Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Today I'm thankful for my sweet boy, Nate. I wasn't feeling well earlier and laid down on the couch. Nate came over to me and started rubbing my head and said, "Mama, I know you not feel good, but I sersty." I got up and fixed him something to drink and laid back down. He took a few drinks, came back over to me, kissed my head and said, "I love you". And walked away to play. He can give me a run for my money, but times like that make it worth it. He takes such good care of me and I love him so much.

November 23, 24, and 25, 2012

Friday I was thankful for insulin. Without it I wouldn't of been able to eat the delicious food that was offered to me over the Thanksgiving holiday and it was delicious. My dad made a ham and squash casserole (which is my favorite) and green beans and rolls. It was soooooo good. I made the macaroni and cheese and it was delicious. It's a Paula Deen crockpot recipe that she calls Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. It's a lot of prep work so I only make it on holidays and I never have any left over. If it wasn't for the insulin I wouldn't be able to eat at all, as a matter of fact I probably would have died within days of being diagnosed. Insulin has been developed and I'm able to eat the good food without hesitation. O.k. maybe a little hesitation, but not much.

Saturday I was thankful for Black Friday sales. I did all of my "Santa" shopping online, but I took advantage of the sales on Saturday and Sunday. I got a lot of things for me without spending a lot of money. I got new shoes and a couple of sweaters. I was surprised at my choices. I usually wear a lot of black and although my shoes are tan, a nice neutral color, the sweaters I bought were pink and bright blue. Maybe I'm coming out of my shell.

Sunday I was thankful for my new found energy and time with my kids. I took Nate and Abbie to the mall to the indoor playground they have. We went shopping before hand which they allowed with the promise of playing on the playground when I finished. It felt good to be able to walk and shop and then take them there and not be overly tired as soon as we stepped in the designated area. I haven't been able to do that in such a long time. I look forward to more days like that.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22, 2012

Today is Thanksgiving and rather than writing about one thing I am thankful for, I'm going to list a few things. My family. They are a huge support. My husband. My children. My mom for giving me a new kidney. My doctors because they keep me healthy. My friends. Everyone who has come in and out of my life because they have shaped me into the person I am today. Black friday, because it's fun (in my opinion). My new found energy. A roof over my head. Food on the table. Nap times. Bed times. Chocolate. Time. Shoes. Macaroni and cheese. Chuck E Cheese. Showers. Autumn days and summer nights. There are a lot more things I am thankful for, but I still have 349 posts to write.

November 21, 2012

I am thankful for my friend, Emily. She has seen me when I have been at my worst. She has held my hand through some painful procedures and been there when I have needed someone. She was with me when Anna was born, she has slept in uncomfortable positions in a chair beside my bed when I have been in the hospital. She is not just my friend, she is my sister. She loves my children as her own and they love her. We met through myspace. We had a mutual friend and I had visited her page before, but never thought we would talk or meet or anything.  It was towards the end of August when I received a private message from her asking about my babies and their prematurity. Her daughter had been born prematurely in August and Abbie was born the same year in June and like any mother, she was scared to death. She reached out to me for advice and I told her my story. We clicked and have been friends ever since. I thank God for her and our friendship.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 20, 2012

Today I am thankful for being able to learn lessons, even if I have to learn them the hard way. For example, my kids don't really eat anything sugary. I mean, I give them a fun sized candy bar pretty regularly and they drink diet coke on occasion, but that's about it. We don't really eat cake. Ice cream is an occasional summer treat. And I give them sugar free popsicles. They get Little Debbie snack cakes for snack (go figure) and they eat doughnuts for breakfast every now and then, but the only time they eat anything with frosting are on birthdays and even then I typically take the frosting off before they eat it. The reason is because it's one of the worst things for a diabetic and guess what I am... diabetic. My mom made strawberry cupcakes with confetti frosting this weekend for Anna's birthday. Strawberry happens to be my favorite kind of cake and add vanilla frosting and I'm heaven. She sent us home with a bunch of cupcakes and a jar of confetti frosting (I love my mommy more than words can express). Yesterday, I wanted one and so did Anna and so did Abbie. I put a little frosting on thme and we divulged in the heavenly sweetness. I decided to take bites of frosting with every bite of cake. And so did Anna. And so did Abbie. And we ate a total of 5 cupcakes between us. Each bite having frosting. They had never had so much frosting in their life and they never will again as long as they live under my roof. They were literally climbing the walls. They were running and screaming and laughing and talking and jumping and falling and spinning in circles and driving me crazy. Bedtime was harder than usual with them up and playing intermittently during the night. I'm talking, they were playing at 1, 3, and 5. About 5:30, they were out and I was getting an unhappy Abbie ready for school at 7. She was tired and whiny and crying and didn't want anyone to talk to her or touch her. She didn't want to be held and she didn't want to be put down. She was impossible. The culprit? Frosting. I was going to get Anna ready for school, but I couldn't wake her up and since she doesn't have to go as early as Nate and Abbie, I left the task to be handled by Tim. He said it was almost impossible to get her ready. That she was upset. Guess what she was doing when I picked her up from school... sleeping. They said she had been tired all day. The culprit? Frosting. Abbie's teacher said she had a pretty good day, but had a hard morning. I am glad I'm able to see the negative effect frosting had on my girls and learn the lesson to never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever give them frosting again.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

