Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not such a bad day

Let me precursor this by saying when I don't feel good, I'm exceptionally grouchy.  I'm well aware of this and I try to do better, but sometimes, I forget to think about it and it gets the better of me.

So, staying home with two sick kids, not feeling good myself and having the washer and printer break wasn't such a great time.  I was up later than planned with Jaemin because my poor little boy's fever spiked last night.  I walked by his room to check on him and could hear him whimpering.  I asked him what was wrong and he very clearly told me his head hurt.  I felt his head and it was on fire. I gave him ibuprofen and he threw it up 5 minutes later.  Then, wondering how much he tossed, I gave him another 1/2 teaspoon just so his temp would decline some.  He was shaking so bad and so miserable.  I held him until it went down a little and then Brian said I needed to sleep with him to watch him.  He slept really well until 3 am when I felt him and it had shot up again, so I rotated to the tylenol.  He threw that up too.  I sat with him, holding him for a bit, since it just rattles him some and then he went back to sleep and slept until 9 am.  This is the boy who's promptly up by 7 or 7:30.  He went to nap easily at noon and slept almost 3 hours.  His fever's better, but his mood goes in spurts and I think the Tamiflu is upsetting his stomach some, so we're scaling it back a little.

I've had a cold for 2 weeks and it's really run me down.  I can't seem to get all of the congestion out and it's making my body feel really tired.  Then, I decide to at least print my coupons for the weekend in case I feel good enough to grocery shop (surely by then, right) and the printer's broke again.  2 months ago the printhead clogged and Kodak had to send me a new one.  Worked great until today.  They tried to have me fix it while they were on the phone, but it wouldn't so they decided to send us a new printer.  No charge.  Then, I washed our darks (this is a daily chore here) and washed Chelsi's sheets with it since her fever was finally, permanently, down on it's own.  I get it all out and found a piece of plastic in the washer. Sure enough a fin had broken off the agitator and the other 2 are breaking.  I called where we bought it and they looked to see if they had a broken Fisher-Paykel that they could give us the agitator from, but since they rarely break, they had none.  They could order it for $50 and this was the cheapest I could find on the internet too.  I called the company and they said they would send us a new one out of goodwill if I supplied the receipt.  Wouldn't you know, I keep EVERYTHING, but the receipt for this large purchase was gone.  I'm guessing I thought it was pointless after it was out of warranty and threw it away.  I think we've had it for about 4 years.  I called the store and they said they would look, but I gave up when they didn't call back because we sort of need a working washer with 7 people.  I called the company again and told them we'd just have to pay for the part and they put me on hold.  He came back on and said 'guess what, we're just going to send it to you anyways".   WOW!  Awesome customer service.  They were nice every time I talked to them.  If I can get another 4 years out of that agitator I can handle buying a new one after that if we have to, but since Cole's car is in need of repair, I really was hoping for no more unexpected bills.  YAY!

Now, to bed early, my husband says.  I need to get better.  I have one more sicky to stay home with tomorrow and he and I will do nothing tomorrow.  I will just knit while he watches TV.  Got 1 baby hat down for the Korean babies at the adoption agencies, many more to go.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2 down, hopefully the other 3 won't go

Jaemin's fever started in this evening.

I thought I had a great idea since all of the other 4 were on Tamiflu to keep them from catching it from Chelsi.  I 'thought' I'd take them in to get the flu vaccine.  It takes 2 weeks for it to take affect and their on Tamiflu for 10 days.  They were all well, so the doctor gave all 4 the vaccine.  2 hours later Jaemin has a 102 temp.   GREAT!  We're going to change his to twice a day since that's how often Chelsi is taking hers.  Hopefully, it will speed up his recovery.  I can say it was probably a $40 waste for her because it hasn't done anything yet.  Going on 3 days of fever and it does not let up with meds, it just goes down a little.  This med is about $150 before meeting your deductible.  Luckily ours is met and we're only paying 20%.   Multiply that times 5!

Hoping she can go back to school sometime this week.  She misses it and was so excited when Kaelin brought her homework home.  Really just hoping none of the other kids get it.

Almost there

I'm almost completely done Christmas shopping.  I only have a stocking stuffer left, but that's not much to look for.  Those are small gifts.

Sitting here on the couch, since Chelsi has influenza, and thinking we did really well getting within our $100/kid budget.  I pretty much always stay in it.  I think a couple of years ago I went about $20 over on the big kids.  That's a rare occasion.  I save all year for Christmas, so it's important to stay within our budget to keep me in our monthly budget.

