7.28.2010

Get down girl, go 'head get down

Elle, like her mama, enjoys singing while in the car.

Today, her repertoire included "Wheels On the Bus," "You Are My Sunshine," and some others before I heard her as,

"Mommy can we sing the get down girl, go 'head get down song?"

Good think this Mama knows the music that is played in he car.

The "get down girl, go 'head get down" is in fact "Gold Digga" from Glee.

Thank you Glee.


7.27.2010

Coming to terms with the "Home" front

For almost 6 months we have had our house on the market.

We have had zero offers on our house.

Today the realization hit me that maybe God doesn't want us to go somewhere else...maybe.

If that's the case or not, I should start preparing myself to stay here if that's God's will.

It has been a good first home for Kyle and I .



If you know if anyone looking...send them our way.

7.26.2010

3-Day

I know you've been waiting for this. Well maybe not but here it is anyway.


You have all been so great with monetary support. If you are in town and would like to provide verbal support or childcare support for deal Kyle or candy support for the 3-Day Buffet :) please come.

Before the Event

Getting ready for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ is a big job. Here are some ways to support me before the big day arrives.

Write a letter expressing your love and support, which Susan G. Komen will deliver to me during the event.

Send letters to:

3-Day for the Cure

ATTN: Eryn Stennes

P.O. Box 25617

Woodbury, MN 55125

Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than August 10 in order to ensure delivery at the Komen 3-Day for the Cure Camp Post Office. Please note: This address is not the actual location of camp, but a PO Box for mail delivery only. Any mail that is not received by the 3-Day for the Cure by the date above or retrieved by the participant by September 5 will be destroyed.

Organize a group to host your very own private cheering station. (Contact kriebe@event360.com for more information.)

Organize a group of Camp Angels to assist participants with setting up and striking tents and unloading gear. (Contact jrau@event360.com for more information.)

Help raise money. Ask your participant how you can get involved in her/his fundraising plan. Team Fight For Betty Boop still has members trying to reach the minimum goal. If you are able to give, please visit Team Fight For Betty Boop to help the team.

Join your participant on a training walk.

Join me for Opening Ceremony

The Komen 3-Day for the Cure begins early Friday morning with the Opening Ceremony. When you arrive, take a moment to write the names of the people in your life who have lost their lives to breast cancer on the white ribbons we will provide. Those ribbons will be used to create a special memorial flag that will be raised during the ceremony.

This celebration is not just for participants. Friends and family are highly encouraged to attend, though please note that seating will not be available, so if you are unable to stand for 30-60 minutes, you may want to bring a folding chair. Please allow extra travel time due to expected traffic congestion at the site.

After the Opening Ceremony is over, participants will begin walking the 60-mile route and start a journey of a lifetime. It will be even more special if you are there to help send them off with smiles and encouragement. We'll also have the Shop3Day.com™ store on site if you'd like to purchase a souvenir for yourself or a participant.

Friday, August 20

Southdale Center

10 Southdale Center

Edina, MN 55435

Schedule for the Day:

7:00 a.m. - Opening Ceremony begins with community stretching.

Support me at a Cheering Stations

Public cheering stations are a great way to show your support along the route to encourage me and let us know that you are with us every step of the way. Seeing familiar faces cheering us on can provide that extra burst of energy that gets us to take that next step or go the next mile. Create banners, hold up signs, bring some music and make some noise - anything to make us smile, get energized and keep walking.

Cheering Station locations and times will be posted approximately 2 weeks prior to the event.

On some portions of the route you may find some areas that are deemed “quiet zones” which will be indicated by signage on the route. Please respect our neighborhoods and communities during this time

Show support While at Home

Capture the 3-Day for the Cure in the news: While walkers are taking steps to end breast cancer, save any media coverage of the 3-Day for the Cure. Aside from being a nice addition to 3-Day for the Cure memorabilia, it will show the impact on the community.

Engage the kids in the cause: Since holding down the fort may include taking care of the kids, you can make this time meaningful by connecting them with the breast cancer cause.

Have them create signs or decorations if they are able to go to a cheering station.

Have them create a welcome home banner.

Give them journals so they can write or draw what they’ve been doing for three days.

Have them plan a welcome home meal or put together a care package with goodies, movies, comfy slippers, etc.

Use this as an opportunity to talk to your kids about community, helping others and making a difference in the world.

Or come to Closing Ceremony

After three days and 60 miles, we will take a final and incredibly emotional victory walk into the Closing Ceremony. Friends, family and supporters should arrive at the Closing Ceremony site at least one hour early to get the best view of the program.

