Sunday, July 20, 2014

2 months on...

As I write, Chelsea is in hospital - her fourth hospital stay since the end of April.  Fortunately she is improving rapidly and the difference in her being since Thursday when we took her in is great.

Thank goodness.

On Thursday Chelsea was incredibly weak.  Her paleness was telling.  She had been violently sick over and over for a few days and suffered with dizziness whenever sitting up or standing.  With symptoms getting progressively worse, it was clear that anemia was playing a part again, but we knew the Ulcerative Colitis (diagnosis is currently under review and it may be put down as Crohn's Disease) was the culprit.  A quick check over at the Doctors surgery and straight to hospital we went.  We were expecting it.  The hospital bag was already packed.  I knew things were really bad when Chelsea agreed to me getting a wheelchair for her as she struggled to walk the few yards to the hospital entrance.  Her heart rate was 140 (rising to 190 at one point) at rest, her blood pressure was low, her weight had plummeted to 42kg and her bloods were showing at 81.  Just two weeks previous she had been taken in with bloods at 61 and given a 4 unit transfusion where they had then increased to 118.  Things shouldn't have gotten so bad in such a short period of time.  It didn't take a genius to know that it was down to unseen internal bleeding.

Another 4 unit transfusion, more intravenous steroids, constant fluids for dehydration, and a very expensive 'wonder drug' later and she is transformed into her bright sparkly eyed self again.  I have just returned from visiting her and my heart is being allowed to sing once more.  She is ok.  She has an endoscopy and a colonoscopy booked for tomorrow afternoon and depending on the results of those procedures she may be allowed home afterwards.  I can't wait to have our family unit complete at home once more.

I can't believe it's been over 2 months since my last posting.  Life has been hectic - not always good but also with blessings that must be counted.   We have been trundling along as best we can, often remaining close to home because of Chelsea's health worries, but we have managed a couple of home-ed group meets, including a forest walk and a beach trip.   Sport fever took over the house with Wimbledon and the World Cup being watched daily when available, Callum (who turned 9 at the end of June) in particular totally adored the football and followed it passionately.  He engrossed himself in everything from the team tactics, country flags, and geographic locations.  Hours were spent pouring over atlas maps and flag books.  He talked about them, drew them, and told 3 year old Taisia all about them.  It was great to watch such enthusiasm take hold and the football passion has progressed onto wanting to play - he practices his 'skills' daily, often badgering one or more of his siblings to join in.

With all that has been going on, it has been almost easy to forget we also have animals to look after and a smallholding to run.  Lee (husband) has been keeping himself busy with managing the land somewhat.  We now have a field that actually resembles a field!

The field is where we keep our three gorgeous goats and is also part of the land that the chickens are able to free range.  We hope to section it off so the goats graze a large piece (that will be rotated for rest) and part will be for growing a bit of veg again - we have been very lazy in that department this year, best intentions and all that.  Our animal count currently stands at 8 chickens (one disappeared, fate unknown *sad face*), 5 runner ducks, 2 goslings (biggggg goslings now!), 2 cats (Jasper has completely vanished.  No sign of him anywhere *sob* ), 3 goats, 2 guinea pigs, 1 rabbit, 1 dog, and 3 little fish.  Once Chelsea's health has improved for some time we shall look into the possibility of renting a bit of land and hope to get a pony or two (yes, still have that longing!) and maybe a couple of alpacas as I have a real soft spot for them.  We are still loving our countryside dream and although at times it hasn't been quite as envisaged, we wouldn't swap our lives for anything.

Taisia is enjoying being able to roam around the field without risking nettle stings...

It doesn't stop her being a cheeky monkey though...

Amara is now 9 months old and gorgeous of course.

She is finding life far more fun now that she can sit unaided and crawl around.  There are many adventures to be had you know!  Oh how she runs me ragged!   She is now at the 'attempt to stand using any surface to pull up' stage which is, erm, interesting for the rest of us.

I have had to put my painting exploits on hold for a while as finding time for sketching, planning, painting numerous layers (allowing each to dry where appropriate), washing all of the tools and sourcing materials just far too time consuming.  Chelsea and Joseph used to take it in turns to watch Amara and Taisia for me for a couple of hours in the afternoon or evening allowing me to get on and paint, but Chelsea hasn't been well enough for baby watching for a long while.   Instead for my creative sanity I've turned to sewing.  I find it a lot easier to fit around little ones.   I don't have to worry about teeny fingers wanting to play with glue and paint, brushes being ruined due to lack of cleaning care when littlies wake up needing their mama, or continuously finding I've ran out of a paint colour due to over zealous small people squeezing the bottles and tubes too hard.  Instead I can design or cut out pattern pieces when tiny ones are sleeping at night time and return to sewing them throughout the day as and when I get the opportunity.  Much easier, and the bonus is that I can make useful stuff!  

Here are a few of my makes...

Our Father's Day gift for Lee.  A handprint from each child.

A skirt for Taisia...

She loves it because it's so 'twirly' when she spins :)

and a dress for Amara...

I am thoroughly enjoying building up my sewing skills and have soooo many clothing items I want to make for the children (and eventually for me!).

In the next few weeks we shall be attempting to structure our days loosely to ensure everyone has their needs met with ease.  So much has fallen by the wayside as we try to fit in hospital appointments and doctors visits that I really think we need a plan.  Having had a sit down and natter with the children they seem to agree and so we will be seeing how we can get time to work better for us so we are able to do all that is desired within a week.

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