Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The House - Day 2

It's coming along....

I think my favorite part of this nutty, wild and incredibly noisy day was when the kids took their toy tools outside and began fixing the play house and play structure. So, so cute!!

My least favorite part of the day was when the guys accidentally cut through the wiring for the living room. For some strange reason, instead of the wiring being on the inside part of the wall (closest to the inside of the house) it was between the outside siding and the insulation so when they cut through the siding to remove the rotting area, they sliced right through the wire. The all important wire also gave electricity to, among other things, the television set, DVD and DVR so we were without TV from 9:30 this morning until 5:00 tonight. I'm here to tell you - that is a long, long time. Like a lot of moms, the TV provides breaks for us when we need it and there are a few times during any given day that we need it. I'm so glad it's back! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The House - Day 1

The re-siding began this morning at 7:30AM and I cannot believe how much they got done in just one day. They started int he back so from the front it's difficult to tell what is really taking place but the back is looking amazing!

I love, love, love the colors we chose. And without meaning to (as in conscious decision) we managed to pick trim color that is exactly the same color as the frames around the windows and doors. Yay us! :) It really gives it a nice look.

They will be back, bright and early, at 7:00AM tomorrow to work some more.

The gable area is what the house looked like before we started.

This is the insulation that they wrap around the old siding and then the new siding goes on top. (All the rotting areas are removed and replaced with new lumber and then the insulation and new siding go on the area.) I took this photo (above) and then a couple hours later I tool the one below of the exact same area. Amazing!

Monday, February 25, 2008


I'm not sure how I forgot to add this to the last post but something very exciting happened today - they delivered the materials for the re-siding! Work begins tomorrow morning. Wow!

The kids were really wanting to break into the boxes to take a look at everything and I have to admit, I was wishing I had a box cutter so we could have had a peek. It's almost like Christmas. :)


I'm not really feeling up to blogging tonight - it's been a day. The kids were great (which is actually something amazing since last week was less than great around here) but still - life managed to give a few good swift kicks. Not the least of which is Kelton seems to have developed a physical problem due to stress and anxiety. I took him in for lab work today which came back clear so they are saying stress and anxiety are the likely problems. *sigh* I'll share more on that later - I'm just too tired to go into all tonight. He's fine though - and he will be fine. It is just a slight bump in the road. Clearly we'll have to find a way to give him better tools for handling stress because, let's face it, it wouldn't be our life if it wasn't stressful these days.

I'm sure wishing the family and I were on a nice piece of oceanfront property though. Somehow, the ocean always seems to make things feel more manageable. It's one of the places the four of us love to go to escape. Escaping sounds pretty darn nice right now. Family time. It's a good thing. :)

But - since we can't get out of town right now, I guess I'll go do the next best thing and climb under the blankets and watch mindless TV. A virtual escape. Hey - maybe what I need is a continuous play DVD of the ocean. Then I can virtually escape any time I want! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dentist Day

Yesterday the kids had dental appointments for routine cleanings. It was Kelton's second cleaning (third visit though - the first visit they just counted teeth and got him used to things) and Kaylen's first. I was actually impressed that they gave her the full treatment - including x-rays of her front teeth (so, so cute to see her permanent teeth under the gum lines). The kids were both better than amazing. Kelton, being almost 6, I expected to be able to handle everything and he did in pure Kelton style! He loved every second of the attention! He went first and every now and again he would look at his little sister and say "This is what they are going to do with you and it's ok. It really doesn't hurt at all!"

After Kelton's cleaning and exam, it was Kaylen's turn. She climbed into the chair like a pro! She was incredibly cooperative though she was quiet as a mouse which I know means she was feeling very uncertain and a little scared. She was AMAZING!!! I was so, so proud of her.

Dakota reminded me that I could snap some photos with my phone so I did. I missed getting Kelton in the chair, though, which I'm bummed about.

I am happy to report that Kelton and Kaylen are both cavity free! YAY!!!!!!!

After their incredibly successful appointments they were ushered into the special room where the "toy tower" is located. They were each given a token and instructed to choose whichever prize they wanted. Kaylen spied her prize right away but Kelton took a long, long time. I'm not sure if he was trying to find a Technomarine watch or something equally amazing but he did finally settle on a parachute guy.

Here are a few photos I took on my cell phone:

Change Always Seems To Bring More Change

Have you ever noticed that once you are committed to a home project things start to spin out of control? We are getting new siding for the house out of pure necessity (hmmm...rotting wood siding that will soon develop black mold which will spread and destroy the infrastructure of the house or....... yeah, kinda a no brainer even though it sucks) but with that big change comes a thousand little changes that are suddenly creeping in.

