Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Scrapbooking Giveaway!

As I was bouncing around from blog to blog yesterday entering to win great giveaways by fellow bloggers, I was inspired to have my very own giveaway! Are you ready? Here's what you can win!

It's an entire Black & White 12 x12 Power Palette System by Creative Memories!
It includes:
16 sheets Tone-on-Tone Paper
16 sheets Designer-Print Paper
96 piece Storybox
3 sheets of clear Title Stickers in black and white
2 sheets of clear Decorative ABC stickers
4 rolls of Paper Ribbon (5 feet each)
24 Paper Frames
64 Paper Flowers

And because I know how much you love to have chocolate while you're scrapping, I'm going to throw in a classic assortment of five (3 Milk, 1 Dark, and 1 White) smooth melting Lindor Truffles.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Looks like I'll be doing some research.

I believe the expression is, "I'm so mad I could spit fire." Well, these people obviously do not know that my dad nicknamed me "spitfire" when I was a kid and I probably could right now. I'll give you a little back story for those who have been hiding under a rock somewhere and do not know what has been going on with Carson. :)

Carson is now four years old, but has the vocabulary of a two year old. He also has very bad eczema. I had him evaluated last year and by the time they were ready to start therapy, it was time for school to be out. So, we were able to start at the beginning of this year. I also registered him for Head Start last year and he started in August. He has a speech and language therapist and a developmental therapist that come to Head Start for his therapy during his school day. He also received occupational therapy which I take him to after school three days a week.

When Carson was a baby we (myself and his pediatrician) thought he had an allergy to milk. She did a blood test that was negative, but wanted to keep him off of milk anyway because of his skin. We changed him to soy and he still had issues so we changed him to Nutramagen formula, which is expensive, but it seemed to be better.

Then when Carson was two years old, and old enough for allergy testing, his pediatrician sent us to an allergy doctor. He was tested and it did not show any allergies, so we went back to normal and let him have milk. He stayed behind in development and speech. His eczema seemed to get worse with the more he had. She prescribed creams, ointments and oral medications to try and help. Nothing seemed to help, so I decided to take him back off milk. His skin started clearing up and he had a burst in his vocabulary. Around this same time he fell and broke his arm, but I kept him off milk anyway. His arm healed and now if you put milk in front of him, he won't even loot at it.

While all of this is happening my sister Patty, who has a nine year old daughter Hannah with autism, had taken Hannah in to be tested by a specialist. They don't just test for allergies they test for sensitivities. Hannah has a sensitivity to Caisson and Gluten, among other things. She has recently had her son Joshua, who was diagnosed ADHD, and he also has a Caisson sensitivity. I knew it would not be to far fetched for Carson and/or Courtney to have these same issues.

Carson's skin remained irritated even after taking him off of milk and he would itch and scratch to the point he would draw blood. He has ended up with a staff infection because he was itching so bad. I took him back to the doctor to be seem when he had his latest flair up hoping it would not turn in to an infection. While I was at the doctor with Carson, I told his pediatrician about my niece and nephew having a sensitivity to milk, she recommended having a blood test done to see if it would show an allergy this time. She said if it did not she would send me to a clinic at Childrens Hospital for further testing. It took about a week, but the results came back that Carson indeed has an allergy to milk, egg and peanuts. I was shocked by the results. I was just expecting milk, maybe, but not egg and peanuts. This brings us to the situation we are having now.

Head Start requires that each child be served the same meal. I took them the information they requested when I informed them of Carson's allergies. I picked him up yesterday and was informed by the Teacher's Aid that Carson refused to eat his macaroni and cheese with his fork and had made a mess on the table instead of doing what he was asked. I told her that this is unacceptable behavior and I would talk with him. Then I asked her why he had been given the macaroni and cheese considering he has an allergy to milk and egg. The look on her face said it all for me, "Oh Crap!" She said she had seen he had the allergy, but thought it just meant the actual item itself and not items containing the product. I told her it including everything containing the product. She said ok and apologized for the infraction. I then went to get Carson from outside and saw the director of the school. I told her about it and asked that she make sure that the staff knows of his allergies and that he is not given anything with these products. She immediately looked Carson over and made sure he was not swollen or broke out with anything, which I thought was great. I go to pick him up today and the director ask me to come to the phone and talk to the nutritionist. I get on the phone and from the start the lady was just down right rude. I remained calm, although I wanted to go through the phone on this lady and revert to my previous self, but jail does not sound appealing to me.

