Sunday, December 21, 2014

Oh what fun it is to…..

hang with these wonderful group of kids.




We had our Christmas party with the youth tonight….thankfully we had “won”  4 free hours at our local youth center, Cornerstone.  (THANKS Mr. Andy, you rock!)

So all the mess and loudness was able to be there….instead of here! Winking smile

We told the kids to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters…..



Some were more uglier than others!

(For you to understand Steve’s ugly sweater you have to know that he is a lifelong Cowboy fan! And Andy is a lifelong Eagle fan.)


(He was “tethered to the wall” so he could only move 50 feet! lol)

It was great just hanging out and eating pizza….


and playing pool and air hockey together.


Note to self: Don’t put your camera down as you never know what you will find on it when you download your pictures from it.


These kids crack me up.  They are very vocal and very expressive. 



But totally awesome.


Minute to win it was a hoot. 

They actually rocked it.

Until it all came crashing down.  To the ground.


Shake that bootie!




Upon reviewing the replay it looks like Rachel may have actually won the Oreo challenge?!!?!

These truly are an amazing group of young people.

They keep us young and are a blast to hang with. There is never a dull (or quiet) moment!

Love you guys!


And the winner of the ugly sweater contest is…….



I do think the leaders should have won though…..


WE totally rocked it!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

I apologize!

Yes, yesterday was Friday!!! 

And I totally forgot about drawing the name for the Amazon gift card!?!?!

(Now in my defense I had a cra-ZY day yesterday and our internet wasn’t working right but that really isn’t an excuse.  I should have put it on my google calendar to remind me.  If I don’t write stuff down I will totally forget!)

Over the past week I did get two more responses to my plea for some BTDT advice.

(I realize that we will probably never really know why Jo has gained so much weight and continues to bleed. But I’m hoping that I can take this info from your experiences to show the “statistics” to our PCP in January and share with her that people have indeed gained weight on the birth control pill and Depakote.  I will keep you posted….)

So before I pull the lucky winner (and again I thank you sooo much for taking time out of your busy schedule to write!) I will share two more stories:

7.) Alice was on Depakote. It was 500mg twice daily. Along with another med that I can't remember the name of. When her Depakote was lowered (cut in half to 250mg twice daily) we noticed a huge increase in energy. She was coming home from school and taking a nap almost every day if we let her! We didn't notice too much change when she was weaned completely off meds this past summer. She was quite overweight when she moved in. And lost a lot of weight here despite being on Depakote and other med. But it's really hard to say how meds affected her weight as we weren't around long enough.

8.) Maybe too late to make any difference but my dd has gained weight on Depakote. But she is ambulatory, and when she walks ALOT she can keep it reasonable. I'd take these pictures and the dates in with you. Dr.s tend to be quite visual/number folk!

So……the winner is:


(We are so high tech around here! lol)



Email me with your email address and I will send you the amazon gift card electronically!  Congrats!

And THANKS again!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Anatomy 101

Today was Jared’s vascular surgery appointment.

I was so blown away and impressed with Dr. Scorza.  He was so down to earth and gave us an interesting science lesson to boot.

I’m mainly writing this all down so I remember the details of what we discussed….but maybe someone will find this as interesting as Jared and I did.

Jared’s varicose veins started showing up when he was about 9 years old.

Dr. Scorza said there are “usually” seven causes that your vein valves stop working:


1. You are a woman. (Women are 50% more likely to get varicose veins then men.)

2. You give birth to a baby.

3. You are obese.

4. You have family history.

5. You have trauma to the legs.

6. You have a job where you are on your feet or sitting at a desk all day.

7. You weren’t born with a deep valve system.

Jared has NONE of those scenario's… why did his valves stop working????

We don’t know.

But what we do now know is that they did and to “qualify” for surgery your veins have to be at least 5mm.  Jared’s are at least THREE times that size.

So… will be scheduled for mid-Feb for his right leg (as that one is slightly worse) and then a month later Dr. Scorza will do the left leg.


Your deep vein system does about 90% of the work.  Your superficial veins do about 10%.  But your deep vein system can handle a bit more so he should be fine when the doctor “takes away” his great saphenous vein.

What we found out was that his valves in his great saphenous veins aren’t working the whole way up his leg to the start of the deep vein system, see where it is circled up at the top of the leg on the side view picture, none of the valves are working in his superficial vein. And if we don’t take care of this then it could possibly cause the deep vein valves to fail, which wouldn’t be good as you kinda need to get that blood back to your heart!

So the WHOLE great saphenous vein will be lasered (A procedure called endovenous ablation.)



But then we found out that some of his perforation veins aren’t working either.  So they need to be injected with a chemical to cause the blood vessel to close up and they will eventually disappear.  This procedure is called Sclerotherapy.

But wait. 

There’s more!

Becuz of how big the varicose veins have gotten around Jared’s knee area the surgeon has to go in and do a microphlebectomy.


Unfortunately for Jared he will have MANY (little) incisions to take out all the big veins. (The incisions are so small though that they don’t even require stitches!!) But it will be painful.

So what is the recovery like?