We've been wanting a new house address plaque ever since we moved in and this seems like a good time. (I finally found a really great one that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Wow! You can find some seriously (over priced) nice address plaques these days but you know, something basic works just fine for us.) The ones we have now is wood that has been repaired a number of times and is painted to match the current house colors. Yesterday I picked up a new entry hall throw rug that has both the green from the new outside of the house as well as the browns that are in our interior. (Gotta love Costo!) Now I'm itching to paint the interior - at least the living room, foyer area, hallway and our bedroom. I know, I know - that's a lot. I'm not sure where I want to start. Maybe the living room since it would made a dramatic difference that can be seen by others. Maybe we can add new shower faucets to the list. Ok, maybe not but's easy for the imaginary "dream list" to get out of hand once you start to change things.

It's exciting. It's fun to thank of all the possibilities. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Everyday Craziness

It's been a pretty rough week with the kids in my life. I'm not sure why exactly but they have both been extremely challenging. Tonight Kelton said "Hey Mom - we had a really good day today!" which is sad because it wasn't a great day by a long shot - it just wasn't nearly as awful as the days earlier in the week. *sigh* Better, yes but great? We can definitely do better than this.

Next week ought to be interesting. We are having vinyl siding material delivered sometime on Monday and work on the house starts bright and early Tuesday morning (that was the saga I had written about yesterday that failed to post. We have LP siding from the late 70's that is failing and must be replaced.). The guy I talked with thinks they will be done by Thursday (which is playgroup day and it is my turn to host. That should be on the interesting side.). Hmmm...the guy we filled out the paperwork with said five days but this guy seems confident that three will be enough. Time will tell. It sucks that we have to replace the siding but since we do, Dakota and I have been a bit excited over the end result. It's going to look so much different than it does now. And BONUS! We'll never have to worry about painting, etc again! :) (Well...after I repaint the gutters, that is.)

Tomorrow the kids have dental appointments. Joy. It completely slipped my mind today when I called the place that worked on our dryer yesterday to schedule a call back to fix a noise it wasn't making *before* they came out to fix the noise it *was* making. They had called and confirmed while I was making dinner - between 12-2. Perfect! Then later, as I went to write it on the calendar I saw the dental appointments; 1:30 and 2:00. Dang! I called to reschedule the dryer guy. Umm.,....yeah, he'll be out sometime next Wednesday. Morning, I said. They said "We'll see what we can do." Better be morning. I have afternoon plans that I am committed to and cannot (and will not) change. When they call to confirm I'll just have to reschedule to *next Friday* if they can't meet my scheduling needs. But really? I think they should go out of their way since I already went out of MY way for the original visit. Grrrrr. It's not *my* fault there is a new rattle-y noise.

I swear to you - my calendar is busier now than it ever was when I was working (and it was plenty busy then!). I feel like I am going every which way. Nutty.

But before I go - I'll leave you with a few photos of Miss Kaylen. We had a tea party again this morning and it was a photo op just begging to be had. :)

The hostess and her party guests.

Checking to be sure "Nature" (her puppy. She named it.) is happy.

Pouring "tea" for the Barbie Doll. She ran out of tea cups so a baking dish had to do. :)

Checking to see that Barbie had everything she needed.

My darling girl.


I just *had* to share this one. It was taken yesterday. She is quite the fashion statement, no? She found the swim diapers in her closet (she doesn't need them anymore) and decided she should wear them because "D'ey have Nemo on 'dem. " So...a turleneck sweater shirt, snow boots and a Nemo swim diaper. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!!! :) And no, it wasn't all that warm. I think it was about 61 degrees. Silly girl! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stupid Blogger

Oh man!!! I wrote a super long post and when I hit publish - it totally disappeared. I am so ticked off!!!!!!!

And to make it even worse, the spell check in Blogger isn't working for some reason so I copied the entire post into an email so I could run spell check. I deleted the email *right* before I hit the publish button on the blog. I could scream!!!!!!!! Why, oh why, wasn't the draft autosave working? It *always* works. Well..apparently not *always*.


I'm just too tired to try to reconstruct the post. Dang.

So. Not. Fair.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pizza for Dinner

If you know anything at all about me then you know I am not a big pizza fan. At. All. I'll eat it, of course, but I would never, ever go out of my way for it and I would never ever be the one to suggest it. Until tonight.

