Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the best for the coming year.

Love Always,
Erin, Steve, and Luke

* Font is Script MT Bold
* Swirly Frame Stamp, a weekly freebie from Designs by Lauren at Digital Scrapbook Place
* Ribbon by Cheryl Whitesel from June Group Kit Freebie at Gotta Pixel
* Photograph by Mark Warren

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm so tired of doctors

I swear, I've seen more doctors in the last three months than I know what to do with, and most of them weren't for me! Sheesh.

Luke's ENT appointment was yesterday. (That's Ear/Nose/Throat doctor, for those unfamiliar with the term, though I imagine those with kids in the US are quite familiar with it.) They reran all of the same audiology tests that were run on him previously, which sort-of irked me (we've done this already!), but I knew it was to see if things had changed. His tympanagram was normal, so the fluid behind his ears is gone. Each of the four data points used to measure his actual hearing did move up a notch on the scale, which means 1 out of 4 is now in the normal range. With the other three still below normal, though, that means the fluid was not causing all of the hearing loss. There is something else causing his hearing to be below average.

As she put it, we should expect many repeat visits to the ENT over the next several years to monitor and (hopefully) diagnose and treat the hearing loss. It is minor, and even if it is uncorrectable, he can live a completely healthy and happy normal life. But the only way to find out what exactly is wrong (and thus determine if it is correctable) is to do a bunch of tests that require his understanding and participation, and he is just to young to make such tests reliable or even practical right now. We'll have to wait until he is in the 3-4 year old range.

So, at this stage, we are handling the speech delay and the hearing loss separately. His hearing may be contributing to his speech delay, but since there is nothing we can presently do about his hearing, we should move forward with the speech therapy immediately. They will continue to see him every so often to recheck his hearing, using yesterday's visit as a baseline. When they feel he is old enough and developed enough to perform the tests correctly, they will begin the extensive testing for his hearing loss, probably in the late-2007 to mid-2008 range. So, once again, not horrible by any means, but no parent ever wants to hear that there is something wrong with their child, no matter how minor.

Then today, it was my turn. My congestion, while better than it was when I thought I was dying last week, has not gone away, while DH is almost completely well. Since I was running 1-2 days ahead of him in symptoms, this tells me that there is something more wrong. Not that my wheezing, stopped-up head, and plugged and somewhat painful ear wasn't telling me that already. So I made an appointment to see my doctor today. It was actually the first time I've ever met him! I've always seen the PA (physician's assistant). I adore her, but she didn't have any appointments available before tomorrow in the late afternoon, and I really didn't want to wait that long if I didn't have to, so when she said the doctor had availability today, I said sure. My ear is not technically infected, yet, but it is thoroughly plugged up and starting to turn red, so it is only a matter of time. Apparently whatever I had last week lead to the almost-infected ear and a sinus infection (which is why I'm still congested while DH is well). He was also very unhappy with how my lungs sounded, even though I'm not coughing much (mainly just some tightness and wheezing). He didn't make a specific diagnosis like bronchitis or anything, but he did insist on checking me again in six weeks to see if the wheezing is still there.

He really wanted to give me Biaxin, but I asked if that was really necessary. I know it is good for stuff like this, and I'm not technically allergic to it, but it makes me extremely nauseus and makes my stomach physically hurt. Not what I want right before Christmas. So he offered me a Z-pack instead, which is what I usually take when I have bronchitis. He didn't like the fact that it doesn't offer much in the way of anti-inflamatory action, but I promised to take Advil to help wiht that. Maybe I'll be able to hear again by the new year! If this is what it was like for Luke trying to hear for several months, no wonder he's not talking yet! I can't figure out what most people are saying to me right now, and it's only in one ear for me. Sheesh!

I am, however, completely done with Christmas gifts. The last one will be mailed out this afternoon, and all of the ones staying here are wrapped. In fact, I almost have my entire list completed. See!

Movie meme is something I just need to sit down and do, probably tonight actually. Might do my winter movie preview instead. Guess I'll have to call it a review, though, since the winter movie season is almost over. ::rolls eyes:: *Anyway*, decorating will most likely happen either Thursday night or Friday afternoon. Just hand the stockings and put up the tree (2-foot fiber optic, so quick and easy). An hour, max. The family has not discussed activities yet, so that one may not even happen, which is fine. And we'll probably do the train tonight or tomorrow. They run a little train around the "Christmas Village" at the mall, and I thought Luke would enjoy it, but I want to take my camera and I keep forgetting. Soon, though.

Currently feeling: a little better

Monday, December 18, 2006

@#$!&% Credit Card

Doesn't do you much good at Target when it is sitting on your desk at home!

Currently feeling: stupid

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Snowflakes for Charity

Need a Snow Day?

Online snowflake maker; been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks now. Great fun, great cause, and great price (free!). No affiliation, just having a blast making flakes.

Currently feeling: flakey

The Grinch

We tried showing it to him last year, and he couldn't have been less interested. But today, Luke sat mesmerized as he watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" from start to finish. (I am, of course, referring to the Chuck Jones animated version, not the live action abomination.) He just couldn't take his eyes off the screen. He loved Max (the dog), and he even said "yay" and clapped when the Grinch rescued the sled with "the strength of ten grinches plus two." It was so cute.

I think DH and I are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, or more importantly, oxygen at the end of our noses. I don't think I'm going to die any longer, and my father even knew who I was on the phone today, so there has been some improvement. I'm starting to cough more, though, like it is settling in my chest. Not good. We'll see how I progress over the weekend, but if I'm still coughing come Monday, I will have to go to the doctor. The last thing I need is full blown bronchitis (or worse) come Christmas.