Jared will have surgery on a Friday.  Then he will come home with a  BIG bandage on from the groin to ankle.  He will wear that all weekend….but he has to walk.  Walking is important for the recovery process.

Then the following Monday we will see Dr. Scorza to remove the bandages and then Jared will have to wear compression pantyhose for 10 days.

He won’t be able to work for at least a week.

He definitely “qualifies” for this surgery in terms of insurance….but you do have to jump through their hoops in order to get it approved. (surprise surprise)

There are 5 requirements in getting this approved:

1. You have to have veins bigger then 5mm. (Jared’s are at least 15mm, some are bigger.)

2. They have to be causing you pain and discomfort. (Jared doesn’t complain much but they do cause him pain.)

3.  You have to have tried wearing compression stockings for 3 months. (Jared got his on Oct. 11th so that is why we have to wait until Mid-Jan/Feb. to have the first surgery.  Dr. Scorza said that if it was up to him he would want to do the surgery within the next month….but he said insurance won’t approve it.)

4. Dr. Scorza has to make a power point from the pictures he took of Jared’s veins and submit them to insurance. If he doesn’t do a power point they won’t approve it.

5. An ultrasound has to been done to “prove” that the values aren’t working.

Jared will be put to sleep for all of this as it will be at least a 3 hour surgery.  Dr. Scorza said he can’t do both legs at once as it would just be too long for him physically and do it and also a 6-8 hour surgery can be too much anesthesia for your body.  It also would be to hard to walk around with both legs bandaged so we have to break it up into two surgeries.

The whole appointment was so interesting.  Jared and I learned so much.  Dr. Scorza is just very down to earth and a great teacher.

He answered all our questions and put Jared at ease.

(And he had a really cool Mac computer that had an ultrasound machine attached to it and Dr. Scorza took time to explain how it worked to us so that really interested Jared a lot. And I understand what we were seeing on the ultrasound so much better now! Throughout the appointment he used the ultrasound to show us all the veins and if they were working properly.)

Dr. Scorza assured me that just becuz his legs valves aren’t working that has no correlation to his heart valves. So he isn’t in any more danger that his heart valves with stop working then a “normal” 16 year old would be.  But there is a chance that once the blood finds other superficial veins to go to after the surgery those valves might break down….but we will catch it sooner and it won’t get so “out of hand”.

And I am thankful for a nice doctor who really took the time out of his schedule today to sit down with us (he sat on the floor the whole appointment as he did the ultrasound on Jared’s legs) and fit us in.  We couldn’t get in till March but Dr. Scorza called me himself last Wednesday night and said he wanted to see Jared sooner vs. later so he totally squeezed us in today at the hospital after he was done doing surgery.

(Which after he called I figured that we aren’t dealing with your “normal” varicose veins situation.  When the surgeon fits you in quickly and he calls you directly, you know something is “up.”)

So it won’t be very fun for Jared….but we are thankful that he can get this taken care of.

And I guess I know what I will be doing the end of February. 

And March.

Come on Memorial Day weekend!

(**update already.  Dr. Scorza already emailed me with dates!!  The right leg will be done Feb. 6th and the left leg on March 11th! )

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nutcracker Ballet

This is Lena’s first year to do “company” ballet with Adagio Dance Studio.  So that meant that she got to participate in the Nutcracker Ballet this year.


Our ballet group is very “low tech” compared to most dance studios.  But it is perfect for our lifestyle.  I’m not into a lot of practices or costumes.  Simple is my middle name.

Miss Christine needed some soldiers for the show and Ava was all into being a solider.  So Miss Christine gave the A-ok that a girl could be a soldier.  Ava took her role very seriously and did a great job.


They perform for an IU13 class, at Schreiber Pediatric and an old folks home.  But thankfully Daddy works right down the road from Schreiber so he could take an hour out of his day and see the girls perform.

Lena and Jadyn are really good friends.  Jadyn’s mom and dad lead the youth group (and we help) so it works out great as our girls play with the Lloyd kids so nicely during youth group.


Lena had her very first sleepover at Jadyn’s house this past weekend.  She had a blast.  And it was VERY quiet around our house…..and Ava didn’t know what to do with herself!


So on Saturday night she got to go on a very special date with just Mommy and Daddy. We went and saw Big Hero 6 in the theater.  It was cute and she liked it.  It probably would have been too intense for the other two girls so it worked out great.


After the performance the girls got to pick out a special “Schreiber” rubber duckie.


It was special that all the brothers (and G &G too) could be there for the show.  It just worked out that they didn’t work or have much school to do.

There are a lot of sweet girls in our ballet company…..and I love how they are such a great example for Lena to look up to.


Even if they are a bit odd at times! Winking smile


Now the countdown is really on for Santa to come. 

(We don’t “do” Santa.  But he showed up at Steve’s work party on Friday night….it was fun and we had “warned” the girls that he was coming so they were prepared as they had never seen him before.  And we made sure to tell them not to tell any of the other kids that Santa isn’t real!)


It is beginning to really feel like Christmas to me! 

I’m getting excited for Christmas morning! Having littles ones around again is just fun. 

Their pure joy is just contagious.