Thursday, October 29, 2009

Almost Famous

Jake was in the local paper today. He is involved in a research group that does testing of new drugs and vaccines. The actual paper had two pictures of him and one showed his face, but here is a copy of the photo from online and a link to the story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And the Blue Ribbon Goes To...

Linda! That's right, Linda won first prize for having the most creative pumpkin at her school. Sniff, sniff, I am so proud. What an accomplishment for her (and mommy), all of our hard work paid off. Here is a picture of her holding her pumpkin with her blue ribbon, and the school t-shirt she won.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Jamie and Linda had a pumpkin contest at their school. They were not allowed to carve them, so we had to paint them. They came out so good that I had to post the pics. Jake and Jamie did the mummy, Linda and I did the Cheshire Cat.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hop A Long Stephanie

Well it's official, my knee is dislocated. I went to the doctor today for x-rays. They were able to kind of get it back into place and I have a brace that goes from my hip, to my shin that immobilizes my leg. I also have crutches for at least the next two weeks (just what every mom needs). I go back in two weeks and if there is not signifigant improvement then I will be referred for surgery. Sheesh. What a rough past couple of years. Also it is my right leg which poses a problem for driving. Sheesh.

In other events, Kimmie and I had to go bail Maggie out of the slammer today. For those of you that don't know, Maggie is our very hefty, very old, but very sweet beagle. Linda left the gate open and Maggie got out and was picked up by animal control. $80 later, Maggie is home safe. When I called the pound to see if they had her they told me they had a beagle that was described as "very, very friendly, and very, very fat. Yep, that sounds like her. So she is back home, but sheesh how expensive for a few hours in the slammer. Oh, and Noah broke a mirror today so I am afraid of what that will cost me. Hopefully because he's a baby, the bad luck clause does not apply.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Take a knee

Ok, here is the background for the following story. My SIL Dianne has been really working hard at getting into shape. Now seeing as she was perfectly thin to begin with, I kind of felt a little ashamed at my own shape seeing as how I am not perfectly thin. So with daily encouragement from her, I have been trying to work out more and be more athletic. One of the ways I have been working out with is a dancing video that teached you all of these really cool dances. Linda loves this and her and I would don various exercise outfits and work out together. Another way has been to walk to pick up Jamie and Linda instead of drive which is about a mile and a half uphill one way pushing twins in a stroller. Well this weekend we decided to have a family outing and go bike riding. We have a trailer for the babies so we put them in their coats, covered them with their blankies, gave them a sippie cup of juice and off we went. We biked from my house which is on the north end of town, to Jakes aunt's house on the south side of town, stopping at the cemetary to visit Mason and my Aunt Jill's headstone. This was quite a long ways. We were on our way back when my legs began to get tired. Jake and I got off of our bikes and were walking and pushing them for awhile. The pedal of my bike came up and hit me in the back of the leg and somehow that made me react funny and my knee completely bent all the way forward and then twisted to the side. I started trying not to scream and Jake pulled up my pant leg to look and wahlah! There was my knee cap, not on the front of my leg where it should be, but laying more on the side of my leg. The pain really hit then and I hit the ground. When I landed my knee cap kind of popped back into place, which hurt even more. So right there in front of all of my children I cried. I figure better to cry than cuss right? Well now we are in a pickle because I can't walk on it, and we are still a few miles from home. We finally called my uncle who came to pick me up and drive me home. At this point my knew is swelled up about 10 times its normal size. We called the doctor because I am too cheap to pay out of pocket for an ER visit. I go tomorrow for an MRI and I am seriously hoping it is just a sprain and not anything requiring surgery, but I doubt it given the fact at how swollen it still is. It is really hard to be a mom on crutches right now.

In other news I have some pictures to share. One is of a picture Jamie colored with watercolor. I thought it was a very awesome picture of a cow for being in watercolor and I am very proud of it. Another is one of my dad with the babies. He came into town last weekend by himself and took this picture to send to my mom and make her jealous. The third is one of Noah with a saber. My mom bought it in Muldova for Jake and Jake let Noah hold it and the resulting smile is probably the most ornery look I have ever seen Noah do. I hope you enjoy them, I will update on my knee after my appointment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Walking on Sunshine

The babies have been getting closer and closer to walking. They are pulling themselves up and climbing on everything, as well as furniture cruising. Today I got a box in the mail from Aunt Dianne and Uncle Jeremiah. We love getting those boxes, they are always full of goodies. This one was not to disappoint. There was sippy cups that Zach loves for the babies to try, a movie for Jamie and Linda, little army trucks for Mason's headstone (Thank you Jeremy, you have no idea what that means to us) and the babies' birthday present early. The cool thing about having a cousin just a few months older is getting to hear about all of the neat gadgets and toys that he loves. Their birthday present is a set of Walking Wings. If you have not heard about these, they are really awesome tools to help your baby walk without breaking your back. They have worked great for Zack so I can't wait until Jake gets home to try them with the babies.

