Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 2008 Round Up

Blinkie by: Brandy's Blinkies

Monthly Round Up idea borrowed from Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
I read a book, I read a book! Written by someone I know, even. It's over there on the left side, A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce. I've known her (by another name) for years on one of my online bulletin boards. I remember when she started writing this book! It is her debut novel, and I know another one is in the works. Congratulations, Stephanie! We're all so very proud of you.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Just the usual, really, though we are very grateful that "the usual" is finally back on television! High Stakes Poker, Rules of Engagement, CSI: Miami, Dancing With the Stars, NCIS, Shark, Criminal Minds, CSI:NY, CSI (Las Vegas), NUMB3RS. ::deep sigh:: Life is good. And the summer movie season starts this weekend! Maybe I can even do better with actually *writing* reviews of the summer movies this year. Of course, that would require that I actually see movies as well. I managed okay last year, and we fully intend to take Luke to see his first theater movie this summer, but that won't be until late June or July. Stay tuned!

What special days did I celebrate and how?
I was a horrible friend. I bought birthday cards early for my two best buds, who both have April birthdays, and neither of them made it in the mail on time. I am terrible! Lots of babies abounding as well. My niece made her appearance in the world, a little bit early actually, but perfectly healthy. My friend Kelli also gave birth to her first child, a boy, on April 29.

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
None, despite having a multitude of them laying around that desperately need to go in the mail.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Well, once again, I thought I was going to make it through the month. I had to take antibiotics in both February and March, and I finally felt well! Then I hurt my sciatic nerve and spent three days in the floor. That got me well enough to function, but it still hurts. It won't be "well" (if it ever is again) for a few more weeks. Joy.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
We spent a few days in Little Rock on our family Arkansas trip, visiting the science museum, the Little Rock Zoo, and the park area in front of the Clinton Library.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
We ate at the River Market in downtown Little Rock.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Two brand new laptops! Haven't had much time to play with them, since they arrived the Monday before and Wednesday after I hurt my hip, but they're nice.

What were this month's disappointments?
We started sending Luke to daycare in underwear, but he had an accident more days than not. Been doing pretty well these last few days of April, though.

What were my accomplishments this month?
I don't think I accomplished much of anything. Made up a little scrapping something to go in this years Mother's Day and Father's Day cards. That's about it.

Oh no, wait, there was something! I had my first project actually complete as a project manager. Yay! I was in the floor with my hip when it happened, but still. My very first project is out there and finished and running service. ::sniff:: I'm so proud!

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?
His speech therapist said that he is pretty much finished. Just 1 more visit the first week of May, and he will officially be discharged.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
Just wacky weather. One Friday, it was 80 degrees, and it sleeted the following Monday! Now if it would just stop raining every Saturday, we might make it to the Renaissance Festival.
Currently feeling: thrilled for our latest additions

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I can't believe I forgot to post this when I got home. Next week will be our last week of speech therapy. I am both happy and sad. Happy that he has come such an amazingly long way (even if it was a painful journey to actually get there), and sad that we will no longer have our Tuesday mornings together, just the two of us. She will do his final evaluation next week, and he should get a little diploma and everything. Yes, there will be pictures! LOL

Currently feeling: talkie

Friday, April 25, 2008

View From the Floor

This has been my view of the world for the better part of the last four days:

And no, I did not forget to turn the second picture; that is the way it looked to me, laying either flat on my back with my calves in a chair or in the fetal position on my left side. Fun, no? And yes, I refused to have a photo of myself taken in such an undignified position. What happened, you ask? Here's the story.

When I dropped Luke off at daycare after speech therapy on Tuesday, I was trying to lock the half-door behind him. Well, the hinges are cheap, so after a while, the door starts to sag and the slide lock no longer lines up perfectly. So I hooked my right foot under the door and pushed upwards slightly in order to align the lock with the hole in the door frame. As I did so, I lost my balance, falling to my right. I quickly unhooked my foot from under the door and stepped out to my right, turning my upper body in that direction at the same time in order to try and shift my center of gravity so I would not hit the floor, or if I did, I could at least get my hands down to protect myself. I didn't actually fall, but the instant my right foot touched the floor, white-hot pain shot out of my hip, radiating down the outside of my leg towards my knee and up my backside towards the small of my back. And just for the record: OWIE!!! Wow, did it hurt. I figured I had pinched that nerve, but I thought I could just stand up and wiggle a bit, and everything would settle down, like when you hit your funny bone.

