Author Archives: Jennifer Clay

About Jennifer Clay

I am a mother, princess, goddess, dork and lover of all things geeky. I love the color pink, unicorns, pugs, blogging, and making websites pretty.

Chloe and the Swollen Spleen

Once upon a time there was a cute little 2 year old red head named Chloe…

Chloe has Hereditary Spherocytosis she inherited from me. My family has a long history of this blood disorder. My grandmother, mother, aunt, myself, my sister, my 2 cousins and now mine and my sister’s children. The 50/50 chance of inheriting the gene doesn’t seem to apply to us. The main problem with this disorder is the enlargement of the spleen due to increased activity. In the past, we have had our spleens removed around the age of 5. These days they like to put the surgery off as long as possible to keep the spleen functioning to help you fight off childhood infections.

Chloe (and now Carlee) are seen at St. Jude’s every 6 months. They monitor the anemia and size of the spleen. During Chloe’s latest visit at the beginning of the month, the doctor noticed a drastic increase in the size of her spleen. We went for an ultrasound of her spleen and gallbladder. A few weeks ago I received a phone call with the results of the ultrasound. They want to go ahead and meet with Mitchell and I to discuss removing her gallbladder and doing a partial splenectomy.  I was not expecting this news.

Chloe’s spleen is swollen to 500mL. Regardless if you know how big a spleen is supposed to be, picture half a one liter coke bottle. That is how big her spleen is inside her little 32lb 2 year old body. She also has gallbladder sludge. The sludge hasn’t turned into gallstones yet, but they know it’s coming and would like to remove the gallbladder before she starts hurting.

Today Mitchell and I met with the surgeon and the hematologist and discussed options, risks, benefits and general information about the surgery.  We have decided to go forward with the surgery. They will be laparoscopicly removing her spleen and gallbladder on March 1st. We will go in on the 28th of February for Pre-op where she will receive a blood transfusion that night to prep her for surgery. On the 28th, they will not only “physically” prep her for surgery, but emotionally also. They are going to roll play with dolls, said something about Mitchell wearing a bunny suit (not kidding, can’t wait to see this!) and basically walking her baby doll through her surgery to help her understand.  She should be able to go home that Thursday or Friday. She will then have an ultrasound follow up around a week after her surgery and will be dismissed to go back to the sitter. Amazing how short the recovery is!

This is probably going to be way scarier for me than it will be for her. There  are two things that comfort me the most, one is that she is under the care of the chief of surgery of St. Jude hospital and the head of Hematology at St. Jude hospital. I couldn’t think of better hands to be working on my daughter. The other is when I had my surgery at the age of 5, I have nothing but fond memories of it. They are so wonderful with the kids and turn what could be a scary situation into an actual happy experience.

So please keep us in your thoughts and prayers while we go through the next few weeks.

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At What Point is This Not Normal?

Warning, this is a I hate being pregnant post. It is strictly for me to vent. Warning, there are a ton of gross pregnant stuff coming up. Read at your own risk.

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#weloveyou2010

Please world, as you look at the hate spread recently by a fellow Arkansan, do not group us together.

Please do not think the citizens of the school, community, or state are all bigots.  Please do not think we are bullies. Please do not think we don’t care. And, most of all, please do not think we are not doing anything about this.

#weloveyou2010

There are those of us who look beyond the color of ones skin or their sexual preference. We don’t care where you came from, how much money you have, or who your family is. There are those of us who do not judge a person without knowing them. And there are those of us who will stand together tomorrow and wear purple to support our loved ones, friends, family and fellow citizens who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Those of us who will stand up against hate. Stand up against intolerance.


Consignment Sale

Twice a year I drive my family crazy. I make them try on clothes to see if they still fit, box up clothes that are too small and start the consignment sale routine… Enter items, print tags, hang up items, tag items.  All together I spend about 12 – 16 hours (this doesn’t include the drive to drop items off, pick items up, etc) getting ready for the Popsicle Kids Sale.  You might think this is a lot of work, but I’m basically trading the kids clothes for the correct size each year. And I get to shop early!

This year was a little different that most.  First,  I put back Chloe’s clothes to have for hand-me-downs for Carlee. The other is I went strictly looking for items for Carlee. Gage had a ton of stuff that still fit him from last year and Chloe got a LOT of hand-me-downs from my niece, Logan.

I must brag on the deals I got this year.  Mom and I shopped early on Wednesday and got a high chair, bumbo chair and mattress for $50 (retail value would have been $150).  Tonight I went and early shopped the half price items and got the following:

  • 20 Sleepers/gowns for Carlee
  • 1 pair of Jeans for Carlee
  • 10 dresses/outfits for Carlee
  • 2 pairs of shoes for Carlee
  • 3 sweaters for Carlee
  • 3 pairs of cotton pants for Carlee
  • sweater for Chloe
  • PJs for Chloe with Snow White on them (she’s been asking for some for weeks)
  • A shirt and jacket for Chloe
  • Elmo shirt and pants for Chloe
  • 2 pair of pants for Gage
  • Sweater for Gage
  • Shirt for Gage

All of this for $68.


Small Town Annoyances

Around three years ago I was talked into leaving Jonesboro and moving to Pocahontas so we could be closer to Mitchell’s son. I was ok with this at first but soon became horribly homesick and started hating the place. I’ve tried over and over to accept living here, but I don’t know anyone, I only have 2 friends here and there is nothing at all to do.
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Changes

One day while driving my 3 hours a day drive to work and back I started thinking about my life.  I had several questions I was asking myself over and over and the number one question was “Are you happy?”.

No, I was not at all happy with my life situation. Continue reading


The Pregnancy Mask

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a discoloration of parts of my face.  I’ve been freaking out and about to go all Michael Jackson and start bleaching my face.

I have a little pregnancy app on my phone that gives me week by week advice.  This week it mentioned the “Pregnancy Mask” or melasma.  After googling this, it is exactly what I have going on. Apparently this is caused from my hormones and will go away after I have the baby.  It made me feel better to know that I’m not going to be spotty forever.  But, can pregnancy leave at least one part of my body alone?  Please?