Friday, April 29, 2011

Henry the Bunny

As we already know, God has a sense of humor. If you haven't read about Henry, our chronically ill bunny, check out my original "Bunny Tales" article. Henry is sick again. Snuffles.

Henry has an appointment at the vet this afternoon at 3:30 and we're looking at more antibiotics. I know that it has to be God, because I've never had a bunny so sick. Henry had complications with neutering, infection and bleeding for two weeks afterward. Then, he developed cellulitis on his ear, then a hematoma that required ear surgery (hematomas are rare in bunnies, we are told), respiratory problems from snuffles requiring many antibiotic injections and nebulizer treatments. At some point, I believe I have posted pictures of the bunny nebulizer that we built. Very interesting, indeed. Henry has also been diagnosed with asthma, just like Joseph.

Henry is a strong little guy, just like my kids. He gets these illnesses and seems to recover well enough. Sometimes taking a month to heal, but you'd never know it because he has such a great personality. He thumped once when his ear was swollen from the hematoma, but nothing more.

I sometimes wonder why God allowed this sick bunny to come into our lives and not a healthy little bunny. Perhaps, He knew our family would care for Henry and do what it takes to keep him healthy. We've been able to see the compassion with which Joseph cares for Henry, too. Joseph tells everyone that Henry is his life as a bunny. As he tells folks, "He gets infections after surgery, just like me. He has asthma, just like me. He gets cellulitis, just like me. Henry is my life as a bunny!"

Luckily, Valentine seems to be a healthy stray cat!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spinner Card Tutorial Video

I made this video for a website and wanted to share it here with you (I can do that since I own the rights to my video and creations! ~smile~!)

Spinner Card from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pop-Up Daffodil Card

This is an easy card to make with a heart punch. If you are interested in any of the products I used to make the card, you can visit my SU! website Enjoy the video!

Pop-Up Daffodil Card from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

He is Risen!

Happy Easter! It is always hard to get back to work on Easter Monday.  We're trying.  We had a great time at the beach last week, followed by an interesting sleep study Thursday night. Joseph actually slept without waking up.  The tech said he did not see any apnea events, but that we'd have to wait to see if the doctor sees something he missed.  He also reported that Joseph was rough on the wires!  Said he had to recalibrate things through the night because he was so restless in his sleep.  The last thing he said is that Joseph had a lot of leg movements that the doctor may want to treat, but we'd have to see what the report says.  The tech thinks the leg movements and limb movements may be what wakes him up.  We just have to be patient and wait for the sleep study report.

It was the first Holy Thursday we missed in years. Matthew made it and served. Friday, he and Sean served...and then Joseph and Matthew served at the Easter Vigil.  I love Easter!  Saturday, I made my traditional lamb cake and was a little sad that none of the boys wanted to color Easter eggs.  *sniff, sniff* They are all grown up.

My white irises started blooming on Holy Saturday and the purple ones bloomed on Easter Sunday. So very pretty.  Our cherry tree is no longer blooming, the tulips have died out but other flowers are starting to pop up.  I love spring! I made a pop-up daffodil card and will share the tutorial video here later today.  It is the size of a real daffodil and I made it using a heart shaped punch.  I also worked on a more complicated bouquet pop-up card for the Twosday's Techniques site this week.  It is so pretty... once I got how to make the flowers pop up and fold in neatly, I was very excited. It is perfect for Mother's Day!

I'm happy to also report that I lost just over 23 pounds over Lent.  I am going to try to keep away from sugar... well... only two more weeks to complete the diet with my friend, then I am going to try to be sugar free Monday-Thursday, fast on Fridays and do what I want on Saturday and Sunday.  I figure this would be a god balance to keep the weight off.  I really like the taste of sugar and detest sugar substitutes.   Well, here's hoping!

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks of spring:

Lamb Cake. I make one every year!

Sean in our Cherry Tree

Henry on Easter Morning

Henry checking out the baskets...maybe he smells the Easter bunny!

Sean with my lamb cake pan
Purple and White Irises
Lilac Bloom

White Iris

Valentine sleeping on Sean during spring break

Friday, April 22, 2011

Viewfinder Card Tutorial Video

I love viewfinder cards! I hope this video I've made helps you to make your own card! Enjoy!

Viewfinder Card from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lent is Almost Over

We're heading into Holy Week and boy am I glad! A friend challenged me to diet with her over Lent.  A challenge it has been!  I had told her that the only time I could diet would be over Lent because I'd be doing it for Jesus. Giving up sugar has been the hardest part. I love sugar.  The natural substitutes just don't do it for me.

I found a tolerable way to enjoy my morning coffee.  Sugar alcohols.  I purchased natural Birchwood Xylitol and by itself it is pleasant, but found it is better if I mix in just a bit of Malitol syrup.  I'm hoping to do this long term and keep the weight off. I'm still baking cookies and muffins for my kids and have to be satisfied with just smelling them.  That part, I know won't be something I can do forever!

