This silly thing took me way too much time. Be warned it's almost eight minutes long and has music with it! The sounds levels got messed up a tad. Sorry about that. And it bugs me that I have a couple out of order. I'll have to fix it LATER!

I'll give a blow by blow trip report later this week. :-)

Enjoy. We did. (Can you tell?)

Case closed.

It is official. TJ's whooping cough investigation is now OVER.

The office had scared me a little. And I can admit now that I was thinking that they had some suspicious spots or something on this last xray since the nurse said he still needed to see us today and discuss his case.

But everything is absolutely fine. His lungs look like we expect his to. So no more breathing tests until March now. Woo hoo!

I have copies of his reports as well as the fax to the health department. We are good to go.

Hoooray!

Crafty

Ha! For those of you that know me well... and those that do not: I always have some pressing scrapbooking emergency before we leave on ANY trip. It's my way of dealing with stress I guess... I dunno. Usually I'm doing this literally about 1 a.m. before we leave. Not really such a good idea.

So, I got the craft-bug out already by creating autograph books for all six kids on the cruise.



Darn. Now I have to iron.

;-)

Boy Band

They'll be famous one day. You just wait and see. ;-)

Monday

I can't believe we leave for the cruise on Friday! Ack! We have clothes piled, medications all refilled, forms signed. Got the call that TJ's prescription sunglasses are done. And I'll have his follow up x-ray done in the morning. And we'll see Dr. B for a clean bill of health on Thursday.

Now to pack...

And set that aquarium timer...

And stop the mail...

More things on the to do list!

:D

Taco Soup

Super easy crockpot recipe that the kids love (usually)! The recipe is REALLY forgiving. We usually use how much ground beef I have on hand (usually just a pound), black beans, navy beans, corn, rotel, taco seasoning and ranch dressing.

We add water or broth or tomato sauce. Really, whatever. Tonight I'm adding Velveeta that we had left over from the other weekend's Queso dip. We serve over chips with a dab of sourcream. So good.

TACO SOUP

1.5 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix -(opt.)
1 pkg. original hidden valley ranch dressing (dry)
2 1/2 cups water or more, to make soup broth

Brown ground beef and onions in a large pan, drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour or so. When ready, serve in big soup bowls, and have a skillet of hot cornbread to eat, too.

Report Card Day

I'm glad our district pays for the online service where we can check grades. Less stress for me on Report Card day. ;-)

Tori missed Straight A honor roll by two points in one class. Considering how bad she bombed a test (she did not even open the book, ugh) that is pretty good. I'm proud of her for pulling up that grade. She has set a goal of straight A's for next quarter. Sixth grade is when it all starts getting more serious regarding grades and she knows it.

TJ did wonderful. A/B honor roll with only one B as well. He sorta struggled with reading a bit in kindergarten and then first grade. But this Summer he faithfully pushed through Harry Potter and now only continues to improve. He really loves to read now. I'm so glad!

And Tommy. Well, come on, it IS kindergarten! But he's doing wonderfully. They just do G,S and N here for Kindergarten. He was all G's (for great... good...googly moogly?) and his teacher wrote a very nice note to us about him. He's already moving up the first grade level books. He's this amazing little sponge when it comes to information. I love it.

And that is my total 100% bragging about my kids post for the quarter.

Really, they are perfect little angels ALL the time.

Never you mind the fact that moments ago I had to SCREAM about all the noise they make when they get excited playing their game! Or that we have to beg Tori to stop being a smart a$$, or tell TJ to please, for the love of all things sacred, STOP singing "Old McDonald" so loud. And Tommy... well he only has ONE volume: REALLY loud.

HAHAHAHAHHA.

This is one of the recipes my mom made every now and then when I was much younger. I always loved it.

HUSBAND'S DELIGHT BEEF CASSEROLE

1 lb. ground beef
Garlic to taste, minced
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 tsp. sugar
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
4 green onions, chopped
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 c. cheddar cheese

Brown beef and drain. Add garlic, salt and pepper, sugar, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Mix green onions, sour cream and cream cheese together. In 2 quart casserole dish, layer ingredients in order. Noodles, sour cream mixture and beef. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The last whooping cough test was negative.

Something is going on with his lungs though. Doc wanted him to stay on the stronger antibiotics due to "what he saw on the xray report". Ok, well, what else did we see other than pneumonia, for goodness sake?

