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A mom trying to have it all
while daddy picks up most
of the load at home. Two
boys that d'rail our every
attempt to get it "right"-
realizing that we're happy
being "wrong".

The Durham Project

Are you a Durham? Go Visit.

Marshall is allergic to
all milk products,
beef, casein & whey...

Learn More About
Food Allergies:

It's catching on...
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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Where's the BEEF?

Marshall just completed a day-long food challenge and he's passed the beef test.  They're not even going to attempt to give him any milk products based on his test results but beef is all good.

Trace & I have run through what that means to this family:

-  The boys will get a McDonald's Happy Meal for the first time ever!!!

-  Beef Jerky

-  Steak!

-  Beef Fajitas

-  Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

-  Briskett

-  The other side of the menu at Taste of Asia... and Bill Miller

-  Sausage

-  Arbys

-  Subway Meatball sandwich.... and the Spicy Italian!

- the ability to eat off of other people's grills

We're going to celebrate with Happy Meals!  Unfortunately we also have confirmation of his asthma which had always been a clinical diagnoses.  They think the asthma is triggered by his reflux. 

So, we've accomplished what we've come here for.  The psychologist has blessed me as a mother and cancelled our next 3 appointments.  I told her that if she wanted to talk about Braden then I could use a few more weeks but she didn't oblige.  Good thing she didn't hear me chew out the 12 yr old nutritionist who doesn't have a clue.

Posted at Thursday, July 24, 2008 by sjd
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Had better days...

Yesterday was suppose to be a big day... and it was... but not a "successful" day.  Marshall was suppose to stay overnight in the hospital after having a probe inserted into his stomach. 

Inserting the probe is not an enjoyable procedure.  They insert a tube into the patients nose and have to find some narrow tunnel up there that they then feed the tube down through the esophagus and into the stomach.  Marshall was a trooper during the first 6 attempts but then it just became too much.  He started to panic and then completely freaked out.  They had let a novice try at the first several attempts and she fried his nerves.  I had to step in and end it just as they were starting to make progress.  I have no problem subjecting my kids to well intentioned medical abuse but they crossed the line and he had done more than his share in cooperating.   In the end, the child services lady thanked me for stopping it.  I'm still a little haunted by his tears and screams. 

Soon after he got to pick out a prize at the hospital which cheered him up and he was back to abusing the rest of us. 

Today will be a better day.  Tonight is Bingo at RMH and that's all the boys care to think about.  If ever you are looking to do some community service... Bingo at RMH is a winner- just make sure you've got prizes!

Posted at Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by sjd
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm doing a slashcut!  There are so many blogs that I should have written by now about camping trips, new dogs, basketball games, Braden's elusive illness and the rehabilitation of our rental house but alas I have not.  I hope to soon but this summer has been anything but leisurely.  So here it goes... slashcut to July 22nd.

Right now we're in Denver, CO.  I'm typing from the Ronald McDonald House.  We're visiting National Jewish Hospital which specializes in food allergies and all the issues that go along with it. 

We came up on Friday and Marshall's first round of testing was yesterday; two pulomonary breathing tests, blood tests and a skin test.  Sorry to say that yesterday was the easy day.  Today Marshall will have another battery of tests ending with a probe inserted in his nose that will be thread into his stomach.  It should be the only night that he spends away from Club Med (i.e., Ronald McDonald House... aka RMH). 

We'll be here for testing until the 29th although the boys have already said that they never want to leave.  They love all of the outdoor activities that CO has to offer and are in heaven at RMH.  I'll post pics and you'll understand why.

I'll try to update daily!


Posted at Tuesday, July 22, 2008 by sjd
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Friday, June 20, 2008
The Run Down...

As usual these days I've got some catching up to do... so lets go back a few weeks and visit Marshall's last day of school... the one that I missed... for the same reason this blog goes silent... because it's craziness around here.

Trace ran the show as his last event as Marshall's kindergarten room-parent. I've never seen a group of kids stand so still before.  I bet they are about to burst!


And apparently they did burst shortly after and broke out into the tooty-ta-ta dance.  Gotta love kindergarten! 


From what I understand, the last day of school was just a big party.  Marshall & friends, Luke & Ryan, picked out their hiding places for skipping class next year. 


Marshall got an early start and skipped the last couple of hours on the last day of school... pathetic.  I will forever use this as an example for when he doesn't finish something... "Marshall Pershing Durham the fourth!  You can't finish anything!  You couldn't even finish kindergarten! Get back on it!"  Oh yes, that sounds like a good future bashing.

I had to make additional return on my investment for taking 21 pictures of kids in a teacher-less classroom.  Have you ever been in one of those?  It's scary.  The kids give you their attention for 15 secs.  If they smell any weakness at all, they take over.


I love popping off their little heads in Photoshop ;-)

Marshall calls the above "fancy letters".  Apparently he's observed the girls expressing their creativity with embellished letters and thinks it's pretty cool.  I had a unique opportunity to impress him with my portfolio of fancy letters and he thought I rocked.  I couldn't resist the opportunity to show this bunch of kinder girls that this thrity-something old mom still had fancy letters in her!  Soon enough they'll be ready for my full artillery of fonts...

I was also ready for school to wind down since that meant there was less to project manage in life.  More importantly, I was ready to make our annual trip to the beach- but first, basketball.  Just when we think we're getting off of externally imposed schedules, we sign up for a new one... who invented team sports anyway?!?!

Marshall did great.  He scored the first basket of the first game and he exceeded all of my expectations... yada, yada, yada.

IMG_2759 IMG_2761

Now... finally... off to the beach...

Trace & I joined his parents, Tiffy & the boys at the beach a couple of hours later- we made a quick wedding stop along the way.  Marshall immediately ran to his photo spot and was ready to have his annual picture taken.

In case these pics aren't burned into your brain by now...



Goodness I could eat him with a spoon.  Especially that second picture of when he was 4.  I find it just as interesting to look at the improvements in digital photography over the years- this years pic was with a digital SLR.  Big difference!

Braden also decided to cooperate this year.  He's a couple of relative years behind Marshall on the cooperation scale.


IMG_2867 IMG_2869

Isn't Braden's life vest lovely.  He had to buy a new one while at the beach because he's worn out the others.  I'd be happy to sell it to you for a good price because he's no longer using it.  Yes, my baby is swimming without anything preserving his life.  He's all out there now.  Bittersweet... bittersweet.

The big plunge...


And he's off...


The kids swam and swam and swam.  Makes them boys hungry... and a little goofy.

Makes the sea tutles hungry also.


In addition to playing professional basketball, Marshall wants to rescue sea turtles in the off-season.

The sea turtles are always high on our priority list when we're at the beach.  Fishing was added this year-  but the fishing... not so good.


I realize I have no actual beach pictures.  I know someone has some somewhere, but these boys were way to brave in the waves this year to allow us to have even a camera between us and them.

I caught a greyhound bus overnight and came back home early.  I had work to do and a trailer to buy.  Yes, I said a trailer.  Meet my newly remodeled kitchen!... I mean travel trailer.

We have big plans for her this summer- although we did run into some planning issues with how we're going to pull her around.  Thank goodness that "new" grandpa is letting us abuse him by borrowing his truck.  The good news for him is that he gets to drive a new Saturn Outlook during more weekends than he'd probably like.  So please, for the sake of my father, give me your truck.  I need it more than you do... I think... yep, I'm pretty sure that's the case.

And so... now I'm in the market for a truck.  Say goodbye to new upstairs carpet!

Posted at Friday, June 20, 2008 by sjd
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