Thursday, December 20, 2012


Its so true.
A picture DOES say a thousand words.

WHAT are you doing with your other hand?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where the Red Fern Grows

This is typical Gus. GOOFBALL

I don't know if you have ever seen this movie, but its a complete tear jerker. In a nutshell, its about a boy that works really hard to earn money to buy himself a pair of hunting dogs. He is finally able to buy a sibling pair and joyfully goes to get them and begins training them to hunt 'coons!
He's completely dedicated to these pups and they all end up competing in an event to decide who had the best hunting dog in the area. Several different things happen in this hunting competition and the dogs end up winning the coveted title of the best coon hunter. After life settles back down, the boy takes the 2 dogs hunting and ends up running into a mountain lion and the dogs fight the big cat off to protect the boy.
 Needless to say, the male dog takes on the mountain lion and is fatally wounded and ends up dying that same night, despite the care the boy's dad tried to administer. Devastated, the boy buries the beloved male dog and the female that is still living falls into a deep depression and the boy finds the female dead, laying on the male's freshly filled grave. So the boy has to bury his precious little female next to the male. At some point a red fern grows between the two graves of these dogs; it basically pulls the whole movie together since at the beginning of the movie one of the boy's little sisters tells the story of the red fern. As the legend goes, only an angel can plant the seeds of a red fern, which never dies and makes the spot sacred. Where the Red Fern Grows  Uhm, yeah...its SO SAD...but its also a good representation of how loyal and dedicated, and LOVING these dogs were to not only the boy, but to each other. Complete and total devotion. If you haven't experienced this unconditional love from a dog, its a rare and wonderful thing you miss when its gone.

Gerty 'talking' with me

When Rob and I got married my parents still lived in Wyoming and my dear old German Shepherd, Gerty, was still living with them. She had developed a disease that created a film that progressively spread over her eyes and she went blind. She was an amazingly smart dog and her hearing was impeccable. However, something happened in the flash of a fatal moment when a truck, that did not see her, couldn't stop in time as she crossed a road in pursuit of one of our other dogs. When I got that call from my mom I was walking out of Wal-Mart and had to race to my car, where I sobbed in the knowledge of what happened to my sweet dog. Because I've never been without a dog, Rob decided to get me one.
Our first 'Family' Picture
 Since Gerty's death was still so fresh I was absolutely against a German Shepherd. So somehow my husband found out about a litter of Boxers real close to our home! They were only 3 weeks old and SO FREAKING CUTE. Who could resist such a face!? At 5 weeks old, the mother weaned the puppies and we were allowed to take a male home. Augustus the 2nd, lovingly known as Gus, became our first addition. Let me just say that had I known how stubborn he would be with potty training, how sensitive a boxer's bowels are, and how hard it would be to deal with his allergies and anxiety, I probably wouldn't have chosen a Boxer. People would tell me, just give him 4 years and then he'll be an awesome dog! GOOD GRIEF, SERIOUSLY!? WOW. He almost met his Maker the day that he marked my entire living room while I was 7 months pregnant...BAD.IDEA. I called Rob OUT of court in a fury, saying that I was looking for a Boxer rescue because I was about to lay this dog out. Gus wasn't neutered so that's what I will blame it on. Everyone told us that we shouldn't clip him until he was at least 2 years old so that he could reach his 'maximum potential' in size. I don't know if that is true or that point I didn't even care. Life or nuts, Gus? I bet you want to live...soooo he was clipped 24 HOURS later and put on a 6 week probation period. One sideways look and he was vetoed.

Natty and Gus
Natty lovin on Gus
Nataleigh was 11 months old and learning to pull herself up on furniture and various particular day I was working in our office and since Gus was NOT allowed to be anywhere without me, he was banished to his bed beside my desk. Natty crawled over to him and he began to lick her face and realized that I was giving him the evil eye and he immediately stopped and just let her pat his head and jabber at him. He knew he was walking a thin line with me. That's when he sat up to stretch and Natty decided that she too, needed to stretch and she grabbed hold of a full fist of skin on his lip and neck. This dog did not blink and he didn't dare move. I saw his body wince, as her little Wolverine fingernails dug into his sensitive lip, but his eyes did not leave mine.

It was a look of, "I swear to God, She totally started this. I didn't do anything. I am barely breathing because I don't want to be in trouble." Natty decided a stroll sounded like a fun plan and began to step forward. Gus cut his 6 week trial period short when, at her cue, Gus took a step, ever so short so she would not fall. For a few moments I was able to see that this dog would stay and I'd just have to deal with his irritating quirks.

 This dog NEVER held a grudge...and he had his fair share of being in the 'doghouse.'

