Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I never really know how to start out a blog post, or what to title it unless there is something specific going on. So consider this a hodgepodge of info from my family to yours :)

Raia is growing up so fast, I just can't believe it! We had a great Halloween; we went to church that morning, and then to the church's Fall Festival that evening. Raia and I both dressed up as bumble bees! We got so many compliments :) Raia had a lot of fun playing games, doing the cupcake walk, jumping in the bouncy houses, we even went on a hay ride!

We are so blessed to be at this church, so blessed...They always have great things going on for each holiday for the kids, not to mention all of the other wonderful things going on in our city to help the poor, or to help people in bad situations. I can't wait to be a part of everything that's going on! OH!!! I got a letter last week saying that I am now an official member, so that made me SUPER happy!!

I have been really busy with my cakes, and I hope to update The Sweet Life very soon! I may have to break it up into several posts, I have been that busy!

I had my second round of nerve blocks today. Ugh! They are very painful, and then I feel YUCK for the rest of the day. Still no change in headaches, and if anything, this past week has been much worse! On the headache log she gave me to keep track of the severity of the headaches, I had 7 (going on 8) days of straight "X"s, meaning severe headache. She said we weren't giving up yet (and I hadn't even thought of giving up yet!); she did say it could take 4 - 6 rounds of these nerve blocks before I see any improvement. And as of today we begin tapering my pain medication (YAY!). One part of me is scared to death to give them up. I am being blatantly honest here...with my history of addiction, I am terrified. So I covet your prayers on that front. The other part of me will be so relieved to get this monkey off my back. It's like a catch-22, I need the medication because my headaches without it become unbearable (think of day after day after day feeling like you have a rod through your head, and a screaming tightness at the back of your neck), but my body and my behavior become so used to taking them that it becomes a habit. Scary. I have learned that I cannot go one day without it without having the shakes, stomach "issues", lightheadedness, on top of a severe headache. My previous quack Dr. would "forget" to refill my prescription on a Friday, and I'd be left for a Saturday and/or Sunday with no meds. What I learned today is that the medication I'm on is not something you can stop cold turkey without having seizures...so that makes me really angry with my previous Dr. Anyway, if you don't mind keeping me in your prayers over all of this headache mess. Hopefully the nerve blocks will begin taking effect soon.

A month or so ago a friend of mine wanted to take some pictures of Raia to build up her portfolio. Unfortunately, the first shoot she did, none of the pictures came out because of a camera setting, and it was a GREAT session! Bummer. The second time we went out was so hot and muggy, but she got a few good shots :) Here are just a few:

Thanks so much to Brookleigh Photography! You can find her Facebook page (and other examples of her work)---> HERE <---.

Ok, that's about all I've got for tonight. Thanks so much for checking in!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

I wanted to share this

My friend Cathy, whose cousin Laurie recommended the new headache Dr. to me, sent me this video. In my previous post, I mentioned option 2 (if the nerve blocks don't work), which is surgery. Apparently, my AMAZING Dr. is the one who came up with this surgery!!! Check it out :)

I go in Tuesday the 26th for the nerve blocks, please pray!

Thanks for checking in!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Dentists and Doctors and Pictures, oh my! (Now with update)

Hi everyone :) Not sure if there is anyone even still out there in blog-land who reads my blog since I neglect it so much, but it's ok :) I have several things to update, so hold on to your seats, everyone!

I went back over a year ago in my posts, searching to see if I had posted about Raia's dentist visit in February (I think?), but apparently I had not posted about it, so , I will start from the beginning (for those of you who don't know).

