Sunday, August 26, 2007

back to school... :)

school starts tomorrow.
the last days/weeks have been filled with curriculum training, room beautification, lesson planning...and a few bouts of stress-related tears.
but the room is finished (for now...), i'm ready (i think...) and we're going for it (starting at 8:15 tomorrow).
i'm super eager to get to know a new group of kiddos.
but i'm nervous about some kiddos who have already been brought to my attention because of their sometimes negative behavior.
i'm wanting to do my very best to turn these kiddos into super readers, writers and (basic) mathematicians.
but i'm worried that i won't have enough time for anything else - can i teach art, science and social studies more often this year?
i'm excited to work with the staff - both returning and new.
but i'm wondering if we'll all be able to interact and create a supportive environment like last year.
i hope to see my old kiddos.
but will they come visit me...and did i serve them well?
i know it'll be a great year...but my stomach is full of butterflies.
more news to come once i'm settled in.

besides my new school year, matt is starting a new job tomorrow with a company that could be a great opportunity to transfer out of state when the time comes. and, to top it off, we're moving. it a lot of changes for our little world...but they're all positive, so we're happy and taking it all in stride.
i'm off to pick out my first-day-of-school clothes, gather my teacher materials and pack up my new orange lunchbox with handy tupperware insert. happy monday/week to you all. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007


Hi all.
Thanks for your prayers for James. He is better now, but it was very uncertain not too long ago. Since there is a lot to write, I will copy the e-mail my husband sent to his co-workers and some friends. So, below is Matt's rundown of the last couple days:

*Thursday - James had 5 grand mal seizures within an hour (basically in a constantly seizing state) and was rushed to the ER. Mary, Matt's mom, noted that his breathing was very shallow so when they got to the hospital, they put him on a ventilator, where he remained for the rest of the night. He was also given a massive dosage of Ativan (similar to Valium) for seizure control. He takes this medicine regularly in smaller doses but, due to the repeated seizures, the amount in his blood equaled up to a very large dose. He was fairly stable and remained in the ICU.

*Friday - Mary called Matt at 2:00 and told him to come to Walnut Creek immediately. He picked me up at home and we arrived. The doctors told us that earlier in the day, they had tried numerous times to pull James off of the ventilator but that he would not start breathing on his own. After running some more tests, they determined that the Ativan was not only suppressing the seizures but also preventing his brain from telling his body to breathe. There were two long-term possibilities (barring anything unexpected): 1) Stay on the ventilator in a drug-induced coma for the rest of his life or 2) take him off Ativan (meaning no seizure control), allowing him to breathe on his own, but ultimately leading to organ failure since the trauma the body experiences during the constant-seizure state is so taxing. Matt and his parents talked about it and decided that they'd wait out the weekend and see is James improved. There was little hope that he would improve, so they were preparing to take him off the ventilator and allow him to pass away peacefully. This was not being morbid or fatalist; the doctors told us that this was going to happen and that they were not expecting anything else than the above.

*Saturday - Mary calls us early in the morning to say that James is off the ventilator. He is still very groggy from the drugs he is on, but he is able to nod and look at people when they talk to him. The drugs keep him constantly struggling to maintain consciousness, but he is doing much better. Saturday evening, the doctor tells us that they see no reason why he cannot get back to where he was before this all started. There is a small scare around midnight right when we're saying good night and about to leave when he stopped breathing, but it was shortly after another dose of medicine so it was chalked up to the shock of the drugs on his system. Matt went over to his bedside and shook him awake and he started breathing again.

*Sunday - James is awake more and able to speak. He behaves much more like himself (smiling, being a 'stinker', soaking up the attention of nurses/family) and is even able to play cards (sort of). He was taken out of the ICU and off all of the breathing monitors. They are looking at releasing him at the end of next week.

So...things are alright now...but it was a little touch and go for a little while. Everyone is doing well and are hoping James can regain the lifestyle he lived before his seizures became difficult to control Continue to keep James in your thoughts and prayers as they seek out what to do nest. There is some worry that this will be a recurring we're hoping the doctors can suggest anything that could help or make his life/health more stable.
Hope you all have a great week and I'll update again soon. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007


hi friends.
time is short...but i have a request of you.
my sweet brother-in-law james is in the hospital, due to complications from his ongoing battle with seizures. he is on a ventilator and things are looking very uncertain. the family (matt's parents, matt, and his brother michael) is hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst.
any prayers/happy thoughts you could offer -- for james, mary and brian, matt, michael, the doctors -- would be greatly appreciated.
thanks...and i hope to have more information to update soon.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

shoo fly...