Yeah, not happening. Moving much at all hurt, and getting into the car was horrendous with all the moving and shifting of my right leg. (Remember, my non-North American friends, when we get in the car, we lead with our right leg.) I hoped I just needed to go home and stretch out some, but the longer I drove, the more I realized that probably was not going to work. Every time I moved my right foot to apply the gas or brake pedal, that same pain shot out of my hip, up and down my right side. I called my mom (the registered nurse) to see if this type of thing was something that would wear off on its own in a day or so, or if I needed to see the doctor right away, and I was advised to go on and call. It was about 11:30 on Tuesday, and we both figured the earliest appointment I would probably get was Thursday or Friday. If it got substantially better or went away by then, I could just cancel, and if not, then I would already have an appointment instead of calling on Thursday and potentially having to wait until next week to be seen. Sound reasoning. So I called the doctor, and as soon as I said, "I need to make an appointment, I think I hurt my back," the receptionist said "can you come at 1:15 today?" Um, uh, sure. I felt kind-of silly, seeing the doctor barely 2 hours after the incident, but with an injury, it is probably better to get treatment, or at least a record of what happened, as early as you can.

I called my husband, who insisted on coming to drive me, since driving really was very painful. I could have managed, but it would not have been fun. He also picked up lunch, saint that he is. We inhaled our food and headed out. By the time I got there the pain was substantially worse, a sharp aching pain at best that was frequently zapping me with those white hot shots up and down for no apparent reason. I was not a happy camper.

My doctor was rather surprised to see me, again! Much as I love her, this is the third consecutive month I have been to the office, and I'd really rather see a bit less of her, thankyouverymuch. At least this time I was injured and not sick. (That's better, right? Sheesh!) I explained to her what happened, and she and I clearly had the same idea about it, but she examined me anyway just to make sure. She even took her finger and, in one try, poked the *exact* spot that was "shocking" me. I was impressed! Then she told me she used to work for an orthopedist, so this was not the first injury of this type she had seen, LOL. She pressed around on my knee and some point closer to my spine. Neither of those spots hurt in and of themselves, but they were the points that the shocks seemed to be travelling to, if that makes any sense.

As I suspected, I had an irritated sciatic nerve. She asked if I had done this before, and I said no, but that I did have sciatica when I was pregnant. She asked if it was only on the right, and I said no, but that it was quite a bit worse on my right side than on my left at the time. This injury, however, is technically *not* sciatica, since that is when this type of pain is caused by compression/bulging of the disc in your spine. She did say that was a possibility, but a very slim one in my case, since neither the spot near my spine or the spot near my knee hurt. The most likely possibility was that I had pinched or kinked the nerve where it comes over the outside of the hip bone, which is why the pain was radiating from that particular spot. I just had my leg and my torso in exactly the right position at exactly the wrong time. The third possibility was that I had pulled a muscle that was now inflamed and pressing on the nerve itself, but she really thinks that I hurt the nerve directly, since she poked and prodded the joint and muscles with almost no pain on my part. It is hard, so close to when the injury occurred to figure out exactly which of those three scenarios was causing the problem. The good news, though, is that the initial treatment for all three is the same!

The bad news is that the treatment was to lay in the floor either flat on my back in what she called the "dual 90 degree" position (back flat on the floor, thighs straight up, calves in a chair parallel to the floor) or in the fetal position with my knees pulled as tightly to my chest as possible for three straight days! She said that her supervising orthopedist (she's actually a PA) used to say that you could only get up to use the bathroom or if the house was on fire. She understood that, with a three year old, that may not be practical, but she did want me to stick as close to that as possible. It did, however, make work virtually impossible. I can't really type in either of those positions, and using a computer at all would be very complicated. On top of this, she said the pain was going to get substantially worse in the first 24 hours, so she was prescribing me "a strong pain killer," which would mean that I cannot drive, and would probably make me so sleepy that I couldn't work anyway. Joy. So I had an official doctor's note to get me out of work for 3 days. I knew my boss would not be happy, and she wasn't (she hasn't had a good week so far), but there wasn't much to be done about it.

So, I left with a prescription for 500mg of Naproxen (super-strength Aleve) for the inflammation, plus a prescription for Darvocet with Acetaminophen for the pain. I was hoping not to have to take the Darvocet so that I could still drive if a true need arose. That's when she told me that the three worst possible activities I could engage in with this type of injury, especially with the injury point being my hip and (probably) not my back were picking up toys out of the floor, vacuuming, and driving. Lovely. But I still hoped I wouldn't have to take it. Surely, that strong of a dose of Naproxen taken twice a day would be enough, right?

