Monday, March 30, 2009

My heart is hurting, my mind is whirling, my brain is stirring, please dear God let this long week for Stellan and his family end soon with a sigh of relief!
You have the power to turn it around, you have the power.
Please with deepest heartfelt prayer, please let this little boy, loved by thousands, pull out of this condition and grant the miracle in him that he was granted at birth!

I'm pulling for him, I'm praying for him, I am thinking of him constantly, his precious smile flashes through my mind uncountable times throughout the day.
You want many to know him, you want many to love him, you want many to pray for him, please Lord, we ask that you heal him!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A case of the "why's"

I didn't write this, but thought it was good enough to share!

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are almost dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they already know there is not enough money?

Why does someone Believe you when you say there are four billion stars; but have to check when you say the paint is still wet?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?

If people evolved from apes, Why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses Are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will
have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'It's all right?' Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, 'That really hurt, why don't you watch where you're going?'

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And......The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Miles birth story

I can't believe my little boy is already almost 13 months!

Before I share my birth story, I want to share a little background, I had an epidural with Acilia, I didn't want to take any chances, I was afraid of the pain. When I had her though, I got the epidural because they said it was time, not because I *needed* it. My delivery with her was great, but I couldn't help but wonder if I could do it without the drugs. What really put it all into perspective for me, was my extreme hate for catheters! You have an epidural, you are getting a catheter. Ugh! I hate them!!! Fast forward to when I was 15 weeks along with Miles, I had some bleeding. I was taken to the ER and of course the first thing they do is put a catheter in! :/ That was the day I decided I was going to do what I could to hold off on an epidural when delivery day came and just *see* if I could go without one. I had my mind open, afterall you never know what is going to happen in the delivery room, but it was a hopeful goal of mine. JUST so I wouldn't have to have a catheter :) I bring this story up, because I wanted to note the sheer irony at the end of my birth story, and I hope it makes more sense knowing this little fact!


Friday, February 29th, a day after my due date, I had a doctor appointment. I had been stuck at 4 cm's for the previous three weeks, so, when I felt twinges of discomfort the three days leading up to Friday, I thought *maybe* something would have changed, but, I surely didn't have my hopes up! I get into the office, I was lamenting over the fact that I was still pregnant. Dr. suggested we check, as he's checking, he started to suggest membrane stripping and then I should go home and have some lovey dovey time with hubby and most likely that would do it. He stopped mid sentence though when he found that I was 6-7 cm's dilated. The talk that we had about stripping membranes was quickly averted to doc backing away slowly and telling me I was going to the hospital. I got there about 1:30. The nurses anticipated a woman coming in, in raging labor, and that just wasn't the case. I have concluded my body is very weird! :) I must admit, when doc told me it was time to go to the hospital, I went home; made Acilia lunch; grabbed my bag, I got to the hospital about 2 hours after my doctor had called to let them know I was coming in. To make matters even more amusing, I came strolling in to meet Al who was there waiting for ME. Hee hee! I found myself stalling because I knew I would be stuck at the hospital for a few days once I was admitted. The nurses even mentioned they thought I had gone to a different hospital since it took me so long to get there! Anyway, I made it and we got all situated in the room, my mom, hubby, my sister in law and Acilia, who was so excited to become a big sister! The doctor came in and broke my water at 3:18 PM. We waited. My sister in law kept looking at the monitor wondering why I wasn't affected by the peaking contractions that were showing up! (Yup, weird body!!) About twenty minutes later, I asked for the "birthing ball" I figured it would be a little more comfortable than the bed. I sat on the ball next to the bed, and put my feet on the bed, my mom massaged my feet with lavender oil. Really nice :) The contractions began to get painful. I moved back to the bed, and kind of just buried my head on the pillow when they hurt. They were good ones for about twenty minutes. Then I started feeling a little pressure during the contractions. I asked to be checked again, they said I had just a little bit to was 5 PM, I mentioned I thought Acilia should leave the room. No sooner did she leave and my body became the "worker" and I felt like a "spectator"!!!! I had no control, if anyone had asked me not to push, well that just wouldn't have even been an option. He was coming out! I asked for the squatting bar, and within four minutes, gravity and some pushing on my part worked him right out!!!!! I laid back on the bed and just cried!! It was awesome! I noticed then that the room was pretty much full of nurses!!!! The way I delivered, apparently was a first for the hospital, so we had some interested eyes!! It was amusing and impressive! I held my little man and just cried! Then, it was time to deliver the placenta. It took 35 minutes and when I tell you what they had to do to remove it, I am not exaggerating that it was the worst part of delivery! Doc had to manually extract the placenta as I was levitating off the bed in agony! They were asking if I wanted something for the pain. I couldn't believe my ears! I had just successfully delivered my baby naturally, as I had hoped and I was going to take drugs to get the placenta out?? I couldn't bring myself to say yes, but it was torture! I could have sworn my insides were being ripped out! Between excessive bleeding, and high blood pressure; I was made to stay in labor and delivery for 24 hours, while they administered magnesium through IV and I dealt with having a catheter put in! I swear, irony is what it was! It's laughable now though :) My beautiful baby boy was 8 pounds, 9 ounces 21 inches. Born on LEAP DAY at 5:04 PM :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mind blip

