Amundsen House of Chaos

Let's face it, when you have a kid who survived a stroke, life is always going to be a little chaotic.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

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What do I want to be when I grow up?

What do I want to be when I grow up? That's a question I ask myself daily. Is that strange? I'm 32 and I still have this urge to do something. I mean something other than raising 3 kids, deal with Colby's medical issues, search for the newest treatment and therapy in stroke recovery, raise my husband because yes I consider him one of my children (not really), clean the house, do the dishes and laundry, run kids all over to friends house and church activities, participate in a support group for mothers with kids with disabilities, read, blog and some how find time to take care of myself. I feel like I have never found my niche.

It's not for lack of trying. I've done just about everything. I've worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor, I've been a student secretary while at college, I've been the meats lab cleaner, I've pushed cows at a sale yard, I worked for 3 weeks as a breakfast buffet short order cook, I was a parts counter person at Checker Auto, I've sold Tupperware and Avon, I taught high school, I was a bank teller and a daycare owner. I think that's all of them. I might have missed one or two. So I think I've had lots of random life experiences.

But the last few months I've felt like I need to be doing something else. What is the question? I don't know. I'm lost. I feel like I swim in circles looking for the answer to smack me up side the head or jump out in flashing neon letters. There's so many things I want to do. I want to get into photography except all I have is a point and shoot and after taking two years of photography class in high school I don't know that I'm really cut out for that. I want to cook good food. Not just hamburger helper. I want to be able to make an awesome loaf of bread. I want to be crafty and be a florist. I did teach floral design to high school students but some how I always needed a picture to copy to make anything great.

I have always loved psychology but honestly there's not really any chance I'm going back to school for a doctorate these days. Maybe some type of life coach? That would be fun but how does one go about becoming a life coach? And do I really have the qualifications for that? I'd love to own a store but in the last 5 question Friday I did, you can read it here, I already established the fact that I have adult add and would never be able to decide on just one type of store.

So I'm still at a crossroads. Someday's I wish I could just decide that for now my "job" is to be a mom and a wife. Except there's this nagging feeling deep inside my head that says I'm supposed to be doing something more. So I guess until that flashing neon sign jumps out at me I'll just have to continue being the best mom and wife I can be. If you have any ideas I'd sure love to hear about them!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

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Lab work results

The doctors called and gave me some of my lab results this week. I have a severe Vit. D deficiency. My thyroid while technically "perfect" has gone up .5 over the last year so for me it's slowing down. The doctor won't treat it until I hit 3.0 on the TSH value and mine is 1.47.

What ever. I know my thyroid is slowing down so I went and got some herbal thyroid boosters and amazingly I've had less painful headaches and double the energy over the last three days. The doctor also told me that if I had a flex spending account he could prescribe a hot tub for me so that we could write it off on our taxes. I also need to get a swimming pool and start doing laps. I should also sleep when ever I feel the need because I have chronic fatigue and borderline fibromyalgia. The Vit. D deficiency actually takes the fibro right out of the equation since low levels of Vit. D can cause muscle and joint pain.

I find it interesting that until 1978 thyroid deficiencies were treated solely on symptom description by patients. In 1978 they came out with the TSH values and stopped treating people based on symptoms and started going solely on lab tests. By 1980 we had two new diseases that mimic hypothyroidism exactly. Does that make anyone else say hmmmmm? Or is it just me? I also had the pleasure this week of reading 12 or 13 different case studies of people who didn't feel any energy until their TSH levels measured between .5 and 1.0. It just goes to prove my point that doctors need to rely less on lab work and get back to intuition. Unfortunately the threat of lawsuits makes that just about impossible.

Maybe if the original surgeon who took out Colby's appendix had listened to my mothers intuition he wouldn't have had a stroke. Unfortunately I have no crystal ball to view an alternate universe where they didn't mis-diagnose him twice. It would probably just make me sad if I did so I guess it's a good thing I'm here and not wishing for something that would allow me to see that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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$25 Kroger Giftcard Giveaway

General Mills has given me a $25 Kroger giftcard to give away for enrolling in the Bonus Box Tops program.
All you have to do is register at and select the personalized offers that you would like to receive.

Once you register, you will automatically receive 5 Bonus Box Tops just for signing up! You will also receive custom offers for bonus box tops for purchasing participating General Mills products. The offers you select will then load onto your Kroger Shopper Card to be redeemed once you purchase the items. The great part is there’s no clipping! The Bonus Box Tops will automatically go straight to your chosen school. Just remember to scan your card when purchasing the participating items.

