thanks to The Sullivan's for the electric cutters. It would have been impossible to do by hand. The window that was behind the beast is in the dining room and the light in there is so nice. It's amazing what a trim can do!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The positives...

We have officially been homeowners again for one week. The stripping of wallpaper and the painting began Monday morning. The Comcast cable guy has been to our house twice (grrr....). The mitigation system has been installed for radon. Our carpet is coming TUESDAY!! There has been a work person here every day and it is wearing on me. I know we will be so happy when everything is done but it's hard to constantly have someone in the house. The painters are great but I haven't been able to touch the upstairs at all yet. It feels dusty and dirty. Taking deep cleansing breaths.

I thought I would include some pictures of things I have found I really like about this house. It's nothing big but I have found some favorites. I think this validates that I have a really simple mind. :)

I love this back yard!! There will be a bit of weeding to do, though.

I never thought I would love a flat top electric range top but this one is great!

The trash can is under the sink and rolls out to open. Love it and so clever!

The washer and dryer came with the house and this is great set. They are high efficiency and can hold a mean load of laundry. The digital panel tells you how many minutes are left on the cycle. Brilliant!

I am quite tired as besides moving this has been a busy week. Molly is busy with her first dance recital this weekend and we have commitments with it last night, tonight and tomorrow. Pictures and details to follow. Just a preview - we realized we have a bit of a performer on our hands!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What a real mess looks like...

Moving is really not a very fun chore. It feels like my whole world has been turned upside down. Yesterday we went to the local library to sign up for their summer reading program for kids. We checked out a stack of books and I had to get a Kroger bag from the librarian to put them in. She commented that I usually have my own bag and I agreed that normally I do. I just can't find it yet!! There are about a thousand other things like my library bag that I can't put my finger on. It would also include my camera which I had yesterday and now I can't locate. Today's pictures are a good representation of what's going on here and I had to take them with my phone so the quality isn't as good. I can't believe I'm sharing my mess. The pictures show the kids sleeping arrangements until the bedrooms are painted and have new carpet, a picture of the girls room which had paper stripped yesterday and my kitchen. Oh well, maybe I can do before and after's. I also had to include a picture of my fabulous pantry. Oh, it's the little things in life!