Wednesday, December 31, 2008

back home now

Hello,We had a good holiday down in Abbotsford. We were there from the 23rd to the 27th.We stayed with Andy's folks and his entire family was sleeping in the house (James in the garage in the bowler trailer) on Christmas Eve. Since there was so much snow many Christmas Eve services were cancelled including the one we planned to go to.

On the 23rd we had just started out on the road, travelled about 5 min. when we caught the edge of the road and spun around and ended up stuck in the snowbank facing the opposite direction from the way were were headed and on the other side of the road too. We were completely stuck and rejoiced when a logging truck came by in about 5 min. and pulled us out. He had a full load too. That was so amazing.

We had a lot of good time with Andy's family and it was really special Josh, Heidi and Tristan were there from California. They had been turned around because of weather the first flight they tried getting here (to Bellingham).

Boxing Day was spent at my Moms and that was nice too...a small intimate gathering with Steve and Courtney, my Moms parents, my parents and Andy, Sarah and I.Carolyn was having her little baby...or working on it, during out gathering.

Since being home we've enjoyed some down-time and also the warmer temperatures. Yes, Naomi, Andy put some plastic on our bathroom window upstairs and it works great.

Today we went to town and Andy did errands for work. Sarah and I picked up mail and went out for coffee. We hardly ever do that. She worked on an activity book she got from Christmas and I was working on some journelling ideas from this book I'm reading and really excited about right now. It is "Shyness Breakthrough: A No-Stress Plan to Help Your Shy Child Warm Up, Open Up, and Join the Fun" by Bernardo Carducci. In the book she talks about how kids often do not grow out of being shy and they need someone who loves and cares about them to guide them through breaking out of being shy so often. She talks about how it is good to not label your child as shy as they may start acting out their label. Also she simply explains that children who expericence shy feelings quite often simply have a longer warming up period then their peers and how you can work with them to shrink that warming up time over time. So, the journelling activities from the book help me to think about what to talk to Sarah about and to solidify what I've read and think how that relates to our situation.

Sarah has been eating a ton since we got back...must be a growth spurt. It almost makes me much food she needs...preparing it all, but it's ok. Yesterday she sat at the breakfast table eating or waiting for me to make food for her for a full hour... and last night she only got to bed at 9pm cause it took a long time for her tummy to fill up during her snack and I thought she wouldn't need one because we'd had a late dinner during which she ate lots of chicken etc.

Mom A., Sarah has been enjoying the Raffi CD very much and is dancing to it this morning and has me pause it if she needs to get a scarf to wave around or different clothes on. The CD is a compilation of many songs we've heard before (but don't own) and some new ones. Bannaphone is excellent...talks about a bananaular phone :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

a mumble jumble post of a few things in my head

We lit the advent candles yesterday in lieu of Sunday but didn't read our reading. It's one we have to make four-year old friendly. Sarah spent some time downstairs yesterday on the account that I can't carry her upstairs and Andy wasn't home when we got back from town. It was nice to be downstairs for a bit.
Our Cmas tree is drinking a lot of water. I enjoy watering it. Our house seems difficult to keep warm. The living room and of course upstairs is warm, but the kitchen is cold (putting on the fan helps this too). I often have cold feet even though I'm in fleece slippers, jogging pants (my uniform), sweater. But, once I got up and around doing laundry that helped...movement. Our wood stove is devouring wood. Andy is keeping the box stocked up more. It is minus 25 C this morning. There is ice on the inside bottom of our patio door from humidity on that door. If things warmed up quickly, there would be a puddle on the carpet. Interesting. Andy has some belgium endives growing under the kitchen sink (the place that was the right temperature). The grew the root like a carrot in the summer and now planted the root in wet sand and when it warms up it grows and we can eat in salads and stuff (can braise it a little bit, he says...similar to the inner part of a romaine heart but more blanched).
I have much to do to prepare for Cmas still, and don't know what will happen with that but it was good to do some cards today. Sarah was my chief present wrapper. I miss her playful self. The house is clean as she hasn't played with toys in days. She enjoyed using stickers today that I found in the house for her.
That's all for now. Sarah and I are reading lots of books. She lays in bed and I read.

sick time

Here's what we've been up to (from emails to family).

Written Dec.13:

Dear family,Please pray for Sarah. She's been sick since the evening of the 11th...throwing up and complaining of stomach pain. We took her to the hospital this evening where they gave her (me serving) a rehydration drink mixed with OJ and also doses of 3 types of drugs (tylenol, motrin and gravol). She perked up considerably during our 2 hour stay at the hospital, as did her blood sugars rise while we were there. We were doing a hospital activity book later on while we were there after reading Bill Peet's "The Caboose Who Got Loose" (thanks James). She is sleeping now and we have a follow-up appt. on Mon. and instructions to bring in another urine sample (they took one tonight).So, please pray for her. She's just been laying in bed for the past 2 days.Thanks.CaraP.S. We just had a dump of snow yesterday, the 12th...about a foot, I'd say. So driving now takes more time too...and it is cold. Mom K., we brought the quilt you made for Sarah to the hospital.


