Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gifted Classes

Grace scored 100 on the gifted education test!!! The teacher said this is the first time in her four years that she ever had a student get a perfect score!!! Go GRACE!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Get Well Card

Brianna has a cold and said she wished someone would send her a get well card, lol, so Grace made her one! This is what Grace wrote on it (she cracks me up):

Grace "it would be cool if you got better in one second"

Grace " One, You're better now"

Brianna "cough"

Grace "maybe not"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lookout Broadway

here comes Brianna!



Brianna's class and one other class got together and did a winter preformance for the parents today and it was SO cute! You could reallly tell that alot of time was put in by both the student and teachers. They sang several songs and recited a few poems but the grand finale was sing Bette Midlers "Wind Beneath my Wings" it's one of my favorites and Brianna just knew I was going to cry. I was pretty sure I would and sure enough as it started the tears got going. Thankfully though Brianna was her normal self and the tears changed to laughter! I won't spoil it but I will say sorry for the nose shots in the end I was caught up in the moment!

Enjoy!

(you can tell when I'm laughing because the camera is moving around!)



PS. It's a little clearer on Facebook. I got there and realized the battery on my video camera was dead so I filmed it with with my regular camera.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A day in the life...

Grace got mad and Josh and I, over what I can't even remember. Josh might know but he won't be home until tomorrow so I can't even ask him right now and we all know if I don't post this while I'm thinking about it then it's not going to get done.



Actually since Grace isn't in bed yet tonight it might not get done anyways.



Brianna was in bed but she just got up so this doesn't look like a good sign for how the night is going to go.



Well now I've made Brianna cry. She has a night light in her room. I offered to leave her overhead light on the lowest setting but she declined that option so I closed her door and left. Then she was upset because it's too dark. Um you have a nightlight and the option of the overhead light so pick one of those because the open door is not on the menu, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER NIGHT OF YOUR FIVE YEARS OF LIFE.



Ok back to the point of this post. So Grace was mad at us and it was bedtime so she goes to her room to go to bed and later Josh goes into check on her and comes out and says to me that I have to go in and look in her closet. This is what I find:



Grace had taken everything off her bed and put it on the floor of her closet and taken everything out of her closet and put it in her room! Hilarious!

This was Sunday night, I think? Then today I was talking to her teacher on the phone and she told me that Grace had told her about sleeping in her closet so we wouldn't be able to find her because she was mad at us! Well she slept there for three nights and we never said anything to her about making her move back to her bed. She also knows that I thought it was funny and had taken her picture. Then tonight she decided to move her stuff back to her bed and tonight is sleeping there. Not sure if she will do that again since it clearly did not get the reaction she was hoping for.

Got to give her credit for trying though.

We just have to stay one step ahead of her.

*And for those concerned that we let her sleep on the tile floor don't worry too much. She's sleeping on top of two fleece sleeping bags, another fleece blanket. Plus she's wearing long sleeve and pants for pjs with socks, then the blanket on top of her is also fleece. Oh and the A/C in our house is set at 78. I'm sure she was fine. LOL

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pictures!

Two girls getting along.




Say cheese!



School project.


Here is a closer shot of the turkey and the poem to explain why he is dressed like Superman. It was a Thanksgiving project. :)

Brownies.





Daisys.






Still around

We are still here! Things are going good. We have good days and not so good days but over all things are better then they were a couple months ago.

We has a great Thanksgiving, we did a potluck with several neighbors and it was fun. I'm not the best a cooking turkey so it was nice not to have to stress about it. The kids were able to play with friends and a good time was had by all. Grace said the blessing which was very sweet.

2009 is coming to an end very quickly. I think the time has gone by very fast. I read something once " Motherhood: the days are long but the years are short" I think it's so true. Time goes by so fast I'm just trying to enjoy it and not worry about the small things.

I like Grace's new doctor, he really seems to know what he's talking about and spends a lot of time listening to her. He thinks she has OCD along with the ADHD and thinks that explains most of her behaviors. It makes sense the way he explained it to us. He also said that unlike adults as she gets older it should improve which is always nice to hear.

Brianna has been quite the handful lately. We can tell she is tired of all the attention Grace was getting and has stepped up her behavior. We are trying to nip it in the bud and so far it seems to be working.

Josh took the week of Thanksgiving off. It was so nice to have him home for a couple days while the kids were at school! We got some stuff done around the house, not as much as we would have liked but still a little progress is better then none! Plus the girls loved having him at the bus stop when they got home from school.

Both girls are busy with Girl Scouts. They did the preorders for cookies and had fun with that. They were so cute learning what they were going to say to the neighbors. Both sold almost 40 boxes! That's a lot of cookies to hand out in Jan!

I've been making a bunch of cakes lately for my neighbors. I don't like to eat cake but I like to make them. Gives me something to do and it makes me happy to make them for other people when they like them. I'm strange I know. It's the little things, right? I'd like to take a cake decorating class, they they could look prettier too. :)

Ok enough rambling for now I just wanted to post an update on what we were up too around here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Photographers, the next generation.

