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Showing posts from 2015

After the Transplant - Part 2

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The surgery began around 2:25 and lasted until 6:45.  They woke me up and told me the time was 7:15, so that was the point that I was in the recovery room.  After monitoring my vitals for some time, I was able to be taken back to my room.  There was little pain at that point since I was pretty numb, but my arms hurt from the various IVs I had in them. I had a total of 3 in me, and had had the initial one replaced before surgery.  That one had hurt the most.  My arm was pretty tore up for about two weeks after the surgery.  Other than that, I had 36 staples in my abdomen and a JP drain in my side for fluid in me to drain out.

The thing about a kidney transplant is that they don't actually remove either of my bad kidneys.  The new kidney is actually placed in my abdomen, and hooked up to an artery in my groin that comes from the leg (Or something like that)...so technically at this time I have three kidneys.  One that works great, and two that are craptastic.  Eventually they will …

After the Transplant: Post 1

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Was it just last week that I posted I was on alert for a kidney? Seems like months ago at this point.  The night after I was put on alert, I still wondered if I would get a call.  I received another call in the afternoon stating that I was still in the running.  There was one person ahead of me, and he/she was a multi-organ recepient, and that took presedence over me.  The other two times I had received the alert call, I felt sick to my stomach. I prayed that it wasn't the time.  I wasn't too concerned about being called back.  This time, I was strangely calm.  I didn't go crazy trying to clean the house or get things done, rather I played Uno with the kids. We all laid in my bed at bedtime, reciting prayers and just being together.  Keith and I watched some DVR.  At 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14, the phone rang.  It was the nurse coordinator, stating that the kidney was mine, and that I needed to be into Chicago by midnight.  I was already packed, so I took a quick …

Waiting for a call...

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About this time last year, I wrote this post: Enjoy the little things....  I quote one of my favorite songs - Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I talk about the time I drove home from my grandpa's funeral, all alone, and this song came on the radio. 

But from time to time, this song will magically appear on the radio when I need it most. Like today while I was driving. I debated bringing this up as I don't want to hear people say - "I hope it works out for you" or "I'm sorry" when/if it doesn't. I will begin this by saying, there is no right thing to say to me when I share this news.  Perhaps just a like on my FB post will be enough to know someone read it.

But here's the thing.... I am #2 in line for a cadaver kidney today. I found out last night. This is the third call I've received since the end of August putting me on alert. (Because it doesn't really happen like it does on t.v.). First they call and say, hey we have a kidney, but you are…

Positivity

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So here's the thing - I have a really sucky disease.  Well, sort of. I mean, it's not that bad in the grand scheme of things. (Despite what my mom thinks.)  A little girl I follow on FB just had a liver transplant, and they think the new liver is failing. Don't even get me started on all the gun violence in the world... especially Chicago and my hometown. Life could be worse.
Strangely enough, I seem to be the only person in my family with such a positive outlook. I say that loudly and proudly on my blog - 1, because most of my family doesn't read this, and 2, because I say it to their faces as well.  But do you know what sucks about being positive, even with a life-threatening disease? People think you're cray cray. It's true. They don't know what to do with me. Apparently I am not your typical kidney failure person.  I'm always out and about, I work full-time, and I am not on dialysis. Well not yet anyway.  T-minus one day until I go for the blood work…

The Beginning...

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So I've got this friend. And she wrote a book. I'm only half-way through it, but it's amazing. I'm super jealous and all, because she actually did what she said she would do, while I just sit here and say, "I should write more."

So I'd like to say to her, "Thank you for the inspiration!"

Hello October!