Let this be a lesson for any new Moms out there, please let my mistake be a learning tool: Sometime at the beginning of this year (Jan? Feb? Can't remember) I took Raia to a dentist that I had heard lots of good things about. From the time Raia was born until she had several teeth in her mouth, I would scrub her teeth with a washcloth or the finger brush and infant toothpaste. Then, she learned to bite, and bite HARD. So I got her a toothbrush, a nice fancy electric one that I let her pick out, small enough to fit in her mouth (plus another manual one) to make for easy brushing...or so I though. I'm not sure what went wrong, but she eventually started refusing to let me brush her teeth. I'm talking tears and screaming, running away to hide. Nothing had happened, I had not hurt her while brushing, I think it was just a will thing. She wanted to do it herself. We tried several times letting her brush first, and then letting me follow up, but even that began to bring out rebellion. I figured "Hey, it's a phase, she will grow out of it soon. If it is this stressful for her, I will just let her do it." Fast forward a year when I take her to this highly recommended dentist. Lovely office, Raia loved it! Totally kid-friendly, they even had TV's above each chair playing Disney movies. Now, going into this I knew that Raia had cavities in 2 of her back teeth, they were visible. I also knew that she had one side-front tooth (one of the ones beside her two front teeth) that had come in broken and looked like it had a cavity at the gum line. That one I had worried about since it came in. Let me stop here and say what a big girl Raia was during her dental exam. She was such a trooper, which totally surprised me! They were all doting on her, and she ate it up, loved every minute of it! Then, the actual dentist comes over to take a look and tells me that Raia has 4 back teeth (two on each side at the very back on the top) with enormous cavities in them, 2 of which will need root canals!!! ROOT CANALS!!!!! Then, he says that the broken one must have broken sometime before it came in when she was learning to walk and would need to be REMOVED, and that there was trauma to her permanent teeth (inside her gums still) from said fall. Great. Then, the other side-tooth on the other side of her two front teeth had a pin hole cavity on the backside of the tooth. He told me all of her bad teeth needed immediate attention. The ones that tore me up the most were the one he said needed to be pulled, and the root canals. She was only 2 years old!!! :( When his financial person pulled me into her office to talk about what this would cost us, she was very cold and uncaring. Nice, yes, but I say this all the time: There are 3 ways you communicate with someone, 1.) what you say, 2.) body language, and 3.) tone of voice. All of her words were very nice, but everything else was just off. I didn't like her. She told me that what we would be paying out of pocket was $1886.00. This dentist was one who likes to sedate kids with IV drugs or oral sedation. In Raia's case, it would have taken two sessions to complete all dental work, with oral sedation at each session. The cost of sedation total (which I am NOT a fan of in the first place)...$700 out of pocket. Are you kidding me?!

Nathan and I wanted a second opinion. I am one of those Moms who wants to go back with my child, especially her being so young and with so many problems with her teeth. Not many dentists allow that. So I searched for months for a dentist who would allow me to go back with Raia. Now, I understand I can't be back there during a procedure as deep as what Raia needs, nor would I want to be, but if I had the urge to get up and walk back there while the procedure is being done just to check on her, I want a dentist who will not frown upon it.

We found a new dentist who would let me go back with her if I wanted to. Our first visit was fabulous. Raia had a blast :) This dentist office was not all decked out like the previous one, but was still kid-friendly. As soon as we went back, the dental assistant let Raia pick out a pair of shades to wear while she cleaned her teeth.

The dental assistant told me that she did see quite a few problem areas and a few things to be concerned about, so they were going to go X-ray. So she took Raia over to X-ray, which was just in the next room. I could hear her in there giggling at the dental assistant and showing just how great she is :) I had a terrible headache, and my eyes were burning like fire, so I put my head in my hands and started rubbing my temples and my eyes. The dentist walked over to me and asked if I was alright....he was genuinely concerned about me! He had been standing nearby while Raia was having her teeth cleaned, even came over to glance in her mouth. He was making sure that I was not upset about the news they had given me (which I already knew was bad). I was impressed. We talked for a few minutes about his grandchildren, his dogs, the weather...I really liked him. Just in that 3 minute conversation I could tell a lot about him.

