Thursday, December 31, 2015

Middle of the Night ER Visit - Not My Favorite Night Time Activity

My mother has come to visit for the month. I felt really strongly that I needed to have her here for some reason. I told myself that I would get some video of her telling family history stories and we would have a good visit.

The reality is sometimes different than our dreams or wishes. I got my mother here after midnight on Saturday night. Sunday she was so tired she slept through the entire meeting of church and was saying she couldn't hear out of her right ear, her throat hurt and she was really tired.

Her hair has gotten quite long so I trimmed it up and her nails had chipped over time and she had filed them into what looked like claws, never cutting them with the chips on the side. There was one that was about an inch and 1/2 long. I cut and manicured her nails and also planned on giving her a pedicure.When I went to take off the toenail polish Sunday afternoon, I was horrified when I looked at her feet.

Her right toe was VERY infected and her right and left big toes had in-grown nails. I sterilized a needle and released some puss and blood and put on antibiotic ointment and some oils that I have used for ingrown nails for years hoping I could get on top of the infection.

Yesterday, her toe looked like this with the bandaid. Of course, she has a fungal infection on the left part of the big toe but the toe didn't look any better after soaking it for hours in peroxide both days and putting oils and antibiotic ointments on 24/7. I decided if it didn't look any better today, I would take her to a friend of mine who is a Dr. of podiatry.

Her toe was a bit better today and I am keeping a close watch on it soaking it and replacing bandages and ointments twice daily.

Her throat is bad and her hearing is still bad. I tried a few different things in hopes they would work but it is crazy how sick she was when she arrived. I am rinsing her ear several times a day with peroxide as my sister was instructed but she woke up a few hours ago screaming in pain.I hope this isn't a reoccurance of what happened a few years ago where an infection in her head causes sepsis and she almost died. Here is a link the the last time she got really sick. 

She was staying with a family member but I guess she was busy with the holiday or something as the hearing thing came on quick I guess. She can't hear anything out of the right ear. She did have my mom's ear checked twice for an infection by different Doctors but they didn't see anything on the ear canal but I am wondering if she has an infection in her teeth like last time. The Dr at the ER said he couldn't see anything as her canal is so inflamed and he didn't think and Xray or catscan would show any infection in her head. She has had a sore throat now for days, ear pain for weeks, deafness for a week, sores on the roof of her mouth for a few day and now a swollen ear with pain in her jaw. 

Her hearing is so bad that she has to have the TV on full with my surround in order to hear it and no one can be in the room as it hurts our ears. I could hear the tv in my bedroom which is on a different floor on the opposite side of the house. In the 20 + years I have lived here, that has never happened.

We have come up with a solution, she wears head phones. However, the computer and the head phones on full are not enough for her to hear it without much complaining of "I can't hear what they are saying" so tonight, we hooked up speakers to the computer and plugged the head phones into the speakers and she was finally able to hear the shows. I tried to put her on my little cellarsize tramp tonight and bounce her but her knee didn't handle being bounced very well so I will have to try something else but she is getting around the house quite well without a walker or help. She mostly has a hard time getting up.

Her leukemia has gone up and down some but she has been getting blood transfusions every 3-5 weeks depending on her numbers. She doesn't like when I make her do deep breathing and some other things to help her but she is really good to try for at least a little while and I can tell they are helping as after the first minute, she starts to breath more easily without the couching that happens in the first minute.

I think she is like me when she gets too much of any one thing, she doesn't absorb it and becomes toxic. It is a genetic issue which is an easy blood test. It is called, MTHFR test for short. Basically, you don't have the ability to make the amino acids that you need to dispose of toxins in your system. With this genetic defect, you can have one or two chromosomes affected. With this issue, you can have several health issues including infertility issues. If you get too many toxins, you get a high level of a specific acid in your body and it can cause a different set of health problems. I actually have to cut back on my thyroid medication to 1/4 pill every few weeks or I become toxic and my feet and hands swell. I have seen my mother have the same problem. I am watching her close and actually took her off anything she was taking as none of it was prescription. I think maybe she just got too much of a good thing so am hoping that taking her off of anything other than what will help her infections will clean out her system.

It is so hard to know. I doubt that even if she were in a nursing home, they would have caught all that is going on with her. She forgets what she has mentioned and hasn't and unless it is something that is bothering her right at that second, she doesn't seem to remember it.

