Tuesday, May 16, 2017

And Just Like That...

And just like that, my frown has been turned upside down. I look back on last weeks post and feel like it was forever ago. Man. I guess those rotten times make you stop and appreciate when the good rolls in. So, I will try to explain this without mixing it all up. Stand tough. I will try to summarize at the end if it gets too confusing.
I received a call from a bill collection agency that we had an outstanding bill from R's brain surgery in October. It is a $4,800 bill from the anathealogist. I actually remember her. She was good. Very invested in the kids and has been in the business for thirty plus years.  With life comes the price of good. She was out of network of our insurance. This bill has gone round and round through me, the CVC, back to me, back to Children's Hospital. I am talking for months. The doctors want us to fight our insurance company. The insurance company is saying, "We don't care, now go away", and the CVC just lost all the paperwork and is requesting it again to start the three month review all over again. (Are your eyeballs melting into your skull yet?) So, in an effort to stop the madness, I call the CVC and wait my 2 days to get my return call. I better have my phone on hand or that is a tragic miss. Mr. Robert calls and tells me that the CVC reviewed the bill and the bill does not match up to paperwork. Hmmm, makes zero sense to me, but let me call the doctor's office and pass this on to them. As I explain this to the secretary/office manager, she gets irritated and starts in on how the paperwork adds up and is a bit cranky about the situation, which I get. Mind you that I am lifeless about it all. This woman could throw a fit and I would have remained dead on the inside (This is my survival mode of insurance and bill work). Anywho, she gruffly asks what happened to this child, and I unleash the waterworks. I have no idea where my weeping (well, I do...but it was out of the blue) came from. So, I sup sup my way through our story, in a quick main idea way and the irritated woman grew wings of an angel. She stopped and spoke out of anger towards the situation,  compassion for my mamma's heart, understanding that I have spent over a year dealing with insurance confusion. After she comforted me, she boldly told me that the bill was wiped. She advised that I go take care of my child and that the insurance paid a small percentage of  our bill and that would do. I could not stop crying. I didn't have the wit to ask her name or if she could advise such a thing. A part of me wonders if the doctor picked up the phone that day. However it happened, I will forever remember that moment of grace. I couldn't sleep that night because I kept wondering if I had dreamed it up. I wrote a letter to the whole office and the doctor the next day. I included a picture of my big guy and hope that she gets it. Because wow. Just wow.

So, that turned my cranky mood around really fast and then good things just started rolling in. My hubs killed his 3rd round of interviews and we are really feeling like this career dream might be turning into a reality. I am so excited to see his spirits lift and we really feel like we are making some bold and exciting changes that make my stomach hurt, but are so worth it in the end.

I JUST got a good sized check in the mail for insurance overflow payments from Children's Hospital that will help cover some house drama we have had these last few months. I can not make this stuff up. When does that happen? I am going to deposit it in the bank today before they want it back!

Talk about the rollercoaster rolling on a crazy course. I better put my hair up because it is a loop to looping too fast for me to stay still. Moral of the story. Feel sorry for yourself when you need to, but get over it because good things will eventually come your way. And trust. I have had a string of the sky dumping mud on my white dress for a long time now. So, with a little hesitation, I believe in the good happening from time to time to balance it out. Slowly step out for the sunshine and things will look up. Right? Any good news out there to join the fun? I would love to hear it to keep the mojo going.

Until next time.

-Jenn




Monday, May 8, 2017

Bad Mood...

Well, hello there. It appears Mondays are my days to sit down and write. That just sort of happened. I love a natural sync and there we have it...come see me on Mondays! Misty, I know you will be here:)))

SOOO, I am in a mood. I can't really talk about what happened but it has put me in a bad mood. An angry mood. And there isn't one thing I can do about it but get over it. I once had a college volleyball coach give me some advice I still use til this day. We were scrimmaging in a practice and I was matched up with the biggest girl on our team, sizing up to be around 6'2". Mind you guys I am 5'7" and she was a powerhouse. I had a strong arm, but man my height was tiny in a Division 2 college sport. (This MIGHT be the reason I didn't get much time in the actual games, but whatevs!) I was trying my little heart out to swing past this girl. She was blocking me left and right (of course she was, but I was the little engine that could). Practice ended and I was so mad. I was leaving swollen up and red and he pulled me aside and simply told me, "Feel sorry for yourself tonight and wake up tomorrow and get over it." At the time I thought that was silly advice, but it stuck with me. So, I felt really sorry for myself this past Wednesday night, but I am now just in a bad mood. But, I suppose it is a step to moving on in our situation and I guess I just need to get it over with. I know this doesn't make much sense, but just know that we are still waiting on our last piece of the puzzle to be resolved in this case with my sweet R. I will need a night out when this is all said and done and I am hopeful that it will end in our favor. OK. Enough of that. Time to move on from that topic of crazy.

