Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's that time again...time to blog, that is!

Cade has all but 2 kids watching Indiana Jones, so I have a free minute or two to do some much needed blogging.

I got to have another vacation at the hospital the Sunday night after Thanksgiving. This is horrible, but it really is sort of a vacation for me. No kids to look after, no house to clean up, drugs to take away all thoughts of everything that needs done at home...maybe this is the Lord's way of telling me to chill out and take it easy! lol! It's just too bad that I have to be in so much pain while I'm laid up in the hospital. Not to mention that their beds aren't very comfy. ;)

So, the day I'm being released from the hospital, the DCFS caseworker calls me. Of course, I was coming down from a morphine high so I didn't answer, but I did call her back just as soon as I felt I was coherent enough to understand atleast some of what she was saying.

Can I just say, this caseworker is awesome. She really is. I've had minimal issues with her from the moment we took these kiddos in 7 months ago. Caseworkers generally get a bad rap, but I'm glad that we had the opportunity to deal with this one.

Okay, so back to my story. I called the caseworker back and she informs me that the Attorney General feels it would be good for Cade & I, or atleast one of us, to be at mediation Wednesday morning. EEK! I can't even begin to tell you how nervous I was about this. Initially we were told it was not necessary for us to be there, and now I was going to have to go alone (Cade had to work) and face my Brother-in-law, the kids' mother, and their lawyers.

Oddly enough, things didn't go how I had planned. At all. I was sweating bullets, literally, as I went into the mediation room. Then when I get as comfortable as is possible under the circumstances, the mediator asks me how Cade & I would feel about the parents remaining in contact with their children if we were give permanent custody. uhhhhhhhh...not exactly the line of questioning I thought was going to occur.

SO, after much ado, and going before the lawyer last Thursday morning, we are now officially the parents of 8 children. :)

I'm so grateful for the Lord in my life. I truly know that he looks after me and my family. After years of praying for these kids' safety and well-being we can finally know that they ARE safe. I also know that without the Lord there are many days when I could not go on. I never thought I would be the mother of 5, let alone 8, kids. Heck, I didn't want ANY kids. Now I have an army.

I just have one more thing to say, "be careful what you wish for." Clear back when I was pregnant with Ethen, or when I had first had Ethen, I clearly remember telling my mother-in-law that I would take as many kids as the Lord trusted me with. By the time I had Asher, my mind had definitely changed. When I found out I was pregnant with Roxie, I cried. haha! (Turns out she was my best baby!) And now, when we find out we're pregnant again, we also find out we're going to have 3 additional kids added to the family. I guess my prediction 9 years ago was right...I will take as many kids as the Lord will trust me with. However, I know the Lord has given me enough and we will NOT have more than 8 kids. :P

Friday, November 5, 2010


This is my totally and competely random post. It will be filled with complete and utter nonsense, which will probably mean nothing to anyone but me...but you're welcome to read it anyway!

Random #1: Don't you love it when it's payday and you didn't even remember?!? That's what happened to me this morning. Too bad that once I did remember, I had to pay all those bills piling up, and now that payday money is GONE. Oh well, such is life. Atleast I had the money in the first place, even if it was for only a few mere hours.

Random #2: Cade (and I blame it on him, because it is his dog) left the dog outside last night when we went to bed. Poor little Gary. He's so small, he was probably freezing!

Random #3, which coincides with Random #2: At 4:15am. I, impregnated as I am, had to relieve my full bladder. I did my little thing, go back to bed, and of course, the baby decides it's time to wake up and do an acrobatic number in my uterus. I was wide awake from 4:15 to approximately 6:30 this morning for no good cause. However, in a way, it's probably a good thing, because I heard Gary scratching at the closed doggy door. At first, in my half-awake brain, I was thinking there was a giant desert rat scratching in our closet, lol (that scenario was probably drawn up in my brain, because of some freaky show I started watching on Discovery, or some such channel, called Ratzilla. We all know how pregnancy brain makes for very strange pregnancy dreams...you just didn't know you could think those things while half awake too. lol). So, being that I am pregnant, and it's not that easy to just roll out of bed with this extending belly, I woke up Cade and made him go see if it was indeed the desert rat...or dog, whatever. Cade opens up the doggy door, and in barrels Gary. Then he was so excited to be back inside where it's nice & warm, that he starts doing acrobatic numbers throughout the house! You should see this dog. If you've had the privilege of doing so, you know what I'm talking about. His little weiner dog self can run so dang fast, and then you add in some somersaults, side flips, and you have a literal acrobatic dog...as bad as a baby in your uterus, I tell ya'! He must have had quite the adventures outside last night, because he is totally passed out in his doggy bed right now.

