Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Ben is better and weekend wrap up

Happy Tuesday everyone! Thank you all so much for your kind words for Ben. Thankfully, he is feeling much better. Saturday, he was acting more normal for him, which includes picking on his brother and arguing with his brother. That is a sure sign to this mom that he was feeling better. He even got sent to his room in the evening and wasn't allowed to watch the Ohio State game after he called Jacob a bad name. Within half an hour of him going to his room, I checked on him and he was sound asleep. 

Our weekend was full of rainy weather and just chilling at home. We watched some college football on Saturday, and I napped on the couch. I was super tired all weekend, more so than normal. Like I was telling my coworker today, I am always tired and run down lately, but this weekend was worse than that norm.  

Sunday, we just chilled out while it was pretty rainy outside. The biggest accomplishment that I had on Sunday was that I made cheeseburgers and bison burgers on my new cast iron skillets that my mom got me for my birthday. They turned out great! 



Yesterday, Bill had to work, and the kids and I just rested, watched TV, and chilled. Dinner ended up being hot dogs grilled on my cast iron grill pan and heated up chili that I found in the freezer. Nice and easy. 

Today, Ben went back to school wearing a mask and I went back to work wearing a mask. In our food service department, there are several out with COVID. At the high school alone, half of the food service staff is out, all with confirmed cases. It seems like with school being back in session for the last couple of weeks, our numbers are going higher with active cases. It is what it is. 



Tomorrow, I need to make a run to the store after I take the kids to school and before I have to go to work. We need fresh produce, milk and just a few other things. I am trying to use up some food that has been lingering in our freezers (like the chili, and some leftover spaghetti that I will turn into a pasta bake). 

Well, I hope everyone has a good night and is staying healthy! 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

COVID is back in our house :(

 Yep. Seems like it is more than just a cold that Benjamin has. He tested positive for COVID on Thursday night. He laid on the couch all day long on Thursday and was fighting a fever all day long. 

 



Yesterday, he was a little better. Woke up with no fever, but little energy. Later in the day, he started feeling bad again and his fever was back. 

According to current protocols, Ben is out of school for 5 days so until Monday (which they don't have school that day anyways), then as long as he is symptom free then he can go back to school with wearing a mask for 5 days being optional. The school recommends he wear a mask, but it is ultimately up to us as parents. 

I am not isolating him to his room as I was around him all day long as I stayed home from work with him and had to give him meds, take temperatures, etc. Today he is up and playing and watching TV. He still doesn't have an appetite, but that is okay. I am making sure he is drinking. I am glad that I stocked up on Gatorade a few months ago.  

As for the rest of us... we are convinced that Bill had false negatives on his COVID tests and that he also had COVID earlier this week. It is a possibility as he is vaccinated and boosted, and these tests have been known to show false negatives for boosted individuals. Rebecca and Jacob seem fine. They went to school yesterday. I stayed home yesterday from work as I was more tired than I usually am, so I erred on the side of caution. I spent most of the day in bed napping. Bill was off so he took kids to school and picked them up. 

So, any plans that we had this long weekend have been cancelled. We were supposed to have a big cookout at my parent's house tomorrow, but we will not be going. Bill is working and the kids and I will just chill at home. Today, the boys and I will watch college football. Tonight, is the big Ohio State/Notre Dame game that is of interest. I will also be working on a few loads of laundry. I have 3 loads to fold and a couple to wash in order to get caught up. 

What are you to this Labor Day weekend? 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Sickness

 Well September is coming in with a bout of sickness in our house. :( 

Yesterday, Bill was home from work with achiness, sore throat, etc. He basically slept all day. He tested twice for Covid and both times they were negative. Thankfully, he felt somewhat better this morning. 

Then this morning, Benjamin woke up not feeling well. He said his belly hurt and his legs hurt. He said the only thing that didn't hurt was his hands. I knew he didn't feel good when he basically ignored Jacob. They are usually constantly going at each other. So he is off school today and he has been laying on the couch all morning watching TV. 

Since he is home, I called off work. Like I told my coworker a mom's work is never done. And any plans I had today will be changed. It is what it is. 

I started a load of laundry and will focus on that today I guess and watching cartoons with Benjamin.

Until next time, I hope everyone is doing well!  

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Music, Football, and Back to School

Happy last day of August! And a happy birthday to my dad today!! 

