Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cacker Barwul

This morning, Kale slept until 8am. At that time, I woke him up. He slept with Mema last night, so not sure what kind of night they had. His first reaction to being awakened was to whine and squawk (much like his momma has been known to do in the same situation). He sat up, found the pillow he had been sleeping NEXT to instead of resting his head upon, and then plopped his head back down on the pillow.

I again told him it was time to wake up. He looked directly at his Mema, who was laying next to him, and said: Cacker Bawul? For those of you who can't decipher that, its Cracker Barrel.

Yes, Kale is a fan of Cracker Barrel. We eat there often enough that he knows the name of the place. He also knows Al-mart (Wal-Mart) and the Target Store (which is what he calls Target).

This morning, I had to break his little Cracker Barrel heart and tell him we weren't going to Cracker Barrel and that we were going to school. He wasn't so pleased with that. In fact, he said: NO SCHOOL. Lovely. But, alas, he went to school with raisin toast and helicopter in hand.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009



At first glance, I know that looks like I just randomly picked and pecked at the keyboard. Look again. That is Kale's current version of the alphabet. It stops at T and starts over. Sometimes, other letters are skipped. You never know quite what version you will get. He even says the alphabet at 4am. Yes, we know this for a fact.

We also happened to get him the Fridge Phonics for Christmas. I am not sure who is more entertained by it, us or him. He is entertained by the singing and such when he puts the letter inside the hole. His parents are equally entertained or maybe even borderline stunned by the reality that our son knows some of his letters and is quickly learning more of them daily. Its not that we don't know he is smart or that he will probably be smarter than us by the time he reaches double digits. Its just kind of shocking to verbally hear him remind us that there is a LOT going on in that sponge brain of his and that he is no longer really a eat/drink/pee/sleep baby.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where are we?

Its been a whirlwind week of a different house every few days. Ep went home yesterday and tomorrow I will make the trek with Kale and Mema. We have had a good time seeing family and friends, but I think we are ready to be home.

The holidays have not offered a break from the hard moments in life. My good friend is currently dealing with the loss of her older brother. He was in a bad motorcycle accident and they made some hard decisions before he passed away on Saturday. This friend means the world to me, and her situation has been weighing very heavy on my heart. Please do me a favor and pray for her and her family.

Additionally, Ep and I received some information today that was flat out frustrating. Its not something that we care to openly discuss. Everything happens for a reason and God is at work in all things, not just the good things. Please pray that both Ep and I are able to truly hand this back to God and let Him work it out. I can already tell you, I am going to need you to pray hard on that one...because I am really wanting to take a little bit of this situation into my own hands.

I know that there haven't been pics added much in the past week, but its because I haven't been at home to load them. So, the pics are coming....

Yep, pretty boring post huh? Sorry about that. I promise better and more positive posts to come...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kale and Dash

You would think that this dog (Dash) would want to sleep as FAR AWAY as possible from Kale after spending all day putting up with a two year oldsters antics. When Kale is around, Dash deals with having a pulled tail, getting smacked instead of petted (because Kale gets so excited), and generally having to be constantly ready for an attack.
After Kale went to sleep, I crawled unto my own bed. Dash came into the room and immediately went to Kale's bed and curled up at Kale's feet! Normlly, Dash likes to sleep under the covers...but I guess he knew that a snoozing Kale wasn't going to lift the covers for him.
I turned on the light and quickly snapped this pic. Sorry it's blurry!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas has now come and gone, and wow was it jolly and merry! It was a great celebration with family. The only downer was that we are all still recovering and hoping we didn't infect those who weren't already sick.

Kale got everything he didn't ask for...because he didn't know to ask for it but we all bought him fun stuff anyway. He also got what he asked Santa to bring him...a train. He is a happy and blessed boy.

We got our Christmas snow, and on par for an Arkansas snow, it snowed more where they said it would snow less and snowed less where they said it would snow more. I guess I can't really fault the weather people here since they get to predict a measureable snowfall about once a year, or maybe once every 3 years. And speaking of snow. Kale HATES snow. Its cold and wet makes everything so bright and he wants nothing to do with it. We pulled him around on a sled and tried to get him to touch the stuff...but no way that was happening. The boy who loves to be oustide was begging to go back inside.

Today we drove back down to my parents house and enjoyed a great lunch at Catfish Hole. So incredibly yummy. Here is a random thing you probably don't know...they use my maternal grandma's hush puppy recipe there. So, everytime we go there, not only do we get to eat great fish, but I am also reminded of some great fish meals at my grandma's house.

Kale is currently fighting a nap, despite nearly falling asleep at the lunch table. Dad and Ep went to put new tires on my Sequoia. Merry Christmas to me! I got two tires and Ep got two tires! Whew, good thing we could agree where to put them.

Speaking of naps....maybe I could handle one myself.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Drive, round two.

Todays drive was shorter (only about an hour) and the drive while he naps idea worked! Here is proof!

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The drive

Today, I made the journey with Kale to my parents house while Ep was still working. A two car trip was necessary thist time, so I packed us up and off we went. I had best laid plans and on par with all two year olds, Kale had his own set of plans.

I planned the journey (2.5 hours) to coincide with naptime. By 15 minutes into the trek, he was snoozing. Until a guy (stupid #1) swerved into my lane. I hit the brakes (and horn) and suddenly had an alert fella in the backseat. He went back into zone out mode and fell back asleep within about 10 minutes. All was well until yet someone else (stupid #2) decided to play interstate roulette and the brakes were once again tested. No horn this time, but the bright eyes in the back seat came alive and the word "Alma?" came forth. I told him no, we weren't in Alma and to go back to sleep. He didn't buy it. "Mema's house?". Yes, we are going to Mema's house in Alma, now go back to sleep and we will be almost there when you wake up. Nope. Not having it.

So, we stopped for mommy to potty (and Kale to wash his hands) and then hit the road again.

He proceeded to play with every toy I could reach and throw a fit when he put one in a place where he nor I could reach as we motored on down the road.

So what do you do when you are 2 years old and tired of your toys and bored going down the road? You start taking off your shoes and get frustrated. Your mommy helps you with the shoes and smartly keeps them so they don't get thrown. Then you pull your socks up to your chin, or at least try anyway. Then you get mad because you can't pull the socks off. Then you try your best to escape your car seat. When that doesn't work, you throw another fit. Then you decide to give your toys another try. And this time, when you get sick of the truck, you fling it. Said truck hits the middle console, a plastic part of the truck goes one way and bounces off the front windshield while the rest of the truck parks itself right in the bag where it started. Mommy gives you a stern comment about not throwing toys and you do your best at a "woe is me, my mommy is so mean" cry.

Thats when mommy puts on some music, turns up the volume a tad, and checks the backseat every few minutes through the rearview mirror to make sure that you haven't figured out how to escape your seat.

We arrived in Alma, safe and sound. There is a toy truck missing a small plastic piece that landed in the front passenger seat. Not bad.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

School Pics

Here are Kale's school pictures.

None of us have figured out how they got him to sit still, pose like that, and smile all at once.

Really, we have no idea!

Kale George Fletcher
2 years, 1 month


This morning, Kale and I were each brushing our teeth. He looked up at me and asked "more pooftaste?" and I nearly wore my own toothpaste as I laughed. Yes, I gave him more toothpaste.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Oh, it is NOT ME who is still coughing and choking and working my way to the other side of the "daycare death" virus.

It is certainly NOT ME who has sprouted not one, not two, but three cold sores as a result of the above mentioned virus.

It is NOT ME who has somehow managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done while our entire household and Mema have been sick.

It is NOT ME who knows a secret and can't tell and won't tell and its NOT ME who isn't sure whether I am more excited or scared for the person with the secret.

It, without a doubt, was NOT ME who left the pee soaked sheet on our bed this morning after Kale peed a monster size lake in the middle of our bed. It is also NOT ME who has never put the waterproof (pee proof) mattress cover on our bed. Good thing we don't plan on keeping that mattress for the next 15 years. Oh, and its NOT ME that has this weird thought that if our mattress starts to stink that we will be forced to come up with the one to buy a new one to replace the current one which was bought from a motel that was going out of business. It was NOT ME who just admitted ANY of that!

It was NOT ME who threatened her own mother about going to the doctor. I am pretty sure it was NOT ME who said "go back to the doctor and make them give you something that makes you feel better OR I WON'T BRING KALE TO SEE YOU THIS WEEK!" Its NOT ME who is more stubborn than my own mother.

Its NOT ME who is pretty sure thats enough confessing for the week.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quickie (no, not that kind!)

Here comes a quickie update!

Our house seems to be on the mend. We sent Mema and Papaw home today with strict orders for Mema to go see a doctor again tomorrow. Her will to get up and be active is there, but her ooomph apparently left the building. We are hoping the doctor can give her a shot of some ooomph! We are all still taking antibiotics and other medicine varieties, but each day we all seem to feel better than the day before.

