Thursday, February 28, 2008

Short Update

Sorry for leaving everyone hanging. The last two weeks have been non-stop!!

Daniel had a really rough night - the night before he took his test. His mind was racing and his heart pounding all night. After taking the test he said that he felt confident in 3 of the 4 areas. One area he did not feel so confident in so he said he's not sure what the results will be. You have to pass all 4 areas to pass. If you do not pass you have to take the ENTIRE test again, not just the section you failed. We won't know for another month whether he passed or not! But we are enjoying a little more family time!!!!! YAY!!

Daniel got home around midnight on Sat the 16th. We went to bed around 1:30am and had to get up before seven for church - our new time is 8:30 am!! :( I guess it was fortunate that we kept pressing snooze and were running rather late because I started to feel this weird pricking pain that I thought was my cervix. It felt sort of like when you start to dilate, except that I'm not pregnant and was not starting my cycle. The pricking kept constant - more annoying than painful and I wanted to apply counter pressure to stop it (but that doesn't look very nice). About 10 minutes after I began feeling it I realized that it wasn't my cervix but rather a kidney stone causing that familiar prick. I then drank about 5 glasses of water in a 20 minute time span and continued to help everyone get ready for church. The pain started moving up - inside my pelvis (sort of felt like the location of my ovary) on the right side. It still wasn't too bad. I finally told Daniel that maybe I should stay home in case it gets much worse. I was planning on taking a heavy pain pill and laying on my bed for awhile. I continued to get the kids breakfast and while I was waiting on the microwave I was running and jumping in place - anything to get that stone moving. A short time later that pain started to worsen. I finished getting Piper dressed at which time I was groaning quite a bit and I laid down on the bed. At this point my right kidney felt like a 10 lb brick. The pressure was definitely building. All that water finally caught up to me and I had the sudden urge to use the bathroom even though I was in a moderate amount of pain. I went to bathroom and started to pee - and PING! out came that stone! The kidney pressure instantly faded and I got up and said to everybody - "OK - lets' get to church"! We arrived about half way through sacrament meeting. I was so glad that I didn't take that heavy pain pill or I would have been groggy for nothing. And I was so glad that we weren't on time or I would have passed it at church!

On a funny side note. I did fish it out of the toilet and showed it to Daniel. It looked like a small piece of gravel - the size of a small pea. I decided to show the kids because I had told them that I thought I was going to pass one and thought they'd be interested in what it looked like. MacGregor looked at it and asked me somewhat baffled, "Did you cough it up?" I said "No, you pee it out." He than got really grossed out. And then Ainsley told me how she told her whole Primary Class that about that thing I peed out and how they all laughed. GREAT!! Maybe next time I'll keep it from the kids!

I had a great birthday. We actually sort of celebrated on the 18th - M & J babysat so we could go to dinner. It was great and fun to be together alone. Doesn't happen too often. The 19th was so busy that it didn't even feel like my birthday (I cleaned all day getting ready for company, took kids to piano lessons, ran home to make soup to take to enrichment meeting) but Dan did bring home an ice cream cake and it was yummy. On Wed the 20th I made some black bottom cupcakes ( my favorite). And we had a little party and the kids gave me their gifts.

On Thursday the 21st my sister Brielle and her husband Brock and their girls arrived for a 2 and a half week stay. Brielle is splitting her stay between my house and my parents. She is here for a vacation but her husband is here to work. He is doing some remodeling in our bathroom and putting up a backsplash in our kitchen. It is looking great and I'll get some pictures up when it's all done. Also on Thursday my diagonal neighbor called me to tell me that our other neighbor - across the street from me was not doing well and they didn't expect him to make it through the night. We found out that he had stage 4 esophageal cancer in late September. He was only 36 and had a 14 and 8 year old. He used to walk Lilly (who was MacG's class last year) to the bus stop every morning and he had this great riding mower that made his lawn look like a golf course. Kate asked me to pray. And I did - that night I asked my Heavenly Father what I could do to help this family - I had been asking myself for months. I just didn't know what to do because they have a super big super tight extended family that is always there. They are also Vietnamese and I didn't know what they like to eat etc... As I lay in bed that night listening for an answer - I got the impression that I needed to bake a ham and make some rolls. I tried to talk myself out it. I tried to say that I didn't know them that well - only casual acquaintances at the bus stop or nice summer evenings. I tried to say that I had company and was busy etc..

