Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Camden's class party

Camden had a great time at school today. He participated in a costume parade, made a spider hat and enjoyed yummy treats at his class Halloween party. He is just the cutest map I have ever seen!

For the last 2 or 3? years, Noah has been sick for Halloween. This year is no different. He did dress up in his costume and went with me to see his friends in the parade. He came home with a goody bag full of treats and noise makers. The doctor said he is good to go for Trick or Treating this year. We will just be taking it easy and not overdoing it. Your prayers that he will kick this cold would be appreciated. We are trying a new medication and hope it does the trick.

Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 30, 2006

One for the win column

I don't know about you, but I dislike dealing with insurance companies. I have been wading through large stacks of bills over the past year from our many visits to the E.R. and follow-ups there after.

One particular bill caught my attention this week because it was in error. A month ago I received a bill requesting our insurance info. No big deal, I called and gave them the info. They submitted it to insurance and I received a bill for my portion this week. Except, that one line item description had been subtly changed and the price increased by $350.00. All the typical thoughts went through my head..."this is wrong!"..."if I hadn't of caught this they would of gotten away with more money in their pocket"..."this has to be corrected, but it will be like pulling teeth", etc. The phone calls and faxes were made and I waited. I received a call today explaining the discrepency and in typical fashion the error was made initially and should have been for the increased charge all along. I questioned the definition of the code charged and casually mentioned that I happened to be in the room when the procedure they were talking about occurred.

I waited for another phone call.

To make a long story short...just as mysteriously as the original bill had been changed, my current incorrect bill was also changed back to the correct amount. Of course, they will not assume any responsibility for being at fault. However, I think their action speaks volumes.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


We had a great time today at our church's Trunk or Treat. We had an entry titled "Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord". The kids could play different instruments, with the favorite being the cymbals. Note to self: next year...take earplugs.

All the kids looked so cute in their costumes. Noah was Diego and most people didn't recognize him with his wig on. People would come up to him and say "oh, you are Diego", and in typical Noah fashion he would say "well actually, I am Noah". I was so excited to put his costume together for under $20.

Everyone that approached Camden said "you are so adorable...what are you?" Camden was the Map from Dora the Explorer and he was very cute. He wore his hat all evening and that is truly a feat for a two year old.

Both kids enjoyed playing the games and sliding down the bounce slide. I am looking forward to Halloween night.

The last picture sums up last week with the boys. Pirates, rough and tumble!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Thank goodness it's Wednesday!...or am I?

I am so glad that Tuesday is over. You see, it started out REALLY BAD!

We were on our way to school when Camden (who insisted on wearing "the real deal" underwear), had an accident. So, off to change him and as we (Noah, Camden and I) were walking back to the garage, Noah decided to challenge Camden to the door. Now, you have to understand something first. Camden HAS to be the one to open the door leading out into the garage. It just can't be open by anyone else. So, the race began and ended with Camden throwing his older brother down on the floor, laying on top of Noah and biting him. Then he hauled off and hit me on top of my head when I was bending down trying to explain his consequences. I am sure he learned "these moves" from watching that horrible soap opera, Monday night wrestling, with his father. (Brian and I are going to have a little chat!)

Anyway, mayhem insued. Chasing, screaming, crying, you name it, it was all happening between the three of us. At this point, we are late for school and so we all got in the car and off we went. Really, getting in the car was not that simple, Camden had to be physically retrained just to get his seat belt on. He then proceeded to scream at the top of his lungs the whole way to school. I repeatedly told him that if he wanted to go to school he was going to have to tell me and Noah he was "sorry". I'll tell you right now, there wasn't a hope or a prayer that that was going to happen!

We pull into the parking lot and I get out and unbuckle Camden. Noah was unbuckling himself while I walked around to the his side of the car and opened the door. Well, when I opened the door, Camden apparently wasn't finished with Noah, because Camden shoved Noah and both of them went flying out of the car into a heap in the parking lot. Camden again layed on Noah and bit him! All right, that's it... I am officialy really ticked off at him!!! I was trying to keep my composure as I took Noah to his class with Camden screaming bloodily! Camden eventually calmed down on the way home and apologized. He joined his friends at school later and had an uneventful day after that.