Here are the details of the offer:

Get 3,4, or 5 Bonus Box Tops when you buy the corresponding amount of participating General Mills Cereals

Participating cereals include Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, , Cookie Crisp Sprinkles, Trix, Reese’s Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Golden Grahams, Kix, Fruity Cheerios, Dora the Explorer, Honey Kix, and all varieties of Cascadian Farm

Get 3, 4, or 5 Bonus Box Tops when you buy the corresponding amount of participating Yoplait Kid products

Participating products include Yoplait Kids Yogurt Drink, Yoplait Go-GURT, Yoplait Kids Lowfat Yogurt, and Yoplait Trix Lowfat Yogurt

Get 3, 4, or 5 Bonus Box Tops when you buy the corresponding amount of participating Pillsbury products

Participating products include 8 ct. packages of all varieties of Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits, Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, Pillsbury Flaky Twists, and Pillsbury Sweet Rolls

If you’d like to participate in this giveaway, go sign up for the box top rewards program then come back here and leave me a comment saying that you enrolled. For another entry start following my blog and leave a comment saying your following. For a third entry twitter about it and leave me a comment with your post and for a fourth entry blog about it with a link back to me. Then come back and comment with the url. Pretty simple.

I will pick a random winner on 3rd. You will have 48 hours to contact me with your mailing information. If I don't hear back from you within 48 hours another drawing will be held until I get someone to send me their information. Good luck everyone and thank you General Mills.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

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Not Me Monday 01/25/10

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I would never suffer from technological break downs. Not me. All computers, phones and cameras always work perfectly. That's why this post is filled with tons of pictures of what I accomplished this weekend. Or not.

My computer will not open any files or the internet. Fun. Nice. I would never have thousands of files and music on my computer that I couldn't replace or had not ever replaced with a hard copy back up. That would be stupid. To never back up your computer. I would not be that person who doesn't do that.

My husbands laptop would never have it's usb ports stop working. Those lovely little USB ports always recognize cameras and their little memory cards also. That would make it easy to post pictures onto a blog but not mine.

UGH. That's all I can say about that. I'm thoroughly frustrated with technology today.

On a different topic. I did not totally tear down Colby's bed and put it up in Rileys room just because I was tired of leaning up against the bed and causing major muscle cramps in my back. I also would not leave Riley crib up in her room and threaten her with having to sleep in the baby crib if she got up out of the new big girl bed in her room. After three chances I would not put her in the crib and walk out to her screaming "I'm not a baby. I'm a big girl." That would be mean right?

I woud not be a mean mom and make Jahnna clean up the baby powder that is all over her bathroom on her own. I also would not tell her that if she could't find her lost homework that she was asked 7 times to put away in it's proper location then that was to bad. She just wouldn't be able to turn in her homework this week. That was not met with a huge temper tantrum after which I told her to go scream in her room because I didn't want to listen to it.

I would not be a the doctors office this morning because I am so stinking exhausted all the time. I would not seriously be considering a caffeine iv if the doctor doesn't find something wrong with my thyroid. I am not tired of being tired, having insanely itchy dry skin, freezing fingers and toes, migraines every single day and total and complete brain fog. I'm also tired of walking up a flight of stairs and feeling like I'm going to fall over because my legs are so sore. Now I admit to being out of shape but seriously this is ridiculous. I feel like I ran a marathon after one flight of stairs. The weak legs that are wobbly and to heavy to take another step. Something is not right. So I am finally going to make someone figure out what it is. And this time I'm not going to tolerate "You have chronic mono and need to learn to live with the fatigue" be the answer that I keep getting. That would not be an unacceptable answer that I refuse to listen to anymore. Wish me luck.

Friday, January 22, 2010

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5 Question Friday 1/22/10

My Little Life

Head on over to Mama M and check out some other fun Five Question Friday answers.

1. What is better, growing old with out money or dying young and wealthy?

How about growing old with lots of money? J/K totally smart alecky today. I think I'd rather grow old without money than die young with money. At least if you grow old you have lots of life experiences. You'd probably have a family and lots of happy memories. Money is nice but family and friends are more important.
2. Who takes out the garbage at your house?

I do. Sometimes Jahnna does if she is feeling particulary helpful. So maybe 3 or 4 times a year! It's just as easy for me to take out the trash as it is for John to do it. Plus one of Jahnnas chores is to empty the garbage cans every morning into the big one. So usually it's full after he's gone to work.
3. Have you ever had the same dream many times?

Yes. It involves planes crashing and only happens when a family member is going to fly somewhere. Strange huh?
4. Can you play a musical instrument?