Today I am thankful my new port. Last Wednesday, I had minor outpatient surgery to have a port placed so that I could receive IV fluids at home. It didn't take long and out of all the procedures I have had, I think this one hurt the least. Little did I know, though, that it would be used so quickly. Thursday came around and I wasn't feeling very well. Tim made the decision to stay home with me. I slept most of the morning and at 11:30, I stood up and got really dizzy. Tim said that I said "Oh, gosh", put my head in my hands and started convulsing. He happened to be close to me and said that I became stiff, my back arched and started to shake all over and he laid me in the floor where I stopped. I remember waking up in the floor and wondering how I got there. I remember hearing Tim talking and telling someone what he had witnessed. I wasn't able to speak and I was out of it. All I remember his hearing voices, being asked questions, and wanting to talk but nothing coming out of my mouth. I remember being at the hospital and Emily being there and it taking me forever to process questions and it taking me forever to answer them and even then my answers were shorter than the answers I had formed in my head. I felt like I was moving in slow motion while everything around me was moving in super turbo fast speed. The ER doctor determined that I had had a full blown seizure, and ordered IV fluids. The best thing was going through all of that and not being stuck a gazillion times for an IV. They pressed a couple of times on the place where the port is and that was it. They drew blood and gave me fluids within minutes. I have never had blood drawn and fluids given without a fair amount pain before hand due to an IV. I am in love with my port. And I have to say... I rock this port.

November 17 and 18, 2012

On Saturday, I am thankful for friends that called Tim and invited him to play ballywall... or whatever. I think it's called wallyball, but I call it "ballywall... or whatever". He got out of the house Saturday morning and got some much needed guy time. He came home and was in such a good mood. He encourages me to go out with my friends and typically I do a couple of times a month, but he always stays home. He rarely go anywhere and does anything without at least one of the kids. It makes me feel bad because I know I feel better after a few hours out without the kids, but he insists that he stay home or if he does go out (and I don't mean go out to eat or with friends, I mean go to the grocery store) he usually takes one or two of the kids. He's an awesome dad and wonderful husband, but he needs to get out and have time to himself. All adults do and I was thankful he got that time on Saturday.

Sunday... if you couldn't tell by my previous post.. I am thankful for precious Annaboo and being able to have a happy celebration for her 2nd Birthday. We weren't sure if she was going to have one birthday to celebrate happily and now she has had 2. She is an amazing little girl and I am thankful to be able to celebrate each of her milestones with her.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Birthday

I'm not able to sleep tonight. I keep recounting what I was doing the minutes that lead up to the minute that Dr. Collins came in and sat on my bed and told me that it would be in my best interest if we went ahead and delivered Anna.