I mentioned that Camden is wearing "the real deal". Day 3, Wednesday, started off with him being naked. He had not made a "stinky" since Tues. morning and he was holding it until I put on his underwear. He will NOT go stinky in the potty. So, the deal was made that once he made stinky in the potty he could have his underwear back. He was pretty o.k. with this deal until the urge hit. I hear him yelling from the living room desperatly that he needs to go potty! I round the corner and ....yes, you guessed it, the stinky is in the middle of the living room! I hauled him off to the potty where yes, he did make another in the potty. The only part Camden rememebers is the one in the potty so of course now he wants his reward of Chuck E. Cheese. Excuse me, go look in the living room, little man!!! I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!

We are now on clothes set #3 for today...when does this get better?

a blog about a dog.

Noah would say "hey Mommy, that rhymes."

What has happened to Gracie?

Well, really I think I know the answer, the competiton has gone away. It's too bad that in her little dog mind, she never grasped that Whitney was never a threat.

She has CHANGED! Currently there is a 3/4 full bowl of dog food sitting there and she is curled up sleeping!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Birthday, Brian and Brenna!

Two of my favorite people in the world also happen to share a birthday today. The first being the love of my life... Brian. The other being my wonderful friend, Brenna. They share many of the same qualities. They are both very loving, caring, gentle-natured people. They each share a similar sense of humor and are both very artistic. Brian with his love of music and Brenna with her love of art. Both of them "think outside the box" and possess a higher level of thinking that leaves me in awe. They are honest and faithful friends alike. My life has been blessed knowing them.

I wish each of them a very Happy Birthday today. May God bless each of you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Noah & Camden in October

October thru December has always been a very busy time for our family. This year is no exception. This week we are finishing up Halloween costumes and putting the finishing touches on our car's entry for our church's "Trunk or Treat that will be held next weekend. The box of fall decorations finally made it off it's temporary spot on the dryer and I am happy to report the decorations are out and it is starting to feel festive at our house. We will end the week with a big family celebration for Brian's 35th birthday.

Here are a few things that are going on with the kids at the moment:


*When he describes anything it is always very detailed. For example, when he runs he is going "1,000 miles per hour" or another one is "I will do that in 98 minutes, Mommy". He likes the concept of time and numbers, but doesn't grasp how long they actually are.

*Mr. Social!!! He is friends with everyone and knows everything about them.

*He is currently very afraid of going anywhere by himself. This seems to be more of an issue with our house, since Whitney died.

*He loves to run and run fast.

*He is reading simple words from books.

*He adores his brother and can be a bit of a boss. He likes things to be his idea only. Although, when pointed out that other people have opinions he relents.

*The toys he plays with are still trains and cars. He really enjoys puzzles and games as well. He is very good at riding his bike.

*He still is not potty trained at night.

*Noah has become a really good eater, something I wasn't sure would ever happen.

*He is not afraid of roly-poly bugs or geckos.


*He is currently the most strong-willed child I know. He has terrible tantrums that include screaming at the top of his lungs and jumping up and down for an hour at least. The only thing that calms him is if you can get him to say "yes" to any question. Then he thinks he has control.

*He has learned to ride a bicycle at the age of 2 1/2.

*He watches and imitates everything his brother does and says.

*He learns very quickly, I only having to repeat a new concept (shapes, colors, etc.) just a few times before he remembers.

*He still loves to be held.

*After laying down in bed, he kicks the wall and talks to himself LOUDLY before falling asleep an hour after going to bed.

*He has to pick out his own clothes.

*He has to sleep with his dirty shorts that he worn that day in bed with him.

*He still find comfort and security in his "blue" blanket.

*Mr. Independent!

*He is currently afraid of Moses, because he is loud.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Our reactions

I am pleased to say that our sadness is being replaced by warm memories.

Noah, Camden and Gracie (the other dog) have all had varied reactions to this situation.

Camden, at age two, appears to be taking it all in and processing it in his own way. He is very smart and I believe understands more of what went on then he can put into words. Here are some of his responses when asked during the week "where is Whitney?":

Monday: "sleeping"
Tuesday: "at the doctor's" or "at the hospital" {He knows when you are very sick or hurt that is where you go.}
Wednesday: "at Papa's house" {He saw where she was buried and now has some place concrete to place her.}
What makes me sad, is that he probably won't remember anything about her in another year.