On another note, the babies are getting older and formula will soon be a thing of the past. I worried for poor Mina because the only thing that has helped with her chronic constipation is some Soy formula in every bottle. I have been mixing half soy and half regular. Aunt Dianne suggested that I try soy milk in her sippy cup. I bought the Very Vanilla Silk which is Zach's favorite and tried it out. The babies love it and it worked like a champ. I am loving the fact that it is much, much cheaper than the soy formula. Aunt Dianne, you rock!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hand me Downs

A few posts ago I wrote about the cyst Noah has on his hand. I guess it is extremely rare to see this type of cyst on a baby. I recently discovered that my grandma has a cyst in the exact same spot on her hand. Weird how genetics work. Anyways, when we took him to the doctor a few months ago, the plan was to leave it alone until he was older unless it kept growing, or seemed to be bothering him. Unfortunatly, it has grown, and does seem to be bothering him. I am worried because if we try to remove it, it will involve him being put to sleep since a baby is not likely to sit still while it is done. However, he has started to keep that hand curled in a fist when he is crawling, and he flinches if you touch it. I will be taking him back to the doctor for a consult. I hope we can avoid surgery, but it needs to be taken care of.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin...Patch That Is.

This Saturday we made a family trip to the pumpkin patch. It was so much fun. There was so much to do there. There was rip lines, a giant slide, gourd sling shots, hay stacks to jump in, tricycle races, a petting zoo, and the coolest of them all, a pumpkin cannon. The pumpkin cannon launched the pumpkins amazingly high until they were just little black dots in the sky. Mike, Jake, and Jamie really thought they were awesome. It was really the babies first time out in the cold, but they had fun. I have a lot of pictures so this will be a long blog, but they are too cute not too share.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Adventures at the DAV

I had to go into the city recently and while I was there I decided to stop by the DAV. I have a hard fast rule that I won't buy anything from the DAV unless it looks brand new, and is completely modern. That being said, some of Linda's cutest jeans came from the DAV. I was not to be disappointed this time. I took all four kids by myself. Since Jake has not been getting home until after the kids are in bed, and has been working weekends I have been learning what it can feel like to be a single parent. It is not so bad, I push the babies, and Jamie and Linda take turns pushing the cart of groceries/other goods. Anyways, I found several things for Linda and Noah, but it was slim pickings for Jamie and Mina. However, while we were there we found rack after rack of Halloween costumes. There was a huge selection! That was not what we went there for, but Jamie and Linda soon found costumes they loved and begged for. Linda found a Barbie costume from the Pegasus movie and Jamie found an awesome Harry Potter costume. I also found a motorcycle jacket for Jamie to go with his leather gloves and his chopper bike. I can't wait to get pictures of him in it. This will be the least expensive Halloween ever! Noah is going to be a caterpillar courtesy of Jeremiah and Dianne and Mina is going to be a ladybug courtesy of Kimmie and Jordan. That means costumes this year for four kids cost me..wait for it...eight dollars! Woohoo, somewhere my pocket book is celebrating,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Down with the Sickness

I wanted to give an update for those that were wondering how our household is doing since our brush with H1N1. James and Linda seem completely better and none the worse for wear. It truthfully was not as bad as I was afraid it would be giving all of the hype on the news. I think because we caught it early and began medical treatment right away, it was much milder than it could of been. They both had a very high fever and fatigue, but that was about it. There was a cough, but it was no worse than a cough that comes with a cold is. So far the rest of the house has been ok. Mina has a slight runny nose, but that is all. I think the rest of us taking preventative anti-virals really helped as well.

In other updates, Jake has been working 12-13 hour days and every weekend. However he thinks he will get off early this Saturday and I am really hoping so because we are planning on taking our family trip to the pumpkin patch. The kids are really excited because there are a lot more things to do than just pick pumpkins. It has been really hard not having Jake around much, but the money will be so nice to help us get caught up on bills an get started on Christmas shopping. Because it is a popular study, every hour over 40 is more than double time. It is like double his pay, plus an extra $4 per hour. We can really use it, especially with Christmas coming up. It has been hard on the babies though becaue they look forward to Daddy getting home and everyday they seem him, the excitement is like they haven't seen him in months.