I said above that Boxers have extremely sensitive digestive and intestinal tracts. THIS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. This dog was unable to even smell table scraps without barfing or having raging diarrhea. It was a little ridiculous at times. We chose to 'kennel train' Gus when he was a puppy. This means that whenever we aren't with him he's in his kennel or crate. And it wasn't like we put him in a closet and closed the door so he was in the dark, but if we were cleaning or were going to watch a movie in bed, Gus went into his kennel...which was eventually left open and we'd be able to tell him to 'kennel up' and he'd just go get in there.
Gus lovin his boy in the sunshine.
We got him a super cushy bed and spoiled him with toys and chewies (that was also a fun experience...let me rephrase: chewy toys that weren't ingested). Crates aren't exactly decorative items, nor are they a size that you can put in a space without having to rearrange. Gus wasn't a big puppy, but he wasn't exactly a small dog either and so we just got a big crate because we knew it was pointless and expensive to gradually get new crates. Ironically his crate became a place we'd find him when he had had enough of the noisy kids or was tired. I always laughed when I would realize I hadn't seen the dog in awhile and I'd find him snuggled up on his favorite toy on his bed in his crate. My parents never did this, so kennel training a dog was a very different idea and one that I wasn't sure about until it became very convenient when company came or when we had to leave to go grocery shopping.

Boxers are extremely hyper and prone to severe anxiety. Gus had both issues. He would get so worked up that he would throw up occasionally. We would sit and laugh at him in the back yard because he would get so excited that he'd run all the way around the yard and zigzag and just be crazy for several minutes. We'd call it 'the speeds.' The louder we laughed, the faster he'd go. He was also a HUGE chicken. I'm so not kidding. When I had Natty he was still pretty young and was kinda weird anyway so it wasn't until we had Isannah and brought home all the balloons that we realized why he was such a freak! HE WAS TERRIFIED OF BALLOONS! It was hilarious because the first week we had Isannah home he would NOT go into their room? Finally we took the balloons out and sucked the remaining helium out and noticed Gus slink around the door and check everything out. It was so much fun to startle him because he'd jump and race around the corner like someone was coming after him with a knife. In true Boxer form he LOVED to 'box' with us. I'd try to 'step' on his feet and eventually it'd end up with him playing like he was going to bite my foot off. He LOVED to play.

Going back to crates and not having a spot that was very convenient at the time. Alright, so our basement wasn't finished for a few years when we moved in. Gus' crate was down there by one of the windows and I had hung a lace type pannel so that it wouldn't be so easy to see in and well, it was cheap and worked for the time. Being a bored puppy, Gus thought the lace looked like a chew toy too. He had managed to work it through the openings of his crate and somehow bit off a rather large piece and ate it. When we had come home I noticed that my curtain was ripped up but being lace, I didn't realize he had actually gotten some down. This little piece of lace caused MASSIVE issues. Such as puking blood and a small rupture of sorts in his small intestine. GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY. Let me just say that while we love our pets, I grew up knowing that it was just a dog and if a surgery meant more than $200 we were getting a new dog. Hey, you don't have to agree, but thats how I was raised; and yes...I totally agree. The vet told me that Gus would be fine, but I had to give him medicine and I had to feed him turkey and rice since these were easy on any gut, especially a boxer's. GROSS. Gus enjoyed it but I also had the added privilege of watching him poop for 3 weeks so that in the event that he had blood in his stool I could rush him back to the vet.  Sorry to be graphic, but I was doing dishes and had decided that Gus could poop in the backyard by himself that day and I was going to do dishes and just keep an eye on him. While he's in the pooping stance, I notice that he is not pooping out something 'normal' and I am obviously worried since this abnormal poop seems to resemble part of his intestine. I book it outback and leave my girls inside to decide how I was going to take 2 babies and a bleeding dog to the vet. Yeah, I'm actually crying at the thought that my dog is going to have to be put down...until I realize that he had just passed MY CURTAIN. I WAS SO MAD!!!!!! Here I am crying and he's pooping out my curtain. Thats just great. After that his crate was moved to the middle of the room. LOL

I have a lot of stories like this about Gus. LOL He was a good dog. He loved us so completely, despite his flaws. He got into so many situations that sometimes I wondered "WHY ME?" UGH...