Noah, at age four, has been a challenge. He is very bright and and has been full of hard questions from the beginning. We decided that no matter how difficult it was going to be, he was going to be told the truth. For some 4-year olds the truth is sugar-coated, with Noah he doesn't make that possible. One tough question is followed by another tough question and so on. He has asked if everyone dies, when do we die?, do we get buried in the ground?, do we die forever?, will we see Whitney again?, etc. I have done my best to answer the way I know how.

Noah has always had anxiety and it has been heightened since Sunday. He is very afraid to go anywhere in the house by himself. I know his fears stem from Whitney being gone and he is afraid that we will be gone also. We have tried to put those fears to rest but as with anything,I think it will take time and constant reassurance on our part.

Gracie, the dog, is so different since Sunday. I had big fears that she would freak out and openly mourn since she is the dependent dog. She has proved me wrong. She has become a more loving and calm dog. I think the jealosy factor has been taken away and she does not feel threatned. She seems to be trying to make sure that we are all o.k. with lots of kisses.

The only thing she seems to struggle with is going outside. Before, I would let them both out and Gracie would wait for Whittie and then they would both run out into the yard. Now, I let Gracie out and she just stands on the porch waiting...trying to figure out what to do next. She loves it when the kids go out with her, so we have spent lots of time outside this week.

Gracie was never the watch dog. We never thought she had it in her. Boy, were we wrong. She has been very protective and doing her duty to bark that "Big Bark" when she hears something. This is new to all of us, but we are enjoying this side of her.

Our week started out slow and painful but ended full of happiness and hope. We are grateful for your prayers.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

She's such a sweetie.

I can't tell you how many times over the years that I have heard those words spoken about Whitney. Sweetie, was the right description for her and became one of many names we would call her. Wittie, Bugger, Bug, Whitney wooser, Wee Hoo Hoo, Sweet girl, and Wittie bug are just a few of her other names. Of course, she answered to all of them.

I am writing this post for the kids, but also for myself because I want to have something tangible for us to look back on when the memories aren't so clear anymore. You tell yourself that that day won't happen, but I am realistic and I know it will come. Reminicising over the last few days, I have realized how much I don't recall of the times when she was little. Please bear with me as I put my thoughts down. This will be a long post.

The last few days have been so hard for me. Whitney was my first baby and I have been so very overwhelmed with grief. It strikes when I least expect it, when I am alone in the car or the kids are down for a nap and of course when I am in the shower. Today, I vaccumed and succumbed to tears because I rememebered that every time after I vaccumed the floor she would lay down on her back and roll over the clean carpet. Noah was also upset that I vaccumed because then her hair would be gone and she would be gone also. My emotions are very raw and I am sure I won't make it through this post without crying.

A friend of ours, Ronald, brought Whitney to us in college when we were only kids ourselves. Brian was 20 and I was 19 and she was only 4 weeks old. She was named Whitney after Whitney Houston who was singing on the t.v. at the time. She slept next to me in the bed until the last two years when she couldn't jump up on the bed anymore. She used to love to curl up on the couch with her head on a pillow. She loved to lay down in our window box when we lived in an apartment soaking in the sunshine. She also loved to lay down in the back of my camaro and watch the traffic go by.

The first few weeks we had her, she would spend the time we were in class in her crate watching the religous channel. It was the only thing that would silence her insane barking! She would bark all day long! She was first put on our answering machine barking 14 years ago and has been on there ever since. If we ever needed her to bark, all you had to say was the word "puppy" and off she went barking. She was the cutest little ball of fur and her nick-name was "piggy puppy" because that is what she looked like.

We took her everywhere with us. We didn't realize that she probably wasn't supposed to go to everyone's house, we just assumed that she was one of us and she was going. It wasn't until Gracie came along that my parents gently told us that the dogs needed to stay home when we came to visit.

She loved to do the wild-run when she got excited. She would duck her butt down and run with her head up as fast as she could go. She loved to catch her "hoopy-loopy" toy, a tennis ball and she loved a good game of tug with daddy's socks. When Gracie arrived, Wittie was the alpha dog and we enjoyed watching the two of them play sock and Gracie submit when Wittie wanted her way. She enjoyed going on walks and liked to swim in the pond across the street from my parents house. She did not however like to swim in the swimming pool! She did love to lay on the top step of the pool and lounge like a queen.

