Thursday, October 29, 2015

Well... Boo (Hoo)

For years we made the long trek over to Flowermound to visit the enormous and crowded super popular pumpkin patch. It was always fun but far. We were thrilled when we found out about another pumpkin patch a couple of years ago - the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm. It was much closer to home and was a truly fabulous experience. From the petting zoo to the scenic hay ride, we've looked forward to going back every year.

Unfortunately, the pumpkin farm changed locations this year. It took us an extra 20 minutes to get out to the new location in Gunter earlier this week. The drive is probably equivalent to the time it takes to get out to Flowermound. And the new location is underwhelming. It lost the homey-feel of the last location in Celina. The hay ride takes you around a square, yellow field while the last location took you on a scenic green adventure around a lake and past a little church and a barn. There were plenty of spots for photo opps at the last location... not so much at the new one. The petting zoo is always a highlight - we love seeing the majestic longhorns and other animals. We were given little Dixie cups of feed like usual, but it seemed like we were given a lot less of it so the pet feeding experience was very, very brief. And after a weekend-full of heavy rain in Texas, our pumpkin patch visit was pretty muddy and we had to venture into a water-filled field to pick out our baby pumpkins. Fortunately it was a beautiful day and we were able to get a few good pics.

We'll probably head back out to Flowermound next year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Surprise - Will Still Has Autism!

Back in August, I wrote about our continued struggle with an issue that plagues so many families dealing with autism - insurance coverage. We sought out a developmental pediatrician to document Will's autism. After several appointments, we can now confirm that Will still has autism and hopefully the insurance fight over this issue will cease.

Of course, we found out a couple of weeks ago that United Healthcare is getting rid of our current PPO plan. We'll either have to switch to another one of their plans (an HMO) and watch our individual out-of-pocket expenses increase from $1,500/year to $6,950/year or try to find another insurer that is in-network with Easter Seals (Will's therapy provider). The fight continues.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Football + Golf = FUN!

Ryan and I are so excited to co-chair the upcoming Equest Men's Auxiliary Golf Classic this Sunday and Monday. Equest provides therapeutic horsemanship activities and therapies to children and adults with special needs. Many of the riders have autism - an issue near and dear to our hearts. We look forward to hearing football great Mike Singletary speak Sunday night and we're crossing our fingers someone will win $100,000 during the ball drop Monday. Tickets and foursomes are still available. For more information and tickets, visit 

Finally Back to Work...

Tomorrow marks three weeks post-surgery and I'm finally getting back to work. I had the pleasure of hosting the FC Dallas pregame show again last night and it was awesome! My in-laws are in town and it was so excited they could see me in my element. FC Dallas closed out the season with a win and are getting ready for playoffs. Can't wait to see how they do!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I was laying in bed yesterday afternoon and I kept telling myself that I was fine. The thermometer readings kept changing... 98.6... 99.6... 97.1... 100.4 (note to self: get a reliable thermometer, like, the old school kind you put under your tongue because these high-tech gadgets fail miserably sometimes) but I felt warm. I was sweating... but cold. I had chills. My lower back started aching. I finally called my doc's after-hours line around 6 pm and was told I needed to head to the emergency room to rule out any infections. I started crying... I was hurting enough that I knew I had to go but I sure didn't want to - I hate going to the emergency room.

So I Ubered over to Plano Presby. I got there a little before 7 pm... and so did every one else apparently. The waiting room was pretty crowded and the young lady behind the desk told me the wait was about an-hour-and-a-half. Geez. 

There were three TVs in the waiting room - one was on ESPN, the other on the Disney Channel, and the third was off. I asked the receptionist if she could turn on the presidential debate - she told me she couldn't find the remote. M'kay. I was in for a long night. 

I was there a while before I finally saw a triage nurse. By then, my temperature was around 100 and I was shaking with chills. I was sent back to the waiting room and was there for a while. My chills were getting worse and the pain was increasing. But I waited, and waited, and waited. And I people watched. There was a mom there with her two young kids. She was sick - the flu, maybe? Her kids were running all over the place and she couldn't move. I felt awful for her. Then there was the kid who came in with his arm in a splint. He was wearing his football uniform - full pads. He'd been crying. Poor baby. Then there were the husband and wife who came in and sat next to me. At one point after they'd been waiting a while I hear him say to her, "Well, if you fall out onto the floor they aren't going to let you die." I feel you homie. It was surreal.

I finally get called back and put into a room after I'd been at the hospital for about two hours. My back pain had become unbearable. The guy who came in to see me told me he'd get me some pain meds - I'm not sure if he was a doctor or a nurse. It was a while before I saw another human being - a tech finally came in to get me for a CT scan of my abdomen. But she had to wait because they hadn't started an IV line. A nurse finally came in to start the line... OH MY DEAR GOD! As he's telling me that he wouldn't mind Donald Trump getting elected (then, if we're not happy with him, we can just impeach him) he's trying to insert the line and he failed. Miserably. Once he stuck the needle in my arm he poked around for a couple of minutes trying to find the vein. It was excruciating. He finally gets it in and starts drawing blood... I could hear it gushing into the vials. I thought I was going to pass out. Once he was done a nurse showed up to give me my pain meds but the CT folks were still waiting. I went to have the CT which was pretty quick. My arm was aching when I got back to the room. The IV line was so painful I had another nurse redo it on my other arm. My vein collapsed on her first attempt so she had to find another one. Once she was done she finally gave me some morphine and I started getting some relief. I was about 4 hours into my visit when I finally got pain meds.

