Thursday, December 31, 2009

Campbell Family Update- December Edition

Sorry it has taken me so long to update! I honestly have not felt like writing for the last week, but since we only have a few more hours until the new year, I thought I should go ahead and to the December edition of our update.
Not much has changed with Hubby's job...he works as much as he is able. He did make all A's in his last session at school. Go Hubby Go!!! He is so smart! Thanksgiving at our house went extremely well and all the food tasted good too. I think everyone had a great time and now I think they will expect it every year. I was very thankful that my Mom and Mother-in-law helped me cook because I am not sure that I would have been able to pull it off otherwise.

We had a great Christmas even with Hubby working and enjoyed the family. We got many great gifts including a new Entertainment Center. Hubby got to work building it and he suddenly realized that our TV was to heavy for it(yes we still have an old, big, bulky tv). What!!!! Crazy!! So off we went to buy a new TV. We had planned to do that as our joint gift for Christmas anyway. So in our effort to be thrifty, we found a really great deal on a 50 inch plasma flat screen. Honestly, it didn't look that big in the store! But the good news was that it was under the weight limit for our new entertainment center. So we bring it home and put it up and I cried. It is way to big!!! It looked ridiculus! The entertainment center is to high and the TV is to big. UGGGHHH!! I don't like having to look up at the TV. So the entertainment center is now upstairs in the bedroom and a new, much shorter entertainment center is holding up our new tv. All in all, everything looks much better now.

I am still planning to start school in January, I am just trying to wait to the last minute. Procrastination has always been a problem of mine. Plus I am still waiting on the decision from the insurance company about the procedure I want done. We have decided that if they turn me down again, we will pay for it ourselves. So that's it for our update. Not much has changed... we just keep trucking along! I promise that there will be more interesting things going on the New Year! Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Check back in a few weeks for more exciting news!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bubbles and Babies

Bubbles are a timeless, classic toy. I carry them everywhere when I see my children. Are you aware that they are magical?? They are! They can make children talk and communicate as well as allow you to put them into uncomfortable positions with little or no complaint. I have been dealing with a lot of motor kids recently and the bubbles, on more than one occasion, have saved the session. Picture this. A child that is very cognitively aware but his muscles won't work for him. I tried to get him into natural positions for play but they are uncomfortable for him. I often carry around a bench, and I used it recently to get a child into a sitting position. His feet were dangling and he had to use his upper body to sit up straight. He was not happy with me. He keep slouching over and wanting to give up. Then out comes the bubbles! Mom blows bubbles at him and he lets out this huge belly laugh and we laughed right along with him. Such a joy! He loves the bubbles and they entertained him for quite some time. After the first round of bubbles, I looked down and he was sitting up straight and with good control! Hooray for the bubbles! They saved the session yet again! Bubbles make my kids smile and smiles make my job worth it.

I take HIPPA and confidentially laws very seriously. Names, situations, gender, etc. have been changed to protect the children and their families.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Annual Christmas Traditions and Such

Wow! What a busy weekend! To start, I went on the annual Christmas shopping trip with my dad. We have been doing this for several years and we both really enjoy the time we are able to spend together. I headed over to my parents house to meet up with him. (Warning: Some of the pictures are a little blurry. Sorry!)My dad really enjoys spreading the Christmas spirit to all , so to do that, he likes to sing Christmas songs to all the employees and customers that he sees. We always see many smiles when he is around.
Here he is at our first stop. Target!
This is the guy that helped me find a hand sanitizer key chain. Dorky, I know, but you wouldn't believe some of the places I have to go into when I see kids, and I like to have it handy. Trust me, if HazMat was available, sometimes I would be tempted to use it.Next we headed over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We like to sit in the chairs and get a massage for free.
Us at J.C. Penney

We went to many, many stores, but I forget to take a picture at each one. Plus that would make for a very loooong post. I was able to get everything I needed, and we ended our shopping trip with a stop at the Liquor store...draw your own conclusions!