Many 'o times I have been in the midst of my day and something will pop in to my mind that is worthy of noting...a lot of times it's been a quote, or a line in a poem that I would then need to sit down and form the entire poem around it, sometimes it's something like a "catch phrase" just a bunch of random nothingness ;)
Now that I have a blog, I have a place to "note" my "noteworthy's" here it is:
It doesn't have to be my way, but my way is best. ;)
This came to me when I was in the dishwasher putting breakfast dishes in, I noticed a dish in there that had not been rinsed, I always rinse mine!! (typical woman syndrome) which made me realize that my ever trying hubby had taken the extra second it takes to take the dish he used and instead of putting it next to the sink, he actually put it IN the dishwasher!! YAY points for hubby!! However, clearly he forgot to rinse it! Shame!! Hee hee! I love him and his trying ways!

I will leave you with another "noteworthy" which is my favorite:
Life is a road full of hills, enjoy the view from the top of each hill and take the ditches as learning experiences.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A glimmer of summer

The days are getting longer, the sun is out bright, today it's going to be 75 degrees. In MARCH! After a long and tedious winter, this is a welcome break for me! Sun and warmth make me feel alive!! I have been saying my prayers of thanks for this beautiful weather. Al has been in the garage working on his bike. Acilia was outside from the time she got home from school until it was time to get ready for bed. She was enjoying time with her neighbor friends and our yard was busy with play. It's so fun to see the joys that our beautiful Earth brings!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Introducing my mom

My mom, Shelby

My mother and I have an interesting dynamic to our relationship. She was always a great mother, she raised us well, but she was also a great friend. I felt comfortable going to her for anything and telling her anything. The few times I *did* try to keep something from her, she saw through me like I was a clear window! Now that I am grown, I can truly 100% call her my best friend. She is a great mother, a great grandmother, and great friend!

My purpose for this post was to introduce her to you...afterall, she will be talked about often in this blog for sure, and I forgot to introduce her in my first post.


When I was a child, I distinctly remember my mom coming in to my room on Sunday mornings to wake me from my slumber so we could go to church. As I got older, and more rebellious, I would *pretend* to be sleeping, so she would give up on waking me and I wouldn't have to go to church. She was hip to my tricks though, and it never worked anyway!

It didn't click for me until just recently, how comforting Sunday's at church really are. I have grown to appreciate my weekly dose of church and even look forward to it! I proudly bring my kids with me, and sit with my mom. We say friendly hellos to fellow members whom have been attending since I was a child. It feels great! It feels like home!