Fortunately, all of my tests came back negative for infection. The CT scan showed some inflammation around my bowels but that was it. After another dose of morphine, I was free to go home. I left the hospital a little after midnight.

The aches and chills have subsided a bit but I'm sore and tired. Both arms are bruised and I still don't have much of an appetite. I'm on the mend nonetheless. Thank you all for the prayers, calls, texts, etc. They are much appreciated!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Take It Easy... No Cartwheels!


I had a hysterectomy Monday morning. I've had "chick issues" for years - polyps, irregular bleeding, etc. and figured since I will never have enough time to take six weeks off to recover, the right time for the surgery was now. 

As I was heading to the hospital early Monday, I got emotional. Even though I've known for years that we're done having kids, there is something very gut-wrenching (literally) about having the organ that allowed me to birth two children removed from my body. It's just so... final. And then I started thinking about the "what-ifs" - there is something very sobering about making sure your husband knows where your power of attorney is "just in case." There were a few tears. I was scared.

The procedure went well though. I had a decent-sized fibroid on the front of my uterus. We knew it was there but thought it was about the size of a plum. Nope - more like a lemon. My doc took pics and I can't wait to see them. The procedure was done totally laparoscopically - I've got three tiny incisions in my belly and one in my belly button. I feel like I did after my c-section with Bryn - sore, tired, stiff and in need of some serious abdominal support. I ordered Belly Bandit yesterday that will be here today. That'll help.

I'll spend the next couple of weeks recovering and doing a lot of nothing. I've had so many people insist I take it easy "because they know me." Well, I've mastered the art of doing absolutely nothing. I should put it on my list of talents. Of course, here I am writing this blog instead of sleeping, so there's that.

I'll keep you posted on my recovery. As of right now, I'm all good. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

BLAH Blah Blah

Since we were hanging out with the Generation Rescue crew last weekend, we finally had Will's birthday party today. Will loves going to the movies so we decided to host of private screening of Hotel Transylvania 2 for him and his friends. There is a Cinemark nearby and they hosted the perfect party.

We had to be at the theater early - 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, GASP! But we showed up with donuts and milk, a red velvet Nothing Bundt Cake (Will's fave) and some bundtinis and were ready to go. Snack packs with popcorn and fruit snacks were included in the package price for the kids. And we sent each friend home with a Cinemark gift card (not included in the price). I have to say - this is one of the least expensive birthday parties I've hosted and everyone had a blast.

We had a wonderful hostess who had two tables set up for us and made sure we were all taken care of. I'd mentioned in email conversations with the manager at Cinemark that Will has autism and some of his special friends would be joining us. The theater folks were incredibly accommodating - I can't say enough good things.

I would host another party at Cinemark in a heartbeat. I do love it when a plan comes together.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Movie Review: PAN

I don't get to see too many 3D movies. Actually, I don't get to see any. Will doesn't like wearing glasses during 3D movies so we've missed some great special effects and storytelling in these special flicks. Thank you autism. Well, Will had a Miracle League baseball game this morning so Bryn and I had a chance to check out a special PAN screening. And special it was!

I loved this movie. This prequel is to Peter Pan as the play Wicked is to the The Wizard of Oz. You learn more about the characters you love (and love to hate). We learn about Peter's mother and how he ended up in the orphanage. We meet aloof but good looking James Hook and we see that he and Peter are going to be BFFs after overcoming Blackbeard's pirates. Tinkerbell makes a cameo. So do the Lost Boys. The gangs all here.

The good:
  1. I loved watching this in 3D. There is something about a cannonball that was shot out of a flying pirate ship coming straight towards your head that is just... intense. I'm curious to see how the movie looks in 2D - I want to know if it can still capture the magic of the 3D version.
  2. The movie was magical. From the beautiful triplet mermaids with their Cara Delevigne likenesses to the sparkly fairies, the movie was visually stunning. Even the fight in the sky between warplanes and the pirate ships was out of this world - literally.
The not-so-good:
  1. At one point I thought the movie might be a musical. Legions of men belting out "Smells Like Teen Spirit" reminded me of Moulin Rouge and Baz Luhrmann's genius, but it never quite hit the mark. There were a couple of songs, but the movie wasn't a musical. Was it?
  2. If you take your small kids to the movie, know there are scary clown pirates, fairies being incinerated, and news shared about a beloved mother's death. I looked down to real tears coming out of mini-me's eyes. She recovered.

The verdict: thumbs up! I loved this magical flick and I look forward to insisting on seeing more 3D movies in the future. I'll go see it again in 2D just to compare if the lightweight version can spread the same magic.

PAN starts October 9th. For more information, check out the Pan website.