Random #4: Foster Parenting classes aren't very fun. Four hours of sitting in a classroom in very uncomfortable chairs (doesn't help that being pregnant magnifies the discomfort) isn't my idea of a good time. We've gone to two classes this week, and I will admit that we have learned some new things, but I will be very excited when the classes are over.

Random #5: If anyone is in dire need of a candy fix, I can help you with that. 7 kids + trick-or-treating= 4 bowls of candy! We have an excess of candy, it's ridiculous!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oh boy, it's been a while since I blogged - I guess it's that time again!
Hmmm...what to type about....
Well, let's start off with my crazy kidneys. It's a long story, have a seat and read awhile.

August 10th- severe and abrupt pain in my right side that presented itself immediately after showering all 7 kids. I thought for sure that I had pulled a muscle or something (I was secretly hoping that I would never have to shower all 7 of them again, lol). Severe as in excruciating, kill me, I'd-rather-give-birth-naturally-50-times kind of pain. I thought I must have a kidney infection, so I waited out the pain overnight (not getting a wink of sleep, nor letting Cade get a wink of sleep either), and saw my OB the next afternoon. The OB tested the urine and there was some sign of infection, assumed it was an UTI, gave me some antibiotics & Lortab and sent me on my merry way...which it WAS merry after I got some of those narcotics pumping through my system! ;) After 24 hours, the pain was gone.

Fast forward >>]

September 17th- once again, abrupt onset of same exact kind of pain that I experienced in August. I knew the feeling the second I felt it come on. There was no way that I was going to endure through the night with that pain again, so I took myself to the Instacare. Cade was at work, and luckily Kelly, Tajia & Colby were spending the weekend with their grandma, so I only had to leave Ethen in charge of 3 younger ones. The doctor at Instacare took my urine sample (which ended up having blood in it), poked & prodded my kidneys & belly, and determined I had a kidney stone. He prescribed me more Lortabs, an antibiotic and sent me on my way.

Well this time the Lortabs did NOT make me a merry woman! In fact, they didn't make me anything - the darn things didn't even touch the pain this time! :( I suffered all night long. I mostly googled symptoms the majority of the night - there isn't much else to do when you can't sleep, your husband is snoring away, and your two boys are having a "sleepover" in the room that the television is in!

The next morning I still feel as if I'm dying. The Lortabs are doing nothing for the pain. I told Cade I would rather be dead then feel like I did. Curt came over and helped assist Cade in giving me a blessing. Thank heavens for the Priesthood! I still didn't feel better, but I knew I wasn't going to die. ;) After Cade deliberated with many concerned family & friends, he insisted that he take me to the ER.

At the ER I provided urine, and blood, and information, and then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And then I had an ultrasound. And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. We got there at noon, and I was rushed right in ( I think the ER is afraid of pregnant women. lol! As soon as I said, "I'm pregnant" they rushed us right through the registration process - just FYI, in case the ER is busy when you go), but we didn't leave the ER until after 5pm! Luckily for me, they had me pumped full of dilaudin (that stuff does wonders for pain! Also brought back some memories of those younger days when I did a lot of illegal activities, lol), so I didn't mind the wait too much. Cade, on the other hand, was probably bored out of his mind! In the ultrasound, the tech thought he saw a 6mm stone in my kidney. Interestingly enough, we have never seen that stone on ultrasound again. Finally, the ER doctor decided to admit me to the hospital for pain management.

Let me tell you, being admitted to the hospital was like a little vacation for me! I had room service, someone bringing me whatever I needed, I actually had the remote for the tv all to myself - it was almost heaven...well, besides the dulled-from-drugs pain in my side, the IV stuck in my arm, and the fact that every time I had to pee (which was A LOT because they were pumping me full of sodium chloride), I had to do it in a "cowboy hat" and save it for the nurse to strain.

