Friday, October 24, 2014

Another Real, quick update

Brendan is doing FABULOUSLY well.  Pain is well-managed, and all PT and OT goals and tests passed.  His new CPM machine was delivered this afternoon. . . .

This machine will be his constant companion for the next six weeks.  It will work his quads without him moving and working them.

The surgeon unwrapped and changed the dressing on the surgical incision.  The surgeon was pleased, and said it was beautiful.  Of course I had to look.  It wasn't as bad as I had imagined.  Just a 6" long, dark reddish black incision, covered in steri strips.  No picture here, though. . . only because my phone had died.


For the most part, we just sat around and waited.  We visited the teen room.  We ate lunch together in the cafeteria.  We painted pumpkins with some of the other patients.

some of the kids' and volunteers' pumpkins...
 and my ugly flowery one.

Brendan's raven pumpkin

And we waited some more. 

I don't want to complain, especially compared to my son's ordeal, but I have to state something here:  it is EXHAUSTING sitting in a hospital.  I don't understand it.  It is literally an energy-suck.  I have photographic proof of my statement.   It ain't pretty, but I promised to keep it real here, so. . . .

8 a.m.

8 p.m.

Seriously!  Did I age 10 years in 12 hours?! I almost wanted to laugh when I saw these pics, but I also wanted to cry.  But I was too tired to do either.

Don't get me wrong.  I've walked a little every day, giving me a small energy boost.  I'm still sleeping wonderfully (almost guiltily) at the Ronald McDonald House.  I'm also eating well (the food here is surprisingly good... too good.  Note to self: get back to the gym when we get home!)  I'm doing my best to take care of myself in the current circumstances.  I can't imagine how I'd feel if I wasn't doing that!  I learned the hard way, after many years of self-imposed martyrdom, that I can't take care of anyone else if I don't take care of myself first.  Sounds selfish, doesn't it?  But it isn't.  I can't give what I don't have, so I have to recharge, refill, and refresh so I can love my family better.

So now, we wait.  Brendan is rumored to be discharged very soon.  I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Into the storm and out... a quick post-op update

My son came through surgery safely, and the surgeons are cautiously pleased with the results.  They found more damage and complications than they had anticipated, but they were able to adapt and accomplish their main goals of lengthening the quadriceps and centering his kneecap on the right leg.  None of the anticipated bone procedures were done; the surgeons said they wouldn't have been helpful.  Now Brendan's very painful, very slow process of healing and rehab begins.

the oh-so-fun PCM machine.

He'll be hospitalized for another week, and then we'll hang around for an additional week, as the surgeons want Brendan nearby until his follow-up appointment.

This is my new home during this ordeal. . . .

my room, and B's birthday present.

How nice is this?  It's the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.  The folks that run it, the atmosphere, the volunteers. . . so warm, inviting, nurturing.

I arrived at the House late last night, after visiting hours were over at the hospital (only 1 parent is allowed to stay with the child overnight, and my sweet husband insists on overnight hospital duty.) As I stumbled up to the front desk, worn out, raw, clunking around with my ridiculously heavy, bulky vintage luggage, the volunteer greeted me with a smile, and said, "Aren't you Brendan's mom?  We have something for him."  She disappeared behind a wall, and returned with a birthday cake and a large gift bag, complete with a personalized birthday card.  I was puzzled.  I explained that his birthday was in September.  The volunteer said that the entire House had celebrated all of the October birthdays that night, and they were sorry they had missed Brendan's, so they were celebrating it that night.  You guys, it was ALL I COULD DO not to break down and sob right then and there.

There's something really special, spiritual, going on there, and here at the hospital.  I'll keep you posted. . . .

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The calm before the storm

after pre-op, a relaxing evening stroll, enjoying the Texas sunset

THE SURGERY is tomorrow, and I think we're as ready as we humanly can be.  He's more ready than I am, but that's how it goes with moms, I think.  We met with a dozen different personnel and departments on Friday. . . .

We've been informed of every possible scenario and outcome, perhaps, and signed more consent forms than I could have imagined possible.  We're praying for less pain and more leg stability and functioning.  If that's the eventual outcome, then the surgery will be a success.

While waiting for Monday. . . .

We're staying with one of my sweet, gracious sisters while waiting for THE SURGERY.  Brendan is watching lots of football, resting his leg.  I got to visit one of my old thrift store haunts. . . .

this is where it all began. 

HEAVEN.  We don't have thrift stores like this out in west Texas.  Not. even. close.  Of course we found a few monstrosities, like this catty gem. . . .

BRRRREEOOW MEOW.  so ugly, it makes me smile.

But this. . . .

. . . this makes the digging SO worth it.  Three yards of new, pristine Amy Butler Lotus Morning Glory print, plus a couple of yards of new fleece (not shown,) bundled together for a paltry FOUR BUCKS.  Super-score!

