Thursday, October 2, 2014

Crazy busy

So, I know that everyone is busy but I dislike being crazy busy. I only like to have 1 thing on my agenda that is out of the norm. Preferably 1 thing per week. I'm perfectly content to stay home & leave only on occasion. So, for all you who would like to see A Day In The Life Of Katie, here was yesterday.

I woke up at 5am to feed Zebulun. I fell back to sleep but woke up to being pushed off the bed by a 1 & 2 year old.
- I got up, put my farm clothes on, arranged for the bigs to care for the littles, started a load of laundry & went outside.
-I penned up the ewe that is so strange we call her Stupid because we think she might be pregnant and it would be just like her to drop her lamb during the cold, rainy night. 
- I checked the hens & rooster for mites because we treated them on Monday & I wanted to see how my all natural cure was working. FABULOUS SUCCESS! Then, I let out all the clean chickens & checked the feed & water.
-I gave 2 bales of hay to the 4 horses, checked the water (which was, of course, full because of all the rain)
-I gave the sheep hay & checked their water. Monitored Sugar Mama who injured her foreleg.
-Fed the 6 cats, fed & watered the dog, played fetch with said dog
-Fed & watered the 4 peacocks we acquired on Monday.

Then, I came back inside to take a quick shower, got dressed, switched the laundry, & went upstairs to start breakfast.
-cleaned our Berkey
-I fed all the littles some eggs & yogurt, cleaned up that mess & started cleaning the kitchen & picking up the mess they all created while I was outside.
-Got Brody started on school, started Sage & Corbin on their chores, planned what to make for dinner for all of us & to take to one of my very dearest friends that just had a major knee surgery (everything but the ACL was torn off her knee & dislocated!)
-Found a GF dessert to make for my friend.
-Helped Brody with school work he didn't quite get.
-Started Julia on school.
-switched laundry over
-all the while I'm keeping Zeb & Glory out of whatever they are in, climbing on, or pulling apart
-I email a couple of things for 4H
-Gma Glenna stopped by to see us after her vacation & time with Gma Sparks
-started lunch & cleaned up the kitchen again
-put the littles down for a nap & the bigs had to have rest time
-Switched over the laundry again & sent Julia down to separate into piles 
-Started Sage on his school work & then helped him with the things he didn't understand
-helped Celeste with her workbook that she loves! 
-swept & picked up the living room
-started the GF dessert, served a snack to littles, started the lamb chops grilling, peeled potatoes, mashed the potatoes, cooked the green beans, packaged food for delivery to Jeremy (working long hours this week to get ready for GRAND OPENING of the new church facility) & my friend
-fed the kids & rushed out the door to deliver big boys to youth group, food to friends, pick up rx at Walgreens, return movie to the library & go to the Sprint Store to pick up Jeremy's replacement phone. 
-Of course there were 4 people in line so I didn't wait that long before 2 littles had to use the bathroom. No public bathrooms available. SOOOO, I get in the truck & drive to ALDI's. While I'm there I might as well pick up some essentials I'm out of. Get through the bathroom & through the check out line only to realize Jeremy has my debit card & they don't take checks or credit cards. GREAT! We exit ALDI's without food while Glory is crying "I want my foodies". Get the 5 kids loaded & buckled again when a very kind man asks if he can buy my groceries for me. He tells me it must be hard to take 5 cute kids shopping & insists & goes in to purchase my forgotten cart. I write him a check & we load up after profusely thanking the man & head home...without Jeremy's phone. 
-Did I mention that through this whole ordeal I'm smelling baby poop but I changed him at my friend's house before I left. I realize that said baby poop is on my shirt! So I was walking through ALDI's, in the Sprint store & other places with baby poop on my shirt, a handkerchief over my hair because it is CRAZY frizz, my face is broken out like I've reverted to the teen years again & I didn't make time to put any makeup on.
-I get home, unload kids, unload groceries, send Julia & Corbin outside to do the animal chores, put PJ's on babies, read them a story, nurse Zeb, & get Julia & Corbin off to bed in time for Jeremy to come home with Sage & Brody. Get Brody his meds, & remind them to brush their teeth, shower, switch the laundry & set another load to start in 9hrs, rewrite an email for Jeremy that he then says he doesn't like my wording on & fall into bed.

I think I've forgotten some things like settling arguments, redressing Glory "the naked girl" a few times, changing some diapers, etc. And I know I forgot to do school with Corbin AND he didn't remind me! ;) Oh, I did have some muscle spasms in my shoulder & Brody applied some White Fir essential oil & massaged it for me.

I've taken too much time on the computer now. I need to get back on my laundry PTHTHTHTH!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Processing it all...