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It's here! My favorite time of year! For fun, I'm going to list just a few of my favorite October things. :)
Spooky stories:
When I was in grade school, I found this book (yes I tended to read things that I probably shouldn't have at certain ages). It was the best, spookiest book I'd ever seen at that time. Every year, when the leaves began to change colors and fall from the trees, I would check this book out from the library.  I'd sit in our darkened living room in the evenings after supper and treat myself to one scary story after another. Once I went to college, I lost the tradition. It wasn't until a few years ago that I found the book on Amazon. It was even scarier than I remembered - especially the story called "Eyes" by Charles L. Grant. In fact, as a mother (it's about the death of a child and the guilt the father endures) I can't read the story anymore. But all the other ones are super good!
Devilish Decor:
Here is a link to how I usually…

Book Review: One More Haunted Evening

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It's a dreary fall day - just the kind of day that makes you want to curl up with a cozy blanket and a warm drink... and this book! One More Haunted Evening is a fantastically spooky story just right for the season. This book was written by three authors (Jane Charles, Jerrica Knight-Catania, and Ava Stone) - which some people may find odd, however, all three authors pulled it off again with great results!

This is a follow-up book to One Haunted Evening, although you don't need to have read the first one to pick this one up.

Lord Quentin Post and his two rakish friends are back at Marisdùn Castle for a Samhain masquerade. In fact, Quentin hopes that by having a masquerade just like last year's, his mysterious angel will reappear. The other two gentlemen, Thorn and Garrick, are also on the search for something, one for his missing artist, and the other for, well you will see when you read the book. ;) 

Quentin's three sisters - triplets, Hope, Patience, and Grace, are a…

A Honest Post

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I am a saver. A part-time hoarder, if you will. I have a hard time letting go of things that once meant a lot to me. Which means we have a lot of stuff. Baby stuff, kid stuff, things from my own past that remind me of different times. I'm always saving things for a rainy day. Gift cards, candles, bottles of wine, you get the idea. I don't want to use/open them just now, just in case. I want to save them for a special occasion or to cheer me up on a day that I could be feeling down.

But now, more than ever, I am reminded that life is short. There have been rainy days but I didn't burn the candle. There have been days I felt down, but I didn't stop at Starbucks to use the giftcard. And I wonder, whatever am I waiting for?

The future is there in front of me, but life is so uncertain. I watch with sadness as a co-worker struggles with her chemo treatments. My heart breaks as a fellow twin mom prepares to bury her 10 year old son. I see my own face in the mirror, swollen from…

Routine Charts

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The kids really like their before school charts. I've vamped them up a bit - they love their electronics but do not get them during the school week (other than the occasional TV show in the morning).  I also wanted something for after school, just as a reminder of what needs to be done.  It's very exhausting to me to come home after a full day of work, see the kitchen and living room in total disarray. We go right to supper, finishing up homework, baseball or gymnastic practice, 20 minutes of reading (per school request), and then shower/bedtime.  The kids leave their backpacks where they fall, shoes near the door, clothes all over (seriously why can't they change in their rooms???), etc. They rarely hang up their uniform pants, although many times I will find their dirty uniform shirts hanging up? How weird is that?

I created this chart for what they should be doing after school.  I may end up tweaking it after a couple of weeks.  The 7:30 p.m. bedtime really isn't th…

Back to School - Creating a Homework Station

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School starts tomorrow. I am trying to get things organized in between working full-time. Ha!

We had already been using a shoe organizer in our closet off the kitchen for miscellaneous items, such as hats and gloves in the winter, and sunglasses and baseball hats in the summer.  By moving those things to a different spot, I had plenty of space for our homework supplies. The kids love the ease of being able to find what they want without having to dig through the closet or a drawer!

Book Review: My Enchanting Hoyden

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Julie Johnstone's newest novel, My Enchanting Hoyden, was just released last week. As usual, this is another one of her books that is just a delight to read! 

Jemma is a woman who has been duped by her first love. Intent on not wanting to ever make that mistake again, her goal is to earn enough money to be independent and have her own bakery, just like her mother. That's not easy when her grandfather has different plans. Lord Hawthorne, otherwise known as Philip, has a debt to fulfill and marriage to a wealthy woman is his only way out. But he feels he is too much of a gentleman to win a lady's heart, and is intent on changing his reputation to gain a wealthy wife.

As the two of them work together, Jemma to foil her grandfather's plan, and Philip to turn himself into a rogue to be wanted by the ladies of the ton, the reader roots for the two of them to acknowledge their feelings for each other!

This is a really great story. The characters are very likeable from the begin…

The Summer of Firsts...