A friend was telling me that her husbands mother started with some hearing loss, then dementia and within a month, she had passed away. Maybe my mother is just here so we can enjoy time together. I took her to the ER tonight and they put her on antibiotics, topical steroid and antibiotic ear drops and suggested we get in with the ENT specialist after the new year. I will do what needs to be done as I won't take any chances with her.

On a lighter note, it was also nice that my girls and I have gotten to play games with her almost every night and last night when they had friends over, my sister and her twins came over and grandma played "candyland" with them several times. I try to keep her up until at least 8 so she doesn't wake in the night and so far, we have done ok. She is funny though and puts her nasal oxygen on her nose at the top as it irritates her nostril and we have to "yell" at her to put it back on about 100 times a day. I think I need to get a picture with it on the nose as it is so funny.

As my dad used to say while I was growing up, "It's tough to get old." Funny thing is that he doesn't say that anymore. I find myself saying it sometimes though! I am grateful for both my parents and hope they are with us for a long time but either way, I know I have done what I can. My girls both told me in the past few days how "patient" I am with my mom. I don't feel all that patient but am really trying to understand where she is at and do what I would want done. She truly is an amazing mother and I am so grateful I was blessed to come to her. If nothing else, she has some nicely manicured hands and cute trimmed hair and is enjoying playing a different game every night! Lets hope more ER visits aren't in our future.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How Angels Give Us Opportunities to Help Them - Earth Angels

I wanted to blog about this many weeks ago as some of the things in this post happened in November. I had to wait until Christmas as four of the surprises had to do with Christmas. I am SO grateful to the angels that gave the Earthly Angels an opportunity to help. I am so blessed with amazing friends. 

At Halloween time, I was going to watch my daughter perform at a church in another city. I asked a friend whose daughter was also performing if I could get a ride. They said they were leaving right after church and would pick me up. 

I waited at the house and then not wanting to make them late, I walked to the corner of my street. While waiting, I looked down into the leaves in the gutter and saw this little ballet shoe. I knew someone must have lost it on Halloween. I figured it would be ruined with the weather and was going to leave it but my friends didn't come. I didn't know if we miscommunication or what so I was walking back to my house and decided I would put it on the local yardsale site on facebook to see if I could find the owner. It was a designer shoe so I knew it was expensive.

I have posted many things I have found over the years on that site and have found the owners of most of them. I posted it and within about 15 minutes, I found the owner. I just so happened that it was the daughter of one of my friends daughter. I was able to return it and she was SO excited as they loved those shoes. She does photography and dressed kids up etc. I dropped it off at her grandparents house. I was able to be an earth angel that day.

Another day around that time, I had been posting online looking for a guitar and capo. Princess Two has been recording some of her work and posting it online and she didn't have a capo so some of her stuff was a bit high for her range so I wanted to give her one for Christmas. 

I went to our local temple with a friend of mine and we were talking and I mentioned Princess Two singing and writing and she said she had a capo that no one was using that I could have to give Princess Two for Christmas. I had it that week! Thanks Deanna!

Around Halloween, I inquired online about a smart phone someone was selling. That phone sold but another lady said she had a phone I could buy. I kinda wondered when she met me at the local cell phone store as the phone didn't have a charger and the battery was nearly dead but the worker said it had a clear number and we could hook it up. I couldn't test the wifi at the store but when leaving, I looked down and found a penny. I was leary of the seller but knew at that point, things would be ok anyway. We got home and hooked it up, it didn't work. 

That was going to be Princess Five's main Christmas Present as her smart phone is so old that many of the new apps, she can't use. It is also very glitchy and will just shut off at times. I posted about this and here is a link to that post.  

I had a woman contact me that I haven't seen in over 20 years. The last time I saw her was at her wedding reception 22 years ago or so. She taught Princess One in our church primary when we lived on the East Coast. Her mother moved near me a few years ago and we keep in touch and I guess her mother showed her my blog and when she read about the woman scamming me and refusing to return the money the night we bought the phone and for a month following, she talked with her husband and decided to send us her iphone 4s 16 gig for Princess Five. 

I was so touched by this I think I cried at the time as I don't have the money to invest in phone after phone with everything going on in my crazy life right now. I didn't even know she read my blog and haven't talked verbally to her mother in almost four years if I remember right so I just couldn't believe their generosity in our behalf. I was and am truly touched by their grace! 