So, I was driving through town today in our Suburban & had a flash back moment from this past weekend. My heart sped up & I felt the panic rise in my belly. You see, this past weekend, we almost lost our daughter. The story goes like this:

Friday, June 20th we had a really fun barn party. We invited friends that we needed to thank for all the help in building our fabulous new barn & some that we needed to thank for helping us move to our acreage & neighbors. It was GREAT! We bar-b-q'd, had chicken races, homemade ice cream, great conversations, and more. Plus, it was Jeremy & I's 16th anniversary. 

The following day was filled with egg deliveries & all the little chores you need to do normally on a hobby farm.  I was just starting dinner & sat on the couch to ask Jeremy a question.  Glory was standing on a chair at the table getting her drink. She knocked the glass onto the floor & it broke. She slipped off the chair & landed on the broken glass. Brody, who had been standing next to her, hollered to me that she was bleeding. I walked the few feet over to her, turned her around & cursed. 

My kids know that I curse when we are headed to the emergency room. But his time, I cursed 3 TIMES! I grabbed her up & had to hold her insides in. I could see past all the layers of skin & through the muscles. THROUGH THE MUSCLES! I yelled for everyone to get in the car & for Jeremy to drive. He told me to just go (meaning don't wait for the other kids to get in the car) so I explained to him that I needed to hold her together.

We called 911, we called the hospital & told them we were speeding & the route we were taking. We treated red lights like stop signs. All the while Glory was going into shock & vomiting all over my leg multiple times while I tried to hold her sideways while clutching at her mid section. What 2yo wants to be held in a funny position, squeezed & vomit while driving? She startied out crying & pleading with me to let go & take the rag off that I'd grabbed out of the drawer on the way out. I couldn't make her understand. But when she just layed there with her eyes drifting shut, that was scarier. I asked her questions about what she liked more swings or slides, chickens or sheep, what's her sheep's name, etc. She stopped answering; but she was still awake.

When we got to the hospital I wanted everyone to move as fast as I was & I was trying to be calm but I felt like punching the registration lady in the face. Nurse Shelley was fantastic. She understood. She didn't wait. She got busy. Since we called ahead the doctor was already waiting & a surgeon walked in after just a couple minutes. They started 2 IV's. The peds doc came in & stayed. They did a portable chest xray to see if her lung was perforated. It looked good. They gave her a 200cc bolus of fluids. Within a very short time they told us that Glory would have to go to Blank Children's Hospital because she had a "life threatening injury". Those words actually echoed in my ears.

You might notice that the above paragraph, minus the punching the registrar in the face, was somewhat clinical. See, I'm a nurse & when my kids are hurt, I go into nurse mode. It's easier to get done what needs to be done if you aren't as emotional. Not that nurses aren't emotional, but they aren't having to work on their own hearts personified in the little one sitting on the gurney. At the moment that doctor told me it was life threatening & they were sending the Life Flight Helicopter, I struggled to keep it together. I couldn't finish singing the songs to keep her calm while they put in another IV & took blood & monitored her heart. Then, they explained that I might not be able to go in the helicopter. I would have to hand my baby over to strangers while they rush her to surgery in another city & I couldn't hold her or say goodbye or be her comfort in the midst of all things scary & new.  

I tried not to lose it. I had to think. I had to answer questions. I had to get my other kids taken care of. I had to plan 2 different scenarios of action should I get to fly or not. Jeremy & Zeb needed to come. I would need to feed Zeb soon but I had to stay with Glory. Should I send Jeremy or would weight be a factor in the flight so I should go? Add in about 30 other weird thoughts that enter your mind, like who will do animal chores & make sure Sage turns off the water to the cattle? 

The Pediatric Flight team from Blank came to our hospital to take her in the ambulance to the little airport in town to fly us to Des Moines. My heart was pounding through my chest while I patiently waited to ask if I could fly with my baby. I didn't even hesitate when they asked my weight. Thank God, He answered my prayers! One of the paramedics stayed back so that I could fly with the Pediatric Team.  

I had no time to be pondering the fun of my first ambulance ride & helicopter ride. I feel like time stopped or was in slow motion at various points. The ambulance ride felt like 2 min tops. The helicopter flight, maybe 5-I know it was 15 because they said it would be a 15 minute flight on the head phones. Glory got blood in the helicopter. Her lips turned grey & her skin was mottled & paler than normal (cause as it was pointed out many times, I am rather pale normally). I had signed the papers okaying a blood transfusion if necessary but it was still shocking that IT WAS NECESSARY!