Sunday morning, my OB ordered another ultrasound, hoping to find something. The pain Sunday morning had subsided greatly. I had gone from a morphine induced state of mind Saturday night, to only having some percocet Sunday morning. The ultrasound subsequently showed us nothing, my pain was minimal, so my OB sent me home with a prescription for percocet and an antibiotic, and he insisted that I see the urologist on Monday or Tuesday.

The last pain pill I took was that Sunday, at 6pm, while I was at dinner at my in-laws. I have had very (with extreme emphasis on the very) limited pain since then. Sometimes when I know I haven't drank enough water, I get this dull ache in the general vicinity of where the pain was. Other than that, nothing.

The following Monday I see the urologist assistant. Unfortunately the urologist wouldn't be in until Wednesday, and my OB wanted me to be seen prior to that. The assistant asked me some questions, looked at his notes, the notes from the ER, and determined that I needed to have a stent placed. Now, I was not thrilled about this at all. I felt uneasy about it from the moment he said the word, "stent". I didn't know whether this was my gut instinct or my anxiety about having the stent placed, but I was not happy with this conclusion. The assistant told me at this time that the stent could cause extreme discomfort and that I would definitely be able to tell that the stent was in place. He also said that it would remain in place for the remainder of my pregnancy. We scheduled the stent surgery for Wednesday, October 13th.

I talked to my OB later this same week and told him what the urologist assistant advised. My OB is the best! He was wary of the stent, and told me that this is definitely last resort. He ordered another ultrasound prior to the stent surgery to see if there was obstruction. He determined that if there was no blockage, there was no need for a stent.

Thursday, October 7th I had yet another ultrasound...which ended up showing a "severe obstruction" of the lower right ureter. Because ultrasounds are not the best way to see kidney stones (CT scans are preferred, but not available for me because of the pregnancy), they were not able to find a kidney stone, or to see what is blocking my ureter. They only know that something is blocking the ureter and not allowing urine to pass through. My OB then insisted that I get the stent. :(

Unfortunately I let time slide, and didn't follow up with any lab work or pre-registration, because I was just SURE that I didn't have an obstruction. Wouldn't I be in PAIN if I had an obstruction?!? So after talking things over with Cade and my mom, I decided to cancel the surgery and meet with the actual urologist - which I am SO glad I did.

This last Thursday I met with the urologist, all prepared with my 1 million questions about having a stent placed. Lo and behold, after much thought on his part, he didn't want me to have the stent placed either! After he reviewed the prior documentation, watched my last ultrasound himself to verify that his definition of "severe" was the same as the radiologists, he came back and told me that anyone with this kind of obstruction with a normal kidney would be in excruciating pain and would be writhing around on the floor. Yet, I'm in no pain. Go figure. From my point of view, he seemed very perplexed with the situation. He finally decided to have some bloodwork done to determine if my kidneys were functioning properly. Depending on the results of the test I would:
A) If the test results were good, we would do nothing.
B) If the test results were bad, we would have another ultrasound done, the urologist would consult with his partner, and most likely refer me to a radiologist to have a drainage tube inserted through my back and into my kidney and that would remain there until the end of the pregnancy.

I immediately went to have the bloodwork done. The urologists office called me later that evening and stated that everything was normal! He advised me to have bloodwork done again in a week, but for now we will just wait it out.

So that's that. Pretty crazy in my opinion. The urologist was seriously at a loss as to what is going on. It doesn't help that I'm pregnant and not much can be done. Interestingly (and this is where I think that my gut instinct was coming in, rather than my fear as I first thought), at the appointment with the urologist, he did tell me that if the stent was placed, it would most likely have to be replaced every 2-3 weeks because they tend to calcify. He also informed me that placing the stent and having anesthesia could cause pre-term labor. He is thinking that maybe I had a pre-existing condition, which is causing the ureter to be blocked, and my kidney has gradually built up tolerance to the obstruction, which is why I'm not having pain. It's all a big mystery that likely won't be solved until after giving birth to this little munchkin.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Yes, "today" is the only title I could think of for this posting. I haven't felt a creative bug for a while, hence the severe lack of blogging.

