Friday, October 25, 2013

My Second Cookbook!!

It's  ready!  It's been checked and  re-checked more times than I can count. I have the pages etched in my mind and the taste of the food still lingering in my memory.  My second cookbook is ready for purchase!

Some of you may be new to my blog, so I'll start at the beginning.  Before my fifth child was born (Kimble), we found out that he had severe congenital heart defects.  In order to offset some of the medical costs associated with his scheduled surgeries, I made a cookbook.  I published it through Blurb and made the cookbook available to the public.  All proceeds went to help pay for medical bills.

The first cookbook, named after my blog and titled "Just Because I Like To Cook" was a great success.  Many people bought it and even better, they liked the recipes in it.  Although the formatting isn't incredible, there are some great recipes in the book.

Fast forward to today.  Kimble is preparing for his fourth heart surgery.  More expenses are involved in his care.  We need a way to pay for all the extra costs.  Urged on by all the feedback from everyone about the first cookbook, and after hearing "When is your second cookbook coming out?" so many times, I have made another cookbook!

This cookbook, titled "Just Because I Like To Cook {More}" is even better than the first cookbook!  Not only is the formatting much better, and also that there is a picture to go with every recipe, but the recipes are amazing!  They are really spectacular. I'm so pleased with everything in this cookbook.  Simply Delicious!

Another thing that pleases me, is that this cookbook (and now my first cookbook too) can be downloaded to your iPad, OR you can have a softcover printed book, OR you can purchase a .pdf to use on another device (it shows up great on my kindle!)  Three options available. Yay!

Here's the breakdown: I get $10 dollars for every printed book, $20 dollars for every iPad download, and $20 dollars for every .pdf download.  This is to benefit the medical costs associated with Kimble's 4th heart surgery.

Please share the link with your friends and family. Share our story.  Encourage people to buy the cookbook. It really is a spectacular cookbook.  You'll get over 100 recipes that you will love, plus you will help out our family.  (This will make a great Christmas gift!!) Thank you so much! Buy the cookbook HERE!

(PS:  Is my comment section working?  Could someone leave a comment so I know if it's working or not?)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Blankets Blankets!

We are just a few weeks away from donating blankets to The Children's Hospital in Denver again.  This will be our fourth year doing it.  The blanket number has dwindled down over the years, but we've always managed to have at least 300 blankets donated, which is the number of patients the hospital normally takes care of in a monthly period.  Our goal is always to have every patient receive a blanket in the month of November.

This year, I'm struggling to gather my share of blankets!  I need more blankets donated!  If you have an blankets you can send me (or if you are local, I'll pick them up) please get them to me before November 8th.  That is the day we donate.  If you want to mail them to me, then email me for my address.  (kamyrensmiles@hotmail.com).

Any size. Any type. Any style. The blankets just  need to be new.  They can be storebought or handmade.  If you trust me to do this, you can paypal me your money that you would spend buying a blanket, and I'll go buy one for you and add it to the collection.  I just really need more blankets!  Please help me give comfort to all the special kids that are in the hospital over the holidays.

I make blankets and donate them, and this year Kamy is learning to make a blanket and she is donating it as well.   It's fun and rewarding!  Please join us!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Will He Have Surgery?


We are at that stage again where we (and by 'we' I mean his surgical team) are deciding whether Kimble will have his next surgery in the next few months.  If his heart is ready, we will have his surgery soon.  If it's not ready, then we'll delay it again just like we did last Fall.  So, how do we know if he is ready?  We start some tests again.

Yesterday, Kimble had his first round of testing at Children's Hospital.  He had an MRI and an Echo, both of which he needed to be sedated for.  Although they are routine tests, it's still difficult to watch your child go through procedures.

We left early in the morning to arrive on time.  We left just about the same time as the school kids, so I took this picture of everyone right before we departed.


Kimble fell asleep quickly enough on the drive,which helped a lot because if he is asleep, he can't ask for food and drink!  He needed to be fasting, for the sedation, so I was glad the appointment was relatively early in the day.





When we arrived and began the paperwork for the MRI, we were told that we had to change into scrubs so we could take Kimble into the MRI room and be with him as he was sedated.  So we happily changed into scrubs, and as a bonus, we got to keep them!  Fun!



Kimble was not happy at this point. He was hungry and thirsty and didn't understand why we couldn't give him anything.  He also fought the anesthesia a bit ("Boy is he strong-willed!" said the Anesthesiologist) and it took longer to get him under.  Just before he blacked out, I told him I loved him.  Kimble looked into my eyes, brought up his hand and placed it on my cheek in a loving gesture and opened his mouth to say something just as his eyes started closing.  He made me cry!  If I could read his mind, I'd guess that he was about to say "I love you most, momma", which is what he always says to me when I tell him I love him.