My pastor, I have grown to admire! I didn't always appreciate his character. When I was a confirmand in 7th grade, our "shake of the hand" after church led to him once telling me "It would be nice if you would sing while in church" (*gasp!* The nerve!) He noticed out of the entire congregation that *I* among all worshippers thought I was "too good" to sing the hymns! He noticed. He cared. I didn't realize this until I got older and I shared with my Pastor the religious milestones that are so special. He married Albert and me. He baptized Acilia and Miles. He counseled me at times when I was searching for my path. He's an amazing pastor and I am so thankful to have found my place in this amazing church. They welcome me with open arms always and adore my kids too! Even when they are disruptive in church. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Kids

My kids are fun and cute as can be
they are amazing, so wild and free
They light my day up with pure sunshine
My daughter loves horses, speaks of them all the time!
My son he is all boy, he loves anything with wheels
He eats every last bite at each one of his meals!
I am a lucky mommy, what can I say?
Having more children is sure to be the way!

I interviewed my husband....

If you knew me before this blog, there is a good chance you have already read this, but if not, it gives insight to my husband Albert's condition! I was taking a speech class last summer and one of the assignments was to interview someone. I was lucky enough to have someone right in my house whom was interesting enough to write a speech without further a do!

I have chosen someone very close to me to interview. I wanted someone that could teach through the experience, someone that is able to open the eyes of those around without even realizing what has been done. That person is my husband, Al.This interview was conducted at 9:30 am Monday morning, the beginning of the work week. Al is hooked up to his machine, he is almost through his 6th cycle. This is after 12 hours of being hooked up. He will get off the machine within the hour, and head off to work, to complete a day as a hardworking man, supporting his family.You may wonder what this machine is that I am talking about. I will tell you. My husband, is a dialysis patient. Dialysis is a life line.
Al grew up in a family of four. A mom, dad and a brother who is only 14 months younger than he is. When asked about his childhood, he had fond memories of the times he and his brother would reenact the fight scenes in Popeye. Al was an athletic type too! He loved gathering friends through "pick up games" which translates to calling everyone in the neighborhood, if they "pick up the phone" the details of the game would be given. Most times it would lead to everyone meeting up in a field to play a rough game of tackle football or an intense game of baseball! Al had quite a smile on his face remembering the fun times he had as a child, and when asked to recall his favorite memory, he mentioned Christmas. He loved getting the presents that go along with the holiday and he enjoyed spending a lot of time with family. We both laughed at the fact that recalling these memories only reminded him that he is still a child at heart!!
Al became very sick while growing up. I asked him to explain in detail what happened.Maybe a week before I got sick, I didn't feel right, I felt like something was really wrong. I finally started getting symptoms, cold symptoms, started really stuffy, then I got deathly ill. Finally after a week of being sick, I started throwing up about 20 times a day, I was white as a ghost, and I was sitting in front of a heater all day long, I was really really really cold, I would have it full blast and I was still cold. We called in to the doctor, I was given medication. Finally, I went into the doctor's office, we took blood, the doctor said, GO TO THE ER IMMEDIATELY. That was from one quick test. I got to the hospital, had more labs done, We were told that it was critical. I was then airlifted to Loyola. It was like a ton of bricks. My kidneys were failing, toxins were SO high in my body. They were telling us that I should technically be dead.
I was in Loyola for weeks, but it felt like months, ….on a machine, constantly running. Two hemodyalisis ports were put in, one in each shoulder, just drawing and draining all the toxins from my blood. It was very uncomfortable when they put them in, they go into your collarbone, putting the port into the vessels inches from the heart, "I was awake, when they put them in"
When I came home, I now had three ports. The two that were put in at first, had to remain in place as a back up, and a new one in my belly to perform peritoneal dialysis at home. "In PD a soft tube like catheter is used to fill your abdomen with a cleansing liquid called dialysis solution. The walls of your abdomen cavity are lined with a membrane called the peritoneum, which allows waste products and extra fluid to pass from your blood into the dialysis solution. The solution contains a sugar called dextrose that will pull wastes and extra fluid into the abdominal cavity. These wastes and fluids then leave your body when the dialysis solution is drained. The used solution, containing wastes and extra fluid, is then thrown away. The process of draining and filling is called an exchange and takes about 30-40 minutes. The period the dialysis solution is in your body is called the dwell time." Quoted from the Internet.
When I was asking him details of various parts of this time, he had a hard time recalling details. We concluded that he had blocked a lot of this experience from his memory.