In my May blog I described myself as "hormonal" and in need of some "retail therapy". Turns out I was pregnant, not PMS-ing! Due date: 1/28/2011

Soooo, we're on our way with baby #5, or would it be #8? Not sure how to count it. lol We have custody of our 2 nieces & nephew, so our kid count is presently set at 7 - with one more baby we'll be at 8! Holy cow! I remember clear back a half a life-time ago when I told my mother-in-law that we would have as many kids as the Lord decided to bless us with. By the time Roxie was born my thoughts on that had definitely changed! I no longer wanted as many kids as the Lord wanted me to have. I wanted F.O.U.R. That's it. hahaha - turns out maybe the Lord has a different idea for me. :P

We are certainly excited for the new little ones arrival, albeit a little nervous. Roxie is thrilled, and I dare say, a bit obsessed. She is continually rubbing my belly, or asking about the baby, or wanting to see the pictures of the baby (either of my ultrasound or of the baby from the birth magazines). I have a feeling she is going to be a great helper!

At the dinner table tonight, Ethen asked me, "Mom, where do babies come from?...like, where on your body do they come out?" I am so not prepared for these coming of age type questions! I wasn't sure what to say, and just kind of sat there for a minute. Poor kid probably thought I didn't hear him. lol I finally responded that they come out near your bum. Asher threw in his two cents, and told Ethen that babies come out of mommy's belly button.

I'm certain that me stating I'm pregnant was enough of a shock to my very few followers that I think I will keep this posting at that...besides, the kids' movie is over, which means so is my blogging time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Feelings. Nothing more than feelings...."

I feel like an emotional basketcase today.

First off, it's almost that "time of the month", so my emotions are all wacked out anyway! It's not fair.

Week before last Cade & I had some experiences that professed to us that we needed to attempt to get temporary custody of our 2 neices and our nephew. That alone was a very difficult statement to process, but we know that this is what we need to do. And actually, I'm excited. Nervous, but excited.

This week has been a little tumultuous for me. First we had a family meeting on Wednesday. Tears were shed. The process of getting custody was started.
All week we've been preparing for these 3 special little kids. Unfortunately for me, that involves getting rid of a TON of my "collections", lol. I am apparantly a hoarder - who knew?!? I have just about every piece of clothing that my kids have ever owned (including shoes) since Ethen was born 9 years ago. Yes, 4 kids + 9 years worth of clothing = A LOT of stuff!!! Trying to decide what to discard has been quite an emotional rollercoaster. After almost a week of sorting and cleaning and discarding, I've had it. It's making me into a mess - my nerves are shot.

I got some great news last night from a close family member - she's pregnant! :) Her first. I'm so excited for her and her husband. I wish she lived closer so I could share more in the experience with her (or really, so I can boss her around and tell her how to take care of a baby, lol!) I guess one of the good things about this for me, is that I can pass down my 9 years worth of "stuff" to HER! bwahahahaha!!!

Alright, I think it's time for a little retail therapy...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Family Night Fanfare

Every other week, my house is host to our Brown/Campbell Family Night. On the other weeks, it's hosted by my mother. We always start out the evening with dinner and then the typical family night fanfare.

Last night I decided I was going to go all out - Roast Chicken, fresh green beans, and roasted new potatoes. ...now I just needed to find some recipes seeing as I had never cooked fresh green beans nor new potatoes before in my entire life!

I LOVE trying new recipes. Cade gets mad, because I'm always trying new things! I can't help it, I get sick of having tacos, spaghetti and tator tot casserole on a weekly basis!

Recipezaar.com is my most favorite-ist (yes, I know, that's not a word) recipe website ever! They have just about any recipe you could every desire, plus you can sort them by ingredient, dish, and (this is the best part) by rating! I love it, so obviously that's "whom" I turn to in my time of need!
I present to you THE RECIPES:

roasted green beans
roasted garlic herb new potatoes.

The kids (well, except Asher, who doesn't like most anything except mac & cheese) LOVED the green beans. As Ethen so kindly put it, "they look like crap, but they taste GREAT!" Which is true, they don't look so pretty, but they really are tasty - and this coming from a lady who has a great disdain for all things vegetable. ;) Try 'em, you'll like 'em!

The only change I made to the potatoes was that I tossed them in a bit of olive oil, and then added a bit of kosher salt, more garlic (of course, why would you cook ANYTHING without more garlic!) and some fresh rosemary.

Dessert was your choice of homemade strawberry pie (I made the pie at home, not the strawberries. They came from the store) or coconut cream pie.

Dinner was a hit! Next time I'll take a purty picture to tempt you!
The only problem? I didn't make enough...