Boxers are a breed that is commonly stolen! We were walking him around the block one time and a couple stopped their car in the street and ran up to us calling out to Gus in a completely desperate and different name. Boxers can be very friendly dogs and ours was about as friendly as they come if no threat is there. Laying down on the ground shaking in excitement that someone was gushing over him, Gus welcomed these strangers and acted like he'd died and gone to Heaven. These people actually told us that Gus was their dog and they had been searching for him in our area because thats where they had supposedly lost their Boxer pup!? The FREAKING AUDACITY OF THESE PEOPLE WAS AMAZING!?!? I was FURIOUS. And they pointed out how he obviously had missed them by his behavior. OH.MY.GOSH. My eyes about shot out of my head and Rob had to hold me back and told me to be quiet before I even uttered a word. On the other hand, now that I think about it, what an elaborate way to blatantly steal a dog right out from under the owner!? I was shaking in rage.

Over the last year Gus began to age pretty quick. It was hard to hear him whine when he went down our stairs because of his legs having arthritis in them. His puking became very frequent and he even had several seizures. All of these things are quite normal with a boxer and only progressively get worse as they age. I think the seizures were the hardest to watch. Knowing there really isn't anything you can do and medication only prolongs the inevitable. The worst was seeing the effects of old age as he lost control of his bladder. Poor guy, didn't even know he was peeing until he felt something on his leg or heard it. On November 20th, our beloved old boy had to be laid to rest. That morning he was under my feet constantly. I feel bad for yelling at him but I had almost dropped the baby and fallen down the stairs. It was around lunch when I hear Duncan yell, "Moooom....Gus puked all over the basement!?" UGH I thought, I had just cleaned up 8 piles of puke the day before when we came home from grocery shopping and instead of puking on the tile or hardwood floor, he targeted my carpet...again...which meant lugging my huge carpet cleaner up and down again. Then I hear, "Nevermind, its just pee!" UGH!? SERIOUSLY!? Josh is army crawling around and we just dealt with MRSA, I'm a little paranoid about bacteria right now, and theres yet another mess for me to clean up and one that I can't really 'leave for later' you know? I went down to check it out and sure enough, its EVERYWHERE. I walked over to his bed and realized it was soaked. While our poochie isn't the brightest crayon in the box, he has NEVER EVER peed on his bed. The sad and harsh reality that it was time hit me and I just started crying. No matter how much I hated cleaning up all the puke and all the poop and all the other messes, Gus was still my dog and I did love him. It was heart wrenching and I knew it'd be hard for my kids to accept.
The last few weeks we had been talking about how Gus was getting sick because he was peeing all over the back porch and sometimes in the living room. And how his puking had suddenly increased A LOT. So they knew that something wasn't right and they had all been witness to many seizures in the past. But this was different and I knew it was time.
Saying Goodbye 
We all took time in saying good bye and special hugs. I'm thankful that the Lord blessed us with such a great dog, no matter how dingy he was...
An angel certainly planted a very special Red Fern seed in Gus' heart...and we loved him because he loved us so very well. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
MRSA is a “staph” germ that does not get better with the first-line antibiotics that usually cure staph infections.
When this occurs, the germ is “resistant”to the antibiotic.
It is normal for healthy people to have staph on their skin. Many of us do. Most of the time, it does not cause an infection or any symptoms. This is called “colonization” or “being colonized.” Someone who is colonized with MRSA can spread MRSA to other people.
A sign of a staph skin infection is a red, swollen, and painful area on the skin. Pus or other fluids may drain from this area. It may look like a boil. These symptoms are more likely to occur if the skin has been cut or rubbed because this gives the MRSA germ a way to “get in.” Symptoms are also more likely in areas where there is more body hair due to hair follicles.(MRSA link)

And it is UGLY. Its probably one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had. One that I'm so unbelievably thankful Josh will never really remember...but the effects of this situation will definitely effect him the rest of his life ~ mentally and physically. 