Stayed home (no church) and Sarah was in bed all day, except for one time on the toliet (her little one I brought to her bed). She was complaining of a hurting tummy in the morning so we gave her the drugs the hospital sent home with us last night. We just didn't want her to throw up again. We read lots of books today and she's had gas (stinky!:) and been eating smooth oatmeal, applesauce and even some pumpkin pie (I think that was supper). Drinking that rehydration drink mixed with applejuice and water too. She had 2 naps today, one small, one big and is sleeping now again for the night hopefully. Last night she was up at 3am for food and drink.We have mastered how to brush teeth while laying down and we are going through a lot of straws. The doctor phoned around lunch to see how she was doing so that was cool. We'll go into town tomorrow to drop of her urine sample and have another doc's appt.I went for a lovely walk today out to the beaver ponds. Nice that that trail is protected by the wind the snow (maybe not quite enough to ski in yet)...COLD. Minus 15 C.Thanks for your love and prayers.


Hello,Here's an update on the last 2 days. Yesterday we went into town in the morning to deliver a urine sample (had to get there by 10am when our lab closes). Then we were supposed to make and have a doc.'s appt. that day so I walked into the clinic to see if they had any openings that morning. Nothing till 3 pm, so back home for a rest. Then back to town (I do not like going in twice in a day...and it was snowy on the road, so I'm taking it easy). Sarah was having trouble walking too, so that's tricky, but she managed. I'm not carrying her anymore, she weighs too much.The doc. said her urine sample had keetones in it, which means her body is in starvation mode and is breaking down fat. Also trace amounts of blood in the urine - could be from the dehydration. He was still waiting for results on knowing the 'culture' of her urine - like if it had bacteria in it. She's not peeing tons, but I think she's not dehydrated anymore. Her color is back, her lips are moist and she is peeing maybe twice a day. The doc. recommended we try and get her to eat more, she needs more nutrients. It's tricky, cause she's often complaining of stomach pain. Anyway, we tried feeding her more last night and she went to bed at 7 pm. I went to bed at 8:30 pm I was so tired. Then as Andy is coming up the stairs at 10:30 pm she barfs as she wakes up and the water sound splashing on the carpet wakes me up. So, it felt like we were back to square one, cause she hadn't barfed since Sat. night. Anyway, back to sleep after much cleaning. Then up at 4 am for a snack and drink and her tummy hurt again. She fell asleep with me holding a bowl under her mouth, on the side. Then today, she still be laying in bed all day, but her color is still good, she had a 2 hour nap and now I hear her singing 'there's a spider on my head' with Raffi, very quietly. We were working on Cmas card together...her drawing pics inside and putting stickers on envelopes and writing her name inside. It's just tricky, cause she's not really into eating, but we think that's what she needs. We've given Tylenol once these last 2 days to help with the pain too.The doctor said her tummy pain is probably from all that throwing up at the start of it all and now it's hungry and all jumbled up (something like that). Her stomach is soft not indicitive of appedicitis, twisted bowl or other things (I think he mentioned). You can pray for me, as my energy is waning. I can't believe she's been sick this long and you can pray specifically that she has a bowl movement, cause if she doesn't today or tomorrow she was recommended to have an abdominal x-ray. We also are bringing in another urine sample on Thurs.Andy had taken on kitchen duties and is doing a really good job at it. We are running low on bread and snacks (baking) though. I made pancakes today...those are good snacks :) Andy shyly asked me for some of my chocolate bar in the cupboard (my secret sister from church gave me an enormous one), after he said days ago he wouldn't ask me about it anymore. Sure, no prob., I said. :)Well, that's all for now. I am trying to trust Jesus and not worry. I am imagining myself sleeping in his big palm under my body when I fall asleep, cause my mind is prone to think/wonder/worry....Thanks for all your prayers and messages back and love, Cara

Thursday, December 11, 2008

more dec. stuff

Here is some of what has been going on. I copied this from an email I sent my mom-in-law with a bit of new stuff on the bottom:

We put up our Cmas tree yesterday and even found a 50 cent tree stand at the thrift store that it is in. We have a full sized tree (our first) so all the ornaments fit. Only Andy could decorate the top. We bought a string of LED lights too. "We put ornaments and lights on it and it's big" (from Sarah.)Sarah and I were at Strong Start yesterday and she enjoyed making pipe-cleaner and bead snowflake and a candy cane and singing Rudoplh the Red-nosed reindeer (with reindeer head-band on) while tapping ryhthm sticks and Jingle bells while jingling bells.We also had gym time and circle time and she was smiling at some of the other kids antics (Jonah jumping as we counted every number up to '10' on the calendar).Sarah's been enjoying the advent calendar you sent last year...usually opening the flap every morning.We have our church's Cmas banquet tomorrow evening.

Thanks for the email about Bonnie's (Andy's cousin) new baby. I showed Sarah the pics and she asked if he is newborn in real life and I said, 'yes, he was born just a few days ago.'We also got to meet the new baby's in our town. Alesha (Jonah's Mom) had another boy. Her and I were due within a week of each other. Also Renee Hartwell had a boy about 3 weeks ago or so. She had a little girl too, who is 2.My friend Alyssa (Faith and Rhema's Mom) and her family are moving to Burnaby at the end of the month, for her husband's new job. We'll miss them, but her folk's are there too. We plan to see them next Thurs. before they leave, at the Family Place.

