1. flippin' sweet

utterly awesome, cool, outstanding. Can be used to urge a conversation on. Originated from the movie Napoleon Dynamite.


what is this?

Tell me when this blog is updated. . .

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beware of Falling Knives...

Phew. It's been a busy week or two, full of end of season swim parties, trips to the State Fair and the waterpark, back to school open houses and other such fun. I'm several posts behind on this blog, so please stay tuned for updates on what we've been up to.

Since we don't have enough going on, Madison thought she'd add a little excitement yesterday with HER first ever trip to the emergency room. I guess she thought she'd better catch up with her little brother or something. She had a run in with a knife while helping clean up the kitchen last night. Despite much counseling and education on knife safety, I guess some sort of instinct kicked in when she dropped a knife, and instead of jumping back and letting it fall, she tried to catch it. I think that it caught her instead.

I was up in the master bathroom unclogging a drain and heard her scream and then come running yelling "I cut my hand open REALLY bad!!" My heart dropped, and as I rushed out, she was running into my bedroom, blood everywhere. I ushered her into the hall bathroom, and got it wrapped up as tight as I could in a towel, sent her to the car and ran outside. Thankfully my neighbors had just gotten home, and I asked them to go pick up Caden, who needed to be picked up from daycare.

I called Brent, who was still about 45 minutes from home, and told him to hurry home to get Caden, and to have the neighbors check to see if I'd left the water running up in the bathroom. (I didn't, but thought for sure I had).

We were at the ER for 3 hours, and Madison now has 6 stitches on her left hand/index finger. It was quite deep, and they were worried that she'd cut into the tendon, but luckily that was not the case. She did SUCH a great job, all things considered. She was VERY scared to get the stitches, and I had to work very hard to keep her calm, but she didn't scream though she did shake and cry a lot. Poor girl. (Dad, it wasn't NEARLY as bad as the great splinter episode of 2006.)

We just picked up a digital piano for her yesterday, as she's starting piano lessons in a few weeks and one of the FIRST things out of her mouth after it happened was if she's still be able to play the piano, she was very worried.



After we left the hospital, we stopped at Target to pick up some wound care supplies, some blood cleanup supplies, and I told Madison that she could pick out a carton of ice cream as well. I jokingly told her that if she wanted some ice cream, all she had to do was ask!

Speaking of Ice Cream, I found something very disturbing in the ice cream isle. I remember reading a story a month or so ago that manufacturers were reducing the quantity of a lot of their products to cope with increased production costs. You know, you get 26 diapers instead of 32, but the price stays the same. Hrumph. Well, Caden's out of diapers, so I was fine with that, but they did it to my ICE CREAM! I call foul.

Almost all of the cartons were these smaller cartons, which are 1/4 of a quart smaller than the old size. Darn them.


After our ice cream treat, I sent everyone to bed (it was nearly 10:30), and went to work on the carpeting, which was riddled with 100+ blood droplets that adorned our staircase, hallway, and the entrance to our master bedroom. That's ok, it needed a good scrubbing anyhow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Thanks to all for all the happy thoughts, they paid off. All 3 biopsies taken came back normal. Brent does have a condition in his lower esophagus that they will have to keep an eye on, as it is something that over time can turn into cancer. He still has to meet with the surgeon to decide what to do with the "mass", but it's apparently not anything to worry about at this time.

Thanks again to everyone for the well wishes, I appreciate it more than you know.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Freaking Out.

Got a text from Brent. He hadn't heard, so after my harassing him to do so, he contacted the hospital to see if they had the results yet. They said they are back, but they can't be given out over the phone. He has to wait and get them at his appointment which isn't even scheduled yet. I think the specialist he's supposed to see is on vacation.

I'm petrified and shaking, as I can't see how this can possibly be good. If the biopsy were normal, they would have told him so. Right??? But on the other hand, if it's serious, I'd think they'd have called to get him in with someone right away... Right???

To add insult to injury, I can't get ahold of Brent on his cell phone, so I can't even pump him for more details. So here I sit, alone at work, trying to smile at customers when they come in, with tears running down my face. My relief comes in soon, thank goodness.

