Monday, July 30, 2007

bad news

The vet's office called tonight, as I was putting the kids to bed. Bailey died tonight. So I paid my bill over the phone and cried, and I feel very foolish.


1- don't drive 6 hours away for a puppy again
2- don't buy a puppy without it's shots
3- don't get attached to puppy with parvo and no shots
4- don't do any of the above while already stressed out


I did something crazy last Friday. I loaded the kids up at 4am on Friday morning and we drove to Bishopville, SC to get a labradoodle puppy at a shelter there. I don't even have the emotional energy to relay all of the details, but here are the pluses and minuses.

Plus- kids did well on the trip, beautiful chocolate labradoodle with sweet temperment (temperament?) named Bailey, I had no allergies to her whatsoever, we absolutely adore her, she's very smart and has good instincts about where to go potty (training should be easy)

Minus- she was in a nasty shelter, she has parvo, she's been hospitalized at the vet for two days, she's coming home tomorrow even if she's not better b/c of $, she has worms, we really really don't want her to die

All by itself, this whole experience would have been hard enough, but as it is, this is just the capstone to a lousy summer. I'm really venting. I'm sorry for being so negative. There's just a very long, whiny list of things that are weighing me down and I don't see an end in sight yet. I keep saying, "Once we get through _____________, everything will be fine." The truth is that sometimes, this life just stinks and that's where the Gospel really begins to sink in. I know that for the next month, life is probably going to be hard (still), but I'm hoping and praying that in my weakness, I'll see my God's strength more clearly. Please pray for us. It's not just a dog-thing. Matt and I are both very discouraged.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I love Craigslist!

Tonight Matt is going to Knoxville to pick up a washer and dryer that I found on Craigslist. I just happened to check it yesterday, just to see if anything else was available and I found a Bosch front-loading, stackable washer/dryer pair for sale for $400. They're like-new, in great shape, but the lady's moving and needs them out of there. Afte emailing her yesterday, she lowered her price to $350, because we are driving from Chattanooga to pick it up. I'm so excited. Matt's mom has this same set and she loves them. They're super fast, quiet, and water and energy efficient, and in our case they're cheap too.

I'll have to post a picture soon. For now, you can see them at They're the axxis model. ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Washers and dryers

Our washing machine isn't at it's best right now. It isn't totally broken, but we know it's a matter of time before it's unusable. It appears to be rusting from the inside out and the agitator is clinging on for dear life. This is no surprise, because every washer and dryer we've ever owned were used and ancient-looking, but I am curious to see what you all know about certain brands and types.

I looked at some really cool, all-in-one machines that wash and dry in the same drum. They're supposedly very popular in Europe and they're developed enough now to be reliable. They run about $500 to $1600, depending on the brand and size. Most of them are fairly small, but water and energy efficient.

I have always liked the front loading stackers too, but they are even more expensive and I don't even begin to know what brand is the best.

There is also the smaller, stacked unit, made by several companies, with a top-loading washer on the bottom, and a front-loading dryer on top. They're a little awkward, but cheaper and they can be energy efficient.

I want to figure out what will be the best option for us, and either save to buy later or watch the paper and craigslist to find one sooner.

Any opinions?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Recent pictures

Day by day, we're starting to feel more settled after all of the tumult. My sister has requested some recent pictures, so here they are. I'll post more as I go. We (royal we) are making lots of progress on the outside of the house and are looking forward to seeing new paint very soon! In the meantime, we're staying indoors or away from the house and trying to keep surfaces clean. The kids are doing well and still growing like weeds, Janie especially. I apologize for any out of focus pictures or goofs, because I haven't had time to sort them yet.

Work on the house and time at Grami and Papi's condo

Visit with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Great News!

Everything's fine! Dr. Spraggins called me today from home (she's on vacation) and said that we should trust the second test results. I still don't know Matt's test results, but the kids are all well within what's considered normal and she said she'd call me to let me know his results. Whatever lead was picked up on the first test was just skin deep, maybe from putting their shoes on before leaving the house... I don't know. I feel sheepish about all of the help we've received, especially now that we know the kids have been fine the whole time, but I think we did the right thing.

This has been a really tough experience and I wouldn't care to repeat it. That aside, I've been so amazed by God's provision for us, through the prayers and fellowship of our friends and family. Thank you to all of you who have fed Matt and labored beside him over the past week. Thank you too for your words of encouragement and your shared experience. I feel like I have a moderate case of emotional whiplash, but all in all we're doing just fine. ;)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Confusing News

After a lot of calling and confusion today, here's the info. Dana and Janie's bloodwork came back and somehow it's clear of lead. Our pediatrician and her nurse are on vacation until next week, so all of this is coming second hand through another doctor in the practice. Second hand, she told me that the kids are fine and to take them home. I don't know whether to be excited or upset. I called a second time at lunch time and I've asked the nurse to call me back, so I can ask her more questions. A friend of ours, who is a doctor, recommended that we take new samples here in Atlanta in order to confirm the other samples. Obviously, one of the tests was wrong and I want to be sure that the kids are safe before I take them home. I wish Dr. Spraggins was in town, because she would take time to explain everything and I know she would be very thorough.

Anyway, due to the confusion, we will stay in Atlanta until we know more. If I can get the other doctor to order more blood samples for an Atlanta children's hospital, then we'll go down tomorrow morning and have blood drawn again. Hopefully, the blood will confirm the good results of the second test, in which case, we'll go home or at least back to Chattanooga. I'm still hesitant to stay in the house until the first coat of primer is up.

Thank you all for your prayers. This has been incredibly trying and exhausting, and yet the past few days have been strangely relaxing. I know God is answering your prayers for our comfort, because my normal hyperbolic (borrowed from Josh Green) anxiety has been hushed and quieted amidst all of the tumult. I'll update as soon as I know more.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

kind of an update

I still don't have test results. I know that Dana and Jane, at least, will have to have chelation. Chelation is a process where the doctor introduces certain compounds into their blood that the lead will stick to and then the lead flushes out of their system with the compounds. I don't know much more about it, but I'm guessing that they will have to be hospitalized for at least part of this. Clara will stay with friends if that happens. In the meantime, we will be going back to Chattanooga on Monday, after a trip to Trader Joe's. We've been making use of their wholesome goodness in an attempt to detoxify the kids and me. They sell a 64 oz. bottle of juice similar to Odwalla's Superfood juice. They love it and it's jammed with fiber and vitamin C, both of which are great for lead poisoning. Lots of fruit and greens right now.

As for where we will stay, I have had multiple offers, but I just don't know what will be best for our family yet. Thank you all for your hospitality and generosity and thank you for your prayers. Our first day here was very trying, but yesterday was much better. God is at work in me and in our kids. Thanks for your faithfulness in prayer.