I stayed on the phone for fifteen minutes listening to this rude lady, holding my tongue of course, while she questioned me about how I have changed Carson's diet to accommodate his allergies. I told her we have given him soy milk, which he refused, Colonial bread, because it does not contain milk, and soy nut butter in place of peanut butter as instructed by his pediatrician. She said she would need a copy of the test results to see the severity of the allergies and that since it was done by the pediatrician clinic and not an allergist that it is really just an opinion. Ok, so when exactly did this lady get her medical degree? Oh, that's right, she didn't. She went on to tell me that if we could not come up with a compromise that we would have to do something else. I said "So, do you mean I would need to provide his food or he would not be allowed to come to school?" She answered "He would not be allowed to continue at the school because we can not cater to one child this way. It is Head Starts policy that each child must be seated and served the same meal. The children that have allergies are given a similar same looking replacement, but in Carson's case we could not do that. For example, children who are allergic to peanuts are given a cheese sandwich instead, but since Carson is allergic to both milk and peanuts we could not do that. Also if we are having a type of noodles that contain egg we would still give it to him depending on the severity of the allergy." I just about lost it. I was so mad I was on the verge of tears. Then she asked "Would you have a problem providing the Colonial bread and soy nut butter for him to have?" I answered "No, I have no problem providing those as a replacement." All of the sudden, she said "Well, I need to talk to Ms. Ashley, the director, she will have something for you to sign tomorrow stating that you agree to provide the Colonial bread and soy nut butter." All I could do was walk back to Ms. Ashley and hand her the phone.

I wanted to kick and scream, but instead I am researching the Children with Disabilities Act. I also talked to his occupational therapist today who told me they can't refuse service to him because of this Act and she didn't blame me for being mad. I'm sure she will help me, if I need it to get in touch with the right people to make sure I have all my ducks in a row because I let them have it. I also spoke to my sister Patty. I think she was about as shocked as I was by the conversation I had with the nutritionist. I'm sure Dr. Miers will love hearing that a nutritionist thinks she merely writes opinions on prescription pads instead of actual diagnosis's. I plan to call her tomorrow, plus both kids have appointment coming up in November, so I'm sure we will be able to talk about it at the appointments as well.

So, here's to research and fighting for not just my child, but for the others that are being singled out for things that are out of our control.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Can you say, accident prone?

I knew for sure in July 2009 that Carson would be my accident prone child. While we were on vacation and staying at my sister's he fell down the stairs and broke his arm. Now, he has a scratched up face, black eye and a goose egg above his eye.

Last night he was playing in the hall just outside his bedroom door, when Courtney came through and tried to jump over him and the toy. She ended up hitting him in the back of the head, slamming his face into the corner of his door. I saw it happen and could not get to him fast enough. He screamed and cried, of course, and would not let me look at it. I was afraid he had hit diagonally and had broken his nose. When I got his hands away from his face, it was already swelling. It looked like he had an indention between his eye and nose, then his cheek started bleeding and I could see for sure a definite mark up his face. He didn't want me to touch him, yet he wanted me. It took a little while before he calmed down, but he finally did.

In the meantime, Courtney was very upset because she hurt brother. It was an accident, but I did have a talk with her about being more careful. She is still apologizing to him today.

This is my poor, sweet, baby boy, who fell asleep on the couch tonight. This is not unusual, but it allowed me to get a better picture of his eye.

I do not want to ask the question, what next?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snow Surprise!

This morning started out like any other morning when school is in session. I got up, made Courtney a lunch for school and woke her up. A few minutes after she was up and we were discussing her options for breakfast, my phone rang. I noticed it was my mother-in-law, so of course I answered it, wondering why she was calling at 6:30am. I had also just turned the television on to see and the first thing I saw was the weather radar covered in pink and white. I couldn't believe what I was seeing and this was the reason she was calling. My father-in-law was getting ready to leave for work when they looked outside and saw another winter wonderland, which we were not expecting.