Thomas the train is a HUGE hit in our house. In fact, Kale didn't want to nap today and we think it was because he was afraid Thomas would disapear during naptime (since he appeared during nighttime). All the other toys in our house were serioulsy neglected maybe Thomas will be a good excuse for me to thin out the toy piles again.

Please keep my friend Robin in your prayers. She is a dear friend and her older brother was in a serious motorcycle accident early this morning. He has lots of head trauma and they are still waiting to find out the depth of his injuries. Please pray for her and her family as they cope with his hospitalization, medical needs, and all the emotions/feelings that come with these hard life events.

We have a busy holiday week ahead and are looking forward to seeing family and friends. Christmas will be celebrated on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so those two days should be full of fun and craziness. I am hoping that we find a few days of relaxation somewhere in there as well!

I plan to stay in Alma on Sunday and there is your notice!

In case I don't get to tell you in person, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thomas the Train has arrived

Well, Thomas has arrived at Kale's house. There is lots of playing to be done!

The picture in the bottom right corner is of him running into the living room and the rest are of him discovering different things on the train track and table. He has been playing with it for the past 15 minutes and still hasn't quit! Can you tell he likes his train table and track?

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Which way?

I just came to bed to find Kale sleeping like this...think he'll make room for momma?

PS: Ep is in Kale's bed because he is getting up before dawn to go fishing.

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Santa's Sleigh Was Too Heavy

Santa's sleigh was too heavy so he dropped this off a little early for Kale to enjoy....

Kale will discover it in the living room when he wakes up tomorrow morning.

Don't worry, I will take plenty of pictures!

Moody Christmas

Today, we celebrated Christmas with Mema's extended family. We had a great time and tried not to spread our germs!

This was Kale's first real introduction to opening presents this year and it didn't take him long to get the concept down. It probably helped that his first gift was a train caboose for his train set (that he will find when he comes into the living room tomorrow). Kale loved his gifts and ended up playing with a dump truck that could haul the caboose...and somehow managed not to loose either of them before we left for home.

As you can also see, he had a great time playing in the wrapping paper with his cousin Sarah (she is 3 months younger than him).

Oh, and his shirt? It says "Naughty is the New Nice", which I deemed appropriate given the amount of "MINE!" we have been hearing this week!

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Daddy Boat

This morning, Kale got to spend some time with daddy in the boat.

Can you tell he had fun?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Like Photography?

If you like photography, you might want to head over to to check out the awesome giveaway she has going. I love her blog anyway, but this just makes her blog even sweeter!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

He is two!

Tonight, we have been graced with the presence of a real deal two year old. He has talked about sitting on Santa's lap--despite the fact that he won't go within ten feet of Santa. He requested a smorgasboard snack of cheerwios, marshmewoes, and cookies when he got home from school. He has distictly used the word "mine" repeatedly, including when Ep was putting up the bathtub toys and Kale wasn't done playing with the one being taken from him. He has talked about Santa bringing him a train. He pulled off his diaper in the middle of the hallway and streaked the house. He brought a small tractor to bed with him. He poots and can't contain the ensuing giggle or keep from announcing the poot.
Yep, we have a real two year old folks. There is no telling what tomorrow holds for him!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ok, we are sick.

Ok, Ok, Ok. I give, we are sick. A couple of posts ago, I tried to vehemently deny this fact. It didn't work. The crud has infected our whole house. The good news is that the crud transporter (Kale) is getting much better. In fact, he is literally running circles around us now.

However, Mema has a bacterial something or other and is taking about 3-4 meds to combat her illness. I went to the doctor today and am taking cough syrup with codine and a steroid pill--and its working! I have an antibiotic on file at Walgreens if needed and can still take Nyquil at night, so I honestly believe I am on the mend (which is a good thing, given that I still have 75% of my Christmas shopping to do). Ep is still battling and I am not sure if he is getting better, worse, or just in a holding pattern. He goes to the allergist on Thurs so he is waiting until then to figure out what meds he needs.

So, that is us for now. Here is to hoping that we are all fully functional and feeling fine by Christmas! is pic I took tonight of Kale's eyes. That red you see in them...that was how all the white of his eyes looked last week. It was awful. Oh, and check out those freckles on his nose! How cute are they? I took this pic with my new camera that someone amazing bought for me (thank you!)...those freckles never ever showed up when I took pics of Kale with my old camera!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Boring Bulldozers

I guess he has finally seen enough of the bulldozer video because when I got off the phone with the clinic, this is how I found him!

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Our Motto: We aren't sick

Our new motto is: We aren't sick.

Too bad our bodies aren't following the motto just yet. Kale is much better than he was, but still sick. Mema just went to the doctor and was told she has the onset of a bacterial infection. My cough is increasing and I was congested earlier this morning. Ep says he isn't feeling well either.

I just can't believe that from Wednesday to Saturday, so many things went wrong with Kale. Next time, he will go to the ER when his fever gets that high. He went from supposed clear ears/lungs to upper respiratory infection, double ear infection, and conjunctivitus in 3 days. Maybe thats normal or maybe its not. I do know that he isn't going back to see a certain doctor at his pediatrician's clinic. I have scheduled him a re-check for Wednesday at 3pm. If nothing else, I will use that time to get some answers from our normal pediatrician.

I had a good time this weekend, although it seemed to be shrouded in drama. It was nice to get away and spend some time catching up with Bekah. I don't think we crammed 15 years into one weekend, but we touched on enough of it to feel caught up and in sync again. We shopped until we dropped on Saturday--13 hours worth. I mostly looked and got my hair cut and did end up finally finding some jeans that fit me well. That was a miracle in itself. She is now finished with 99% of her Christmas shopping. YEA Bekah! She also bought me a Christmas gift and I love it! I can't wait to learn more about using it and showing you the results...its a Nikon 3000D.

Now, I've got to get presents purchased and Christmas cards addressed and mailed....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Still sick but better

Our little patient has a fever again but it's not high. He didn't run fever all night but it came back this morning.

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We traded

Just like it crazily apppeared, the fever vanished tonight when I had prayed it would not go higher. Yes, instead of his fever climbing, it just went away.
His eyes still look awful and he is choking on his mucus, which seems to have given him a sore throat.
I'm just happy to be having a night that doesn't include contemplating taking him to the ER! (like the last two nights)

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sick little boy--night #2

Just like clockwork, at 10pm last night Kale's fever went from holding at 102 to making mommy worry 104. He then setted in the 103 range and occassionally went back up to 104. Around midnight, the thermometer read 104.3 and then we had to add a degree because it was taken under his arm. When the on-call nurse returned my call, she had me take it again and it was back down to 104.3 so she told us to hang tight and if it went above 105 again to take him to the ER. He got his next dose of Motrin and the fever settled at 102 again but did sometimes flirt with 103.

This morning, at 6:30am he had a 102 fever. After a dose of Motrin, by 7:15 his fever vanished.

His cough is horrible, his eyes are bloodshot, but its the fever that scares me the most.

Here is to hoping and praying that the fever is gone and doesn't decide to come back.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sick little boy

Yet again, we have a sick little boy. When I picked him up from daycare yesterday, I knew we were in for it. His cheeks were rosy, his eyes were red rimmed and glassy, and I could hear it in his voice. Within 2 hours, he started running a fever. He got a dose of Motrin. He moaned and whined and his parents worried.

By 10pm, which was 3 hours AFTER he had been given Motrin, his fever jumped up to 104. I called the on-call nurse while his daddy rocked him. She advised to keep a close eye on him and call back or take him to the ER if his fever went higher. Really, I wanted to take him to the ER right then. Panic and worry don't quite seem adequate for describing the feelings I was having at the time.

Kale and I went to our bed and daddy went to the couch and finally the other bed. We watched the last half of a movie and just laid in the bed. Kale fell asleep but was too close to the edge. When I moved him, I noticed he didn't feel hot at all. I was shocked. Despite being within an hour of needing more Motrin, the fever had vanished. Between 2-6am, he slept well and I kind of slept. I think I slept with one eye open, as if watching for the fever that might run back into the room and jump into my son's body.

Fast forward through a lot of whining (mostly on Kale's part, but some on mine) and realizing that when Ep locked my truck last night that I had accidentally left my keys INSIDE the truck. Whoops. While we waited to be rescued so we could go to the doctor, I rocked Kale and he zonked. Those kids you see being hauled into stores while they sleep on a parent's shoulder? That is not Kale. Not ever. He never sleeps through doors opening, his daddy's footsteps, and most certainly not through is parents slipping him into his coat. Today, he slept through everything except me handing him off to his daddy, which confused him because the look on his face was very "whoa, where did you come from daddy?"