My mood could also be based on the uncertainty of our near future. Jeff has rolled the dice and is possibly trying his hand in a new career and this is a domino effect to if we move, if I need to go back to work, if I need to stay at home, and should R start a little class to be around other kids. I mean. My head is swirling and I am over it. We have prepared ourselves for option A), B), and C), but dang...waiting is brutal. That also might be the root of my bad mood. I am trying to have faith that we will be where we are supposed to be, but I never said I was patient at the process. Good night almighty, just let me know already so I can get my ducks in a row. Blah. See? I am just Debbie Downer right now and I suppose I will give myself the day, but after that, "GET OVER IT" and just move on. I will get some news when it comes and then I can do what I need to do with it. However, if someone could tell my jaw to relax and stop clenching, that would be great too.

Well, I am sorry if you leave here in a crankier mood than when you arrived. I usually can find the sunshine and the positive side, but this week may not be the case. So y'all find it for me and hopefully by next week I will be back and better than ever:) If you have any tips for me to snap out of a good ol' fashion bad mood, feel free to share. I might need a new mantra to add to my collection.

Until Next Time.

-Jenn

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sweet, Sweet Baby Jake...

I wasn't sure that I was going to get into my continued struggles after all of my baby drama, but my dad showed up to say hello. And I couldn't resist sharing. So, now I will go on with my sweet, sweet baby Jake. My sweet border collie/lab went to be with Pops three months after his passing.  My kids were very sure of the fact that he wanted to be with Pops. I liked the idea of them being together and my dad chasing Jake, both free of disease. My Jake was my buddy and he literally built this family with us.

Jeff and I got Jake when we had been married for about four months. I had been dropping hints of getting a dog but we were renting and that always gets a little hairy when you bring a pet into a rental property. I had Doodles in the house already, so that seemed to hold over my animal love! Until my birthday hit and Jeff gave me a gift in a puppy gift bag and i just milked it for all it was worth and pretended to make him think that the gift inside was just a bonus gift and that the gift bag was my puppy gift! A real live puppy gift. He was so caught off guard and didn't have the heart to turn down my excitement that we packed up and went up to the shelter. He had buckled and we were on the hunt for a new family member! I can remember going into the shelter and seeing face after face and my heart just bleeding all over the floor for these sweet dogs. The lady led us out to the little yard area and there was a litter of black and white bundles of energy. There were about six of them and this one little fur ball walked up to Jeff with a tennis ball in his mouth, barely able to stretch it wide enough for the ball. And Jeff stands up and says, "This is the one." I was beyond thrilled that he had found our baby because he was so very sweet to embark on this adventure with me. Ok. We found our new puppy. Let's call him Jake!

They had to do all the puppy things at the shelter and I could pick him up on Tuesday. Boy was he a HOT MESS when I got there to take him home. He was a nut and I had a small panic attack that we had gotten in over our heads with this wild and excited pup. I feel like you always question what you have done when you get a new animal. Well, this time was no different! After we got him settled and potty trained and he and Jeff became loyal walkers together. And the full energy breed beat Jeff and it turned into running mates. Jake could go on forever, and Jeff got into marathon running as a result. I love it. Jake was our buddy that welcomed all three of our kids, moved approximately four times, made it through an ACL surgery, sat with my dad the day he he his stroke (he just happened to be over there that day), slept in bed with me, and so many more warm and fuzzy baby Jake memories.  His demise was quick. I took him in for a bum leg, thinking arthritis was the culprit. No. It wasn't. A scan showed a tumor in his spine that was shutting down his legs. He was ten and a half and he told us when it was time to go be with Pops. So, my mom, Jeff, and I once again said good-bye to a loved one and I balled like a baby. I think it all just came out because I was done being strong. We kissed our buddy good-bye and I still miss him every day.