We got the big boys $250 iPods for $180.  But, since the girls wanted their 3G 8gb iPods for Christmas, that keeps me in budget on all 4 kids.  I know some people don't think it's right giving kids used gifts, BUT I don't necessarily agree with buying 7 and 10 year olds brand new iPods, so we're even.  I have the boys' new iPods all synced up and ready to go.  They are to turn over their iPods and Otterboxes a couple of days before Christmas so I can sync up the girls' iPods the way they would like them (their kinda music and apps).  Jaemin's big gift is an awesome PowerWheels Jeep Rubicon.  It's normally about $250, but got it the two-seater for $179.  I had to take back last years piece of junk, off-brand, four wheeler and since I got back over $100 for that, I put it towards this years' gift for him.

Kaelin asked if she could have a new Webkin since hers died a couple of years ago.  So, I thought it would be cool for her and Chelsi to each get a kitten Webkin and then we can load the app on their iPod after Christmas and they can tend to them on their iPods.  Great for the Korea trip.  They were only $8/each.  I had bought the boys some camo shirts for stocking stuffers on clearance earlier in the year; maybe $3 or $4 each.  Cole is getting an extra KU shirt since I found one his size on clearance for $2 and he outgrew his old one.  They do have to get a Santa gift, so even though I went over on each, I stayed within overall.  I found a watch for Chase for $18 when it was normally $35 for a Timex sports watch.  Cole's getting a gun cleaning kit I found for $9.  I found the cutest little bracelet at Kohls for Kaelin's stocking stuffer and she picked out a watch on clearance at Penneys on Black Friday that was in her school colors.  I'm just under $500 after the $100 back from last year's gift for Jaemin.  Exactly where I wanted to be.

Since I also shop for grandma's, if they ask, I found good deals for them too.  Found a Thomas the Train Trouble game and a cool color changer car and launcher for great grandma to give Jaemin.  Got 2 Barbies and Barbie clothes for Chelsi from great grandma.  Snagged a Just Dance 2 Wii game (found one in like-new condition from Amazon) for Kaelin from great grandma.  Great grandma's also getting Cole the rattling horns on his list (when Bass Pro finally went free shipping for the first time I've ever seen with no limit) and Chase is getting the outdoorsman book he wanted and treble hooks.  Great grandma's going to be awesome in ours house because all of these items were tops on theirs lists.   I even found the big boys the western boots and hunting boots they'd wanted and waited long enough for REALLY great sales to stay in their grandma's budget.

Lastly, I got some super cute little girls jeans and a ballerina Barbie for the little girl in our adopt-a-family at work.

I think overall a LOT of the kids' list items will be under a tree somewhere by the time, us, Santa, grandparents, etc. get the gifts for them.  Cole's the only one that's a little harder since he has so many more expensive hunting items.  We can really only afford one per year and since he's getting the iPod, it's just not possible.  He'll have to save the list for next year and see if he still wants the items.  I don't think he'll be disappointed though.  We may not spend near as much as other families, but their still fairly my mind and totally content, so that's all that matters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#8 Thankful

I'm thankful, today, that even though it stinks that the truck broke down and it cost money, we found someone to do it on the side and while it robbed me of my Cole's tire money, it was at least money we had.

#7 Thankful

I'm so thankful Dr. R called to confirm he took Cole's case to the team and they agree his surgery can still wait.  So, unless anything major happens we don't go back until January 2014 (1 year).  Then, he'll probably have to have the full work up with MRI, EKG, echo and stress.  And he may very well have it that year.  He still doesn't think he'll make it through high school and that will be half way through his junior year.

We shall see!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Forgot how easy it is

to cook ham.

We threw some sliced ham, pineapple and brown sugar in the crockpot all day.   I whipped up some .38/lb sweet potatoes, some turnips from the inlaws garden that were about to go bad and some steam broccoli and dinner rolls.  So easy, little mess and so yummy!

I love that the kids rarely complain when I cook!

#6 Thankful

I'm thankful that 5 days a week I get to laugh watching Ellen Degeneres!  Of course, that means I'm thankful for DVR or I would never get to watch it since it's on while I'm working.  So funny!

#5 Thankful

Thankful I have a daughter that decided that knitting is a fun little hobby.  She has made her own scarf and is now working on making one for her teacher's Christmas gift.  And she picked up quicker than I did!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

#4 Thankful

Missed yesterday's.  We decided since we never take the kids out to eat anywhere, we would take them all out to celebrate my promotion at our favorite place.  It's our favorite, but it's a very rare treat.  I'm thankful it was even better than usual last night.  They make the best Chinese food anywhere!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today was a little different

kinda good different though.