It started out with a small pimple looking whitehead. Ironically, as much as I enjoy 'picking' (as my family likes to put it because as gross as it sounds, I do enjoy picking at peeling sunburns and zits. Get over it, I know its gross. LOL) I was not picking this. Why? For the simple reason it was right above Joshua's groin and I didn't want him to get an infection with a dirty diaper. It showed up on Thursday and I didn't think anything of it. On Friday Joshua was pretty grumpy, but I really thought it was due to him pushing 2 top teeth at once. Low grade fever, lots of snot, drool, GRUMPY. What I didn't realize was that this 'pimple' was very painful and getting bigger fast. In my defense, because Josh is so dark, seeing a 'red' spot is very difficult.  In fact I only noticed it Friday night as a HUGE pimple that as I wiped my poor little baby off, I didn't realize I had put pressure on it and it popped with a loud wet popping sound and TONS of greenish yellow puss came out and he screamed. I felt AWFUL!!!! I didn't know what to do so I wiped him off as gently as I could and put his diaper back on. The next morning his groin area was actually hot to the touch and extremely swollen and he would instantly begin to cry and look very worried that I was going to touch the hurting area. It was hard not to wipe it off since I knew it was getting wet with urine. And sure enough when I opened his diaper Saturday morning it had a huge head on it again. I honestly did not know what to do. I applied a little pressure as I was wiping him off again and more greenish puss came out but this time it was thick and stringy. His fever was still low grade so I gave him a small dose of tylenol to help with the pain, thinking this was going to go away now that it had popped again and seemed to drain. After the puss came a small amount of blood so I stuck a bandaid on it and wrapped him back up in a diaper. I noticed he did not want to be on his tummy and he did not want to straddle my side when I held him. I had to almost cradle him out and away from me. It was so sad...I cried with him a few times. On Sunday his little groin was so swollen and it had also spread up towards his hip. Because I have gone to school for radiology, I knew a little bit about infections and if it spreads what to look for or the possible complications. Rob didn't have to work until Sunday night so I took Josh to Urgent Care where the nurse there said that because his fever was low and he wasn't dehydrated that I could just wait for the appointment I already had for Monday with Dr.Ryan. 

Of course, like all emergency trips go, Joshua spiked a fever of 103.9* at 630pm and Rob had already left for work. This temperature is way to high for teeth and he is miserable. God bless my wonderful mother. I called her on the verge of tears and when she answers, "Hi, Honey Bunny." I loose all composure. (What is it about moms that do that to us? Its like this lifeline is immediately thrown to you  as you hear their voice on the other line...) Anyway, my mom drops everything to come help me. She comes ready for a sleepover since an ER visit is one of the longest and torturous events EVER. This is not our first rodeo. But instead of going to the NCMC and daring the fates by encountering another lovely experience of bloody gangmembers or people barfing up their shoes in the waiting area all in one visit, I headed to the newer Emergency Department out at Summit View. I got in right away; apparently I was the only one having an issue at 845pm on a Sunday night. The male nurses were great. (Had I been in a better frame of mind, I may have even joked and called them Greg, RN, but as it was, a crying baby didn't lend me any opportunity for humor.) Okay let me rephrase that: the male nurses were great UNTIL they tried to start an IV line. My sweet baby is fluffy...he also has deep veins...(we later learned from the nurses at Children's Hospital) so they begin to follow through with the doctor's (who had TERRIBLE bedside manners, which I'm not entirely surprised at, but when dealing with a stressed out mom and a SCREAMING infant I think you may want to touch up your 'personable' skills and put on a HAPPY FACE and oh, it would also help if you knew what the heck you are talking about. Just sayin'.)  orders for a pointless IV...And they kept on least 10-12 times. Tops of both of my son's hands, tops of his little feet, and even on the inside of his arms. 

Ask me how awesome it was to have to HOLD my 9month old son down for an HOUR AND A HALF while they jab a needle into his skin and root around for a vein. I SOBBED THE WHOLE TIME. And this is what makes me the most infuriated: THEY NEVER TOOK LABS. THEY NEVER TOOK SAMPLES. THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE HAD. SO instead of calling our Pediatrician and asking how to proceed, the doctor ordered a shot that didn't even cover MRSA and he never came in to apologize because he WANTED an IV when this shot could have been given to my baby in his leg, which they ended up doing anyway.  I had no idea what to do!? I had no idea that I could say, "Stop, that is enough." Which just makes me even more furious with myself that I wasn't more brave to go against the medical 'authority.' THAT will NEVER happen again. 

SO at 1230am we left and went home. His groin was now swollen and the infected area was 3inx2in. It was huge and hot and so painful. Each diaper change ended with both of us crying. Joshua had his 9month appointment with Dr.Ryan at 11 and when we got in there and Dr.Ryan saw Josh he came UNGLUED. I was so relieved that I broke down crying...shameful, but I admit, I couldn't do anything else. If I may say, Dr.Ryan and his nurse Christine are the most wonderful people. I know this sounds corny, but without the mushy or weird aspect, I can honestly say that I feel loved by them. Like Dr.Ryan genuinely cares for our family and my kids. I can't say that about many doctors I've ever encountered. After a few phone calls to Children's Hospital, Dr.Ryan ushered us out the door and told me to get down to the Children's ER fast because Joshua's abscess needed to be incised and drained. Rob and I sent the older kids off with my mom and packed up and headed down to the ER at Children's down in Aurora. We were told that we may need to stay overnight, so I packed what I thought we may need. Pulling into the parking garage at 230 we beat it into the ER. It was probably the nicest ER I have ever seen. It was actually more like a museum of pictures and colors and high ceilings and EXTREMELY nice employees. It took my breath away. 

