Happy New Years!

I don’t have a New Years’ resolution, word of the year, or anything else of that sort. I never stick to them and I can’t ever remember what I even chose or was given. My life is so crazy these days that I can’t choose what “I” want to work on but instead I have to accept what God put in front of me and how I “respond” to what He chose. That’s about all I can handle at least! For instance, I have been struggling lately with anger mostly due to lack of sleep and a feeling of helplessness. God put it on my heart to work on this despite waiting till the New Year or despite what I thought I needed to work on. This had to be my main priority! I definitely have a ways to go but I am starting to see the grace God has given me with focusing on this. All that being said,. This is my own personal thoughts and I may feel differently next New Year. What works for me currently may not be what works for you currently. What are your thoughts or resolutions/words of the year?? I love how sometimes the words of the year can be very fitting for some people!

On to our SQT’s!! Wow! These weeks are FLYING by!!

1. Our New Year was low key. My youngest has a pretty bad case of ear infections, which resulted in an ENT visit and round two of antibiotics. She will be getting tubes placed in a couple of weeks.
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Don’t let her smile fool you here!

2. The kids made a pinata for New Year’s Eve out of a box and tissue paper.
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3. They had fun hitting it with a toy broom.

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4. My tree is still up…although, most ornaments are rolling around the floor or under the couch and there’s a tangle of lights at the bottom. We also lost a couple of branches.

5. We picked up new orthotics for Marygrace….
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6. We are still reading our Advent book…

7. Shameless plug for one of my closest friends! She is an incredible and humble person and has 10 amazing kids ! https://hello-refabulous.blogspot.com/2019/01/about-that-fabric-fast-recap-of-2018.html?m=1

How was YOUR week??

Don’t forget to check out Kelly’s blog!! She has some actual realistic and attainable goal suggestions for 2019! https://thisaintthelyceum.org/2019-resolutions-do-what-you-can-with-all-the-heads-you-have/

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Chronic Illness…

Some of you may remember the saga with my 3 year old and her chronic illness. I’ve been meaning to do an updated post for a while and was waiting for some concrete information to ….ummmm…update you all?? Well…alas, as it goes with chronic illness…there are still. No. Concrete. Answers! If you are wondering…Here is the most recent post.

Since that post, we made a desperate attempt to drive her to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. I was able to get an appointment with a rheumatologist. He did not read the files of medical info I sent him but did listen intently to what was going on with her and examined her and felt that she most likely had a disorder called EDS or Ehrlos Danlos Syndrome. The genetecist that we previously saw also has mentioned this. He then tried to get us another appt the next day. We thought that we were going to be seen at a connective tissue clinic but instead we were quickly seen by a neurologist and she was pretty flippant of Marygrace’s symptoms and couldn’t find “anything neurological.”. Great, I could’ve told u that without the fancy neurology degree. We drove all the way from Texas to be told by a top doctor in the nation that our child has nothing neurological and then she literally upped and left the room without even letting us know she was done or giving us direction on where to go next. We sat in the room dumbfounded because she was supposed to be our answer or at least help us and she didn’t even tell us she was done. She made it seem like she would be back.
I think the most aggravating part was her demeanor and lack of bedside manner. At this time, all the doctors and staff have left the building because we already waited several hours and there was nothing we could do. I cried. I had a newborn at this time and no more answers then when we started. The next day I reached out to the rheumatologist and the patient advocate and complained. I wasn’t going back to Texas on that note. They decided to get us into a genetecist the following day. There were two doctors and both listened to what we had to say separately and we’re actually very kind and caring and empathetic. They also mentioned that it sounded like EDS but she was unable to be diagnosed this young and we would need to wait until she was 6-7 years old to see if her symptoms persisted. They gave us some me tips on pain management and instructions to come back at 5 yrs old. Ok, so we didn’t get a diagnosis (other than hypermobility) or a medical treatment or a cure but at least our voice was heard and we tried our best.

So we left CHOP and headed back and followed up with our very caring rheumatologist at Texas Children’s. She may not have a cure or a concrete diagnosis either but at least she truly did what she could to help Marygrace. The celebrex that she prescribed helped quite a bit for months. Then, I tried to wean her down and off. She seemed okay for while but BIG MISTAKE. The pain came back full force recently and it took me several more weeks to even admit that she needs the medication. We put her back on and she’s slowly having better days. We had her fitted for new orthotics since the other ones are too small and we are currently going swimming at least once a week to help manage the pain. She also takes plenty of warm baths, has a weighted blanket and a microwavable teddy bear. Some days are completely awful but things are looking up again since she is back on the celebrex.

A couple of new problems arose. First, she woke up with her eye swollen and the eye doctor said it was an allergy. We don’t know what caused it yet..
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We found a pediatrician here since we moved that seems pretty great so far. I just printed out almost 300 pages of her medical records and left them to be scanned in. We are awaiting an appt to get her into a Rheumatologist here and most likely, a genetecist.