Al's next challenge came when he was told he would need a kidney transplant.
His dad was tested to be a kidney donor for him. He said from the very beginning he would do it if he was a match, and it turned out he was almost a perfect match! This was a topic that Al spoke of very fondly. Al stated he was uplifted to hear that his dad would be his donor, and he was excited to live a normal life again! He also said he felt embarrassed that someone would have to donate one of their organs to keep him alive. After a successful transplant came the recovery. As soon as Al got out of surgery, he was in so much pain, and the drugs administered for the procedure are equivalent to heroine withdrawl when you are waking up. He remembered snapping at his brother, just for innocently tapping his foot in the ICU.The next day after the transplant, he was up and moving around, he felt good and his energy was coming back more and more everyday. He was able to come home from the hospital about 5 days after surgery. Full recovery occurred about 4 months post operation.
Al became sick again almost 2 years ago. The dynamic of his life was a little different this time. He was a married man, he had a 3 year old daughter, and was working at a local company as one of the best electricians they had. He started feeling the familiar symptoms of kidney failure again. He felt himself getting angry with his body and he just "had a feeling". Transplanted kidney's only last for a period of time, and Al had exceeded that. His eyes began to turn yellowish. People noticed his skin color changing to a gray tone. After some persuasion, he ended up in his doctor's office, having blood work done. Even though he knew he was going to hear it, when the words "Your kidneys are failing" left the doctor's mouth, he was in denial and didn't quite accept it. At the same time, he was horrified. A flood of questions came into his mind. How would he continue to support his family? Does he want to have another transplant? Or does he want to live the rest of his life on dialysis, feeling sick and uncomfortable?
Some of these questions remained unanswered. Al has been on dialysis now for what will be 2 years in November. He has continued working incredibly hard to pay bills and he has added another child to the family, a little boy born in February of this year.
These are the things he is most proud of. Being on dialysis is a commitment you don't get much of a choice in. He has only allowed that to be one part of who he is!
A person that has lived a life that tests strength often, is a person that has a right to share wisdom with others, from a perspective that not many can see. When I asked Al to put into words one thing that he would like to share, he was able to conclude quite clearly. "Enjoy your life to the absolute fullest. Don't forget to spoil yourself once in a while. And make sure the person you are with loves you!"

I've got a case of the "I want it now's"

I am comforted by the fact that I am able to find pleasure in my daily routines, and surely enough find pleasure through my family to keep cheerful, but goodness gracious am I excited for the future!!

If I could just snap my fingers and have the things I am waiting for, here is a quick list of what it would be:
1) Be a nurse at I drive past that place daily when I take Acilia to school and I just dream of the day I am turning to pull in to the parking lot to start my shift in Labor and Delivery!!

2)I want a new car! Sure the one I have is great, but the miles are accumulating and well, "she's not a spring chicken" anymore!

3) I want so badly to move to our "permanent" home! We purchased our house and have lived there a few years, but it was purchased with the intention of starting our family life. We were naive young home buyers and there are things I want in my home that just don't get delivered. I love my little home. It has served us well and has more character than any place I have ever lived, but it's not as suitable for my growing family as it once was.

4) I want to live close to my parents. Close enough to walk to their house! Acilia is so close to her cousins which are at my parent's house everyday because my mom cares for them, and it would just be oh so convenient if we were able to walk there instead of pile in to the car and drive for 10 minutes!

5) I want Al to have his new kidney! (I will post a separate entry for this story) We found a donor (PRAISE THE LORD!) and I truly feel as though we are sitting and twiddling our thumbs at this point during the process!