After he examined the X-rays he came to talk to me again. He said that 1.) only 2 teeth needed immediate attention, (not 6 like the previous dentist had said), and 2.) that the side-front tooth that had come in broken and had a cavity around it would only need a little white filler in it, where the other dentist said it would need to be pulled.....HALLELUJAH!! I had been so worried about my baby girl's sweet smile being different if they had to pull that tooth!! There were other teeth that had small cavities, like the very back 2 on the top and one very small one on the bottom, but nothing we needed to deal with right away. I wondered what happened to the pin hole cavity on the back of the other side-front tooth the first dentist had seen...things that make ya say "hmmmmmm"!

Tomorrow, well, make that TODAY, Raia goes in to have her 2 root canals. I guess in children they call them "pulpectomies". Another great thing about this dentist is that he DOES NOT sedate - orally or IV. She will have a dose of Children's Motrin and a dose of Children's Benedryl an hour and a half before her appointment bright and early at 8:30am (gosh, that's 4 hours from now! Mommy nerves are not letting me feel the least bit sleepy). Then she will get the gas mask to just make her a little sleepy while they do what they need to do (which by the way, only costs us $70 out of pocket, compared to the $700 the first dentist wanted! Huge difference!!). I am praying that everything goes well, and that she doesn't just HATE the dentist after today.

Things didn't go exactly as planned at the dentist today, she ended up needing one more tooth worked on. He was afraid it would abscess before we could get to it at the beginning of the year when our insurance starts over. Bummed about that. She did so great, though. The dentist told us that while she had the gas mask on, she looked up at him and asked, "Am I at the dentist?", to which he replied "Yes". She then said, "I looooooove the dentist!". Haha, silly girl!! He was bragging on her, and told us how she talks like a grown up, and he was amazed by that. What can I say? She's a smart one!
I did get really frustrated with the ladies behind the desk, because when we first came in they said they had us scheduled to do all of her teeth, which was NOT what we had discussed a few weeks ago. They had even given me a total of what we'd have to pay today out of pocket, so that got me stressed. Then, a lady sitting in the waiting room with us (it was just Nathan and I, and the other lady) decided to take a phone call on her cell phone. At first it was just mindless chatter, LOUD chatter, and then she started giving the woman on the phone her Avon order. She was discussing which color lip glosses she should get, "Tickled Pink" or "Iced Pink". I was annoyed to begin with, but this woman pushed me over the edge, I had to go sit in the car for a bit. It was a combination of stress for my little girl having to have all this dental work done in the first place, the fact they got it screwed up and almost cost us a fortune by doing it all today, that she had to have a 3rd tooth worked on because it was so bad, lack of sleep, and this irritating loud woman on her cell phone. Do people just not think anymore?
Anyway....overall we had a good outcome. Raia is feeling fine now. We are home watching cartoons, and she got a milkshake on the way home per the dentists orders (LOL)! She had the funny numb lips up until about an hour ago, and it made her talk and smile funny, I got a kick out of that. Just wanted to update on the dentist visit.

Sorry that was so long, hope you're still awake :)

Now, onto headaches. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time at all, you know that I have suffered from daily headaches for years, which have been diagnosed as "migraines". The Dr. I have been seeing once told me "I diagnose you wit' migraines. 95% have no cause. Google it." - that's what he said when I asked for any kind of tests to determine their cause. So instead of Googling migraines, I Googled for a new Dr., and asked anyone and everyone I knew for a referral. One of my dearest friends, Cathy, has a cousin who sees a headache specialist. It took me about 2 months to finally call and set up an appt. (when I would remember to call they would be closed; you always remember these things when you are lying in bed trying to fall asleep). Anyway, I called and got an appt. for 2 months down the line :( They told me if they had any cancellations, they'd call me. In the meantime, they sent me a packet in the mail with all of the paperwork I needed to fill out beforehand (nice!) and a Headache Log, something to keep track of the severity and number of headaches I got. I knew she was on top of things as soon as I saw the chart. That 2 month wait was loooooong. My friend Cathy had agreed to drive me because she knew just how important this appointment was, never mind that she was due to have her second child in 4 days! So off we went.