It's been a looooong day. I had these crazy spurts of losing my mind (sorry Dakota!) which I was having trouble understanding until I realized how icky it felt to be inside my body. I've been having nerves misfiring/acting up quite a bit today and I guess even though I wasn't acutely aware of it, it was getting to me. It isn't terrible (not by any stretch - it's been much, much worse at times) but my neck and shoulders are stiff (again. Though not as bad as I know it can get.) though I will have to say the most bothersome part is the cold sensations in my upper back and down both arms. It's just too much stimulation....too much happening inside me even though it is on such a low level. Apparently, it can leave me cranky. *sigh*

Anyway, by late this afternoon I was just over the top tired. I couldn't deal with picking up one more toy, one more book, one more shoe or one more anything. The thought of dealing with dinner - well. No. Wasn't happening. The thought of driving to McDonalds felt to daunting so....I picked up the phone and ordered pizza. At least it was food that I had a reasonably good chance that the kids would eat and, best of all, it would come to me.

Let me say again - I am *not* a pizza fan. So right there, it should tell you a lot about how things are going for me tonight.


A Gift from a Friend

A few days ago a very nice thing happened to me. I received a very sweet gift in the mail from Audra. She has been a faithful reader of mine for a long while now (and I of hers). We both have partners in law school - and a deep love of all things Disney so we have quite a bit in common.

Audra sent some amazing gifts my way - just check 'em out! I had so much fun opening the package. :)

Thank you, Audra! It was really, really sweet of you!!!! :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

A First for Me

Oh my gosh...I just talked with Kaylen on the phone for the first time ever. So darn cute!!!

Dakota has the kids with her and they are out picking up something for lunch. The phone rang and it was Dakota asking a question. A few minutes later, the phone rings again and the sweetest little voice started telling me how Mom missed the turn off to Starbucks and they had to go back.

Hearing Kaylen's voice on the phone is a daily thing for Dakota but for me - this was the first time I had a phone conversation with my daughter. Wow.

Wow. Our first phone conversation. How cool.

A Busy Weekend for the Girl

As you can see, Kaylen had a *very* busy weekend! :) Her newest thing is making "princess hair" which usually means finding a shirt belonging to Kelton and putting it on her head. Then she dances around saying "See my pretty princess hair?" She so totally cracks me up!

The photos in her hat and mittens where taken Saturday morning when it was still quite "Brrrr-y" as she likes to say. The others were taken this morning. As you can see, she loves her pink puppy very much. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday? Already?

Another weekend has all but disappeared. Amazing how fast it goes. Tomorrow is Presidents Day so Kelton will be home from school and Dakota will be home from work. Since Dakota attends a private school she will have classes tomorrow night - which kinda sucks. Ok - more than kinda. But hey - at least this semester she doesn't have a Monday day class so at least we have her with us for a good portion of the day. :)

It was a beautiful day here today - quite spring like. And thanks to no rain we were finally able to take down the Christmas lights. Yes, I know it's the 17th of February but we only have one day in a week that we can get it done and it's been either raining or too cold/icy to be on the roof so......that's the way it goes. I'm happy to report that we are *not* the last people on the block to take down our lights though several people did get them down yesterday which was also a fairly decent day weather-wise.

The kids loved being outside and I have to admit, the taste of sunshine and blue sky left me wishing spring wasn't quite so far away. I've always loved winter - and I still do - but I'm eager to see the yard come back to life and to get outside. Watching Kaylen navigate around the play structure this weekend was a little surreal. She was so little last year when Dakota built it and we had to be out there to help her whenever she wanted to play. She couldn't even climb up the ladders by herself. This year she just ran over to it, climbs up on the swing or slide platform all my herself. I need to take some photos for some side by side comparisons. She's such a big girl now - and oh so much fun! And Kelton - oh my! I do believe he is a bigger daredevil this year than last. I swear he is going to give me a heart attack when he stands up on his double swing while it's swinging as high as it possibly can. Kelton isn't a huge outside kid but I think it's fair to say that even he was glad for some outside play time.

It won't be long before we drag out and set up the tent. I can't wait to listen to them play "camping" or to fight imaginary Cogs (thanks to the ToonTown Online game, playing Toons and Cogs is a daily occurrence around here). Maybe they will remember to take the rechargeable flashlight and go on a bear hunt like they did last year.

Oh my. I think I may have spring fever. Too bad the rains are expected to return tomorrow. *sigh*

Fun Stools?