I mean. I had thrown my hands up at that point. I gave up. I couldn't try to figure out my recent year and I still to this point remember just being limp. I guess it was a pretty big low that sparked my surge to begin my healing because I couldn't stay so sad anymore. Baby Jake and Pops didn't want that and really, this is where the blog kicked in. Full circle, right here! I have to confess to Jake that we tore down his doghouse yesterday because we were housing a raccoon. It was pooping in our yard and finding great shelter in his big ol' squishy house. I do not need a need fur baby in raccoon form, so that was that. E and N want to put up a memorial plant for Jake and I think that sounds lovely.

I need to go find the sunshine today. This weather makes it so easy because Spring is the BEST!

Until next time.

-Jenn

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Pops...

Do you ever get going on the day to day movements of your life and feel like you are on auto-pilot? You make lunches, snacks, wash this, clean that. And it isn't anything I mind doing, but I do it with no thought. And to be honest, this is a welcomed state of being for now. I spent A LOT of time in the last year and a half, analyzing every step of my day. Plotting what needed to be done and why. I have really worked on not over thinking things, which often led to worrying about small stuff. But, I am not sure that I want to phase out completely either. I guess balance is the key. To be present, but without questioning my next chess move. Does that make sense? Either way, it is nice to sing along in the car again and do something without thinking deeply about how it will lead into my next point of action. Bless. My brain is exhausted.

I was having a day of cleaning (which thanks to the flea spotting last week, my house has never been so dang clean)! I have scrubbed every inch and I believe we are back in the saddle. You are welcome Doodles (insert my eyes cutting to the side and pinching my lips together). Point being, when I clean I turn on my "OK Google" dome and hit up Pandora. I have my ol' faithful stations of Willie Nelson, Justin Timberlake, Johnny Cash, and Dixie Chicks. On two different stations, the song "Just Breathe" came on (Redone by Willie Nelson from Pearl Jam), which is my pops dropping to say hello.

Listen Below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow-Cx9IX4So


My dad had a massive stroke three months after my first born daughter was with us. He was still in bed when my mom went to work and apparently when he tried to get up that morning he had his stroke. My mom didn't come home until that evening and he had laid there all day:( So, we missed a the chance to give him the shot that reverses the effects of a stroke. He spent years going to rehabs and living in places that focused on the recovery portion after an injury or stroke. I remember taking my tiny, new baby out to Melissa to PATE recovery center every Sunday to see him. Fast forward to almost seven years later and he passed away in a nursing home with my mom and myself as his cheerleaders to let him go in November of last year. My dad had lost a lot of his brain function and physical movement with the stroke, so recovering was really hard. He made some gains, but he was just as content watching TV and taking it easy. Mr. John was not a big adventure seeker. Give the man a beer and an episode of Gunsmoke and he was in Heaven.

I watched him decline SLOWLY and in and out of the hospital, as well as more surgeries than desired. He had fought the good fight for as long as he could. Man oh man. He was with a feeding tube, a urination tube through his belly button, as well as paralysis on his right side of his body, and limited speech at the end. So, I was actually happy he could leave that state of being behind when he passed away, but with that brought back memories of when he was well. My dad. My healthy, talking, walking Pops. So on this day of cleaning, not thinking about a thing and clear of thoughts, my dad snuck in to say hi with my favorite song that we played at his funeral. I was emotional about it because I was so happy to get the old pops in my mind and heart. It had been a long time that I have been able to talk to that guy because when I would visit him over the last 7 years, it was as a caretaker.  But now, I feel like I have my dad back and he was using my quiet as a way to reach out. So, i have listened to that song probably 15 times and will keep doing it as long as I still get a smile out of the deal. It's nice to see you again, dad.:) Let's do it again soon.

On a totally different note, I want to say how excited I was when I saw that seven hundred page views had met this blog. I am not sure if that is a blip on the World Wide Web or not, but hopefully one of those views helped someone, somewhere find strength about something. Like I have said before, that is what I can only do at this point. I now have a musical theme song when I go find the sunshine and it could not be a more perfect scene. I like it. I am on board!

Do you guys have a theme song? If so, I need to hear it. Loud and obnoxiously blasting on my Google player. I have a feeling my cleaning phase will stay on high alert until I can double assure myself that Doodles is home free. (Insert: cutting my eyes at the cat. I am still mad about it all.)