And now for the "and Such" On Sunday I went with my mom to Nashville for the Bo Bice Christmas party. Yep you are right, I am talking about THE Bo Bice from American Idol. My mom really enjoys his music and she has taken me to a few concerts with her. I have really enjoyed spending time with my mom and getting to travel. I have also had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people. This past weekend I was able to connect with a remarkable women that recently suffered a stroke. We were able to connect on a deeper level and share our similar experiences. She is doing extremely well considering that it has only been a short time since her stroke. I wish I had gotten a picture with her to share with everyone but I hope to keep in touch with her and see her again. Now for the pictures

So that's my weekend in a nutshell. Some time with dad and some time with mom. It was a great weekend! Come Monday morning though... I was wore out!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do you want to meet an indentical version of me??

Only she is much smarter and more beautiful than she is 8 years younger.
Meet my sister Erin!
Not only is she beautiful and smart, she is also a kind, compassionate, and a caring sister.

Many people say that we look so much alike. You be the judge, I am not nearly as pretty.
Thank you Erin for being such a wonderful sister and friend. I love you!

Disclaimer: This is NOT an ad to encourage people to contact me to try and date my sister! All cradle-robbing, gross , freaky people stay away! You haven't had the pleasure of meeting my brother and I am sure you don't want to rock that boat!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and having great difficulty in finding the good things in my life. Maybe it is the time of year or maybe there are other reasons for it, who knows. I was greatly inspired recently by a friend of mine's post. She wrote about blessings and convictions. Please click here to read her post.
She made me realize that I needed to remind myself how blessed I am and realize that there are many worse off than my myself. I started listings the blessings in my head and realized that I needed to write them down so there would be a permanent reminder of all the wonderful things in my life. So here I go...
  • I am blessed to have a job when I know that so many are struggling without one right now.
  • I am blessed to have a job that I truly enjoy and feel that I am making a difference.
  • I am blessed to have a roof over my head and food on my table, I never want to take that for granted.
  • I am blessed to have a supportive, loving family.
  • I am blessed to have a close circle of friends that are there for me.
  • I am blessed to be healed after my stroke with a second chance to live.
  • I feel blessed that God ended my son's suffering, he healed him and made him whole in Heaven.
  • I am so blessed to have a loving husband that will go through the fire with me and that our marriage continues to stay strong and our love grows every day.
  • Finally, I am blessed to continue through each day with my faith, growing closer to God, and doing His will.
I apologize for the over abundance of the word "blessed", but someone once told me that I shouldn't use the word lucky but use blessed so I remember where the blessing come from.

Looking back on this list reminds me that my trivial problems are just that... trivial. I have so many wonderful people and things in my life that I need not complain. Instead I would like to re-direct myself by doing things for others. Hopefully I will find my niche in some sort of volunteer work. If anyone has any suggestions please pass them onto me through email or a comment on this post, and I hope everyone has a blessed evening.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Brayden!

This year November 26th, Brayden's Birthday, and Thanksgiving fell on the same day. So in memory of him, we wanted to be able to be there for the children and families that were not able to be at home for the holidays.
A little over a year ago my mother-in-law, Brayden's GG, decided to start making blankets in memory of him to give to local hospitals. The whole family got involved and the word spread quickly. We received many blankets, toys, and donations to give to children and their families. The response was overwhelming and wonderful.

So on November 26th it was arranged to give our donations to the Childrens' Hospital in Birmingham. Each blanket came with card.

We packed up the car and heading towards the hospital!

Arriving at the Hospital.

Unloading the car into wagons.

The toys and blankets will be distributed over the next few weeks. Here is a picture of all of us and the wonderful ladies that came in on Thanksgiving to accept our donations.

Hopefully we will be able to continue this project for years to come and make a difference in the lives of others that have children that are in the hospital and need encouragement to keep going to make it through each day.

If you would like to learn more please click and visit

Sunday, November 22, 2009

So, Do you have any children?

I hate this question. Most people would not even think that this can be a hurtful question, and I wouldn't expect them to. It sounds like such an innocent question, doesn't it? I never know quite how to answer this and honestly, my answer can change from day to day.

First off, yes I do have a child. I would never try to deny that I do. Is he here right now? No. To understand the issue at hand, say if someone asks, "Do you have any children?" I can answer in two ways.

Yes, I have a son. Then they always ask me how old he is. That's a tricky one. Well, he would have been three this week, or he died at 11 months. There are many possiblities with this one, but with each one I am sharing with this perfect stranger that my son has died. It is horrible to say this but the look of shock on peoples faces can be quite humorous. They have no idea what to say next. I know it is wrong to think that but talking about my son does not bother me most days.