Our appt was at 10:30 and by 10:49 we were headed back out to the truck. Diagnosis--virus. So, more Motrin and not much else we can do. His eyes look like he has been pulling all-nighters for a week straight and if they still look like that tomorrow, I will be calling to see if there is any relief we can give him for that. We know his eyes must be uncomfortable. Add that to a cough that takes his breath, a rapid and fast heartbeat when his fever rises, and sometimes a runny nose. No wonder he is the definition of cranky. At least we are all getting long cuddles with him.

Mema arrived by lunch today. Mema for President! She could have told us to suck it up, miss work, and figure all this out on our own. She didn't. She came when she was called and didn't say one word about exposing herself to who knows what kind of virus. Yep, Mema for President.

Tonight, the fever took off again (it came back during naptime) so we will keep a close eye on it. If I ever catch that fever monster, I swear I will kill it dead on the spot!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don't worry and I choose

Here is your warning. Worry, but don't worry. And as another disclaimer, nobody is sick or dying and nobody cheated on anyone else. Our family needs your prayers right now. We need prayers that we will make the right decisions and that we have the courage to face things that aren't fun or easy. Really, thats all I feel comfortable saying about it right now.

I know you want to know more and that your first inclination might be to call us and ask what is going on, so please let me tell you what is going on. Life. That right, life is going on. We will talk/share when we are good and ready...and that might just possibly be never.

Here is what you can do to help. Pray for us. Take that ball of worry that is in the pit of your stomach or your heart, wad it up into a nice ball or make a paper airplane with it...and send it on up to God in a prayer. I am asking you to give your worry about us to God and asking that while you are giving it to Him, that you ask for some guidance and strength for us as well.

While I am at it, let me tell you that God is here. He is here with us in this struggle. In one moment this morning, we both were able to see that.

My anger that flares in these types of situations? I don't know where it is. Maybe, for once, my anger realizes that it doesn't have a fighting chance in this situation or maybe my anger has been scared into hiding. I really don't know. There are still lots of conversations to be had. Lots of patience to find. Lots of understanding, forgiveness, and coping to do. And maybe in the meantime, my anger decided that it was all just too much work and that it was time to just take a vacation.

Our normal coping mechanisms won't work in our current situation. Maybe that should be cause enough to panic, but instead maybe we can view it as an opportunity for change. Maybe we can mend some other fences along the way. Maybe we can find a place that has eluded us. Oh, and just maybe, maybe, maybe...God has finally found a way make us stand up and take note that our independent, stubborn, prideful, and sometimes self-centered behaviors have no place in our marriage. Maybe instead of talking about being a team, we can truly start acting and performing like one.

In the middle of a situation where I could throw up my hands and ask, WHAT HOPE? I choose to have hope anyway. I choose to reach out and ask for prayer. I choose to practice what I preach. I choose to keep looking for God, even in the most frustrating and hurtful situations. I choose for us to take the hard road because its going to lead us to where we want to go. I choose not to take the easy road simply because I KNOW it does not lead to the place where we want to be. I choose to acknowledge that the road ahead in this situation will have bumps and that those bumps might jar us a little. I choose to view it all with my eyes wide open. I choose to remember to be thankful for my blessings, especially the one that tells me to "gets up mommy".

Again, the best thing you can do for us right now is to say a prayer. And for the worriers in the group (I know of at least 2)...remember, that worry won't fix any of this or make it better. Take that energy and do something positive with pray!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Love You Mommy

Last week, I had a bad day. I took some information my husband shared with me, digested it, stewed on it, and was ready to cause him bodily harm by the time he got home and started cooking dinner for us. In the middle of all that mess, God gave me a moment to really think about what is important to me.

I had left work, picked up Kale, and driven all the way home. Normally, the afternoon ride home is full of babble between me and Kale...topics include trucks, trains, ambulances, Pawpaw big trucks, and so forth. I mean, seriously, this is really riveting conversations we have! Or not. Anyway, back to my point. I had driven Kale all the way home and was stewing the entire time. As I pulled into our driveway, I realized that I hadn't said a word to Kale for the entire drive...and its a 20-25 minute drive. I was so lost in my own world that I gave him no choice but to be lost in his. I turned off the truck, took off my seat belt, and turned to look at him. I said "I love you Kale". I have said this to him countless times since he was born (and even some before then). Several weeks ago, he surprised all of us by saying "love ya'll" back to my mom on the phone. He could have gone the rest of his life saying that and we would have been just overjoyed hearing him say it that way. As if saving it for a day I needed it most...he chose this day to respond with "love you mommy". My eyes welled with tears and I couldn't get to him fast enough to give him a giant hug. I was feeling way, way, way mushy. Of course, he responded as any boy would--he headed for his daddy's lawn mower and just left his mommy standing there all mushy feeling.

I didn't end up causing my husband bodily harm. There was some gnashing of teeth until we finally came to a point that we could both accept the reality of the situation and acknowledge our separate frustations. As dinner was nearly ready and we found that mutual point of acceptance, I told my husband that I had something that would make his day. And it did. And immediately after Kale showed him that he could say "love you mommy", he also showed his daddy he could tell him "love you daddy."

I won't lie. I think Kale softened me up because he knew his daddy was in for it. And it worked. Then he proceeded to pay his daddy back for having to do such hard work by trying to entirely kick his daddy out of our bed a few nights later.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Testing and before I forget

Testing out this app on my phone. While I'm at it....

The other day I told Kale once that he was a hot mess. That was all it took. When I tell him he is a mess, he now looks at me and says hot mess!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Me Monday

Well, its been a while and I am busting back onto the scene with some fun. Welcome to my first Not Me Monday. Its a crazy little thing created by one of my favorite bloggers. You can check it out at and with that little bit of credit comes my first Not Me Monday....

It was Not Me who went Black Friday shopping with my mom and managed to score a parking spot near the door at 7:30am, and it was not me who snagged the last 1/2 price portable dvd player in the store. It was Not My Mom who easily scored a cart for our goodies. It was not me who also scored the last 1/2 price vacuum cleaner in the store.

It was Not Me who told the girl's at the pizza place that it was mom's birthday and so it was not me that was responsible for them delivering a cherry pizza to the table with song.

It was Not Me who napped every single chance I got over the past 5 days because it was =Not Me who was sick over the entire holiday break.

It was Not Me who managed to stop herself from going into a rant at her husband on Thanksgiving Day. It was Not Me that got two sentences into the fray and then decided that he is a big boy and can learn his own lessons no matter how frustrating that might be for me.

It was Not Me who let my 2 year old play with an Christmas ornament. It definitely was Not Me who all too late saw him tripping over a toy and falling face first onto the ornament. It is Not Me who feels guilty every time I look at the little purple/blue bruise it left on his forhead.

It was Not Me who had to gather up a birthday gift and return it to a neighbor--bag, cards, and all because our dog stole it from thier porch. It was Not Me who got to explain it to the laughing neighbors.

It is Not Me who wonders if we should secretly tape the next Fletcher family vacation and then sell the hilarity to the highest bidder. It was Not Me who asked my husband "did you say they had Thanksgiving dinner at Golden Corral" because I was sure my ears were really clogged on that one! It was also Not Me who wondered if the last time they ate at Golden Corral was when the Fox started his antics and had them sing happy birthday to me on not my birthday!

It is Not Me who has given up hope on keeping our dog in our yard. It is Not Me who is considering offering him to anyone with a farm of 10 acres or more.

Yeah...ok, thats enough I think. It surely was Not Me who probably dug about three holes with that post!

And as for the rest of the overdue updating...Not Me will get around to that soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who are you?

This was my thought last night at Larry's Pizza. Who are you? I know you are not my sweet son Kale, because he would never ever scream so loud that his orange hair thought about falling out. A little background here might help...every Tuesday night we end up at our local Larry's Pizza for some yummy easy supper. The waitresses all know Kale and I am pretty sure they just call us Kale's dad and Kale's mom. On two occassions, Kale has found the game room there. Now, back to last night.

I had carried Kale inside while Ep made a phone call. He said he would pay while I got us a table. Seems like everyone else showed up right before us and tables were not plentiful. As I walked around looking, Kale struggled to get down. I had ahold of his hand when he decided to break away from mommy just as a waitress walked in front of us. My choice was to let him go or cause her to trip. I let him go. I had to wait for her to pass and that was just enough time for Kale to bound his way into the game room and head straight for the game that has a steering wheel.

Kale has no concept of money going into the machines. He just wants to play with the steering wheel. He was climbing up and was inches from the beloved steering wheel when I caught up to him and grabbed him. He started kicking, screaming and basically becoming a rigid plank of a boy as I tried to exit the game room with him. The other kids gave me a wide path, it was that bad.

