Thursday, April 30, 2009

just a simple card today

Hi! I just have a card to share today. It's using Di Hickman April Card Sketch #5. I didn't get it to her in time for her to post on the blog, but it's here now. Thanks for stopping by!

Take care. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

layouts to share

I have a few layouts to share that I created earlier this week. Two for Ally Scraps and one for fun. I wish I would have had more time to scrap this week, but it wasn't in the cards.
I just love these beautiful papers from the Bo Bunny Alissa Collection! The cool and fresh colors scream Winter to me, so that's how I used them. :) I got these from the Ally Scraps store, they are selling out quickly, and I totally see why!

I also created a fun page of Skye and Kara goofing around with some of the awesome papers from My Little Shoebox (which you can also purchase from Ally Scraps).
It was a long week with Ashlyn; two trips to the ER; Monday, which didn't give me anything but hope that things were OK (which they turned out not to be) and then again on Wednesday which came to be a very long afternoon. She had a pretty severe allergic reaction to the Chlorascrub Swab they used to start an IV. It was quick and scary and really made her anxious and upset. Before the iv was even completely in, her entire right arm was red and covered with hives that had spread all the up to her neck and chest area and she had difficulty breathing and felt faint. It was freaky and just like on TV things moved quickly. Thankfully Benadryl worked, even though the redness and hives were slow to pass. She had a small and immediate reaction to the alchol scrub the last time she had a blood draw, but it wasn't anything like this. I thought it might have been a fluke, but I guess not. No more alchol swabs for her. The poor girl is severely constipated, which is puzzling because she's not eating all that much and has been taking a laxative twice a day for months now. We stayed a while and they drew more blood and helped move things along (if you know what I mean) and then we followed up with a Dr. on Friday. She has been referred out to a Peds. GI over at Children's Hospital in Seattle where they will evaluate her as well as do a Fructose Intolerance test. Since it was late in the day Friday, I didn't get a chance to speak to anyone, so I am hopeful that I will hear something early this week from the clinic there. We also did more aggressive cleansing with her starting Friday night and all day yesterday, which doesn't seem to have worked as had hoped. She is still experiencing severe stomach pain and is still doubled over in pain and her colon is squeaky clean. I thought for sure she'd be feeling like a new person today and ready to eat and be able to go to school without any pain tomorrow. I am really heartbroken that this is not the case. Maybe she'll perk up as the day progresses. At this point it's just more hurry up and wait, because there really isn't anything else that can be done other than wait for a GI visit.

I am not a patient person and all this waiting around with Ashlyn is going to push me over the edge. It's hard to see her suffer so and not know what is causing this or even how to go about helping her. I scour the internet a little bit every day looking for anything that might help explain things. To make me feel like I can do something to help her, but, I am not a trained medical person, so I can look up what I know for sure and try to make sense of things that I have no understanding of and try to make it all make sense (does that even make sense?) I don't look for things to make something fit, because that is pointless, but I am looking for connections so I can at least be informed and maybe can have a deeper understanding of what might be. I have learned a lot about things by the tremendous and overwhelming amount of information available on the net, especially blood tests, and even though I cannot make sense of it all together as a whole (without coming to things I do not know for sure that are bad and ugly and I am not going to even think about because I am not a dr. and I can't go there, but they are always there anyway. I just have to keep reminding myself that this could be nothing or it could be something and that something is unknown for now) however, analyzing the bits and pieces I can decipher and trying to figure out how they work together is interesting and I can at least feel like I am doing something, even though that something is not anything that is helpful.

I am struggling to keep it together, but I have 4 other children at home who need me and i think this is what keeps me going. I know that they are stressed about Ashlyn's health as well and this on top of school is a lot for them. There is a thick blanket of tension around here and i am trying to keep things as carefree and light as possible for the girls. I am thankful that I have scrapping as an outlet, even though I am not feeling as creative as I would like. I have also been spending more time reading... I can escape to something that isn't mine with a book, even though I tend to be drawn to books with heavy topics that are not cheerful and upbeat.
Enough of this rambling. I am going to go make the most of this beautiful day!
Take care

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Queen for a day

Kara bought her prom dress last week and she looks amazing in it... like a queen! She almost didn't try this dress on because she really dislikes purple and thought this dress wouldn't flatter her, but she is SO glad she did because it turned out the be the one for her. She just glows in this and you can see it from head to toe. Prom is in about 2 weeks, so there will be plenty more pics to share then. :)

This card, 'Queen for a day', was made for cp11. The Paper Pixie generously sponsored our team and the girls created such beautiful cards using these fun products. Thank you paper pixie!