Here is the second possible answer...
No, I do not have any children. At this time, on the earth, present, living and breathing? No, Not at this time. This one especially hurts to say this, it actually takes my breath away. I feel like I am denying my son and his importance in this family. He did exist on this earth and he is apart of my life. I want to scream to the high heavens that this beautiful boy made me a mother and it was the most wonderful 11 months I have had in my life. But sometimes I just can't to do it. I can't explain that my son is not here anymore, and I can't try and make someone else feel better because I just shocked them with the news.

In my line of work, I feel that it is important that I am able to bond with the families I serve. By sharing my personal life, I am able to do that. If a parent that is new to me asks that hurtful question(innocently) I usually can't say no. I have experienced the look on parents faces when they realize that I can't possibly know what they are going through when I do say no. I do understand. I understand being up all night, I understand the all day and all night medications, doctor's appointments, therapies, and hospital stays, I understand that you are scared for the future, and I understand your grief.
I never thought looking back that this would be such a challenging issue for me. So if you are with me and someone asks, "Do you have any children?" please don't judge me because of the way I chose to answer this. Grief is difficult
Now for you veiwing pleasure, because I can't talk about him without everyone seeing how adorable he is ...
My Beautiful Boy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What does the cow say??

Eat More Chicken??

When Hubby and I were trying find ways to become more economical we decided to start looking for deals and sales on food and we started to grind our own meat. Sure, we could have just bought a bunch of Ground Chuck but that is not very healthy now is it? So we began looking for quality meat at a good price. We buy what we can and separate it into portions and freeze it. Tonight I was going to make taco meat. Since we have had meat for two nights I decided to do chicken instead.

First, I started with a frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast. I defrosted it and cut into little cubes.

I do realize that these pictures are a little gross because of the raw meat and all but I preferred to be thorough with my presentation on grinding meat. ;)

Next I fed it into the grinder. We use our Kitchen Aid for grinding, which has really payed for itself, but if you are interested in grinding your own meat you can always buy a manual one.

Here is the chicken ground up. One of the benefits of grinding your own meat is that you are able to control, to an extent, the amount of fat that you put into your meat.

Here is the chicken cooking. It looks a little like scrambled eggs but trust me it is chicken.

And here it is fully seasoned! Yum!

This is a picture of our dinner.

We don't always use ground meat or chicken with our meals but it is a good alternative for stews and soups, etc. Plus it stretches a bit further once it is made. It was a great dinner!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Campbell Family Update!!

I would like to do a monthly update in addition to all the weird rants and ravings I may post about, to give, you all that I don't see on a daily basis, an idea on whats going on in our life.

To start...
Hubby continues to work 7 days on 7 days off on the 3-11pm evening shift on the Oncology Floor of Children's Hospital. He volunteers to work a few extra shifts throughout the month to earn some extra money. He is also on his second semester of school going for his Masters of Science in Nursing with a degree of Nursing Education. I really look up to him at all he has accomplished over the last two years and he is still at it.

I am still working with children with special needs. I have a full caseload at the Arc and I still work for the state doing services on Saturdays. I am also STILL waiting for approval from the insurance company for the procedure I want...we are going on a little over a month since I submitted my paperwork...partly because the medical assistant at the doctors office let it sit on her desk forever!! Incredibly annoying... I wanted to wring her neck! MOVING ON!

I am hosting this years Thanksgiving dinner. I am so excited! Hubby thinks I am going to dry out the turkey...he also thinks I can't cook...I can, he just does it better. I will post a picture of our Thanksgiving table and it will taste good!

Hubby and I also became official members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood. We have been married over 4 years and we decided to go ahead and settle down. Ha! I really like our new church and feel so comfortable there. Part of the reason it took so long to decide on a church was our upbringing. Hubby and I came from completely different Christian backgrounds. After a lot of searching, we met in the middle and are happy.

On November 6th we mourned the second anniversary of our son's death. We spent a beautiful day the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament and just spent time together as a family. This year, Thanksgiving will also be Brayden's 3rd Birthday and we plan to eat and distribute the blankets and toys to the local hospitals.

Tune in next month(or check everyday) for another exciting post of the Campbell Family Update!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where To Go Now??