I forgot to mention that the paramedic that helped in the ambulance on the way to the airport was so great! I have the feeling that if I saw him in public, I would only have minor qualms about rushing up to him & hugging him. In reality, I would just smile very big & say hello hoping he remembered us but inside I would be hugging him.  Laurie, on the other hand, I would run to to hug! She was the head flight nurse & she was INCREDIBLE! She put Glory at ease starting in the ER, she continued in the ambulance, the helicopter, and all the way to the trauma room. She has 6 kids so she knows how to talk to them. Then, she came to visit 3 or 4 times on the PICU. She even took Glory up to the roof to visit the helicopter a couple days later & have her picture taken. She is fantastic at her job & deserves a huge raise! I wish I could give it to her.

We were met on the roof by more people & police. I guess the police guard the helipad? We took the elevator down & were met by a team of about 10 trauma specialists. Blank is a teaching hospital so I knew some of them were learning but it was a little overwhelming. I started answering questions directed at Laurie & apologized quickly while putting my hand over my mouth. I had switched back to nurse mode in my head. The head trauma surgeon put me at ease & didn't make me feel badly for speaking up. He acknowledged that I was a nurse & asked me some questions. There was a lady there just to keep Glory calm & entertained. She had bubbles, toys, & an IPad with fun games. It didn't really work but she tried really hard. Jeremy arrived with Zeb & I knew that he must've sped a little but who could blame him. 

We walked along with the gurney to the surgery area but we had to stop at the doors. They told me I couldn't say goodbye. "Just walk away." A couple students took us to the waiting area which was deserted because it was late Saturday night & they don't schedule surgeries for that time. We were left alone. I was supposed to sit & wait for news. 

Jeremy deals with stress by eating. He called Jimmy Johns & ordered for the both of us even though I was nauseous. (He did a great job of reminding me to eat & drink the entire hospital stay) After 16 years of marriage & 3 years of dating, he knows me pretty well. I don't eat or drink when I'm stressed, or busy, or...let's just say it isn't a priority & if I was single with no kids my food bill would be really easy to budget. Anyway, Jeremy offers me a tshirt from his bag & I finally notice that my shirt is covered in blood & my pants are covered in vomit. I took them to the bathroom to change but I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was weird. It was like I needed to keep her blood near me just in case. I was kept busy for the next 2 hrs watching Zeb & trying to eat the sandwich Jeremy got for me. 

The surgeon finally arrived to tell us all about her surgery. The glass had missed her diagragm. Her ribs had done their job in protecting her lungs but one had a triangular knick out of it. Her artery next to her ribs was cut & that's why she was bleeding internally. That artery helped them to find the other damage. The fat that surrounds each organ was poking out of the hole in her side. When the investigated that they found that her stomach was perforated & needed to be fixed. He had to make a vertical incision from the bottom of her ribs all the way to her belly button in order to fix her stomach. But she's alive & we can go see her.

Finally we got to go up to the PICU to see her. But we had to wait in the family room until they got her situated. They took her breathing tube out but she was still on oxygen. She looked so puffy & tiny in that big bed. Her nurse was one of 11 kids. She was great all night long. She gave me some scrubs to change into & I showered in Glory's room. I forgot how comfy scrubs are! Jeremy & I took turns sleeping with her in that big bed. Well, as much sleeping as you can do when your baby has just had emergency surgery & is connected to machines that beep constantly & nurses come in every hour to check her vitals. I think I fell asleep between 430 & 630am. 

Funny thing, Glory is a very insightful child. She could tell within 15 sec of meeting a nurse or doctor if they were going to be good or not. And danged if she wasn't right every time. If she spoke to them, they were in. If she just stared at them, we knew that they were having a bad day or not really a kid person. We had 2 fantastic nurses named Amy & Chelsy. The other ones were ok & some of them must've been having a bad day. She had a bunch of docs but her favorite was her trauma doc Dr Swegle. She told him that the arm boards taped to her arms to keep her from bending them & pinching her IV's were her SUPER SHIELDS. So when he came in, he would say, "shields up" & she'd put her forearms up by her face. It was very cute. He said he'd never had anyone call them that before. You can tell she has big brothers. 

Another way God took care of us was that Zeb got to stay with us. Normally he wouldn't have been allowed to stay all night & there isn't enough room in the rooms for both mama & daddy let alone an infant requiring a crib. But they put her in the only double room so they had room for the gigantic crib & both of us. Even when they down graded her status from intensive care, we got to stay in that room unless it was needed-it wasn't. Plus. Zeb slept through the night for the first time every night we were there! I didn't have to worry about feeding him & noise & getting him to sleep while there. At home he sleeps with us but it is against hospital policy to co-sleep. I didn't want to make waves since they were already allowing him to stay but he never sleeps for over a couple hours in a crib.  Didn't even have to worry.

