Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spoke too soon

I am going to make this short. I wanted this week to be better, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I have been struck with a stomach bug. I am starting to feel human again, but I still feel yuck. I'll post again when I feel better. I hope all of you are having a good week.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm so glad it is a new week

This week has got to be better than last week. I know people say you should never say that, but I just have to. My MS flare ended up needing to be treated with IV steroids. It was the biggest mess getting them set up. My doctors office has a new nurse and her communication skills need a little bit of work. This is a new neuro office for me. I just started seeing her in December. This is the first flare I have had since officially being diagnosed with MS. No one told me that there protocol was to have IV steroids given at an infusion center. I was really upset when I got to the infusion center and found out I wasn't taking my meds home with me to do there. I couldn't come back the next 2 days as I had tons of stuff going on plus I was having trouble with blurred vision. Why would someone make a patient with blurred vision drive all the way across town to get an infusion? I finally was able to get my infusion set up at home. I finished my last one last night. I hate the way the IV steroids make me feel, but at least my vision is better. It isn't completely resolved, but it is a lot better. Now I am on a 2 week oral taper. This is really going to mess up my Weight Watchers. I am going to watch my portions carefully and make sure I am journaling. I won't weigh in for the next 2 weeks though since I know I am going to be retaining a ton of water. I am already feeling my feet swell and my hands also. This too shall pass.

Andrew had his Blue and Gold banquet yesterday. We always have some sort of entertainment for the boys there. This year, they had a snake guy. He brought all kinds of snakes for the boys to look at. He did a little presentation about all of the snakes he brought. He had a few venemous snakes there but he didn't bring those out. After his presentation, the let them pet on of the bigger snakes and hold one of the smaller snakes. Jeremy just couldn't manage to touch them. He was so grossed out by it. Andrew didn't have any trouble touching them. No one really got to hold the little snake. He wrapped his tail around Mr. Llyod, the scout Master, and he wouldn't let go. The boys would hold the snakes upper body while Mr Lloyd held the end that was attached to his arm.

Andrew got awarded his Webelos badge yesterday. We had to work really hard the week before to get it done in time. We worked on his art badge most of last week. He managed to get it all done though. Now, we are going to start working on his Arrow of Light. He has a lot of work to do to get that done, but I know he can do it. He really loves scouts. I'm so glad too. I think it helps a lot that we are in such a good pack. He really gets along with all of the boys and he loves all of his scouting activities. It is an added bonus that his dad is his Webelos den leader.

We also have a cake auction every year at the banquet. This is what we eat for dessert and we make a fair amount of money for the pack. Each family will make a cake and then it gets auctioned. Everyone always ends up sharing the cakes they buy with everyone there. I'm glad too because I never want to have that much cake at home. We made a yellow cake and decorated it with Swedish Fish to look like the ocean. The cake we bought was a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. It was so good but so rich. We only ended up bringing a little bit home. Next year, Stan has big plans to make a "fire" breathing dragon cake. It will be our last year for Andrew is Cub Scouts and Jeremy's first year in Cub Scouts. Stan wants to bring in a ton of money with that cake. I hope this isn't going to be hard to make. His sister, Emily, has a book with the instructions in it. I also hope he remembers to plan way in advance so I'm not trying to make it at the last minute.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

MS sucks!!!

I'm sure I am not telling anyone anything they didn't already know. I just had a vent this a little bit. I went to the eye doctor last Tuesday becuase I had been having eye pain and mild blurred vision. Sure enough, I had optic neuritis again. She said it was mild so far, but it could get progressively worse over the next 10 days. I spoke with my neuro and she wanted to just watch it unless it got a lot worse. I had a routine follow up appointment yesterday and she still wanted to watch it although I could tell she was considering doing the IV steriods. She said if I was having a lot of eye pain or the blurred vision was causing a lot of problems, then let her know and she would start the steroids. I almost asked her to start them yesterday because I am having trouble working and doing school with the kids. You never realize how much even a little bit of blurred vision can make life difficult. Today, I kept having to just lay back and close my eyes to relieve the eye pain. I finally called her and asked her to start the steroids. I am still not certain it is what I really want to do. The side effects of the IV steroids are horrible and I am not looking forward to them. I don't think I can handle this blurred vision for the next 1-2 months. We are only going to do 3 days of IV steroids instead of the 5 I had last time. We are going to follow it up with oral steroids. I am so worried I am going to gain a bunch of weight. I have finally been on the right track with my weight watchers. I have lost 4 pounds this month and I don't want to gain it back. I am going to have to be so careful. I am really stressing about this. I am so worried about the side effects. I am beside myself about it. I hope the 3 day course is better than the 5 day course. I guess I'll know if a few days.