I'm stuck.
I have a great marriage and I love my husband.
I have a good job and I really enjoy it.
Why do I feel so stuck? I keep waiting for the next part to start, and I feel like someone has pressed the pause button on my life. Hubby keeps encouraging me to go back to school for my Master's Degree. Sure! I don't mind. But is that really what I want to do? I'm not sure. It has been suggested on more than one occasion. "Why don't you just go get a Masters in what you do now" My answer is that I don't see the point in that. I can do what I do now with a Bachelors. Maybe I am being lazy, or maybe I am stalling because I long to do something else. Unfortunately there are so many walls and hurdles in front of me, and I don't know how to get past them. I am running out of time to decide. I have procrastinated for quite awhile and I still don't have any clarity on this.

Maybe clarity will come with more time.

(The picture above was taken at our annual trip to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cheaper by the Campbell's

So in an effort to maintain our budget on our quest to become debt free, we now have to plan for our purchases. Hubby maintains our finances and I am in charge of finding good bargains. Today I went and visited two local thrift stores in our area. I was looking for toys for work, a bag for my toys, and interesting prints for the house. Here are the things I found!

Some prints for the bathroom.
A cool interactive book for work.
Touch and feel books for my babies.
A soft dog and dog house to practice In and Out.
A train to practice Up and Down and Off and On.
Busy blocks for Cause and Effect and Stacking.

Zoo animals that twist and turn and provide a good sensory experience to little ones.
A smaller bag for my baby toys.
A larger bag for my other toys. I realize that those aren't my initials on the bag but to find a sturdy bag for .99 cents, I will just deal with it.
And finally some trashy books that SOMEBODY got me hooked on.
Align Left

I got all this stuff for under $24.00! I love good thrift store finds!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Have you been introduced to...

Pappy C!

Meet my new CPAP machine. I call it Pappy C! Yes I did name my CPAP because I love it so much! I have been struggling with fatigue for quite some time and finally went to a doctor that decided to do a sleep study as opposed to medicating me like the last doctor I was going to. I described my sleeping habits to her and she felt that I might have sleep apnea.

The first step in the process was to see a Pulmonary doctor to be evaluated for a sleep study. Right after seeing the doctor I was informed that they were going to put a scope down my nose and into my airway to determine if a sleep study was necessary. I was shocked!! I wasn't told before hand that I would have to have this test done so I had not mentally prepared. (I am kinda a wuss with a very low pain tolerance) Turns out that it wasn't that bad. He had me do a breathing exercise that showed that my airway immediately collapsed. It was official then that I had sleep apnea he just wasn't sure of the severity.

Next came the sleep study. For those who have never had one, it is pretty uncomfortable. They did give me some medication to help me sleep but it really didn't help. I had a pretty restless night, mainly because all the wires glued to my head.

I received the test results a week later and was diagnosed with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Hyper-insomnia. Meaning that I quit breathing while sleeping and sleep to much to try get rest I need. I was given two options. The CPAP or a surgery that only has a 25% chance of working. I chose the CPAP. CPAP means Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The machine is set a certain pressures to meet your sleeping needs. It makes it possible for you sleep and still maintain your airway and oxygen saturations.

It took me about a week to get used to it. The first mask I tried sat above my lip and under my nostrils. My nose was sore for a week! Plus if the seal would ever break I couldn't breath at all. Not great when you are trying to prevent not breathing episodes. The current mask I use is wonderful and it only took me one night to get used to it. I have a new found energy and I am in a much better mood. Even betteris that my migraines have decreased some due to the increased oxygen to my brain at night.

To sum it all up, I have found that either people love their CPAP's or hate them and I definitely love mine.

Am I proud of that fact that I need a machine to breath at night?? No!

Am I glad that there is a different alternative to surgery for my treatment?? Heck Yea!

My hope and the doctor's hope is that I won't need this machine forever but for now I am happy to have it. I was hesitant to share my new love of the CPAP with others and what a great help it has been in my life but knowledge is power right? Hopefully at least one of the maybe four people that actually read my blog got something out of it. If you didn't, I am sorry! I will try to say something really smart in the next post. :)
If you have any questions about the CPAP or anything of that nature, please leave me a comment and I will be happy to answer you, and if I don't know the answer I will look up something smart and educational! Night Everybody!!!