Emily stayed the night with me that night along with another nurse. I was swollen and had many episodes of low blood sugar that it was decided I needed a round the clock watch from a nurse. And when I say episodes, I'm talking all out seizures, falling in the floor, close to death episodes. I woke up numerous times in the night needing to sit up because I was having a hard time breathing and I would cough up fluid. I remember waking up to my morning nurse coming in to check my vital signs about 8am. Emily had already left by then to go home and take care of her babies. I started coughing and she witnessed first hand the fluid coming up. I knew something was up, she was waaaaayyyyy to calm in telling me she was going to call the doctor and he would probably order a chest x-ray. It was like she was trying to keep calm. And it wasn't 15 minutes later that the x-ray technician was there with a portable machine taking an x-ray. My worst thought was that he was going to order more IV medication. And I was already on soooooo much. I remember I was sitting up on the bed, flipping through channels. My nurse came in with my doctor and she started rubbing my back as Dr. Collins told me that the x-ray showed fluids being filtered in my lungs. He said that my kidneys were failing and my body couldn't hold anymore fluid and that based on my vitals, blood work, and the x-ray, it was in my best interest and Anna's that she be delivered. I called friends and family to come. At 10am I was being prepped for surgery. Surgery started at 10:55am, I remember looking at the clock on the wall and staring at it for what seemed like eternity and they announced her time of birth at 11:11am. I've always thought that if you made a wish when the clock turned 11:11, it would come true and I remember wishing and praying and hoping that Anna would be fine.

I wasn't even sure what to name Anna when she was born. I thought I had more time and then she was here. I never thought I would have a 1lb 14oz 13in baby. But she was the most precious 1lb baby and today she is the most precious 2 year old. She is talking so much. When we call her name, she will call back "what?" with an attitude. She says Hehwoah, Bye-yeeee, yahhh (yeah), Nate, Abbie, Popper (Copper), wedy (ready), Daaadddeeee, (Daddy), Momma, Yan (Gran), Yandat (Grand Dad), and YiYi (GiGi). She tells me when she's "thewty" (thirsty), and she says "no" clear as day. She babbles and loves to laugh. And she loves to make others laugh. She blows kisses and is such a cuddle bug. She loves to be held and loves to eat. She is amazing.

Happy Birthday Boo-boo face. I love you more than the moon. More than the stars. More than the Earth and Jupiter and Mars.

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16, 2012

Today I am thankful for singing. I love to sing. I love to get in the zone and sing as loud as I can to lyrics I don't know. Yeah, that's right. Lyrics I don't know. Meaning I know what the lyrics are in my mind, but usually they aren't what the artists are singing and don't make any sense to anybody but myself, but I love it. I love getting the kids involved and seeing who can sing the loudest. I love being in the car and singing a song like Fireworks by Katy Perry with the kids and Tim's face cringe. It's a beautiful scene. It's fun and the times are memories made with the kids. Maybe one day I will get brave and let Tim video a time and post it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 15, 2012

Reporting again live from Traci's blog! It is I Tim McKee with another fun filled blessing!!

                      Today after a super scary trip to the ER i think we will be thankful for the amazing power and healing abilities of Music. That's right whether you like the smooth sound of sweet ambient beauty or the screaming guitar of some classic rock music is always there to change or enhance your mood. Think about it, what is as therapeutic as sitting down after a long day and popping on some headphones or ear buds and just cranking your favorite playlist. I know that's what I'm doing  right this minute as I'm typing this out. I encourage everyone to sit down one day/night and just dig through all that music and start organizing to fit your moods. You can thank me later for such an awesome idea.....its ok....go on......go ahead stop reading this and go jam.

Seriously you are still reading?..................I'm so done with you people. Much love and Traci will be back tomorrow.

November 14, 2012

This blog entry is brought to you by Tim McKee since Traci is recovering from surgery!

Today i am thankful for anesthesia! Seriously who ever came up with this idea should be nominated for sainthood. Some of the most amazing things have happened to Traci and I while she has been under. Example time!!!

The babies first and foremost. All 3 have been delivered via emergency C-sections. And up to this point in our lives they are quite possibly the greatest blessing we have.

Traci's new best friend Frank! The kidney most generously donated to Traci by her mother Tina. A life saving/changing gift received while knocked out.

And lastly the many ports Traci has needed to keep the healing process moving along, they are vast and inconvenient but she needs them and she wasn't awake for them.