If you can't tell by the smile in the above pictures as she realized she got a phone, called to hook up the phone and then spent a few hours in the window seat grinning ear to ear as she downloaded apps and snap-chatted her sisters and friends, she LOVES the phone.

THANK YOU STEPHANIE and DOUG for making Princess Five's Christmas!!!! 

Checking out the hat she is wearing.... She has wanted a "snap back" hat for years. Her sister picked up one for another sister when she was on a tour of the East. She felt left out but never said anything. Her friend told her a long time ago, she was getting her one for her birthday. It was an angry bear one that was inexpensive online. She never bought it. Princess came to me one night asking if she could order that one online. I asked why she would want to wear a hat with an angry bear on it. I suggested we look up "snap back hat" online and find something better. 

We searched and I smiled a great smile when I saw one near the beginning of our search that said, "Blessed" on it as she says that all the time!!! When I saw the prices, I suggested to her that maybe I could buy a hat locally and have my friend Mandy embroider "Blessed" on it and she could then pick the colors and font. She liked that idea. 

The next day, I set off on an excursion to every store in town that could sell hats. At Kmart, I was THRILLED to find a galaxy hat on sale for $7. She wanted a turquoise blue and black color but when I said I found a galaxy one, she was really happy. I wanted to get two made so I then tried Walmart and someone there suggested the local printing place. I went in there and found they had three boxes of clearance hats for $2 each. I bought a black one thinking we could use turquoise thread giving her the blue and black looks she was hoping for. 

We went to Mandy home office and Princess was able to pick out the thread color and font and put the words she wanted on the hats. I picked them up Christmas Eve and for less than the price of one online, she got 2 adorable hats with her color and font choice. Mandy only charged me $5 to do both hats! Princess has worn that Blessed hat a few times already and had it on most of the day today. She had me take some winter pictures of her wearing it today! 
My best friend from jr high and high school pulled off Christmas for Princess Four this year. It wouldn't have been the same Christmas at all if it weren't for Martha and her husband Greg! 

Sometime in the month of November, I posted on my facebook page that I was looking for Sesame Street shirts and clothes. Martha wrote me saying she had checked her local second hand stores and wasn't able to find any but that she did find some online. I wrote a little bit about this in my post yesterday. Here is a link to that post.  

She ordered all the shown items and sent them to me when they all arrived to her from their different sellers. You can see the finished product here or in the link above or the video inside that post. Truly, the quilt and matching cases wouldn't have been the same without her kindness!

The other wonderful thing they did was such a blessing. Her husband is a jeweler. If I take a ring into my local jeweler and need a repair, he then sends it her husbands store where he fixes it and I pay them both. I asked if I could just send them two rings Princess Five has broken that I told her I would get repaired over a year ago. She likes to wear rings on all her fingers and then plays with the ones on her thumb bending her thumb with them on the knuckle which has broken two of her larger rings but BOTH are rings she LOVES!!!
I sent them and he got them done and sent back a day or two before Christmas. The shipping he paid to get them back was almost as much as I paid him to fix the rings!! Also, the elephant one was quite bent and had kinks in it besides being broken. It came back looking new!!! You can see the in the top pictures.
My father actually designed his own wedding rings and my friends business made them and they are BEAUTIFUL!!! Truly, talented and Christ like people!!! I am so blessed to have such amazing angels in my life helping me to give my children a wonderful Christmas!!! You can see by her note, she didn't want any credit either! I think Princess Four needs to realize her blessings and how many people helped with our Christmas. I know that we ALL feel blessed!

Princess Four wanted this Disney Princess clock and plugged it in that morning to hear the cute Disney "A dream is a wish your heart makes" song play that she can choose to wake her up in the mornings. We are all in the other room when an alarm sounds. We head into the front room and guess what time an alarm went off on the clock!!!! Yep 1:11. She DID NOT SET the alarm for that time!!!!!! We just smiled at each other knowing that it was God's reminder that he had his heavenly and Earthly angels watching over us this Christmas Day!!!!! 

I hope you all are so blessed with amazing earthly angels!!!!  I also hope that at times, I get to be that earthly angel to others!!! Let us ever be watchful for those opportunities!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Unveiling - Sesame Street T Shirt Quilt for Princess Four

We are finally able to unveil the Sesame Street quilt I made for Princess Four! It is her first t-shirt quilt! 