Andrew finished up his Webelos badge today. Stan finished up his citizenship requirements last week and I have been working with him on his art requirements this week. He finished the Fitness badge a month ago. Now that he has his Webelos badge done, we can start working on his Arrow of Light. There are a lot of the Cub Scout requirements that he can do for school. They really fit into our school work nicely. Andrew also does his school work much better when he does scouts for school. It is something that he is interested in. It is like he is doing scouts and not school. It makes the world of difference.

I have a friend that has 2 boys. They both have autism. Her oldest is Jeremy's age and the younger one is 3, almost 4. She is always talking about all of the wonderful things they do. She gets so excited about the small things they do. She is so excited that Cal is learning the value of money and thinks it is so funny that he will repeat what his teacher tells him, but when she tries to expound upon that and teach him further, he just repeats to her what his teacher taught him. He can't grasp the value of money in a different way except the way he was taught (his teacher taught him 1 dollar is 100 pennies so therefore 1 dollar can't be 4 quarters). This is a concept that Jeremy understands, but it made me think of how many times I get frustrated with him for not understanding things or I get frustrated at his little quirks. The other night, the tooth fairy visited our house. The tooth fairy is always late at our house. He has been known to show up during the day while we are busy. I guess he gets lost of something. Jeremy was not upset Sunday morning when the tooth fairy hadn't come. He didn't even say a word to me about it. I remembered when I got home from choir practice and asked him if the tooth fairy had come. He said no, and I asked "are you sure?" He went into his room to double check and the tooth fairy had been to our house while we were at church. He got really upset at this. He started crying about the tooth fairy coming during the day. Then, he started crying even more because the tooth fairy put the money in the tooth pocked on his tooth pillow and not in the money pocket on his tooth pillow. I really found myself getting upset at him for this. There was no good reason for me to get upset about it. I feel guilty for it now. I should have just cuddled with him and comforted him rather than getting mad at him. He is really picky about things. I know this about him. I need to just accept it and learn to work with it rather than trying to change him. He does need to learn how to manage when things don't go the way he expected it too, but he doesnt' need his mom getting mad at him. As my health has gone down hill over the past year, his compulsive behaviours have gotten worse. I need to work harder to be there for him and help him. I need to work more on getting less frustrated at all of them. I have been very frustrated at them today.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Johnny Dep

My daughter is obsessed with Johnny Dep. Last night, her cousins, Aashlie and Jessica spent the night. We went to the video store and picked up movies. She wanted all Johnny Dep movies. She went on and on and on about him. She especially loves Johnny Dep movies directed my Tim Burton. We watched The Corpse Bride and Benny and June last night before I went to bed at midnight. They were watching Music and Lyrics when went to bed. I think that was the only non Johnny Dep movie they watched. They watched a few more today. I can't even tell you which ones they watched. Rachael thinks he is the HOTTEST thing ever. I will admit that he is cute, but he has also been in some very strange movies. The ones directed my Tim Burton are even stranger than his normal movies. The Corpse Bride was a very strange movie. She wanted to see Edward Sisscorhand, but I really didn't want to see that one. I really didn't like that movie when I saw it the first time, in the 80's. She will have to watch that one another time.

Rachael's taste in movies is so different from my own. Her favorite movie is Nightmare Before Christmas. It took me a few times of watching it to start to like that. I really didn't like it the first time I saw it. She loves it. She wanted that movie for Christmas but it isn't out on DVD anymore so she is going to have to wait until it gets released again. I'm sure we will buy it the first day it comes out again. I don't even know when that will be.

Last night, before the movies started, we all went out to dinner. Last night was suppose to be a girls only night. The boys were suppose to be camping. The campout got canceled because of severe weather. They were going to Pedernales State park. There is a river going through the park. It is notorios for flash flooding within a few minutes of the start of a storm. We had Girl's camp there when I was a youth. It rained all night and the river rose close to 30 feet overnight. We were by an area that was very slow and shallow. By morning, it was raging white water and had come most of the way up the hill, almost to where we were camping. Anyway, back to dinner last night. I took 4 teenage girls to a mexican restaurant. We had a lot of fun. They were giggling and laughing and goofing off just like teenagers do. Amira went with us to dinner, but she wasn't allowed to stay the night. I felt bad that she couldn't stay the night. I always have so much fun when I am out with the "girls". I feel so young again. I'm glad the girls like to be out with me and they don't feel embarrassed by me.

