On Friday, we went south. Actually, we went to the lower end of Lake Falcon--down by the dam. Ep was a chicken and wouldn't get anywhere near the USA-Mexico border that just so happens to be in the middle of Lake Falcon. He was convinced that gun boats would come out of nowhere and get us. I didn't see one gun boat the entire time we were there. In fact, I only saw one boat that "might" have been border patrol. However, let me clarify something. Given that not just my family, but a lot of Ep's family is/was in law enforcement, I am well aware that someone somewhere was watching the border. I doubt they ever saw us though, as we didn't come anywhere close to the "border bouys"!!!! There was a huge dam that I wanted to see...connected to a humongously long bridge. On one portion of the bridge you can see the USA customs and border station and just down the way you can see the Mexico version of the same thing. Ep avoided them like the black plague. The lake repaid him for that well...he didn't catch one single fish down there. I however, caught two fish! Yea me!
We eventually loaded back up and drove back north bit and fished the area we had fished on Thursday. Ep caught some fish there and I just read my book. I didn't want to outfish the pro. Go ahead. Laugh. I can poke all the fun at him I want...he hit me in the head with a lure, remember? Oh wait...and on Friday he also hit me in the hip with a spinner bait. He didn't manage to sink his hook in me or my clothing that time. So yeah, I can poke fun at him...A LOT!
We returned to the steak house for dinner and then chilled in the room and got packed up. We intended to fish until noon on Saturday and then drive a part of the way home.
On Saturday, we headed for this neat little ramp that Ep heard about from some guy. As we saw it, I nearly laughed. It was in someone's front yard. Ep tried to talk himself out of that fact. We went down the road and it was obvious to one of us that the entry to the ramp was also the driveway to the house. The other one of us tried to convince himself that this little dirt road beside the highway would give us access. Of course, in true Fletcher form, he had to give it a try. I suggested we walk down to see if it would give us access instead of pulling the entire truck, boat/trailer down there....oh no, we couldn't do that. One of these days, I swear he MIGHT actually learn to take my advice. With that option no longer being an option...he had two choices. Drive back to Zapata or just start driving towards Arkansas. I assured him that there were probably more boat ramps between where we were and Laredo, but I don't think he cared. We headed for Laredo...and we only stopped for gas or food until we got to an area east of Dallas. We found a hotel and took showers and went in search of red meat. It was time for a hearty steak and potato...or not. The steak house next door was packed at 9pm on Valentine's day and the wait was still 1.5 hours. We walked to the sushi/steak place next door...bingo, they had us at a table in less than 10 minutes! The food was awesome and with full bellys, we headed for our room. Now don't get any hanky panky ideas. We went back to the room and crashed.
Apparently, there was no time for leisure, as we were checked out of our room, had the hotel breakfast, and were on the road by 9am. The Fletcher blood kicked in and Ep could not get home fast enough. I tried to stall us all the way across the rest of Texas and eventually gave up when he wouldn't stop in Texarkana for lunch. We got home around 1:30pm, unpacked the truck, made a run to Sonic (I tried to tell him there wasn't anything to eat at our house), and then we both took at 2 hour nap.
The best part of the day was by far what happened around 10pm. Kale came home. Mema Nana walked him down the hall and he was soooo happy to see us. He started smiling and clapping his hands. He crained his neck to look past me to see if his daddy was in the room. It was too cute! He was already in his pj's, so we grabbed his bottle and cuddled until we all fell fast asleep.
The next morning...he gave me this look....I think we are in trouble!!!!!
Ep and I had planned to leave before the crack of dawn, otherwise known as 5am...and if you are like me, then you also refer to that as the buttcrack of dawn! That was the night that all the storms were brewing and tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma. I dug out the weather radio and plugged it in...around 2:30am, it went off. Just a thunderstorm warning and I don't know that it ever even thundered at our house. We were up. We weren't going back to sleep. We tried and it didn't work. So, we were up. We waited for the rain to stop so we could load a few final things and then we woke up Mema Nana to tell her we were leaving. I hugged and kissed my sleeping prince goodbye. Off we went into the darkness and we were on the road before our goal...yea us!