And then there's this. . . .

many thanks to my other amazing sister, 
for sending me updates and reminders like this!

 I'm away, and they don't understand.  I've never been away from the home for an extended amount of time.  This is so hard on everyone.  But I'm so, so thankful for smart phones. . . .

This jumble of noise and confusion and smiles and squeals melts my heart, and makes this separation more bearable.  

Not easy, but bearable.  And hopefully, worth it.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dog toys and barking babies

Henry woke up wheezing and coughing (barking, really,) early Sunday morning.  He went into respiratory distress -- twice -- while in the ER.

We spent the rest of the day in a hospital room, watching and waiting.  He has an airway defect, laryngomalacia, which results in the narrowing of his airway.  Mix in some moderate croup, and we had a dangerous situation.  He's still wheezing a bit, so he's taking steroids for the next few days.

Thankfully, he's slowly on the mend.

Other barking. . . .

Our goofy rescue dog, Maybe, needed some new chew toys, but I'm too cheap to spend $10+ on something she's just going to destroy.  (Especially when pet toys are generally pretty simple to make.)  So I turned to trusty ol' Pinterest, and found this cool step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make a 4-strand rope toy.  It's really easy (and fun!) once you get the hang of it!  I used two old t-shirts to make mine.  They whip up in no time at all!

even easier and faster to make when you don't 
have an adorable helper like mine.

And since you're only cutting a few inches off the bottom of your t-shirt, why not make it into an eco-friendly shopping tote while you're at it?  I mean, this took me all of 4 fat minutes to make.  Cut the sleeves.  Cut the neckline.  Sew the bottom.  BOOM.  DONE.

But I digress.

The red t-shirt I used had a tag on the side seam, which made the braiding a little wonky for some reason.

 No worries. . . . I don't think Maybe noticed.

I have a whole Pinterest board full of pet-friendly crafts and treats, if you're interested!

Have you ever made pet toys or treats?  What tutorials did you use?  Leave a link in the comments below. . .  I'm always looking for new tutes to try! 

Talk to you soon!

P.S.  If you don't mind, please say a little prayer for Henry.  I'd be so grateful. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

I have Something to say

Did you know that when I was younger, I wanted to be a writer?  Writing came easy for me, and I loved everything about it... the brainstorming, the organizing and planning, the spilling over of words and colors and ideas onto paper / computer screen, and the rush of it all coming together.  Even the ruthless editing!  LOVE!  I shared that dream with one of my daughters yesterday, and she asked me why I never wrote anything.  I thought about it a minute, and shrugged, "I never had anything to say."

I never had anything to say.

Liar.  I mean, you're reading this, now, on a blog, so that's something.  But does it have to be epic and life-changing, the great American novel, to be something?

I'll be honest.  I started this blog, years ago, because someone told me it would help my brand-new business.

I kept blogging, because it helped me find my voice that I didn't know I had.  

Then I kept blogging because I met and connected with some super people:  you, my readers.

And then I sorta blogged, because I had to.

And then I half-assed blogged, because I thought it would save my shriveling business.

And now I never blog, because I have nothing to say.

Or maybe I don't blog because it's hard, and there are hard things to say or see or look at with honesty and sincerity, and I don't feel like saying or seeing or looking, at least not here.  I reckon most others don't, either.

I reckon people want pretty and easy, even if it's not really real.

just some stuff for our classroom

this used to be my sewing room.

Is there a reason to blog about real?  Because this is real:

the genius idea to mini-renovate / shuffle 3 rooms. at once.  
which includes moving my sewing room to a detached building.
days before company was expected to arrive.

And this:

the "before," of where my sewing room was moved to.

 in transition / pit stop in the dining room.

 the "after," in all of its hoarder-themed glory.

And this:

just breakfast.  cake for breakfast, but still.

and let's not forget this:

my daughter's recent car accident, where she flipped a truck 
with her little Camry.  they walked away relatively unscathed.

we're big toyota fans now.

So if you're still here, and still reading, I'm going to blog real for awhile.  Because my life is about to get REALLY REAL, and I don't have the energy for any fake-ass pretty blogging.  So be warned. Maybe I'll see you soon.

I hope so.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fabric Friday and a WIP

Currently up on the cutting table. . . .

 Some more ideas and pairings for upcoming totes and bags

And I recently found this gorgeous hand-dyed cotton fabric yardage at the thrift store. . . .

dreaming up the perfect use for this.

And  the WIP. . . .

An in-progress shot of my current project (the boob scarves). . . .

during the fleece cutting stage

I'm constructing them sweat-shop style, so all quantities of each step are completed at once before moving on to the next step.  Not as much fun as making each one from start to finish, but it sure is efficient when you want to make multiples of something.  Since I'm almost finished with them, the tote / bag / surprise sewing will soon begin.  YAY!

What are you working on today?  Any crafty plans for this weekend?

Talk to you soon!  :)