So we were signed into triage and waited...and waited...and....waited. Until about 530pm when we were shown back to a room down the Yellow Hall. Keep in mind that Joshua's last bottle or food was at 1030am...and he's getting super hungry and I'm pretty sure that I looked like Medusa. The lady that was in and out of the ER waiting room, or Hospitality volunteer, was so sweet. I think she read people really well...or just read me very well since she was fast to go ask any nurse she could find pertaining to our case about when Josh could eat since I was on my LAST RESERVE NERVE. (for those of you who don't know what a 'reserve nerve' is...its that nerve that you don't even know is there until you are grappling with your emotions and the veins in your eyes are basically popping out of your head. Or when you begin to looking like  Scrat from the Ice Age Movies.) We had the BEST care!!!! Our ER nurse was AMAZING. After hearing about our visit to the ER just 9 hours before, she was super careful with Josh and had another nurse assist her while she put in an IV. After 2 pokes she had that IV in good!!!!

(on a side note: the one thing about adoption that I think many people question or as an adoptive parent, I have feared is not having that strong attachment with my child. That he wouldn't want me or he wouldn't be attached to me...after our first ER visit all of those doubts were OBLITERATED. My son reached for me as he cried and once in my arms, CLUNG to my neck as though for dear life. While not in the circumstances I'd ever want to be in, the Lord has been faithful in answering my prayers as well as breaking those damaging chains of fear regarding attachment with my precious son. And since that night he actually HUGS us. He reaches for us and smiles while reaching, knowing that a loving embrace is sure to come.  And he snuggles us...which is by far the sweetest thing.) 
We met the Med Student and shortly after her, our ER doctor came in. Seriously, I am so thankful for quick prayers. Ones I didn't even know I had uttered, but ones loud enough that the Lord heard and ANSWERED ~ STAT! Our doctor was HILARIOUS. He was honest and very knowledgable, however his bedside manner was exactly what we needed. The perfect combination of quirky and sarcastic and kind. It sounds like it couldn't be like that, but he was. Joking with Rob and I while we waited for his direction. It turned out to be a very good thing that I didn't rebelliously feed Josh since we were told to prepare for Joshua's little surgery. Because he was only 9 months old and it wasn't a long nor intense surgery they were only going to partially sedate him: a conscious sedation with Ketamine. When the nurses started to get everything ready in our room Josh was highly suspicious and was not happy when he saw our nurse come at his IV with a needle. Poor baby... :( But the doctor warned me that it'd be less than 10 seconds for the Ketamine to take effect. Holy crap, he wasn't kidding...he went limp right away. Rob said that Ketamine is basically a horse tranquilizer. But safe that Josh wouldn't remember the pain. Even while being sedated and they began his procedure he started to cry and they had to hold him down because he began to move. I couldn't handle it. I also hadn't eaten in  24 hours and began to feel extremely weak and almost faint. The doctor told us to go to the cafeteria for something to eat since the surgery would only be 15 minutes and it'd take Josh at least 30 minutes to come out of the sedation. 

We ate and came back to hear Josh losing his ever lovin' mind. HOLY CRAP. Rob ran into the room and snatched him up and Josh immediately began to calm down. I was in shortly after him and when Josh heard my voice, even in his dazed state he began looking for me. Once safely tucked away in my arms, he stopped fussing and the nurse had us moved into a different room. The doctor came in once we were settled and told us how things had happened. Joshua actually had 3 abscesses. (What was once known as a 'boil' is now known as an 'abscess') Two of which had to be drained and the 3rd was just beginning. The first 'pocket' was 1cm under the skin and they drained 5ml of puss from it. THAT IS HUGE!? The second wasn't nearly as deep nor did it have as much puss. (We didn't learn until 4 days later that these abscesses had been caused by MRSA.) After being moved to our own room, we were told that Josh would have to stay hooked up to an IV for 3 heavy doses of Cleocin; one dose by IV every 6 hours. They had to monitor him while he had these and to make sure there wasn't further infection. I was relieved...other than Natty's brief jaunt to the ER resulting in 5 stitches to her lip, this was our first surgery type procedure for any of our kids. I don't do as well as I'd like when my kids are in pain like this and I'm completely uneducated in what to do. However, being in that little room without any sort of time reference, I had no idea if it was 3pm or windows was weird! Rob left around midnight to go get a few things, including Joshua's pillow and favorite blanket. It was so sweet; as soon as Daddy walked in with his blankie and pillow and I situated him on it so his IV wouldn't be in the way, Joshua nuzzled his blanket and moaned and immediately fell asleep. It was wonderful since my beloved hubby brought me my pillows as well so I could sleep. Other than waking up groggy for the nurses checking or administering meds, we all slept until 9am.