I found out something interesting about Ashlyn yesterday that I was unaware of until now. I am not sure how this will factor into things, but I feel like I have something else that makes sense as to why she is feeling how she is and what could be "wrong" with her. I didn't know until yesterday that her thyroid levels are low. The endocrinologist doesn't think that it's anything to worry about right now because he thinks the answer lies in her bone marrow, but it does make me think that some of the problems she is having could stem from this. I guess it's another lead that I am going to look into. The oncologist will have this information and that along with bone marrow could really answer things. I like having something to understand and be able to grasp my mind around because I can connect symptoms that make sense and it's restful for my mind. It makes me hopeful that there will be answers soon. I am really consumed about this and try as I might, it's on my mind all the time no matter what I do.

Take care!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

cards this week

Here are some cards I made for the card sketch sites and for Ally Scraps.

'Laugh' is for sketch 10 over on the Card Patterns blog. The DT girls totally outdid themselves once again. They are such a super-talented group of girls and I am honored to be among them.

'Thanks for Thinking of Me' is using this weeks Di Hickman card sketch (April 13). I really like the new format of her sketches! The DT also rocked the sketch. Another team I am honored to be a part of.

The 'Happy Birthday' and 'Party' cards I made for Ally Scraps using some fun Studio 8 Celebration papers. They were quick and simple and took just a few minutes each. I also made this layout of Skye's 10th birthday. I handcut all the gifts as well as the banner to create the borders. I will admit that I struggled with these papers... I like them, but the colors were a challenge for me to work with. That's why I selected them to work with this month. The end result, so I suppose that's all that matters.
Our weather is warming up nicely and I have been dabbling in some yard work. Our yard needs a lot of TLC this year since it's been neglected a bit the past two summers. Slow and steady and there will be some visible progress.

Take care!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

laugh banner

Happy Wednesday! Time is flying by, yet each day seems to drag on endlessly. Odd how that always seems to be the case.

Ashlyn goes to the oncologist in 3 weeks. Three long, dragging weeks. I also know that we aren't going to get any answers at this visit, but at least we should shortly after. She's eating better, but now she just does nothing else but lie in bed. She comes straight home from school and actually falls asleep which is new. We don't even have to struggle to put her to bed. She's always been a night owl, but now I can put her to bed at 8PM and she doesn't fight it. She still looks horrible, is still cranky as heck, but at least she's eating enough to make me relax a bit, even though it's not even half of what she should be. I wake up each morning and the first thing I do is check on her and hope that she's OK. When she wakes up I do a body check to make sure there is nothing that I am missing that might have popped up, like a rash or a bruise or swelling. It's a real struggle to not over-check her, so I only do it once and try to remain indifferent about it. I still tell her to make her bed and do her chores and to get outside and play, even though I know she can't, not because she doesn't want to; one can clearly look at her and see that she's not well. She seems to lose her spirit more and more each day. She even thinks that her friends do not like her anymore because she doesn't want to play with them at recess. This breaks my heart. I ask her what she does do, and she says that she just sits on the ground and waits for the bell to ring. I hate sending her to school knowing that she struggles and suffers through the day, but she also knows that she can call me any time and I will be right there to get her. I am impressed that she stays. She just doesn't want any extra attention drawn to her and when she is absent, everyone asks where she has been and she doesn't like that. She is shy and the less attention she has the better she is.

Onto happier things. :) Yesterday morning I made this banner for the mid-month challenge on the Artz de Scrap blog. It turned out so pretty, much prettier than I would have imagined and I was so happy about it! I sat there for a minute and just absorbed the details and thought to myself about how just a few hours prior this was a bunch of plain chipboard pieces, several sheets of paper, some lace stuffed in the bottom of a container, some paint and stickles sitting on a shelf, and some bling and pearls sitting in a drawer. I had no idea how this would turn out, but I knew that I would take these things and try to make something that I would be happy with. I just love the creative process. How once idea sets off another and how when things work, everything just falls into place. That is such a great feeling to me and exactly why I do it. There is a satisfaction that is so filling and really makes my heart light and happy. Everyday problems disappear for a short time and I can feel the stresses just melt away.

I painted each letter and then embossed it with clear embossing powder. I did something similar with the butterflies, except I covered them with paper and then clear embossed them. I used Stickles in the two end pieces with the butterfly prints. They have a nice sublte sparkle and shimmer to them and adds some dimension without being overbearing. The girls each want it, so I think I am going to just hang it somewhere downstairs so we can all enjoy it. :)

I hope your week is going well! Our weather is finally going to be warm and beautiful, so I am going to start getting out in the yard and cleaning up. It needs a lot of work, but things will look better soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I was on a roll today with Lily Bee papers!

it is rare lately that I post two days in a row, but to have 2 posts in one day must be really shocking. lol

I just wanted to share 3 layouts I created today. I made all 3 of these layouts in about 3.5 hours. I think that's a new record for me. These gorgeous papers from Lily Bee were so easy to work with... well once I decided which side to use ;) and everything just fell right into place. I really like how versatile they are. You seriously need to get your hands on some.