I was just reading Dakota's blog the other day - the one where she talked about festool and how it would make a great name for a cool stool (think Hula chair that was showcased on the Ellen YouTube last week) and I had to laugh. What kind of fun stool would there be exactly? Maybe instead of fun it could be more practical....perhaps one that refused to let a child climb on it unless the parent had given permission. Now there is something I could use! Kaylen has no qualms at all about pushing the bar stool over to whatever cabinet she feels holds something that should be hers, scampering up on it and reaching whatever her little heart desires.

Take yesterday, for instance; After making all the beds in the morning, I walked into the kitchen to find Little Miss Thing reaching into the cabinet where the chocolate chips are stored. Ummm..yes, she had to have pushed the stool over there, climbed up on, opened the cabinet door and moved herself from the stool to the counter. Oh yes, there she was, standing on the kitchen counter reaching into the cabinet.

Needless to say, she was not happy when I removed her.

Today she used it to access the freezer to find a popsicle. Who knows what waits for us tomorrow. :)

So for me, a fun stool would be one that refused to be either be moved from point A to point B or one that just made it impossible for a child to use it to get themselves into dangerous situations.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff. "

— Catherine M. Wallace

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Long Day

It's just been one of "those" days.

It didn't start out like that - just incredibly busy though my guess is since I was already feeling pretty darn stressed out and overwhelmed by everything in my life right now the craziness of the morning just added to it all.

This is what took place this morning:
8:45 am Kelton decides that he would like to ride the school bus, which is fine but it means instead of 20 more minutes of getting ready time, we have five.
8:50am walk out of the door and up to the bus stop (two houses up)
The bus is, of course, late. Instead of arriving at 8:55, it finally shows at 9:05am. The exact time I would have been leaving to take him to school myself. Kaylen and I wave goodbye to him and head to the car.
9:15am we are at the store doing some needed food shopping (due to the birthday party on Saturday, grocery shopping for the week didn't get done and we were running low on some things)
9:40am we leave the grocery store and head to the dentist for a 10am appointment.
9:45am we arrive at the dental office and are ushered in (I needed the filling height reduced. It has been causing some trouble since I had it done a week ago.). Kaylen is *amazing* and I am so proud of her!
9:57am we leave the dentist office and head home.
10:15 I am elbow deep in cake batter while I make 24 heart shaped cupcakes for Kelton's Valentine's Day party.
11:50am I am finally finished with the baking and they are cooled and packed up. Kaylen and I rush out the door to school.
11:55am I drop off the cupcakes with Kelton's teacher and wait for him to be dismissed.
12:05pm, the kids and I are heading back to the car.
12:15pm we arrive home only to discover that Kaylen had left her beloved new cup at the school so we get back into the car and return to school.
12:35pm we are once again on our way home.
12:55pm all school stuff and jackets are put away and I began to make lunches.
1:30pm finds me cleaning up the lunch dishes and straightening up the house which I cannot believe went from orderly to chaotic in 30 minutes. I don't know why I can't believe that - it happens consistently all day long.

From that point on it was running from here to there cleaning things up, putting things away, folding laundry, picking up things again and again and again and again. There was sweeping and mopping and vacuuming. There was arguments to calm and fighting to break up. There was the dinner that, after it was cooked, clearly looked like it should not be eaten (there were a couple red flags along the way but I honestly think part of the dinner had gone bad. It was a boxed dinner, still within it's use by date but something was off - and it was *really off* after it had cooked. to McDonalds we went. *sigh* Waste of time, food *and* money.

It was NEVER ENDING today!

It was one of those rare days when I am ticked off that I am here alone doing this with no chance for 15 minutes to myself. In reality I know that even if Dakota came home after work she wouldn't be here until 5 or 6 and then it would still be dinner, the after dinner crazy hour, bath and bedtime. I know that it would most likely be even more chaotic than it is when she isn't here because we have a pretty tight routine in place. I know it wouldn't really give me any alone time and yet......days like today I like to pretend it would and then I get pissy because I don't even have the chance to *pretend* that could happen. Does that make sense?

Some days I just need a friggin' break!

Truthfully, I am feeling the need for a break in a big, big way. But I want a break in my own house, not out on the world. A coffee shop is great but then I am still around people. Walking around stores is great too but again, there are the people and well - let's face it, it is not down time. I just want to be inside my *clean* house so I don't feel like I need to spend the precious down time cleaning, straightening or doing laundry. I want to have time to curl up on my bed and watch TV in increments longer than 2 or 5 minutes or heck - even read a few chapters of a book. I don't want to hear the washer or dryer running. I don't want to hear the kids fighting with each other. I just want to BE.

I'm tired. No...I'm exhausted.