We left Tuesday afternoon and were back in to see Dr.Ryan every day for the next 10 days. Wound checks are something else. Especially on very RAW emotions. I was a mess. Josh would begin to tense up and it was all I could do not to start crying...WOW. At one point Dr.Ryan had said that I would have to learn how to 'repack' Joshua's incision. UHM NO. And not only No, but HELL NO. The incision was packed with 10in tape and each day I had to remove a small part of it so that it would close from the inside out. This was bad enough seeing it drain, knowing that I had NO idea what it was supposed to look like. I'm an EXTREMELY visual person. I learn by watching and not knowing was SO STRESSFUL for me. One diaper change resulted in the last of the tape coming out. I almost freaked. Fortunately, I had the doctor's office on speed dial and they told me to come in right away and they'd check it. This is why I love our Pediatrician office...SUPERB SERVICE. 

After 7 days of a HORRIBLE tasting medicine and trying to get it down him, Joshua is completely healed and back on track. Now, because we found out it was MRSA we have to be very intentional about keeping an eye on his 'pimples.' It doesn't matter if it turns out to be nothing and goes away on its own, I'm probably more along the lines of OVERTHETOP. I have scoured the internet for information on MRSA. I always try to take Western Medicine with a grain of salt and do what I can naturally to work the preventative measures thing. I often get information from several natural websites, including Dr.Mercola's website. It was there I learned that there is a specific enzyme in living garlic that actually KILLS MRSA!!!! Just a week after our trip to Children's Josh got another little pimple. I was taking NO chances. Smirk if you will, but I immediately put my baby in a warm bath with minced garlic. Oh yes, he smelled to high Heaven and my older children called him a baby onion for the rest of the day! But guess what, that pimple was gone the next day. And just 3 days ago he got another pimple, and this particular one grew and was looking VERY scary to me when I remembered the garlic. You know it, I RAN my happy rear to the cupboard and found a sprouting garlic clove and actually put it right on this little pimple. After an hour I removed the garlic juice, cleaned this spot thoroughly, and put a bandaid on it. That little pimple was gone in 2 days. Call me crazy, whatever you want...but I'm the one who has lived this with my precious baby and I don't give a rat's patoot if you think it probably wasn't or that garlic had nothing to do with it. I KNOW it did. Heres a little bit more information that I've learned: 

  ~  MRSA infections can also occur in healthy people who have not recently been in the hospital. Most of these MRSA infections are on the skin or less commonly lung infections. People who may be at risk are:
  • Athletes and other people who may share items such as towels or razors
  • Children in day-care
  • Members of the military
  • People who have gotten tattoos

