Thursday, June 26, 2008


Wow! I just watched an episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition via YouTube. The makeover was for the Stockdale family. They have four children with Eosinophilic Enteropathy, and the dad is going back to school in the field of Immunology in hopes to find a cure for his children and others with Eosinophilic Disease. It was an amazing episode and I encourage those of you who would like insight into this disease to watch it. If you view it through YouTube, it is split into 5 parts. Here is the first of five: Let me close with..."Welcome Home Stockdale Family," and thank you ABC for sharing with the world what Eosinophilic Disease is and how it affects our lives!

*Ross just showed me an easier way to view this espisode, directly from ABC's site Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Neurology Appointment

Abigail's neurology appointment went well yesterday. The doctor felt like Abigail was actually doing quite well, and thought that her gross motor delay was due to the fact that she has been chronically ill since birth (even though we didn't know it). However, she was a little concerned about her speech delay; so she is going to have an MRI in a couple of weeks to check the side of the brain that controls speaking. I know your are probably thinking that appointment went way too smoothly...well, yes the appointment did. The trip home and the day after were a bit chaotic. Apparently we either drove through something or Abigail came into contact with something that caused her to have a mild anaphylatic reaction. So, after giving Benadryl, the inhaler, Dr. Lovell, and more inhalers, she is doing fine. Hopefully we are back on track and headed for a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

How We Are "Holding it All Together"

I have people tell me they don't know how our family is handling the news of Abigail's disease so well. I have pondered on this for a while and the only answer I have, is the Lord. He is our Strength, our Provider, our Healer, our Defender, our Rock. He is Majestic; Oh, Lord our Lord, how excellent is your name! He is the Beginning and the End, He is All-Knowing.

"All-Knowing" this may be the most satisfying name of the Lord when we get overwhelmed with the unknown. He does know all, and it is perfect. He knows every minute of every day, He has a plan and a purpose for Abigail's life. We have peace in knowing that although it is a very real possibility that Abigail may never eat; and even if she does it will be very limited, but that's okay. It is okay because God has ordained it all. He knew that Abigail would have Eosinophilic Esophagitis. He knew that Ross and I would be the best parents for her. He knew that Mary Grace and Hannah would be the most wonderful, protective big sisters to her. He knew that Cincinnati would be an option for us, and He knows the answers to the unknown.

There is comfort in knowing that there is a purpose for Abigail having this disease. If that purpose is to bring God the glory alone, what other purpose do we need? Jesus said this in Bethany when he was talking to Mary and Martha about Lazarus before he raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." John 4:11 The Lord blessed me with the verse right after Abigail's diagnosis. What a wonderful thing for Him to show me! Abigail's sickness will bring glory to God! He and He alone is why we are able to "keep it together," without Him we would all be utter messes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Much Needed Break

Ross and I went to Branson; that's right, Ross and I. No kids. It was a much needed break! We headed to Branson Friday after Ross got off work early. We booked a room at the Quality Inn off the strip. It wasn't a beauty, but I could have handled it. However, there were 10 different little league baseball teams staying there for a tournament. So, at 10:45pm after complaining about the noise and the fact that the boys were running by, knocking on the door, and running off we switched hotels! Let me just tell you, my husband has great taste and oh, what an upgrade it was. He took us to the Hilton in the Convention Center by the Landing. It was SOOO NICE! We checked in and walked down to the Landing; which seems to be a happen' place in the evening hours. We went for french fies and ranch and back to the room we went.

Earlier that day, we went to Silver Dollar City and five minutes before we got there, it poured down rain. We decided that it would be worth getting a little wet for some taffy; so into the park we went. I'm sure people thought were crazy because the trolley was packed with people leaving and there was only one other couple (elderly) entering the park with us. Surprisingly the rain let up and we were able to get our taffy without getting too wet.

The next day we spent our time walking around the Landing and the Outlet Malls. We found an amazing Mexican food place, Cantina Laredo. The food was delicious and they make fresh guacamole at your table. Yum! I have to confess, it was so good that we ate there twice in the same day. Why is it that when we go out of town all we do is eat? Anyway, we had a wonderful time, and although I would have loved to stay there another night it was very much worth it. Thank you mom and dad for watching the girls!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Playing Pretend

What do you do when your children play pretend? Do you sit back in amazement as you see their little inventive minds at work? Do you reminisce to when you were a child? Are you excited when you realize they have reached a developmental milestone? (Yes, playing pretend is a milestone). Does it bring you joy? Or, do you take it for granted? Do you neglect to notice? Do you pay attention to the inquisitiveness of their thought process and actions?

If you ponder on these questions for a moment, the answers may surprise you. I have been guilty of both, seeing joy and being inattentive as I watch my children pretend. What has stirred all of this up, you may ask? Yesterday, the girls and I met Ross for lunch at the Promenade Mall in Rogers. While we were eating we noticed that Abigail acted like she had gotten a bite of something. Half in panic, we inspected her and much to our liking there was not a trace of food. As I watched her out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that she was pretending to grab a piece of food off of her daddy's tray, brought the "food" to her mouth, and proceeded to smack and chew. She did this several times throughout our meal.