When I was younger I played the clarinet and the piano. Neither one very well. I wish I could still play both but someday I'll try and learn again. My first priority if I was going to learn an instrument would be the guitar. I really wish I had learned to play that.
5. If you owned your own store, what would you sell?

Probably a health food store or supplement store of some kind. But I also love crafts and school stuff. My favorite part of teaching was going to the education store every summer and just spening hours in there. Or maybe a book store that's really comfy and cozy. Ok I'd have a health food, supplement, craft, school stuff book store!

Can you tell I have a hard time sticking with one option. I think maybe I have adult ADD because I cannot stick with one thing. Probably why I've had so many different jobs in my life. Oh well variety is the spice of life right?

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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Wordless Wednesday

Colby was pretty excited to wear daddy's hat at Greg and Felicia's wedding.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

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Molly Gets Organized All In One Place

Organization is such an elusive thing for me. I like being organized. I like to think I'm organized. And then I look at my desk, into my drawers or I try to find something and I realize how unorganized I really am. This e-book was designed for me! I've tried many different ways of being organized I just never stick with them. I almost always revert back to my back up method of stacking. I am a stacker. I stack papers, books, cds. If it can be stacked I've probably got a stack of it somewhere in my house. I love all the different ideas in this e-book. I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing a lot less stacks in my house from now on. 

Basically this is all of the organization tips from the year 2009 that were in the the digests put together in one place. I like things being in one place. It makes life so much easier. In January it starts off teaching you have to put together a home inventory binder. You keep track of all your appliances and important large items.

There is a section that teaches you how to use coupons. How to organize and use them. I loved the idea about making a hanging pot rack in the kitchen. Absolutely brilliant idea but you have to get the e-book to find out what it is! There are also a bunch of ideas for spring cleaning.

Another section teaches you how to set up your home financial system. I never knew that throwing your bills into a wicker basket on your desk isn't really a good home financial system! Just kidding. Of course I know that. I just need to implement some of these ideas to get me straighten out a bit better. 

There are many more sections but I think my favorite thing is how to shop yard sales and also all the pictures of furniture that have been picked up and "re-purposed" There are some creative gals out there is all I can say. 

If one of your New Years Resolutions was to get better organized then you need this e-book. Just head on over to The Old Schoolhouse and get your copy. It's only $7.95 which is a pretty good deal considering the wealth of information found in it. Head on over and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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Wordless Wednesday

Riley wearing Jahnna's jacket and a mess like usual. Good thing she's cute.

Monday, January 11, 2010

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In typical Colby fashion here is how our day went.

He slept all night. I had to sleep on the floor next to him but he still slept all night. He only woke up the two times I removed my hand off his stomach. As soon as I put my hand back on him he went right back to sleep. Unheard of for him. He is usually awake for at least two or three hours every time I don't have a night nurse. He didn't have any medication other than blood pressure meds all night. His baclofen, artane and sinemet all were on hold so that the doctor could see how bad his tone is and how bad his posturing is. Let me repeat. I expected him to be awake and very uncomfortable all night not sleep the best he has slept since his stroke.

Then I got up got a shower and started getting things ready to go to the doctors. He watched t.v. and slept off and on. I got the girls ready for Grandma to take Jahnna to school and Riley to go play at Grandmas house. He slept through that. I put him in the car. He slept through it. He slept the entire two hour drive down to Salt Lake.  We didn't have to listen to The Spectacular Spiderman or Wow Wow Wubbzy even once the whole drive down. Unheard of. He should have been very uncomfortable and at least crying if not screaming at this point. It had been over twelve hours since his last dose of medication and he normally gets those every six hours.

We got to the doctors office. Said hello to my friend from high school Sara! We love you Sara! Then went into a room, where Colby slept. He was looser than he has ever been before. There was no tightness at all. I was seriously contemplating my sanity at this point. The doctor came in he wouldn't do anything. We even put him on the floor and told him we were leaving. All he did was get his little pouty lip and start crying. No screaming, no posturing, no anger nothing. So not like Colby. John even tried to give him his knife but he wouldn't reach for it.

The doctor told me she believed me that he wasn't normally like this. She also said that if this is truly his baseline (which I know it isn't) then Deep Brain Stimulation won't help him and she doesn't think we need to go forward. She did say though that she would wait for me to send her videos of him at home so that she could look at what he does when he's home. When she said we could go we asked him if he was tricking the doctor. He chuckled and smiled and said "yeah". ARGH is all I can say. The whole point was to see him being spastic and posturing and he didn't do any of it. He is so backward. He never does anything I expect him to. I don't know why I was so surprised by his behavior today. Knowing he is the backward boy I should have expected him to do exactly what he did. But I'm a glutton for punishment I guess.