This is what happens when you give the kids the camera and set them loose in the bedroom...
Brianna

Grace

Graces journal

Top of one of Briannas bookcases

I love my husband

We had a chance to talk today while the kids had rest time and played nicely in their rooms after going to the pool. It was so nice. It reminds me how lucky I am for my husband.

I am so thankful to Sue and Gus for raising him to be the man he is today. We are not perfect and we have made bad choices along the way in the 10+ years we have been married but no matter high high the highs or how low the lows he has always been there.

He has had to deal with things in our personal life that I know not all husbands would deal with. In our marriage vows they said "in sickness and health" I know he didn't have any idea what was down that road. The most recent, but not the only, was him having to pack gauze in my stomach every night. Plus since he knows how much it bothered me he did everything he could to make it as easy as possible for me. To distract me from what was happening and to get it done as fast as he could.

Who signs up for that? When you are in your early 20's and getting married the future looks like sunshine and roses and when it's not, at the first sign of it not being easy so many people throw their arms up in the air and say oh we don't love each anymore or we just grew apart instead of working on maintaining what brought you together in the first place. I don't worry about him doing that.

He has two daughters who can be a handful but who will never doubt that they are loved each and everyday.

Plus no matter how bad of a wife I was that day, that week, or that month I know how lucky I am that he loves me too.

*Besides I told him if we ever get a divorce he's getting the kids so I think that will keep him around. haha

Friday, November 6, 2009

Updates

Well our phone, cable and internet went out. That’s always fun when it’s the beginning of a three day weekend when you live on the sun a tropical island. This morning (Friday) we got up and did our chores. Dishes for me and the girls cleaned their rooms and cleaned all their stuff out of the living room and Grace swept and Brianna vacuumed with the promise of going to the pool. So we get our swim suits on and all sun screened up and off we go. Only to get there and find that it’s closed. Someone pooped in it yesterday and so they had to clean and shock it. Ugh GROSS. Anyways I have to get a new military ID card today (goodbye to my last ID photo weighing over 300lbs) so we didn’t have time to drive to another one of the pools and they didn’t want to go to the beach so we will try for a pool trip again tomorrow. Josh will be home then and can come too which was decide that might be more fun anyways because he can throw them so they can do belly flops. How that is fun I have no idea.

Update on Grace. We saw the doctor out in town again and I have to say so far I like him. He really seems to listen to what we say and he spends a lot of time talking to Grace. He agrees 100% with the diagnosis of ADHD and ODD, however he doesn’t think the behaviors are red flags for bi polar he actually thinks it’s OCD, or more specifically OCD tendencies. At this point in time the OCD behaviors are extreme enough to give her the diagnosis but understanding how it works and that she has the tendencies will help explain why she reacts the way she does to things. I know I’m not explaining it well but it made sense to us when he explained it. We also changed her medication to a completely different class and there is a definite improvement in her behavior, both at home and at school. It’s not perfect by any means but at least it’s not the daily struggle just to get through the evening.

Update on Brianna. She continues to do well at school. She loves it and is learning new things every day. At home she has been acting up for the last couple of weeks so we have been really making sure she realizes that she is not going to get away with the negative behavior. I know she sees all the attention Grace gets so we work on just praising the good behavior and she seems to be coming out of it again.

All in all I’m feeling hopeful that things will start to turn around. Josh has been able to be home a little more which makes a huge difference. I think the new medication is making a difference and hopefully this new doctor will work out. The only bad thing is it is very difficult to get appointments because they are so booked. We will see what happens.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And then there was one...

We went and saw the remaining option for doctors out in town yesterday. I'm not too sure yet what to think about him. For now I'm reserving judgement until after we see him again. We have another appointment next week.

At least this one we were even willing to see again so that is a step in the right direction.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I feel so popular

Wow I didn't realize so many people were reading my blog.

Or that so many people had an opinion on what we were doing. Not that I mind. I think the more information we have the better decisions we can make. Our parents, families and friends who know us and who have, or are, dealing with similar things can offer insights that sometimes it's hard to see when you are living day to day with something.

So please keep sharing advice and words of wisdom. We do appreciate and take it in the spirit we know it's intended.

I do want to clarify a couple things from my previous post.

We are not looking to put a label on Grace. We are also not looking to medicate her as an answer to the issues we are dealing with. Neither one of those things improve the quality of her life.

Our goal in seeking care for her is to try to find out what is going on in her mind, how her brain works, how her thoughts process and with that information how we can most effectively parent her.

She doesn't think like me. What seems logical and makes sense to me just doesn't to her. It doesn't make it wrong it just means as the parent I may have to adjust my thinking, and parenting, in such a way that she can understand it. At least for now that's how I look at it.

