Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lil Kiwi test results and a family in need of prayers

Update time.....

I always get nervous when I post updates... You know that every time I post them we always get some bad news after; however, it has been long enough that I am hoping there is no new news.... So here it goes...

Lil Kiwi had her scans done back in January but had to wait until her appointment with Dr. V in February to find out the results. There was a problem with the insurance company (again) so we were fighting with them, the base doctor and Dr. V's office up until one hour before her appointment. I called to make sure everything was okay literally on the drive to the appointment. Seriously, I wish there was a point A to point B with insurance because dealing with them would make any sane person crazy.

Anyway....

Dr. V told us he is very happy with what he saw and was impressed with how well she is doing. Her kidney is getting a tad smaller than it was; which is good and bad. Dr. V said it's possible that it's not getting smaller just that she is growing and it is not. So something else to keep an eye on. He also said that this new scan showed some new issues. *sigh* The new scans are showing that Lil Kiwi appears to have several wee spleen nodules. So, no left kidney but extra bits of spleen. Dr. V assured us that while this isn't anything to be worried about that it is something that we are going to need to watch. Currently they are fine but depending on what we find in the future and all that fun stuff they could pose a problem down the road. Just like her mystery bone. (click here for a photo of it ) Adding one more thing to the ever growing medical conditions list we have for Lil Kiwi.

We asked him about the Wilms Tumors ,even though it was the Geneticist that requested that test, and Dr. V said that there were no finding of any in this scan. *happy dance* Several questions later and we were talking about Lil Kiwi's spine again. He is still very concerned and wants another scan done but this time he said he is going to make sure to write a very detailed script so that the correct test is done. See why I LOVE Dr. V.... He is also going to write a letter to Lil Kiwi's PCM (primary care manager... ie her main peds doctor) and tell her what he wants to see done because she needs to be doing more for Lil Kiwi. At this I must laugh because she doesn't care one way or the other since she is a civilian doctor that works at a military base. No I am not guessing here we actually have this talk every time I need her to do something or order a test. She flat out tells me all she will do is check ups and shots (which she doesn't even give) because she has too many other patients to deal with. Makes me wonder how doctors that have their own practice(s) with more clients find time to "deal with" them. Rambling again sorry.... Just errrrrr she gets my blood boiling...

So, in August Lil Kiwi will now be having three tests done. The good news is I have the script in my pretty little hands.. okay it's actually locked up in her medical file in the sealed bag I keep them in but I digress.... The bad news is............

We finally found out that we will be moving in July to a new base. You might remember me mentioning it back in December. Well, we were suppose to be moving next month but we got approved for a delay until July. Which means Wee Man gets to finish out the school year here. DH is still trying to figure out a way to stay here (since all her specialists are here) or to be stationed somewhere that has a closer hospital. The children's hospital that we would have to go to is over 90 miles away. So, almost as soon as we get there we will be relaying Lil Kiwi's medical history to all new doctors. The good news is that Dr. V said the children's hospital is a very good one.

Which brings me to another Shenanigans member that has updates. Last month CutiePie went in for the first of several surgeries and I asked for positive thoughts.  Then a few days later I updated you about her surgery and said there were a few complications but didn't give any more information. I can now tell you that CutiePie is good and is back home with her family. She doesn't have to have any more tests done right now and her next surgery is in six err five months now; actually I think it is also in August but not sure. Thank you to everyone that sent out prayers and positive thoughts for CutiePie.

Which also brings me to this last favor. If you do not already know about wee Layla Grace you should visit her site and see what a beautiful child she is. However, before you do that say a prayer... send out the positive thoughts that helped us each time we needed them because Layla Grace and her family need them. Pray for her to be comfortable and pain free....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Wishing I was there

Wish I was back on this beach in Hawaii... no more snow please.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food to warm the soul or at least your body

What can I say... It's been a rather long two weeks since my last real post and it's tough trying to sit here again. Not that it is hard to find something to write about but the fact that there is so much. I will try to space it out over the next few days.

The weather here has been nothing short of nasty. Snow upon snow.... Then as some of the snow started to melt the path to our house flooded (like normal) and every night it would turn into ice. Still a lot of snow on the ground and now they say it's going to rain/snow all week. Oh JOY *rolling eyes*

The good thing about all this gloomy weather is I have been cooking. It's amazing what you can whip together when you have to use what you have in the pantry. So, one morning I decided we should make some chili. It's the perfect thing to warm your soul and make leftovers. Normally I would have made a more spicy chili and used some cheap beer.... but then again normally I wouldn't been snowed in....