Then we went to lunch with Uncle Robert. That was fun even though they are awful to go anywhere in public with. John and Robert kept asking Colby if he wanted to drink whiskey and chase women with them. Of course my son the deviant finds that wonderfully funny and belly laughs every time they ask him.

Next up was the Kidney doctors. We waited 45 minutes to see the nurse practitioner. Of course we waited. We were 15 minutes early. Had we been 2 minutes late she would have been ready the second we walked in the door. Colby didn't care. He was sleeping on dads lap. As soon as she walked in he decided he was done with doctors and kept looking at the door. But even still through the whole appointment he was nice and relaxed. No throwing up, no posturing, no spasticity. The Kidney doctor came in and said that since Colby's blood pressure is so well controlled now we can go ahead and take him off one of his blood pressure medications. So see ya Atenolol. We are not going to miss you. Of course I will continue to monitor his blood pressure and if he goes above 120/80 with a resting BP then I have to call and we will adjust the doses of his remaining two medications. They also upgraded us to six month checkups. For the first time in two years we won't be coming to see them every three months. Thank you kidney doctor!

We started heading home after that. Colby was soft and content the whole way. He watched Wubbzy and just hung out. He smiled every time we turned to check on him. As soon as we came into the valley he started stiffening up. As soon as we walked in the door he started vomiting.  Of course. Why wouldn't he? He is my backward boy! That sums up our fun filled totally backward and nothing as we expected it day today. How was your Monday?
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

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A whole lot of stuff

Wow what a fun weekend I've had. Colby's had a whole lot of stuff coming out of him. From both ends. That partial intestinal obstruction does not want to remove itself. If I can't get it to remove itself we'll have to go in and see what the hospital can do for him. Fun times. Not so much.

You should have seen the look the poor girl at Wal-mart gave me. What would you do when someone walks up and places 4 enemas, 2 boxes of prunes, a bottle of prune juice and 2 bottles of pedialyte on your counter. You'd probably run. I would except I'm the one that has to give it to him. I've tried everything I already had in my arsenal of a medicine cupboard and so far it's not budging the build up. It has started his gag reflex and unstoppable vomiting. I feel so bad for him. He's relatively happy through out the day but it's still no fun for him. 

Colby's sleeping right now. It's going to be a bad night anyway so I figured I'd let him get his sleep in this afternoon. He can't have his Baclofen or his Parkinson's drugs after 7pm tonight until after his neurology appointment tomorrow. The Baclofen is what makes his muscles loosen up and the Parkinson's drugs are for dystonia and tremorring. The goal is to see what he looks like when he's not on medication. We haven't ever really seen what he looks like with out medication.

As he was being brought out of his coma the doctors started loading on the drugs. They admitted that they snowed him in an effort to getting him stable and out of the hospital and then it was up to me to adjust and wean him off of things as we could play with it. Colby didn't react typically to anything so we're still making it up as we go along. I'm not saying that the doctors did the wrong thing. They wanted to make him comfortable. And he was not comfortable. He screamed and screamed and screamed for six months. It's called neurostorming. Don't try looking it up it's more of a slang term. The only thing that stopped the screaming were the Hyperbaric treatments.

Anyway. I'm rambling. It's what I do when I'm thinking about things I don't want to think about. Like surgery and complications and tonight. I don't have a nurse tonight so I'll be up with him all night. Then we get to leave bright and early to go to the doctor. After that is done then we get to go over and have a kidney doctor appointment. Just a routine check up but I'm sure they won't be happy that his lab tests were drawn back in November and it's now January and I'm just finally get in to see them. Oh well. we had a busy couple of months. I know what the results said and I wasn't worried about his kidney function at least. It's going to be a long night and day.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

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5 Question Friday 1/8/10

 Welcome to 5 question Friday. I love this bloghop. It's fun to read what other people answer. Fun times. Anyway here it is. Thanks goes to Mama M. for hosting the party.

1. What's your "comfort food"?

Without a doubt it's popcorn. Oozing with salty buttery goodness. And a soda. Wrecks my stomach but I love it while I'm eating it.  Mmmmmhhh now I want some but I'm doing a protein day and so all I get to eat today is a big fat steak. Oh well tomorrow I'll be 4 pounds lighter and then maybe I'll indulge.

Do you send Thank You's (handwritten or email)?

I want to send thank you's I really do. I just rarely get them out. 
I feel bad when I don't send them and then guilt trip myself for 6 months over it.

If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?