If you wish to meet me before the Ceremony begins, please meet me at the Closing Ceremony site.

Sunday, August 22 @ 4:30 p.m.

Minnesota State Capitol Grounds

109 Aurora Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55103

Friends and family are highly encouraged to attend, though please note that seating will not be available, so if you are unable to stand for 30-60 minutes, you may want to bring a folding chair.

And even After the Event

This is from the 3-Day site so don't think I'm making this up...

I will have participated in two emotional celebrations, a challenging 60-mile journey and a life-changing experience in just three days. Now, it’s time to go back home. Here are some tips on how to help make a smooth transition back to their daily routine.

"Have a welcome home meal prepared and make it an evening of rest and relaxation.

Encourage your participant to share the 3-Day for the Cure experience.

If you can’t attend the Closing Ceremony, be sure to ask how much money was raised!

Unpack, clean and put away gear.

Share the newspaper articles or news footage that you’ve collected over the weekend.

The following day, give your participant a massage or schedule a day of pampering at a spa. (I didn't make it up. THEY put it on there.)

In the days to come, help your participant write thank you notes.

Print pictures and assemble a scrapbook.

Get ready to do it all over again! Maybe you’ll be joining the 3-Day for the Cure in 2011!" We'll see how this year goes first. :)

Again, thank you for ALL the support you have shown thus far. It has helped me a GREAT deal!

Hope to see your smiling face cheering me on or get a helpful pick-me-up through the 3-Day mail.

7.24.2010

Flash Me Friday!- Favorite piece of furniture

FINE! I'll do it! I've finally succumbed to "Flash Me Friday!"

I got this from Elissa who got it from  Molly and Jen.  I've put off doing it and I think I'm finally caving.  It's just such a cute idea.


So this week, Flash Me Friday is.....Favorite piece of furniture.  (If you read the title of this post then this wasn't as dramatic).


My favorite piece of furniture is a MAJOR hand-me-down and has made some cameos in some pictures..





This rocking chair was in my house growing up and if I'm remembering correctly, it was around when my dad was young too!  It's been loved... a LOT.  So much so that the occupant in the chair must sit wisely in order to ensure they do not get a spring in the bum.  We love the chair and when me move will probably get it repaired and spruced up.  We will NEVER say goodbye to the chair.  Well, we will but only when we leave the earth. :)

American Girl Update

Elle finished her first American Girl book only a few days after we got it so I took a trip to the library today to get her some more.  We got 6 more "Meet" books (Meet Samantha, Meet Molly, etc.).  Kyle and I decided that Elle can save up for her doll.  If she has THAT much dedication to save up the money for an American Girl doll, then the girl can spend HER money on it.  She will get $1 for every American Girl book she reads.  25 cents for every chore she should do that she does all by herself.  Without prompting from Kyle or I.  If we have to ask her once, then she gets 10 cents.  If we have to ask her more than she's out of change.  At the end of the month (or week depending on how well she does), we empty out her piggy bank and divide up her money.  10% to church, 10% to savings, and the rest in her "spending" jar which is saving for her doll right now.  She is super excited.  She even cleared her own dishes from the dinner table tonight to get a quarter.  Kyle was about to clean them up and Elle said, "I'll put them in the sink."  25 cents!

She has over $20 she has saved over a random period of time so $16 toward her doll.  If she decides to go that route.  

That's what's up for now.

Oh, and less than a month until the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! YAY!

7.22.2010

Appointment with a Neurologist

This morning was my appointment with the neurologist.

Just as a refresher, the neurosurgeon I saw a couple weeks ago identified this:


as my hitchhiker.

The neurologist I spoke with today, identified this:


as my hitchhiker.


Soooooooo....

I'm not sure which it is and I will probably get another opinion.

That's all for now.

Thanks!

7.16.2010

One Big Happy

Tonight we were a family running around together.

Kyle and I talked about the American Girl deal today and decided, after some great advice from family and friends, to have Elle read some of the books then we would determine if we would consider a doll.  So, we made a trip to the book store.  When Elle was saying she wanted the purple doll she was referencing....

Felicity!

So we started with the "Meet Felicity" book.  Since we got Elle a book we had to get Gabe one too.  He picked...

Farm Tractors!  (The wheels actually spin).
We didn't realize until after we put him to bed, with the book, that we gave him a book and a toy.