So, I grabbed some meat, spices, some chili spice mix my mom sent me, two different cans of tomatoes, a can of pinto beans and a can of black eye peas. I know... I know.... I was a little worried at first also but it's chili and I have seen worst go into the pot. Threw everything into the mix, cooked, and prayed that it would at least be edible.


Turned out pretty darn tasty... Wee Man even ate some of it and he never eats anything!

When we still had some fresh provisions I made some 15 bean soup. Once again a wonderful dish for cold days and nights. I don't really have a recipe per say since it depends on what we have or who is eating it; however I will share my base recipe. Just three main ingredients and then whichever other spices I'm craving.

15 Bean Soup Shenanigans Style

Ingredients:

1 bag of 15 Bean Soup Mix
1 lb. ham hocks
Penzey's Ham Soup Base (love it)

Directions:

Follow directions for the beans on the package. Do not add the seasoning package unless you don't have soup base. After soaking and draining beans, add 2 quarts of water and the ham hocks. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; reduce to medium low, cover and simmer 1 hour.

Take out the ham hocks and pull or cut off the meat. Place the meat back into the pot with the beans. Add Penzey's Ham Soup Base; continue to simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender.

Top with fresh salsa and cilantro.....


This is just the base that I work off of. You can also add onions, tomatoes, celery, etc but I prefer simple bean soup.

St. Patrick's Day Gift Guide via some Goblins

If you are looking for some gift ideas for St. Patricks why not stop by The Groschen Goblins. Tomorrow they are starting a Go Green for St. Patrick's Day / Irish Gift Guide. You'll get a ton of great ideas and lots of chances to win the items also.

Just a few of the companies participating are......

Head To Toe Flops 'n Bows
Laurie's Tutu Boutique
Reusable Bag Depot
One Bag at a time
Eden Fantasys
ECO Store USA
Seventh Generation
Creativity for Kids
Erno Lazslo
Charm Factory
Irish Girl Designs
and many more

Here's a quick wee saying to get everyone in the mood for St. Patrick's....

There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle,
'Twas St. Patrick himself, sure, that sets it;
And the sun of his labor with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it.
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the mireland,
And they call it the dear little Shamrock of Ireland.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book review/giveaway Countess of Scandal

Title: Countess of Scandal (The Daughters of Erin)
Author: Laurel McKee
Category: FICTION, ROMANCE
Format: MASS MARKET
Publish Date: 2/1/2010
Price: $6.99/$8.99
ISBN: 9780446544788
Pages: 368


Synopsis:

As children, Eliza Blacknall and William Denton ran wild over the fields of southern Ireland and swore they would be friends forever. Then fate took Will away to England, while Eliza stayed behind to become a proper Irish countess.

Years later, Will finally makes his way home-as an English soldier sent to crush the Irish uprising. When he spies the lovely Eliza, he is captivated by the passionate woman she has become. But Eliza's passions have led her to join the Irish rebel cause, and Will and Eliza now find themselves on opposite sides of a dangerous conflict.

When Ireland explodes in bloody rebellion, Will's regiment is ordered to the front lines, and he is forced to choose between his duty to the English king and his love for Eliza and their Irish homeland.
Seeing as how Countess of Scandal takes place in Ireland I was of course instantly drawn to it. You are transported back in time to Kildare, Ireland in the 1790's, a time of rebellion, spies, and resistance. Eliza and William are fighting for opposite sides of the struggle between Ireland and England. Laurel McKee does a wonderful job telling their story during a very brutal time in Irish history. The tension of their love and of their causes almost bursts from the pages.

Don't worry if you think it's all about history; there are plenty of steamy scenes also. Here is an excerpt from one of the steamier parts...
"I don't really know you, Will," she said.
"Not really, not anymore. And yet there is some connection still. Do you feel it too?"

"Yes," he said hoarsely.

Eliza held her breath as his fingers traced that heartbeat, the swell of her breast through the thin silk dressing gown.

His other hand grasped her waist, drawing her up against him until there was not even a breath between them, Their bodies were pressed together, hard angles against soft curves, fitting perfectly as if the were made to be so. She felt dizzy. As if she were falling, falling, into him, where she would vanish completely.

His tongue touched hers, and she tasted wine, mint---oh, yes, she remembered the taste of him well. But their younger selves had never kissed like this. There was nothing tentative, careful, or artful about their kiss. It was frantic, hungry, and passionate, full of the dreams of years, of adult need, of fear and darkness and the force of life itself.
Want more? Take a listen to the prologue here or visit Laurel McKee's website. In fact, you can also check out her other books written as herself Amanda McCabe.