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I debated bringing this up, but decided it's my blog, I'll write if I want to. ;)

I had a kidney donor. She was approved as a tissue match and was set to come into the hospital for the final round of testing. Let's just say it didn't work out. I don't know the details, but she backed out. She has her reasons, which I am sure are valid, but she did not share them with me. I just hope and pray that they are not serious health reasons or something of that nature.

To say I was shocked is an understatement. A few dear co-workers offered to go beat her up, jokingly of course. Keith said it happened because it gives me more time with the kids this summer. I don't see it that way. Since my levels are up enough to push off surgery for a couple of months, I would have had that extra summer time anyway. A friend told me once that she doesn't believe things happen for a reason, that they just happen. 

I however, think things do happen for a reason. Not good reasons, perha…

Book Review: Between the Lines

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Jane Charles' new book, Between the Lines, was just released. The book centers around Gabe and Ellen,  and the Baxter School of the Arts.  It's told from both Gabe and Ellen's first person perspectives, which is great because the reader is able to see both sides of the story as it develops. 

Gabe is a teacher at the Baxter School of the Arts. Ellen is a reporter who feels that there is a story that needs to be told about Baxter. Both of them are dead set with keeping their secrets to themselves, but as their relationship grows, it becomes harder for them to not trust each other.

I really liked this book, even though it's not what I normally read. Ellen is trying to keep her past a secret, but as she falls for Gabe, she begins to trust him and share her secrets. Gabe continues to protect the school and it's secrets, but not because they are bad. It's his job to protect the students he cares about. As Ellen gets closer to the truth, she begins to understand the Bax…

Book Review: The Art of Sinning

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Mark your calendar - tomorrow is the release of the newest Sabrina Jeffries' book! The Art of Sinning is the delightful first novel in her new series, called the Sinful Suitors. This book does not disappoint!  

Jeremy Keane, an artist not wanting to be tied down to his father's business back in America, meets Lady Yvette Barlow, a woman who has taken it upon herself to solve a family mystery.  Jeremy wants to use Yvette as his muse, but she won't agree unless he helps her. Yvette's brother won't agree to the arrangement, so the two of them concoct a plan to work together - she will be his muse, and he will help her find the woman she is looking for.

As a reader, I am never bored with a Sabrina Jeffries' story. The two main characters are great together - lots of chemistry in both conversation and in the bedroom. They are very witty, which makes them more likeable characters, in my own opinion. The secondary characters are great too, and you want to read more abo…

Book Review: A Body to Spare

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I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Sue Ann Jaffarian's new book, A Body to Spare.

I have to say, this was my favorite Odelia Grey book yet! The twists and turns were great! The story begins with a body found in Odelia's trunk at the car wash.  Again, Odelia's luck as the corpse magnet has not run out.  As the mystery begins to unfold, Odelia gets help from old and new friends. Out of the blue, she receives a surprise phone call, and that was one of my favorite parts! I can't say anymore about it because it would spoil the surprise for you, but I was so excited when the caller announced their name.  

As usual, there was a lot of action, with poor Odelia trying to clear her name, deal with a friend moving away, and bodies piling up. Ms. Jaffarian does a fantastic job, keeping the story funny and action-packed at the same time. You don't want to put this one down.

The book will be released in November, so I highly recommend you put it on your to be read list!

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Summer Fun, Part 2

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I was able to take a few days off work - one of those days being the twins' 7th birthday!   So far, we are making great progress on our summer bucket list!
On the twins' birthday, after we opened presents and went to swim lessons,  we headed out to the lake with my parents, my uncle, my sister, and her two kids  for some fishing, picnicking, and s'mores!


Here is Keira, sitting nicely and fishing.

Here is Keira, 10 minutes later, after she fell off the dock and almost drowned.
Seriously, we have no idea how she fell in.  I heard her scream, and then saw her falling into the water.   She went under because it was too deep to stand,  but my dad was right there and jumped in after her. (The water came to his chest.)   There is never a dull moment around these parts.




Later that day, we went to dinner at IHOP (the twins' choice)  and back to our house for cake (which they didn't eat)  and ice cream (which they did) and presents.  They wanted to stay up late to catch fireflies,  but I h…