Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nox Made My List

Okay.  Truly, he has never really left my list of things about my life I would simplify in an instant. A nice fur rug in front of the fireplace or a pair of warm mittens perhaps?  I'm not a violent person, but this cat SO MAKES ME CRAZY!  And I think that after I explain this morning, no one will sympathize with the ball of orange fur that takes up space in our home.

Things here have been a little unconventional.  Between my 10-day stomach flu accompanied by Shelby's broken finger,  Abigail's current batch of infections (double ears, double eyes, nose, and chest -- eeewww) and Dad's car accident and subsequent hospital stay sandwiched in between, Nox has not received the world's best care. He has been feed and watered, although I'll admit that it's not been his daily preference of fresh water.  Dawson has done reasonably well keeping the litter box cleaned out even though it isn't nearly as "sparkling" as when Scott or I do it.  But, seriously.  Given everything which has been happening, I think we did a pretty good job balancing people with the cat.

Nox disagrees.

So, this morning, he came into the living room with his nose in the air and his tail puffed in irritation.  He proceeded to a pile of blankets Keats and Aidan had made in the middle of the living room floor.  (They like to practice flying and the blankets provide a relatively soft landing.) Nox climbed on the top of the pile, shifted his weight and made enough noise to ensure we were all looking at him.  Then Nox, the creature who should be honoring us for his very cush life, PEED RIGHT THERE!  RIGHT THERE!!!!  On top of a pile of human blankets used to help us stay warm!  And don't think that I don't know just how intentional this act was. I could see it in his beady little eyes.

We all just stared.  What else could we do?  Pick him up mid-urination and carry him to a more appropriate venue?  Then we would have to clean blankets, the floor, probably a wall or two, not to mention how ever many people he managed to aim at along the way.  So there we stand, completely helpless as the cat decides that our lives for the past three weeks have not been interesting enough.  What a turd.

Of course, the children all still think the cat hung the moon.  They fussed over his sufferings and made sure he had extra treats today, since obviously Nox is feeling neglected.   Oh please. Perhaps the next time he investigates the fireplace when I am preparing to light a fire I won't be quite so quick to shoo His Honor out of the path of impending danger.  Then he'll know. Don't mess with me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just Living

Some fun recent moments:

Dawson and Isabelle had a crazy Kung-Fu style wrestle-fest in the living room for about 30 minutes.  How nobody got injured is beyond my knowledge, but they sure had fun!

Shortly after Scott was awakend this afternoon, Keats took it upon himself to steal upstairs and announce:  "I'm not allowed to eat bananas because you asked mom for banana bread. Humph." He promptly left the room.

Abigail, who has been dealing with a terrible respiratory/sinus infection, hates having her face cleaned off.  After finishing one de-boogering episode, she grabbed the cloth, threw it on the floor, stomped on it, and then walked away as fast as she could.

A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I had the dreadful task every parent faces at least once - trying to find the diaper that was apparently stinking up our bedroom.  We looked everywhere and did find one in the trash in the bathroom.  We proclaimed victory and assumed it was over.  Nope. Turns out, that creature which awoke me at 5:30 am so many writings ago -- died.  In the wall.  There isn't much we can do other than wait for the decay process to pass the smelly stage.  It should only be one week more.  Eww.

Tucker lost his first tooth today.  It's been loose for a while and very loose for over a week.  But today, Dawson turned too quick and accidentally popped Tucker's mouth with his elbow.  Tucker started to cry and then stopped almost immediately with a "Hey!"  He fished around in his mouth for a second and then produced his finally out tooth!  This one was a first for our family.

Aidan, who has been having nightmares, came in to my room last night where I was reading with the TV on a news channel for company.  He plopped in bed, sat there for a moment, and then said, "Obviously you are not watching.  Please change the channel."

Shelby, who has taken to reading with abandon this year (yippie!) came down exhausted one recent morning.  When I asked her what had her so tired, she responded, "If people would quit writing such good books, I would sleep a lot better.  Do we keep any bad books laying around the house?"  