I, of course, woke my husband to tell him, which I'm sure he could have done without, but he needed to know. I looked outside and everything was white. I figured schools would be closed, but I checked just in case they were crazy enough to not cancel, LONOKE SCHOOLS CLOSED. I was then wishing I would have received the phone call or turned on the tv or computer before I woke Courtney up, she could have slept in and I could have had a little more peace and quiet.

When I told her school was closed, she ran to the window and about screamed. She is excited about the snow, but said we would just have to turn the house in to a school. I'm not real sure about that, but she seems to think it's a possibility. She does have a lesson to do for the H.I.P.P.Y program she is in, so maybe that will satisfy her for now.

Now, it's time to get my husband off to work. He isn't pleased with the weather, since the news said last night we shouldn't get any snow, it should all be north of us. I'm hoping he will be able to make it safely to work and they will be able to get things done, so he can get home early before it gets dark and freezes.

Here's hoping everyone stays safe and warm today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

One stick and five hours later

It has been a crazy, stressful twenty-four hours at my house. I picked up my mother Wednesday morning so she could watch Carson while I took care of some paperwork up at the school and then pick Courtney up. She started complaining about her knee hurting that evening and was starting to have trouble walking. We applied some ice packs and later even tried heat packs, but nothing seemed to help. She took some Tylenol, since she can't take Ibuprofen, and that wasn't touching it either. She got up several times during the night, but insisted it was just arthritis like her doctor had told her a couple of weeks before. She said her doctor had even offered to prescribe her pain medicine, which she refused, to help with the discomfort. Yesterday afternoon she was hardly able to walk across the room and was talking about getting a walker. I was so aggravated with her for not getting the medicine to help her.

She finally said something to me about looking at her leg and how it was swollen. When I looked at it I could immediately tell it was not arthritis. I started going through things in my head trying to figure out what was wrong. I looked online and found some similarities between what I could see and the information I found on Deep Vein Thrombosis, aka a blood clot in the leg. Since my mother has a blood condition in which she makes too many red blood cells and has trouble with blood clotting, I felt it made since. I told her what I thought and that we needed to take her to see her primary care doctor. She didn't argue and almost seemed relieved to be going to the doctor. I called her doctor and they didn't have any appointments, but the receptionist said to leave a message for them to see if they could work us in. After waiting two in a half hours, they called back and said to take her to the ER, that they agreed with me about the possibility of the clot and the best course of action would be the hospital so they could do a doppler ultrasound to see for sure. After calling my mother-in-law to come and get my kids, my husband and my sister, we were off to the hospital.

We were very surprised to get to the ER and not have to wait. They had called us back within five minutes of being there. I don't think we got back that fast when Carson broke his arm. They examined her and said it was possible for her to have a blood clot, but also she could have Cellulitis, an infection in her leg. They wanted to go ahead and take some blood for labs and start an IV. The nurse was very good and got it on the first stick, which made my mother very happy. They soon came and took her to have the ultrasound and came back with good news, no blood clot. I have never been more happy to have been wrong. They did say she had the Cellulitis and would like to keep her overnight to give her IV antibiotics and monitor her.

We had a room and were moving in. It was not a private room, so there would be no room for me to stay the night. I really don't think she would have let me stay anyway. Once she was in the room, they hooked her back up to the antibiotics and fluid. She was fine for a little while, but soon starting itching and turning red. I went to get the nurse and he came back, looked at her and went to get the doctor. The doctor came in and said the itching and redness were caused from the antibiotics and fluids being run to quickly. They lowered the rate and gave her some benadryl just in case she was having an allergic reaction. She is allergic to several things, so we couldn't be sure.

I stayed with her until she ate and the benadryl kicked in, then she was ready for me to go home and for her to get some rest. I called the hospital just a little while ago and they said she was going fine and would receive another dose of antibiotic around 3am and they would give her benadryl first and run it over four hours instead of the original two. The doctor seemed hopeful that she would be able to go home tomorrow. I'm sure I will be up bright and early in the morning to go back to the hospital and hopefully bring her home.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where's the snow?