Today, Rachael and Aashlie went to the Savior of the World auditions. Neither one of them wanted big parts. Rachael is OK with singing, even a solo, but she doesn't want to have to memorize lines. Aashlie just wants to be on stage. She refused to sing in her audition. They told Rachael they wished she wanted a bigger part because her audition was really good. Call backs are next week by invitation only. I hope she gets a call back. She would probably want more of a roll if there was dancing involved. She would want the lead if it was a dancing roll. Isaiah was going to audition also. He was going to have to arrange a special time because he had a conflict. he loves acting, so I think he will get a good part. He was in a local presentation of High School Musical. Andy was bribed to audition. His mom told him he couldn't go to San Antonio unless he auditioned. I don't think he wants a part at all. There were a few people there that really wanted big parts in this show. It is going to be amazing and I am really lucky to be a part of this.

Jeremy lost his second tooth today. He lost his first one the other day. He had a tooth with a crown that had a disolved root. He is scheduled to have it removed and a spacer put in. We don't have to have the extraction now. He will still have to have the spacer though since it is a molar. Today, he lost one of this bottom teeth. He has another one that is loose. He is so excited about having lost a tooth. Several other kids in his primary class have lost teeth. He is the oldest one in the class but he only lost his first one this week. He is also one of the smallest ones in his class even though he is the oldest. I'll post a picture of his toothless grin in the next few days.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines day

I saw this on a friends blog. I am going to steal it from her. Thank you Michelle.

I feel so lucky to be married to the most amazing man. Here is a picture of my husband and I that was taken on our anniversary. I had to force one of my kids to take this picture. I am usually the one behind the camera, so there really isn't a lot of pictured of the 2 of us. I used photoshop to get this cool effect on this picture.

His name-Stanley H. Hodge. His dad is Stanley M. Hodge, so that is why I put the H in there.

How long have you been married? We have been married for 16 1/2 years.

How long did you date? We only dated for 1 month before we got engaged. We were engaged for 4 months before we got married. Before you are absolutely shocked at this, let me tell you that we went to high school together and were in the same ward all through high school, so it isn't like we were strangers when we started dating.

How old is he? He is 39. He is 13 months and 8 days older than I am.

Who eats more? He does.

Who said "I love you" first? I have no idea. I really don't remember who said it first. I can't believe I don't remember. I do remember that I wanted him to kiss my way before he did. I didn't dare kiss him first. I set up the Little Mermaid movie so it was at the beginning of the part where they sing "Kiss the girl". I paused the movie there, then when he knocked on the door, I played the movie. My room mates helped me think this up.

Who is taller? Anyone who knows us is laughing at this right now. I am just under 5'1", so can you guess who is taller. He is taller by a long shot.

Who sings better? I think I do. We both like to sing, but I think I am the better singer. I did choir in high school and I will sing in the choir when I am able to. We haven't had a ward choir in a really long time, so I haven't had the chance.

Who's temper is worse? That is hard to say. He tends to get mad at the kids faster, but when I do lose my temper, watch out. It isn't a pretty site. I have my parents to blame for this. They both have bad tempers. I control mine quite well, so I don't really lose it very often. My kids know that if I slam a door, they better just leave me alone.

Who is smarter? I don't think I can answer this. We are both smart, but we have completely different strengths. Stan is way smarter than I am in anything mathmatical. I know more about medicine, anatomy, etc. He knows more about computers, but I know more about photoshop. It is pretty even.

Who does the laundry? Most of the time, I do. He does help a lot and he helps fold it. I usually do laundry on Friday and we fold it on our bed Friday night or Saturday as we watch TV.

Who does the dishes? Generally, I do, but he does help. He will do them if I don't feel good. I don't even have to ask.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do. It is the closest side to the door. I started sleeping on that side when we had kids because it was easier to get to the baby. When the baby was sleeping in our room, there was more room on the right side of the bed. When I was pregnant, it was closer to the bathroom door.

Who does the bills? He does. I used to do them, but they would always stress me our really bad, so he took them over and has been doing them ever since. I think Rachael was a baby when he took over.

Who mows the lawn? He does. My allergy to the grass is worse than his, so he does it. Now that Andrew is getting older, he is doing it more and more.

Who cooks dinner? Most of the time, I do. He does any grilling or smoking though. He will help out with dinner a lot on the weekends. He gets home too late during the week to help much with dinner.

Who drives when you are together? He does

Who is more stubborn? That would definitely be me.

Who's parents do you see more? His mom lives 1 mile away from us. My mom lives in Pennsylvania and my dad lives in Idaho.