  So as you see we have been very blessed by Saint Anesthesia. This healing process is going to take more time than we expected but we are ready to tackle it. With God and Saint Anesthesia as my witness we will survive. Amen go Vols.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13, 2012

It's true. No need to be hateful or mean. Just say "bless your heart", smile, and people think you are being kind. But you know different (hehe). Today I am thankful that I was born in the south. There aren't many things that are better than being southern. We have the most beautiful landscaping. I love going through the country and seeing all shades of red and orange and yellow from the leaves turning during fall. It's beautiful. Our people might not be the smartest, but they are the kindest. I remember I got stuck in a ditch when I was a senior in high school out in Ledford's Mill. I would go there because it was secluded. It has an old run down bed and breakfast with a mill attached to the side, and I would go there to hike and think and take in the beautiful scenery. It would just be me and the woods and the nature made waterfalls. It was a place to go for me to reflect. On this particular day, I parked in front of a small drop off and as I was leaving, I forgot this bit of information and thought I could move forward and get back on the road versus backing up and going out the marked exit way. Well, I fell in this drop off. Cell phones weren't existent at this time in history and I went to walking the 5 miles to the main highway to flag someone down. But just as I set off on my journey, 2 BIG boys pull up in their pickup truck and helped. No questions ask, no money taken. They pulled my car out as if they were playing with matchbox cars. People genuinely care about each other. And everyone knows you, and if they don't know you, then they know your kinfolk. You feel the love everywhere you go. I don't care who you are and neither does my neighbor, you're welcome here no matter what.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012

Today I am thankful for fleece blankets. I stayed wrapped up in mine all day. My fleece blanket is kind and generous. It enveloped me in it's warmth when I needed and allowed me to kick and stretch it in order to get it off of me when I became too warm and never complained. It waits for me on the bed and doesn't get mad when I ignore it. It allows me to gather it and throw it and come back to it whenever it's convenient for me. It doesn't require me to feed it and give it anything to drink. It's doesn't require me to talk to it or show it any affection whatsover, although I do because I love it so. I love my fleece blanket.

November 10 and 11, 2012

My Dad's birthday was on Saturday and I'm very thankful for my Dad. He has taught me a lot of valuable lessons, but there are 2 that stick out. One... integrity. He defined integrity for me. Integrity is doing what you say you are going to. I don't remember a time my Dad saying he was going to do something and then not doing it. I remember there were times it was inconvienant, but he still did what he said he was going to do. I remember there was once it caused a fight between my Mom and Dad. It was the weekend of my brother's birthday and my Dad was scheduled to go to a horse show for business. My Mom, to the best of my memory, was upset and I think she wanted my Dad to tell his boss (my great Uncle) that he wasn't going to go, but my Dad went. He told my brother that he would make it up to him and gave me a kiss and told me bye. My Dad worked hard all my life to provide. He made a lot of sacrifices, missing events of mine and Bubba's, to work so that we had what we needed. Sometimes it was upsetting and I didn't understand, but now that I'm older, I understand it and I respect him even more for it. 

On Sunday, we went to my Dad's house to celebrate his and Anna's birthday. I'm scheduled for surgery on Wednesday and I'm not sure how I'm going to feel on the 18th which is Anna's birthday. So we decided to go there on Sunday and have cake. We also went over to our friend's, Amanda and Micah's. So I am thankful for family and friend's company. We had such a good time at both places. Laughing and playing and talking and having a wonderful time. It's days like yesterday that I wish I could put in a box and pull out on days like today where it's gloomy and rainy and I woke up feeling bad. It's the hope for days like yesterday that make days like today bearable and give me the knowledge that days like yesterday are not only a possibility, but are a definitely.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9, 2012