We have been watching the weather for days, awaiting the snow they said would come. We did see a little snow, but the majority of what we saw was freezing rain and sleet. When I got up yesterday morning and turned on the television, the schools were already closed. When Courtney woke up she was a little confused to be getting up and the sun already being up. When I told her school was closed she got really excited. She went to the door and looked outside and she looked disappointed. She wanted to know where all the snow was and I told her to be patient it would come. She got to go to her Granny and PaPa's to spend the day and ended up spending the night too, which made up for the lack of snow yesterday..

I took pictures yesterday as it started to fall and throughout the day documenting the progress. Then we woke up this morning to what looks like a winter wonderland. I stepped outside and took a few more pictures I've included in this post. It is very pretty outside, but it is mainly ice. There is some snow on top, which I'm sure we will get out in at some point and time today to play in.

I had noticed yesterday while the freezing rain and sleet came pouring down on us that the top of my bird feeder had blown over in the wind. There was no bird seed left in it, so I didn't try to fix it. It was amazing to see the amount of sleet the bird feeder collected over the day yesterday. I, of course, had to take a picture. Now you can see about how much ice we have. So far, the power is still on, which we are very grateful for, and it's time for some hot coffee.

Stay warm out there.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

To be or not to be? That is the question.

Let's go back about five years to set the stage for this blog post. I was working at the pharmacy as the Billing Manager and Stacy worked for the competitor. An opportunity arose for him to come and work for the same pharmacy as I was and he took it. Not because I worked there, but because it was a good opportunity. We worked together for a couple of years until September 2007 when I lost my job. It was a very difficult time for me, but had an amazing support system that helped me get through it. Stacy stayed at the pharmacy and I stayed at home with the kids. I have been a stay at home mom now for a little over two years, which is trying at times being with the kids all day and night, but well worth it.

Stacy was approached a while back about a position open at another company not related to pharmaceuticals. He decided at that time not to pursue this opportunity. At the beginning of December 2009 he was approached about this position a second time, this time he decided to give it some thought. At the same time the General Manager at the pharmacy resigned. Stacy has said for years that he would like to be the General Manager at the pharmacy. After he heard of this, he came home and we talked it over and decided he should at least let his interest be known. The month of December and beginning of January became a little stressful trying to weigh the options of both opportunities before him.

During the month of December the higher ups at the pharmacy decided to make a few changes and offered him the opportunity to be the General Manager, but the money wasn't there. After turning down the job, they came back and said they could offer him the Pharmacy Manager position and this way he could learn more about the financial side of things and be more prepared if the General Manager position became available again. Once again it was time to weigh the options.

Our main concern with him taking the other job, was insurance. We would have to get a private insurance policy just in case and none of the pre-existing stuff would be covered. So, no medicine or doctor appointments related to needing the medicine would be covered. Stacy and Courtney both take medicine daily and I should as well, but I am awful about it, so there would be an added expense until the new insurance kicked in, three months later. Also, he would lose his vacation and sick time he had built up over the past several years and would be starting from scratch all over again. I was relieved when he accepted the position, because I did not want to have to mess with all the insurance stuff, especially with two doctor appointments scheduled for the kids in February. $$$$$

After much soul searching he decided to accept the Pharmacy Manager position at the beginning of January. Last Thursday it was made official to the staff at the pharmacy and the new General Manager starts today. I needed to wait to post this information until after everyone at the pharmacy had been notified.

So, I feel like after two years of wondering why I needed to lose my job, I finally have an answer. I'm a firm believer in all things happen for a reason and I feel this is the reason. If I was still employed at the pharmacy, I would have needed to quit or he would not have been able to have this opportunity, instead we just had to wait things out. He even informed me last night, that his office is my old office and now it's time to decorate. I had already printed out a couple of pictures of the kids and put them in a hinged frame for his desk, which he was to take with him today.

Congratulations Stacy! We are proud of you!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Tale of the Persimmon Seed

My mother-in-law was talking not long ago about an old wives tale regarding the Persimmon seed. I had not heard of this so I was curious, especially when she said they have been used to predict the type of winter we will have. The tale states the seed will have inside of it one of three shapes; a fork, a knife or a spoon. The fork represents a mild winter, the knife a bitter cold winter or stabbing winter and the spoon represents lots of snow to be shoveled.