She also has several cavities and a couple of chipped teeth which maybe related to her disorder but we aren’t sure. She hopefully will be having dental surgery soon.
She’s also been complaining a lot of stomach pains so we are going to try to see a GI doctor.

The toughest part of this is the unpredictable nature and that it’s an “invisible” illness. Hypermobility is not always just being “flexible” but a significant reason for her pain. She has a lot of fatigue and possibly anxiety. Her abilities can change minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day.
Aside from all that, she is the toughest girl I know. She has the sweetest smile, is a lot of fun, extremely determined and loves to sing. She cares about EVERYBODY. She is very empathetic towards her siblings because she doesn’t want to see them hurt or upset. She has made me a better and a more patient person. (Although I still need a lot of work) I have learned a lot from her. My husband is extremely patient with her and caring of her. He will come home after working long hours and even though he may have had a stressful day, he will do anything he can to make his little girl happy.
I am documenting her journey because I know there are parents whom want or need to hear things like this. I am one of them and it is difficult to find this kind of information. There are so many parents fighting for answers for their kids and maybe this will help someone. I also want her to be able to read this some day so that she knows what she went through and the journey we all are on and just how strong she really is.
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“Have courage, trust in God, St. Joseph and our Blessed Mother, and you need have no fear.” St. Mary Mackillop.

Mary Christ Mass! 2018

If you are Catholic…you get it. How has your Christmas been so far?? Today is Day 4 of the 12 days?? I think. We haven’t finished our Advent book or wreath reflections so that’s our plan to keep Christmas alive. 😂. We have some kind of sickness bug going through our house. The tree is still up… probably till this weekend. Even though we had some sickness, we did have a blessed and joyful Christmas START. Here’s SQT’s!

1. Three of the kids participated in the children’s pageant at church. Madilyn and Marygrace were angels and Benjimyn was a shephard.

2. We went to mass right after on Christmas Eve. Abbymarie may also have not been feeling well. She was crying pretty much thru the whole mass so I had to leave early with her to sit in the car. 😒

3. The kids exchanged secret santa gifts very quickly after mass. They each were given $5 or used their own $5 to buy one of their siblings a gift.

4.We skipped reading the Bible story of Jesus’ birth until Christmas morning because my daughter wasn’t feeling well.

5.On Christmas morning, they opened their gifts.

6.We played the Saran wrap challenge. My sister started this game last year with her kids and we always have to make things even MORE fun for US so we both wrapped up things the kids DONT want in the Saran wrap…because… it’s funny. It was a mix of candies, dollar bills, quarters, pens, drawing paper, clothespins, used glue stick, Band-Aids, feathers, gum, Pringles, empty Walmart gift card, etc. Its definitely something we will play again and I’m going to make it even better lol. I may just wrap all their gifts in Saran wrap next year….hmmmm.

7. We drove around and looked for Christmas lights. It was actually pretty disappointing bc apparently not many people put lights up around here. 🤷. We did find a few nice houses. In true confession, we didn’t put lights up either this year. We didn’t get to it unfortunately, so maybe I shouldn’t judge other people on their lights..🤔.

Looking back on the day, I regret not doing more to make it more special but it had been a difficult few weeks. I also think about how quiet and humble Jesus’ actual birth was and there is something so special about that. I’m not sure what my kids will remember from it but it’ll probably be the grumbling from me about all the wrapping paper and pieces everywhere and the little ones fighting over the same toy. I’m thinking a no gifts Christmas is in the near future but then I’ll probably cave anyways. Gifts ARE fun to give!

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Another confession. I accidentally deleted most of my photos so we had to recreate the Christmas morning ones…🤦😭👍

Check out Kelly’s blog! Click here!! She has some interesting book reads!

Benny turned 7!

I remember when they told me that he may not make it to the 24th week of pregnancy. I had two subchorionic hemmorages and one was bigger than he was! They said that he was swallowing blood as well. Miracously, they cleared on their own. I know the real secret though. It was during his pregnancy that I started praying the rosary everyday asking Mary to intercede for him to live if it be God’s will. She did and he did. Glory to God! Now, he is turning 7!

He requested to go bowling and he got Chinese takeout..which was basically rice noodles and jello and pudding since he is gluten free. Lol. My husband made his cake after I overcooked the first one. 🤦🤷

He got a bike with pegs so he “could do tricks”. This kid is learning how to be very helpful to his younger sisters, and loves to play basketball and baseball. Benjimyn is usually the first one up and just like his older brother…constantly doing something active. Whether it’s playing basketball, baseball, riding his bike or scooter or making up exercises. He recently learned some card and magic tricks. He can pull a quarter out of your ear. He learned how to play checkers from PopPop and he always has the most thought provoking questions. He is still struggling to read but I’m pretty sure he will wake up one day and just do it. That is how he does most things. He just decides one day to do it and then he does it. May God bless you and keep you Big Ben!!