Busy week coming up and running right through Christmas week, so I'm not sure if I'll be blogging much between now and the new year. My front brakes are starting to grind, so I need to get that checked, probably Monday. (We just sank $400 into DH's car on Friday for a new alternator.) Luke has his ENT appointment on Tuesday, so I'll try to get you an update on that. DH's office Christmas party is Friday morning, followed by getting to see one of my best friends from high school who is in town from California (and who is cringing at the horrible construction of this sentence, silly English teacher that she is, but we love each other anyway). Saturday, family arrives. Sunday the adults will open gifts after Luke goes to bed so that we don't have to tell him that he can't touch all the expensive breakable stuff. Maybe next year we'll do it all together Christmas morning, but he's just not quite ready. Monday is Luke's gifts and the big dinner. Tuesday is lunch with my grandmother, and my parents will return home for one night so that Mom can do payroll at work on Wednesday and then drive back to Atlanta. I think Thursday is free (can I breathe yet?), and sometime that weekend we will be going back to my grandmother's for the day to have the big family get-together with my uncle and his crew. We're also hoping to squeeze in a movie sometime (two, if I am extremely lucky). Family leaves Jan 1, parents by car, brother by plane, and DH and I are back at work on Tuesday.
Currently feeling: better, but not well by any means

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Put me out of my misery

I am so sick! So is DH. We are quite the pair. My own father didn't recognize my voice when I called home a few minutes ago; I sound that bad. UGH!! I just hope this is the adult version of what Luke had last week, because if he comes down with this next week, it is going to be awful.

Currently feeling: terrible

Let's talk about gifts

gift –noun
1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
2. the act of giving.
3. something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned: Those extra points he got in the game were a total gift.
4. a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent: the gift of saying the right thing at the right time.
In this particular post, I am concerned with the first definition given, specifically this part: "without payment in return." Why is it that we have such a hard time with that part?

It is Christmas! I give gifts because I enjoy (hopefully) bringing a little cheer into people's lives, not because I expect anything in return. Now, admittedly, I would be a bit shocked if I did not receive any gifts at all from my family, but that would not prevent me from wanting to give them something. For me, Christmas really is about giving!

So if I give you something and you weren't expecting it, for heaven's sake, please do not send me something in return! It is a GIFT! I didn't give it to you because I want something from you, I gave it to you because it made me think of you and I wanted you to have it. It does not make you indebted to me, you do not owe me. It is supposed to make you feel happy that you received a gift, not bad because you didn't get me anything. Just accept it with good grace, enjoy the gift, and maybe pay it forward when you get the chance. It is an amazing feeling to know that you brightened the day of someone who was not expecting it. Just try it sometime!

And if you think I'm talking about you, you just might be right. I'm expecting at least one, perhaps two people who read my blog to balk when something unexpected arrives in their mail next week. So I'm telling you right now, do NOT email me and say "I'll send you something." Just accept it and enjoy it. Okay?

I know, I shouldn't be grumpy about gifts, especially ones I'm giving. I'm just sick as a dog right now with the cold from hell (DH has it, too; he's about a day behind me in symptoms), DH's alternator died but they can't fix it until tomorrow, and I to have all the stuff on that list right there done by Friday, December 22. Uh-huh. Speaking of the list, here is the current status:

Currently feeling: giving

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Just temporarily, of course. The sunbursts will return in January. And because it is only for such a short time, I'm not going to bother to recolor the progress bars or change the Blogrolling "recently updated" graphic. Just too much of a pain! LOL

12 days and counting

It has become popular on scrapping blogs for people to create checklists and post them on their blogs. It was sincerely faster for me to just hand-write one, but I did take the liberty of scanning it for posting. I apologize if some of them seem cryptic, but they are meaningful to me. Let's see how much of this list gets knocked off in the next 12 days, shall we?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

2006 Family Portraits

You may remember that we were having family portraits made over Thanksgiving. They turned out quite good, all things considered. I was not impressed with the facility, the photographers, or the portrait ordering system they had. Add to that a 2 year old being stubborn (not looking at the camera, not smiling, wanting to pick his nose, not wanting his picture made by himself, etc etc etc), and I was not a happy camper by the end of the shoot. Hope it doesn't show up too badly in the pictures. Next time we do this, it will be in Atlanta! No more of this small town ameteurs-posing-as-professionals stuff.

Currently feeling: still irritated

Friday, December 08, 2006


Finally! Blogger invited me to convert to Beta. Things certainly look different on the dashboard. That's not a criticism, just a fact. I'll go back and start labeling things soon. I hope that doesn't cause the posts to show up as new for all of you who use feed managers of some sort (like bloglines), but I will apologize in advance in case it does.

Oh, speaking of which, Melanie told me she couldn't find the feed for my site to be able to use a news reader. I knew I had one, because the Blogspot settings said it was being published, and I know people who do read this site using a feed reader. But just in case anyone else is having this problem, I added a link for this site's feed on the left sidebar under the "Online" heading.

Currently feeling: technical

Friday, December 01, 2006

Some good news on Dad

His email from a few minutes ago:
Just heard from the neurosurgeon. The neurulogical radiologist who read the films says the discs look fine, but there are some degenerative changes. I am to stay on the steroids and keep the appointment for Monday at 10:00 am for when Dr. [edit], my original surgeon, will look at the actual films himself.

In my opinion this is the best news that I could have received. If I know I am not damaging anything, I can live with the tingling -- I have lived with it off and on for over 4 years now.