After hearing her tell us and realizing our neighbor had a Persimmon tree, we had to check it out. My husband went about a month ago, got a seed and opened it. I could not believe the perfect shape of a spoon inside. I wasn't thinking at the time about writing about it, so I didn't take any pictures. I started thinking about it today after listening to the weather and the impending winter weather advisory and storm we are expected to get in a couple of days. So, here it is, a picture of a Persimmon seed I just went and picked up from my neighbors yard and opened. As you can see there is a spoon shape inside. I guess I will have to do this again around this time next year and see if the shape inside is any different, but for now this is what we have. I guess we will see if this holds true or not.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Courtney's glasses

Well to say the least last night was not a good night at our house. After I had asked Courtney to stop playing with her glasses and put them on or put them up she kept on and they broke. I was not happy since I had just asked her to stop, but the punishment she gave herself I think was worse than anything I could have given her. She cried for hours and even asked me to tape them back together so she could wear them. Oh the joys of a six year old learning responsibility. She said she was afraid everyone at school would laugh at her for breaking her glasses, which of course my first thought was it's usually the other way around kid, but I did say that I just told her it would be okay. She then asked if I could take her to the eye doctor so she could get her new glasses last night. After explaining to her that they are not open all night, she finally settled down. This morning after her usual "Good Morning Sunshine Mommy" she apologized again for breaking her glasses. I got her off to school and talked to her teacher before I left to let her know what had happened. I then took Carson and went to the eye doctor, which was not a fun trip, but we made it. They were able to order her a new pair, which I hope will be in on Friday and they were even still under warranty so I didn't have to pay a dime. Thank God! I told her this afternoon when I picked her up that I had taken the broken ones in and they were ordering her a new pair. She was very insistent that they be the very same pair. I told her they should look the same, but from now on she needs to take better care of her glasses. I have to say though, I have broken a pair or two of glasses in my day. This is the second time these have been broken in the 15 months shes had them. Hopefully she has learned her lesson and we won't have to go through all this drama again. She looks like such a different child without her glasses, it's amazing how something so small can make such a difference.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Update on Carson

The past few weeks have been pretty big for our little guy. First the passy went away and he hasn't even asked for it, which I am very thankful for. Since the passy has gone away he has started saying more words you can actually understand. He says "peas" which of course means please, he has said Momma a few times, but not all the time, "shocks" for socks, shoes, chips, game, show, choo choo train and has started saying the names of the characters he likes to watch on tv. He likes to play games on my IPod and is quite good at them. When we wants to play he will come and point to my IPod and say "game peas". I can already tell I'm in trouble. He has the cutest look on his face when he wants something and says please. It's hard to deny him, but I know that there are times I have too. His vocabulary has really increased lately, for which I am grateful. I finally got in touch with the place that will do his speech therapy today and my next meeting with them will be February 3rd. Hopefully, after that we can get him started.
This past week I finally put my foot down and told him he was a big boy and needed to use the potty and there would be no more diapers. I really felt like he was ready to try this again since he was telling me no when it came time to change his diaper. He didn't say it every time, but enough that I finally said okay let's do this thing. Last Wednesday after I took Courtney to school I put him in big boy underwear. He wasn't real sure at first, but put them on. He has several accidents but we made it through the day. I let him sleep in his big boy pants that night and prayed he stayed dry and he did. The next day we had fewer #1 accidents, but still had work to do. By day three he only had one #1 accident. Now, he has been in big boy pants for five full days and is coming to let me know when he has to go without me having to ask every few minutes. He even came and got me when he had to go #2, but still isn't sure about doing that on the potty. Hopefully, he will get the hang of things and we will be accident free soon. He hasn't had a diaper on at all, but I still have a few just in case something was to happen. I'm hoping that this will be the end of diaper changing days for me and I have to say he is one of the cutest little boys in a pair of "tighty whities" you have ever seen.

The Bettis Family Blunders

The blunders and wonders of our lives.

About Me

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I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and Independent Consultant for Lindt Chocolate R.S.V.P. I have become an avid reader in the past few years and have even started writing my own stories. The stories I write may not go any further than my own living room, but you never know unless you try.