The kids have been asleep since 6:50 (yeah's early but they also get up early. And no, it won't help to get them up later, they wake at their regular time whether they go to sleep at 7pm or 11pm. Kelton is up by 5:15 and Kaylen has taken to waking somewhere between 5:15 and 6:00. So an early bedtime it is. Which is vital for me anyway since I am *so done* by 6:30.). This is the first time since last night at this time that I have been alone. There are a few thousand things I should be doing (paying the bills, balancing the checkbook, working on our taxes, etc) but I am just too tired to even think.

And tomorrow it all starts again.

Tomorrow will be better. Right? Yes. Yes it will be. Tomorrow is Valentines Day. After talking Kelton to school, Kaylen and I have playgroup and then after that, we'll pick Kelton up and head to Dakota's work to have lunch with her. It's a tradition and we all look forward to it. So yes, tomorrow will be better.

Thank goodness!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Valentine's Day Party

Today was my MOMS Club Valentines Day party and it was a hit with Kaylen! She was able to decorate cookies (one for her and one for Kelton) and make a really fun craft. She was thrilled beyond belief!

I am not sure what this is about but in the past day she has started sticking her tongue out for pictures. Dare I say it? She's three! Kelton did the same thing right about this time. *sigh*

Monday, February 11, 2008

Birthday Photos

I still can't believe my baby is three!

I'm just not sure I need to write anything else - I think the photos pretty much sum it up. :) Doesn't she look too adorable in that dress? She picked it out herself - she is such a little princess. :)

Happy Birthday, Angel Girl!

Coming Up For Air

Wow. It's been a whirlwind few days - I'm exhausted and yet not all at the same time. Parts of it definitely left me wishing we had a couple Branson lots where we could just hide away for a while to regroup.

After spending 2 plus days scrubbing down the house (I think it would be fair to call it a spring cleaning but I know I will be doing it all again in six weeks when it is time to prepare for Kelton's birthday) we had Kaylen's 3rd birthday party. It actually went well even though I am a complete nervous wreck about hosting things (and yes, everyone was family and yet - I still feel anxious and overwhelmed). Once things got into full swing I felt like I could relax though I didn't completely relax until everything was cleaned up and put away. Everything, that is, except the enormous pile of birthday gifts. How could one little girl get so many gifts? All I can say is she is dearly loved.

I have more to say about the party - the entire weekend, actually - but I still need to upload the photos and all that jazz. No promises that I will get it done tonight but I will do my best. :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

You Have To See This!

Seriously - watch this. It is too damn funny! :)

Birthday Happenings

On Sunday, my baby girl turns three. Three!?! Amazing. I am incredibly proud of the little person she is turning out to be but I sure do miss my little baby. I was talking with her tonight about what a big girl she is growing up to be and how much fun I have with her now. She asked if she was fun as a "tiny baby" and I honestly told her that no, she wasn't all that much fun as a tiny baby but as a bigger baby, she was a lot of fun but no where near as much fun as she is now. Smart girl that she is said "I cry lot as a tiny baby." Matter of fact. Just like that. I said "Yes, honey, you really did cry a lot as a tiny baby."

Someone once (very wisely) told me at Kaylen's two week check up that some infants really don't enjoy being infants but once they can start to move and do things for themselves, they became completely different children. All I could do then was hold back the tears and nod, praying to God it was true. She was a miserable newborn. It came as quite a shock to us since her brother had been a dream of a newborn.

When she was 16 days old we traveled up to see my family and introduce her to them. When we were getting ready to come back home we put her in her car seat and it had one of those snug-ride fleece cover things on it that could zip up to keep her warm. Well - she enjoyed her car seat then even less then she enjoys it now so you can imagine the screaming that ensued. Kelton, in his not quite 3 year old voice said "Quick Mommy! Close it up so we can't hear her!" If only it had been that easy. :) Kelton spent many, many car rides with his blanket over his head and fingers in his ears. Thankfully, over time he grew used to her screaming.

But you know - right about 4.5 months old she stopped being such a fuss-budget and started becoming a real charmer. For us. For anyone else she was still not a happy camper. By six months she was crawling all over the place and her personality started to shine. I have to say, those early months were some of the longest I've *ever* experienced. I started this blog when Kaylen was 5 months old and though I haven't read back in a long time, I'm sure I never even came close to capturing what life was really like in those early months.

Do I miss those months? In some ways no but in some ways yes. I just can't believe that almost three years have gone by since the day she came into the world. I wish I could go back and relive so many parts of it all - to really take in all that was rushed through - those moments that you thought would last forever are forever gone. Knowing what I know now....knowing all this, I would go back and relive it (well - we can skip the scary not wanting to breathe upon being born and spending 4 days in the NICU but after that would be good).