Did you see the cool stationery link I posted earlier? I've also been working on my New Year's resolution to write more real letters (i.e handwritten,  snail mail letters!).  You already know that I make cards, so I do send quite a few cards to friends and family....but I had slacked on letter writing. It really has been a great New Year's resolution, getting back into letter writing.  Don't get me wrong, I still have a few friends with whom I only correspond via letter with, we just don't email each other.  I've just made an effort of doing it with more friends, more often.  You really should give it a try.  Everyone loves getting letters in the mail.  Especially on really cute stationery!

In case you are wondering, I've lost 20.5  pounds on this Lenten diet.  I'm pretty sure if I was Jesus, I would have turned the stones into bread and eaten them, or I would have one upped satan and said, "Hey! Bread? That's the best you can do?  Watch this...." Then turned them into the most wonderful, sugar laden, high calorie dessert! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Homeschooling Changes

Homeschooling changes as the kids get older.  Mom becomes more and more bored! I guess once you teach them to read and write, they just don't need you as often.  When we don't have a lot of medical adventures going on, I can become quite bored.  It isn't as easy as one might think. I can't turn on the radio or TV, can't talk on the phone or disappear.  If you are a fellow homeschooler, you know the drill.  Any noise distracts them from doing their school work, and if you leave their sight for even a few minutes, they start to wander and play.

It is still a fun adventure and I really am thankful for the days they can work on their own (with a bit of prodding from mom here and there).  I've got a list of things to do on these quiet sort of days. Update my contacts, create a recipe book with the huge Ziploc of collected recipes from the last 18 years, garden, read all of the books I wanted to read in high school, college and their earlier years and never got to, and work in the garden.

My oldest is looking into colleges and preparing for the SAT.  Hard to believe he will be in college soon.  He has several on his list, but right now would like to go to Belmont Abbey.  We visited last weekend for the Bishop's Lenten retreat that was held there. The campus is small, but gorgeous.  

Just when I complain that life is boring, something pops up!  For now I am enjoying it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beautiful Catholic Stationery, Holy Water bottles and More....

Yesterday, we went to Belmont Abbey for the Bishop's teen Lenten retreat.  We were able to go into the bookstore and purchase a few things.  I bought Joseph's Confirmation gifts and I also bought the cutest Catholic Stationery and a tiny, purse size bottle to hold Holy Water!   The stationery had a website , check them out! Very pretty items on their site.  We've had a long week and the other day, I received a surprise gift from a friend in Israel.  A beautiful scarf.  I really needed it after finding out that Joseph also has high blood pressure issues and will need a sleep study.  Hopefully, the sleep study will be normal.  We still have to keep track of Sean's blood pressure and now we add Joseph.  I was shocked when we got a reading of 140/77 for him.  He's been staying in the 130s with a few dips into the high 120s.  Apparently, this is all part of Mitochondrial Disease.

To illustrate how OCD I am, I will share this with you.  I went out and purchased a new blood pressure monitor --even after talking to the Target pharmacist that said we already owned a very good and reliable brand.  I also have a manual BP cuff and stethoscope.  This new monitor gets the same readings as the old ones and my manual BP readings. *sighs*  This hasn't changed since they were young and failure to thrive. I would count and recount the calories, count the number of items they ate, then add up the calories... 2400, 2700, 3000 and shake my head thinking, "They can't not gain weight with that number of calories," then I would recount them again and again.....  It wold have been easier to fix if it was only a mathematical error on my part.  Same goes for the blood pressure monitor, it would be a lot easier to fix his blood pressure if it were only the monitor that was not working.

Cute Holy Water bottle from Belmont Abbey
Scarf my friend sent from Israel

Saturday, April 2, 2011

V Card Tutorial Video

V cards are EASY and fun to make. I hope you enjoy making your own V cards after watching my video tutorial that I made for a website not too long ago. I can share it here with my blog readers because I retain rights to all of my videos and creations (lucky for you, huh!?) Enjoy and happy card making!

V Card from Pattie Curran on Vimeo.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blood Drive Update and Mito Walk

The Blood drive collected 44 pints of blood! Absolutely amazing. The Red Cross told us that 30 pints would be considered a good drive. 

Our family is also participating in the Energy for Life Walk to benefit United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation on October 15, 2011.  We've named our team Currans for a Cure.  I started a Facebook Page, for those of you on FB who would like to follow our progress.  I contacted the UMDF and was told we could register our team in the next few weeks.  I am really excited!

I am hoping to host a "Stamp out Mito" event soon.....  I am going to see if I can host it here at the house AND allow people to order items on-line to benefit UMDF.

We've spent a lot of time at the hospital with friends this last week.  One of our Mito friends from TN (met them in Cincy) had her daughter transported here to Brenner when her daughter's gut shut down.  She is now TPN dependent.  A few days ago, our local Mito friend's daughter landed in the hospital.  So, we've been visiting and helping out.  Mito isn't fun. 

Our lives continue on as usual-- pain, sleep issues, fatigue.... but we are thankful for each day and try to enjoy life in spite of the constant reminders that SDS and Mito are part of our lives.