Damon's Crafts

 Bipolar Clouds
 Doctor Who Patch for my Bag!!
 Bacon Ornaments
 Facebook Ornament
 Half-eaten Gingerbread Man
 Blob Pillow
 Monster Bag - Benjamin's favorite!
Damon has been busy despite having a broken ring finger. His medication made him really sick today, and we had to go to the ER to rehydrate and get him back on track, but hopefully he's back to recovering and will feel great soon. We want Christmas to be fun for everyone. Here are some pictures of his amazing crafts.

Thanksgiving

We had an interesting Thanksgiving. Damon had surgery on Tuesday, and so we sent the little one off with his grandparents to Utah. It was really quite, and we mostly slept. I did manage to bake a turkey, make potatoes and gravy, and pies. It was fun to have quiet time. Damon and I are both so tired from everything that has been going on. A week before I was hospitalized because of another MS flare. I am getting used to the shots, but I don't know how to pace myself, and prevent the stress that causes flares. Damon needing hand surgery didn't help. On Thanksgiving Benjamin called, and wished us a "Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you feel better, see you tomorrow." He was having too much fun to stop and talk.

Benjamin had a blast in Utah, and brought us home a Christmas tree. We decorated it the next day, and it turned out quite lovely. Benjamin has a tendency to group all his ornaments together on the very tip of a branch so they all fall off if you brush past them. Then we made great paper chains to drape around. I got to do all the ladder climbing since Damon is out for the count.

Damon did well until Sunday when the antibiotics once again screwed up his digestive system. I am making him stop taking them, stay home, and we'll pump him full of home remedies in a desperate attempt to avoid the hospital again this year. It has been a banner year for us. I've been hospitalized three times, plus we've gone to such exotic places as the Cleveland Clinic and UCLA for help and advice.

Christmas this year will, of necessity, be quite small. We are trying to focus on the spirit of giving and make gifts for each other, but our family also has the unique challenge of our birthdays also arriving at this time of year. We shop and budget for it all year long, and we do have some things, but Benjamin cannot make up his mind, and that is complicating the matter. Hopefully he'll be happy no matter what he receives, and if not, this year might be a year he has to grow up a little.

On a sad note, we have decided to put our adoption application on hold. Physically, financially, and mentally we are stretched too thin, and it's time to renew our application, which would cost $500, and we just don't have any extra to spare. It is really hard to do, and I don't know why this is something that Heavenly Father is asking of us, but I have faith that the time will be right someday. We have waited for years already, another year of preparation and retrenchment won't hurt things. We can still adopt through a licensed attorney if it is a designated adoption, but we will no longer be on the waiting list with LDS Family Services. When we are ready, it is an easy process to renew our license and start searching again. I was told to give myself a year with MS to recover and decide to return to work or school, so maybe this just needs a year too. Hopefully by then the medications will control my symptoms and flares and financially we will have recovered.

Benjamin continues to be the light of our life, and we have moved to a new home with great neighbors, a really close park, and a beautiful home. Damon and I craft and plan to try to sale our creations online and at fairs for fun. Benjamin is avidly into reading right now, and loves books, which is just as we would have expected and hoped. Damon will recover from surgery, even if he does have to be hospitalized, and my MS is back in remission for now. There are so many people who have helped us in our Church and family, and we have been humbled and richly blessed. Today should be a day for thank you cards and counting blessings. There are many struggles in life, and we have certainly seen our share this year. I hope that we can pause this Christmas, and just have time to be a family and enjoy the simple things. I plan to bake a lot, and make gifts, and find time for friends and family. First, I have to get my husband back on his feet so we can function better, but that's all in a days work.

Surgeries, Flare-ups and Contests for Christmas

Damon needs surgery to repair a break to his ring finger. It isn't just a simple surgery either, they have to wire a bone to his other bones then stick a pin through his joints to keep everything straight. During the description, I fainted for the first time ever. My doctor told me it was a flare-up and to go the the ER and be admitted so I could be monitored while they give me I.V. solumedrol. I went to the ER, but they refused to admit me, and instead I get to go back yesterday and today for my second and third doses. At first I was really tired, now I'm all sleepless. I hate the results of predinose, but it is a necessary evil.

Benjamin got a yellow card in school and was really sad. I think he responds as much to this sickness as I do. It is hard to know what to tell him, and how to help him understand. It is also hard for us to find ways for him to deal with what he is feeling that don't result in trouble at school. I won't be able to help in his class today because I am too susceptible to everything, and schools are breeding grounds for disease. That is going to make his day worse. I wish I could think of a way to do this that would help him. I pray for him, and we have considered counseling, but I don't know what is best for my son.

As a result of my wonderful medical bills, and Damon's pending medical bills we don't get Christmas or birthdays this year. I am sad about that. We will get help providing gifts and happiness for Benjamin from my parents, his other grandparents, and the ward, but I will not have any gifts for either my birthday or Christmas, and I'm afraid that Damon is just as stuck. I am trying to focus on the real meaning of the season, but mostly I feel stressed and lonely. I don't know how to manage all the bills coming our way, and I don't know how to enjoy a Christmas that is full of illness, surgeries, and loss. Having the diagnosis of MS, the shots, the flare-ups and all else has been a huge challenge for me. Having to let go of my job, my educational goals, and all else to be home and sick has helped my family in some ways, but is mostly a struggle for me and a reminder of the MS and what I have lost. I know this situation is temporary, that the meds will help and I will soon go back to a semi-normal life, but right now, on the crazy drugs that make me sleepless, antsy, and emotional all in one, I just can't seem to stop crying. Tomorrow is my last large dose, then I get to taper down slowly. I see my neurologist soon, and I have midnight tickets to Breaking Dawn so not all is bad.

We also have a great ward that is bringing us dinners, came over to give Damon and I blessings, is interested in our well-being and needs, and lets me serve in Nursery. The nursery kids restore me, and bring me so much joy. I love their busy explorations, and their innocence. I am also making little bits of money through blog giveaways, taking surveys, and doing secret shopping. It isn't anything really worth commenting on, but it does give me a little bit of control, and it's fun. I can do it from my computer, and if I'm lucky, my family will have a better Christmas than planned.

Right now it isn't easy, but I have my faith, and my testimony. I have a great family that supports me, and good teachers and friends to help my son. I have a support system for my husband, unlike any we've had before, and I have my husband. It will be a difficult Christmas season, but I can find a way to focus on the joy of the season, and revel in family time, and to make gifts for my son and husband. We can bake, and enjoy the little things. We'll drive around and see the lights, and we'll enjoy family time. I hope Benjamin will understand. His faith in Santa would bankrupt us, but his heart is sweet and pure. This year he will be seven, and we have acquired a good bike for him to follow the family tradition. He is excited about that, and there will be parties and fun for his birthday. I shouldn't feel so sorry for myself. Damon has a job, we have a home, and we have been greatly blessed. Sometimes I just struggle to see all that. Thank you to everyone out there who has helped us and blessed our lives.
Thrifty Nifty Mommy

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