New stuff not in the email:

We've had to say no to a lot of things this week, but that has been good. It seems all the special things our town has to offer happens in December. We said 'no' to being involved in the elementary school cmas concert, going to a children's play, Songfest, and Cmas craft day at the library. We said 'yes' to going to the Community Band Concert on Monday (actually combined beginners all the way up to community band), ladies cmas night at our church (for me) and hopefully going to our church's cmas banquet tomorrow. Sarah barfed three times this evening, so we'll see. All I could do was pray God would help her get better, hold her hair back and pray she would know Jesus is with her right now. She said, once, in between heaves, "I don't like doing it over and over.' I know. I almost cried. This was the 3rd and last time before bed she barfed. She is sleeping now.

We're still trying to get to our kid's programs (Strong Start or Family Centre) once a week too.

Andy is making pumpkin pie with the last pumpkin and was in the house and Sarah now just barfed 4 times and is back to sleep after I cleaned her up etc. Awh...dry heaves now.

Anyway, sorry to end on such a sour note. Hope you are all well (really).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dec. so far

sorry about the format issues...

From Dec.3:
Sarah was sick (sore throat) all yesterday and did a lot of laying around. She even
had an earache at night and today is so much better and seemingly 'normal' with
regards to health.

Last night we brought dinner up for everyone to eat upstairs and she looks at her
plate and throws up on it. After that she seemed to improve. We brought her
mattress into our room so she could be with us and lay down after she threw up and
feel better enough to eat, which she did later...enjoying pickles and shepherd's
pie Andy made.

Andy and I have been making desserts lately. AA - pumpkin pie, apple pie. Me -
apple crisp, which I think I'm single-handly eating.

We are enjoying reading some advent readings from the book "Seeking the Christmas
Lamb" although some of it's for older kids, but Andy does a terrific job reading
slowly and explaining things about what he's reading (from the Bible). So, I think
we'll mainly focus on the Bible readings. Sarah had the idea of drawing about what
we hear while Dad reads, so that'll be cool. We have a book we could use for that.

That' Ladies Cmas night at church was postponed to this Friday, so that should be

No snow seems so weird and not-Christmasy.

Andy and I are having a tea time tonight to finalize ideas for gifts/etc. for
Christmas. Should be good.

Talked to Mom A. yesterday on the phone. That was nice. All her family will be at
her house for Christmas. James is working at my Dad's bookstore - House of James.
Sometimes I miss working there. I loved working there. I feel connected a bit
reading some books I know they sell there. I'm reading 'Safely Home' by Randy
Alcorn currently. Andy read it a few months ago.

Mom. K., didn't get to tell you how much we are enjoying that hand-me-down fish
shower curtain you gave us. It does let in more light. Sarah and I also enjoy
"Alaska's 12 Days of Summer" book you gave Sarah, yesterday, during sick-time reading.

Written Dec.4:

Yesterday Andy sprained his ankle and when Sarah and I came back from town we discovered him on the couch. He'd stepped down off the tractor on to some rough and
frozen ground. He told me he laid on the ground 6 or 7 minutes and made it back
onto the tractor to drive home.

So, since then, I've retrieved his helmet and chainsaw that he'd left in the woods
before it got dark, chopped wood, started fires, gave the chickens new water (hauling
it from the house) and feed, delievered meals and snacks to Andy upstairs. It was minus 7 this morning. The chicken's water had frozen and they were thristy. I got some collards and kale and carrots from the greenhouse as well.

Sarah had another nap yesterday and today she is doing much better. She is still in
her pjs though but is not very interested in going outside, although we just made a
plan to do that now.

Andy is hobbling around with a walking stick and even put a few logs on the fire. He actually put a bit of weight on his foot just now. We decided we are going to order food in (go pick it up. I don't think anyone delievers out here) tonight...we are all really excited about that. I asked Andy what he wanted in his tea and he said, 'pizza' (funny guy) and that's how we got on the topic of ordering in (out).

We also recieved a package from my Mom. She'd ordered a kettle for us for our anniversary and we are really digging it. Large, beautiful (copper I think) and we've used a couple times right on the woodstove. We also have our ceramic kettle on the woodstove so it boils water throughout the day and let's it into our atmosphere and makes it more humid.

Mom also had included misc. things we'd forgotten at her place in Nov. Thanks. Sarah likes the bib (pink with big dots) too and is excited to have the angel back for the nativity set.

So, to help Andy's foot stay warm I discovered the flexible ice packs we have can sit in boiling water for 5-7 min. and be used as a hot compress....nice. So we have that going on as well.

Story from the other day:
Sarah wanted to have a piggy-back ride down the stairs and I didn't want to give her one, so I said we can hold hands. She says, "We can do this in any season." "Yes we can," I say. Later we hugged and she said something like, "We can also do this in any season." Hugs and hand holding for any season. Sounds good. :)