I would rather have been bitten by a snake

Today I went to the lab to have a large amount of blood taken, for one final attempt to find out what went wrong a month ago. My doctor recommended that I check with my insurance company first, that sometimes they don't want to cover these types of tests. Since bills are coming in from three different doctors, two different hospitals and radiologists, one ambulance service and one anesthesiologist I figured I should do what I could to avoid a $2000 lab bill.

I called the lab, gave them the names of five hard to pronounce lab tests and they in return gave me many sets of numbers. I then called my insurance company and gave them these codes. After being on hold twice the benefits specialist got back on the line and asked if I had been bitten my a snake. WHAT? Have I been bitten by a snake??? Maybe being bitten by a venomous snake would have been less painful but apparently some of the same tests that they do when they are checking for the amount of venom in your body (or something like that) are the same they do for recurrent pregnancy lost. I'm pretty clueless about all of that, but WHAT??? A snake???

Sarsota Jungle Garden Photos

One of our favorite activites that we did last week was visit the Jungle Gardens. An overgrown area swamp area in Sarasota was transformed into an educational garden that provides homes for injured animals. Here we are holding parrots, feeding flamingos, and petting an aligator (and pretending to be lemors).

Florida Lessons

Here are a few things that I discovered while on our recent getaway to Sarasota, FL.:

Cell phones do not like the pool. Although my friend Amanda says that they don't mind being thrown in the laundry, we did find out that Jake's phone does not like being in his pocket while he is in 5 foot deep water throwing our five year old around. It is now an ex-phone.

Turtle Beach is a little more family friendly than Siesta Key Beach. Yes, Siesta Key is large and beautiful, has this great white sand, decent waves and a huge concession stand but it has major parking problems and is very crowded! Just down the key a little we discovered (on our last day) that Turtle Beach has tons of parking, great showers, and is MUCH less crowded. We sat right on the waters edge and read our books while Jonah ran back and forth. Well worth dealing with coarser sand (it brushes off much easier anyway!)!

Carry more than one credit card. Despite the fact that Turtle Beach Pub is right across from the beach and has great grouper sandwiches that you can enjoy in your bathing suit it does NOT except Discover card. So make sure husband puts something else in his "mini wallet" (I think he made up the mini wallet for this trip, it was the first I heard of it, and hopefully the last...) for the next beach excerison or someone well have to run back to the condo...

A five year old can be a much better traveler than 2 grown-ups. Someone was just telling us yesterday, and we agreed, that once you hit the big 3-0 you have less tolerance for long car trips, ones that you used to enjoy in your college days. After being in the car for 14 hours one day Jake and I were getting antsy and cranky with each other but Jonah was happily playing with his Power Rangers in the back seat. When asked how he was doing he always said, "I'm happy". I think he only watched 3 hours of movies on that 14 hour day!

Condos, expecially free ones, are the way to go. Jakes's aunt and uncle were very generous to lend us their condo last week. It was wonderful having plenty of space, a pool, and a full kitchen. We didn't have to go out to eat for every meal and saved a little money that way. It was so much more fun and relaxing than a small hotel room.

I need to move to Florida for medical reasons.
Just before our trip I went to the dentist feeling SURE that I had major work that needed to be done because my upper teeth were bothering me a lot. The dentist said that he couldn't find anything and that where I was pointing probably meant that my sinuses cavities were giving me trouble. Everything was fine in FL but now that we've been back two days I've been sneezing and experiences that discomfort all over again.

Sunshine helps, but doesn't solve everything. Both the grief counselor and one of my doctors encouraged us to take this trip- that being somewhere warm and sunny would improve our outlook. It was very relaxing and the time together was great, but you know, you can cry just as hard in sunny Florida as you can in 40 degree IL weather! But I knew that, and I did have some breakdowns (expecially after the credit card incident) but I am glad that we got away. It was a nice distraction. It also gave us time to think and talk and continue to process what happened. We don't have any anwsers but I do feel a little more ready for "life" now that we are back.

My candle holder is NOT possessed

I was at the docotor's today and they were taking a survey to see what we thought the earthquake "was" when it happened at 4:30 this morning. It turns out that there four votes for thinking that a particular object was "possessed" (there was one vote for a toranado).