Exiting the gameroom only amplified his screaming and yelling. Everyone, and I mean everyone from the smallest of child to the nearly deaf lady sitting in the corner was looking to see who was screaming and why. If I had a free hand, it would have been a great time to raise my hand and own up to him getting that behavior from me. At least I admit to that fact. But I didn't have a free hand because both my hands were wrangling the 21 year old man that had taken over my son's body. It was in this moment that I realized that Ep was still outside on the phone and unaware of his son's desire to deafen everyone in the place. We headed for the door, which yes, was all the way across the room. That 30 feet seemed to span 300 yards last night.

I opened the door and out we went, screaming and all. The bewildered look on Ep's face was funny, but I didn't have time to laugh because I was too busy handing off the newest member of wrestlemania. Then, we all three walked back inside...Kale being carried by Ep. I suppose that Kale thought he had won the fight and we were taking him back to the game room because he started yelling when he realized that wasn't happening. Ep headed back outside with him. Apparently they had a little man to man talk of some kind and I am not sure that Kale liked what was said but apparently he believed whatever he was told. They came back inside and went to find us a table. By the time I got to the table with the high chair, Kale was contemplating fit #2 and staging a "I'm not getting in the high chair revolt". I quietly asked him if we needed to go outside and mentioned something about a spanking. He limbered up and piped down and got into the high chair. By now, Ep is trying to feel Kale's head to see if he has a fever because this behavior is so completely out of the norm for him in a place he truly likes to be. As if it was his way of having the final word, he started rocking the high chair from side to side. Or maybe he was trying to rock it all the way into the game room. Who really knows. We sure as heck don't. We are still trying to figure out who that kid was!

We all ate dinner and our favorite waitress there brought Kale a sucker. His words after that were MMMMMMMMmmmmm, MMMMMMmmmmm.

So, yeah, whoever the 21 year old man was that showed up in my 2 year old son's body last night can go away and never come back again thank you very very much!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our week isn't over yet, but thus far has included the following:

Hives that are now turning to bruises on Kale...which made us start the week with a cranky and unhappy boy who is finally getting happy again.

A hole in the master bathroom sink drain....which led to a flooded "underneath the sink area"...which led to me cleaning all that out and drying it out...which led to my husband trying to fix the sink drain but only finding out that he needs more "stuff" and that we should now go forward with using pvc pipes...and a very happy wife that her husband is at least trying and will succeed to conquer this drain problem.

A dog who has decided he must once again climb the fence (because he knows that every hole digging spot is completely sealed off). For now, the problem is solved with a bike placed in the corner where he was climbing. Its only a matter of time before the bike no longer intimidates him and the climbing begins again. Then it will be time to bring back out the "shock made for a cow" stuff and remind him that he is supposed to stay inside the fence. For those of you who think this sounds cruel--please know we have exhausted every other method. He chewed through the shock stuff made for dogs. Either we do the shock for cows or he runs free where he can bite someone or get hit by a car...we choose the shock. Sitting him in time out just doesn't work. Sorry.

But on a positive note, we now have lots of kleenex (which Walgreens PAID ME to take from their store legally). We also have some really nice smelling holiday stuff for which I paid Target $3.64 (including tax) and they in turn gave me the nice smelling Glade stuff AND $10 in gift cards. I also ordered some holiday cards last night...50 of them...and they didn't cost me anything more than the time it took to create them...and they are shipping to me free. Yippee!

Oh, and if you haven't tried the peppermint chocolate holiday shake thingy from Chik-fil-A then you should...I swear it has just a nip of Heaven in it!

Man, there sure is a lot of mention of holiday in this would think Christmas is coming or something....oh man...I am in trouble!

Monday, November 9, 2009


First, let me say, poor Kale. He is itchy, cranky, and his joints ache. Today, he has pretty much been a cantankerous old man in a toddler's body. After realizing his joints seemed to be swelling, we booked him an appt at the pediatrician and let them have a look at him. Yep, still a harsh reaction to the amoxicillin. Doc prescribed some steriods and Allergra to alternate with the Benadryl. We aren't sure whether it was the steroid kicking in, his body just finding a "good moment" in his healing, or the fact that daddy came home...or maybe just the fluke thing of all three at once....but tonight the cranky old man started bouncing around the house and the whiny, cranky boy left the building. (whew)

Second, ahem, announcement. Granddaddy, you have a name. For the moment, you are deedaddy. I am sure we will find the place of grand, but for now its dee. Don't ask, because we don't know. We just know thats you.

Third. Need some perspective? Here is some: If you can't find some perspective there, then you need serious help. Its a blog about a family. Lately, the blog has been more specifically about the journey of thier one year old son...who wasn't even supposed to live to see his own birth. But he did. While I was reading about him, one word stood out. in the same thing that Kale can have as a result of his WPW. This other little boy has other heart issues and I haven't seen them mention WPW. However, SVT has become a normal event in their lives and they know how to do vagals to interupt it. We were taught about vagals, but we have never had to do them. I hope we never do. I don't even know if Ep remembers what a vagal is...but I know he would know how to do it. Anyway, perspective...the one year old was supposed to have ablation tomorrow. Doctors don't prefer to do ablations on babies/toddlers because they are so difficult to do on such a small organ/body. His heart had other ideas and pretty much screamed that it needed to be done today. His heart screamed so loud that it wore itself out and the little guy flat-lined right in front of his doctors, nurses, and his momma. It takes my breath and makes the tears flow to just try to fathom what that was like for her. Through it all, she kept her faith. They were finally able to take him to surgery for his ablation and hit roadblock after roadblock after roadblock. You would think this story wouldn't end well, given the way it unfolded throughout the day. But see, GOD IS GOOD. When medicals science says there shouldn't be a way, God CREATES a way. He did that today for Kellan. Tonight, one year old Kellan is recovering from his ablation and his doctors fully expect for him to be SVT free for the rest of his life. This is far better of an outcome than any of the doctors were willing to hope would happen and it did happen because GOD IS GOOD! :)

Go read about this family, their struggles, or even just what they have experienced today....and you tell me...really, how bad are your struggles and problems? I know mine are in check tonight.

Weekend Whhheeee

Thats what I am calling this past weekend. Weekend in what you say on a ride at the fair or amusement park...wheee, because thats what it feels like.

I guess we could also call it the unplanned weekend because just about everything we tried to plan somehow didn't happen. Oh well.

Originally, Ep was going to fish a tournament...which got moved to a location he didn't want to fish.

Then we decided to go see the Hogs play South Carolina and the crazy coach. Mema took Kale to her house and we didn't make it there until after he had gone to bed for the night...not that he cared...she picked him up from school and he didn't ask for us until right at bedtime and it was only once even then.

Kale spent all day Saturday playing with Mema and Unnel Kiss (uncle Chris). Meanwhile, his parents drove up to the game, had breakfast with some boys (ok, brother in law and good friend), and walked over to the game. That is where I found out that my Hog loving husband has become a "medium Larry" and has forgotten how to cheer at the stadium. He sat there and was all pesimistic and such...and I am all "dude, we are winning...why are you just sitting there? Are you OK?" I really worried about him. Finally, in the third quarter, medium Larry disapeared and my husband showed back up. We won, walked back to our friend's house, and waited for the traffic to die down.

Hunger took over and we headed over to JJ's to meet some friends and enjoy some good food/drinks. Oh, and let me tell you...they have $1.99 margaritas all day every day...and they aren't wimpy or little ones either! I had some good food with two margaritas and got cut off by my husband. That was a first. Later we headed back to Alma and we managed to accidentally intercept Kale and Mema on a trip to the store. We completely stalked them. Then, I enjoyed ice cream while Ep devoured some good Braum's food. Before Kale and Mema returned, one of us had crashed out...before 8pm...yep, that would be me...nothing like beating your toddler to bed!

I needed the sleep because on Sunday, Kale reminded us that he can push our buttons on any given day without any warning. Ep asked me to come look at Kale. I took my time and got a little verbage for that...deservingly. Kale was covered in red bumps. Not the chicken pock kind. But big and small red bumps over his entire body. My vote was medicine allergic reaction. Ep said bug bites. I won. Unfortunately. You can read more about that here: . So, the short of this is that Kale has to use non-"cillin" antibiotics from now on.

Mema was the Presidential nominee again because she dropped everything and came on down the road about 30 minutes behind us. She went to go get the callamine, oatmeal bath, and such when we left the clinic. We took Kale home, unloaded the truck, and waited for Mema to arrive with the goods.