If you know where I work you'd know how hard it is to get a raise.  But, today I found out I got promoted!!  Reclassified really, but more money and a different title.  I had applied for the reclass this summer because of the duties I'd assumed awhile back.  These don't get approved very often and if they do they're after positions get vacated or they take so long the employee forgets about them. Believe it or not 5 months is really, really fast.

I came in after Cole's appointment to a note to see my supervisor ASAP.  She brought me to her supervisor's office and they both looked so serious I got worried. Not sure what about, but worried.  They handed me an email and asked that I read it to make sure I agreed.  I kept thinking what the heck did someone say about me.  But, it was the email from personnel saying what my salary would be and that I was approved.  It's not a huge increase, but enough that I can put a little more in Brian's retirement, so I'm glad.  And maybe, after my 6 month increase, enough to also cover adding Brian to my insurance for 2013.

Cole had a good cardiology appt.  Just different.  I took him again this year because technically he's supposed to go once annually.  But since we had been in February and our deductible was met it could save us money if he doesn't have to go next year.  If he's good to go after today he can wait until January 2014.  Today he felt his ankles checking for edema.  This will be one of the first signs of failure if he gets outward signs. So far he has no major symptoms, but we all know he's on borrowed time.  Really he's way past that.  15 years after your first tet repair and still not having a valve is totally unheard of.  I asked him if he'd make it to age 20 and he said he didn't think so.  He did his echo and EKG and said they looked like his right ventricle was tolerating the leakage still.  He said that basically (since he has no pulmonary valve) his valve is wide open and just contantly regurgitating everything.  But his ventricle is still working well enough.  We talked about surgery times and I told him the time of year, if we have enough time to make a choice, will be up to Cole so he can enjoy whatever time he wants to.  Cole told Dr. R that he wanted to hopefully wrestle his senior year even if it meant missing his junior year.  Dr. R told him he could actually return to wrestling 6 months post surgery.  I was so shocked.  Cole, though, decided a little more soberly tonight that he wants/needs his surgery before he's a junior to give himself more time to acclimate his body back and then wrestle his senior year.   He's hoping for surgery this summer now.  It seemed so far off until today!

I know we're getting close because Dr. R said he's taking Cole's case to present to the team.  He said he still feels good just watching him one more year, but he was to make sure the other cardiologists and the cardiothoracic surgeons agree.  So he will be bringing Cole's MRI from 2011 and today's EKG/echo results for them to give their opinions.  He's going to call me next week and let me know what's going on.  Cole said if he can't have his surgery next summer he wants to wait for the next one.  He said he just doesn't want to wrestle if he doesn't have a year to recover.  I think he's starting to get a big nervous in the reality of it all.  I'm only nervous that he's nervous.  I don't want him to worry too much, but that's like someone telling me not to worry.  It's not fair to say that to someone in this situation.  Your baby is everything and this isn't tubes in their ears or something minor like his appendectomy.  This is OPEN-HEART SURGERY!  It is scary and serious.  He's only 15!

But, we'll wait until next week and see what he says and then we'll have a better idea of what's going on.  Regardless, I know our time until surgery is now very short.  As I look forward to him graduating from high school in 2 1/2 years, I know that some time in that time he will go through a major thing in his life and he will be scared.  I can try to reassure my baby, but he's still scared and he has the right to feel that way.  I just can't believe it's almost time.

I had also asked him if this was Cole's last open-heart since once he has his conduit in and he's just about full-grown he should be able to get valve replacements by caths after this.  He said unless things really change a cath replacement will save him 1 or so over his lifetime, but it's definitely not his last open-heart.  This is why his heart holding out for 15 years without a surgery is so big.  It's so bad for you and your heart to have multiple open-heart surgeries.  And as of today he's put on 20 lbs in the last year and is now 5' 11".  And he's still growing!

#3 Thankful

I have a little boy with sensory and other issues, that we don't even understand.  But because of his sensory he likes and begs to be tickled before going to sleep and yet while most people would not be able to sleep after being tickled, he falls right to sleep after it.  I love him for knowing how his body works and I'm thankful for him.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#2 Thankful

I'm thankful that I was given two older boys that I can enjoy the time I spend going to the orthodontist every month with them.  They have such great sense of humors and they can be really sweet when they're one-on-one with me (or in this case two-on-two).  They make me look forward to the other 3 growing up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back up and running

Our internet's been down for awhile.  Our modem broke and I had to wait for delivery and haggling with the phone company over price.  That's an ordeal in itself.

So, now that I have it back, I had been wanting to start my thankful posts again for November, but kept forgetting to post at all and then the sinking abyss of the internet occurred. 