Guess we'll see how things look when he has the repeat chest xray a week from Friday.

But that is our good news of the day. NO WHOOPING freaking COUGH!

Hope you have a happy day ahead. :-)

Sorry! I have nothing to report. Who knows when we'll hear?

Update

In the famous words of Dr. B "screw it". We're starting TJ on meds ASAP. PCR Test results are still not in. And they may not be in for another THREE days. So, he can go back to school in five days (when meds are done) OR as soon as (if) the PCR comes back negative. Bad thing is (to me) the PCR is famous for giving false positives too. Sigh.

School got a bit wiggy when I called and said they would need to send out the letter about "We have a confirmed case of whooping cough." I KNEW they were going to say that. But hey agreed to wait until the PCR comes back.

Pain. in. the. a$$.

UGH.

And that is our update.

Later!

Waiting...

Tommy and Tori are at school. (Hooray, Christmas break is over!) But TJ is home with me... waiting.

We are waiting to hear back from the doctor, the hospital, the health department. Somebody just call with the stupid test results so we can move on!

I'll let you know what they say. Until then, I'm off to work.

Later!

Really

I'm so ready for this Christmas Break cough to be gone. To my utter shock (and dismay) the State Health Department called today to let me know that T's blood test for whooping cough was indeed positive.

?????????????

We now have to wait for the test we took yesterday to come back in. Most likely we won't hear back about that until Monday morning at the earliest. I am not to send him to school until we know.

For a few moments I thought we couldn't go on the cruise... ALL of us. But Dr. D assured me he would start everyone on meds Monday as soon as we hear either way. As it stands he is getting better and the doctor doesn't want to put him on meds only to find out the test was mucked up AGAIN. If he starts antibiotics then any repeat test will be negated and we won't know one way or the other.

We'll all start meds on Monday just to be safe and everyone will be able to go.

And my nerves are shot.

Hospital just called and I have to bring TJ back in for ANOTHER Whooping Cough Test. There is a variant going through the community and the CDC is requesting a specific test collected by respiratory therapy be sent in. Since the hospital mucked up they are overnighting it to the lab in Atlanta. They told me NOT to bring the other kids along.

Oh JOY.

Oh yeh, and TJ broke his glasses this morning.

Thanks for the get well surprise Nana, he'll be needed it even more evidently. Poor kid!

Hope everyone has a great day. I'm off to work for a bit before the fun begins. ;-)

Hooray!

TJ's lungs do sound clear. Totally clear. His rattling that I have been hearing is around his vocal cords the past day or so.

Dr. D sent us back for a different whooping cough test to the hospital. But gave me new guidelines for his emergency action plan that make me feel tons better. Basically, Dr. D lowered the expectations we have for him to be in the 'green' zone so that his numbers are FINE now. In fact the lung function test was right at his best... so all's good.

Once Dr D saw the xray he said it was pneumonia on the one side and that it was just going to take a while for him to be back to 100%. We'll go back in a week if we need to, otherwise a follow-up consult via phone will be fine. I love doctors that take the time to speak to me on the phone instead of through their nurse!

So... he's better. Big sigh of relief.

To show you just how small the world is... while I was doing paperwork at the check-in at the hospital the woman asking all the questions suddenly said "Did you teach preschool in Texas?"

Uh...

Yeh, I did...why?

Turns out this was the mom of a little boy I had back in 1995. I distinctly remember that child because he fell down once and I ended up having to call 911. I rode with him in the ambulance and burst into tears when the mom walked into treatment area at the hospital. I felt SO bad I had let her little guy get hurt. But he was fine. A few staples later and he was on his way out the door.

And now he's a senior in highschool!!!! Oh my.

And that is my small world story for the day.

And I have to get to working now so see you later. :-)

We did nothing last night. But we really never do anything to celebrate New Year's Eve anyways. I get too sleepy! Yeh, I'm boring. At least I know it.

Tim had Mark and his brother over to watch the Florida/Michigan game today. Oh yeh, Tim took the day off! Hooray!

TJ still isn't better. He's really miserable. I'm so glad he has an appointment set up with him Pulminologist in the a.m. I'm really worried about him. He's not running a raging fever or anything. But his lungs are gunky and his numbers aren't better. He should be better after all those steroids. And going out in the cold for just a few minutes all but wipes him out. :-(

I'll update after his appointment Wednesday.

Have a great night everyone!

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