I am hoping that this scrappy roll will last a bit. I have found my mojo!

Just in case I don't make it back on, I want to wish you a Happy Easter. :)


Thank goodness it's Friday. It has been a long week. Ashlyn is so irritable and it has rubbed off on me. She's not eating well and is tired and cranky and I just hate having to see her like this. I am taking her back to the dr. today because she has been feeling nauseous after she eats anything. This has been going on for weeks, and she has already been taking antacids, but they don't seem to be working. She looked OK for the past 2 days, even though she just came home from school and did nothing but veg, but this morning she's pale and washed out again. I just want this to end.

I scrapped yesterday, something I haven't done much of lately except a few cards. I even scrapped a picture I took on Wednesday. Rare for me... lol

I finally used this gorgeous paper from My Little Shoebox. I have had it for a bit, but haven't wanted to cut into it. I am glad I did though. :)

The 'thinking of you' card is using April #2 card sketch from Di Hickman.

'365' is a card I created using sketch 9 from Card Patterns. I used some fun products from The Paper Pixie on this one. She generously sponsored the team, but I goofed and used some of the products early, so look for the cards featuring her designs next week for sketch 11. ;)

I am off to do some more laundry (the story of my life) and scrap. Have a super weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Meghan! and some pics

Today Meghan is 18. Wow. Where does the time go? Meghan is not my daughter by birth, but I consider her "mine" since I have raised her since she was 6. I love her and cherish her dearly, just as if I had given birth to her. What I do not have is anything from her first 6 years; no first smile or first steps or first day of Kindergarten, but I do have many other firsts that I am thankful for (even though teenage firsts aren't nearly as cute or as pleasant as a toddler first. lol). Happy Birthday Megs! I love you!

It has been difficult to get a pic of all 5 of the girls, but I did manage to get a photo this morning of all 4 of the teenagers at once. Ashlyn was still sleeping and I was not about to wake her. I look at them all the time, but I rarely see them together and it's quite amazing to see them all together. I have a group of little women before me and it's almost surreal to know that they are "mine". Four teenage girls, all with unique personalities under one roof isn't as bad as it seems. Sometimes it's overwhelming, but most of the time it's just loud. I will miss this someday, and that's what keeps me going.
(photo order: Meghan (18), Skylar (13), Emily (14) and Kara (18)
I hope you are having a nice week!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

stuff to share

What a week. I thought this was supposed to be Spring, but mother nature decided that we needed more snow. I love snow, but I am more than ready for things to warm up and for the grass to be green, not white. I am ready for the sun to shine, and not watch snow falling, or even the rain.
The girls were on Spring break, but they spent it all inside. At least it's going to be a nice next several days, so that will make up for things. Too bad the girls will be in school. lol

I have some news about Ashlyn. She is not getting better, in fact she now has a fever which she has had all week long. I took her back to the dr. and she has been referred onto the Oncology dept. at a local hospital. So now I sit and wait for the dr's to review her case and decide when she needs to come in to be seen. I sit and time drags. I don't know what is going on. I do know that she is sick. She has been for months. I do know that she has had a small handful of days where she has looked well, and feels well. I do know that my heart is broken. I do know this is similar to what she went through almost 5 years ago when the ped. sent us to the hospital because he thought she might have Leukemia. Thankfully that wasn't the case, and it was decided that she had a virus, but it was also decided that this was something that could return in the future and be something. I do know that this could be nothing. It could be something that she is just going to have to live with and we won't know what it really is or why it happens. I do know this could be something. I do know that this could be something that makes our world come crashing down. I try not to think about that. I try to keep that burried, but it's there every single day. I am unsettled. I feel like I have been punched in the stomach and my breath has been knocked right out of me at times. I want to cry, but I won't. I should. I should get some of this out, but I can't. I want her to get better and to have never had to feel poorly. I want so much that I cannot have right now. I want to take her and suck the ickies right out of her so she can feel good. I want to hold her and never let her go. I just want some answers. I will just have to settle with waiting, hoping that I can have something to digest and work with soon. I just want to know.

I do know that life is one day at a time. That the sun will rise again tomorrow.

I leave you with several scrappy things. I finally got my hands on some of the fabulous Lily Bee papers and they are so pretty! I lack mojo, but I managed to squeak out a layout using the Three Birds collection.
The Easter layout was made for Ally Scraps. Our DT challenge for the month was to create a Spring or Easter themed layout. I used papers from MME. I just love the photos of the girls. They are so young in them. *sniff*
The 'thank you' card is using last weeks sketch (#8) over on the Card Patterns blog.

The 'happy easter' card is for the April 1 card sketch on Di's blog.
Lastly, the Garden Journal was created for the April challenge over on the Artz de Scrap blog. The challenge this month is to alter any sized Notebook using the following color theme : Orange, Greens or Browns.

Have a wonderful weekend, hug your kids and hold them close.