Our August was highlighted by 3 major themes...Music, Football and Back to School! 

First up was MUSIC and the Mount Vernon Music and Arts Festival where Rebecca AND Jacob performed during their youth showcase exhibition. 



They both sounded amazing and continue to hone their love of singing and performing. Rebecca sang "Wolf Song" by Camp, and Jacob sang "Believer" by Imagine Dragons while being accompanied by Rebecca on guitar. 



Friday during the festival, they performed and then we walked around the festival and had lunch including a favorite of a blooming onion.



Friday night, we returned to the festival to see the high school marching band perform and to see the Artistic group "Artrageous" perform. They are a group of artists who sing and dance and paint all at the same time. Their show was fantastic! If you ever have a chance to see them, I would highly recommend it!




Saturday, we were back at the festival for the kids' 2nd day of performing and again they sounded fantastic! They had a great experience, and I am super proud of them. While they were performing, Ben was having fun dancing on the sidelines. After they performed, we walked around again, and the kids had some fun playing a few games and see a transformer robot! Overall, it was a fun experience!  





Next up in August, was FOOTBALL! We went to the coaching debut of my brother as a high school assistant football coach. It was a hot day for a game, but once the sun went down it cooled down considerably. The kids had a blast seeing Uncle Josh as a coach. I really am proud of my baby brother, who graduated college in May and is now a high school intervention specialist and football coach for the high school football team. Thankfully, the team Josh helps coach won. It was a good game and a lot of fun to watch Josh mentor and build these kids up! 





Finally, last week the theme was BACK TO SCHOOL! I headed back to work and the kids headed back to school. Benjamin started back to school on a Thursday. Rebecca and Jacob went back to school on Friday, as Thursday was a day dedicated to 6th graders and 9th graders to get used to the schools. Since Jacob and Rebecca are in 7th and 10th grades respectively, they didn't have to attend school until Friday. 





Last week was their first full week of school and let me tell you it kicked all of our behinds. I was exhausted nightly. Rebecca had 2 hours of homework every night (welcome to being an honors student as a sophomore). It was a long week. However, each kid has seemed to adjust
 and hopefully are beginning the school year on a positive note. 

With all of that, I think that I have caught up on blogging. Finally. I think with that I will leave you with a picture of Gronk, who decided one morning to not get off my bed when I went to make it, so I just tucked him in and he seemed to like it! 



Hope everyone has a great day! 


  

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Health Update

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I thought I would take a break from recapping summer and provide a health update.

For those new here... I have had worsening health symptoms going on since April of this year when routine bloodwork showed that my red blood cell numbers and kidney numbers were off. I have also had swelling in my ankles, insomnia, a rash/slight darkening of skin behind one of my knees, fatigue, I get out breath with very little exertion needed, etc. Many mornings I wake up with numb hands. I literally cannot handle heat and humidity.  Cardiology has ruled out my heart. I have had my lungs tested and they are fine. 

Fast forward to the beginning of August, I had an ultrasound done of my kidneys, as well as lots of different blood tests done. When I saw my nephrologist, she was happy to say that my kidneys looked good. They saw no signs of lesions, stones, or anything that could be causing my blood numbers to be out of whack. My blood work was puzzling, in that she ruled out a lot of different things (lupus, thyroid, etc.) however she can't give me a definite answer as to why my numbers are still out of whack and why I am still feeling like crap. She has thrown out the theories of long term COVID, these numbers are my body reacting to a radioactive dye that I had when I had a stress test a year and a half ago?!, could be a reaction to my hysterectomy that I had 6 years ago?!?, could be a reaction to the very low dose of the blood pressure medicine that I am on (that I have been on for 2+years)... She has no idea. She has scheduled me for even more blood toward the end of September. Then depending on that bloodwork, she may decide to send me to hematology or neurology. 

When I left that appointment, I was super frustrated in that no one seems to know what is going on. I also do not want to wait for months to get into a hematologist.  I am not a doctor, however, it seems strange to me that of all the blood numbers that are out of whack, why are they only the ones related my red blood cells?? I also had developed a discoloration behind my right knee that was growing. It was almost like a rash; however, it doesn't itch, no bumps, etc. So, I put in a call to my Primary Care to see if I could get in with her to see about that and to also see if she could refer me to hematology. Thankfully, I was able to get an appointment for the following day. 