Thanks to everyone that has offered their PPT's and please keep them coming. I feel like the world is crashing down around me, and I'm trying to stay positive, but I'm having a hard time. I am a major control freak, and I can't stand not being in control of a situation... especially one like this.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My hero...

Like much of the country, I have been caught up with Olympic Fever for the past week or so. And for the past week or so, the focus of my attention has (surprisingly) been focused on swimming. And on one swimmer in particular.


Tonight, he achieved the unthinkable, beating out Mark Spitz and taking home EIGHT gold medals in a single Olympic Games. I haven't missed a single race. It has been amazing to watch, and I'm so glad that my kids were able to see it too. Way to go, Michael, now go rest, you've earned it.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy thoughts needed...

As recently mentioned, Brent went in to have surgery done yesterday. Prior to the surgery, they did an endoscopy through his throat/esophagus down to his stomach to look for a certain type of hernia that would exclude him from having this experimental procedure done.

During the endoscopy they found a tumor in his stomach. They took a biopsy and had to abort the procedure... It will take 4 days to get the results back, but they did an ultrasound to make sure there weren't any other growths on the outside of the stomach and didn't find anything. He will be seeing a specialist next week, as either way they'll need to do surgery to remove the tumor.

Brent has been very happy with the Dr.'s and staff at the U of M and Fairview. The Dr. said that someone must be looking out for him, because if he hadn't signed up to do this study, it wouldn't have been found and we wouldn't have been able to get a jump start on it. Whatever "it" is.

Please keep us (especially Brent) in your thoughts... I am trying not to freak out about it, and am being careful not to stress Brent out, but this type of thing terrifies me so I'm struggling.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom...

Just wanted to take a moment today to remember my mom's birthday... She would have been 72 today, it's amazing and saddening that it has been 22 years since she passed away way too young... I look at my kiddos and wistfully think about how it would feel to have her see them and love them as I know that she would have. I regret that they never had a chance to meet her. I talk about her a lot, and show them pictures... they know how important she was to me, but it's just not the same. We are so lucky to have had multiple other surrogate grandmothers step in for them over the years, and we are so thankful for them and for loving my kids as if they were there own grandchildren.

Lucy Cuen Bradford was an amazing woman. In a word, beautiful. Funny. Smart. Witty. I got her bad temper. I think mine might be a little worse than hers, actually. She spoiled me rotten. I was her baby, the youngest of 8, and although I know she loved us all, she always made me feel like I was her favorite.

I regret that I never had the chance to talk to her as an adult... Adult relationships are so different than childhood relationships... I wonder what I could have learned from her. I think in some ways, having lost that opportunity with her has changed how I treat my relationships with my own children. I consciously try to have deeper and more meaningful conversations with them, and hope that they take what I have to say with them...

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you. I miss you.

Me and my mom... ignore the birth year, I've got it wrong!


My mom and my Grandma Angela (my namesake)...


My Mom, Dad, Older Sister and I the summer I was born... 1976...




The following pictures blatantly stolen from my sister's blog... Thanks's Liz!


My mom with my oldest sister Felicia


I'd never seen this picture before, I presume it was from my mom's first marriage - beautiful!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

National Night Out and Weight Loss Woes...

To start out, we had a great time at National Night Out last night. A bunch of neighbors got together to BBQ and have fun with eachother, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was nice to sit and relax on a warm summer evening and chat with friends and neighbors while watching the kiddos run around and splash around on the water slide. I didn't take any pictures, unfortunately, but actually it was kind of nice to just sit and relax instead of running around with my camera :).

A couple months ago I heard about a weight loss study for Vbloc, which is an experimental device and process where they surgically implant leads that attach to your vagal nerve. You then wear an external device that gets turned on and off intermittently to block "hunger" impluses that are sent to your brain. The trials so far have had good success, and I'm very interested to see what happens with this study. Brent and I both qualified on paper for the study, and we both attended an informational meeting a month or so ago. One of the requirements for the study is that you can't have a friend or relative that is also participating in the study, so we knew that only one of us would be able to do it. I had also been told be 2 doctors (including the one in charge of the Vbloc study) that in my situation he recommended Gastric Bypass instead of "messing around" with an experimental study. It was recommended because of my age and the fact that Gastric Bypass would likely immediately "cure" my diabetes. In other words, I needed to fix it NOW. So... the decision was made to have Brent go forward with the Vbloc study and I would pursue Gastric Bypass. He has surgery scheduled for later this month.