The Dr.'s office had very low lighting in the waiting room, and in all of the exam rooms had just the blinds open, no lights on - you could tell this was a headache center LOL! The Dr. came in and asked me all kinds of questions, then she came over to me and pressed on several different points on my head. My headaches have always felt like I have a rod going in just above my right eye and coming out at the base of my skull on the right side. When she pressed on that spot at the back of my head, IT HURT!! The previous Dr. had done the same thing (sort of) but he never really pressed, he kind of just put his fingers on my head and asked "hurt?", but his touch was so light that no, it didn't hurt at all. After a few more physical exams (reflexes, light shone in my eyes, follow the finger back and forth, etc.) she said she was going to her office to read my previous Dr.'s notes in my medical file I had brought (which I had tried to read, but as with a lot of Dr.'s, it looked like chicken scratch to me). About 10 minutes later she came back into the room and announced, "Well, these are definitely NOT migraines". FINALLY!!!!! A Dr. who was not just going to throw some blanket diagnosis and a bunch of pills at me!!!! She pulled out a piece of paper with an anatomical diagram of the back of a skull. She told me I have what is called Occipital Neuralgia. Then she explained and showed me on the diagram the nerves that come out of the spinal cord and travel up the neck usually come out of a small opening in the muscle that covers the skull. With Occipital Neuralgia, the nerves either get compressed in the opening, or they miss that opening altogether, and just force themselves straight through the muscle. There are 4 places where the nerves come through: on either side of the spinal cord at the base of the skull, and on each side of the neck (just a bit farther over on each side, toward the ears) which go toward the temples. Either way, it causes pain that starts on one side of the head (front) and travels through to the other side (back).

I cried in her office after she had explained everything to me. This Doctor is truly a Godsend. I told her after all these years, and the stupid "migraine" diagnosis after diagnosis I had gotten, and being told "sorry, go home and take some Tylenol" I was glad to finally have someone who could give me a diagnosis that makes perfect sense, and a treatment that doesn't include a basketful of pills that are going to kill my liver and/or get me hooked.

*The picture says it is copyrighted, hope I don't get in trouble for using it :( Here is a link to it's SOURCE.

In the left diagram you can see the two nerves that come up on either side of the spinal column. The one on the right side is the one that is most affecting me, though I do have a little pain on the left, too. My Dr. says there are two ways to "fix" this. The first being nerve blocks, which, in a nutshell means that she will give me a shot of a steroid and a numbing agent at the site where the nerve comes through the muscle. Patients are said to have either immediate and long-lasting effects or short-lived effects. Please please PLEASE pray that the nerve blocks work!! I go in on Oct. 26th for this procedure. The second way to "fix" this, if the first does not work (and I may need to have several treatments before we move to the second option) is surgery :( She told me that in all (I think she said all?) cases where they did surgery, it is when the nerves had come through the muscle rather than the opening. Not even thinking about option 2 right now, just focusing on the nerve blocks and praying they work. She is slowly getting me off of all the poison my previous Dr. had me on, and has prescribed Cymbalta to help with the stress, which we found causes a lot of my headaches. She gave me samples to last 2 weeks. The Cymbalta is working GREAT, but sadly, I will not be able to afford it. I called my pharmacy yesterday to see how much the prescription would be per month with my insurance, and it's just not something we can handle at this time (it wasn't that bad, but the money is just not there right now when we are living paycheck-to-paycheck and have nothing left over). I will talk with her to see if there are any other cheaper alternatives. And the Cymbalta was only prescribed to get me through until we can get rid of these headaches, hopefully with the nerve blocks! So maybe I won't even need it!