Then they played in the play place for a little.  We got my chi tea latte and Kyle shared a banana split with the kids.  We even found sandals for Gabe after a very extensive search.  The kid's feet are huge and weird.

We got home and got the kids ready for bed.  Read Gabe his tractor book; which until then he thought was just a tractor, not a book.  

Read Elle one chapter in her Felicity book.  I was amazed that she didn't want me to stop.  We'll see how long that lasts for.

Kissed the kids goodnight and here we are.  Lounging in bed after a long week, and watching FRIENDS.

We have a Susan G. Komen, Team Fight For Betty Boop car wash fundraiser tomorrow, provided it doesn't rain.  And a 1-year-old birthday party for a daughter of a friend of ours.

Class as started up for me again and I have my neurologist appointment this week as well.

Just talking about all of this I'm tired.  Off to bed I go.

"It" has started

Yesterday on the way home from daycare Elle said she wanted the purple doll in the catalogue (yes, she even said catalogue).

Acting as a typical mom, I told her we'd think about it and maybe for Christmas or her birthday she can get it.

Little did I know the doll and catologue she was referring to was an American Girl catalogue.

It has begun.

I had mentally prepared myself for many things.  For some reason, THIS was not one of them.  I guess I just didn't think Elle would get in to them.  I have no idea why.

So, I am now preparing myself.  I went to the American Girl Online Store to take a look around.

$95 for a DOLL!


Don't get me wrong, she's cute and all but oh my WORD!  They even sell a hammock for her!
$38!


I don't even like paying $38 for my own clothes!

And how can you pass up her $295 camper.  Of course you have to have a camper for an doll that loves the outdoors.


 


Do they have an American Girl consignment shop? 

Thoughts...

So...
What are the thoughts on the GEEK Squad's new look?
Anyone?

7.14.2010

Mini Me

When I saw this picture, all I could think of was how much my little girl looks like me.
I'm in there somewhere and this is proof! 

7.12.2010

Hitchhiker "off the record"

My cousin was sweet enough to contact a neurosurgeon friend of hers to get as much information as she could about my lil hitchhiker.  In the process of this, her friend offered to take a look at my MRI images and go through them with us! How amazing is that!

So...the end of last week we scrambled to make it happen.

I spoke with my cousin Wednesday to see what she knew about my hitchhiker.  That night she called me back and told me her friend could see us any night after 5:30 or 6.

Thursday, I contacted Park Nicollet to see how long it would take to get the images.  I was shocked to find out I could get them that afternoon.

As soon as I had my images, I called my cousin to let her know we were on.

My cousin called me back.  We had a date for Friday at 4.  YAY!

So...this is what I found out..."off the record."

Here is my brain.

I have circled what the neurosurgeon identified as my hitchhiker.

As you can see it's small.  As long as it stays that way I shouldn't have any problems.  The two dark spots above the circle are pockets where spinal fluids drain to and from.  A problem would arise if my hitchhiker grows and restricts the pockets from draining.  Obviously, there is no problem right now.  His recommendation was to keep my appointment with the neurologist.  He said that if the neurologist sent me to a neurosurgeon I shouldn't say 'no' but that otherwise he would strongly suggest getting another MRI in a year to check on it.

My appointment with the neurologist is 7/22.  I can breath a bit until then.

So that's what I have for now.

As more information becomes available I'll be sure to update.

7.11.2010

A Cry of Relief

Tonight, the tears finally fell.

For almost two weeks I have been good…fine…okay with my lil hitchhiker.

When I’ve gotten the slightest bit teary eyed, I remind myself that this isn’t a big deal.  It’s nothing really.  I don’t have cancer.  This isn’t life threatening.  I’m good.  This doesn’t warrant a cry.  So I don’t cry.

Tonight…Tonight the tears won.

Tonight I cried singing at 3:14.

I love 3:14 (but that’s a different story).

I cried like a BABY.  I still didn’t want to cry.  I still don’t think my hitchhiker warrants a cry.  But I cried nonetheless. 

I don’t necessarily feel better but I don’t feel worse.  Crying didn’t hurt anything.

I was prayed over…and I cried.  And then I cried some more.

I feel less chaos about my hitchhiker…A slight relief.

Tonight, I had a cry of relief.

Thank you to my 3:14 family for helping me cry and letting me cry.

7.06.2010

Me and My Fat Head

A couple weeks ago I had a cough and that Friday night woke up at 2:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep.  I decided to take some Nyquil but accidentally took my cough syrup with codeine.  The next day I didn't get out of bed ALL DAY!  I was exhausted, obviously from the codeine, and had a massive headache.  The kind where it feels like your brain is floating in your head and if you move to fast it crashes into your skull and causes immense pain.