So... I went to an informational meeting yesterday afternoon on Gastric Bypass (and the lap band too) and I'm more wary and confused than ever. I knew it would be a huge lifestyle change, but I really had no clue how huge it would be. Hearing all the changes that I would have to make also made me realize how incredibly much my life is impacted by food. I love food. I love serving food. I love baking food. I love the taste of food. I am so sad at the prospect that so much of that part of my life will have to change dramatically if I move forward with this. But I also know that all needs to change anyways if I want to live a long and healthy life.

But I am also scared. I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 30. I SUCK at managing it. I don't have the discipline to manage it. I KNOW that the long term effects of diabetes are horrible, but that hasn't made me change my habits. But, while Gastric Bypass would probably "cure" it, the time, effort, and discipline needed for it to be effective seems so daunting to me. I'm not sure that I can do it. I'm not sure that I WANT to do it, and that SUCKS because I know the consequences :(. My mom died way too young and I had to grow up without her. The idea that I could be on the road to doing the same thing to MY kids... breaks my heart! Why isn't that enough to kick me in the ass and make the changes that I need to make?

I am terrified that I will go through it, and then just learn how to cheat and gain all the weight back. I know that happens with lots of people. I'm terrified that I could be the 1 in 200 for the mortality rate for bariatric surgery.

It's not that I haven't tried to lose weight. I have, but have never found a lifestyle that I can maintain long term, I always gain it back. It's been about 4 years since I've lost any significant amount of weight, which was around the time that I started having thyroid problems. I wonder if I use that as an excuse... but I'm scared of trying to lost the weight on my own again, the thought of all that effort and not seeing any results is terrifying to me.

And to tell the truth... I'm afraid that I will lose JUST enough weight to lower my BMI below the threshold where I qualify for Gastric Bypass! How horrible is that???

Obviously I'm not ready yet... but I'm going to fill out the paperwork and send it in and see where it goes. Part of the process is a psychiatric evaluation, and hopefully we'll get me sorted out there...

If anyone has any experience with gastric bypass or other weight loss remedies, please sound out!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stranded at the drive-in...

Ok, so we weren't really stranded, but I couldn't resist the images of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John that phrase brings up.

I have always favored drive in movie theaters. My earliest movie memories both take place at the Drive in Movies... they were:




I don't remember much about Indiana Jones, but I remember EVERY detail of Gremlins... I would've been around 8 years old... The Gremlins terrified me, but I LOVED Gizmo. I did pretty good with the movie until the very end when they said to make sure you looked under your bed for Gremlins, then I burst into tears.

This was the first weekend in a LONG time that we didn't have somewhere to be at the crack of dawn on one or both mornings... No early morning swim meets, no plans to go boating, my store was staffed and running smoothly... Perfect weekend for a trip to the drive in! We usually go 3-4 times in the Summer, but this has been a busy summer, and I couldn't believe it was August already and we hadn't gone once!

So we packed up Brent's truck with lawnchairs, pillows, blankets, and a cooler and we set off. Our favorite drive in is Vali-Hi drive in. The price is right - a triple feature for $7.50, and kids 12 and under are FREE. They let you bring in BBQ grills and your own food, and have a decent concessions stand. We always arrive soon after the box office opens so that we get a decent spot, it fills up FAST! The kids love running around before the movie, and there's something relaxing about sitting on a lawnchair in the back of your truck on a warm summer's night while the kids toss a frisbee over on the grass.

The lineup for this weekend was The Dark Knight, Hancock, and Get Smart. We'd already seen The Dark Knight, but didn't mind seeing it again. We were looking forward to seeing Hancock, but everyone but Brent fell asleep during The Dark Knight, so we didn't end up staying. The theater is about 50 minutes away, so we wouldn't have gotten home until around 3 AM if we stayed, so we decided to just wait for video on that one.

Here's some pics from our evening, I took them with Brent's new iPhone, and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of pics... not bad for a camera phone!