After an oatmeal bath and then a coating of callamine lotion, Kale nearly fell asleep before we could really get him fully into bed. He was THAT tired and it was before I gave him the Benadryl! I had hives at 14 but had forgotten how worn out it can make your body feel. Little dude scared his momma twice...because at 2am he still had not stirred. I literally went in and moved his arm to make sure he wasn't rigid. Yeah, I know, bad. Its really rare for him to sleep more than 4 hours after going to bed without waking someone up. He had slept 5.5 and was still snoozing. He got more meds and still didn't stir until 90 minutes later. At 6:45am I went in to check on him again. I again moved is arm. Dude was totally konked out!

He greeted the day scratching around 7:15 am and by 7:30 am had a new pink coating of callamine and dose of Bendadryl.

Once again, he has left his mommy and daddy giving sympathy scratches to their own heads while they say, "wow we totally didn't see that one coming!" See....wheeeeeee....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This is a reminder: God is soooo Good!

Note: if you read Kale's caringbridge site, this is a duplicate post from there....

Let me tell you this: GOD IS SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!

2 years ago, right now...on this date...I was in an ambulance with Kale and we were being rushed to Arkansas Children's Hospital. Over the course of the next few hours, all we could do was watch and pray that Kale would survive. It was a surreal experience and we couldn't really grasp the magnitude of in the moment. That day, I was reminded who has the ULTIMATE POWER and CONTROL. Not me, but God. Not Ep, or our parents, or our friends and extended family memebers....ONLY GOD.

I am still eternally thankful for the support and people that God brought to us that day. I will never forget the fact that my cousin who works at ACH came running to us and held our hands and explained things to us and told us when we could watch and when we shouldn't. And when I didn't listen, she stood between me and my baby so I counldn't see what she didn't want me to see and remember.

Some things from that day are fading. I think we are all ok with that. I know I am. The part that will never fade is the memory of Ep and I clinging together as they shocked our child on several different occassions. And our strong little man laid there an took it and survived. Its a very humbling feeling to realize that the ONLY thing you can do for your child to make him better is to pray. I can close my eyes and see it all...the flurry of doctors and nurses, Kale laying there, I can see us in the corner of the room trying to see what is happening but trying to stay out of the way...I can hear the incessant beeps and screams coming from the monitors as they warned that his heart rate was too high. And in all that, I can see myself sitting there indian style literally chanting a whisper to God: "Please watch over my baby. Please take care of my boy."

And He did. God is THAT GOOD! In fact, he is soooo good that I left that little boy sitting on the couch watching boo-boders (bulldozers) on tv while he waited for his Mema to bring him some oatmeal to eat this morning. Yep, GOD IS GOOD! To all of you who supported us on this day two years ago and the many days follwoing, whether in person or in prayer...thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Am boo lant

This morning on the way to school/work, we were driving on the interstate and passed an ambulance going the other way. Kale immediately said "faar tuck" (fire truck). I told him that it was an ambulance.

There was silence in the backseat for about 10 seconds. Apparently, he was working on it.

Then, out of the silence comes "am boo lant" as a question. Yes, Kale, ambulance. Then he repeated am boo lant about 8 more times.

He cracks me up. So, its no longer an ambulance...its an amboolant. How could anyone NOT love this kid????

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sinus Infection

Well, today the little pumpkin was sporting a constant stream of yellow junk coming out of his nose. Pleasant, I know. Sorry. After a dose of Benadryl, it just kept coming. I called the "on call" number to see if he could get a script called in. No deal. I called the after hours clinic at ACH and he got an appt for two hours later. Not bad for the Sunday after Halloween! So, a 15 minute visit later, we had a script for Amoxicillin and off we went to Walgreens. The doc said there was a 50/50 chance he had a sinus infection. He said we had equal chances of the amoxicillin helping him get better (it will work if its a sinus infection). Since Kale has had a cough for weeks and his nose runs more than not, the doc was willing to write the script. Fine by me.

So, another 10 days of Kale taking a medicine I have to be sure not to lick off my fingers or let stain my kitchen counter. Ok, really I am not too worried about that second one because we already stained it plenty with the first round of meds about 2 months ago (along with bunches of other things).

Word on the street is that reinforcement (aka, Mema) will arrive mid-week...and we are all excited about that!

Big Toy Book

As I looked through the ads in the Sunday paper, I noticed the Toys R Us Big Toy Book. I thought I would give it a look and see what kind of toys were being pushed this year. As I looked through it, a very curious boy arrived on the scene and proceeded to take possession of the toy book.

He went to the couch, crawled up, and settled in for a good look.

When he discovered this page (with motorized riding toys) he gawked for quite a long bit in complete silence. I tried and tried to get his attention but was apparently talking to a wall.

Finally, after about 3 minutes of complete stillness and silence (two things that aren't often assoicated with Kale!), I was able to get his attention.

And then he decided to look through the rest of my "paper discard pile" for anymore toy books before grabbing the toy book and heading to the other room with it.

Happy Halloween

Our neighborhood has never been a great place for kiddos looking to fill their goody bags on Halloween night. So, we knew that if we wanted to hit more than a few houses with Elmo (Kale) then we would need to go elsewhere. We also figured this is probably the last year we can get away with NOT going out for some loot on Halloween night.

So, we decided to stay home. Ep grilled burgers and we watched the Hog game until about dark. At about 6:30, we had our first and last group of kids come to the door. Kale looked on with wide eyes at the kids in costumes and kept looking outside to see if there were anymore coming. As I looked out the door, I noticed that a few of our neighbors had thier front porch light on, so I told Ep we should take Kale for a quick trip of trick or treating. We tossed him into his Elmo costume and got his Elmo bucket. We grabbed a flash light and off we went.
As we rounded the corner of our house, we discovered that one neighbor had already turned off the porch light. It was 7pm. Ok, on to the other neighbor with the light on. We got to the door and I put on his Elmo hood and rang the bell. I then stepped back and told him to say trick or treat. He started saying tic o tee immediately and just kept repeating it. After about 2 minutes, I realized that the neighbor wasn't home and had left on the porch light for security and not as an invitation for Halloween fun. Bummer. As I told Kale nobody was home, you would have thought he understood that he was supposed to be getting candy. Oh my goodness the crying and tears. Great, now we have a crying Elmo. After our first house. He wasn't upset that he didn't get candy. He had no way to know he was SUPPOSED to get candy. He was upset that nobody came to the door and said hello to him. At this point, there are NO front porch lights on besides ours and the neighbor who isn't home.

We knew our neighbor (age 14) was home because her dad told us that she was home alone right before he left for an errand. So, we went to her door. She opened up the door and started searching for candy. They had none. I told her that was fine because Kale doesn't yet know he is supposed to get candy for doing this. She laughed and talked to him and all was well. Her parents arrived home as we were leaving and got a good giggle over little Elmo. We then walked home and let daddy hurry inside so we could trick or treat at our own house. Daddy was quite giving with the candy (m&m's) and Kale was quite surprised. We then went inside and called it an night.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I am stuck in the land of neverendingness. In this land, there is never enough time. The list never stops and as you cross one thing off, five more appear in its place. And the list apparently doesn't mind growing because it sends my two year old to me with a new book every few minutes. I mean, I have to choose between the list and the pleading eyes and "mommy peas" coming from my two year old. 99.995% of the time Ichose the two year old because I am well aware that he will not be little forever and there will eventually come a day when he says "mommy" in a different tone and won't be caught dead in my lap with a book. So yes, I chose him. And I know its the right decision.

But back to neverendingness. Just so you know, on this list is the following and I haven't forgotten:
  • I owe my sister in law a picture via email.
  • I must decide if we are even giving Kale a party and if so, what day/time.
  • That I do have sanity, but have temporarily misplaced it.
  • That there are two boxes of pull-ups with my son's name on Cave Springs. (and that its ok the pull ups are in Cave Springs because Kale refused anything to do with potty training at home).
  • That there is a mountain of towels that need to be laundered...along with a pile of clothing.
  • That our bathroom needs a serious the kind where you wear a mask and gloves cleaning.
  • Kale's car lot and toy store are about to be attacked...

The one thing I can cross off my list is to empty the clean clothes out of the basket so I can move it to its proper location and put the dirty clothes in the basket. I dumped the clean clothes on the bed. This basket had to be moved so I don't manage to kill myself by half drop kicking it and tripping over it around 3am tomorrow morning and scaring the living hades out of my husband who can apparently wake from a dead sleep asking "Marcia are you ok?" and go back to snoring 5 seconds later. Yes babe, I am fine but I no longer have a left shin. Thanks for asking. Snore.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Editor's note

This is an editor's note about yesterday's blog.

You know, the one that talked about sucker punching.

Kale's daily report showed that he only slept for an hour yesterday during naptime.

He is so my child. I am fairly certain that he did that just to spite me for writing that blog and telling the world he naps for two hours at school.

Oh yes, so very much my child....