Wednesday was a little bit of Arkansas and the entire freaking state of Texas. Literally. We went though Dallas, Waco, Austin, San Antonio and every little town between all those big cities. We made it to our destination about 12 hours after we left home. We were both sick of being in the Tahoe at that point. One bright note for me is that I didn't have to drive one single mile while we were gone. We were pulling the boat. I don't pull the boat. I CAN pull the boat...I just don't. We checked into the hotel, went to buy our fishing licenses, ate dinner, got some groceries (sandwich stuff for lunches), and then flopped into bed. I think we were both asleep by 7:45pm. I must include that we ate at the Steak House. Don't picture something like your local )Outback...more like your local 25+ year diner. However, the food was awesome and the prices were great!
Remember that story about Ep hooking me? If not, check my last entry before this...and just keep it in mind as we proceed.
Thursday we arose a little after 6am. We slept at least 10 hours. I can't tell you how amazing that felt. I seriously don't remember the last time I slept that long. Wow! We got dressed, ate breakfast, and headed for the water. It was a beautiful morning. The temperature was in the mid 50's. I was in shorts, tank top, short sleeve t, and a sweatshirt. I should have used the blanket to cover my legs because as we zoomed across the water, I was pretty sure my legs became fat popsicles. We had been fishing maybe 30 minutes when my dear wonderful husband tried to knock me unconscious. He was using this really cool lure and wanted me to see how it looked in the water. Its called a swim bait and it really does look like a small fish as it approaches the boat. As I was leaving the front of the boat, I paused before taking a step down and got thumped in the back of the head. It literally made a thud as it hit my head. I was completely stunned for a moment as I tried to figure out what just happened. Ep started apologizing immediately. After hitting my head, the bait with its treble hooks took off with my hat and landed about 20 feet out in the lake. My hat was hooked well enough that Ep was able to reel it back with his bait. Now...remember, this bait flew at least 20 feet AFTER hitting my head. Some of you may not know this...but Ep was a baseball pitcher in college. The fella can throw and he uses all his gusto when tossing a lure. After reeling his prized bait and my hat back to the boat, he finally put down his rod and checked the back of my head for damage. It was at this point that I was able to figure out what had happened. Sheer shock kept me from pushing him in the lake. He told me I wasn't bleeding, which I already knew. I went to sit down and the tears finally came. He kept asking me if I was ok. I kept reassuring him I was fine and that it was just the shock wearing off. By this point, he is feverishly working to get the treble hook out of my hat. I finally took it from him and worked on it myself. Yes, I got the stupid treble hook out and we resumed fishing.
I made sure to remind him several times and will continue to remind him that he smacked his wife in the head with a HUGE lure. Oh, and we caught some fish as well.
We closed out our day with a good meal at the diner owned by the same people who own the steak house. It was ok, but not the steak house. I think we were asleep by 8pm.
Oh, this has to be fast. Today and tomorrow are nothing but fast...
The radiothon starts tomorrow. I am finishing up my fund raising efforts with a last minute push.
I have to round up any couponing that has to be done this week...which will probably end up being about none. I just don't have time....unless I do it after midnight and that won't happen.
I have to pack...YEA! I get to pack shorts, t-shirts and tank tops. I need to apologize now to those who live where we are headed...my body hasn't been exposed to sun in a while--so that white glare will be coming from me. Ep and I are heading out of town for some fun and sun...and fish. I am looking forward to it a lot. I don't remember the last time I got to go fishing with Ep "just for fun". Let me tell you, there is NO fun involved when he is tournament fishing. None at all! The last time I went with him fishing, we fished a tournament...and he managed to sink a hook into me! Yes, really. And when was this? Oh, yes, it was the weekend before we found out that I was pregnant with Kale. Yes...its been an entire (yet shortened) pregancy + 15 months of raising Kale since I went fishing with my husband. For those of you who missed the math gene, that is at least 2 years. Its been at least 4 years since I got to go "fun fishing" with him. Ever since he became a pro...he became no fun when fishing. He has two options...either have fun with me while fishing this next week or swim to the shore of the lake because I will push him in if he gets too serious! And that, my friends, is his one and only warning. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I will follow through on that threat. :)
Kale will be chilling with Mema Nana. He will probably miss my iphone more than he will miss me! That kid already knows how to scroll through my pictures at freaking 15 months. Crazy kid!