#1 thankfulness post for 2012

I am thankful for my family.  Both my brothers, sisters, parents, etc. as well as my children and husband.  Even on the worst days, because every family has them, I love them all very much.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Controlling the budget

We butchered a 1/2 a cow last Spring.  Sadly we are already out of all of the ground beef and down to some steaks and roasts.  I'm not a big steak eater, so I usually use them by slicing them into Korean or Chinese dishes, etc.  Sometimes Brian will make me something else while he and the boys (and sometimes the girls) eat steaks.  Well, my budget doesn't say beef yet.  It says that we must wait until next Spring or it costs entirely too much for the year. 

First I gave Brian an sermon about us not needing two pounds of beef for every meal.  We can cut back on our meat intake and substitute.  So, I've been pretty much in charge of the menu most weeks.  This is where Brian struggled anyways.  He made the same old, same old every week because of lack of planning and time.  I don't complain because he cooks.  However, money is my department.  I had him go to Aldi and get a bunch of cheap chicken breasts, a friend gave us several more pounds of ground beef as payment for some help at the farm and now we have a deer in the freezer along with some ground turkey I also had Brian pick up at Aldi.  It's only around $1/lb, so it goes further financially and the deer is SUPER cheap. 

Brian now has to abide by my rules of no more than 1 lb of meat per dinner.  That means approximately 3 chicken breasts or 1 lb of ground meat per meal.  He can always fry up a 1 lb of turkey or deer and mix with a pound of beef and it's enough for two meals.  I go through a recipe binder I keep.  I take a cheapy binder, put in sheet protectors and any time I see a recipe I like online or in a magazine I put them in there.  Super easy and now we have our favorite recipes readily available.  I make a menu before I grocery shop.  Sometimes it's based on sale items, sometimes it's just what I feel like making (depending on how much we have going on that week) or just feel like stretching out to something different.  I usually pick up about 5 or 6 items; some quick and easy, some a little more time consuming.  I take the weirder ones (Brian likes very basic recipes).  Brian doesn't like to adlib on recipes and I do.  I will make mine on the weekends or my days off and he takes the other nights.  Sometimes, if I really have time I'll cook up some of the extra dishes on the weekend so Brian only has to finish them. 

It's amazing how much stress this relieves for us.  Brian no longer calls me at work because he doesn't know what to make and he knows when he walks in the door what's for supper.  We can have meat thawed and ready to go.  We never were much for eating out, but this makes you not want to because you're not having the same, boring, meal week after week.  And my favorite part is when I get to cook I throw in a lot of fresh veggies and the kids never ever notice.  They eat veggies fine anyways, but I get a lot more in there to take the place of the missing meat they were use to.  We eat pretty darn healthy with these meal plans too.

This is one of our little tips of getting by, a little less stressed, when parents of 5 work fulltime.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Those days are gone

It was nice when Cole was bringing his lunch to school everyday because.he said our leftovers we're healthier.  But I forgot how expensive it was when he was getting school lunches and extras for w growing boy before he decided to cut weight to wrestle.  He was so disappointed last week after the hydration test to find out he can no longer lose weight.  I was a little relieved with hie heart and his height and weight.  It didn't make sense to me to cut but since he was just doing it by eating really healthy I was trying to be supportive.  Now he's eating everything in sight again.  He has a new higher goal and he seems happy again.  I know he's already put the few pounds he lost back on again and I think a few more at hie height will really look good on him.  Back to eating us out of house and home again!   :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Addicting New Hobby and OCD

OCD never helps if you find a hobby you can actually stand.  I mean I know better than to ever start scrapbooking because there's really no end to it unless you stop snapping pictures of your babies.  That is NOT going to happen.  I asked a girl at work if she would make some scarves for the girls for next year's football season.  Instead, she offered to show me how to use a loom.  I started it on Thursday for just a couple of hours and had it almost half way.  Last night I finished the length and found videos on how to take it off the loom and tie the fringe.  Kaelin LOVES her new scarf, so after I finish Chelsi's matching scarf Kaelin wants yarn of her own so she can learn how.

I did really good last night.  I got the scarf knitted, which is actually relaxing and fixed the slow draining sink in my bathroom.  My Lord the girls lose a lot of hair down that sink.  Even got Jaemin's hair trimmed up.  I dusted this morning and had other things in mind, but I just couldn't look at the dust anymore and had to do it myself since the men of my house are youth deer hunting and now I'm paying for it.  Allergy meds or not, nothing keeps me from reacting to dang dust.  I really hate being OCD, but it's true you just obsess over it.  Which means you get things done really fast (aka the scarf), but it's so annoying to yourself and others.