Ok, now onto what you really came here for LOL!! CUTE PICTURES!!! Maybe they will wake you up from my novel-induced slumber (HA!) ;)

Raia LOVES to dress up! Here lately, she is changing her clothes 7 and 8 times a day!!

We recently watched the movie 'Food, Inc.' and if you have not watched it, you MUST. It was lifestyle changing for us. Sure, it is going to be a process, but we are really trying to eat better quality foods. We went to a farmers market a few days after watching it, and we picked out a few yummy vegetables and fruits. They had a bunch of pumpkins out, and Raia hopped up on the display where there was an empty spot, declaring it her "seat" :) She had been pushing a toy grocery cart through the small little market, putting as many of the small pumpkins, big(ger) pumpkins, gourds, fruits, etc. as she could possibly fit in! So I was happy to see her take a break from that, and it made a perfect Fall Photo opportunity (not the best quality, mind you, I took it with my cell phone)!

This was one day after church, we got home and she picked up the water hose to "wash" my car. Such a helpful girl!

Please forgive our bed-heads. This was one morning just after we had woken up, sharing some love with our pup, Dexter.

My sweetheart dog, Gibson, giving me his best smile for the camera :) He has turned out to be THE. BEST. DOG. EVER. Such a loyal companion. After everything that we went through when we got him, makes me realize how blessed I am to have him in my life, and how blessed we are as a family to call him a part of it. Dex will come around, (and YES, he is family too!), he is still a puppy. He has a good teacher and big brother, so I have no doubts :) (Dex is still just really hyper LOL).

I have found a fabulous little story time to take Raia to on Tuesday mornings at Wendy's (fast food restaurant, we don't eat much, promise!) before we go to the library. The first half hour or so the lady does face or arm painting, next she reads a story and has them play and act out fun things, and last she makes balloon animals and flowers! This flower lasted 2 whole weeks!! The other balloon creations Raia has brought home have not fared so well LOL!

Daddy made a fort in the living room with parts of the couch. Raia is camping out under there, haha, look at that hair!!!

Halloween is in just a week and a half! I picked out this costume for Raia a month or so ago from the little store I work in - got it for $6.50! She cannot wait to go trick-or-treating! She keeps wanting to wear the costume NOW! I have let her wear it a few times - once for some professional pictures...hoping to get the disc soon so I can share, but I'm not sure any of the costume pictures turned out :( So here is one to enjoy NOW!

Thanks for checking in!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Raia is 3!! How did this happen so fast?

My baby girl had a birthday over the weekend. Three years old. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that she was born, and the 8 days she spent in NICU are still fresh on my mind. I am so lucky, WE are so lucky to have her!!!

This was just after they brought her to my room, right before they whisked her back to NICU. I don't have a lot of pictures from that time because the computer that they were on CRASHED :(

In NICU, the first day (?) she was breathing without help. She had her 2 kitties watching over her, and she still has them.

The day we brought her home. She still had jaundice pretty bad, but look how beautiful :)

My FAVORITE picture - my little rocker chic! I think she was 3 or 4 months old, but I included it because it is cute :)

We celebrated her birthday by going to the zoo, just the 3 of us. A few months ago we had talked about taking her to Sea World, but WHEW! Tickets are a bit pricey, and she wouldn't even enjoy half the stuff there. The zoo is very close to the hospital where she was in the NICU, so of course, seeing it was bittersweet (not sure if "bittersweet"" is the word I am looking for, but seeing the hospital made me feel very lucky all over again).

When we got to the zoo, we rode the train through the surrounding park. Raia wasn't too sure at first, she kept trying to hide under my arm, silly girl. The guy kept blowing the train whistle, and it was loud, and in my opinion, obnoxious. Once the guy quit blowing the high pitched train whistle, my baby girl was finally able to look around a bit. She would wave at the families in the park having picnics, or at joggers passing by - so sweet :)

Here are several more pictures of our sassy little 3 year old at the zoo. I took over 200 pictures there, so it was hard to select only a few!