Tomorrow evening, I will make my brief appearance at the Arkansas Children's Hospital Radiothon. Its an annual event and its very, very cool. I will be on the radio telling Kale's story around 5:20pm tomorrow. Kale is going to meet me there (Mema will drive him) so that we can turn in the change we have collected. If you haven't donated and wish to do so...let me know pronto!!! If you want to hear me on the radio...check out b98.com around 5:20pm tomorrow...you can listen live online.
Ep and I will leave at "5 bells" on Wednesday morning. Don't worry, I am sooo taking my pillow and a blanket! Its at least a 12 hour drive. I just can't wait to spend this time with him. Really, I am excited. I will miss our little man...but if I can survive 12 days without him, I can manage 5 now.
Ok, I gotta go...way to much work to finish before tomorrow afternoon!!!
If you read Kale's caringbridge site, then this is a double post...
Wow...just wow! God is sooooo Good!
I write this with so many different emotions. My head is still spinning a bit. So please bear with me if any of this doesn't quite make sense.
Kale had a cardiology check up this morning. During every check up, Kale gets an EKG. This involves attaching 16 probes to him and all of them are on his abdomen and chest area. Ever tried to attach a bunch of stickers and then a bunch of clippy things to a 15 month old wiggling and curious boy? After the third time he ripped them, which appeared to be quite fun for him, we knew it was time to step up our game. I held his hands, daddy held his feet, the tech finished attaching everything, and the tech in training made everything attached to the ceiling move (toys, mobiles, etc). I think he realized he was not going to win, because he decided to just lay perfectly still and not fight us. We weren't stupid enough to let go though! Thankfully, it only takes about a minute or less of recording and then we are done.
We then went to the room to wait in the doctor. We saw a different doctor today, as our normal doctor is somewhere else (in an entirely different country) tending to kids like Kale. Our doctor is quite well known for his work and is in high demand...so he is always on the go. I really liked the doctor we saw today though. She put me at ease and I felt comfortable with what she told us.
We found out that Kale had outgrown his current dose of his medicine. Since he has not had any issues with SVT (fast heart rate), they have decided to take him off of his medicine. He is quitting cold turkey because as he grew over the last six months, he was slowly tapering himself down in his dosage anyway. Kale would grow but the dosage stayed the same...so he tapered. The doctor actually said that we could go home and just throw the medicine in the trash. Wow. That kind of shocked me. Its going to be a few days before I am ok with doing that. I don't know why. Maybe its because that medicine feels like a security blanket. Even if Kale were to have an episode of SVT, the medicine would do us no good...as it takes a while for his body to respond to it. Still...just not ready to toss it yet.
We go back to get put on a halter monitor for a 24 hour period in a couple of weeks. Oh yea! I can't wait to see how we will manage to get him to leave it alone. They said that we could bring him to the clinic and they would attach it for us...and I readily said that would be great! Unless he has an episode or the monitor picks up something during the 24 hour observation, then he will continue without medicine until his next check up, which will be a year from now. Wow!! See....wow!!!! I can't tell you how much fear and relief is all rolled up into this change. I think its understandable. I just have to remember Who is in charge and let Him handle it for me. I can say that it will be nice to not worry about having some medicine with you at all times and trying to coordinate who gave him the last dose or if someone forgot to give him a dose...and all the general mayhem that goes around that kind of thing.
As for the 'holding the breath' incidents. Our cardiologist today also used to be a pediatrician. She said everything we shared with her, which was everything from the first incident until now, was very classic 'holding the breath' response. She said that he will eventually outgrow it. She said it might be a year from now when he finally stops doing it. Great. Well, at least we know its not some other major health issue. She reassured us and answered all our questions. We discussed him being lethargic for a little bit (5-10 minutes) after an episode...and she said that it was hard work to hold your breath until you pass out...and well, she has a point! I don't recommend you try this to find out! The doctor said she doesn't anticipate us having to call 911 for Kale, but if he keeps giving us these heart/panic attacks when he holds his breath, then we may need to call 911 for one of us!
