Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I may not come home.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

She loves me...

Libby (Elizabeth) takes the most lovely daisy photographs.  I've even purchased prints from her.  Well, maybe I've just asked her and she's sent them to me.  She's generous like that.  At any rate, I have one framed in my house.  I could not resist the opportunity today when I saw some here in Longville to see if I could get a comparable photograph, even though my equipment isn't as good as hers.  I loved this shot.  Mostly because of the water in the background.  Photography is happiness, truly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Recommendations

A friend asked me to bookmark all the recommendations I got for summer reading, and it's a great idea. For me, because I'll surely never be able to find that list again as it gets buried on my wall, and for you, because...well, they're great recommendations. I added a few of my favorites as well.

One Thousand White Women, Jim Fergus
(just picked up from the library today)

Spellman Books, Lisa Lutz
(The Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans, Spellmans Strike Again)
(read the first two, have the third in my vacation pile. These are super fun, easy smart books. Perfect summer reading!)

The Millenium Trilogy, Stieg Larsson
(Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest)
(I'm on the reserve list at the library!)

The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
(read it, loved it.)

The Historian, Elizabeth, Kostova
(in my vacation pile)

Authors: Sparks and Jodi Piccoult
(Can't read Jodi Piccoult.  I read My Sisters Keeper and said I'd never read another.)

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurty
(I just finished this book.  No, I had a love affair with this book. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.  You need 50 - 100 pages to get to know the characters, but I actually miss this group of characters and wish Mr. McMurty had done a sequel.)

Author: Wally Lamb
(I read She's Come Undone, but will eventually try others.  I liked it, but wasn't blown away.)

Same Kind of Different As Me, Ron Hall

Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

The Power of One, Bryce Courtenay
(in my vacation pile)

The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
(in my vacation pile)

Pollan’s In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, and Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

Summer Sisters, Wifey, Judy Blume

The Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
(read it, loved it.)
The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer
(read it, loved it.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Love you, need them.

Dear Readers:

I am too busy to blog.  I love you, but I need my clients.  Plus I love them, too. 

I'll be back after vacation, right around the Fourth of July.  I hope the days are as sunny and warm where you are today as it is here.  Sending love.

Edited to add:  This was my 400th blog post.  I was going to do a big giveaway, but now I'm saving it for my two-year anniversary. In case you count my blog posts and were wondering.  Hehe.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Our Unexpected Adventure

We had an interesting few days around here.  Matty ended up with a complication from a vaccine he received on Tuesday.  All the test results aren't in, so we're not exactly sure what it was or what caused it, but I thought I'd write down the details while it's fresh in my mind:

Tuesday, June 8:  Matty's five-year well-child check.  He got three shots:  Tetanus, MMR, and DPT.  Two in one thigh and one in the other.  Other than screaming in fear, the shots themself were fairly uneventful.

Tuesday night:  He was complaining of pain in his thigh, but we figured it was regular after-effects of the shots. We gave him Motrin and Tylenol for the pain, didn't think much of it.

Wednesday:  He was in a lot of pain, and complained that it hurt when he walked and said it "burned" between his shots.  I ran out of Ibuprofen.  He was so miserable, I left the boys at Grandma and Grandpas and went to get more. 

Thursday morning:  He told me that he couldn't walk when he first woke up.  I noticed that his thigh was red and hot.  I called his ped's nurses line and they told me to bring him in right away.

10:30 a.m., Thursday:  A pediatrician at our clinic looked at him. She was startled by how huge and red his thigh was.  She explained that it's hard to tell if he was having a local allergic reaction to it and was worried it was an infection.  In most cases, evidently, the symptoms of an infection don't set in until a couple days after the vaccine, but she was uncomfortable enough that they gave him a shot of antibiotics in his other thigh.  She outlined the redness with a permanent marker and told us to watch it closely.  If we thought it was growing, we should take him to the ER.

7:00 p.m., Thursday:  I was out with clients.  Cory called to tell me Matthew was miserable and it appeared the red was growing.  When I got home, I verified that it had grown outside of her markings.  I called the after-hours nurses line, and she told me to bring him in right away.