Until next time.

-Jenn

Monday, April 17, 2017

When Life Happens...

Hello on this rainy, post Easter Monday. I hope everyone had a calm and enjoyable weekend. I feel like this year Easter snuck up on me. No easter egg hunts, no pictures with cute little rabbits, no new spring outfits that make little people look adorable. I made my kids stuff their own eggs this year to throw out in the yard at their Granny's house. We stuff our eggs with coins because A) they can't melt and B) I figure a few bucks in coins help ease the hundreds of dollars in dentist bills six months down the road. Don't get me wrong, my kids love some sweets. E asked me the other day for Poptarts and Honeybuns for her birthday. What? So random. And the Easter Bunny brought Nutella stick things, Oreo dippers, and not to forget the old fashion Skittles and chocolate eggs. I mean, they are rolling in some sugar, so why not add about six bucks worth of change. We also hide the "Big Kahuna", which is a big gold egg with a five dollar bill. Let's be honest. I learned that they get my Libra instincts on fairness and this year they ALL had a labeled Big Kahuna, because how do I have time to listen to crying about a golden egg when I didn't even find time to take a picture in some bluebonnets? Priorities I suppose!?!

I feel like I was so jumbled and dazed because my cat exposed to me that she had some fleas. I KNOW. Gross and please don't be afraid to come to my house again. I have fixed this tragic event of nastiness. I noticed this eight pound little INDOOR cat was awfully itchy over the last few days, but chalked it up to allergies. And I swear she was following me around the house. Scratching next to mommy, beside mommy, on the coffee table in front of mommy. Well, it may take some time, but mommy will finally turn a tiny little old lady cat over and see a moving flea. Next mommy will yell out, "OH MY WORD" and scream to Jeff that we have a sitch and to watch the kids. I call him from the car and literally feel like I am racing to the ER. I RUN into Walmart, dodging people and weaving in and out like a Ninja in the night. After I find the spray, brush, medicine, and shampoo, I continue to run to the register. The woman checking me out asked if we had a problem going on at our house. I just mumbled something about a friend in need and ran to my car and made it back home in all of nine minutes. It was not a pretty picture to see this cat getting bathed, sprayed, brushed, and flipped about three times over. She was so mad and eventually fell asleep after bath two because I rocked her in my lap with a big ol' towel around her to comfort this traumatized kitty.  Doodles is still mad at me. But, guess what Doodles, I am mad at you too. How does a cat go on the patio for one dinner while we eat outside and come back with a flea on you? You are grounded. No more patio exploring for you. I have her on the topical meds now and the nice man will be out this week to spray for bugs anyways. Let's take care of this madness. I am grossed out, but Jeff is hiding in the corner thinking all things on him are fleas. I caught this quickly, and haven't had one on me or the furniture, but you would think he is living in a bug cage. Drama is always lurking from somebody.

Needless to say. I blame my lack of Easter hustle on my cat. But, we ended up making it to church and I am volunteering in R's little, tiny eighteen month classroom and he is rocking it. He is playing with other kids and the teachers adore him. So, eventually I will try to leave him in there with just the teachers to work on my trust and his trust with other adults. Let's be clear that this goal is for me, but he has to learn as well. I have stuck him deep in my nook and I am trying to let the fresh air in and trying to trust again. I am really excited that we are two weeks in and I am so thrilled to be here because all I have come across are really good people. Such a beautiful reminder in a world that doesn't always show its' best side. I hope you are staying dry and let's all root for the sunshine because the rain has come and it is time to go. Did anyone else have drama over the holiday? Please make my Doodles story seem like a normal event!

Until next time.
-Jenn

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cue the Applause...

R had his eighteen month check up yesterday and it was so amazing. He has jumped from like 60% percentile in height to 97th percent. I knew he had been growing, but he has been stretching out. I thought he was going through a regression bit with his sleeping, but the poor kid was probably having growing pains. Sweet bug has stretched out. He is of course 100% in weight and head size. My gentle giant that loves to cuddle to boot. The pediatrician is the long standing doctor with all my kids. We have been with him for almost eight years now. So, when all of this mess came about with our little guy, he was in the mix. He first diagnosed him with hydrocephalus when I first took him in for his vomiting because his head literally swelled inches and inches. Oh, the stomach pains to reflect on that very first visit. Man, hold on tight because you are about to visit hell, Jenn. Let's just say I am good with not going back there too often.