Dawson, who is our resident handy-man, asked me if there was anything which needed repairs around the house.  I had let him know I didn't know of any, but I would keep my eyes open.  Sure enough, we discovered a loose bolt on a chair and Dawson tightened it pretty quick.  He walked through the dining room and kitchen and actually found quite a few loose or missing screws, all of which he took care of.  Then he came to me and said (quite seriously): "Mom.  I really think you need to ton down your activity.  Most of the loose screws are on stuff you use a lot."  Huh.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Update on Tacy's Dad

For those of you who aren't aware, Tacy's dad was involved in a car accident on Tuesday.  He hit some black ice, lost control of the car, and hit a tree.  He was driving a friend's Envoy, which we are fairly certain is totaled.  Both airbags deployed (fracturing 3 ribs) and the driver's seat returned to it's "memory" position for the regular driver, who is several inches shorter than dad.  The result was dad's head plowing into the roof of the car, resulting in a concussion and brain hemorrhaging.  Due to the blood thinners he is on to protect his artificial heart valve, once dad begins bleeding, he does so for a long time.  After being seen in the Trauma Center at the Reading Hospital, he was admitted into the Surgical Intensive Care (SICU).  He was given Blood Products (Plasma followed by Platelets) in order to quickly thicken his blood and Vitamin K in order to counteract his Cumidin (blood thinner).  He had both a NEurologist (monitoring his brain) and a Cardiologist (monitoring his heart) working with his primary Trauma Doctor in order to chose the best course of action for dad.

Dad came home from the SICU yesterday (Friday).  He looks good, but is still very sore (ribs) and very tired.

They have decided to readmit dad on Wednesday for one week in order to begin administering blood thinners where they can also monitor his brain activity.  This way, they will know immediately if his brain begins to bleed again after they start thinning his blood.  They will be giving him both oral Cumidin (which takes a while to build up to the correct levels in his system) and IV Heparin (which begins to act more quickly.)  This decision was a compromise between the Cardiologist's and Neurologist's wishes as well as addressing mom's concern that he not be at home when the blood thinners were begun since she will have no way to determine if pressure is building on the brain.  We were told that they signs to watch for regarding brain pressure were:  general confusion and words being used incorrectly -- all symptoms which have been present since dad's lengthy heart surgery in November, 2003.

Dad will be going to floor R3, which is not as carefully observed as an ICU floor, but has a better nurse to patient ratio (1:6) than a regular floor.  It is what is known as a "step-down" unit.  They also have all the moitoring systems on this floor as they have on the ICU floors.  He will be allowed to have regular visitors, including the grandchildren, he will have more privacy, and a personal bathroom -- all pluses over the ICU floor.

Dad was diagnosed as Diabetic on Friday morning.  Apparently, it was written into his charts on Thursday, but he didn't learn about it until he received his diabetic breakfast Friday morning.  He was sent home on insulin in order to help get his sugar levels back to normal ranges following the accident.  (Trauma of any sort will cause sugar levels in the body to climb.  This, on top of his already high levels is why they want him on insulin.)  The eventual goal is to wean him off insulin and manage his Diabetes with diet and exercise.  

Please, don't hesitate to call/email Scott & I with questions or requests for updates.  We are only too happy to keep everyone up-to date.  Obviously, mom is a little busy caring for dad.  Dad does love to have phone calls (such a people guy) so don't heistate to call him.  If he's tired, he'll let you know.

And, as always, prayers are very appreciated!



Thursday, January 1, 2009

Holiday Happenings

Well, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Above is a picture of four of the children on the day we finally decorated.  Next is dear Abigail, (sitting with my sister, Jenna) opening her first Christmas gift.  Sure, she was around for last Christmas, but what 4 month old is really aware of the Holiday madness?