But the next morning I still had the same impression. I called my friend Kate to see if she had heard anything. It had snowed the night before and school had been canceled. She had been out shoveling her driveway and the 14 year old son of our neighbor was also shoveling. She said Dave had made it thought the night and the doctors said it could be several weeks or days - nobody knew. So that afternoon I cooked the ham from our freezer. I mixed up dough and made 20 rolls and when Daniel came home I asked him to pick the ham and it filled a 9 x 13 pan. We packed it all up and took it over the neighbors house and no one was home. I told myself no big deal - we'll just eat it later or something. I told the kids to be watching for a car to drive up at the neighbors just in case. About a half hour later I was about to jump in the shower and get ready for a date when I noticed a car had just driven up. I called Dan and we began to walk back over there where we met an extended family member who was already on his way out again. I handed him the pan of ham and said that we had made some food for the family and he thanked us and said that everyone had been at the hospital ALL day and he would take the food straight over to hospital right then. I didn't see cars come home that night and Dan found out Sat that our neighbor died around 11:45 pm on Friday night. I am so happy that I took the time to ask - I am so happy that the Lord answers prayers and that I listened to the answer. I am happy that there was some decent food for these people to eat while they sat with their loved one for the last few hours of his life.

I will sure miss David Nguyen. I cry every time I think about it and I dread going to the viewing tomorrow night. I cry for his children. I just spoke with him at the mailbox a few weeks ago when I asked him how his treatment was going. It doesn't seem real that I won't see him pick up the mail anymore or walk Lilly to the bus stop or mow the grass. Life is really hard sometimes.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Saga Continues

Daniel called me around 2:15 yesterday saying he was finally on his plane to New York. The connection was supposed to leave NY around 4pm. He called me at 3:50 and had just landed but he was now at a HUGE international airport. His arriving flight was US AIR and his departing flight was American so he had to completely change terminals which involved getting on a bus to another terminal and going thru security again. He called me at 4:20 out of breath. He was on the plane. He told me later that they were literally closing the door as he got there and that they had canceled all the rest of the flights to Dallas that day. His was the last to get out! What a blessing!!

But.... it doesn't have a completely happy ending. Because of the quick turn around time and the different airlines etc... yep, you guessed it - No luggage. His stay was 4 days and 4 nights so he didn't just have an overnight carry on. He had packed a garment bag with his new suit he had bought for this event. He also had a large duffel with some warm waterproof fishing attire for his big "REWARD" day tomorrow on Lake Fork plus regular clothes, underwear, shaving kit etc... All he was carrying was his computer bag with study material.

He didn't arrive until 8pm and had to report this morning at 6:30 am. Not enough time for the airlines to get him his bag so luckily the mall was still open and he went on a quick shopping spree - new shirt and tie, new blazer, new pants, new socks and new dress shoes. UUUGGGGHHH!! I think this test is costing us more than a 2 week vacation for the whole family. I mean he used over a week of vacation to study for it, the test costs a couple thousand dollars to take, in essence we bought 2 plane tickets (although we hope we get part of that back), a new suit stuck in his luggage, a whole new outfit including a blazer and shoes, rental car, hotel, food and fishing!! I can't wait to get beyond this trip!

The good news is that he isn't taking his test while wearing the same clothes he spent the last 2 days in. And the other good news is, that as I write, he is taking the test. He should be done by lunchtime today!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


In Oral Surgery - your first goal is to successfully finish a residency. Your next goal is to become board certified. There are two national boards you have to pass to become so. The first one is written and you are eligible to take that 6 months after finishing your residency. You must pass the written board before you can take the oral board (the second part). Daniel took his written boards in January 2006 and thankfully passed. He was then eligible to take the oral board (which means you are sitting in front of a panel of doctors that throw senarios at you - there are four sections so you are sitting in front of 4 different panels). His plan was to take the review course in the fall of 2006 and take the exam in Feb 2007. Then he was called to Iraq and missed the review courses and didn't get home until 6 weeks before the test. In short, he did NOT take the test last year.

He did spend 9 grueling days in Denver in November of 2007 at a board review course. He has spent every spare waking moment since Christmas either at the hospital medical library or in his little cold corner of the basement with the space heater running. He has gotten up at 5 am to study, goes to work, studies at lunch, comes home for dinner, disappears to the basement, comes up to say good night to the kids and tuck them in, goes back to the basement until 11pm and then crashes in bed. I am SICK of that schedule and I know he is too. He has taken off the entire week before the test to be able to study from sun up to sun down.

His test is scheduled for tomorrow, Feb 14th first thing in the morning. If you do not check into the hotel, where they are giving the test, sometime the day before you miss your opportunity and have to wait until next year to take it.