When I saw my PCP, she had no idea what the discoloration on my skin is. She prescribed a steroid cream; however, it is not helping it at all. She agreed to refer me to hematology in that my numbers are showing me as slightly anemic. 

Late last week, I got a letter in the mail saying that I have a hematology appointment on September 27. That is the earliest they could get me in. 

So, in the meantime, I am learning to pace myself and give myself grace to rest. I am trying to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. I am trying to have the kids do more around the house and I am learning to say no (for example, the kids wanted to go to our town's high school's football game Friday night. I was exhausted, so I said I wasn't going. Bill took the kids, and I stayed home and watched some YouTube and then went to bed early.) 

So that's the update. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

8 things we did in July!

 Happy Sunday! I am still trying to catch up with my blogging, which was sorely lacking over the summer. Yesterday, I finally finished our vacation to North Carolina recap. We did lots of other fun things this Summer as well, so today I thought I would do a quick recap of the highlights. 

In July we: 

---Visited the Saturday morning farmer's market on the square and met up with my mom.




---We went to visit my sister and her partner at their apartment. The kids loved that we could go swimming there. 


--- Rebecca and I went to see our community theatre's production of "Oliver." It was really well done and we had a good time. 



--- Rebecca and Jacob went to camp for a week. They had a blast making new friends and having new experiences, while deepening their Catholic faith. 


--- Ben had a solo week at home so he had a Ben and Mom day, where we spent a day in our town doing fun stuff, like going to the bookstore, playgrounds, candy store, etc.







 

--- Ben and I went to the zoo and met up with my sister, her partner, and her partner's brother. We had a fun day and then Ben went home with them for his very first sleepover. 









--- July 28 was my birthday and we spent it very low key, going to Bob Evans for dinner as Ben wanted to take me out to dinner. 

--- We ended the month by picking up Jacob and Rebecca from camp and enjoying their testimonies and Mass. We are super happy they are home.  




July ended up being pretty busy somedays and lazy other days. I will admit that it wasn't all sunshine, as I had several bad health days both physically and mentally. However, the highlights are what I want to remember. 


Saturday, August 27, 2022

We took a family vacation: Days 6 and 7

 Happy Saturday everyone! Let's finish up my family vacation recap today so that I can move on to other things to talk about, like my health stuff and back to school. 

So, Friday, July 1, was our last full day in Emerald Isle. We spent the morning at the beach. Soaking up a last visit to the beach and playing in the sand, reading, jumping in waves, etc.









 

When we came up for lunch, Bill and I decided to take the kids to Highway 55, which was one of the requests of the kids to eat at. They have super yummy burgers and also a yummy orangeade. It was a great meal. After we ate, we walked over to feed the turtles again and take some bird pictures. 










Our afternoon was spent relaxing and packing up to head home for the next day. 

That evening, my parents were in charge of dinner and my mom decided to go buy some fresh, local fish from a local fish market and my dad and brother grilled out mahi-mahi and flounder. It was a super yummy dinner to end our time in North Carolina.



After dinner, Bill and I took Rebecca, Jacob, Ben and Lacie and Ethan to the pier as that was the only activity that we hadn't done during the week that Rebecca really wanted to do. We saw another awesome sunset and the kids got to see a couple fishermen catch baby sharks. We also saw a huge shark swimming in the water near the pier. I am still in awe every time I see a shark in the wild. 







Then it was back home to start packing up the van with stuff and saying goodbyes to each other. My parents, brother, niece and nephew were planning on leaving Saturday morning at like 5:30/6. My sister and Cecilia and Mango were planning on leaving around 7 and we were planning on leaving around 9ish. 

Saturday morning, we headed down to the beach once we had closed up the house and everything was in the van to head home. We were all sad to leave but also kind of happy to get out dodge before a tropical storm hit. Apparently, very early Saturday morning a tropical storm formed just on the coast of North and South Carolina and it was moving toward straight toward Emerald Isle. So, we left town during a Tropical Storm Warning. Thankfully, we were out of dodge before it hit.  






The drive home was LONG. We got caught in a traffic jam for about 2 hours, we hit torrential rain for a couple hours where we couldn't see very far in front of us at all and then our GPS took us a completely different way home when we were reentering Ohio. However, after about 13 hours we finally were home to greet the cats. 




Overall, it was a great week. Any week with extended family can have its ups and downs. We had those, but we also made many memories and enjoyed our time together. It was a wonderful summer vacation!