I don't even know! I love Csi and Bones but I really don't want to do that all day for a month. I'd love to do friends (see upcoming question) but I'd get really really fat sitting in a coffee shop all day doing nothing. Probably something like everybody loves Raymond. Then I could laugh all day.

4. What is your favorite online recipe site?

My go to recipe site is but I don't really like the new format. Okay the year old format that I still can't get used to. So mostly I swagbuck search a recipe. 
(Yes you can join up under me. Look in my top right corner to join. I've made $20 in Amazon giftcards in two months!) 

5. If you had to choose: "Friends" or "Seinfeld"? 

Hands down Friends all the way. I never got into Seinfeld. I don't know why. Just wasn't that funny to me. I did like the no soup for you episode but really that's about the only one I remember. And even if you haven't seen it you still probably know which one I'm talking about.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

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Some pictures from Christmas

Here are a few pictures from Christmas. I haven't uploaded from my camera yet so I'm sure there will be some more later on.

My dad and Riley. My parents brought up an actual thinking chair from Blue's Clue's. It's awesome and it's actually pretty comfortable if a little small for adults. Grandpa is not a man of many words but you know you are loved when he watches Saturday morning cartoons with you.

Colby was being a stinker and wanted to lay on the table. He loves his army beanie and wants to wear it inside all day even when his head gets sweaty!

Jahnna playing with playdough. She's very intense when it comes to her sculpting.

I think we were singing a song. Doesn't he look thrilled with me. It's kind of a look that says "fine mom I'll go along with it for now but don't push your luck to long!"

 Riley wanted a different color playdough. She thought she should have all the colors all at once. She finally got her way and now we have bunches of brown multicolored playdough.

Seriously someone should tell me to put some makeup on during the holidays. Colby's getting a bit big to sit on my lap but don't tell him. He gets sad.

Jahnna and Grandma dancing I think.

Colby in his stander. The massage thing is to keep his head from falling to the side. I need to rig a better system but for now this works and he's happy to be standing up.

Riley helping dad open his presents. She couldn't stand to wait her turn to open a present so she tried helping everyone.

And finally this one is just a goofy face for both of us. I was trying to open something and Colby was irritated I was taking to long. I guess I'm slowing down already!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

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Wordless Wednesday

What? Don't you eat dinner with an AK-47 to keep the peace? I do. Just kidding I was done eating and my dad wanted a picture of me with my new home defense weapon. Again it wasn't my idea to have an AK-47 it was my husbands. Of course. And the goofy look on my face is because I was trying to get a piece of chicken out of my teeth before he took the picture. I wasn't so successful with that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

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Who knew superman was really my little brother?

I sure as heck didn't! I have proof though.

See I told you I had proof. A friend made him the cape for Christmas and my kids wouldn't let him take it off. Every time they saw it laying on the counter or the table they would take it to unca galen and say you be superman now!  What a good uncle he is and an awesome superman!  

Sunday, January 3, 2010

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My first review!!!

I am so excited! I get to review a product and what an awesome one to start with. On a whim I sent an email to review Molly's Money Saving Digest. I didn't even know I'd been selected until I got my January copy in my inbox. 

I opened it up right away and was instantly impressed. I have been wanting to learn how to bake better and right in front was a great tutorial on homemade pie crusts. I am not a baker and y pie crusts are almost never right so I can't wait to make a pie this week using the new recipes and tips I found in here.

There are 5 different forms to help you organize your home. You can start by recording all your monthly bills to get an idea of where your money goes. Then you can start to make adjustments to your budget and see where you can start saving some money. There is a weeks worth of frugal menu ideas complete with a shopping list. That's always a big help when your pressed for time.

There is also a great section on ideas to use for teaching your kids about money and keeping a checkbook. I'm going to make the piggy bank with Jahnna this week. She's always losing her money or wanting to spend it right away. I think I'll use the check register to help her keep track of how much money she is putting into the bank each week as she gets her allowance. That way she can use her cool new piggy bank and learn some math while we're at it.

I loved the idea for displaying a monthly scripture in your home. I'll also be working on that project this week as well. Looks simple and is inexpensive. I already know what I'm going to be doing for Christms presents next year also. I never would have thought to take a picture add words to it and then put it onto a piece of canvas. So easy, simple and much less expensive than what you would pay for at the store.

These are just a few of the many great articles in this digest. You can get it yourself for just $4.95. It's really a bargain for everything you get in there. If you want to spend just a bit more for $9.95 you can get the organization bundle. It includes the January issue plus all of the 2009 organization tips and articles. I have really enjoyed looking over my January issue and getting ideas to use this month. I hope you take a minute and go get your own copy it's worth every penny!