As you know, I worked lots of long hard hours making this quilt. 
Click here for post one on this.
Click here for post two on this.

Princess Four has collected Sesame Street items since being a very little girl. She LOVES all things Sesame Street or Muppet. Even in high school, I tried to get her to "update" her room making it more "teen" and she refused saying she really liked her room. 

Click here for a post about her room. 

All her sisters have several t-shirt quilts but it was really hard to find enough t-shirts that were Sesame Street to make a quilt. 
As it was, I ended up using three pair of boxers that came with pajama tops as the center row making the quilt more square than long. I made the shirts as LONG as possible to make the quilt a bit longer. 

I posted on my facebook that if anyone had any old Sesame Street shirts or saw any to please let me know as I spent HOURS searching through EVERY rack at two second hand stores and the local Walmart and Kmarts for any Sesame Street Character shirts. 

The only shirt I found was a Cookie Monster with dread locks saying "Munchies" on it. I didn't think that was the most appropriate shirt for my Princess so I didn't purchase that lovely shirt. But, that left me with a few shirts we had from the girls as children.  

I asked Princess to bring home every thing I had purchased her that had any character on them. She actually had quite a lot. In that space of time in between, I found an Elmo shirt and a scrub top that was Sesame Street. 
My dear friend Martha, saw my post and without much ado, ordered me three shirts and a large panel with all the character on it from ebay. Ok, I felt SUPER stupid because it NEVER occurred to me to look online! I spent $100 on shirts and stuff for the Superhero Marvel quilt but could find them everywhere I looked. I NEVER shop online as I have a "hacker" in my life, I never use my credit-card online if I can help it. 

She got them all sent to her house and then sent them to my house all in time for me to put it together! They totally made the quilt! The cute pink one with all the characters I am pointing to in the picture, the Oscar "Humbug" square and the Kermit were all from her as well as the really cute squares I put on the pillow cases. Those panels were a non stretch cotton so I worried putting them on the quilt but they TOTALLY are so adorable on the pillow cases. I put them on opposite cases so she could put the cases against the wall at college showing all the characters at once. 

I wrote on the bottom of one panel, "Donated by mom's best friend Martha" and on the opposite one, "Made by mom 12-15." I haven't signed most of the quilts I have made for the girls but think it is a good idea. I started to stitch it but I was so tired about then that I just used a Sharpie thin tip. I love Sharpie markers for just about anything. 

My favorite square is one at the bottom in the middle. It is a cute little overall the girls used to wear and it says something about cooperation and there are buttons at the top, you undo the buttons and there is a picture of Elmo and Ernie tying Big Bird's shoe. I almost cut off the top flap to make the quilt thinner but I think her kids will have fun opening and looking under that flap. It is on the bottom so it didn't make the quilt thick and can still be "fun" on the quilt. 
She is SO happy with her quilt and talked about it tonight commenting on how excited she is to use it at college. I have my best friend Martha who I met when I moved in across the street from her the week I turned 12! Since I am only 29, that isn't all that long. Ha ha. Seriously though, she really made Christmas for Princess Four and I will share more that her family did for her tomorrow! I am SO blessed with amazing friends

Monday, December 28, 2015

Finished Marvel Superhero Comic Quilt For Princess Three

Originally, I uploaded pictures of both girls finished quilts for this post but after some thought, there is too much for one post. I will post about the cute Sesame Street Quilt tomorrow and show the finished product.  

Here is a short video where I show the finished product with the pillowcase and heating pad included. It came out so adorable and everyone that has seen it comments on it as it is so amazing!

Princess Three had seen the blog posts I think and I also skyped her to ask her opinion on the backing fabric etc so she wasn't super shocked to see the finished product but I loved that she went in and put on her new "wonder woman" pajamas and wrapped herself in the quilt as you can see in the pictures. 
She has a smile on her face as I know she really wanted the quilt and will appreciate it. I can tell you it is one of a kind!!! I guarantee that she is the only person in the world with this quilt! 
It took quite some time to make the pillow case but the quilt was a bit easier as most of the squares are similar sizing and I didn't have to add lots of little things and worry about cutting into the back patterns as they didn't have any. 