I took him to the North Memorial Emergency Room.  Unfortunately, it was the day of the one-day nurses strike, so things weren't running very quickly.  We had to wait for two hours for a doctor.

9:30 p.m., Thursday:  We saw a doctor at the ER.  She, too, was very worried about how it looked and advised us to admit him for IV antibiotics.  The North Memorial Pediatrics floor was closed because of the strike, so she originally told us to take him to Children's hospital.  Then we found out that Children's wasn't accepting transfers, for the same reason.  After consultation with our pediatrician's office, they decided to send us as a direct admit to Methodist.  They put an IV in at North and gave him the first round of antibiotics there.

2:00 a.m., Friday:  We got to Methodist.  They settled us into a room on the pediatric floor.  When I saw the pediatric doctor, she was going through the procedure. I asked her, "Should I be worried?" She hesistated and I almost threw up. She explained that if the infection has spread and we had not brought him in, if it had become systemic, it could have been very dangerous. I am so in love with my little boy and I am so thankful that we trusted our instincts in bringing him in.  At that point, the redness has extended past the original line, and the marking that the ER doctor had made also.

4:00 a.m., Friday:  Matty was moaning in pain, so I asked them to dispense some of the narcotic pain relief they ordered for him.  MISTAKE.  He got violently sick instantly.  For an hour he thrashed about and cried.  After 45 minutes, he threw up and then felt better.  He and I both slept from 5:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Friday/Saturday:  We stayed at Methodist for 48 hours on IV antibiotics.  They had to give him three different antibiotics because they weren't sure what kind of infection they were dealing with, or even if it was an infection at all.

At this point, the only thing I'm concerned about is if it was an allergic reaction to the Tetanus shot, because he'll have that again in his life.  I'm hoping the blood cultures and follow-up with his pediatrician will give us more information this week.

We're at home now, and he's sound asleep in his own bed, almost good as new.  The leg is still a little red, but it's no longer swollen. They said with a strep infection, his skin will peel...almost like a sunburn, but there should be no long-lasting results of this incident. 

This entry has gotten to be long, but I still have to say one thing:  I have the best family and friends in the entire world.  My facebook wall was out of control with comments and well-wishes.  I got calls and texts from so many of my friends.  Everyone's love and support is completely overwhelming.  I keep saying there isn't even a word for how full my heart is.  I am eternally grateful for all the love and prayers that pulled us through the pretty scary first night and the long following days.

My cup overfloweth.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Choc Chip Cookies

I have a vague feeling I posted this on facebook, but I thought it would be a good idea to post it on my blog too, since it's the place I go to find my recipes.  Who needs a recipe book?  Hehe.

This is my mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe and they're oh, so good.

2/3 cups marg. (I always use butter.)
2/3 cups shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips

Beat margarine, shortening, and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs. Mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking soda and gradually add to first mixture. Add vanilla. Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake cookies at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thoughtful Boy!

I told you before, that Matthew is our thinker.

And today, my heart could hardly handle it when we had this conversation:

We were in the car, listening to music and the song had the lyrics, "I have Jesus in my heart."

Matthew: "Mom, when I go to Heaven with Jesus, will I live in your heart?"

Yes, my dear son, you will. Now stop talking like that. You're making your momma weepy.

Katie is our church's youth director.  She's amazing.  She knows all of the kids' names and has tons of energy and really good lessons for them.  Awhile ago, as part of her Kids' Time lesson, she was telling the children that when they get upset, they should take a deep breath and then say to themselves, "God is with me." 

He took a pretty big digger on Sunday.  We cleaned and bandaged up his wound, but he couldn't calm down.  I was holding him on my lap and asking him to take deep breaths.  He found the will to do so, but imagine my suprise (and joy!) when after a couple deep breaths, he said, quietly..."God is with me." 

Always, Matthew.  He is always with you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Grandpa Torola Contest

This is my mother's father.  He's a cool dude.  He joined facebook months ago and still has no profile photo.  For fun, I'm holding a contest.  You need to post your favorite (or any available) photo of Grandpa (or Dad, I guess) to his wall.  If he uses your photo for his profile picture, you will get a super cool prize from yours truly.  Well, I can't promise it'll be super cool, but I will send you something to acknowledge your accomplishment! 

Here goes!