Countess of Scandal is the first book of  The Daughters of Erin. Three tales of the extraordinary Blacknall sisters, as they find love, danger, and adventure amid the splendors of Georgian Ireland! Coming in December 2010 and April 2011

I received a copy from Hatchette book group via The Product Review Place to review...and they are letting me giveaway three copies.

Prize: Three readers will win a copy of Countess of Scandal by Laurel McKee

To Enter: Mandatory Entry (one time only): Leave a comment recommending a book OR tell me why you like historical romance novels...... If this rule is not followed your entry will be deleted or removed from consideration.

Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each one) :
This giveaway will end on Monday March 1 at midnight EST...

The Winners will be emailed on Tuesday March 2... So, please make sure your blogger profile has your current email address OR leave a valid email in your posted comment. (ie. weeshenanigans (at) gmail (dot) com) The winners will have 48 hours to reply or new winners will be drawn.

Please note that Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Good Luck to everyone

*Disclosure: I received the same item being given away from the company for hosting this giveaway. Product for this review/giveaway was supplied to me by the company or pr representing the company for the sole purpose of reviewing and/or giving away. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. All opinions in this post are that of myself and do not represent the views of the company. Reception of product does not influence my views on the product and I will always give an honest candid review of product received.

WINNERS

The Lucky winners picked by Random.org to receive a copy of Sleep No More by Susan Crandall are....

Becky with comment #12
Trina with comment # 44
Kristy with comment # 49
Sheila with comment #25
Amanda with comment #37

All winners have already been contacted by email....

The Lucky winner picked by Random.org to receive a 60 day supply of Teddy's Pride was...

Christina with comment # 11

Congratulations to all the winners...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Giveaway time... Target Giftcard? Movie and a book?

CLOSED
*edited to add*  Look my giveaway is a Prizey Pick!!! I am so thrilled.

I wanted to apologize to everyone about not visiting your blogs; however, most of my time is going to keeping the kids entertained. We got slammed by snowmageddon and now they are calling for another 10-20 inches here (on top of the 2+ feet we already have) so I can only imagine that soon we will be going stir crazy.

Since, I will not have time to go shopping for a blogoversary giveaway like planned; it's going to be just a gift card... Boring I know... Perhaps as soon as we thaw out I will do another giveaway to make it up to everyone... Until then.... Those that did the bonus entry last week don't worry I will add them...

Prize: $50 Target Gift Card (or Amazon.com if you prefer)

To Enter: Mandatory Entry (one time only): Leave a comment about something you love... If this rule is not followed your entry will be deleted or removed from consideration.

Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each one) :
This giveaway will end on Saturday March 13 at midnight EST...

The Winners will be emailed on Sunday March 14... So, please make sure your blogger profile has your current email address OR leave a valid email in your posted comment. (ie. weeshenanigans (at) gmail (dot) com) The winners will have 48 hours to reply or new winners will be drawn.

Good Luck to everyone... Open to the US only sorry...

*Disclosure: There is none... This giveaway is all me.....*

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowmageddon at the Shenanigans

Picture this if you will.....

Snowmageddon is going to hit your area on Friday and Thursday Wee Man comes home from school and says....
"Mom, I think I just want to rest on the couch because both my ears hurt at school today"
translation: Mom I have a bilateral ear infection, the doctors office is closed, the huge snow storm hits tomorrow AND I have a 102 fever.. by the way I love you...

You call the doctor hoping someone is still there to answer the phone. Ring.. Ring.. Ring...
"Hello, *explain situation*"
"OH... Sorry all appointments have been put on hold because of the storm. You can talk to a nurse though."
transferred to nurse
"Hello, *explain situation again*"
"Sorry you will just have to take him to the ER because we aren't seeing anyone and I will not approve you to go to XYZ clinic."
"mmm Let me get this straight. You want me to drive 45 minutes plus to the ER instead of 4 minutes to you?"
You get the picture... It's tons of fun..

I started having flash backs to New Years Eve... However, I decided to wait till morning to call again.

The day Snowmageddon is going to hit....

Get very little sleep and then first thing call to see if the hold has been lifted...
"Hello....."
"What's the situation... OH yes he needs to be seen... We are double booking but can get him in at 9am..."
Figure out how to get Mister Sicky Mcsickerson dressed and off the couch.... DOH! Rush to the bedroom to get Lil Kiwi up, fed, and dressed to go also.