At this point in time we are medicating her for adhd. It's been about 11 months since we started that and there has been a definite improvement in her ability to function in school. I was anti-medication for children. If you had asked me 18 months ago I would have told you I thought adhd was hugely over diagnosed in our society. Actually I still think that. However in our case after years of reading books and taking classes on behavior modification, positive reinforcement, staying consistent, presenting a united front, plus others I was out of resources. The school guidance counselor for k-2 informed me that she didn't have any other ideas for us since we've already done everything they usually recommend. Even with all that Grace was still in danger of getting suspended because of her behavior. That is what prompted us to take the next step and see a psychiatrist. We had evaluations completed by teachers, coaches, and Josh as well as the doctor prior to the diagnosis. It was not a easy choice for us, don't think that because I don't usually talk about it on here, or maybe even in real life that it's not something that didn't weigh heavily on is before we took that step. Our daughter was six, in first grade and in danger of getting suspended. She knew the principal very well, I knew him. School was becoming a negative. In first grade. She still had years and years ahead of her. We had to do something different and for us this was the right choice. I am sure some of you may not agree, which is fine, but for us at this point it was the right choice. School is still not perfect. She still struggles but not at the same level as before. There is a new principal this year and two months into the school year she has never met him, a huge improvement over last year.

After typing all that I feel like it sounds like I am trying to justify our choices. Maybe I am. I have doubts. I don't think every choice we've made has been the correct one. I know we're not perfect. Maybe that's why I'm reaching out to those that care about us looking for support. I don't know.

Maybe I should let Josh read this before I post it. :)

Anyways as for the future I don't know what's going to happen. I just know I love my husband and my daughters more then anything. I just want them to grow up knowing we did the best we could for them.

For now we are still waiting to see what happens with medical. I know that if we wanted to we would be able to go back to the states without Josh. Clearly that is not what we want to do. Our first choice will always be to stay together as a family, time will tell if that works out.

If you read this and come back and it's gone then Josh told me to delete it. lol

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Life...

and trying to live the one you have which is not always the one you expected.

I admit the life I have is not the one I thought I would have when Josh and I imagined the family we would create together.

Do I love my children? Yes, without a doubt.

Would I change them? No, that's not for me to do. God created them the way they are for a reason.

Would I do everything I can to help make life easier for them? In a second.

Usually I use this blog as a place to share funny stories about the girls to our family and friends or tell yet another story in what has become my personal medical drama but lately I know it's been quiet.

Kind of along the lines of if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.

Ok that's a bit dramatic but life has been a bit bumpier then usual and we have been looking for answers and not finding any so here I am laying it all out there for you guys.

And asking for prayers. Prayers for guidance. Divine intervention. Healing. Strength. Faith. Love. Hope. Answers. Plus the ability to know when presented with the correct answers.

As you all know Grace has not always been the easiest child. Is she loving, yes of course she can be but we all know when that switch flips all bets are off and since we have been back from the states that switch has been flipping ALL. THE. TIME. The meltdown have been increasing in intensity and frequency.

Plus the psychiatrist that she was seeing has left the island and the psychologist we see is leaving next month. There is no one coming to replace either one. There will be a child psychiatrist that will come once a year for two weeks. Not good news.

The resources available off base are very limited but I researched what was there and we went and saw a doctor last week and it was not a good experience. We will not be seeing him again. His advice was not anything we are willing to do and when we told her doctors what he recommended they agreed with us that they were not appropriate choices for her. There is one more doctor out in town that we have an appointment with next week so we will see how that goes. Honestly it couldn't be worse then the doctor we saw.

She is officially diagnosed with ADHD and ODD with red flags for early onset childhood bi-polar disorder. For now the visiting child psychiatrist is changing around her adhd medications and we are going to see how she responds to that.

At this point it seems to come down to two choices. We stay here in Guam as a family but Grace isn't going to receive services other then our family doctor strictly to refill prescriptions.

Or Grace, Brianna and I return to the states and Josh stays here until summer '11 but Grace will be able to get the services she needs.

Neither are choices I want to choose.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Door knockers

So today Brianna taped a roll of tape to Grace's door and at first Grace was going to take it off then Brianna told her it was a door knocker. This is the conversation that followed.

Grace: I ALWAYS wanted a door knocker, thank you Brianna!

Brianna: I KNEW you wanted a door knocker!

Grace: How did you know I always wanted a door knocker for my bedroom?

Brianna: God spoke to me and said "Brianna Grace has ALWAYS wanted a door knocker so you should make her one" so I did!

And when God speaks to Brianna he apparently does it in a VERY deep serious voice...

HAHAHAHAHA

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sleeping in...

Why is it when Grace has school I have to wake her up to get ready for school but on the weekend she wakes up early?

Now normally this wouldn't be a big deal since Brianna is up before the sun but this morning Brianna wasn't here. She was at a sleepover! I was pretty excited about the thought of sleeping until the sun came up and maybe even enjoying a couple minutes of quiet before Grace woke up. (Josh is on duty so he left before 6am and we won't see him again until tomorrow night) So imagine my surprise when I wake up at 730am to find that not only was Grace already awake but she was eating her second bowl of cereal, watching cartoons and had time to do crafts.
She made a wand and attached that veil to the headband:



and a detailed mask:



She is nothing if not creative!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Does anyone have...

an extra camera they would like to send me?