Wow! Now that I got that all out, and am able to look at it, I am even more excited!! I have faith that the Good Lord will bring to us the things we are destined to have when we are destined to have them! But, I am still learning patience, not impulse!! :)

Moved to share the words

I have struggled with my emotions for my husband for what dates back to the very beginning of our coexistance. While reading through one of my favorite blogs I found this post, and it opened my eyes to a whole new world! Love the one you're with. It never ceases to amaze me that when the days seem as though they are not a part of "the master plan" something comes in to your day that shows you, that indeed, it is ALL the master plan!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

As promised, an explanation to "The Name"

I am not sure I can clearly put into words my feelings on this topic, and to keep it within one post, but 'tis my goal!

I am Karrie (as you know) if you live a few days out in the world, you realize that "Karrie" is a rather common name and there are MANY ways to spell it! My mother, named Shelby (NOT a common name when she grew up, and she has rather dramatically stated numerous times how she wasn't too pleased with the name) strived to give her children "normal and common" names so they would grow up not feeling the "stigma" attached to her experiences as a child. As good natured as my mother is, and as much as she thought she was doing my brother and myself a favor, I am confident I can put a different spin on it all! Karrie, a child who was always different from others, felt as though Karrie was not a suitable name for such a unique girl, especially considering the fact that each and every class and experience I was a part of, I "shared" my name with other Karrie's. Fast forward to childbearing years, I made it my not so silent mission to give my children one of a kind names. It was my first and most important gift from mommy to them.

We found ourselves pregnant for the first time as a young, unmarried couple. I allowed "fate" to weave it's way through the process of my pregnancy. Literally days after I found out I was pregnant, I came across the name Acilia. It was beautiful and elegant and definitely unique! WOW! Naming our first child was an easy task, especially considering Al agreed that it was a great name!

Fast forward to our second pregnancy. The "naming" would simply not be as easy, infact it would be downright nasty. The day that we found out we were to be blessed with a bouncing baby boy, should have been a joyous event. I almost cried. You see, I had in the back of my mind what quite possibly could be the worst battle of my life staring me in the face. My husband, whom, love him dearly, is the MOST STUBBORN MAN YOU WILL EVER MEET. It was my husband's dream, wish, high hope to name his first son Michael Albert. Irony! Considering the fact that Michael was on the list of "TOP 10 BABY NAMES OF 2008" this did NOT at all, not even a little bit, fit in to my "mommy goal" of granting my children names that are unique to them.
What to do?????? My brain wheels started turning, as they often do, and I was ready to compromise so myself, and my husband could grant our child what WE together felt was the perfect gift. I began my compromising plan with asking Albert if we could come up with a first name together, and use Michael Albert as his middle name. Albert was having NO part of this. He was following a family tradition by demanding this name be unchanged when it's printed on that birth certificate. Trying to be understanding...I decided to speak with his family. I felt if this tradition was as important to them, as it was to him, he may have some more serious ground to stand on. My suspicions were blown away when I spoke to his parents and was clearly told they have NO say what we name our child, and it is infact not a big deal to them at all whether we follow tradition or not. It was simply something that had been "stumbled" upon over the years.

Albert however, was unchanged. His mind was made up, his son's name would be Michael Albert and that was it. Many tears, many conversations, many "woe is me's" later, we are at the hospital with a child that has been born, again, should have been a joyous occasion, instead of being happy and exciting, it was miserable! The time had come for us to officially name our child and I was not at all on board with his name, and Albert was not at all about to budge! I was praying, I was talking to others, I was pleading with myself to come to terms with what I was facing, but our son still came home with no middle name. I had 100% begrudgingly given in to naming our son Michael, against my every bone, however, I did not have it in me to give in on his middle name. We went home, and "slept on it". We came to an agreement, no one was there with us, but I can guarantee this is how the conversation went down. I was not speaking to Al, we were in bed, then "it" came to me! And agreement that could possibly work, I sat up and said "Here is what I am prepared to do" "He will be Michael Albert on the birth certificate, but everyone will know him as Michael Salvatore, birth announcement, baptism, graduation, the works." (Salvatore is my dad's middle name, and I had started to feel, if we were going to honor Al's family, we needed to honor mine as well.) Albert agreed to this, and it was a done deal. I called the next day, to have our son's name official"ized" (I know it's not a word!) on the birth certificate, and I got to work on his birth announcements.