Speaking of Christmas, the plan for aunts, uncles, and cousins is to do a DVD exchange. If you live local and want to get a DVD for all of the kids-just one for all to share, then we will buy a DVD for your family as well. If you are not local, just buy one from us and we will do the same. This way everybody is on an even spending field. That is all we want to do. That is what wee want for our family so please respect it. We have done this in past years with certain family members and it has worked out well. It is a money saver for everyone. For example, Dianne and Jeremiah will buy one DVD to their family from us, and we will buy one DVD for our family from them. This is financially easiest. Especially since there are so many kids in the family now. Jake and I alone have six nieces and nephews to buy for. This keeps costs down and makes sure noone goes broke. If you think you can't follow this, talk to me about it, but we are very firm on the fact that this is what we want.

That is enough updates for now. I will post pics of the pumpkin patch after Saturday.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Letter to myself

I was so disappointed in myself for the short letter that I wrote to myself as a senior that I have decided to write another letter to myself with advise for me in 10 more years.

Dear Self,
It has been another 10 years. You are now in your late 30’s. Whoa, that seems like a long ways away. I bet it flew by just like the 10 years since high school did. There are some important things I want to say.
*I hope you and Jake are still just as happy as you were when I wrote this. By now you will have been together for 22 years. Remember that he is your soul mate and treat him as the other half of you. Try to be patient, passionate, gentle and kind. Try to encourage him and lift him up. Make sure that you are taking time for each other and keep doing new things to keep the adventures going. You know he is a kid at heart and that is what makes him so endearing. Remember that the next time he had decided he can’t live without a remote control helicopter, or new video game system. Encourage that, it will keep you young as well. Remember what you have been through together and how that has cemented your heart to his.

* James and Linda are now 18 years old. You work with them is almost over. Try to remember to let them make their own mistakes, but be there to pick them up when they fall. Hopefully they will remember what you have taught them. Try to encourage making good choices for their future, but remembering, you cannot force your choices on them. Do not be hurt if they become more and more curious about their birth family. You were once like that yourself. Be honest about their past, but try not to paint their birth family in a hard light. Give them all of the information you have, including the pictures and letter from their birth mother and allowing them to discover the truth for themselves. Be there for them if they end up getting hurt and try not to say, "I told you so." Allow them to go out into the real world with poise and confidence. Remember, a wise man said that your job as a parent is to send your children out into the world as Christians with as little emotional baggage as possible. By now, they may be in a serious relationship. Remember that even if you don’t like the person they choose to be with, it is their choice. Bite your tongue until it bleeds if you have to. No good will come from being critical of their partner. All you will do is drive them away if you do not welcome their partner with open arms and treat them as though they are loved and welcome. Remember their choices for housing, or parenting may not be yours, but you have no right to be critical. You have not walked a mile in their shoes and have no room to judge. The most important thing is whether or not they make James and Linda happy, if they do, butt out. It sounds harsh, but I promise you it will be rewarding in the end. Remember not to be offended or judgmental if they don’t spend as much time with you as you would like. You did not raise their partners; they have to learn to love you. Make your house as warm and inviting as possible to foster such feelings. If they don’t spend every holiday with you, remember that their partner also brings their own traditions and family into the mix. They will also start their own family traditions as they age. Just be loving and encouraging, and most important, don’t assume you know what is best for them. If they ask you for something, or need something and it is reasonable try to do it.

*Noah and Mina are now close to 10 years old. They are no longer children, they are tweens. Try to remember that they are growing up and allow them the freedom to explore their world. Remember to treat them as two separate people with two separate interests. Try not to smother them because they are your youngest. Try to raise them to be independent, but to always know that you are there for them. Remember to make lots of memories. A nap on a Sunday is less important than a family activity that will create life long feelings of love and security. Try not to make rules just to make rules. If you have to make a rule they feel is unfair explain your position to them. Reach a compromise if possible, but stand your ground if it is not. Chances are if they know the reason behind a rule, they will be much less resentful and rebellious. Teach them the value of an education. Reward them for hard work in school just as you are rewarded with raises in the real world for a job well done. Make sure you attend church even if you are tired. Those Sunday morning lessons will stay with them for life.
*Most importantly, remember to love. Remember to control your tongue. The tongue is the most vicious weapon according to the Bible. Keep trying to befriend people even if it is hard and humiliating, however, remember to reach a stopping point long before you get hurt. Put your all into it, but recognize that you cannot win everybody. Your ability to keep trying is one quality that people love about you. However, there is no need to lay awake at night worrying about the people you can’t win. Life is too short to be unpeaceful.
Remember to have fun and enjoy life!