I'm starting to get the shakes!

;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Well were moving

and Josh doesn't know it yet.

I went and got keys to several houses today and went and looked and picked the one I liked the best (Natalie it had some Gecko poop in it though so that will have to be taken care of BEFORE I move in) and went back to housing and signed Josh's name to the paperwork.

Lucky him. At this rate by the time he gets home I may even have a move date scheduled. Which would be exactly how he would like it.

Meanwhile nothing else in my life is getting done.

Except dishes, they get done everyday no matter what.

Laundry however is another story....
This is the same tree that Josh and I got married under 10 years ago, it was nice to be able to go back on our anniversary and take pictures with the girls!
























Monday, August 17, 2009

PS

I still can't find my camera!

Too tired to think of a snappy title

It's late, well not too late only 940 but lately for me I'm usually in bed by now.

I have a lot going on right now and feel like I have to much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Grace has two weeks until school starts and is so excited to start. I am praying that she has a great teacher and a good year. I'm going to be looking to my sister in law for some help in supplementing her education since the school here is behind what she is used too and I know Dot is a great resource. I joined a home school group but since I'm not really homeschooling I'm not sure how much I'll pull from them. Plus Dot has idea what I deal with from Grace so that can be a benefit in making a recommendation. Anyways I'm rambling.

Brianna is doing great. Her teacher at the daycare told me when I picked her up today that there is a huge difference between how she was before we left for summer vacation and how she is now. The difference (which I didn't mention to them I wanted to see if they noticed) is that we started her on ADHD medication. She has all the classic symptoms but without the underlying problems Grace has so it's nice to see such an improvement. I know it's going to help her in school next year.

Grace starts school on the 31st and Brianna starts on the 8th so lots of changes around here.

Speaking of changes the builder I've been dealing with for the last year told me he was meeting this morning the manager for our housing area and sure enough this afternoon the area manager called me. He said he had to submit out paperwork to the housing director but I should know the next step later today or tomorrow, seeing as it's 10pm I'm hoping to hear tomorrow.

In other news it see that another surgery is going to be in my future. I cried when the doctor told me but I knew there was still a problem and didn't really think there was going to be a different way to make it better. This time however he says I need to be seen by a specialist (which are in Hawaii) and that in HIS medical opinion I should have been referred along time ago. He said he can technically do this other surgery I need done but he's afraid in a few months we would just be right back where we are now. I have no idea about time frames or anything yet as that all still has to get worked out. I do know with the kids it won't be simple. Please God just let this be the last step in the process followed by a quick recovery so I can get back to a normal life.

I better go I've fallen asleep twice typing this post.

I don't sleep well when Josh is gone. Good thing he will be home soon. Even when he is working long hours it's still nice to be able to snuggle up to him at night.

I miss him.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things...

Or at least trying too.

So since we've been home I've been sick, shocker I know. Then yesterday Grace came down with something. She hardly ever gets sick so I hope it doesn't last long.

I have a to do list a mile long with stuff involving the kids, my volunteer job and my house. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done. Somehow though I still manage to find time to check facebook, hourly, and make dinner. I suppose that's all that really matters.

The girls are happy to be home but are missing California. They are also missing being able to play outside all day long. This does not happen here in Guam for several reasons. First it's WAY too hot in the middle of the day to be playing outside. Then Second rainy season started while we were gone and I think it's rained every day since we've been here. When I say rain I'm not talking about a drizzle or light shower that passes by I'm talking about heavy downpour for hours at times. Personally I love it, most of the time, and haven't been too bothered by it. I do have to say walking around with wet rubber flip flops isn't the best feeling in the world.

Remember me talking about how my house smells? Well after a year it still does and last week the builder told me that they think we're going to have to move. They want to rip out a bunch of walls and they just can't do that with us here. Understandable but still a hassle. They will pack us up and move us like before but it's still going to be a big pain. I should know more about that tomorrow, which in island talk means within the next two weeks, or so...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pray for open seats!

There is supposed to be a flight to Guam from CA on Monday and we are going to try to be on it.

I'm going to miss everyone like crazy but I am also ready to go home.

Pray we get on the flight and that we have an uneventful trip all the way home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family Photos

While Josh was visiting California we met up with Mandie, from Amanda Lynn Photography, who has been taking our pictures for the last few years. I think she is the best and always finds a way to get those perfect shots without it feeling staged a fake. A true talent!


We took the ones with the palm tree at the same location where we got married, ten years ago, the hotel has a new name and the area has been changed but this tree is still there!

I took these off the website so they are pretty small. When we get the actual ones I'll post some bigger ones! This just gives you a little preview!








Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm ready...

for a vacation AWAY from my children.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I know it's been quiet...

around here while we have been in California. It seems like I'm always running around and never getting everything done.

We are gearing up to head home in about a week and a half. I know we are going to leaving having wished we had done this or that. Or having spent more time with so and so but I'm finally realizing that no matter how long we stay we will feel the same way.