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SQT’s on our family Advent 2018!

1. Our Jesse 🌲 Tree is not happening this year. We moved since last Advent and our printable ornaments have gone missing and our tree is missing pieces.

2. Our Advent wreath may not happen either. I found the wreath and three candles the other day but we have not started it yet. That is mostly because I don’t want flames around the little ones because why bring that added stress?? I know many families probably do ok with having flames and little ones but I can’t even remember to turn the oven off…

3. We are reading Tabitha’s Travels. Last year we read Jotham’s Journey and really loved it, so we are working our way thru another book in the series. We probably won’t finish before Christmas and that’s okay! It is a story about a child’s journey during the time Jesus was born.

4. A new thing that we are trying this year is called ToGather. It’s a paper wreath with stickers to add each day that have a short Bible verse and then you can discuss it and then discuss how it can pertain to our own lives. We don’t get to it many days but it is so quick and simple that we will often do two in a row to catch up. I am really loving it because it is so…. QUICK and SIMPLE! We are getting some good discussion and thoughts over it.
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5. We tried going to a communal penance service. The lines were pretty long and it was almost 8 PM and prime meltdown zone already. My husband and I and the little ones left and the bigger kids stayed.

6. I got the bright idea to paint last minute peg dolls to add to the treat bags for the kids in the religious education class that I help teach on Sundays. They took a lot longer than I thought they would but at least it’s done.
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7. Seeing as my daughter has a swollen eye from an allergy and I was recently told that I need further testing for possible glaucoma, we celebrated St. Lucy’s feast day for the first time! I am not good at crafting or baking so we did our own version. I read about her life and that Lucy means “light” and then I gave the kids glow-in-the-dark bouncy eyeballs. 😝
The kids had fun bouncing them around the house for a couple of hours.
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How is your Advent going? We just started these traditions a few years ago. Before that, I never gave it a second thought. I am learning a lot about the Catholic faith even though I grew up Catholic.

Don’t forget to check out Kelly’s blog and other SQT’s! Click here for Kelly’s blog.

Seven Beautiful Moments in time…

I was trying to find a title that could tie together the 7 random things I wanted to blog about and after a quick prayer, the Holy Spirit gave me the much needed reminder. These ARE 7 BEAUTIFUL moments from the past few weeks. I need the reminder because I forget so quickly or I assume that because part of the day went bad than the whole day is a loss and that’s simply not true. It’s important to live moment by moment and appreciate each moment while we are in it. I preach this because I don’t do it but I am a work in progress. Here are my moments….

1. Finding a 9 foot Santa on sale IMG_20181125_122220765_HDR.jpg

2. Watching our town’s Christmas parade with the younger crew…
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3. Watching my kids put together the Christmas tree…my husband is usually in charge of this each year because I would rather not have a tree but it’s nice to see them all do it together.
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4. Playing in the leaves with these 2 hooligans….
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5. 3 kids in a box…no words needed.
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6. Celebrating St. Nick’s Feast Day! I love this tradition and we only started it a couple of years ago. We recap the life of St. Nick, say a prayer and the the kids get socks, a book, and a couple of candies.
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7. Date night with my hubby. We went to our first concert together EVER! Tickets were affordable so we went to see Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch and it was awesome. A much needed night out with each other!
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What beautiful moments have you had recently?? Go check out Kelly’s blog over at This ain’t the Lyceum for 7QT’s on out of the box gift ideas!! They are great!

Thanksgiving 2018

The holidays are FLYING by! Do you agree?? I have been trying to write this post since Thanksgiving. Why is it that time seems to move faster the older you get?? I feel like I’m in a time vacuum. Much of my life is based on how much time I have left to do a, b, or c, or how am I going to spend the time with the least amount of choas as possible?? Plans never work. Everyday is a chaotic and unpredictable burst of 🎆 fireworks. I should be used to it by now but alas, I’m not.
A lot of things have happened since my last post so I will probably need a couple posts to recap. Here is a quick recap of SOME of Thanksgiving week…

For the first time in YEARS, we actually had people visit us for Thanksgiving. My brother and his family AND my dad came to visit. We celebrated TURKEY day…..
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and had a family fun week! We went to several local museums…

Art museum…..
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Mississippi Children’s Museum….
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Mississippi Science Museum….
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And we volunteered at the Salvation army on Thanksgiving day….
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We played A LOT of games….
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Checkers, Monopoly, Spoons, Card tricks…

Whip cream shenanigans…
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And my son, Zachary, took on the Whammy Challenge! It’s a 3# burger, a # of fries and a milkshake.
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That was our week. How was YOUR week??