The albino alligator in the reptile house is always in the same spot! Sometimes I wonder if he's real...

After the zoo, we were all exhausted and Raia was especially cranky. After we ate dinner, I got her little cake out of the refrigerator, and she perked right up!

I couldn't decide what kind of cake to make for her. She loves Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, and Hello Kitty. I made the Hello Kitty one because I remember growing up loving her too! Raia LOVED the cake!! It was strawberry (pink), so it matched the decoration perfectly!

After cake, it was time to play with her new tricycle :) Can't wait to get that baby outdoors!

We had a really nice birthday, just the 3 of us. I hope she enjoyed it, as well. As I said earlier, we are so lucky, so very blessed to have Raia. I always call her "My little Raia sunshine!", and she really is :)

Now that she is three, she is doing so many wonderful (and not so wonderful) things! She is so smart...I get comments from people all the time about how well she talks, and those people are always surprised by her age. They expect her to be older, I guess. Sometimes I feel like there is a teenager living in her tiny body! She is so sassy, don't be fooled by her cuteness! She can be such a sweet cuddler when she wants to. At night, we have a routine: brush teeth, read two books, then I pick her up and let her turn the light off, and then she turns the TV off (yes, I'm one of those Moms who has the TV on all the time!), and then we get in the recliner and she says her little prayer - "Dear God, Thank you for this day. Thank you for Daddy and Gibson. Amen." (sometimes the prayer varies depending on the events of the day, but that is her standard prayer now LOL!) and then she snuggles up close to me as I pray out loud, and within minutes, she is sound asleep in my arms. That is my favorite time of the day! I then take her to her bed, and she stays there for 5 or 6 hours, then jumps over to my bed. What am I going to do when she grows out of this? I love our time in the evening, and then snuggling during the night. I am enjoying this time so much, trying not to think about her growing up so fast.

One last thing, Raia is this close to being potty trained! We have been doing the reward system with a chart and stickers. She gets one to put on her chart right by the potty, and then she gets another one just for her, and the one she gets to keep doesn't usually last more than about 5 minutes before it is torn up, wadded up, or chewed up...whatever! She does pretty good about telling me when she needs to go, usually 5 or 6 times a day. I am not brave enough to let her go sans diaper yet. Soon....

Until next time, whenever that may be...


Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Few Recent Pictures

Since I have been missing in action for a month and a half, figured I would post a few pictures. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, so sorry (again, for the umpteenth time) for the lack of posts.

Just ignore my messy kitchen. The cutie-patootie toddler is there to distract you from her surroundings! Raia was helping me make cookies. Chocolate chip walnut, to be exact :)

Our cat, Shula, decided that she'd take up residence temporarily in the car seat that had been placed on our kitchen floor. Raia thought it would be nice to read her the story of Cinderella. It's one of her favorites!

We took Raia to see her very first movie in the movie theater. We saw Toy Story 3...nevermind that she hasn't seen the first two! She was more excited than she looks in the picture, not sure why she has the grinch-face.

Ok...DON'T swallow your tongue!! She loved it, I promise!!

Decided we'd go to the Children's Museum one Sunday afternoon. God blessed us that day - parking was free, AND our admission into the museum was free!! We had no idea, just went there on a whim for family time!!

I will try not to let it be so long before I post again. I always say that, or something similar, and then fail miserably.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Not much going on

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I didn't really have much to write about. We are all doing well. Nathan is in Ohio for a week this week, and next month he heads to Canada for a week. While he is gone, I find a new respect for single parents. I don't know how in the world they do it! Parenting is hard, but to do it alone?! Wow...I will be glad when Nathan gets home, all I really want is to take a nap!