PS...he didn't sleep worth diddly last night either. I even had to cut a hangnail on his toe at 3am so he would stop scratching it down my back. If his daddy tries to claim that Kale kicked him all night, I am going to ask him to show me Kale's 3rd and 4th legs/feet!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sucker punched

My kid sucker punches me. He does it to his daddy too. We should see it coming, but we don't. For the record, he doesn't use his fists. He uses something a tad more subtle...this little thing called control.

At night and for naps during the weekend, this is what happens: I go into his room with him (or his daddy does if I am gone) and he has a bottle of milk. Not a cup, but yes a bottle. Still. Lately, it MUST be baberry milk. I (or his daddy) crawl into bed with him as he drains the milk and slowly lets his eyelids become too heavy. Finally, he will give in to sleep. For naptime he will sleep around 2 hours. At night, we will usually hear little feet running to our room by midnight. And from there its a gamble as to how the rest of the night will go.

Here is what happens at naptime at school: He goes over to his mat and literally flops onto it. Within seconds, his eyes are closing. He usually sleeps the full two hours allowed. No bottle, not even any milk. And nobody laying down with him either.

Since Mema and Papaw were only going to be around this morning before going back to Alma, Kale and I stayed home for a bit today. Granted, today when I got him there, the rest of his class was already sleeping at 12:03pm--and they go down for nap around 12:00. Also, he was nearly falling asleep in the car on the way to school.

But still. He has been completely sucker punching us....

Gap Casting Call

Well, I finally did it. I entered Kale in a casting call. About twice a month, someone will ask if he does any commercials or such. I mean, I know my kid is cute, but there is this thing called motherly bias. I don't know much about kid modeling, so I will tread into the arena lightly and always know my way to the closest exit.

The way this casting call works is that its an open call to the public. You submit the entry online (the deadline has now passed) and can submit up to five pictures. The public can vote for a people's choice. The winner of this category will win a family vacation to some exotic location. To vote, you have to if you want to do that, go ahead and vote for Kale! However, the casting call itself is a group of 20 kids who are picked by a group of people in charge of this event. So, for that part, the public's opinion doesn't matter. They will choose two sets of boys, on group of age 0-5 and another group of 6-10. They will also do this for the girls groups. Thus, five from each age group.

The 20 finalist win a $1000 babyGap or GapKids gift card and a trip to New York or Las Vegas to see the Lion King performance. Oh, and you will see those kids in Gap ads and store displays around the country.

Here is the link so you can see what pics I submitted...and if you want to vote, you can do that too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For Kale

This is for Kale. Someday down the road, he will will read this and roll his eyes and tell me I am sooo (insert current word for crazy sappy mommy). But maybe someday on further down the road, he will read this and know it was written with love.

Two years ago, right this moment (10:25am), Kale was resting quite calmly inside my womb. He never, not once, seemed to even acknowledge the stress that my body was experiencing. His only danger was the fact that I was in danger. In true boy form, he was pretty much sending the message of "you deal with it mom, because I am feeling just fine!"

At 11:11am, the doctor brought him out of my womb and into the bright lights and cool air of the operating room. He screamed with all his 4 lb 11oz and 18 inches of might. And then he was quite for .0009 of a second before screaming again. He was not happy with what had happened. He had been warm and comfy and playing with his toes and then BAM, cold air and bright lights and all kinds of people up in his face. So, he turned red and screamed.

His daddy went to be with him as he passed his first tests with flying colors. His apgar scores were equal to those of a full term baby. He was breathing on his own. They wrapped him up and brought him to me. I couldn't hold him. The doctors were still working on me. So they held him beside my head and I whispered to him. He was quiet at that point. I whispered things like "I love you" and "you are sooooo strong" and some more I love you's.

Kale was born a mess of bones and skin. He missed the fattening stage of my pregnancy, so he was pretty darn lean. I remember wondering how long it would take him to grow into his flabby skin that hung from his tiny bones. His butt was non-existent. His eyes were very alert.

I wish I could tell him about the next several hours of his life, but I can't. I can tell him what I remember others telling me. I know that he wasn't on oxygen support long...something like 18 hours as a precaution, but he didn't really need it. I don't know when they started feeding him. I know he had a nasal tube that was used to feed him. He like to snuggle up on his belly, much like he still likes to do now. I know that his daddy came to see him several times but didn't hold him until days later. Son, you intimidated your daddy. He can say that isn't true or that it was something else. Sorry, but you intimiated him with your little itty bittiness. My parents went in to see Kale and touched him and took pictures and fell all kinds of head over heels in love with Kale. I know that Ep took his mom, dad, sister, and brother in law in to see Kale as well. I don't know when though...because I was in the black hole of oblivion (sleep).

I finally got to go see him that night. I didn't really know what to expect. This wasn't the arrival I had imagined for him. I wanted him to be in my room with me and for us to all go home together. Instead, he got his own little section of a room he shared with 2-3 other babies and sometimes it seemed they were all in a competition to see who could make the monitors beep the most. Kale was continually hooked up to oxygen/heart monitors, because that is the rule of the NICU. But after the first few days, those were the only wires that remained attached to him. He battled with jaundice and almost made it out of the incubator but then got sent back because he let his temp drop below 98. Most people don't realize it, but preemies have to work really hard to just keep thier temperature stabilized and over 98 degrees. In fact, they have to LEARN how to do that. The second try out of the incubator worked. We knew we were really making progress. The rule of thumb is that a preemie will stay in the hospital until the original due date. For Kale, that would have been six weeks. He seemed to be more on track for just a few weeks. We had some false starts with getting to go home. Those were emotional and scary moments. Joy of going home, pure fear of taking this tiny baby home and not having nurses to tell you if something isn't right, and then the disapointment that you are not going home after all. Along the way, Kale and I found a compromise with me feeding him. We found a rhythm and things that worked. Really, as long as we gave him my milk, he didn't care if he got it straight from me or from a bottle.

We went from just being able to touch him, to me holding him, to Ep holding him, to feeding him, to walking to the nursing room alone with him....and then we had to go home without him. THAT was hard son. Really hard.

On day 8, we spent a full day/night in the hospital with him to prove that we could care for him continually. We apparently passed the test because the next morning at 9 days old, they gave him shots and circumsized him. Not so much of a wonderful exit from his point of view! I like to look at it as their way of saying, "this should keep you from wanting to come back soon!"

I would like to say that then we went home and life was happy ever after. That wasn't the case and we all know it. But it was our life ever after and your story and us learning quickly how amazingly strong Kale could be.

In the midst of dirty diapers and eating non-stop and waking somebody up every two hours and all the fun that comes with a newborn, Kale had a card up his sleeve. And when Kale showed that card to us, oh boy oh boy, he got our attention. We all know that struggle and adventure Kale gave us.

We all know it was just Kale's way of saying "See how strong I am? Let's just be clear about that now. So, when I am growing and making you want to pull your hair out and constantly making you wonder what is next, you can honestly say that I have ALWAYS been this way from the beginning."

...and we listened.

Kale, happy birthday son. Its been a miraculous and amazingly blessed two wonderful years. Your mommy and daddy and everyone else loves you immensely. We can't remember what life was like before you arrived. (well, we think maybe it involved a litte more sleep). Your mommy and daddy both love you with all of thier hearts. Mommy and Daddy have agreed that we both love you more than we love each other. Son, that is a heck of a lot of love. You constantly keep us in awe and laughing. You never fail to amaze us. You always keep us in our place. Each day, we are thankful for the blessing of Kale George Fletcher.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Two? Really? Two? and some revisiting

Here we are. We are sitting on the eve of Kale turning 2 years old. How did that happen? Ok, yes I know how it happened. I believe it was through a blur of runny noses, dirty diapers, lots of sleeping and eating, and a bunch of laughter along the way. Oh, and don't forget to through in a few near heart attacks for his parents along the way.

I know, eventually, I will be able to find October 20th with nothing more on my mind than Kale turning another year older. But this year, I am once again revisited by the past. I knew, all day on Saturday, what the date was. See, it was the two year anniversary of the obstetrician looking at me and saying "Do not pass go, do not go home, but go straight to the hospital. You don't even get the $200 like you would in the game, and oh yes, don't forget to take your pee jug to them when you go." Then, just for giggles (or maybe just so I would know my reality), he added "when you leave the hospital, you will be a mom." I am pretty sure he meant for my mom to drive me to the hospital. She rode shotgun. I called Ep to tell him the news as I drove. I was pretty much breaking every single "don't" of a someone with severe pre-eclampsia. I am pretty sure someone should have wheeled me up to labor/deliver, but instead I just walked up with my pee jug in hand and told them I was there to be admitted. For a moment, they might have thought I had the wrong floor. Then I said pre-eclampsia and the next thing I know I am in a hospital gown with a fetal monitor attached to me and am getting to see an unexpected third ultrasound of my little guy. When the tech told me his weigth was 4lbs 11oz, but that it could vary up to a pound....I started praying that it was accurrate or that he was bigger than that. Not just for his sake, well ok a lot for his sake, but also because I had gained 45 pounds so I was really hoping that a little more than 4.5 pounds of it belonged to him! (I lost 35 of it during the three weeks after his birth and hte other 10 can't make up its mind about whether to stay or go. I have told it that its free to go!)