So, that is where we are....we ask for prayers of praise that Kale's health...we ask for prayers that he is able to remain medicine free....we ask for prayers that if he does have SVT occur without the medicine that we are able to catch it and deal with it accordingly...and we ask for prayers that he quits holding his breath and that when he does hold his breath that we are able to keep our sanity and remain calm during the process.
Ok, I need your help. This is the one time of the year that I make this kind of request. I need your change. Yes, the change you have stashed in your pocket, ash tray, change jar, or wherever it is you throw your loose change. I need it, so I can give it away.
I am a change angel for Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH), which means I am helping them raise money that will be used to help children who need medical help. Many of you know our son, Kale, was a patient there. I don't talk about this often, but I want you to understand the magnitude of what this hospital has done for our family. The bottom line is that Kale was very close to death when he became a patient there. The code team, the ones who are called in when a patient may "flat line" (die), were called into the room. That is how close we cheated death that day. Without God's grace and the wonderful work He did through the doctors and nurses at ACH, Kale would not be with us now. If you want to know more about Kale's story and his medical adventures, you can find out more at www.caringbridge.org/visit/prayforkale.
Ok...now, back to the change....I need it! Got a dollar you can live without? I need it. That morning coffee you buy...skip it...donate the $5 to ACH instead! Please??????
I beg you...please donate. Don't procrastinate...the time to donate is short because I am slow getting out of the gate this year...I only have a few days to raise this money. This means a lot to me. Please, please, please donate....it DOES make a difference!!!!!!!
Well, for me, this is a mixed emotion post. On the one hand, there is relief. On the other hand, there is still concern. Somewhere between those hands is just pure concern and worry.
Until now, all of Kale's "episodes" with holding his breath have been related to when he falls and knocks his noggin. Not anymore. Yesterday, he got really mad at me. He got a chocolate milk container out of the trash. I held his hand as we walked back to the trash can and put it back. I went to get a paper towel to clean up his mess (made as he ran away from me with the container...proof that he thought he had something he wasn't supposed to have).
I turned around to find him digging once again in the trash can. He found the container and was not happy when I took it from him and put it once again in the trash. I told him "No" and he took off crying across the kitchen. Our kitchen is U-shaped, so I knew he would eventually coming back to me. He got to the sink and I realized that he had cried really loud and that he had stopped. When he turned around, he let out a little cry and took two steps before stumbling towards the oven. As he bounced off the oven, I realized what was happening. (Remember, this is all happening over about a 5 second span of time. I reached for him as he headed toward the floor. I thought I caught him in time and immediately stood up with him. I started talking to him and telling him to breathe. He kept his eyes open and "was there" the entire time, but at one point his eyes were about half closed. I knew I had to keep them open. I sat down with him because I was feeling a little weak myself and we rocked. It was nap time so he was already a little drowsy. I didn't want him to immediately fall asleep so I walked outside onto the deck with him.
When I was sure he was mostly ok, we went in to change his dirty diaper (which was where we had been headed before everything went wrong). We then went back onto the deck to wait for Ep to get home (I knew he should be getting back home just any minute).
Ep arrived a few minutes later and we inspected Kale again. His nose was brusing or looked red in places. It wasn't crooked by any means. Ep held him and Kale was not happy when he tried to put him down. So, I put away groceries while Ep and Kale laid down for naptime with a bottle. After Kale was long asleep, I inspected a little more. Even though his nose never bled outside of his nostrils, it looked like ther were small smudges of blood in his nose.
So, now we are caught in the cross hairs of relief and frustration and concern. Its a relief in a wierd sense, because this has always happened just after he would hit his head and never any other time. We were concerned it might be a wierd form of a seizure. I guess it still could be. Who knows. Now we know its truly from him holding his breath...but we don't know if its voluntary or some strange form of a short circuit in his body somewhere. He is too young to understand the words "don't hold your breath!" yet we still yell/tell him to BREATHE when he has one of these episodes.