It's been great visiting but I am ready to get back home. My own house, my own bed, my own routine. I know though once I get there I will be missing here like crazy. Isn't the grass always greener? :)

I am doing much better health wise so that makes me feel better prepared to get back to a normal life, well as normal as I ever get. :)

Grace wants me to add " I love home, I love California home and Guam home. Love, Jeni and half Grace"

This last year is Guam has gone by pretty fast. I know next year will be the same, we stay pretty busy with school, activities and friends.

I'm going to miss everyone in in the states but I'm also looking forward to seeing everyone in Guam. Including a new baby! I love babies to cuddle and nothing beats new baby smell! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hello

So we are still here in California. The girls are having a great time visiting family and playing outside. Their Papa built them a tree house and it's a huge hit. They eat lunch up there, play and have even set up a band. We've been keeping busy and I can't believe it's already been five weeks. The time sure flies by. We are waiting for our passports to come then we will head home.

Next week we are going to Vegas to visit more family and Josh is going to fly in. We are so excited to see him. This is the longest we've been apart since before Grace was born. Unheard of for a military family! Thankfully we get to talk to him on the phone pretty often.

Hi to everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monkey see...
Monkey do!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

I miss my husband.

I have been so spoiled over the last several years. Josh has been with us most of the time since before we had Grace. So while were having a great time in California I still wish he was here with us.

Last night my cousin came over and set up wireless internet at my Mom's house. Oh what a joy! LOL I should be able to post more often here again since it's easy access. I have been going to Coffee Bean to do my homework since they have free wi-fi but now I don't have too.

Today were going to the thrift store, maybe stores, so we will see if we find anything exciting. I need a couple outfits to wear to the conference I'm going to next month.

The girls have been doing good. Grace is pretty routine oriented and to come here where our days can be unpredictable could have been really overwhelming for her but she has done great. Brianna is having a great time she gets pretty hyped up sometimes but over all it's going great.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What was I thinking?

I mean it had been a whole week and a half since I'd seen a doctor.

Last night I ended up having to go to the ER for my last incision site. They wanted to do IV antibiotics but I explained what a hard stick I am and asked if they could just give it to me in pill form and I would fill it and start right away. Thankfully the doctor was ok with that so now I just have to find a doctor here to follow up with.

They did bump me to the head of the line so the wait wasn't too bad. I was in and out in three hours.

Now my Mom says I'm grounded for the next few days to rest.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And I thought last week was busy!

So the girls and I are in California!

We took mac flights from Guam to California and here we are! It's been fun visiting family and being able to play outside anytime!

Josh is still in Guam for now but will be heading to the states himself for a school. He is also going to WA and on the way will stop through here to see us.

Grace and I are getting our haircut today and then going to the movies.

Fun times here in Cali!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busy week

So it's been busy around here. I've been in a training class all week for a position I volunteered for at Josh's work. Today was the last day so while it was good information it's nice to be done.

Josh is good, kids are good and I'm good.

I'm almost all healed up and the surgeon is leaving this weekend so the timing worked out as good as it could. I had another chest x-ray on Monday and the pneumonia is almost all cleared up so that was great news also!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Grace

So Grace loves music, and when I say love I mean LOVE. She is always singing, making up words to songs, playing the keyboard, listening to CDs and listening to her MP3 player.

She got her MP3 player for Christmas a couple years ago, it was one of the kids Disney ones and over time it's stopped staying charged so she listens to one song and the battery dies. So since before Christmas she has been asking for a new MP3 player, specifically an Ipod Nano since it has a screen on it. Well after a while of her still wanting it Josh and I told her that if she saved half of the money to buy it then we would pay the other half for one.

For the last couple months she has been saving all her money plus doing extra chores (laundry, washing the car, pulling weeds) to earn her share. Well as of this past weekend she had enough for her half and got to go to the store, pick out the color she wanted and hand over her money to the sales person. She even had money left over and bought some new music to load on it.

She is loving it! She has music and pictures and games on it! Who knew it did all those thing?? I certainly didn't! :)

Anyways I was so proud of her for saving and really working hard to earn enough money to buy it.

My baby is growing up!

When did that happen?

Happy Mother's Day

a little late.

We had a great day around here. It was pretty low key, we just went up to the air force base exchange and then had lunch in the food court.

Nothing but the best around here. :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

The family.
The view behind the monument. If you look on the left side of these two pictures you can see the same two palms trees.

The girls.


Josh is officially in the military until May 2013.

Homeschool is looking better and better

Ok so not really but man some of the things they pick up in school amaze me with how inappropriate they are. Today I was walking outside with Grace and she was wearing a skirt and a pair of my sunglasses and she says to me "I'm hot and I don't mean from the sun" WHAT??? So I ask her if she means hot like good looking (while shocked I'm having this conversation with my first grader) and she says "No like sexy"!!! I couldn't believe it, I asked her where she heard that and she told me this riddle they say at school, something about Pepsi and sexy I can't remember exactly now. So then we had to have a conversation about what it meant and why it wasn't ok for her to be saying.