Wait what's that... She feels hot.... A 102.8 fever?!  Bollocks!!
"Helllooo... It's me... BTW can that be a double appointment because mmm the other kid is sick too."
"mmm (mumbling sounds) Sure go ahead and bring her we will see what we can do"
After seeing the nurse practitioner (I dislike her very much but didn't have a choice) we head to Target to pick up the medicine. Then wait an hour for them to fill it because they are backed up... Window shopped while waiting and end up getting a ton of stuff when all I needed was the $4 medicine...

Then head home and wait... Wait for the storm.... Wait for the kids medicine to kick in... Wait.

Snowmageddon starts...

I made some tracks in the snow to see how much had fallen... However, in the time it took to get the camera they had already started to fill in... Ten minutes later they were disappearing before my eyes...

Went to bed at 0100 hours and it looked like this...

Got up at 0730 hours and it looked like this...

As of 1300 hours it looked like this...

Just a wee bit o'snow... Of course, that much snow in the backyard does make the dogs going outside to potty a bit difficult.... We shoveled a path for them to use but Fawn Dog decided she wanted to use her normal spot wayyyyy on the other side of the yard... She quickly changed her mind.

We also seem to have some new "pets".... See if you can guess what they are by the tracks in the snow...

Birds! You are correct... Each time it snows we have a few birds that use the porch for shelter and I always make sure to throw some bread crumbs out for them... At first they just sat around in the snow waiting for me to go back inside...

Apparently, the need for warmth was stronger than their fear of me so I was able to snap a shot.

One little birdie was still on the fence about joining the others....

I told him that I was going inside and it was safe to grab a crumb or two... He said "thanks, my feet were getting cold" or at least that's what I think he said...

Here's the snow picking up again and my cue to get inside where it is warmer....

Do not think we will be using the back gate anytime soon...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Is it Friday Yet?

With all the bumps and bruises I get one would think I'm clumsy. When in fact I'm not; I am however accident prone... If there is one small piece of something sharp on the floor of a football stadium I would step on it.

In fact, DH sometimes calls me Kelso (from That 70s show) because you often hear me say... "Aww my eye"

Growing up was an adventure. Once I burned my hand very badly with boiling water and had to wear a sock for the summer. Not just any ol'sock... It was one of my brothers old used tricolored striped tube sock. I'm talking those retro 80s tube socks not the super sexy ones you can get today. So if you remember seeing a young girl running around with a tube sock on her hand.....it.....was... ME. Yes I have pictures and no I will not be sharing them.

Even in college... During one of my classes for Marine Biology we were removing fish from the drift nets and identifying them. The professors told us they had release the big sharks and that only fish were in the net. There I was happily minding my own business when BAM I get bit by a shark. M'kay no sharks you say... Needless, to say I refused to get in the water the rest of the day.

They said it must have gotten there in the time between them releasing and us getting there. That I was lucky it was only a three foot Blue and that the net was between us. Tell that to my tummy that had abrasions from the sharks attempt to protect itself from me. For those not familiar with sharks a Blue shark at three feet is just a wee thing... almost like a tween...more bark than bite...

Any way.... Unless she got rid of it one of my friends took the head home with her to keep. I'm sure my mom remembers this story and the person (Bergh's little sister) that got the head.. OH and this was the same class that a few weeks later I cut my knee on a Quahog (hard shell calm) and got stung by a jellyfish right between my thighs. YEAH I'm accident prone..

So, last night the kids slide (think the large step 2 type slide) fell on my toes and I mumbled words while I stumbled around. It hurt too bad to be broken but I knew there was going to be bruising and tenderness. Off to bed I went thinking that was the end of that...

I should know better by now...

This morning I pulled on my snow boots to walk Wee Man to the bus stop. I am always getting after him to watch where he is going yada yada yada... Normally, that is something I always do but for some reason not this morning. I take a step and just as I realize something is wrong I hear...

"Mom.. watch your step"

A few dance moves later and I'm face down on the sidewalk. Ice.... Out of the whole sidewalk I found the one strip that was covered in ice. Wee Man offers to help me up and I'm telling him to just stay clear of the ice.

Bruised toes.... sore knees... scraped hands.... yeah that's about normal for this accident prone girl..

Now someone please tell me tomorrow really isn't Friday....

*edited to add* Great now I just banged my already bruised knee into the kids ABC dry erase board.. OUCH!