I spent the day cleaning the house and getting things ready. Tomorrow James and Cara arrive for a visit and Saturday is Kaylen's party. After the kids were in bed tonight I wrapped the gifts we have for her and tomorrow night Dakota will probably spend time putting together the Dora trike (she said she wanted a bike but they just don't come small enough for her. Hopefully she will love it just the same.) This afternoon the UPS guy dropped off the pretty white box; a gift from our dear friend, Stella. The gift backs for the cousins are ready to go. The cake will be ready for pick up Saturday morning and I'll get ice cream and balloons then as well. Somewhere along the line we'll get chip, dip, drinks, veggie platter, etc. I think it's all coming together.

My baby girl is turning three. I just can't believe it.


This About Sums It Up :)

I love this comic strip - it really speaks to life as a family with children. :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Two for Tea?

You better make that seven - eight if you count the dog. :)

This morning I walked into the livingroom to find this scene - it's it just too much?

(And umm...yes. Apparently we do have a "cl@thing @ptional house. I swear this girl and her clothing issues will drive me insane though I must say it has gotten a great deal more long as I don't insist on clothes at home. *grin*)

Huge Sigh of Relief

From my neurologist: "Brain and Cervical spine MRI looked good. No abnormality that can be associated with syrinx."

Thank God!!!!!!!!!

So - it's "just" the syrinx I have to deal with but you know, in comparision, I'm feeling extremely fortunate! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I am one lucky duck.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Never Under Estimate the Tiny Little Pills

I'm just saying. :)

Not that I didn't need a 6 hour nap but just the same, I'm pretty sure one would have been enough to get the job done.

I took the first little blue pill before leaving the house but I swear to you I could have been driving the car myself 45 minutes later (I wasn't, of course but I think I really could have been). I was still so keyed up and stressed out about the MRI. In the parking lot Dakota and I talked about my taking the second one and we decided it sure couldn't hurt at that point.

I went into the clinic, signed in, filled out the paperwork (which, by the way hasn't changed in the week between the last MRI and this one) and waited nervously for my name to be called. By the time they called me I was more calm but still jittery. The woman was incredibly nice which helped more than I can even say and she settled me on the bed thing that moves into the MRI machine. She explained that she would cover my eyes with a cloth which would help me not focus on the machine and (with luck) help me relax. It really did help - which kind of stunned me. Of course, by that time I had two pills of Xanax coursing through my body as well so who knows which was really helping but hey - I wasn't flipping out so that was good. :)

The scan ran for about 30 minutes - and I swear it went by in the blink of an eye. She came in and repositioned me to do the cervical spine (the full-on brain scan was first). She said it would be another 30 minutes. I asked about the two hours they had told me to expect and she said "I wish they wouldn't do that to people. Of course it *can* run longer but most times it is about 30-40 minutes per set of scan and to tell people who have just told them they have anxiety about it that it will be 2 hours for two complete scans just isn't right. I'm sorry they did that to you. You really should be done in about 30 more minutes." Not that I could have cared any less at that point because I was flying pretty high and just going with the flow.

The next thing I knew she was standing over me (I was no longer under the scanner) calling my name. When I finally opened my eyes she said "I was starting to get concerned. I've been trying to wake you for about 5 minutes. I figured you were ok because you were lightly snoring. If you hadn't been snoring, I would have been concerned about you having too much medicine. I know you're a mom though so I figured you were just really tired to start with and the medicine zonked you." I staggered to my feet, collected my things and she walked me out. Dakota was startled to see me so quickly. She had set up shop in the coffee area and was hard at work studying.

She drove us home, relieved her mom from caring for Kaylen, tucked me into bed and then she and Kaylen went to get Kelton from school (she called and cancelled arrangements with her sister who was supposed to pick him up). The next thing I knew the kids were next to the bed showing me the gift and balloons they bought for me. More than two hours had passed! Dakota ushered them from the room and the next time I opened my eyes it was getting dark outside. Holy moly! The whole day was gone.

I got up, still feeling *very* woozy and interacted with the family for a bit - I even ate dinner (which is good - it was the first food I'd had since 7:30 that morning). We got the kids to bed and I vegged out on the couch. I was a bit concerned about sleeping last night but I shouldn't have been - I was out before Dakota (a rarity to be sure). I kept startling myself awake and had a hard time figuring out where exactly I was but other than that - I slept fine.