Raia and I have been going to the pool several times a week since summer started. She is quite the little fish! She even started this scary going underwater thing, and I got really freaked out and called my friend Kim. Kim is a hard core athlete. She got a full scholarship to Auburn University for swimming, and won all kinds of awards. She now teaches swim lessons, and is a swim team coach. She and her sister both compete in triathlons. Kim is actually pregnant right now, and so she has slowed down just a little LOL! She is due any day now, I can't wait!! Anyway, back to the story. I called Kim and she graciously offered to give Raia a free swim lesson and helped me learn how to teach her myself. After that first lesson, Raia was doing so much better about listening to me, and following the rules. If you know my child, you know that she has NO FEAR. Before the lesson she was jumping off the side of the pool and not wanting to be caught when she would jump into the water, she'd even run alongside of the pool to get further away from me. She was going underwater without taking a breath first, and holding onto the wall not wanting to come up! Scared me to death! I kept thinking back to that little boy who died two years ago from dry drowning. Call me paranoid, I don't care, I just want her to be safe. Kim told me that what Raia was doing was perfectly normal, and I feel a little better. She even ordered a swim belt for Raia to wear in the pool. It isn't a life vest or floaties or anything like that, this will actually teach her to swim on her own because she will have to learn to dog paddle and keep her head up while wearing it. Kim has been such a good friend to me, and her 2 girls just love Raia :)

A few weekends ago we went to Galveston. We went to Stewart Beach, and you have to pay $8 to get in. You would think that since you have to pay to get in that it would be a nice beach, right? WRONG. It was so disgusting. And SO crowded. There was trash all over the beach, even a dirty diaper right near the water (GAG!). We promptly turned around and left. I asked Nathan to stop and get our money back since we had only been there five minutes. Luckily, they gave it back. We drove a short way down the beach and parked and just went down to the free beach. It was nice, and we had a great time. It wasn't crowded at all, and it was clean. Tell me why people would pay money to go to Stewart Beach?? I still don't understand it!!

I cannot even believe I am posting this pic of myself, but please, pay no attention to me!! Look at the cute little girl in her Little Mermaid suit!! Pretty cute, huh? We didn't take many pics, sorry.

I really need a new swim suit, this one I think is about 8 years old, and had I known how terrible it looked on me, I'd have never worn it out there!! Not sure if you can tell in the pic or not, but I got my hair cut. I actually have bangs now! I haven't had bangs in YEARS!!! I am really liking it :) I can finally cover up my forehead LOL!!

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about an 8 week old puppy that was in a local kill-only shelter. He looked so much like our Gibson! I saw the picture, and thought "if only....". I showed the picture to Nathan, and he he said "Aww, he does kinda look like Gibson."

The next day I logged into Facebook and another one of my friends had him posted. His day to be put to sleep was two days away (that day, and the next day were his two days). I immediately called Nathan at work and said "Please can we get him??" He was surprised I hadn't already asked. He said to make the call, and so I did. The lady told me that she hoped a rescue group would step up in time to go get him out of the shelter. *(The way it works at this particular pound/shelter, there are NO ADOPTIONS. It is a kill-only shelter :( If you want one of the animals there, you must contact a rescue group, or in my case I had the number for a volunteer who worked with all different rescue groups and she forwards potential adopters information to the groups, then they decide if the people are "good enough" and are people who can care for an animal, then they will go rescue it from the pound, and you adopt straight from them. Make sense?) I waited about 4 hours, and I was getting anxious so I called her back. Long story short, we played phone tag all day, and by that night around bed time I heard that a rescue group was going to the shelter the next morning, the morning he was to be put to sleep, to get him. The lady I had been talking with all day said she had put a "rescue hold" on him, so he was safe. The next day I met the rescue people at a local vet's office, and after he was checked over and was given a wormer and a couple of shots, we were able to bring him home.