Tuesday the 12th I got up and turned on the weather and news like I do every morning as I get the kids ready for school. I saw that the next day, Wed the 13th, we were supposed to have significant icing first thing in the morning. His plane was due to leave at 7:30 am. So he decided to call the airlines and see if he could get out Tues night. The told us that no weather "alert" had been given so he would have to pay to change that ticket. (pay almost as much as we had already paid for the ticket). He desperately didn't want to miss his test so he paid.

We had been having light snow on Tues but nothing accumulating etc... He made it to the airport in plenty of time. His plane was due to leave at 6 pm. I called shortly before and he said the plane they were supposed to be on hadn't arrived. They were delayed until 8:10 pm. Meanwhile the weather was getting worse - freezing rain started to pour!! I called him again - his plane was canceled. He was scheduled to leave the next morning on the flight he had been on originally - WHAT A WASTE OF ALOT OF $!!! (We are working on getting that refunded - wish us luck) He spent the night in Harrisburg (only 30 minutes from home) so he wouldn't have to drive in the icy weather.

He called at 7:30 am. His direct flight to Dallas had been delayed indifinitely - due to mechanical problems. (the whole reason we paid so much for this flight in the beginning was it was a direct flight out of Harrisburg which is so close to home) Now we were wishing he was at a big airport with a lot more options.

They rebooked him on an 11:15am flight to New York La Guardia. But I then saw on the weather channel that La Guardia was running 290 min delays. When I looked his specific flight up - he was supposed to leave from New York at 1:30 - they are showing a 90 minute delay. He should leave at 3pm.

I just called him again. It's noon here. I was hoping to get his machine so I knew he got on his flight. He answered. They are now supposed to be leaving at 2:20 pm. I guess that means he'll miss his connection in New York, unless it is delayed further also. There are a few more flights from La Guardia to Dallas later in the day so will all of you please PRAY that he gets to Dallas safely tonight!!!!

I really don't want all of his study time to be wasted and I really really don't want to do this again next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pretty Hair

Piper is constantly losing baretts. Partially because her hair is so thin and they slip out and partially because she pulls them out. And therefore, I am always looking for new baretts. . . new styles that might clip tighter or . . . cheap replacements. I have to have her wear baretts because if she doesn't she is ALWAYS called a boy or guy etc...even though she's wearing hot pink and has flowers on her shoes.

I recently picked up some cheap replacements and had them sitting on the end table. Piper found the cardboard piece that they were all clipped on and began pulling the baretts off one by one. I took them from her one by one and clipped them into her hair and when we were done - Voila! a pretty little head full of shiny baretts.

Then of course - she found them.

Then she pulled them out - one by one.

And the pretty hair was gone!


Chase got a stuffed Owl for Christmas. He thought it was pretty cool (he had just finished reading a 13 book series about owl clans). Ainsley is an absolute lover of stuffed animals and she thought Chase's owl was pretty fun too. So Ainsley would sneak in Chase's room and take his owl. Then she would hide it in her own room. This happened for several days in a row and then one day these signs started appearing all over the house.
The signs varied slightly but their message was the same! They were on all of the bedroom and bathroom doors. There was one on the door going to the basement and the laundry room door. A friend of mine recently blogged about her daughter sliding cute little notes under the bathroom door while she was in the shower. I don't have girls old enough to do that and boys don't write cute little notes to their mom - no, they make WANTED posters for their sister!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dirt Pudding

Today I had to take Chase to a birthday party. We let Piper sleep til the very last minute and got her out of her crib and threw her in the car. I left Ainsley and Gregor home with Dan who spent most of the day studying. Ainlsey and Gregor play really well together and I knew they would stay out of Dan's hair (no pun intended) but knew he wouldn't get a thing done if I left the baby.
We dropped Chase off and I ran to the grocery store. Piper really hadn't had time for lunch so I picked her up some storemade "dirt pudding" in the deli section of this store. You can find almost any "nearly homemade" salad or pudding or cobbler or jello concoction in little tubs in this grocery store. When we were done shopping we had some time to kill while we waited for Chase so we sat in the car and ate dirt pudding (vanilla pudding with crushed up choc. cookies). It was outstanding and Piper loved it. The cookie mush was lingering in her mouth and on her teeth and when she smiled her teeth looked gray. It was so cute and I couldn't help but laugh. Of course as I fished for my camera inside my purse she managed to clean most of it off but here's what was left:
Then I put some cookies on my teeth and smiled at her:

She thought that was pretty funny. And I just can't help but say she is So Stinkin Cute!