I do believe that was more sleep in a 24 hour window than I have gotten in about six years. And I kid you not on that one.

So - the MRI is done and now we are waiting for the results. I was calm about it this morning but found myself going a bit nutty this afternoon. I checked my email frequently for a message from the doctor. I am trying really hard not to get concerned (they had the results of my first one within 24 hours). I really don't *think* anything bad will show up. My gut feeling says it is all fine but until I hear those words, or read those words, there is this twinge of worry.

What were/are they looking for? The other things that are known to cause a syrinx. The doctor is just being thorough so we know for sure there this thing originated. The other things that *could* cause a syrinx are:
Arnold-Chiara Malformation

Neither of which would be good. But that explains the brain and cervical MRI need. So please keep positive thoughts and prayers going. While the original diagnosis sucks, these two things would suck so much more. Here's hoping for good news.

Please please please please please please please please.

And thank you for the emails checking in on me. I appreciate each and every one. :)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Weekend in Review

There isn't too much to share from the weekend. Friday and Saturday we stayed hunkered down as Kelton tried to fight off his bug. He was much, much better today and will be heading back to school tomorrow even though he tried to convince us a few times that he wouldn't be able to go because he "could have diarrhea at any minute!" Nice try guy, but you seem to be in the clear now. Thankfully!

The rest of us, knock on wood (seriously - please knock on wood) have managed to stay healthy.

I went in to the dentist yesterday afternoon to have my filling re-done. That sucked and I'm not entirely thrilled with it right now. I'm trying to figure out how much is residual pain from the injection, pressure, messing around, etc and how much is it just isn't right. I know the filling is a little high because my bite isn't quite right so I'll have to go back in to have that handled. Joy. Have I mentioned how much I really can't stand going to the dentist? Cleanings are tolerable but the rest? Ugh. Not that many people enjoy the dentist, I'm sure.

After dinner last night (still a bit numb (5 hours later)) I headed over to Target to buy Kaylen's birthday gift. It suddenly hit me how much I have to do this week to get ready for her party on Saturday (it's a family party but still - there is a ton to get done! We did the math today - there will be 19 people (that's including us) in our house!) so it made sense to get over to Target to get her gift just to make sure we had it.

Today we ran out to pick up a few things and we managed to find all the things for the goody bags for the cousins. I am *not* a fan of the goody bag. I think it's ridiculous to make sure you have a bag of things to send home with party guests but for some reason, I still do it. Who came up with this tradition and why don't we, as parents, stop the insanity? I try really hard to have things in there that have value to them and that are age appropriate. For example, our 8 month of nephew doesn't really need bubbles or a plastic bead necklace so I bought a Sandra Boynton board book for him. I bought all the kids a Dora easy reader book (Dora theme party, don'tcha know), Dora stickers, and a bottle of bubbles. Kaylen and Kelton picked out tiny toy cameras, stretchy lizards and plastic bead necklaces (cheap crap; but they insisted). At least there is some stuff that won't go directly in the trash or to the bottom of the toy box. Still - I resent needing to do goody bags and I resent the expectation of goody bags. And my kids are no exception. When they are invited to a party it's the first thing about which they ask. *insert a big eye roll here*

After running our errands we came back home and went to work on house stuff. Dakota started cleaning the carpets and I pulled everything out of the china hutch and dusted it. The inside of the hutch hasn't been dusted since we moved here (so....almost 6 years) and while it certainly wasn't bad, I've noticed recently that it wasn't all that great either. The carpets were last cleaned at the end of the summer. They are usually done during winter break but we didn't get around to it so it just made sense to do it before the party.

Once we were done, Dakota sat with the kids and played games for a while and I continued doing various cleaning type things. Then it was dinner time, bath and bedtime.

Tomorrow is my big MRI appointment. It's going to be long - two hours - and I am hoping that I don't flip out like last time. The doc gave me anti-anxiety pills to take but I have to say; those suckers are really little. I hope they do the trick. The thought of being completely still for two hours feels like...well...torture. I'm completely dreading it and wish I could fast forward to it being done. An all clear would be more than great, too. So think good thoughts for me, please. We could use really good results. Two hours. That is absolutely insane. I'm just saying. I'm so glad that Dakota will be there waiting for me.

I won't have results for a couple days. The doc said to email him 24 hours after the test and he would start tracking things down. I have to say, I am impressed with my neurologist. I've sent a few emails over the past week asking various questions and getting clarifications and he has, without fail, gotten back to me within a couple hours. I love that and it really makes me feel like I'm in good hands. Which is good since this is completely uncharted territory for us.