The story does not end there. I still HATE my child's name, HATE IT! Not the name itself, but all of the emotions that are attached to it!
He was 3 months old when he began smiling. He smiled ALLLL the time, infact, it seemed suitable to call him "Miles" due to the fact that he smiled all the time, and his name started with "M". This felt right at the time, it felt as though God had finally given me some resolution to this neverending matter. I began calling him Miles, I have asked my family to call him Miles, everyone that meets him has been introduced to him as "Miles" and it just fits him. I firmly believe, calling him Miles is my "defense mechanism" I hope and pray that it sticks as he gets older. I am going to do my best to help it along the way. His father wanted to give him a piece of tradition. His mother had no say whatsoever in it, no matter how hard she tried. So, that's it. My emotions are not at all closed on the story. However, this story is now officially closed!

It's official!

I have succumbed to the blogging world! I can't promise I will be a diligent writer, or even that anyone will ever read this, but after following a few other blogs and being "sucked in" to the joys of sharing my thoughts and quite possibly publishing them for all to see, I have joined the trend!! How liberating I think it will be to have my thoughts and feelings broadcast for the world (OK, who am I kidding, the world will not be reading this...but those that do) to see!

I am not sure if there is a protocol to this sort of thing, but I feel as though I shall start out by introducing myself and my family. I am Karrie, the narrator of my life. I am married to a man whom I have known for nearly 13 years, named Al(bert). We have journeyed together and done things completely (!!)....engaged....bought a house....renovated a house.....married....moved in to house....settled in....pregnant again (!!)....we have been left to pick up the pieces of a crazy start to life. A start that we both insisted at the time that we could handle, and have proven that by taking it one day at a time, building a home, a marriage and a family. We have two beautiful and amazing children (I know, I know, every parent thinks their child is beautiful and amazing) Our daughter Acilia is 5 years old and ALLLLLLLLL about horses. She has been loyal to horses since she was about two years old and I see a long promising future for her surrounded by the animals she truly loves! We also have a 1 year old son. Miles. NO that is not his real name, and NO mommy is not happy at all with how his name came to be...but that is not for this intro post, it deserves an entry all on it's own, maybe even two,'s that deep!
Albert is a self employed electrician. He wasn't always self employed, this is a fairly new occurrence as of almost 2 years ago. The name of the company is Visco Electric and it was a long time coming. Finally the good Lord gave us what seemed like no choice but to move forward with it, and so we (he with my support) did. Visco Electric is a business that was literally built from the ground up and though business gets slow at times (what business doesn't in today's economy?) I am so incredibly proud of Al for attaining his lifetime goal by the age of 30! WTG!
As for me, I spent my childhood wishing it away. You see, I was waiting for the day that I would become an adult, married with children. I had no use for being a child and I literally counted the days until I was out of high school! I can now say, at the age of 28 years old, I have achieved the dreams I had as a child. What I didn't realize however was considering how young I am, I still have a lot of life left to live, and I was forced to do some soul searching to figure out how to spend the next phase of my life! This is the time of my life where I realized that "fate" was a household name for "God". This was the time I realized that GOD leads my life and I simply follow the path he is paving for me. It is an amazing feeling to know I am in such good hands and though I do have decisions to make along the way, the dynamic of these decisions has shifted and I am finding much more meaning to life. I am so grateful to have found these things out when I am young enough to see that my whole future is ahead of me, and my children are young enough for me to mold in a way that I can be proud of!
Well, I think I am off to a good start in the blogging world, be assured that I will return to add to my story!