This excellent headache lasted ALL WEEK!

By Thursday I had enough. I called my PCP and asked if they could squeeze me in.  Sure enough they had the time.  YAY!

I explained to my Doc what had happened and assumed that because of the extra cough syrup with codeine that was probably why I had these headaches and overall just wondering if there was something I could do to get rid of them.  Doc explained that it sounded like a tension headache but due to the memory issues I was having wanted to order an MRI just in case.

I have never had an MRI and never seen a "real" MRI.  Only TV MRIs.

Anyway, I was able to get my MRI the next day, Friday.  Quick turn around huh?!  I was surprised.

So, Friday night, after work, my pal drops me off at Methodist, thanks Pal, and while we are driving there are some severe flashes of lighting.  This whole time, as the rain is pouring down and the lightning is flashing and the thunder is rolling, I'm thinking, this is all rather dramatic God.  Is this really necessary?  Chuckling to myself and His humor and how he knows how dramatic I am.  It was perfect.

The MRI went off without lighting hitting the MRI room and me obtaining superhero powers to attract or control metal objects...bummer.  The actual results of the MRI would follow in a couple business days.

Monday, my vacation began, I received a call from the doctor's office stating that some of the images were blurry so they needed me to come back in.  They rescheduled for Wednesday, 6/30.

Wednesday arrives and Mom is kind enough to watch the kids at home and let me steal her car for my appointment.  Thanks Mom.

I didn't have to wait too long but decided to allow the woman that was suppose to be after me to go first.  She was clearly dealing with cancer and EXTREMELY exhausted.  She had people there waiting for her.  My heart just went out to her and I thought, "I have nowhere to be, I'm not falling asleep in my chair, and I have no one waiting for me.  I can wait."  So I waited a bit longer.

The tech came out and asked me if I knew why I was there.  I have to say I thought this was a little weird but whatever.  Just like they ask you your date of birth when they are staring at your chart, maybe they need confirmation.  So I told her I was told that some of my images were blurry so they needed to retake some pictures.

Her response?

"Huh...okay," and then she exits the waiting room.

Awesome huh?!  So clearly if the fact that she asked me if I knew why I was there didn't get me thinking, her response definitely did.

She came back a few minutes later and said they were ready.  She stopped me in the exam room and clarified that I was not there because my images were blurry.  I was a perfect subject, despite tapping my toes as a way to restrain myself from the choreography in my head while listening to The Message XM radio station. TEE HEE!

No, my toe tapping was NOT the culprit of my return as I had imagined.  Rather, they had found something.

"To my knowledge they found a fat composite in your brain.  It's nothing to worry about.  They just want to take some more pictures to prove that's what it is.  To my knowledge that's all it is.  If you have any more questions you can speak with your doctor."

Now, to the poor girls credit, she did was she could.  She knew little and therefore could only give me little information.  She just told me I have a fat head but hey, I already knew that.  Anyone that knows me knows I'm a fat head (yes, let the fat head jokes ensue).

However, when some one is told something has been found in their brain other than brain, one tends to be a bit concerned.  She didn't seem to concerned about it so why should I.  But then I sat in an MRI for 20 minutes thinking about this thing in my head that they were taking pictures of.

What is this little hitchhiker?  Is this what is causing my headaches?  My inability to verbalize?  My lack of memory?  Is this the answer to a few of my many ailments?  Does it amount to nothing?  Does it amount to something?  Am I going to have to have brain surgery?  Good thing I didn't spend $60 getting my hair cut only to have them shave it off.

MRI is done and I maintained my composure.  I called Mom to let her know I was done, sorry for the delay, and I'm on my way.  Called Kyle and told him what I found out and teared up a bit.  I then informed him, "I'm stopping at Caribou and getting a Chi Tea Latte because that's what I want to do so that's what I'm doing.  And I just may cry."  (Chi Tea Lattes make everything better)

Kyle basically gave me permission to get my drink and cry but for some reason, I was like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday.  I couldn't muster the tears.  I wanted to but I couldn't

Anyway, I wouldn't really know for a couple days what was going on so why waste it now.  The evening continued with a BBQ and my brother's for his birthday and my stuck-in-Dallas father.  The evening was filled with fat head jokes. It's how we deal with stuff...humor.  It's good medicine.