Back to the barking... she barked at everything. She was never a very social animal with other dogs. She would bark and lunge and act like she was going to attack. Of course, it was all an act to "protect us". In 14 years, she never bit anyone. She barked at the garbage truck and people walking in front of the house. When cataracts covered her eyes, she would bark at any movement outside, the tree blowing or a car driving by. She always barked when the garage door when up to tell me Brian was home or someone had dropped by. The neighbors even called the police one night, because she was outside barking while I was inside vaccuming. I will miss her barking, she made me feel safe and protected. I never worried when she was in the house, because I knew she would take care of me. The last year, the barking diminished because of her eyes and her hearing wasn't so good. The kids and I could walk in the house and turn the t.v. on and she would be sound asleep. I would have to clap my hands to get her attention. Up until the day she died, I would clap my hands and she would slowly get up, struggling to balance herself , but obediently complying with my command. During that time, I longed for her to be more alert, but now I just long to have her here!

Brian and I only thought of Whitney's best interest and we knew all those years ago that we wanted to get into a house with a nice yard because she deserved it after living in so many different places. Some of the place she lived were in Huntsville, Houston, Willis, Huntsville again, Amarillo, Garland, Dallas and three different places in Plano, Tx. She always adjusted well after every move and started to relax once the boxes left the house.

This next part is a little gross, so skip it if you want to. Two memories that will stand out forever are the "fire-hose poop" and "throwing up worms". Every puppy has worms and Whitney decided to vomit live worms up when she was little. That was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. The other incident was when she was trying to go to the bathroom one night, she was startled and she spun around and sprayed the entire side of the apartment building with runny poop. Brian and I couldn't not stop laughing to save our lives!

That brings me to eating. She was always a very independent dog and that holds true for her eating habits. She enjoyed eating her dinner ever night between 11:30 p.m and 3:00 a.m. This proved more difficult when Gracie came along and ate everything in sight. Whitney obediantly pushed her dinner time up to 10:30 p.m. so we could all get some sleep before midnight. Since July, it has been a labor of love cooking and feeding Whitney. She stopped eating not because she didn't want to but because the disease was making her nauseaus. First she stopped eating her dry dog food, we tried soft food, then she ate cooked chicken and toast, chicken broth, lunch meat, and then cooked hot dogs and finally raw hot dogs. It got to the point, that it didn't matter what it was as long as she ate. We knew it was the end when she couldn't eat or drink anything.

Whitney gave our family 14 wonderful years of unconditional love. Right up until the last few minutes of her life when her body failed her she was still being obedient. And then she went to sleep.

"Sweet dreams, baby girl...I will always love you."

After she died at 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, Brian loving buried her under a Pecan tree on my parents land. She will never be physically far from us and her love and memories will stay in my heart forever.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wittie Bug

December 22, 1991 - October 8, 2006

Thank you for all of your love and for all of the happiness you brought our Family.
The wonderful memories consume us. They will last forever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Back to the Doctor and a pumpkin farm

Yes, I was back to the doctor again today. If you add it up that's 4 doctor visits in less than 2 weeks. Today was just a routine exam, however he did mention two different tests he could perform if the pain continues. Both tests are very painful and I am not looking forward to more pain, but if it would provide some answers, I am willing. So, the journey continues...

This week is fall break and we are enjoying having Brian home with us. This has allowed me to work three full days this week and given Brian some very valuable time with the boys. He had a very memorable 4 minutes with 4 kids the other night, and you should ask him about it sometime. There truly is never a dull moment in our house!

We spent today at the Owen's Big Orange Pumpkin Farm with some friends of ours. We had a memorable time feeding the Longhorn cows, sheeps and goats. We rode a hay ride and had lots of photo ops in the pumpkin patch. The kids each came home with their own pumpkin and can't wait until we carve them.

Tomorrow is back to work for me and more quality time spent with the boys for Brian. Gracie is off to have a tumor removed in her mouth and to have a much needed teeth cleaning. We are all looking forward to that!