Friday, January 30, 2015

Scenes from the Weak

When Mom sleeps in, the kids start negotiations

Alex made scrambled eggs and his spoon rest knew they were made with love

Ben wants to go to the high school that graduated the artist that made this turtle sculpture. 

He might need a hand. 

Full Houses are the Finest

Princess Selfie

Mom's first solo trip with wheelchair carrier. No Mishaps. 

Mom never lets us do this.

Another Bend

Thanks Gramma, for showing up and helping out this week. And for getting her to dance again.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jan Jams

To follow up on my last post, I had a CAT scan this week that showed the cause of three months of what I've been calling lung pain, was in fact due to three fractured ribs. I have no idea how I broke ribs but one theory is that my bones are weakened from the hormone issue that caused the prolactinoma and that I broke them during a coughing fit from the pneumonia in October. I remember the most intense pain occurring on Halloween while at Disney World shortly after I went for a jog. There's nothing to be done but wait out the pain. I was told it could take 8 weeks. I'm at 12 weeks today and it's still intense. An on-line inquiry states 6 weeks to 6 months recovery. Just don't make me laugh. Now that I know my bones are at risk, I'm looking into treating the cause of the prolactinoma, rather than waiting it out. Looks like we'll be hitting the deductible right on time this year.

Alex made his contribution to the family max by suffering through allergy testing this week. We'd hoped he might have outgrown some of his histamine responses, but that is not the case. His back lit up with hives from nuts to molds. He was happy to hear that he was spared blood testing because his skin test was undeniably positive. Alex will have to go back for a Penicillin challenge which will be a tad stressful. It's always a bit sobering to see the allergist and be reminded that even my "healthy" kids are one bite of cookie from potential death. Good news for Leo, though. Alex did outgrow his allergy to dogs which I think lends credence to the theory that small exposures to some allergens can lead to tolerance. Don't worry, I won't be doing any nutty experiments on my kids.

 Both Enjoying Dog on the Bed Privileges

Ben squandered  his co-pays on yet another ear infection and antibiotic and next week he'll be seeing his muscle doc followed by a sleep study. He's due for some follow ups but I'm biding time in hopes of thwarting the illnesses lurking in the waiting rooms and hospital corridors.

Moving on from the usual subject, Alex participated in the annual Boy Scout Pinewood Derby. He was very motivated to build and created a unique vehicle closely resembling his vision of a robot car. It would not be described as speedy, but it was voted Most Original Design of the pack.


Color Changing Lights

Other adventures this month included Three Kings Day and No Heat Weekend. The latter was not on purpose. The furnace freaked out.

We happened to be passing by St. Genevieve on the feast day of Saint Genevieve and thought it a providential nudge to stop for lunch and explore the town for the first time. I'm glad we did and encourage patronage of the cafe, "Stella and Me." 

1792 Bolduc House

Stella and Me, aside, this New Years I resolved to cook more meals at home. Alex and Gigi are very trainable sous chefs and everyone loves Smorgasbord Day ("Smorgy Smorg") when I pull out all the left overs. Cooking, though not a distasteful chore, was not something I considered a personal talent, but lately I've begun to better understand the joy some find in nourishing a family. It helps that the kids are now proficient at setting the table and cleaning up after meals.

I'm a night owl by nature and find the quiet of the late evening most ideal for writing. In another effort to be healthier I've been in bed by 10 each weeknight in order to rise early to exercise before the kids are up. It's still an ill fit for me, but I've maintained for nearly a month, broken ribs and all. However, my writing has suffered. The literary flow has been dammed. The end.

Friday, January 16, 2015


As of yesterday I've entered my last year as a thirty-something. I'm not into being discreet about age. Life is too short to argue with time. I am what I am, though I feel like I'm thirty-nine going on sixty. For example, I had to see the doctor on my birthday because I cannot kick this lung pain that seems to want to be permanent, and the gift I was most excited about was a thermometer. C'mon, it's like the ones they use in the airport to crack down on epidemics. I can scan the kids while they sleep. How did we not discover this sooner?

Jason made cake

Kids made cards

Specifically, they wrote 'Mama Compleanno' Letters and hid them beneath my plate

I made a wish

Other than the lung pain, I had a lovely birthday. Jason was post call so after a treat of free coffee we spent the morning at the History Museum with Gigi. There was a great exhibit on the last 250 years in St. Louis and a new cake on permanent display. I was happy to be able to have my picture taken with a STL 250 cake after all. Then we moved on to a free bowl of noodles for lunch before picking up Ben.

 Promotional cake in travel size
Grandpa came to town and baby-sat while we went to see the movie, The Theory of Everything. It's about the life of physicist, Stephen Hawking based on a book written by his ex-wife. I wasn't expecting to be so touched by the film. Whether intended or not, it's very pro-life. Thank God for love, life, and the boundless capabilities of humanity.

And thank you, God, for Tequila.

Pre-show margarita
I also had a surprise mini celebration with a birthday pal and some friends last weekend.

Lubeley's. Delicious and pretty.

Capricorns unite!
Kid Quote:
As Gigi watched the opening logo of a Disney movie she exclaimed, "OMIJ! We've been to that castle!" Oh my incorruptible Jesus?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Wrapping Up the Old

Hanging an ornament for Grammy

After we celebrated Christmas at home with my mom, we headed to Iowa for a blue Christmas, the first without Jason's mom. The mausoleum does a beautiful job of decorating for the season. It is a peace filled and comforting resting place.

Grampa and Alex working on the Pinewood Derby Car

 Usually when we go back to Iowa, we attend Mass at our old parish, but we felt like exploring St. Patricks, a Romanesque revival built in 1915. I love going to new churches and still feeling at home.

Photo from here

We rang in the new year at my mom's house where all 20 of us gathered and celebrated Christmas on New Years Day. Every family performed their prepared skit or entertainment act which sparked many hours of stage play by the cousins.

Counting how many more hours she could stay awake.

Playing Telestrations. 

Papa's Candles for Love, Hope, Grief, and Memories.

Kaden explains Transformers to Ben.

Sisters take the stage.

A Cousin Sing Along

They called this New Years Old

2014 wasn't our favorite. We lost dear ones, endured many more than usual health challenges, and the bad news in the world is hitting close to home as we mourn for those martyred and persecuted for their faith and the chaos that erupted in Ferguson ripples around us, still shedding light on tension and division.

Yet, however, and even so we welcomed a new niece into the world, we had lots of fun times and even travelled a bit, and best of all God continues to show up everyday and invite us back onto the path of light.

My hopes for the new year are just that, to joyfully stay on the path, to trust, and be faith filled. Happy New Years, All!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joy to the World

We finally collected the 250th cake. We saved the arch for last and it was tricky to get with all the construction. We celebrated with cupcakes. 

Gigi and I made Christmas cookies. 

Gigi left reindeer food in the yard on Christmas eve.

Carols before Christmas Eve Mass.

Post Mass dinner with Papa Natale letters from the kids hidden beneath Jason's plate.

Agonizing Decision

Telling the Christmas Story

2014 Santa holding cake

 Opening one gift each Christmas Eve

Christmas Morn