When we woke up to our free standing wraught iron candle holder vibrating on the dresser Jake went to check it out, in a very sleepy state. "Is it an earthquake?" I ask. He takes all of the candles off, puts them back on, gets back into bed and says "its just the candleholder". He promptly falls back to sleep. I have trouble sleeping because I'm just sure that "something" has overtaken my candleholder. A special thanks to my small group who talked about demon possession this week...

I've never been so glad to receive a phone call prior to 7am from a concerned friend checking to see if we were okay. I'm was also glad to hear him say that there was in fact an earthquake!

Jonah and Week Two

We made it through another week. I had some bad days but some okay days as well. I'm pretty sure that Jonah wore the same pair of plaid boxers for most of the week, but if that's the only thing I spaced on then I'm doing pretty good, right?

Speaking of Jonah, here are three "Jonah" stories since I've neglected to write about him recently:

Story One
Apparently Jonah has been processing everything that has happened to us over the last weeks because when we left him with a friend he recapped it all for her. She said he was pretty accurate concerning the order of events and even mentioned that he would see his little sister in heaven one day. He did say that her mode of transporation to heaven was in fact a spaceship, which our friend did not argue with. It sounded pretty cool to her, us too!

Story Two
This week made it clear that a milestone is approaching for us- kindergarten screening was Thursday. Jonah was excited and I only cried once (not so much about him going off to school soon, that will come later, but they asked him if he had brothers and sisters and apparently he told the whole story..). Anyway, the tester marked him as "borderline" ready because he confused his ankle and heel, did not know he had a jaw, and wrote a couple of letters in his name backwards. But his language skills are excellent (no kidding). We've already squared away the body parts issue and I knew we needed to work on our handwriting so I'm not stressing to much. I'm just thankful that he is looking forward to going to this "new school".

Story Three
In the midst of everything I decided to go ahead with having the garage sale with my parents and that we had planned before my life was turned upside down. I thought it would be a welcome distraction and it was. We didn't sell much on Sat. due to the SNOW but on Friday we did well, we moved a lot of toys. I split the toy profit with Jonah, an incentive to encourage him to put some toys in the sale. He made $10.50, which was $3 short of the Power Ranger Solar Morphers that he wants to purchase at the store. Jake thought it was a good idea to give him jobs to earn nine more quarters (he had a little cash in his piggy bank). But we ran out of quarter jobs for a five year old to do, so if you have any tables that need to be washed or wood chips that need to be swept- we've got the kid for the job!

"I want to splash at the beach"

The title of this post is a quote from Jonah who helped us decide our vacation destination. Thanks to everyone who gave us some great ideas, they all sounds nice and relaxing to me, but really I was having trouble making a decision and Jake was vetoing everything. But then Jonah put in his two cents which reminded Jake to remind me that his uncle did have a condo close to the beach in Florida.

Free lodging along with Jonah's request helped us to put our vacation location search to an end. So we are off in just a little more than a week to enjoy a relaxing week at the beach and I even think I talked Jake into doing something the typical tourist might do- visit Busch Gardens (he still couldn't be talked into Disney World). Now that our lodging is taken care of we are still trying to decide if we are going to fly or drive (even the travel agent suggested we drive because flights to Florida are high right now). But checking out rates and so forth is keeping me busy for the time being, which has been good for me. But I'm thinking a little sun and sand might even be better!

80's radio

So my link on my previous blog doesn't appear to be playing the Bangles every time...sorry, if you want to hear it YOU will probably be more capable at finding it than I am. Maybe you can even leave a link in a comment for all of those who are way sad...

Grief Counseling and Krogering

Last night we went to our first grief counseling session. We did not know this counselor previously, Jake set it up through his work. It turns that the lady we saw had an experience similar to ours, so she could relate. Which I thought at first might be nice, but she ended up being emotional along with us and said that she still wasn't "over" the fact that she couldn't have more than one child (even though it had been thirty years). Hmmmmm...not what I really wanted to hear at my counseling appointment. Maybe she was just being realistic, but it didn't make me feel very hopeful! But she did give us a little bit of helpful advice about dealing with grief on a daily basis and said that I wasn't showing any signs of postpartum or clinical depression.