Ha ha ha. When she said "it will get worse over the next 24 hours," she was not kidding. We dropped off the prescriptions at Target, but DH went on and took me home at my request. I figured he and Luke could pick them up after daycare, and I wanted to go on and start my "in the floor" therapy. To hold me over, I took 4 Advil, which is the equivalent of prescription Motrin, figuring that would knock down the pain and inflammation enough to get me by. She said the pain would get worse, but the pain level stayed the same, which I guess means it was working because it didn't get worse? Who knows, but as far as I could tell, the Advil didn't put even a *dent* in the pain! I was so ready to take a Darvocet by the time they got home with it. She also warned me to not let the pain get ahead of me and to take it pretty much religiously for Wednesday, which I did. Consequently, I don't really remember much of Wednesday. Thursday, I didn't take any, but by Thursday night, I really needed it to sleep because I was hurting a fair bit. The electric shock type pain was gone, but it still hurt. I stayed off it most of the day today, but had to take one around 6 PM, since I had been sitting and walking for the first time today. I really hope to not need it anymore by Sunday. We'll see. My doctor did say that I would probably only be 70% better by Monday, but that should be enough for me to function. The rest of the pain will probably take a few weeks to go away. I am also to take the Naproxen twice a day for 7 days, whether I think I need it or not, to keep the inflammation down, then as needed after that.

Of course, DH and I have a different theory of these treatments. The Darvocet doesn't really help with the pain, it just makes you sleep through it! I'm kidding (sort of), it really does relieve a large portion of the pain, and I can stay awake pretty well with only one, but once I take that second one 4-6 hours later, I cannot keep my eyes open.

And as far as being on my back or in the fetal position, those don't really help with the pain in my right hip either. They just make my tail bone and left hip hurt so badly that I forget that my right hip hurts! Sheesh! I'm not sure my tail bone will ever recover; it aches constantly, no matter what meds I have or have not taken, and my left hip (taking the brunt of the pressure from the fetal position) isn't doing much better. Again, I am only sort-of kidding. It does make my hip feel somewhat better with all of the pressure off of it in those positions, but I'm not sure it is enough better to justify the extra pain being caused to my extreme lower back and my other hip. I'm not sure my tail bone will ever forgive me.

But, today was the end of my exile to the floor, and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I look forward to sleeping in my own bed!

Currently feeling: crippled

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flat Out

Erin is dictating this message from the floor: "I lost my balance today and stepped funny. Apparently, this aggravated my sciatic nerve. I am under doctor's orders to literally lay flat on my back for the next 3 days. This makes both work and life rather difficult. I'll be back online when I can."

Currently feeling: Serious pain

Apparently, I did jinx it

We sent Luke to school in "super big boy pants" (i.e. underwear) all last week. He had an accident 4 out of 5 days, and had 2 on one day (thank goodness I sent him with two extra sets of clothes). I thought maybe it was just a bad week, being his first time at school in underwear and all. Since he did so well at home on the weekends, even when we go out, I had hoped that being home this past weekend would get him back on track and we'd have a good week this week. Instead, he had an accident each day over the weekend, and he had one yesterday at school. I have one last idea to try, and if that doesn't do it, I guess he'll be going to college in diapers.

Anyone have a live rooster they can spare? ::sigh::

Currently feeling: frustrated

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Let it be something good

I read this quote on someone else's blog, and it has really stuck with me for over a week now. I think I'm going to print it out and put it up on the mirror in my bathroom. What a beautiful thought to start off with each and every day.

"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind... let it be something good." ~~Author Unknown

Currently feeling: contemplative

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two-faced weather

I hate running the heat and the air conditioner on the same day! But it's been that way for nearly a week now. Lows in the 30s, highs near 80. (That's 2-ish to 27, for my C scale friends.) Doesn't give us much choice, unless we want to freeze downstairs in the mornings or swelter upstairs while trying to sleep.

Currently feeling: temperature conflicted

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Arkansas 2008 Part 2 - Gastons in Little Rock

Pictures from our visit to Little Rock, Arkansas, after the rest of my family returned home. Hope you enjoy!

Currently feeling: travelled

Sunday, April 13, 2008

But where are the grapes?