OK, this is getting long. So, I'll wrap it up. Thank goodness for the kids' play room, the wagons & riding cars to take walks, Frozen movie (I believe we watched in 9 times, could've been more), therapy dogs & their fun baseball cards, hot cocoa & popsicles, fun visitors, Gma & Gpa watching the other kids, cell phones to keep everyone in the prayer loop, helicopters & ambulances, doctors & nurses, & FANTABULOUS husbands.

I have a greater respect for many things. But that'll have to be another post. Go hug someone that you need & love. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My explanation of essential oils

Most people don't know this about me but my sisters call me "Mother Earth".  We've all got our differences in personality but I am the one in the family that loves to learn about all the natural things God created for us.  I like to envision myself as a pioneer woman sometimes. I know it's silly but it's like all my favorite childhood books could actually come to life on my new acreage. I especially loved to read books about how someone would go into the woods, get some willow bark, boil it in a tea & bring down a fever. It's a beautiful combination of my nursing degree and my back to roots mentality. I've been investigating the many benefits of essential oils for a couple of years now but I finally took the pluge & joined the Young Living company around the holidays.

Essential oils are the natural extracts of plants.  We take those oils & use them to treat various problems we have. For instance, when I have a migraine I put peppermint oil on my temples & within 22 minutes that oil has reached every cell in my body. I get great relief & it's all natural! When Corbin gets congested we put some Breathe Again (combination of 4 different eucalyptus oils, peppermint, myrtle, & copaiba) on his chest & he is clear to breathe again in 20 min. It's fabulous! 

I think what finally sold me was that someone made the point that these oils were in the Bible. This isn't just some shaman, witch doctor kinda thing. They gave Frankincense to Jesus when he was born. That's an oil! God made these plants to heal & help us everyday. I don't know about you but I'd rather use a natural product than a chemical that can cause side effects & other problems later in life.

So, my goal is to replace all my medications in my medicine cabinet with oils. Tylenol, ibuprophen, cold meds, allergy pills, etc all gone & oils in their places. It's working great for our family. A big plus for me is that I when I'm pregnant I choose not to use any medications unless absolutely necessary. Which means I suffer through allergy season (I'm allergic to SO many environmental things). But, I can use the oils in and not suffer from April through the first hard frost in November!

If this sounds compelling to you or you'd like more information on trying some oils for yourself, please contact me. I'd love to talk about it with you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This is it!

Picture this. First day of 8th grade for me at Calapooia Middle School. I enter my Advanced English class & sit down with my friends that I'd had for 2 whole years. ( the longest I went to any school was 3 years as we moved a lot) Our first assignment of the year is to interview a fellow classmate & then present the info the following day-cake for advanced English students, right?! The next day we all settle in for a fun time of learning new things about our friends & classmates. My friend Andi gets up & tells the class that when I grow up I want to be a pig farmer's wife. A couple presentations later another presenter lets us all know that Andy Johnson wants to be a pig farmer...no joke! I'll let you guess who overheard the interview & tailored his or her answer to fit the day. (Note: when I moved at the end of the year I was shocked when I read in my yearbook that Andy Johnson had had just as much of a crush on me as I'd had on him ;)

I tell you this story because I've come to a huge realization this week. This is it! I've arrived! My dream of being a farmer's wife & all the romantic pioneer woman books I read have come true. I know it's just a hobby farm but I get to wake up & do farm chores! I haul water to animals in my barn (the water lines weren't finished before the ground became a tundra), muck stalls, feed animals, gather eggs, watch eagles, hawks, & other birds fly over our land. I love listening to my rooster crow & my goats bleat & the steer lowing. While I am deathly allergic to cats, I have 8 kittens that I love to watch & cuddle (with my layers of covering & immediate washing afterward). My dog is a perfect fit for our family. The deer running through. The fox across the road that lives in the brush. I don't enjoy going to town SO I DON'T except for church & grocery items & very important "meetings" with my gals a couple times a month. It's fabulous!

 I told Jeremy that I can't ever move back to town. I didn't realize how much all that white noise bothers me. Did you know that you can hear lights? It hurts my head. The noise of furnaces, music in stores, and many other things irritates me now. Or maybe it always did & I didn't even know it. I find absolute peace walking in the stillness down my hill to stand by the creek. I can hear the water underneath  the ice (unless one of my kids comes too). Even the cold & snow don't bother me as much out here. I used to get cabin fever in town since we have winter for what feels like 8mo of the year. It's not that bad out here.

I love my life! The sights, the smells, the sounds, the peace. It's all perfect for us! I'm so excited to do it again tomorrow! I pray that this never gets old.