    ~MRSA is any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, which include the penicillins (methicillindicloxacillinnafcillinoxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins. Strains unable to resist these antibiotics are classified as methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, or MSSA. The development of such resistance does not cause the organism to be more intrinsically virulent than strains ofStaphylococcus aureus that have no antibiotic resistance, but resistance does make MRSA infection more difficult to treat with standard types of antibiotics and thus more dangerous.wikipedia
    ~Commonsense, All-Natural Approaches to Protect Yourself From MRSA
    First and foremost, everyone needs to take the issue of antibiotics seriously. This is of course an issue that must be addressed on a large scale, both within modern medicine and agriculture, but you also need to evaluate your own use of antibiotics, and avoid taking them – or giving them to your children -- unless absolutely necessary. Unless everyone starts to pay attention to when and how they use these drugs, the problem will never be solved
    Aside from that, here are a few other sound methods that can greatly hinder the spread of infectious disease, including MRSA.
        Wash your hands -- The most important of which is to adhere to proper hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap and water. Handwashing, which is one of the oldest and most powerful antibacterial treatments, may be the key to preventing MRSA (staph infections).
    According to a Johns Hopkins study, the best way for patients to avoid such infections is for doctors and nurses to simply wash their hands before touching a patient. This is the most common violation in hospitals. According to findings by The Times, in the worst cases, as few as 40 percent of staff members comply with hand-washing standards, with doctors being the worst offenders.
    But even the best hospitals typically boast no better than 90 percent compliance — which means one out of 10 practitioners may have contaminated hands.
    Guidelines to proper handwashing include:
    • Wash your hands for 10 to 15 seconds with warm water
    • Use plain soap
    • Clean all the nooks and crannies of your hands, including under fingernails
    • Rinse thoroughly under running water
    • Use a paper towel to open the door as a protection from germs that harbor on handles
    Remember to AVOID using antibacterial soaps. These soaps are completely unnecessary and could easily do more harm than good. As a matter of fact, the antibacterial compounds found in most of these soaps are another likely contributing factor to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
        Invest in copper -- Making door handles, taps and light switches from copper could also help defeat antibiotic-resistant superbugs, according to scientists. Researchers have discovered that copper fittings rapidly kill bugs in hospital wards, succeeding where other infection control measures fail.
    Lab tests show that the metal can effectively kill off both the deadly MRSA and C difficile superbugs. It also kills other dangerous germs, including the flu virus and the E coli food poisoning bug.
    In tests sponsored by the Copper Development Association Inc. (the Latin-American arm of the International Copper Association), a grouping of 100 million MSRA bacterium atrophied and died in a mere 90 minutes when placed on a copper surface at room temperature. The same number of MSRA bacteria on steel and aluminum surfaces actually increased over time.
    It is likely that by installing copper faucets, light switches, toilet seats and push plates in germ infested areas, hospitals and nursing homes could quite literally save thousands of lives each year.
    You could also consider taking the same measures in your own home, especially if you care for someone with chronically poor immune function.
        Use natural disinfectants – As with antibacterial hand soaps, antibacterial house cleaners are also best avoided. A natural all-purpose cleanser that works great for kitchen counters, cutting boards and bathrooms is 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Just put each liquid into a separate spray bottle, then spray the surface with one, followed by the other.
        Eat garlic – Researchers have found that allicin, the active compound in garlic, is an effective, natural “antibiotic” that can eradicate even antibiotic-resistant bugs like MRSA. An added boon is that the bacteria appear incapable of developing a resistance to the compound.
    However, it is important to note that the garlic must be fresh. The active ingredient is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic. Garlic pills are virtually worthless and should not be used.
    Instead, compress the garlic with a spoon prior to swallowing it if you are not going to juice it. If you swallow the clove intact you will not convert the allicin to its active ingredient.Dr.Mercola's link about Garlic
    I want you to know that this is just my opinion and my experience. However, if you are dealing with MRSA, I completely sympathize. It sucks! I've included links to some of the websites I've used. Good luck and I hope this helps!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sewing Gratification

I, like most humans on earth, enjoy INSTANT GRATIFICATION. Instant text messaging. Instant internet access. Instant messaging...even the soon to be archaic EMAIL! LOL I'm sometimes baffled by the realization that my children have never lived in a world WITHOUT cell phones! Jeepers, I remember talking to my childhood best friend who lived in California and we lived in Colorado and how I was only allowed to talk 25 minutes because is was too expensive for long distance! I even remember when my parents got our first CORDLESS phone!!!! And watching movies like Pretty Woman and the monster of a cordless he was using...even the first cell phone that Richard used...and it was a sign of his incredible wealth. hahahaha how hilarious now that 10 year olds are walking around with cell phones. What a pendulum swing! Okay so way off track like usual...

This is Logan's new blankie. 
The last few years I've noticed that with each child I have less and less time doing what I want. I think back to my college days and wonder what the heck I was doing with all the free time I had? Makes my brain explode. When my girls were born I had the privilege of my mother inlaw's amazing seamstress abilities. She made many things and even helped me learn to sew. I had watched my own mother make things throughout my youth, but it wasn't anything that interested me.  When the girls were very small I bought my first sewing machine on Craigslist. It didn't last as long as I had hoped and while I learned a lot, I also learned that the newer sewing machines were A LOT easier to use! SO I bought a new Brother and have been LOVING it ever since. SO EASY TO USE. Over this last year I've had many cheerleaders in regards to my latest sewing hobby, including my husband's grandmother, who is also an amazing seamstress. It wasn't until I began making blankets that I realized how much time and effort was put into these handmade gifts! I LOVED getting hand made things from family members throughout the years for my babies...I also realized that I enjoyed getting these things because the person making them had put in so much thought and time and love into these gifts. Because of this realization I began making baby blankets for my dear friends and now family. I even made all 3 of my brothers a comforter or blanket for Christmas one year. Its my INSTANT gratification. I can put all my creativity to work and 'love' the recipient in my own way. Its kinda of a cheaters gift because I get to do something I like! ;) Anyway, I'm thinking about breaking out and actually selling some of my pieces. 
it all begins with colors requested, an animal, and and idea in my head

I have begun to make a blanket set: a crib blanket and a carseat blanket (24inx24in) that matches.
Why a carseat blanket? Because my kids all had their special blankets and dragging around the huge, blasted things was gross and inconvenient, so I made a smaller version of the first so that its not that much a difference and I've never found the stores doing this.