If this is what we deal with in first grade then I'm afraid to know what middle and high school are going to be like.

I'll be back later to post pictures of the reenlistment. Grace took most of the pictures and I haven't looked at them yet...

Reenlistment

Today Josh is reenlisting for four more years. It will bring him right to 20 then he can retire. It's going to be at a beach out in town and he wants the girls and I to go. Since it's at 11am I'm not going to send Grace to school because I would just have to turn around and pick her up an hour later. Plus now she gets to sleep in as long as she wants also. This will be the first day of school she's missed all year so part of me thinks I should send her just so she can be marked present! :) We plan on going to lunch after then she has a girl scout activity this evening. Brianna is excited to not be going to school or the daycare, right now she is watching cartoons, eating leftover pizza and getting her own cup of water.

I'm telling you the fun never stops around here.

I'll make sure to post pictures, well as long as I remember my camera, when we get home later.

For now I have to go do homework.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Clarification

Josh is going to be going to school in Mississippi for a month and won't have very much free time, plus he is staying in barracks.

The girls and I could book our own commercial tickets to the states but when I looked them up the other day the three of us could fly to LAX for the bargain price of $4200.

I don't need off the island that bad!

Ask me next summer when I've been here longer. It might be worth it then.

:)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Today in...

as the Cotterell household turns.

So Josh is going to the states in June for A MONTH! Then he is taking two weeks leave on top of that.

I'm pretty sure he is not authorized to ditch, I mean travel, without us for six weeks! :)

That will be the longest the girls have ever been away from him. The longest before this was maybe a week.

Also it's raining and I have to walk to the bus stop. Well I guess I could drive but I don't think I'm going too.

(How was that Britt? I'd say that I'll work on making it more exciting but I'm hoping my life ISN'T exciting for a while!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

I seem to be getting better but...

Brianna has an ear infection.

Other then complaining that her ear hurts once in a while and not sleeping at night it doesn't slow her down.

Really though, nothing does. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For Harper...

(insert evil laugh for Amanda)

Brianna singing the balloon blues...

Grace singing... I'm not quite sure what but I'm sure Harper will enjoy it! :)

Today
Jan 2, 2007

Photobucket

Edited to add: Brianna saw this post and asked who this was a picture of.

Mom, I AM wearing blush.


Brianna got plenty of sleep last night.


Of course...

90 minutes of sleep is not enough.

Bonus: I have class tonight.

Monday, April 27, 2009

As if there isn't enough going on...

Grace has ants in her room.

I went to tuck her into bed and noticed a couple ants on the wall, then I noticed more, then I pulled her bed away from the wall and found a colony.

Ok maybe not a colony but way more ants then should be in her room! I killed as many as I could find but I have no idea where they are coming from or why they are there.

Josh is on duty and won't be home until tomorrow night.

Grace went to sleep in my bed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today

Before school I took Brianna to the book fair so she could pick something out. After looking around at many, many choices she choose "Franklin Goes to the Hospital"! Should I be concerned? I mean come on I've only been admitted three times in the last two months.

Grace had a field trip today to the aquarium. Since she LOVES that place she was really excited. They had to bring a sack lunch (which she does pretty much everyday anyway) and money for the gift shop. Well I knew this would be exciting for Grace, she always wants to pick something out when we go but mean Mom that I am I don't ever let her. So today we sent her with a whole ten dollars to spend on whatever struck her fancy.

I picked her up at the bus stop and while we were walking home she gave me a gift shop bag and said she got something for me! She was so excited and had me open it right then and there. It's a cute dolphin picture holder since she said she knew I liked dolphins! What a sweetie! Then I asked her if she had enough money to get something else and she said yes and that it was in her backpack. I asked what she got and she said a present for Daddy! She got him a green fish picture holder since she knew his favorite color is green. She didn't buy anything for herself at all!

Could she be any sweeter?

I don't think so either.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This week in my medical drama...

As you know I had pneumonia. Last week I had fevers spiking above 105 and chest x-rays (done on Friday, Monday and Weds) showed that even while on the antibiotics the pneumonia was still getting worse. So they admitted me to the hospital, again, to try to figure out what was going on. They took me off all the medication, including Tylenol, and waited to see what would happen, wouldn't you know it the fevers stopped! They also did a ton of other testing to make sure nothing else was going on and while my white blood cell count started out low, by Friday it was starting to come back up so they went ahead and released me. I'm actually feeling much better today then I have in a long time so hopefully this will be the end of the health struggles.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another one bites the dust.

Grace lost another tooth last night and was so excited. It's been loose forever but was hanging on. Last night she decided she wanted it out. She asked Josh to tie a string around it then she pulled it out! I shudder just thinking about it but she was happy with the results! I guess that is really all that matters!



Saturday, April 11, 2009

A week in review

I know I haven't posted much this week but there hasn't been much blog worthy going on.

