Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Water is finally in!!!

As some of you know that follow my crazy life on my blog, we have been working on our backyard and a pool. We designed everything and have been working on getting it all done, doing some of the work ourselves for about a year now. I am so excited to announce that there is water in the pool and we had all the kids over at Easter to swim. The weather couldn't have been nicer at a warm 90 degrees and we barbecued ribs and I also made a roast. My mom was still down and she made her famous Macaroni and cheese. We added a salad and fruit and that was our Easter dinner. I told Randy that I was living out a dream I have had for so long. Enjoying all the kids together, playing in the pool, laughing we had such a great time. I made sangria with all the fresh oranges and lemons I had. It went over very well, my adult kids had never had it before. We aren't really big drinkers, I never had any alcohol in the house at all while the kids were growing up. Now I will have a glass of wine or sangria, usually with Marta! I guess we have never needed it to have a good time and I am glad about that, especially now, in light of Jennifers crash. What a wonderful day we had, although Jennifer was not up to the pool she loved watching all the kids playing, dyeing eggs and then hunting them. We bought Nathan a swimsuit that has floaty things sewn right in so we didnt' worry about him drowning, although he was under close watch at all times. He would just step off the steps and he traveled all over that pool by petalling his little legs like he was riding his bike, it was so funny!!! So much to be thankful for, we are blessed to have such a close family! Pictures of our new pool, yard and Easter!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Life drawing

I managed to get out last week with Marta and Dawn for the museum's life drawing class. When we arrived there was a note on the door saying that it had been canceled. We were all so disappointed and as we walked down there stairs to leave the model came up to us and said "I am here but they told me that it was too late, they canceled". We convinced them to let us go in and have class and so we all got to draw. This model was new to us, and I think he was new to modeling since he asked us how he should pose and how long etc. It was really weird because he didn't really know how to pose, trying to hold his arms above his head for 20 minutes, I think he needed the money. It went ok and others soon joined us. It was great to draw but meeting before hand for sangria and tapas and just visiting with each other was the best.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just needed to vent

Its 3:30am, another restless night as I lay in bed, in the dark praying for wisdom. The tears seem to run down my cheeks and wet my pillow once again. I thought after all these years I had cried out all the tears and I was just working on moving forward. Seems as though moving forward is harder and harder. I don't wake my tired, overworked husband who was in his own pain tonight as he fell into bed. I feel as though I am left to make these major decisions on my own, often wrestling with the options and God night after night looking for the answers. I wonder how many others are out there doing the same thing, I know I can't be alone, not really.

Jennifer, my daughter, had her surgery and is struggling to recover. Tomorrow, or really today, I need to get her into see someone since she sounds like her lungs are becoming more and more congested . She has such a hard time recovering from surgery, even these short 1 hour procedures. We have tried to avoid all unnecessary surgery for this reason. I am now forced into making another decision about more surgery, when will it stop! She has just been through so much and the thought of more pain and long recovery times just makes me crazy. The tears just don't stop as I am forced to weight the risks, consequence's and options. And who am I?! I am not a doctor, or a specialist nor do I have any special degrees in the way our bodies and brains work. Yet it will be me who eventually decides what to do with her leg. Oh, don't get me wrong, I will have consulted all the top doctors in the field, as I already have. I will talk it over with Randy and Jennifer, but it will fall again onto me to finally make the decision. Sometimes, that responsibility weighs so heavy I don't know how long I can bear it. Its one thing to make my own medical decisions but its entirely different choosing for my children, no matter what age. The "what if's" are so frightening and the thought of having something really bad happen because of a bad decision I might make would be unforgivable. I find that the doctors offer little help these days. They just really don't know, she is so complicated and they are so over specialized. They can't see the forest for the trees as they say. The surgeons want to do surgery, the prothetists want to make braces, others want to add more drugs, all in attempt to compensate for this misfiring brain which is causing her one remaining foot to be almost unusable. The last surgery she had on the foot was for tendon lengthening so that she could hopefully stand and walk. The surgeon put on a full leg cast and what was supposed to be a 5 day hospital stay turned into a 22 day nightmare. More surgery, infections, a nursing home because they felt I wasn't qualified to care for her injuries! It was a day and night vidual until I had to break her out of the hospitals so I could take her home to let her recover. In the hospital she developed a wound on her heel which took me 27 months of wound care to get cleared up and almost 3 years to finally get a shoe onto and they all wonder why I don't want more surgery! This burden is so heavy some days, what do I do!? I try so hard to stay positive and keep that flicker of hope burning but the more time that passes the harder it gets. Jennifer is so trusting and so full of hope. Every time someone offers her their ideas for a "fix" and tells her this will work she is all for it, thinking this time it will really solve the problem. I think, because of her brain injury she has some long term reasoning issues which is very common in brain injuries. So she doesn't really concider the ramifications of things not going well only that it is going to "fix" the problem. I spend alot of time trying to walk her through the long term issues of decision making with me but again, the decision will fall on my shoulders.
We continue to react to her conditions in an attempt to give her a better quality of life....... but is it? All this and more because someone decided to drink and drive!
I guess I sound like I am just having a huge pity party, I don't know, maybe I am. Sometimes it helps to just get it out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Easter Card Exchanges

I am in the middle of doing a few Easter Cards for some exchanges on WC and Watercolor Haven. I need to paint something this weekend to swap with someone that signed up late so that everyone gets a card. I have done two, limited color palette and experimented with masking fluid. I am thinking of printing one of them for my cards although I already did the one with the baby ducks and eggs. I love all the spring colors!
We are getting ready to go to UCLA again for surgery. Jenn's breathing is getting very labored so we are going to do it again. I posted our trip last time and you can view it here. I hope that its better this time and lasts longer!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Cantor Museum

I so appreciate all the wonderful support I have gotten from all my blogging friends. You all are so special to take the time to leave comments. It really means alot to me! While I was at my sisters we managed to go to the Art Museum at Stanford University. She lives in Los Altos which is really close to the University and we were looking for distractions. The museum was filled with so many wonderful pieces. I took some pictures I wanted to share, and one of my sister standing on the front steps.
The horse is a bronze sculpture made to look as though they put it together out of driftwood. It was amazing and one of my favorite pieces. This guy was upstairs in the contemporary area, he had his back to us as we entered the room. A nice example of the male physique!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My trip

Our family got the sad and shocking news that my sister had breast cancer during the holidays. She has been going through tests and biopsies to try and better understand the whole breast cancer word! At first we were all so scared and upset but the more we talk to the doctors and other survivors there is a hope that takes root and starts to grow. In an effort to continue the hope my family has tried to be there as a support for her during this hard time. My mom has been with her mostly, then my youngest brother who lives the closest to her. Last week I went up to go to the doctors with her and just to spend some much over due time together as sister's. We had such a wonderful visit, and although I didn't sketch or paint much my days were filled with the colors of our relationship. I really loved every minute. Today my other brother flew up to go to yet another doctors appointment with her.

One late afternoon as I was sipping my tea and sitting outside I decided I would sketch the tree in her backyard. Its not anything special but I noticed it was sitting dormant, waiting for the spring warmth and the sun to allow it to burst forth in bloom. I am hoping the same for my sister, that this will only be a short season in her life and that she will be able to burst forth out of this time of fear and saddness. The other drawing is of a man in the airport waiting for my plane home. The only two things I had time to do yet I filled every minute!

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