So, he was set.  We expected him to be under anesthesia for 4-5 hours, with the MRI and then the sedated Echo.  Heath and I went to chat with Dr. Younoszai (a member of our surgical team and someone we have come to consider a friend) and we discussed many things, including his opinion on whether or not Kimble will have surgery in a month or two.  We also toured the new wing of the CICU and then we grabbed some lunch.  After that, we still had a few hours, so we settled down to wait.  The Husband took a short nap and I read a few chapters in a book.  Before long, it was time to go back to Pre/Post waiting room and wait for Kimble to be in recovery.


Kimble was still under anesthesia when they brought us back to him.  His special little horsie (we had given it to him that morning, in addition to a Backyardigans book that we got him) was propping up his oxygen mask and was strategically placed to be right there to comfort Kimble when he woke up.




After about 30 minutes, he woke up and although he was groggy for a little bit, he bounced right back.  When Kimble comes out of anesthesia, he is ravenous and very thirsty, so he asked for juice and crackers, which his nurse provided, and he downed them!  After he ate, he was happy.  He watched Toy Story for a little bit, until he proved that he wasn't going to be sick or have any ill effects from the anesthesia.


Then, we came home!  Kimble was escorted out of the hospital in a wagon, which was stocked up with juice and crackers!  We got home about 5pm, having left at 6:45am.  We were met by the kids (the older one's were home after school and the younger ones had been at a friend's house, and had dinner brought to us by a friend.  After that, we were all in bed by 8:30.  I think we were all emotionally exhausted!

So, the results of the tests will be discussed by our team and then they will tell us what is decided.  Basically, it comes down to having surgery now or waiting another year-ish.  We are pretty positive that his heart is ready for the next surgery, so we are planning on that.  We requested that the surgery be no sooner than January (my November and December are booked already!).  We are anxious to know the results!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Furlough+Shutdown=Difficult Times

I don't often speak with great detail about The Husband's job.  As much as I post on this blog, there are still a great many things that we keep private to the world at large.  Suffice it to say that we are former military, and still work in conjunction with the government.  So now it should come as no surprise that we have been experiencing the brunt of the government's inability to decide on budgets. 

While they make laws and pass bills that keep their paychecks safe and secure, and padded with regular raises and boosts of expenditures, and then decide that people who make MUCH less than them go without pay for unknown periods of time, we have been suffering.

Hello Government Pigs.  Let me introduce you to my family.  We survive on a one-income paycheck, providing for seven members of our immediate family.  We aren't extravagant with our purchases and we keep our monthly bills to a minimum.  We do not have cable television or home phone, nor do we subscribe to any magazines or newspapers.  We have two vehicles which are paid off.  The Husband often rides his bicycle to work, to save on gas costs.  We check out books from the library instead of buying them. We hardly ever eat out or have entertainment expenses.  We pay a hefty amount in insurance premiums every month because we have a child with complex congenital heart defects.  We think Obamacare sucks.  Our kids walk to school.  We attend church every Sunday, as well as church activities throughout the week.  We budget every penny.  We have three kids in glasses and three kids requiring orthodontic braces.  We cut our children's hair and cook every meal they eat.  We sew up holes in jeans and wear the same Halloween costumes year after year. The Husband eats peanut butter sandwiches for lunch while his co-workers go out to eat.  We hand-make gifts for each other.  We donate to our church.  We go on hikes as a family.  In other words...we live frugally.

Now, having barely recovered from the furlough this summer, and having only one regular paycheck since all of that happened, we are now suffering from the government shutdown.  The Husband is home. He can't go into work.  He won't get paid.  Oh, he still has his job, but what good does it do if he can't do it and provide for his family?

We can't do anything except hope that it gets resolved quickly.  Also, it has lit a fire under our bellies to look for employment outside of the government realm.  Twice screwed...we are moving on.  The Husband is using his time off to apply for other jobs.

I am also doing everything I can to keep cost at minimum.  With bills to pay and no paycheck coming in, it's going to be difficult.  However, we are a strong family.  We love and support each other. We will get through this. 

To help as much as I can, I've listed a bunch of stuff on Etsy.  Check out the link on my sidebar or go to Krinklekut.  If there is something you are looking for that I don't have listed, just message me and I'll put it up for you.  If you do purchase something, please know that every little bit helps and I appreciate it.  Tell your friends.  Spread the word.  We've got to help each other, because goodness knows the government won't.