Working on most t-shirt quilts you have to worry about that type of stuff so I did appreciate that I didn't have those concerns but figuring out the extras on the case did take some effort. 

Fun fact on the backing, I bought a black sheet at Walmart as I couldn't find anything after going to several stores but found this wonderful flannel checker print at a second hand store for $2 for a king size. I washed it and showed it to her and she liked it. I get to take back the black sheet saving myself $15. Yahoo for that. 

We almost used the sheet we did on Princess Four's quilt but I liked the grey, green and black check more with hers as it has the hulk green on it and it is so much better for her quilt than the grey swirl pattern we chose to use on Princess Fours quilt. It is a high count cotton and looks amazing on the back of the Sesame Street quilt you will see tomorrow!

Friday, December 25, 2015

We'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You

Princess One and her family spent the holidays with her in-laws. We were "blue" to not have her with us this Christmas as we enjoy having her wonderful husband to bring balance in with all us girls and of course, Grand Princess One makes the holidays complete as she is just so adorable at this age. 

We had a fun night playing games, joking, traditional reading of Christ's birth and opening one present and getting new pajamas. This year we were all "blue" wearing Eeyore from Pooh. 
We also did some caroling and we wanted to share that with you here. Considering we don't sing together often and we had one singing tenor, I thought they sounded amazing. I have gotten in trouble with the girls in the past by posting them singing at home so I asked them if it was "ok" for me to post a few songs and they said it was. 

I LOVE when they sing together. It brings me such joy to hear them sing. I am so grateful for my ears. I truly LOVE music and harmony and stories in song. 

I also LOVE my eyes that I can see the beauty of my girls and God's creations around me. 

I gave gratitude lots this month for my eyes as I couldn't sew the girls gifts if I couldn't see and it would be hard to pick out gifts not being able to see what you were choosing. I appreciate color and God is so good to me. I sometimes can't believe how blessed I am. 

Just look at the beautiful smiling faces at the top of the page and no one can argue that I am truly one of the most blessed people I know! 
I also am grateful that my girls give gratitude. As we were getting things organized tonight, Princess Four shared that she had seen some shoes that Princess Five wore this week that she admired and wished she had a pair. 
She said that at Thanksgiving that Princess Three had purchased some boots online that she really thought were cute and wanted a similar pair and there was one other thing she wanted and she stopped at a second hand store today with Princess Two and what did she find? 

All three things within five minutes and they all look new! She wanted to share with us that cool story. How wonderful that my girls have learned the "Secret is Gratitude" as well. She didn't covet her sisters having those things but gives gratitude all the time to me for what she has. She has thanked me daily over and over for things, service and just being me. 

I love that her Heavenly Father would know the things I didn't know to get her and maybe not have the funds to purchase for her this Christmas but in five minutes and few dollars later, she had the desire of her heart. It is wonderful that she KNOWS her Heavenly Father and gives gratitude for the things He blesses her with. 

The girls decided they wanted to take some "awkward" Christmas Pictures so here they are along with some funny ones. After taking a few in front of the tree, I said, "Lets take a few "chair" pictures." as we have those great Christmas looking chairs I got last Christmas. (Click here for that post)  

All the sudden, Princess Three starts throwing herself into her sisters arms and climbing up their knees. We all gave her a weird look. She thought I said, "Lets take some "Cheer" pictures." I guess she still had Princess Five's game this week on her mind. We thought it was funny so we took some pictures of her "cheering." 

We hope your holiday is filled with Family, Joy and Love!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sneak Peek on Some Finishing Pieces T-shirt Quilt Mini Pillowcases

I have sit-itus VERY bad right now. I have worked on these little pillow case that Princess Four wants to match the quilt I finished last night. 

I can't guess how many hours of sleep I have had in the past few weeks. I am extremely tired and keep thinking perhaps I should have told her I would finish it up at some other point. With that though, I don't want there to be any bad feelings as I finished Princess Three's quilt and extras and figured I could push myself and finish the quilt for Princess Four. 

She is the only girl that didn't have a t-shirt quilt made by me. How could I put her off? I just couldn't do that. 
She wanted me to make some "Little" pillow cases that she could use for decoration over her travel pillows and I could leave them on her bed when not in use as an accent pillow. 

I love that when I cut the body pillow cases down, I had some longer strips of black fabric left that were perfect for the little pillow cases. I keep falling asleep so I will catch you on the flip side!