These are just a few points. I am sure I will edit and add to this periodically. It will be a living document, but one that I am sure I will appreciate through any situation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We're Gonna Party Like It's 1999!

This weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. I didn't think we would be able to make it with Jamie and Linda being sick, but they were symptom free for 48 hours so we were able to go. We had an absolute blast! The time just flew by. It was held at a banquet hall in Wichita. The walls were decorated with old cheerleading and sports uniforms and our senior t-shirts. One of our teachers brought videos and pictures of our senior years, and a couple of people made a slide show of old pictures. There was a video of proms and lots of pictures. It was really neat because Jake and I were together in high school so we got to see lots of pictures of us as a couple from back in the day. They gave little mini trophies for things like most changed, least changed, most interesting career, and the most kids-which I tied for with one other classmate. Our senior english teacher had made us write letters to ourselves to be opened at our reunion. It was very interesting to see what I had written, although I am a little disappointed in myself for making it so short. All in all it was a great time with good food, good friends, and good memories. Here are some pictures of the night. I can't take credit for the pictures, one of my classmates took them. She did a great job, thanks Julie!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mason's Story-The Aftermath Part 1

I am going to continue with Mason's Story. Mainly because my journey did not end with his death. There was still a funeral to plan, and healing to be had. There is still healing to be had. I have found that by writing this blog and hearing others say it helped them through their loss has proved to be great therapy.

Mason Landon Shaw was born and died on November 19th 2007. We had one hour and 45 minutes with him before his heart stopped beating. How do fit a lifetime of love into one hour and 45 minutes? When his heart stopped beating, the nurses took him away and the greatest loneliness and pain I have ever felt in my life set in. As I lay in the hospital bed that night it felt so overwhelming, and so unreal at the same time. When morning came I begged them to release me. They were not ready to, but I couldn't stay on the maternity ward any longer. Every baby cry felt like it made the hole in my heart even bigger.

I came home, but could not rest. I had to be at the funeral home in a few hours to plan my baby's funeral. My grandparents offered to pay for the funeral. I was so relieved. We had not planned on having to pay for a funeral. We got to the funeral home and sat there not knowing what to expect. My parents. grandparents, and pastor were there as well. The director said that my pastor did not want payment for his services and I remember feeling relief. The director said we needed to pick out a casket. She brought out a catalog full of little tiny caskets. I don't know how I did it, it seemed like someone else had taken over my body and was guiding me. We picked out a small opal white casket called The Loved and Cherished casket. As a comfort to the family it came with a small teddy bear that has a tag around it's neck that said "Loved and Cherished". I still have it to this day. It is in a memory box that we have for Mason. A man from our church made it for us and it is beautiful.

I was asked if I had any bible verses in mind to be used for the funeral. My mind was not working properly, but the story of David in 2 Samual kept popping into my head. You see God was to take David's first born as punishment for his sin with Bathsheba. When his son lay dying, David fasted and wept and pleaded with God for the life of his child. This hit so close to home. So many people prayed and pleaded with God for the life of Mason. We prayed for a miracle for seven days and David prayed for seven days. When the child died, David did something they thought odd. He got up, bathed, changed his clothes, went to worship and he ate. The servants were baffled. He worshipped because he knew his son was in Heaven. Grief is not the end of living. He knew he had the promise that he would be reunited with his son again. Death is a defeated enemy. This hit so close to home. There is a song that meant so much to me during this time. At first it was because the lyrics reminded me of our situation, later in the story you will see it is because it taught me how to heal. I am posting the lyrics here.

Praise You In This Storm-Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
and wiped our tears away..
Stepped in and saved the day.

But once again,
I say Amen,
and it's still raining.

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear
you whisper through the rain....

I am with you.
And as your mercy flows
I raise my head and praise the God who gives,
......and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands.
That you are who you are,
no matter where I am.
And every tear I cry,
you hold in your hand.
You never left my side,
and though my heart is torn,
I will praise you in this storm.