I remember when he called me up at the hospital to check on R and I told him everything they have found with the x-rays, scans, and opthamology checks. His response was quiet and he said, " I will need to talk to someone to tell them that I have never suspected abuse." My heart dropped. And to this day, I still think he looks at me out of the corner of his eye to make sure things are safe for my kids. Jeff says I am paranoid, but we had a lot of people treat us as though we were guilty during our initial hospital stay, and I always thought he might wonder. I have shown him all the paperwork that has cleared Jeff and I, but I hate that I still feel under the microscope. He is very nice and thorough and has never done anything to show for these thoughts, but just a feeling. (*Me vs. My Mind)

Anyways, as we talked about all his screeners and accomplishments and he kept asking me if I had any concerns. I was in such a gleeful mood and I just kept shaking my head no. I didn't want to jinx it. And I am in this far enough to know that we might hit some road blocks, but for now we celebrate. In fact, to show how big time we are, we let the big kids pick a dinner location. Those two joyously shout out, "Subway" in unison. They were foaming at the mouth and so we go.to.Subway.  Bless those baby big kid hearts. They are in this journey just as much as Jeff and I are. Til this day, they include his recovery in their prayers and fountain wishes.

When we see a wishing well fountain (i.e. Northpark Mall or the Arberetum), I give them each two pennies. They make a wish for themselves and one for another person. E and N always make a wish that their baby brother's head keeps getting better and he doesn't have to have anymore surgeries. They saw it first hand and don't really know much about it, but they saw him in a hospital bed hooked up to a lot of noisy machines followed by a few rounds of stitches after brain surgery. Enough to know that he wasn't okay for a while and stamp that image in their brains. I am not sure I appreciated their journey through all this as much as I should have. So... of course they need to take part in the healing portion of this journey. Tonight, we shall eat Subway for dinner to celebrate.

What do wish for when you wish for yourself and for someone else? Such a beautiful concept before tossing that shiny penny into the water. I will forever love hearing those big kids care for this baby brother because they are in the long haul together as a team. And he will be there for them as well. I just know it:)

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine😘
-Jenn

Friday, April 7, 2017

Simplicity....

After a few days of not blogging, I start to get the itch. I guess one would say that I am hooked. I haven't had the nerve to put this out on social media yet, so for now I will continue to just let this be our little secret. There is something to be said about the simplicity of a small group. Ahhh. Simplicity. That is my new catch phrase and it makes my insides happy. Let's be honest. I have been wound tighter than a yo-yo over this last year. Having moments of sheer heart pounding anxiety, that sends me in overdrive. I hate that state of being, but it isn't something you just change over night. So, I have been focusing on bringing it down a notch in my thinking. Once I feel myself start to get all busy and panic like, I focus on a simple something. My new rug ( I couldn't stand the blood stains from the fireplace debacle any longer), my healthy kids running around, a cold Coke ( I know, I know, it's my guilty pleasure), my vacation photos hung on the wall. Something small, yet beautiful. It works for me. Praise the Lord. It has taken me a long time to find some ways to take care of myself that work naturally. I have tried so many that are forced. And this mom of three does not have time for an extra something to do. Am I right out there? You know about half of you just nodded and said, "Mmmhmmm" in unison.


I can tell you what is not simple is my upcoming seasons for my children that include soccer, baseball, and dance. I was smoking crack when I decided it was a good idea to take it up a notch. My middle son is five and he is just blossoming at sports. So, I think my excitement bounced off his excitement and well...registrations were signed and submitted like a crazy person. So, our Saturdays are packed. But, I couldn't be more thrilled to see where this takes him and watch as he learns to be on a team and try his best. You know, all those feel good pregame speeches you heard for twenty plus years. I mean, the kid practices being fast at running at any given moment. How can you not go all in for that kind of sweet effort?!

This is a pretty light hearted entry and man does that feel good. Keeping it simple will hopefully run deep as we start to clean out the house and organize as we start to think about moving!!! THINK about being the word of the day here. But, I am painting baseboards for the just in case side of the coin! Exciting to say the least.

Meet you in the sunshine.
-Jenn