My immediate reaction was excitement and "awe how cute" because she was playing pretend. Then the reality set in. This may be her life. Forever. She may always sample food this way. By pretend. My answer to this reality in a pretend world was to join in. I ate her pretend food, and liked every "bite" of it. Several bites later, she was done and so was I. And so we made it through another meal without pointing, crying, and the longing look of "why can I not eat"? I will gladly join in a game of pretend to make the dinner table a more comfortable place for my daughter who cannot eat.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Today is Ross' birthday. He turned 28 today...such a young one ;). The girls and I got up early and surpised Daddy by taking him to breakfast at Cathy's Corner. When I took MG and Han there on Tuesday they decided that it would be a wonderul idea to take daddy to breakfast for his birthday. They were right, it was wonderful and hopefully a good start to his day. Happy Birthday Husband, Daddy, Son, and Friend!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Suzy Homemaker

WoW! That Housework post has really got me going. I was a busy little bee today. First of all, we got up early, took Abigail to therapy, and then I took the "big girls" to Cathy's Corner for breakfast. That was the first time I have taken the girls to breakfast. It was a lot of fun and the food was yummy. After breakfast, Mary Grace and Hannah went to their first day of swim lessons. The girls had a blast, and Hannah got to move up to MG's class.

Swim class ended, we picked up Abigail, and went to Wal-Mart. I usually dread this task with three children, but it actually went very well. We got our groceries; which I might add is steadily increasing as the gas prices rise. They aren't rising a few cents at a time, but rather 50 cents at a time. When everything increases by 50 cents; the result is a much higher grocery bill than I had originally anticipated. Sorry. Back on track.

Once we got home and the groceries were brought inside, I made the girls lunch. Then they laid down for a rest. While the girls were resting, I made dinner for three nights, baked two loaves of banana bread and banana mini muffins, cleaned house, and did a few loads of laundry. Yeah, for my productive day! I hope your day was as productive as mine.

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 2nd Biopsy Results

I just spoke with Abigail's GI at ACH. The biopsy showed that Abigail has increased eosinophils at 12/hpf in her lower esophagus. This number is no where near the 90/hpf like it was in December, but there should never be any eos present in the esophagus. There was also slight furrowing again. Her doctor doesn't want to change anything right now since we will be going to Cincinnati Children's in August. My question is; if we sit, wait, and do nothing will her eosinophils continue to rise? I guess that is something we will have to wait and see about. Abigail is still only drinking about a maximum of 21oz. per day, but she is maintaining her weight so her doctor is happy with it. For now anyway. Thankfully, her doctor is going to email, Dr. Putnum (Cincinnati GI) to give him the results of this last biopsy. Now, we continue to wait.


Why has housework become so dreadful? When did things change? How can I get back into the cleaning mode? I used to enjoy cleaning house. Strange I know, but I loved the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day when the house looked and smelled crisp and clean. I'm not going to lie, I have never really enjoyed laundry, but now I hate it! I cannot tell you have many times I have taken it to the laundry mat since Abigail has been born. Not because my washer and dryer aren't working, but because I have let it pile up so much that I couldn't possibly ever get it caught up otherwise.

My husband, on the other hand, has become a cleaning machine. He cleans the house, and does laundry! What an amazing husband I have! However, has that made me even more complacent? I don't know, but I don't like it. My job as a wife and mother is to stay home, keep a tidy house, have dinner on the table for my family, and take care of my children. There's another thing, "take care of my children", I have been taking care of them, but when have I really stopped to play with them and see the joy they bring me? I have only been completing 1/4 to 2/4 max of my job that the Lord has blessed me with. Why?

Ross and I were discussing this the other day, but every time we get our house in order and the laundry done, something happens with Abigail. She either has a flare-up or has to spend time at the hospital. Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. Perhaps I should be grateful that during the though times my house is clean. At least that is one less thing I have to worry about. Think about it. How would it be if I needed to take Abbz to the hospital and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off because I have to wash cloths to be able to pack, or do the dishes because I don't know when I will be home again. My attitude should be, "I'm going to get up today, get my house stuff done so I can enjoy my children and be prepared in case something happens." This was obviously written for me today, and I don't think there is anything else that should be said. I am going to try to take my own advice for the remainder of the week and see how it goes.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chill Pill from Above

I know that I shouldn't be stressed, but I am. Completely. Mary Grace had her first grade entrance exam this morning. Afterwards, the lady doing the assessment went to the counselor to make sure they didn't need anything else, and as they were walking out of the office they were whispering back and forth. The counselor walked over and told me they might be able to have a decision by tomorrow. MIGHT?!? Seriously, did she do that badly? She said that they wanted to make sure they had plenty of time to review her scores and give it the attention the Mary Grace deserved. I'm thinking, how hard can a first grade test be? How long can it possibly take to score her test? Why can't they tell me now? MG said that she had to write all of the words that she knows...okay, NOT her strong point, and it's MY fault! We have been so focused on reading and math, that writing got put on the back burner. I had her write words when we got home, not very pretty. They ran together, were spelled correctly, but all ran together like one big long word. Okay, I am going to go take a chill pill, and trust my daughter when she said, "I did good Mom. I read two stories and didn't even have to sound them out!" I am so proud of her! I did find it a little strange that they didn't check to see if she knew addition, subtraction, time, money, measurements, etc. The only "math" assessment was counting by 5's, 10's, and only to 50. That was a bit surprising.
My chill pill: My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. "He hath that we may boldly say..." Heb. 13:5-6. This is what the Lord had to say to me during my quiet time as he spoke through Mr. Chambers. "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear-" I will not be haunted by apprehension. ...but I will remember God's say-so. I will be full of courage, like a child "bucking himself up" to reach the standard his father (mother) wants. The only way to get the dread taken out of us is to listen to God's say-so.
Isn't that so true from today's situation. Mary Grace was like the child reaching for the standards mommy instilled in her from kindergarten this year. She was confident, strong and brave this morning. I, on the other hand, had dread and apprehension. I should not have dread nor apprehension in anything I do, because the Lord is my helper and he promises that "He will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Heb. 13:5. Now if that isn't a strong chill pill that shines prespective on things, nothing is. I just couldn't help but share what the Father who created me and loves me, showed me today.