I remember the next few days. I remember the visitors and the fact that I didn't leave my hospital room for 56 hours straight. I finally begged the doctor to let me take a pushed wheelchair ride. I really don't think that the two were connected, but I am pretty sure that Ep will never push me anywhere in a wheelchair again, because that night after my wheelchair trip, the real madness began. That was 2 years ago today. It was a Friday. Ep's sister/brother in law brought us dinner from Outback. I was excited to watch some show on tv that night. I was trying to keep Kale cooking for as many days as possible. Then the madness really began.

Let me pause for a moment to say, if you have heard this story before...its ok to stop reading now. But, you might want to keep reading because you might learn a new part of the story...a part that was once forgotten or left out on accident.

By the next morning, I had tried three different heartburn medicines to battle the strange feeling in my chest. They even came and performed an EKG on me. Nothing. The third heartburn medicine made me sick. Thats when I saw the spots they had warned me about. If I saw spots, I had to tell them because a seizure might be eminent. The doctor was called and my 24 hour urine collection was sent off to the lab. The on call doctor, who we had never met because he worked for the partner on call clinic, came in and talked to us. I think he came in twice or maybe once. I just remember the time he came in and dropped the bombshell that "you are having your baby today...and everything is about to start happening fast." He then left but told us that the nurses would be back soon.

I remember looking at Ep....we both started crying or maybe we were both already crying. Its the one time in our ten shared years that we both cried at the same time. When one of us is crying (usually me), then the other one is being too supportive to cry. Not this time. We let the tears run. We were scared. Actually, we were terrified. This was no longer the "hahaha Marcia flunked home bed rest" routine and had just become the reality of we are going to have a baby who will be born six weeks early and he is little and not the 9lb'er we were expecting.

Somewhere, through prayer and tears, we also had a conversation about his name. His chosen name had been a front runner. I remember Ep asking me if we were "going with Kale" and me saying "Yes, I think so." And that my son, is how we finalized your name. I guess God made time stand still to give us those few moments together to make that decision and pray. Because we had barely said Amen and chosen his name when the flurry of nurses arrived.

I was scared about being catheterized. Yes, I know, absurd. I don't remember telling anyone I was afraid of that, but I was. I feared it worse than the idea of them cutting me open. Before I could hardly blink, I was catheterized and being monitored and everything was beeping.

I made a joke to the nurse about having a baby without ever having a contraction. She told me not to worry, that I had a contraction about five minutes ago. Whoa. Really? Yes, really. Oh, thats what that weird tug in my belly was. Her is another part of my conversation with her.
Me: Well, then, what is my blood pressure?
Her: You don't want to know
Me: Really, I do. Is it worse than when we were in the other room?
Her: Yes.
Me: Well, give me a range
Her: its 200/more than 100.
For those of you who don't know, that is closing in on severe hypertension. It wasn't good.

Then the anesthesiologist arrived. The nurse spouted off about me being lucky because this guy is the best in the hospital. The next time (if ever) I have to get an epidural and the nurse says something like that...I will be getting out of bed and unhooking myself from everything and just take my chances of having my baby in the parking lot thank you very much. The best in the hospital. Ok, well, it took him FIVE freaking tries to get my epidural going. FIVE. That is five times he tried to stick me in a very small place in my spine...nah, not scary at all. Oh, and it wasn't painful either. If you believe those last two sentences, then you need to be committed for a mental evaluation. After the third try, the nurse asked Ep if he was ok. He said yes. After the fourth try, he asked her to support me and he sat down in the floor. It was the first time I had ever seen my "pillar of strength husband who is rock solid in any emergency" get weak in the knees. I don't blame him one bit. He could see the pain on my face and hear it in the pure silence that surrounded me. I wasn't saying anything or making any noises. I think if the roles were reversed, I would have already knocked the doctor out and gave it a try myself. After the fourth try, Ep found his feet and was there to support me again. The doctor told us that if this try didn't work, then he was going to have to just put me under for the c-section. I knew that would mean that I would be out for a while and not have any memory of my baby being born or see him when he was just a few minutes old. I started praying hard. And the fifth try worked.

Next up was the ride to the delivery/operating room. They made Ep go to a special room while they prepped me in the operating room. He swears that he walked down the hall beside my rolling bed to the OR, but I have no memory of him being there. He says the wait in the special room was probably less than 15 minutes but that it felt like hours. I would like to stop right her and say that I don't think I was in the OR for a total of 15 minutes. I was, but it sure didn't seem like it. I wasn't in my right (or left) mind. I am pretty sure my mind had left the building. Next thing I know, Ep is sitting beside my head. I remember nearly crying when I realized they had let my special pillow (angel) come with me to the OR. I have had that pillow since I was 4 or 5 years old and it was made by my Mema. But then I had to move on to trying not to move my arms, which wouldn't stop shaking. I had on an oxygen mask and have no recollection of it being put on my face. I remember moving from my rolling bed to the operating room and then hearing the nurses count together about a zillion times. I STILL have no idea what the heck they were counting. I suppose it was the stuff they would be using during my c-section.

I remember laying there with my arms trembling, my husband telling me he loves me, being numb from my rib cage down and thinking how strangely odd it was that my insides were now laying on my outsides (research a c-section if you have questions) and that within moments our child would be born. I very distinctly remember the anestesiologist telling Ep to stand up and watch his son be born. And I can't think about that without crying. The tears flow now, as I type this. I had battled for that moment. I wanted Ep to be there when our child was born. I had told him it was ok not to look below my chin if he didn't want to, but that I needed him there...and this was all before we knew Kale would arrive in such a whirlwind of medical chaos. Yet, he stood up and watched our son leave my body and start screaming at the world he had just entered. I remember that moment between him standing up and Kale screaming. It lasted 3.73 million years. Ok, really, it was mere seconds, but it felt like eternity to me. I remember the relief that followed. Kale could scream and that meant he was breathing and that was a wonderful thing. Ep went to be with Kale as they started reversing all the fun processes of a c-section on my body. He took pictures of him and brought the pictures back to me. Then a nurse brought Kale to me and I whispered to him. She held him beside my head. I remember how red and angry he looked. Oh, I knew this was my child. We had awakened him out of his womb before he was ready to be awakened. Oh yes, soooo my child. Then Ep and Kale went to the NICU together.

They moved me back to the rolling bed and somewhere along the way they started an IV of magnesium sulfate, which I also refer to as the black hole medicine. Family came and went. Ep showed me more pictures of Kale until the nurse said to draw the shades, no tv, and no looking at pictures because any of those things could cause me to have a siezure. Turns out I was still in danger. Then she must have upped my dose because I don't remember much of the next 24 hours. At one point, I even inserted my brother into a memory of something that never even happened. My brother couldn't come see us because he was sick. He wasn't even there. Yeah, black hole medicine. I do remember getting mad at my parents because they had seen and touched my baby...and it wasn't that I didn't want them to do that...I was just upset that they were getting to do that and I wasn't. We could sit here and blame that on the medicine...but it was what it was....pure jealousy on my part. I am surprised that the nurse didn't notice the fact that I probably turned green with my envy.

At 6pm, they had a staff change and a new nurse was assigned to me. I was still in the labor section of the hospital because apparently you don't get to go to the postpartum area until you are no longer such a big risk. She entered the room and said "Hello Mrs Fletcher, my name is Queena and I am your nurse tonight. Have you seen your baby yet?" I told her briefly in the OR for a few seconds. She informed me that if I did well, that either I would be going to see Kale or he would be coming to see me. I was on board with that idea! I was asking for food that I wasn't supposed to have until 12 more hours, but she gave me a popsicle. She told me if I did well with that, then maybe we could move on to real food. It was one of those break the two pieces apart kind of popsicles. She gave me one piece and told me to go slow. It was gone in about 5 seconds. She laughed and told me to slow down and gave me the other half. I really tried to go slow. When I kept that down, I got to place a dinner order. Yea for Chik-fil-A! At that point, all I cared about was getting to see Kale. She could have asked me to stand on my head and walk on my hands down the hall and I would have tried to do it. Seems just being alert and coherent and able to keep my food down was enough though. I got to go see Kale.