No matter what, we plan to completely swamp his cardiologist about it this week during our appointment. We expect to find some sort of answer and for someone to help us. The clinic is in the hospital, so if we don't get some kind of answers then I might just camp out with him at the hospital until someone does help us! Ok, that might be stretching it...but well, I might.
I swear that everytimes this happens, my body goes through minor shock. I know I am not the only one in the house that feels this way. I think I age five years everytime it happens.
After the big hair cut event, we went outside and played for a minute on the large sidewalk and just enjoyed looking at our handsome little man. He really looks like a toddling little boy now. My itty bitty baby is getting so big and I am so proud!
He was having a really good time running away from me! We are going to have our hand soooo full with him! He thinks its such a fun game to play. We have a lot to learn about parking lots, cars, and such.
He wasn't sure what to think about sitting on the ledge...
And then he felt the urge to yell "Hi There" because he saw other people walking around.
Its not what it looks like. This happened while we were waiting for Kale's turn in the haircut chair. This little girl is four months older than him. She was quite perplexed that he wanted to put all the toys into the container and then take them back out again. I think she knew that wasn't the point of the container game, but Kale was oblivious. She just held the container for him while he put them in and took the out. He did try to put one of the shapes in the side, but gave up pretty quickly and just put it through the large opening!
First snip....sniff, sniff...
Hey mom, how's it going? No big deal here...this lady is just cutting my hair. I really like this car chair and helicopter!
He was such a big boy about it all. It did not phase him one single bit. Of course, no clippers were involved. Still...he sat there and just let her snip, snip, snip and didn't reach for her scissors once!!!
A true fella after his momma's heart, Kale LOVES corn on the cob. It was mmmmmmm. He really held his own and let the corn cob know who was boss! I was going to help him, but he got the hang of it before I even had the chance!
This picture just shows me that he will be able to give me some "don't take another picture mom!" look that I just know he inherited from his daddy!
Look at the big boy who lives at our house...how did he get so big, so fast? We have a real toddler in our house now...no more infant stuff here!!!
Kale was loving some strawberry milk! I gave him a cup of it and in due time, it was gone. So, I refilled his cup and off he went. He retuned within minutes...with an empy cup. Now, he can unscrew lids well, so my first thought was that he dumped it out. No...the lid was still on and it quickly became apparent where the milk had gone...can you guess? He just chewed the soft spout and let the milk run down his mouth and chin...
The musician was in town for the weekend...and he played a tune for Kale. He usually serenades him at least once during a visit...sometimes Kale is very enthused with this and other times he looks at him in complete astonishment...
Be warned...several blog posts are coming thoughout the day. I really, really have to get this stuff out of my head and into this blog before I forget more than I already have. Thankfully, there are pictures to add as well, which will help me remember stuff! I am sure I will forget something along the way anyway...
So, here is a start...
There are some Great Dane dogs (Jake and Jasmine) that live somewhere near our neighborhood. They come out of the woods, so we don't know exactly where they live. However, they figured out that we would feed them. So, for a few days, they became regulars on our deck. Meanwhile Goose was still locked in his yard. He was not happy with this. He tried to eat them if they got near his fence. Anyway, Kale was not one bit scared of the dogs. As you can see in the picture, the dogs are taller than him...but he want right up to them at the door anyway!
I bought Kale some of the Crayola Beginnings crayons. They are triangle crayons in a round animal holder. They are supposed to be for 18+ months. We aren't there yet, but tried them anyway. Kale didn't quite get the idea of coloring, but he did like trying to eat the crayons and then actually managed to take the crayon out of the holder. While I was trying to put one crayon back in the holder (they each have their own holder), he took the next one out. So, those went up on the counter and have stayed there. He preferred trying to eat the blue one...
Kale loves anything sweet, including fruit. He loves bananas, but on this day he was handed an entire apple to eat. He was quite surprised he got the entire apple. The look on his face just says "For me, its all for me? Really?
Just too darn cute!
He is a bonafide chocolate lover. He really likes it when Nana Mema makes 4 layer delight!