Another example of how things that are perfectly logical to adults can make absolutely no sense to a child. We had Olive Garden today for lunch. As we waited for our table (not even 5 minutes), we sat in a little alcove that had two benches and the Olive Garden Logo done in 3-D on the wall. For those unfamiliar with this logo, allow me to share:

So, Luke looks up at the wall and says "cherries!" First off, please note that the logo in the restaurant did have a much redder appearance than the one above (at least how it appears on my screen). Much more of a red wine color, in fact. Appropriate, no? Secondly, I have no idea who taught him that word, because we certainly don't eat or discuss cherries around here. Maybe they are working on fruits and vegetables at school? Anyway, we gently correct him and let him know that they are actually grapes, not cherries. "Grapes?" Yes, grapes. He seems satisfied, they call us back to our table, and the moment flies right out of my head, never to be mentioned on the blog. Until we sit down.

Me: "Luke, what do you want for lunch?"
Luke: "Grapes!"
Me, puzzled: "Grapes? But they don't have grapes."
Luke: "You said grapes!"

Well, indeed I did. He was totally unconvinced that they didn't have grapes. We finally just went with "they are out of grapes today," having no other reasonable explanation that he could understand. And from his perspective, I can totally understand his confusion! Why on earth would a restaurant advertise something on their sign, to the point that it is part of their official logo, if they do not carry that item on the menu? LOL Kids. Gotta love it.

Currently feeling: bemused

Friday, April 11, 2008

Arkansas 2008 Part 1: The El Dorado Warrens

Edited to add: Okay, fixed this on 4/13/2008 so that it is in the format I originally intended. Sorry to switch it up on you like that. It has a few "extra pages" that were not there the first time, if you would care to watch it again. It's about 4 minutes long.

I decided to do a montage for these photos. Most of them are of Luke on the plane, family buildings (current or former), family land, family plots, and family members. The older gentleman featured in so many of the photos is my paternal grandfather, 88 years old and returning to the homestead for the first time in nearly 15 years. He is the only one of his branch of the family who ever left Arkansas for good (a few left for various wars but came back). Oh, and one family member belongs to the Cairo (that's KAY-roh) VFD, and he insisted on taking Luke for an up-close and personal look at a real life fire truck. I think "Uncle" Johnny (actually my father's first cousin) has made a friend for life! After this portion of the trip, my parents, brother, and grandfather all headed back to Georgia. My little threesome stayed in Little Rock for a few more days. That slide show will be next. Hope you enjoy!

Currently feeling: familial

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Thud, thud, thud

Can I try beating my son's head against a wall for a while? Because me beating my own head against one (usually titled "Luke is not listening") simply is not working. Just more proof that two inhumanly stubborn people should never breed.

Currently feeling: frustrated beyond words

Monday, April 07, 2008

I might need a live rooster (potty training)

I realize I am about to jinx the whole thing, but it seems that Luke may *finally* be officially potty trained (daytime, and maybe night time). He will jump up in the middle of doing most anything and announce "I need to potty!" He races to the door and is very insistant on doing it himself. "Get out, Daddy! I do it by myself!" He even wakes up more mornings than not with a dry pull-up (though he does still sleep through "number 2"). He seems to have more wet issues with nap than night for some reason. Anyway, we told him that we will tell his teachers that he is a big boy now and can go potty, and if he does good this week and keeps his pull-ups dry, he can wear "super big boy pants" (i.e. underwear) to school next week.

Now please pass the live rooster, just in case. (That would be a very oblique reference to Bull Durham, for those still wondering.)

Currently feeling: please please please let it be so

Friday, April 04, 2008

I'm an aunt!

Yeah, because *that's* the important news here, right? LOL BIL and SIL had their first baby on Thursday, April 3; a little girl weighing 7 lbs. 10 oz, measuring 20.5 inches long. I think she's a couple of weeks early, actually, but babies are considered full term at 38 weeks, and she's obviously healthy, so no worries. Not sure how much of her info they would want me putting on the web, so I'll leave it at that. (Don't think they'd mind, but I didn't ask, and I'm not about to now. They have *much* more important things to do at the moment.) She sure looks like her mom, though, in the few pictures I've seen. My poor husband's family! First, our son looks almost nothing like him, then BIL's daughter looks nothing like him. We'll see if that changes as she grows.

Currently feeling: happy to have a niece!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Arkansas and back

Did you miss me? Most of you probably already know that we went to Arkansas for several days. Just got back a few hours ago, in fact. I'll be posting some photos and commentary over the next few days, but here is a very brief sample:

Currently feeling: well travelled and exhausted