Thursday passed with no word.

Friday morning passed with no word.  By Friday afternoon I couldn't stop myself from calling my doctor's office.

"She was gone yesterday but she'll take a look at it today and get back to you."  Thanks Nurse. (Nurses rock! Thank you all you Nurses! You really are amazing!)

Not more than 20 minutes later my doctor calls me.  My actual doctor.  That means it wasn't nothing.

She tells me she needs to send me to a neurologist because this is outside her area and that she has never seen this before.  She maybe a couple years older than me so her experience is a little limited.  She tried to do some research and couldn't find much.  Basically, this is the information I got.

I have a type of cyst, lipoma in my brain.  While lipomas are common they are common in the shoulders, back, and chest.  Not so much the brain.  While lipomas can be harmless, they can also cause damage, particularly in the brain.  Damage such as pains, headaches, neurological issues, and even seizures.

The lipoma in my head is 4mm X 4mm X 12mm.  She doesn't know if that is large, medium, small, or just right for my brain.  Hence, a consultation with a neurologist is needed.  THEY will need to determine what the next step is.

I'm scheduled to see the neurologist in 2 weeks.  2 WEEKS!  Obviously it's not that big of a deal but in the mean time I have about a million questions I would like answers to.

But this is all I know right now.  There aren't many answers via the web on brain lipomas so I get to wait for my appointment.

Sorry for the length of this post but I wanted to get this info out to people.  Instead of a slow trickle it's massive now.  Let it be known, I officially have a fat head.

7.02.2010

At Home Vacation

This week has been amazing!

Mom came up and over from Colorado to spend my vacation with the kids and me.  She was also able to spend some time with some friends and her sisters and family.  Crazy but fun.

Monday we did some shopping with the kids.  Gabe needed summer gear and we couldn’t pass up the shades and hat.  We managed to squeak by with some animal crackers and a small princess doll for Elle. 


Tuesday it was confirmed that Dad wouldn’t be able to join us for vacation in MN. :(   We couldn’t wait months for Dad to go to the park, so we went sadly without him.  The kids got to splash around in the pool for a bit as well. 




Then we came home and did pudding paints (white chocolate pudding with food coloring for finger paints).  The kids FINALLY crashed for a nap time and we lounged for the rest of the day.



Wednesday Mom came back over after spending the evening with Ryan.  It was just me and the kids in the morning.  We did okay.  Mom came to watch the kids so I didn’t have to drag them with to my appointments.  I had an interview with a market research firm for something they were doing research on.  Then I dropped off some caramel filled chocolate brownie cupcakes at work for the May and June birthdays.  Then I had a doctor’s appointments.  I got home and we immediately left for Ryan’s to celebrate his birthday and Dad’s birthday.  We had some delicious ribs and excellent company.



Thursday Mom and I packed up the kids and took them for a walk along the river road to have lunch at Longfellow Grill.  It was a beautiful day which made for a great walk.  Lunch was fun-AMAZING French toast-then we walked back home.  The kids refused to nap, yet again, so we took them to the park so they could swim and run around.  They had a blast. Mom left for dinner and came back later that evening.  The kids went to bed…okay.



Friday Mom and I met Aunt Janie and Cousin Emme in Maple Grove to hand off Elle for a sleep over.  Elle has been looking forward to this for months so she was completely ready to be rid of us and hang out with her cool Aunt Janie and Cousin Em.  Mom, Gabe, and I then went to a jewelry store Mom has wanted to visit for a while.  I was finally able to pick up the VUE-YAY we have 2 cars again- and Gabe and I hung out at home for the afternoon.  He fell asleep in my lap for a couple hours.  THE best.  Kyle, Gabe, and I then went for a walk around the campus.



The weather has been fantastic, I even have a tan to show for my vacation and I didn’t leave the state!  It has been AMAZING to have my mom here with us this week.  It would have been nice if Dad could have made it as well but we’ll take what we can get.

Tomorrow we are taking a short trip up to the cabin.  Ryan, Mom, Kyle, Gabe, Elle, and I are all packing into Mom’s Jeep and going up for the day to see Grandma Ralcie.  It will be so nice to see her!  I feel like it’s been forever and since we only made it up to the cabin once last year and in October I have vowed to improve on that.

Sunday We’ll all go to church then Delano to visit Grandma Betty and Grandpa Aubie.  Then some fireworks in Minneapolis.

Monday is the final day of vacation.  I’ll have to ease back in to that.  We’ll see how the kids do too.