With the pending winter storm coming in a few hours I think it is best if I just get in bed and stay there until next week... Wonder if I could actually get away with that.. hmmm

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Monster Trucks R Us

Wee Man loves Monster Trucks... He begged to have his picture taken with this Mini Monster Truck...
In fact, he tells us he wants to be a driver of a Monster Truck for Monster Jam. Which I have no problem with... However, Wee Man will need to get over his fear of heights...
Yes that is Wee Man only a few feet off the ground with his eyes shut tight. I'm not so sure I see driving a Monster Truck in his future currently.

Still time to give me your ideas for my blogoversary giveaway just click the link and leave a comment on THAT post to get bonus entries.

*shameless plug* If you have a dog or cat you really need to enter the Teddy's Pride Giveaway. It works and is so simple to use...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sleep No More Review and Giveaway

Category: FICTION, ROMANCE
Format: MASS MARKET
Edition: Forever Special Release
Publish Date: 1/1/2010
Price: $6.99/$8.99
ISBN: 9780446556842
Pages: 400
Size: 4-3/16" x 6-3/4"

  
Synopsis:
DANGER NEVER RESTS
The night was always Abby Whitman’s enemy. As a young girl she walked in her sleep, and one night, started a fire that scarred her sister for life and left Abby with unbearable guilt, and a loneliness that echoes within her
AND EVIL NEVER CLOSES ITS EYES
Now Abby has begun blacking out again—with apparently fatal results. A car accident has killed the son of a prominent family. Even though the evidence seems to exonerate her, Abby is plagued by doubts—and soon by mysterious threats. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Coble, is intrigued by Abby and offers to help her explore the dark recesses in her mind. Through this terrifying journey, Jason’s interest turns to passion, and he yearns to give her the love she craves. But first, Abby must trust him—and shed light on secrets that will rock this Southern town and reveal a danger that threatens them both.

Honestly, just from the synopsis I was hooked. Murder... mystery... mayhem.... and romance... I love a good mystery and usually figure them out way before you are suppose to; however, I found myself second guessing myself until right before all is revealed. Sleep No More was a good read and I found it difficult to put down. Also refreshing was that the relationship between Abby and Jason was a romance and not just all sex and lust.

I'm finding it difficult to write a better review without giving away to much of the story. This is more to this book than just the story of Abby and Jason giving you more to think about and making the characters more real. Yet, all the character stories fit nicely together without leaving you wondering why the author put that in the book.

For the most part I really enjoyed Sleep No More and would look into buying some of Susan Crandall other books. I've heard that her book Pitch Black is wonderful.
Here are a few Fun Facts...
  1. Susan has always had a deep seated fear of being stuck in a car submerged in water at night. She tapped into that fear when she wrote the accident scene in SLEEP NO MORE. To top it off, she set it in an ultra-creepy South Carolina Lowcountry swamp. This one kept her awake at night.
  2. During her young childhood years, Susan’s daughter was a sleepwalker. Luckily there was an alarm on the house, and she never made it outdoors.
  3. This book met its deadline even though during the last writing weeks Susan was battling a stomach virus. Therefore her “snack of the book” (see book pages on http://www.susancrandall.net/ for each book’s deadline snack) was box after box of mini-saltines.
  4. Susan’s son is also a fiction writer. His first novel is almost finished.
  5. Susan had some misconceptions about sleepwalking when she started developing this book. One of the main points she had wrong required her to totally adjust her plan for this story. Originally she’d intended to have Abby begin to recall scraps of memory as she worked with Dr. Jason Coble. As it turns out, sleepwalkers do not recall anything they do while sleepwalking. Research showed her the error of her ways.
I received a copy from Hatchette book group to review...and they are letting me giveaway five copies.

Prize: Five readers will win a copy of Sleep No More by Susan Crandall

To Enter: Mandatory Entry (one time only): Leave a comment telling me if you have ever had any sleepwalking experiences/fears of the night OR recommend a book...... If this rule is not followed your entry will be deleted or removed from consideration.

Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each one) :
This giveaway will end on Monday February 15 at midnight EST...

The Winners will be emailed on Tuesday February 16... So, please make sure your blogger profile has your current email address OR leave a valid email in your posted comment. (ie. weeshenanigans (at) gmail (dot) com) The winners will have 48 hours to reply or new winners will be drawn.

Please note that Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.

Good Luck to everyone

*Disclosure: I received the same item being given away from the company for hosting this giveaway. Product for this review/giveaway was supplied to me by the company or pr representing the company for the sole purpose of reviewing and/or giving away. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. All opinions in this post are that of myself and do not represent the views of the company. Reception of product does not influence my views on the product and I will always give an honest candid review of product received.