I remember when,
I stumbled in the wind.
You heard my crying,
and raised me up again.
But my strength is almost gone,
how can I carry on
If I can't find you?

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear
you whisper through the rain....
I am with you.

And as your mercy flows
I raise my head and praise the God who gives,
......and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands.
That you are who you are,
no matter where I am.
And every tear I cry,
you hold in your hand.
You never left my side,
and though my heart is torn,
I will praise you in this storm.

Typing the lyrics do not do the song justice. If you want to experiance the full power of the song I would encourage you to look it up on Youtube.

We then went to the cemetary to pick out a plot for Mason. There is a cemetary in a nearby city that offers free plots for babies, but we couldn't stand to have him that far away. I know it sounds crazy because it is just his body, not his soul, but you have to realize that this was all I got to do for him as his mother and I just wanted him near me. We found a plot in our town. It is right along the fence line so we can drive by and see it from the road. My grandparents loaned us the money and we purchased plots for Jake and I right next to his. We did not purchase plots for James and Linda because they will be married and it will be their spouses choice where they are buried. I had never imagined holding the deed to my own cemetary plot at 26 years old. At this point I am exhausted. I was still losing a lot of blood and had just given birth less than 24 hours ago. Percacet is the only thing keeping me going at this point. My mother offered to take care of the flowers and I gratefully let her. I went home to rest in Jake's arms and with the painpills I let sleep overtake me.

I will contimue this story in later posts. For now I am going to post a picture of Mason. I am kind of hesitant to do this because he is so beautiful to me, but for others, he does not look like a normal baby. You need to keep in mind that he was 18 weeks early. His eyes were not opened yet and he weighed only about a pound. He is bruised from his breech birth, but still he is my son and beautiful in my eyes. The teddy bear he is holding was less that two inches tall if that gives you any idea of his size. The NICU gave it to us. The outfit he is wearing was also given to us by the NICU as it was the only thing we had that could fit him. Even doll clothes were too large for his tiny frame. He was just so little.

Mason Landon Shaw

Thursday, October 8, 2009

H1N1 is the loneliest number....

Now Linda has the dreaded virus. We were all started on anti-virals so it seems to be much milder with her than with Jamie. Her fever never got over 101 degrees while Jamie's hit 104. She is now in quarantine as well. She has her toys, gameboy, and the portable DVD player. I feel so bad for them, so several times each day I don my mask and bring them special treats like suckers, popsicles, lemonade, halloween candy, cookies, ect. They are probably going to come out of this illness much chunkier than they went in, but it's ok, it will not hurt either one of them to gain a few.

The reason all of the precautions are necessary is because the dreaded Swine Flu is mostly a young persons illness. It primarily only becomes serious in the young. Infants under 2 are especially vulnerable and the babies being premature are even more so. They are taking anti-virals, but an ounce of prevention so they say. They are not allowed back at school before next week so that is a long time to be cooped up. However, since Jamie has the VCR, Jake went down and found a bunch of cool movies on VHS that we had forgotten about. Jamie has been watching DragonBall Z, Star Wars, Shrek, Ducktales, Chip and Dale, and many other movies he had never seen before due to the invention of the DVD. He loves the newer Star Wars and Shrek's, but we don't have the original on DVD so he had not watched them in years if ever. Linda is watching all of her favorite movies on the portable DVD player so she is thrilled to get to watch all of her Barbie movies without having to hear about it from Jamie.

Christmas is looming just around the corner. We are trying to come up with idea that don't cost as much since in this economy money is tight for everyone. We have two TVs around here that are not in use. I think for one of their presents, we will call Cox and get cable hooked up in their room and give them the TVs for Christmas. That is a huge present, I would have been thrilled to have a TV in my room growing up. I didn't have my own TV until I was 19 and bought my first place. Jamie has been jealous of Linda's CD player, so I think he will get one too. Then we wil lprobably buy movies, CDs, and clothes. Maybe just a few toys. I know we need to go put stuff on layaway soon.