The rest is his story. I suppose there is no real ending to my part and beginning of his...but the rest will come tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Collage

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Pumpkin Patch
(Our first pumpkin patch trip)
Highlights included:
Seeing pig races (Kale called the Hogs)
Kale chasing guinea fowl
Running wild through the pumpkins
Climbing the haybales to look at the slide (but not slide)
Eating the uncooked corn that was a decoration
Going on a family hay ride (and having the ride all to ourselves)
See Old McDonalds Farm and tracky's (tractors)
Kale not wanting near the chickens but deciding the goats were ok.
Kale pretty much refusing to work with me on the great photo opportunities!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The elusive Alma

Poor Kale. Alma keeps stealing his Mema.

Mema and Papaw came for a visit last Thursday. Kale proceeded to start running a fever seemingly as they arrived. I guess he wanted to be sure that he got to stay home from school with them on Friday? He glued himself to Mema. And I mean glued. I won't even try to lie about it...whooohoooo, we got two whole night of sleep without sharing the bed with a bucking rhinosaurus! Mema slept with the rhinosaurus! Mema for President!

On Saturday, Mema and Papaw had to head back to Alma. Kale wasn't so happy about it. Mema got tears in her eyes twice before she got into the truck.

Kale, without opening his eyes or moving, yelled out in the middel of Saturday night. He yelled "Alma". Yes, really. First thing Sunday morning, he wanted to know about Alma. He asked about Mema and Papaw and then Alma again.

We spent Sunday running errands and eating lunch before naptime. Kale asked about Alma again. After naps (we all took one), we went on an adventure. We tried out the pumpkin patch. We saw pig races, farm animals, pumpkins galore, and took a hay ride on a trailer pulled by a tracky (tractor). With all of that being new, what do you think Kale talked about last night? Oh yes, Alma. We had a great time at the pumpkin patch and Ep proved to be his father's son. Kale's favorite parts of the pumpkin patch involved the hay ride and then being able to just run free. He had the grand idea of climbing the hay bales so he could go down the curvy slide, but then chickened out when he realized he would have to slide by himself. I don't blame him. He did have fun romping on the hay bales and pretty much refusing every great photo opportunity that came along. We bought a medium size pumpkin and Kale got a free baby pumpkin.

Side note: I gave Kale a baby pumpkin last fall. That thing rolled all over the house and managed to last for months. It was apparently the baby pumpkin that wouldn't rot. I don't think his pumpkins are going to fare so well this year. Did you know pumpkins can fly? They can if you throw them. We have a pumpkin thrower. Its only a matter of time before we have a smashed pumpkin on the floor (and hopefully not on the wall or carpet).

Oh, and he woke up again this morning asking for Alma....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two going on two months

There is about to be a change in our house. I am not sure what it will involved. However, the almost two year old is either going cold turkey on no bottles or going to continue to get a milk bottle at bed that will be followed with water only bottles. Or maybe a crazy mixture of both of those? I don't know. I just know that he can't have a new bottle of baberry milk every single time he wakes up at night.

My boss has a two month old...and he is waking up one time at night right now to eat. Last night, Kale received his bedtime bottle and two additional bottles in the night. He asked for a fourth and had a royal meltdown in our room, his room, and the hallway when I told him no. He literally tried to pull me out of bed.

I finally got him to get back into our bed. Don't start. I know. Yet another habit to break. Anyway, back into our bed and off to sleep...and then Ep starts snoring in Kale's face. Kale's reaction is to kick me in the back with every snore. Dude, I am sooo not the one making noise. Or at least I wasn't. Because after the seventeenth million kick, I told Ep to either roll over or quit snoring or something. I didn't use my "middle of the night voice" and this in turn woke up Kale. Who then asked again for baberry milk. I really deliberated taking a blanket and going out onto our deck to sleep. Kale then crawled on top of me. I was laying on my side. He just climbed on board. His head was on my head...his torso twisted around my body...and his feet, you guessed it, found their way to my back. I let him drift off this way and then quietly shifted him under the covers and kept him cuddled.

If I weren't so tired, I would be laughing....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is it Thursday yet?

This morning, I thought I might lose it.

Kale didn't want to wear a diaper. He said pee pee. So we got the potty and he looked at it. Of course, his new to potty training mommy was hoping that we were starting a transition. Then he took off diaperless through the house. That kid is good.

His reluctance played out all the way through being wrestled into his diaper and school clothes. It then spilled right over into his refusal to take Benadryl for his ever runny nose. When he realized I was leaving and he didn't have his shoes, he freaked out a tad and I totally used that as his bribe. Take your medicine and mommy will put on your shoes. Ahhhh, his mouth opened and he took the medicine.

Somewhere in the middle of all of that....he stole my water bottle from my bedside table. I caught him before he unscrewed the cap. He was adamant about having a drink. I offered him a drink. Oh no, that was NOT good enough. He wanted to hold the water bottle while he took a drink. Gee, I wonder WHO gave him that trait? I knew where this was going. So, I guzzled the water until it was nearly gone. I gave him the bottle with just enough water to make him think he had just completely drowned himself. It worked. He was elated to have the bottle and immediately turned it upside down into his mouth. Then a geyser of water came flying back out of his mouth. He had been leaning against our bed. He ran towards the bathroom, water bottle still in hand, and was hollering in between his coughs. When I tried to take the now empty water bottle from him, OH MY WHAT A SIN I HAD JUST COMMITTED! No, I am not talking about letting my toddler think he had drowned himself. I am talking about taking the water bottle after he thought he had drowned himself. We worked our way past it.

We finally get out the door and to the car. Kale is buckled in. I am buckled in. We are ready to roll. There is only one problem. The truck won't start. Oh joy. So I do what any smart wife would do. I called my husband. He did what any smart husband would do. He told me he couldn't come rescue me and then told me how to rescue myself. After I lugged a 50 million pound extra battery up to my truck and got the jumper cables out, Kale locked himself in the garage. Oh wait, did I forget to tell you that he knows how to turn the deadbolt now? Well, there is your warning. Thankfully, my keys were outside with me or we would have had a new hole in our house...and that is when I called the neighbor to come stand with Kale while I attempted to jump start my truck.

Once the neighbor arrived, the kid who locked himself in the garage decided he needed to be outside with mommy instead because he might get left behind. Oh the screaming and crying. All while I am trying to make sure that I have properly connected the right things to the other right things. Here is where I will confess: I am scared of jump starting trucks. Until this point in life, I have managed to be a bystander when something had a dead battery. Today, I put on my big girl panties and faced my fear because we WERE going to be leaving the house. My only other option was to just stay home all day with Kale and I figured that would end with one of us duct taped to the wall (probably me with the rate he is going lately).

When the neighbor released Kale from the garage, he clung to me like static! Into his seat, into my seat, and off we went. Kale got dropped off at school, I got a new battery for my truck, and then I even went to Lowe's and told them what I thought about their insurance denying my claim. The manager on duty told me to get an estimate and we can hopefully move forward. I think it was the part I mentioned about not having asked them to replace my entire deck that got his attention. See, that makes replacing the removable carpet cargo liner seem kind of small, right?

I went to Walgreens and snagged some deals, including some medicine for Ep. Then I came to work. And that is where my day got boring so I will stop right there....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Looks of the future

I expect to see these looks many times in the future....

Also, note that his shirt says "Mr Mishief"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Being positive

I know that my last several posts have been lengthy and kind of a cross between griping, complaining, and wallowing in my misery of motherhood. So, its time for a different kind of post.

Let me just take this opportunity to tell you, God is good.

God is so good to allow me to watch as my son and husband roll around and play together in our living room.

God is so good to allow me the joy of teaching my son how to ride on my back and get to enjoy the non-stop giggle of him enjoying the ride.

God is sooooo good to supply us with the Old McDonald Farm song...for it has given me the chance to watch my son groove to his favorite song and clap along.

God is so good for bringing all things baberry (strawberry) into our lives. Thank you Lord for giving my son the ability to communicate with us and let us know he has a baberry addiction. Thank you Lord for allowing me to live in a country where I can go to the store and stroll the aisles looking at different juices and products that will make things baberry flavored. Thank you Lord for giving me a job that allows me to have the money to buy all the baberry flavored things my son now loves.

God is so good for giving me a husband who loves his wife, son, and family. Ep is a forgiving and understanding husband and God knew I would need both of those qualities in my husband in a big way! Ep has changed so much since I first met him 10 years ago and I am so proud of him for the man he has become without losing sight of the boy he always has been.

God is so good for opening doors that we have not yet even noticed needed to be opened.

And for some humor, God is sooooo good for brining my boss back to me from maternity leave! I no longer have to report to the Executive VP of our entire division. There should be two layers between me and that person, but with my boss out on maternity leave and her boss managing to get fired...well...suddenly I was reporting to our EVP.

God is so good for bringing change to us when life get monotonous...and even when the change seems scary and uncertain...He brings it just when we need it!
God is so good....God is so amazingly good.