In Gibson's case, we had to wait I think 10 days before we could bring him home, but since this was a special case we were able to bring him home right away. He is still too young to be neutered, but he is getting fixed on August 17th, along with a microchip. I can't tell you how important it is to SPAY & NEUTER YOUR PETS!!! Microchips are also invaluable, and very cheap!!
Luckily, this little guy is healthy as a horse! (Why do they say that? How healthy are horses anyway?) If you remember, almost a year ago when we got Gibson, he was so very sick. Thank God he pulled through. He and I formed a very special bond while I was caring for him. Nathan was out of town for a week, and Gibson was knocking on Death's door. So I am so thankful this little puppy is healthy! We have had him for almost 3 weeks now, and not a hint of a cough or anything else he may have brought home from that yucky shelter! He did have worms, though, and has already been treated twice, and we are not seeing any more wormy poops (YAY!). He and Gibson both have an appointment on Friday with the vet for shots and check ups. Gibson just LOVES the puppy. At first we weren't so sure...I think now he just loves the attention and the play time. They are both getting great exercise just from playing. Gibson is so much bigger, too, I worry sometimes, but he is like a big brother. He has never once hurt the puppy. We keep a close eye on them when they play, and they have separate kennels to sleep in at night and when we are gone. Hopefully this crate training (potty training) will work as quickly with pup-pup as it did with Gibson!
I haven't told you his name yet. We couldn't figure out a name for him, but had tossed around Fender (to go with Gibson) or Dexter (like the Showtime series). When I was making the vet appointment, the girl asked what the puppy's name was, and I felt awful that we hadn't named him yet. So I said "Dexter". Nathan had not really
expressed much interest in 'Fender', but had mentioned that 'Dexter' was OK. So Dexter it is.

This past week, I discovered the Kingwood Library! It is brand new, and fabulous!! Since having Raia, I haven't had time to read like I used to. I really miss reading a novel a week or more. I really do. Not that I would trade being a mom to my little "Raia sunshine" for that, I just miss it is all. And now that she is getting a little older, I want to try to read more. My Bible study book keeps mentioning The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, and I am intrigued! I went on a search for this book, and found myself at the new library. We have been 4 times in the past week, and I am not the only one who loves it, Raia does too!! We can check out up to 75 items at a time (LOL) - not that we ever would, but now I know my limit. They have DVD's too, so that saves us some money when we want to watch a movie. It has been great! They have story time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so we are going to try and make that a regular thing too. Here is Raia at the library, she just plops down in the aisle when she finds a book she likes.

I have several cake orders coming up next weekend, and my sister-in-law's baby shower is next month, so be on the lookout over on The Sweet Life for them! I will leave you with a few silly pictures of Raia.

Fun with paint

This child fears nothing - she is jumping from her bed to mine, and back!

Beautiful girl, she is really growing up fast :(

And now it is bedtime for Miss Raia. I am off to go read some in my book before I hit the hay, too. If you don't mind, could you please be in prayer that my headaches get better - they are starting, once again, to rear their ugly heads and are getting more frequent. I hate asking for anything for myself, there are so many other things that really need prayer at this time - the Gulf Oil Spill, our servicemen overseas, deadly childhood diseases that so desperately need a cure, etc. Speaking of the oil spill, a local Christian radio station here (89.3 KSBJ) posted on their Facebook page: " Not sure how to talk to your kids about the oil spill? Here's how one mom not only helped her kids understand, but also empowered them to help out." Click here --->Craft Hope for the World I thought it was really neat :)

And one last thing before I go, speaking of being crafty, I made a bow holder for Raia out of something that she and Grandma made. Grandma got her this name plate thing, you put letter stickers on it to spell a name, and it's just cute. Well, Grandma let Raia put the stickers on, and on the back, Raia left a very sweet little message! I had to make it functional, something we would use and see every day, and she needed a bow holder, so....

I only have pictures of it without the bows, but one of these days I will remember to post a pic of it with all the bows on it LOL!

Thanks for checking in!


I realized after typing all of that, that the title for this particular post is "Not much going on", and then I end up writing a novel about all that's been going on. Hahaha. Figures.