I have been so busy playing nurse that I haven't taken very much pictures lately. I do have two adorable pics Kimmie took of Mina. The first is of Mina grinning because Kimmie was here, and the second is Mina sad because she is leaving. I am also posting two flashback pics of the kiddos when they were little that Becky edited and I thought canme our really cute.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do not cast your pearls before H1N1

I know, it does not have the same ring as Swine Flu. Still, that being said it has come to our house. Jamie began running a 104 degree fever out of nowhere last night. I took him to the doctor today and he tested positive for the flu. They are 99% positive it is H1N1. The CDC is not allowing for tests to be sent in due to the fact that they are overflowing. That being said, given that flu season hasn't even started yet, and Jamie's age, they are positive he has the dreaded Swine Flu. So poor Jamie is in quarantine. Per doctor's orders, he has to wear a mask when he comes out of his room, and we have to wear one to go in. Our house permanently reeks of Lysol and hand sanitizer now. The rest of us were also started on an anti-viral to help prevent the spread of the illness. We are all fine for now, but we are very concerned for the babies. What a scary season this flu season has turned out to be already. Oh and poor Jamie was so excited because he was getting baptized this weekend and now that has had to be postponed. I am bummed because my mom and sister were going to come down and now that will have to wait as well. However, Jake hooked up a TV, VCR, and Sega Genesis in Jamie's room so right now he is in hog heaven if you pardon the expression. Here is a pic of Jake sporting the latest fashion accesory at our house.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Going Private

Well Blog readers it is finally going to happen. My blog is going private. It's a long story, but mostly I am tired of drama and by taking it private, I can eliminate a lot of it. I will send e-mails out with the password shortly. If you read this and I don't have your e-mail, please send me a message and I will get it out to you. I think this will be a good thing. For one thing, I won't have to censor what I write anymore. I can be totally honest and open. For another, my blog will no longer be able to be used to make drama and unwanted phone calls for others. I had thought about taking it private before, but I left it open for two reasons. One, I didn't feel like I should have to censor myself. Two, I was having compassion for those that do not get to see our family. I felt that at least I would post pictures so that they could at least see our family in pictures and how everyone is growing. But as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. I have finally been pushed beyond the point of caring. Must be that holier than thou, hypocrite side of me, or so I am told. I will leave this post up for awhile to give readers time to send me messages. To those of you with passwords, see you on the other side!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

An Update on Me

My doctor called and the pathology results are in from my D&C. No cancer! Woohoo! I guess he was genuinely concerned about that because none of the tumors or black spots were there when he did my c-section 10 months ago. They had grown that fast. Yikes. The plan now is to wait about a month, and if nothing has changed, than we will have to do a hysterectomy. He is trying to wait on it because he does not want to put my body through the trauma of another surgery so soon. It would be my fifth one since November 2007. All related to reproductive parts. I know many of you can understand since many of you have undergone the same procedures due to IC. However, I must admit that my quality of life will improve once I have had the hysterectomy and will no longer have to deal with this. I truthfully am ready for it to be over.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Two Guys and a Girl (Updates that is)

Jake had his scope today. They put him under and put a scope down his throat into his stomach. They found out he has a disease of the stomach called Gastritis with a possible HP bacteria. Basically the lining of his stomach has been eaten away and all of the blood is caused by acid eating away at the unprotected part of his stomach. It is very treatable with antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and lifestyle changes. There are several things that can trigger it, stress being on of them. Also he needs to go easy on things such as chocolate, caffeine, and spicy foods. We are so glad they finally figured out what is going on.

Right before his scope, Noah caused a little stress. The storm woke him up last night and so I was rocking him in the recliner. I was holding his little hand when I noticed a very hard lump on the palm of his hand right below the lowest joint of his middle finger. It was about the size of a large pea. I knew it wasn't there earlier that day. I yelled at Jake to come feel it and we were both perplexed. He didn't act like he was in any pain, but the only thing I could think of was that he had somehow broken his hand and the bone was sticking up. Even Jake thought that might be the case. I laid awake all night worrying about it. This morning I dropped Jake off at the hospital and took Noah to the doctor. It turns out it is a Ganglian (sp?) Cyst. The doctor said he had never seen one on anybody so young. Jake has had several, but never on his hand. (I blame it on jake's genetics). The doctor was kind of torn on what to do about it. Any method of removal would mean sedation and pain for Noah. In the end we have just decided to watch it and as long as it doesn't get any bigger, or cause him pain we will just let it be until he is older. If it does grow, or begin to bother him than we will have to take him to a hand surgeon.

In other news I have to brag. I am so proud of Linda. She had all green days the whole month of September! That means she stayed on task and didn't get into any trouble the entire month. For anybody that knows the struggles we have gone through that is a huge accomplishment. Yay Linda! You go girl! Tomorrow she is in a play at school of Stone Soup and we are going to be right there to cheer her on. I can't wait.