I have been debating on what I should write for what I am thankful for today and I decided that I am thankful that I am able to be thankful and write about it. I am thankful for my freedom and the people who fight for it. My brother especially. My brother joined the National Guard in January of this year for reasons I can't begin to understand, but I am proud of him nonetheless. He is my hero and my inspiration. If you don't know, for the past 6 years I have been incredibly sick. With different things... Diabetes. Pregnancies. Congestive heart failure. High blood pressure. End stage renal disease (kidney failure). Gastroparesis. Finally I had a kidney transplant and it was discovered that I have autonomic dysfunction which is a fancy schmancy word for nerve damage to the blood vessels and that causes orthostatic blood pressure (low blood pressure when you stand). I can't win for losing when it comes to the blood pressure battle. Anyway, I'm not writing to talk about what is wrong with me... I'm writing to say that through all of this, my brother went and accomplished something he has wanted to and that inspired me to pursue getting my manicurist license.
People say I have more than enough reason to feel sorry for myself, but if my brother can go and define bravery (refer to pic) then I can get up and finish what I started 2 years ago. And I did. With Bubba's encouragement, I studied my arse off and passed my theory and a month later, I passed my practical making me a licensed manicurist in the state of Tennessee. He has given me the strength to get up and live. He has shown me that to live in this great nation and feel sorry for myself is not only disrespectful to all the men and women who have given up so much so that they can fight for my freedom, but a waste of time. Time that so many who are far worse off than I am would give anything to have. So I live each day to the fullest. I may not spend my day skydiving or bungee jumping. Or traveling to far off lands. Or white water rafting, kayaking, or hiking the Grand Canyon, but I live it to the fullest for me. I get up and shower. I sweep the floors. I bake cookies for my children. I cut endless amounts of felt and glue my fingers together with hot glue to make my children a felt christmas tree and ornaments that they will be able to decorate as much as they want this season. I don't have any expectations of myself so the little things are HUGE accomplishments and while it is completely o.k.for me not to do anything, because let's face it, if you know me, you know going to the bathroom is an accomplishment for me, you also know, I'm not going to let me freedom go to waste because so many are fighting so that I can have it. I love my Bubba. He is my true hero and I'm honored that I call him my honest to God brother.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012

Another obvious... My children. I am thankful for my 3 beautiful and healthy kids. Nate, Abbie, and Anna J. I am thankful that I was healthy enough to bring them into this world and that I'm healthy enough to watch them grow everyday. Each birth was difficult and special. I felt like I was pregnant with Nate for forever when he was born and he was 8 weeks early. I remember I felt him kick for the first time the day after Thanksgiving. I was laying down on my belly with my hand comfortably placed in between my stomach and the bed. I was almost asleep when a felt this hard poke on my hand and I realized I had felt these "kicks" before, but not beyond my stomach. I flipped over, raised my shirt, and watched his hand or his foot or maybe his elbow move across my belly. It was the coolest thing I had ever experienced and couldn't wait for Tim to feel him kick. That's the only thing I miss about being pregnant.
The most memorable thing I remember about Abbie is my constant craving for all things strawberry flavored even though I hate strawberry flavored anything. I wanted strawberry milkshakes, strawberry icecream, strawberry lemonade, if strawberry could be added to it, then I wanted it. And my craving for banana laffytaffy. I couldn't get enough. I even had a friend who went to the lake for the weekend and the store near her carried banana laffytaffy and she bought me all they had and I ate it within a few minutes.
With Anna I knew she was going to be my last so I savored every moment, but the best were when I was home with Nate and Abbie. We would go outside and play and it was nice just us "4".
Now that they are growing and becoming little people with big personalities, I enjoy them even more. They love each other very much and get along. Nate loves to chase Anna and make her laugh. Abbie loves to play Dr. Abbie and make Nate and Anna's booboos all better. Anna loves to watch Nate and Abbie's eyes light up when she says their names. They are so much fun and I'm proud that God saw fit that they call me Mom.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7, 2012

Today is the first day of my 365 days of Thanks... I'm going to start it by stating the obvious. I am thankful for my husband, Tim McKee. I realized how thankful I was last night. It was one of the worst nights I have experienced in a long time... I wasn't feeling well and Abbie actually brought me her pillow pet and a blanket, covered me up and sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to put me to sleep. It worked, I fell asleep before the kids did. I woke up later and needed to use the bathroom, but I couldn't sit up without feeling like I was going to pass out (thank you orthostatic blood pressure) I started crying because I felt so helpless and Tim came to me rescue. Before I knew it, I was in his arms. He was carrying me into the bedroom where I would have easier access to the bathroom. I made it to the bathroom, but I passed out and fell to the floor. Tim picked me up again and put me on the bed. I came to in time to through up and Tim was right beside me with the trash can. I was spent. I could barely move a muscle and Tim continued. He undressed me and dressed me in my pajamas without missing a beat. He is so wonderful knowing every move I'm going to make before I make it. 
I firmly believe that anyone else would have left me a long time ago. A lot of people don't know how to handle someone being as sick as I am, but he has been beside me every step of the way. He has taken every diagnosis and prognosis in stride, finding humor and helping me cope with all that has been thrown at me. He has taken the role of single father at times and has done great in that role. I love him to the moon and back.