I make my own appliques from free clipart that I find online...that makes my blankets unique and personal for the recipient.

had to figure out how to anchor the backing to the front of the blanket so it doesn't become a balloon Elephant feet!

my sweet Giraffe friend

I even tried my hand at making a scarf! It worked out awesome... I really enjoyed myself and its super warm according to the new owner! I LOVE sewing. I love being able to put something PERSONAL and meaningful into my blankets and homemade gifts. I've been asked where I find time to do these blankets...honestly...I have no idea. I did learn that I can make one pretty fast if I find out I only have about 4 hours to make one!!!! LOL I hope that each of you, and the others not shown yet, have enjoyed the blankets I've made and prayed over! I can't wait to post more pix. Several more sets to come. I welcome questions!

(Eiffle Tower is 24inx13in)
(here is one of my earliest creations! Mom asked for hot pink, zebra, and Paris...this is what I came up with...and YES it was a TOTAL challenge. LOL) I even made a cribskirt to match, but those seem to be a bit of a hassle...but something I enjoyed nonetheless

this is Emmi's Elephant. Her mommy didn't ask for any colors and I loved this Elephant so much I felt Emmi needed an Ellie ;)

This is Joshua's Moose. Our agency director made a joke saying that Josh was a 'Colorado Moose' because he is such a big baby. SO I looked for a cute moose and found a bunch of pieces from other blankets that I've made and put this together. This carseat blanket NEVER leaves the car. The antlers are made out of blue corduroy and his body is a flannel. I love textures and think babies enjoy looking at all the different colors and feels! (sorry its upside down)

Thanks for looking!!

(UPDATED 12.05.12)
Meet Clyde!

As promised, I have another set that I recently made for a friend's silent auction! So yes, this monkey set is for sale and all proceeds go to adoption costs! (SOLD!!!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I thought the Rocky Mountains were gonna be a little bit rockier than this...?

Oh yeah? Thats because its WYOMING. LOL

Thats right...WY to the O...and all sorts of really great times. This last summer the girls scored an entire week to Camp Bethel. This is a youth camp that my younger brothers and I all experienced before graduating high school and devoured every moment. In fact, my younger brothers both ended up becoming camp counselors for this organization. IT IS AWESOME. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! I even met one of my dearest friends at Winterama when I was a senior in high school. So many fantastic memories. Anyway...the girls had a BLAST. I'm glad it will become a traditional summer thing...I enjoyed the week off!!! ;)

It was a little rough to say goodbye to the girls for the week, but we headed back down to Buffalo with a lot of fun things to do with the boys and the Rouses. The first thing Rob and I enjoyed was some much needed couples time. With dramamine on board I was able to endure Rob's need to drive like he was on the autobahn...
Rob and I coming back from dropping the girls off at Camp Bethel. We needed to do the touristy pix thing. LOL

I could not stop laughing. Josh wasn't sure about this at first either...
The next day we decided to introduce the Rouse's to a different spot so near and dear to my heart: Meadowlark Lake. But first a hike up to the lookout.
but now he's happy to get the show on the road!

she's not very affectionate...LOL

And they are OFF!!!!

a little hike up the mountain side

The top!

Meadowlark Lake

Joshua and the Bighorns Finally meet.

yes, Rob is still wearing the baby

Josh LOVED the hike!!!! He was squealing and laughing the whole time. I, of course, was giggling the whole way up because watching Rob pack the baby like this was HILARIOUS.

Now for a dip in the lake. Let me point out that even though its July and SCORCHING hot down in Buffalo, the lake is not warm. In fact, ITS FREEZING! And since its Wyoming, it shouldn't come as any surprise when I say its windy. You can see its blowing by the choppy water. Did that stop our children? UHM, NO. LOL!!! They went right in! I believe Sandy and I were both saying as they ran for the water that we probably should have brought proper swimming attire. Didn't happen. The baby was happily tucked away, playing nicely in the WARM RV.

The boys got out of the water teeth chattering, purple lips, and just in undies until their clothes dried!!! LOL!!! They had so much fun, but we heard our fair share of whining.

Swimming Lesson #246: Have proper swimming attire.
Swimming Lesson #247: The water should probably be warmer than 50*
Swimming with your best buddy in the mountains?
I admit, I have spent most of the last 10 years LOATHING Buffalo, WY. After the Rouse's moved up there and actually bought the house my parents (and my brothers and I) built in 1998, it has changed my opinion...okay fine, my heart totally changed. Suddenly I was sitting in what used to be our old living room, looking out at the magnificent view of the Big Horn Mountains, and felt God peel back the  memories that continued to leave a sour taste in my mouth. I was able to see why my parents fell in love with this area and this place. I even found myself loving it as well.