Who proposed and where? Neither one of us. Stan had already had plane tickets to go to Utah to see this girl he knew from his mission. We had only been dating almost 4 weeks. I was freaking out that he wanted to marry this girl. When he came back, he gave me a necklace and bracelet as a promise that he was going to ask me when he had the money to get the ring. His grandfather was down visiting the next week and we decided that we should tell him we were getting married. We just kind of agreed on it. It was a good thing we told him, because he grandfather died in a car accident before we got married.

Who has more siblings? If you count step sibings and half siblings, then I do. I have 1 full brother, 2 step sisters, 1 step brother, 2 half sisters and 1 half brother for a grand total of 7. He has 1 sister and 5 brothers. All of his are full siblings though.

What is your song? Our song is Battle Hymn of Love by Kathy Matea. We loved that song while we were dating. We danced our first dance as a married couple to that song.

So, there we are. I can't imagine my life without this wonderful man in it. Now, if you are reading this, then I hope to see your answers on your blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My new blog

This is not my first blog. I have another one. My other blog is devoted to digiscrapping and digidesigning. I wanted a personal one. I don't care who reads this one. I don't really care if anyone reads this one. I wanted this one to be just for me.

Let me start off by explaining the name of this blog. My nick name has been Poppy. It was given to me by my little sister when I was a teenager. She couldn't say my name, Patricia. She called me Poppy when she started learning how to talk. She still calls me Poppy. I have found that this name is taken a lot on different web sites. I frequently go by poppymom (because I am a mom) or poppymom23(because I am a mom to 3 children), but I use Poppy whenever I can. I really do prefer this to my other names.

So now a little about myself. I am 38 years old. I have been married for almost 17 years. I have 3 wonderful children. Rachael is 15, Andrew is 10 and Jeremy is 6. I would love to have more, but pregnancy is not nice for me, so we stopped at 3. I used to be a pediatric nurse. I stopped working as a nurse about 16 months ago. I was struck with debilitating low back pain and a slew of other neurological problems including a paralysed right foot, poor balance, vision problems in the form of optic neuritis. In December, I finally found a neurologist that didn't dismiss it all as "in your head". I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It was bitter sweet. It was nice to finally have a diagnosis, but I couldn't deny any longer that I had a life-long, degenerative disease. I know that I can live a full and complete life. I never know what this disease will bring though. I am currently experiencing a 3rd episode of optic neuritis. I take weekly injections for my MS. They are getting easier to deal with. Initially, they made me really sick. I felt like I had the flu for 24 hours after the shot. I take 2 Aleve right before my shot and I only run a low fever during the night. Each shot gets better than the one before.

I have the best husband in the entire world. I couldn't possibly handle all of this without him. He is my life. He is wonderfully helpful to me. He is supportive and loving and caring and funny and handsome and just plain wonderful. Stan and I knew each other in high school, but we were not sweethearts. I had a huge crush on him, and he thought I was crazy. We started dating after he returned from his mission. We were at a YSA dance. I had worked a 12 hour night shift the night before and I had stayed up all day long. I was going to Houston with my room mate. I was so tired. I layed my head on his shoulder and took a short nap. He asked me out. He had tickets to the Randy Travis concert. My best friend loved Randy Travis but Stan was not that fond of my best friend. He didn't have anyone else to go with and didn't want to go with Melissa. We got engaged 1 month later. We had so many people tell us "It's about time". WHAT!!!! I guess a lot of people saw what we didn't.

Here is a little about my kids. Rachael is 15. She has been a dancer since she was 4. She takes tap, jazz, ballet and modern. She started pointe this year. She also got accepted to a pre apprentice company this year. It is called Visions in Rhythm. She loves it. She was previously involved in a competition troupe for 7 years. It got to be too much for our family and we switched studios. She loves her new studio, Tapestry.

Andrew is growing up to be a geek. That is ok, his dad was a geek. Andrew loves computers, video games and cub scouts. He is a webelo scout this year. His dad is is cub leader. He almost has his Webelo earned and then will start on his arrow of light. Andrew is 10 and he annoys his sister and picks on his brother. He really is a typical middle child.

Jeremy is the baby. Rachael was 9 when he was born. It is almost like he has 2 moms. He and Rachael are really close. Jeremy has a great sense of humor. It is a Hodge trait. It is inborn in Jeremy. He comes up with funny stories and can think up witty things so fast. Jeremy can't wait to start Cub Scouts. He will be official in the summer. He attends a lot of the activities already.

This has been a prett long post. You will be hearing more about my family. I'm sure you will get sick of it.