All in all, it was an amazing holiday.  Ryan and Laura, two of my favorite people on the entire planet, were able to fly out for an entire week.  I can't imagine how hard it must have been for them to truly get away, especially since they both brought work with them.  But they made our Christmas so much better just by being here, let alone all the fun we actually managed to have.  I'm not certain Laura knew what a crazy game playing family she was joining, but I appreciate her cheerful acceptance! 

Christmas Eve found 21 of us planning on bunking at Castle Dubach.  Our family alone brings 9 people.  But the Marshall 5:  Aaron, Jenna, Trinity, Sammie, & Sadie brought  along Aaron's oldest daughter, Nastasia, her boyfriend, Chris, and Aaron's mother, Lois, so they were actually the Marshall 8!  Include in there Ryan & Laura and Dad & Mom,  you have 21 people cozying up in a 3 bedroom house.  It wasn't too tough, though. 

 Jenna, Aaron, & Sadie all bunked in Ryan & Laura's room while Abigail's cold had her sleeping in Dad & Mom's room  (to minimize her waking up others as well as her being woken up!)  

The other younger children slept together in the office, which was literally wall-to-wall sleeping bags.  Shelby was quite the trooper, offering to sleep next to a very nervous Sammie.  
Tucker was thrilled to be able sleep whisper-distance from Trinity.  (He considers Trinity the best gift he ever received!)

Meanwhile, Ryan, Laura, Scott & I had wall-to-wall air mattresses in the living room, Chris was given an air mattress in the dining room (we did move the table against the wall for him), and both Lois and Nastasia had the couch in the family room.  Of course, in typical Dubach fashion, the couch was the coveted spot since it was near the fireplace and the tree.  It was quite the sacrifice for Ryan to give up such an opportunity for some of the Marshall family comfort.

Oh - and Sally-dog joined us as well.  Would she count as a person?

Considering the level of excitement and the close proximity to other whisperers in the office room, I was fairly impressed that I only had to make a dozen trips upstairs through out the night to ask the children to be quiet.  Our Shelby, Dawson, & Isabelle woke-up to stay at about 3:45 am, and we had made a commitment to try not to start Christmas morning before 6:00 am.  I was proud of how well they managed to stay quiet, even though I know the desire to bolt downstairs was killing them!

Christmas morning was definitely crazier this year.  In order to bring some calm to the chaos, Laura & Ryan played Santa, delivering gifts to the children corralled in the middle of the family room.  We stationed trash bags around the perimeter for adults to help keep the trash separate from the treasure.  What ensued was literally 90 minutes of the children opening their gifts.  Occasionally, an adult opened a package, but mostly we were assisting all the little ones.   In fact, Scotty and I didn't really open our gifts until well after the children were done and breakfast was served.  It felt strange to see a pile of gifts waiting -- not because I was so anxious to get them open, but rather because I know how much I enjoy watching someone open a well-chosen gift, and here we were, virtually ignoring everyone's kindness!  But, all of those children needed to eat, and then there was the inevitable battery installation, the searching through the trash for that crucial piece, the encouraging of patience as one of the kids desperately wants to try someone else's gift, helping to assemble one of the many "some assembly required" items, . . . you know.  The usual Christmas dance. 

In the end , though, we finally opened our gifts to find that we received the Trebuchet which we desperately wanted.  Scott's parents, my parent's, and Brittany & Daniel (Scott's sister and husband) all pooled their resources to give it to our family.  It will take some time to assemble, but we can't wait to start launching things.  Of course, Scott's mom is concerned about the twins loading Abigail into the launcher, but I'm sure she's just being overly concerned.  At least - thats what I'm hoping.

Scott took quite the nap, as he had his vacation for the evening revoked due to high census at the hospital and I enjoyed just watching all the "cousining" rallying around me.  We headed home shortly after dinner as the children were all beginning to show signs of a very long day after a very short night.  Once the kids were all nestled and snug in their beds, I think we remaining adults played games around our table.  But, to be perfectly honest, I was exhausted and I truly can't remember what we did until Scott went to work.  I have a faint recollection of giggling.