OH! But the best news is it's been four days since I've had constant tingling and numbness. Yesterday I went the entire day without any at all and today it was only a couple of times but resolved within an hour or so. I cannot even begin to tell you what a relief it is to not have my nerves (and entire nervous system) on hyper-drive. My back is still really hurting me (almost constantly) but considering everything, this is a walk in the park. I'm used to back pain (granted not usually this intense)so while it isn't fun and it is exhausting it ISN'T nerve pain, numbness and tingling and therefore, it's easier to handle.

Odd. I find it so weird that I say that I find it is "easier" to handle bad pain. When did my life become this? "Well yes, that knife through my thigh is painful but at least I don't also have that pesky dagger in my eye anymore so really - life is goooooood." Warped, don't you think?


Friday, February 01, 2008

Sick Kid

As if things weren't hectic enough around here, last night around 12:30 I woke to the sounds of Kelton yelling for me. He had thrown up all over the bathroom floor. Lovely. We were up with him for a bit and then I headed to bed in Kaylen's room while Dakota settled Kelton into our bed with her.

I heard them up again around 5AM but mostly it was the dry heaves. Poor kid.

Dakota set her alarm for 7AM and we tried to sleep until then. I had an 8:30 cleaning appointment this morning and Dkaota's mom was planning to come over, get Kelton on the school bus and then hang out with Kaylen until I returned. The dental appointments were hard to get and have been on our calendar for a couple of months. It was decided that Dakota would stay home in the morning and we would cancel with her Mom. At 7, I got up and got ready, called Dakota's mom, called the school to let them know Kelton wouldn't be there and then sent an email to his teacher saying I would swing by on my way back from my dental appointment to pick up the weekend homework.

I went to my appointment (and will go back tomorrow to have a filling replaced - oh joy!) and stopped in at the school as promised. Kelton's teacher said that over half the class was out sick today and that she wasn't feeling all that well either and was trying to decide about calling in a sub for the afternoon. No more wondering where he picked up his bug - I just hope the rest of us can ward it off. I have my big MRI appointment Monday morning and I *can't* be sick. And Kaylen being sick - well, that just goes without saying. We don't want that.

Dakota left for work after I got back home (Kelton's upper GI stuff had moved to lower GI which I hope is encouraging for him getting over this quickly). She can't afford to catch this either - not with needing to study and all. I don't know what class(es) she is planning to work on tomorrow (probably not Phase I environmental) but I do know that she needs to feel good and be rested to make the most of her study time.

So here is hoping that whatever bug Kelton has is short lived and that the rest of us stay germ free. Please, please, please let us stay germ-free!

Tax Time

Has everyone else received all the forms and data they need to do their taxes? I dare say that we have not. Yesterday, finally, we received the W-2 from Dakota's job and I know the mortgage paperwork came in as well as the various forms for the student loans. What am I missing? The 1090's for the freelance work Dakota and I have been doing. I wonder if others are waiting for theirs. I guess I can take screen shots from the account pages and use those but I really thought we would have received official 1090's like we were told. Interesting.

I need to get to work on the taxes. I usually spend Presidents Day weekend working on them but this year, I'd like to have them done sooner if possible. I have so many things hanging over my head (like the bills I should have sat down and paid last weekend (nothing due yet so I'm still ok - I just need to get it done). Sometimes it feels bit overwhelming how much needs to get done. One step at a time though - just one step, one will all come together. Eventually. And definitely before April 15th.

Digital Camera Woe

Before I got my big, amazingly great digital Canon camera I had a super fantastic great small (fits in your pocket small) digital Casio Exilim camera. Oh how I love that small camera. 7.2 mega pixels. sharp quality and so easy to have with me everywhere.

I promised my Casio camera that I wouldn't abandon it when I got my bigger camera and I didn't - at least, not at first. Then one day I turned it on and I had to reset the date/time/etc. Ok - no biggie. A glitch. Then I turned it off and a few minutes later wanted to capture another moment. The date and time needed to be reset again...and again and again. It got to be a huge pain in the rear so I placed in on the shelf in the computer cabinet and there it has sat. For months. Still with photos on it. Alone. Poor camera.

So what will it take to make this camera work again? It is as simple as a new digital camera battery? That sounds easy enough. I charged the battery, of course, but that didn't help the date reset problem. Does this mean that there is an internal battery somewhere that it's recharged when I place it in the charging cradle? Is there something more I should be doing or checking?

This needs to be looked into because I really am sad that this camera just sits here. I guess this is another thing to add to my never shrinking, always growing To Do list. *sigh*