The girls are on spring break and Grace has been going to camp this week. She's had a great time and each day had a new adventure. She's been swimming, bowling and to the movies just to name a few.

Josh has been busy at work, like always, and taking great care of us and the house. He is without a doubt the best husband I could ever hope for. I hit the spouse jackpot with him! Thanks Sue!

As for me all three of my classes have started so it's keeping me busy. I missed the week I had surgery but my instructor was great about it and I'm all caught up so no worries on that front. I just have to make sure I stay on top of everything, it's definitely a whole different mind set!

I know I said I wouldn't talk about my health on here so much so I'll just give an update. Last week I had a lump where the infection was removed and started running a fever again. I saw the doctor Weds and he wanted to give it until Friday and see how I was. Well my home nurse decided on Thursday it wasn't getting any better and called my doctor to let him know. He had me come in on Friday for another CT scan and told me not to eat or drink anything because they were thinking it was another infected fluid pocket and I was going to have to have another surgery. After the scan the doctor talked to the radiologist and great news is there are no fluid pockets and every thing related to my surgery is healing great. He thinks after Monday I shouldn't even need the home nurse anymore! Yay! They did also find out the cause of the fever though, thanks to the CT scan, turns out I have pneumonia. I'm already taking antibiotics and it's, thankfully, a mild case.

You know your perception is way off when you go to the doctor and are relieved to find out you only have pneumonia.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brianna just said...

"WOW Grace look at this! Isn't it a thousand cool?"

A thousand cool? Well I guess that must be pretty cool!

:)

Friday, April 3, 2009

My lastest diagnosis...

Reactive Arthritis.

I swear I'm not joking. I really should have gotten a doctors note.

The good news is once the infection is gone the arthritis should be too.

I think I should stop posting about my health on here, it seems to be taking over my blog.

Happy Birthday Grace

My baby is SEVEN!!! Wow!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Finding the humor

So I was sitting in the recliner with my feet up and, without thinking, said out loud "Ugh I'm so tired of being broken" then Grace replied from behind me "Me too!" haha!

Did I mention that my ankle has decided to swell up for some unknown reason? I didn't fall or twist it that I can recall. It's not like I was out running marathons today. I called the nurse and she told me to ice and heat it and she will be by in the morning. If anything changes call her or the doctor.

I figured out what happened. In my other post I tried to tell God that I was getting to the point where I couldn't handle anymore, now he's reminding that He is in charge and really knows the answer to what I (and Josh) can handle.

So God I promise not to try to tell you what to do anymore, ok? Well at least not for today. Sometimes I'm weak and forget so I'm learning and paying attention now.

To add to the fun I have MRSA so now we're working on keeping it contained to only me.

Good times, here in Guam.

Whose going to be the first to visit?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

For the first time ever...

I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic.

I broke out in hives, took benadryl right away, paged my doctor (who had a nurse call me back and relay the information because he was in the operating room) and now Josh is out picking up my new prescription.

Really?

Seriously?

I'm home...

hopefully to stay this time.

They say God never gives you more then you can handle.

I'd just like to remind God I'm getting pretty close.

:)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So far, so good...

The operation was a success and Jeni will be coming home tomorrow around noon. After that, a home nurse will be coming over daily to change out the packing. Recovery time will vary between about 10 days to about 3.5 weeks when the site will close up on it's own. She's in good spirits, considering all she's been through in the last 36 hours and the last 6 weeks!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Here we go again...

This is Josh writing, so right there, you know something isn't quite right. Don't be too alarmed, but she was advised to go to the ER this afternoon and have me drive her. Her surgeon came in to check on her and some other of his patients and discovered that the hematoma had become infected, so much so that she has been admitted and will be making another trip to the OR in the morning. Tonight, he is giving her some stuff to help get rid of her continuous headache, help her sleep well and some antibiotics to give him a head start on getting rid of the infection in her body, which he will be attacking from the inside in the OR. The good news is that he found what the worst case scenario was tonight. I say it was good news because now he has an answer to a problem that has been stumping them for a while and can finally get rid of it (knock on wood) once and for all. Wish her well and pray for her speedy recovery and that this will indeed be the end of it and she will undoubtedly give you her version of the events upon her return.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I couldn't figure out how to get it on Facebook...

so here it is, a little late but still cute!

Happy Birthday Harper!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Change in plans

Well when I got to the hospital they did an ultrasound and it looks like it's not what they thought it was. He thinks it's actually a hematoma which is different and not much they can do about it. He said it's the size of a baseball (nice, huh) and will take my body a couple weeks to reabsorb it. He sent my ultrasound results to the radiologist to double check and I may have to go in Monday for a CT scan.

You know I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guess what I'm getting this weekend?

A new drain!

Um yay?

The first thing...

I've learned in my writing class is I am not a writer.

Hopefully I will be by the end of class! :)

I can dream right?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I need a topic

for my research paper.

Any ideas? It needs to be 3-5 pages.

Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

No more plastic bags.

Forget Mommy Dearest I'm living with Gracie Dearest.

I am no longer allowed to use plastic bags.