...don't bother me!!!!!!
we have an icky thing going on in our apartment.
while we were in chicago, a family of flies somehow found a gap and moved in.
they're zipping around here like the own the place.
as a result, we've closed ourselves up, meaning very little fresh air is making it in.
and the worst part is that over the last few days they have been dropping like...well...flies.
it's icky and gross and bleh.
does anyone know - is this the time of year for new flies to be born?
i hope they stop reproducing soon.

besides the fly infestation....things are good.
*i can get back into my classroom officially on monday. i wish i twas sooner, but the carpets are still being cleaned and the newly tarred are apparently quite stinky. i'm excited to get in there, organize the crap out of everything and prep my room for the new batch of kiddos.
*i'm seeing my friend aimee this saturday for the first time in a year! it's been too long considering she lives 30 minutes away. but she is also a new teacher (first grade, too) and we were both up to our ears in work. anywho, she is one of my favorite people and i always love seeing her and catching up. :)
*we're moving september first - so we're starting to pack up our stuff. we don't think we have much...but then we realized that we opened all of our wedding gifts in this apartment and put them all away gradually. i am a little shocked at how much junk/stuff we have. i suppose a little 'purge' will be for the best. :)
*other goodness: free movies downtown, snow patrol's cd 'eyes open', nectarines, an a's game next week (free tickets and free food - lucky us!), relaxing with matt, the last days of my summer vacation...
happy friday/weekend, friends. :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

blogs galore :)

hi all. everyone and their mother might already know about what i'm about to share, but i figured i'd pass along the thing that has made my blog reading a little...swifter.

i love to read blogs and get caught up on the lives of people i know in 'real life'. but over the last few months, i've come across the blogs of some wonderful, creative and thought-provoking people that i want to continue reading. i don't know about you, but it was getting a little crazy (and super time-consuming) going to each individual blog and checking for ideas and updates. recently, i discovered a way to make my blog reading more 'focused'.

introducing...the helpful and handy google reader!

with google reader, you plug in the url's for your favorite blogs (personal, news, arts, etc.) and google reader will constantly check the sites for updates. it then provides a list of all the new blogs your favorite people post - all in one place! you can also put the blogs in groups - to keep it all organized. :)

i love it and, while it makes me a super lazy blog reader, it definitely keeps me up to date on the people that intrigue and inspire me. hope it helps you keep up with your favorites. and if you have any question, i'll do my best to help out...but i'm not the most tech-savvy gal in the world. :)

happy tuesday friends...and happy blog reading.

Monday, August 06, 2007

chicago! :)

we're back from the 'windy city'.
which was not the case when we were there.
so i'll re-dub it the 'warm and a little humid city' - as that was our personal experience.
despite the temperature, we had an absolute blast in chicago.
it is such a neat city - it's full of history, but modern at the same time.

we did all the requisite touristy things - sears tower, navy pier, hancock observatory, the field museum, the shedd aquarium, the art institute, millennium park, the 'bean' and so much more.
we ate delicious food. deep-dish pizza was consumed (i loved pizzeria due, an off-shoot of the better-known pizzeria uno), chicago-style hot dogs were enjoyed and yummy soft-serve kept us cool as we wandered the warm city streets.
we visited with friends and family. we stayed with my aunt and uncle -- who i've only interacted with a handful of times because they live far away -- and it was an absolute treat to talk to them and get to know them better. they were such wonderful and generous hosts - and they're the neatest people. an added bonus...we met up with a friend who recently moved to chicago. he played tourist with us and also showed us some of his new favorite finds.
we rode (lots of) trains, hopped the free trolley, walked until our legs were wobbly, snapped pictures of just about everything (we have 550 pics to prove it!), laughed about silly things and created a wonderful memory. it was great to have some time to spend together before things get busy and stressful once again.
just what will be keeping us busy? the next few weeks, matt starts his new job, school starts for me (in exactly three weeks!), and we're moving north on september first. lots going on...but all of it is good, so i'm just gearing up. :)
hope you are all enjoying the last days/weeks of summer.
also...enjoy just a small sampling of our pictures of chicago fun.

the view of sears tower from our architecture boat tour.

delicious deep-dish pizza.

taking a picture with the bean and the city. (i'm the gal in the blue) :)

one of my favorite paintings -- 'a sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte' by georges seurat

the neat kimodo dragon mouth entrance to the wonderful shedd aquarium

sue, the world's largest female t-rex skeleton, in the field museum

grant park -- being taken over by the lollapalooza music festival. sadly, we didn't get to walk through this is the next best thing. :)

the view of the downtown from the sears tower - beautiful views. :)

'the dark knight' -- the new batman movie -- was filming in chicago at night. sadly...there were no christian bale sightings. :( but this is a blurry picture of gary oldman doing a scene for the movie.

matt and i enjoying the city. it was a wonderful trip - can't you tell by our happy faces? :)