Taking my counselor's adivce of staying busy, I ran to Krogers today because even in my current state of saddness I still have trouble passing up a Mega 10 deal at my favorite store for getting grocery bargains. I did my shopping, got my 10 items and didn't have a nervous breakdown of any sort, even when I passed the baby food. The real therapy came when I was picking up some pretzels and "Manic Monday" by the Bangles, one of my favorite 80's songs, came on.

Try this out, maybe it will make your day too(beware, if you're not familar with this song that there is a not very nice part in it that I probably didn't understand back in the fifth grade...)!

One week

Today is the first of many anniversaries of our little baby's death. It doesn't seem like its already been a week. Is that good because time isn't crawling by? Or bad because it still seems like it JUST happened? I'm not sure, but yesterday was a lot more difficult than today.

We have received lots of cards, flowers, gifts, meals, and words of wisdom over this last week. Today alone I found 8 cards in the mail box, one which included a check from a group of friends in Arkansas to help meet any needs that we might have, I'm not sure about hospital bills yet but Disney World might be a more immediate need... Another revealed that a donation was being made to St. Jude in Norah's honor. On my porch was another box from FTD with the cutest flowering trio inside, complete with a pot set (it didn't say it who it was from, so fess up). I also received a call that meals were going to be brought to my house for most of the next two weeks. Which is wonderful since I've already failed at Wal-mart. I'm not sure if it was planned for us to get all of these things today, but it was perfect timing! Thanks all!

I have gotten lots of calls (and emails and blog comments), some with words of wisdom and some who just listen to me babble (some with both, all are GREAT). Here are just a couple that I have taken to heart:

"You may want to plan everything, but you CAN'T plan your grief."-Brooke (So true, and I know now that I am wasting my time if I try)

"You are not suppose to be okay, what happened to you is NOT okay"- Sara (very simple, but it reminds me that melting down is normal in this abnormal situation).

The Last Straw (a post on processing)

Jonah knows that now that he is 5 he has to drink from cups like a big boy, only straws at resturants. But this morning he tried to get away with it and I had a complete breakdown. I was thinking, I don't care about straws, I just want my baby back. That led me to believe that the shock is wearing off. That I likely will not say that I'm okay when someone asks (just a warning). Things are starting to get processed and I'm begining to wonder:
1. Why did this freak thing that never happens, happen to me?

2. What am I going to do come August when J goes to school? I'm a stay-at-home mom, that means I'm suppose to have kids to stay at home with. AND will I have to change the name of my blog? I definitly couldn't handle that...

3. How am I'm going to "do life"? I was staring at the sauce packets at Wal-mart today when my Wed. night co-teacher called and said he was bringing me dinner tomorrow night. That is good I thought, because all I have in my cart is a jar of artichokes, a carton of sour cream and a thing of cinnamon. My family is going to starve, or have some interesting meals if I don't figure out how to shop soon (Friends have brought by a few meals this week, which has be wonderful, so please don't think we are really going to starve!).

4. And of course, the question that has been plaguing me since 2004, will I ever have another child???

I think it goes without saying that my posts have gone from funny J stories to sad updates to sticky emotional vomit. So don't feel like you have to keep reading them (there is always my hubbie's Linux posts if you want something a lot less emotional (and interesting) to read).

Librarian induced meltdown

So today I took Jonah to pre-school because I'm determined to keep him on some sort of schedule. But then I had this time on my hands and ended up at the library. I thought it might be good to pick up a book or two since I'm suppose to be taking it easy and I'm running out of episodes of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. I soon found out that I had a $12.65 fine for a Veggie Tale video that I forgot to return. I just can't believe that in the midst of my life crashing down that I forgot to return The Minnesota Cuke. Please. I paid that fine with only a few sniffles but then she proceeded to spell out carefully to me when my books are due, so this doesn't happen again. Come on, I am a responsible homemaker who gets embarassed over things like over due library books. So I therefore apologize to my mother-in-law and grandparents who are probably reading this, but really I couldn't help but think of a few things the librarian could do with that particular video. It was really everything I could do not to have a melt down. But then I got home after picking up Jonah and had FTD flowers from SE Asia on my front porch so I felt better. Thanks Jon and Amanda-you just saved a innocent librarian from my (equally innocent and non-harmful) wrath.