From anywhere!

Not the exchange or the commissary or any other store.

Would you like to know why? Because every time I do I now get a lecture from my darling daughter about using them.

This is how it goes...

We use the plastic bags then they are taken to the dump where the wind picks them up and blows them into the ocean. After that they float around and look like jelly fish so the sea turtles eat them and then die.

Hmm I don't want to be responsible for the death of countless sea turtles.

Good thing we already have plenty of reusable bags, if only I could remember to keep them in my car.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grandpa

Please pray for my Grandpa.

He's in the hospital right now they think it's minor and nothing to be concerned about but please pray that everything goes smoothly and he's home soon.

My Grandpa is one of the best people I know and it's so hard to be so far away when anything happens. I just want to jump on a plane and fly home.

I love you Grandpa!

I'm drain free...

and I have an 80% chance of staying that way.

I go back next friday, the 3rd, for an ultrasound to make sure everything looks good!

Writing

Last night was my first writing class. The teacher seems nice, he seems to really enjoy teaching and has lived in Guam for 16 years so he must really love it here! There are only six people in the class so I'm sure I will really have the chance to learn a lot.

Maybe my blog posts will improve now.

We can hope, right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My birthday

was quiet. Nothing exciting. Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!

Brianna has snacks this week at school which means she is the line leader. This makes her very happy.

Still have a fever, still have a drain. Not happy about either.

Friday, March 20, 2009

You know...

you're not at the top of your game when you put the iced tea pitcher away in the pantry.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Clarification

My previous post should have said:

"Since I don't have anything nice to say I'm not going to say anything at all."

Not to worry I'm feeling better now.

I just got home from Hooters.

Stop laughing I'm serious.

Did you know people actually take their kids there?

I had NO IDEA!

We took our kids.

They seem ok.

No permanent damage.

Well at least not from dinner.

:)

Pictures to come later.
If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today in my life...

The last couple of nights I've been running a fever and after getting some bogus (does anyone still use that word?) advice I finally got through to my doctor last night. He told me as long as it didn't get worse to stay home and see him this morning but if anything changed I needed to get myself to the ER.

STAT!

I've always wanted to say that.

Anyways nothing eventful happened last night, which wouldn't have mattered since Josh left for work at 3am, so I went this morning after getting the kids off to school and daycare.

Then it happened.

My least favorite thing in the world.

I'm sure if you've read my blog for the last week you can guess.

They put a drain back in.

I cried and told him that I did everything he told me too.

He said and I quote "It's not you, it's me."

Why do I always get the doctors with a sense of humor? :)

At least we got to go to the Seabee Ball.

My Mom was right

She told me she thought I'd lost more then 140lbs and she was correct I've actually lost over 150lbs!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two years ago

Since I posted my before picture from last month, I thought for the people who didn't know me two years ago I would post my before, before picture.

What a difference two years makes.

I've lost about 140lbs total from this picture.

Crazy!


Photobucket

Yesterday

love was such an easy game to play. All my troubles seemed so far away.

Oh sorry.

Maybe I have ADD too.

:)

Anyways, yesterday, Sunday for us, was such a nice day around here. We got up and while I wasn't up for running a marathon after going to the Seabee Ball the night before I was up for getting out of the house with the family. Josh wanted to take a drive and go exploring and we wanted to see if we could try out Chilis that had just opened last week. Josh had wanted to go for his birthday but the wait was too long with the kids.

I called ahead to Chilis and they said they could take us at 1130 which gave us a little time to drive around and see some other places on the base Josh wanted to show us, then we headed out to lunch.

I think we were so excited about Chilis because it's someplace that we used to go when we were in California. It's some place we met family and friend for birthdays and celebrations or sometimes went for lunch after church on Sundays.

It's familiar.

It's home.

It's silly, I know.

So off we went. The menu was a little different but overall the same feeling. There were some problems since it just opened but I ended up with my meal free and Josh and the girls shared a free dessert so a good time was had by all!

After lunch we walked across the parking lot to the outlet mall and caught the trolley to take a ride around the hot spots for tourists. They are open air and it was a beautiful day so we had a great time. It takes about an hour to go the entire circle back to the outlet mall. The girls enjoyed it and made friends with different people as they got on and off, including the driver.

After that we decided to go for a drive. There is a road that goes across the island and Josh wanted to see where it goes so off we went. Brianna was asleep within minutes and Grace watched a movie and wrote in her journal while Josh and I got to have a nice peaceful conversation.

Anyone reading with young kids knows how rare it is to be able to just sit and talk without being interrupted 50 million times.

We stopped and got some star fruit from a road side stand and then headed home.

It was a low key nice peaceful day.

I loved it.

Sadly we have no pictures because we realized when the trolley driver tried to take our picture I had forgotten to put the memory card back in the camera.

Grace said it was ok because our brain was like one giant memory card.

I love that kid.

:)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

I am officially...

drain free!!!

Yay!!!

I am so excited!!!

Before & After

Before surgery:





Three weeks after: