Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rite of Passage -- The Haircut

I went away this weekend. Had a spa day with the girls down in Southern California. It was lovely. Till I got my phone from my locker at the end of the day. Had a couple calls, emails & text messages from DaddySpeak. I called him without listening or looking. It's extremely unusual for him to call me like that. Several times and all. He answered,

Him: "Did you see your messages?"
Me: "I saw you called & left messages, is everything ok?"
Him: "You need to look at your messages."
Me: "Ok, I'm getting concerned, everyone's ok, right? What's going on?"
Him: "I sent you a a picture, (I'm scrolling my email, not finding anything from him.) you need to look at it. Everyone is fine."
(I'm losing patience at this point. The tone of his voice tells me it isn't something funny or cute. But ok, no one's hurt.)
Me: "I don't have a message from you. Listen, what's up. Just tell me first, ok, I can tell from you voice I'm not going to be thrilled and whatever I'm imagining is worse than what you're going to say."
Him: "Ok, I SENT you a text with the picture in it! Little cut her hair."
Me: "WHA???? How, what?... How bad is it?"
Him: "That's why I sent a picture."
Me: "I don't understand how she got scissors, they're all up high. Even the ones that won't cut anything but paper..."
Him: "She was cold, so I told her to go to her room to get a sweatshirt. She was taking too long, so I went up to check on her and she was in the study with her bangs cut. She found them in a drawer in the study."

So apparently, Little climbed over a bunch of storage baskets and boxes to get to the desk in the study. I hid put a bunch of Christmas stuff in there and haven't gotten it out yet. So there's a huge pile of boxes and whatnot in that room, it was no small task for her to get to the desk. The scissors, jeez, we didn't know they were in there. Well, I didn't. I thought all the scissors in the house had been placed on a high shelf in the kitchen. Not that she couldn't have gotten to scissors placed high up, she's resourceful. I figured if they were up that high, hopefully someone would catch her before she actually got anywhere near them. I'm not surprised that she did it. That's why the scissors are stored so high up. I know my kid.

DaddySpeak gave her a time out & then whisked her to a close by hair salon. They basically cut the rest of her hair shorter, as if a short bob with extra short bangs was what we wanted. Remember, Little has curly hair (like her mama) and I had a hard time finding a kids cutting place that knew how to cut curly hair. Obviously, that's not where he went. I'm not holding out too much hope on the quality of the cut. We'll see. His intention was good.

Bet you think that's the end of the story, don't you? Ha, ha, it's never that easy with Little. After they got back from the hair dresser Daddy was keeping an extra close on her. She wasn't too happy about this new development, so she went into the bathroom and then came out & informed him she peed. Yes, she peed herself standing next to the toilet. She was quite pleased with herself. The next morning she came in from the bathroom and informed him she'd done it again. She was naked from the waist down, she told him she'd put her pants in the sink, like he'd done with hers when cleaning up the night before. When he went into the bathroom he found her dry pants in the sink. "Just kidding" she says.

OH. MY. GOD. She's three!
I was sick at the thought of what else she could've done in the time she had to cut her hair. How she could have hurt herself. I'm mean seriously physically ill. My stomach was in knots at the thought. She needs to understand why what she did was not OK. That when mommy and daddy say not to do something, you don't do it.
Obviously she's enjoying the attention this whole deal has brought her, so I realized I needed to find some kind of punishment that meant something to her. A spanking won't work, she'll try to hit you back. Taking away a favorite toy, she'll hand you a few more. Time out, this warrants more than a mere time out. Showing her what her hair looks like, she's proud of the job she's done & is enjoying all the attention it's providing. No, I need to hit her where it hurts.


No Starbucks for a week. "Won't that be a punishment for you as well?" Nope, it won't. I fully intend to go to Starbucks with her in tow and not let her get anything. I also intend to take her sister and get her something, but not let Little. Sounds mean? It is, but that's the point. It needs to really bother her. It needs to make her think twice about doing something like this again. Right now, she thinks her antics have garnered her lots of attention (granted it's negative, but she doesn't seem to mind) and a trip to the hair salon. I want her to realize that she lost something over this incident. She needs to understand that, or I can't imagine what she'll be like by age 13.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Back In The Saddle

I'm sitting in SJC as I write this, waiting for a flight to go have a MUCH NEEDED girls weekend in Southern California. Because of my back, this ongoing injury, the associated Physical Therapy (PT) & doctor appointments, getting ready for this weekend AND regular day-to-day stuff, last week was exhausting and this week was a bit crazy. DaddySpeak has been a freak'n SAINT. Basically allowed me sit on my arce all weekend, (but kept the house up) so as to allow me to rest my back (and not freak out come Monday, or Tuesday in this case, morning).

Wednesday evening I finally got the results back from my MRI. I have an annular tear. Because of the craziness of my day and my shock at what the doctor was telling me, I did not find out what vertebrae is affected, tho my gut tells me it's still the L5/S1 variety because of the sciatica pain & such. This doctor did not have a copy of my old MRI results so I also don't know how this compares to the hernia I had, how close it is to that location, if it's the same place, somewhere altogether different, etc... Obviously, all good information to get, and I will. For now, I'm basically back to square one. I kid you not. I know!!! This is basically how they started out treating my disc problem, which is "wait and see." If it doesn't improve in a couple weeks, then we'll discuss "shots," which I know is epidurals w/steroids AGAIN! FML!!! Doctor also suggested, "if I'm open to it" (which I am) PT to help build my core and see if we can work out the tweaks being formed around the tear as a result of my response to the pain. I'm supposed to keep my activity to things that don't hurt. And that cost how much for you to tell me? Because I'm pretty sure I figured that one out on my own.

Surprisingly, I'm not devastated (yet). You would think three years into this, and starting over with a similar problem might be devastating, and at some point it probably will start to feel that way. Right now, I'm actually relieved. Shocking, I know. No really, I'm relieved that there is something that shows up on tests. Suffering from Fibromyalgia, I went 15+ years of going through test after test, doctor after doctor, only to be told time and again how "it's all in my head." I had symptoms that were severe enough to warrant the tests, but no one could nail anything down. To me, not knowing what's wrong, is actually the worst. Yes, a diagnosis with no treatment would be awful, but at least you know there's nothing more you can do for it. At that point you can "manage" it. Not knowing, you don't know what to do. And the not knowing, if it goes on long enough, people doubt something is really wrong with you. You get labeled a hypochondriac. Nevermind, that you have symptoms that warranted the tests in the first place. When the people who are closest to you give you that look, the one that let's you know they're wondering if you aren't being just a little dramatic, that when you start to doubt yourself. Once that happens, that's when the depression sets in. THAT's the worst. Being sick and being depressed about being sick, because no one believes you're really sick. (Turn that sentence over for a minute. Yeah, THAT sucks.) So you can see how, finding something on a test, even if that means it's not great news, brings me a sense of relief. It gives me something to work on, a goal, a direction. And for you interwebs, more of my horrible "back" puns.

Now, to get back to the business of getting better!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

And In Other News, Want To Buy Some Cookies?

Last week was a wash. (And the way it's raining, this week will be awash too. Badaboom!) Seriously, though, that's an understatement. Obviously, my lack of posting indicates I was less than stellar. (That, or I was having the time of my life. Your odds are always better w/the sucks option when it comes to me.)

I could review it for you, but basically it comes down to lots of "Ow! My back hurts! I have nerve pain! My right foot has minimal feeling." The usual oldies, but goodies. To mix it up a bit, my left foot/inner calf decided to join in the game & my fingertips have started to play let's be numb & tingly too. Guess they were feeling left out. PT gave me some minimal relief, but put me into bed for 3 days and then upon calling the doctor (the new numbness in my left leg and fingers scared me a bit) I was told to stop PT for now & scheduled for another MRI. I'm waiting for the results of that now. I've found that if I rest & take it easy I don't have so much pain & numbness. Unfortunately, my kids aren't so into hanging around watching me veg out. Rat Bastards! So, I'm doing my best to lay low when I can.
In the meantime, when I'm not laying low, we've been out selling Girl Scout cookies (wanna buy some?) This is my thing, not Daddy's, so I have sucked it up a couple times and taken Big out to sell. Just to neighbors we know, we're not going crazy here. It's refreshing to see her excitement at just selling. Just getting the "yes" makes her so happy. She doesn't really care how much they buy, and she knows she's going to "get a prize" for what she's sold, so she's thrilled. Being around a 6 year old is a good reminder for how simple things can make you happy.
That & a box of Thin Mints.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grateful, but not Dead

Ever heard that expression, "She plans & God laughs..." I know I've brought it up before, because God, apparently she thinks I'm freaking hilarious.

I mentioned last week that my health, aka-my back, has been less than spectacular lately. I finally got into a doctor & found out that I "hyper-extended my sacroiliac joint". WTH, you ask? Well your sacroiliac is basically your tail bone. My tailbone is shifted to the right & sitting up against the right side of my pelvic bone. The ligaments, tendons, etc...associated with the bones/joints that make up your tail bone are stretched in a way that they aren't too happy about, and are letting me know that. I'm in Physical Therapy (PT) now. The Physical Therapist (I'll call him Larry) isn't entirely convinced that's all that is going on in there. I still have lots and lots of nerve damage down my right leg and foot. (More about that later, I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of the nerve damage discussion.) He thinks what's going on in my backside is still affecting nerves, but is going to go with the doctor's diagnosis for now. Depending on how I respond to PT he'll know better if there's more than just my joint having issues.

I LOVE my PT BTW. I've had more than my fair share of experience with PT's and Larry seems to be the real deal. There's a "touch" that some of them have, that can't be taught. My experience has been that more women seem to have this than men, but Larry has it. There's a homeopathic treatment he's using that seems like a very, very light massage/pressure point while moving my leg to adjust the muscles, ligaments and tendons to move things where they should be, instead of where they are. It doesn't seem like he's doing all that much to watch or even really to feel, but when things are coaxed into place, what a huge difference. Bummer is that they do tend to move back after a while. Everything in there is extremely tender, and this particular issue affects the muscles, et al. that wrap around my hip (which I could've told you). On Thursday, I had my first full blown appointment. Afterward, I was sore, but not dying. I even felt a little energized because of the relief of everything being where it should be for a short period. Friday morning was a different story. It was bad. Really, really bad. I thought maybe walking Big to school would help loosen things up, (sometimes if I get moving, even though it really hurts to start, it'll loosen up and feel better, if I don't overdo it,) but it didn't. Got home and laid on the couch with Little. (I was hurting too much to even drive to Starbucks! Yes, it really was THAT bad.) She watched a couple shows sitting on me on the couch. (My old mode of operandi, so I won't conk out on her and not realize she's moved on and is scaling kitchen cabinets to get to the special candy hidden up high, or cooking soup or setting off fireworks. It IS Little we're talking about here.) I got her to bring some toys over that we could play while I laid there, but it was getting much, much worse. In her defense, she was getting bored with this, but so far had been really, really good for me. (That's not something you hear me say everyday, now is it.) I finally broke down and called my parents. It wasn't even noon and I couldn't see myself making it all day like this with Little. They came and got her for the rest of the day. Thank God! I was going to take half a pain pill and see if I could sleep for a couple hours to get some relief. About half an hour later, a mom of one of Big's friends called to see if she could pick her up after school for a playdate. I can't begin to tell you how grateful I was for her. Her older child was having a playdate already, so "it's always easier to have both kids have them at the same time or she becomes the playdate." I told her what was going on with me and how grateful I was she had called. Know what she then did? She told me she'd bring Big home when they were done, so I wouldn't have to worry about driving and could take whatever pain pills I needed. Then she said she was going to Target right then anyway, did I need anything, AND could she pick up take-out for us when she brought Big home, since I obviously wasn't going to be up to making dinner. I almost cried. (I'm almost crying writting about it now.) We had more than enough leftovers, so I thanked her but told her we were fine (and we were). This women is a friend, but she isn't like my best friend or anything. Our kids were in kindergarten together, and are friends. But her generosity on Friday, was above and beyond anything I could've hoped for. My back is still awful (as of Sunday night) and it's bad enough that I'm calling the doctor about pain meds and such (I'm using what I had left from my surgery last year, but I'm low) tomorrow. I think God is trying to remind me I'm not alone in this, that I have more friends than I realize and when I need to, it's OK to reach out. I am grateful for her gernerousity and only hope I can someday return the favor. We have so many friends (and family) that have blessed us in ways that I can't begin to repay.

Also, "Hey God! I get it now! Can we move onto the next lesson? And can this one, not involve any pain? Please?"

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-New Year's Style

When all else fails post a pix. ;-)
Since it's still the beginning of the year (work w/me here). Here's our New Year's card. (I got smart a few years ago and purposely send them out after the first of the year..)

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Resolution, AKA-Better Late Than Never

This is my first post for {W}rite of Passage, I explained the way the "challenges" or writing assignments work in my previous post. And so this week's challenge is as follows:
"Anything about resolutions will do. Do you believe in them? Have you ever done them? Beliefs? Success? Goals?"
Ahh, the annual resolve to make your life better. Usually I joke that I resolve not to make any resolutions, thus breaking the one I make as I make it...because I am a big dork. When it comes down to it, I'm not a big believer in needing a "new year" to define a major change in my life. If I want to make a change I need to be ready and if I truly am, than get out of my way, cause there's no stopping me. Obviously, it's not something I decide very often.

A year ago, I decided to make some resolutions and see how well I did. The idea was to track my progress during the year. I already had a medium to keep me honest, my blog. I'd put them out to the world, so why not? It was good blog fodder if nothing else. It was good in theory. I think I followed up on them once. Maybe twice. In light of this writing assignment I figured I go see how well I did with them, even if I didn't really follow through on my updates. Well, I thought it was a year ago. I lost a year there, with my back surgery and all. Opps! Turns out I made those resolutions for 2008. Boy, I really missed the boat on that one didn't I? I guess my answer is generally I do NOT make resolutions. At least I don't keep track of them very well if I do. But in an effort to continue my experiment here, and because I'm curious now, I will review the ones I made two years ago and let you know how I did.

1) Get our finances in order
a. Meet w/advisor to define what is “out of order” & define & start to implement plan (i.e.—we were under insured, I’ve upped our coverage.)
b. Set up plan to get legal stuff (ie—living trust, define who the kids would go to, etc…)updated.
c. Make sure there’s a date in which this should be completed by.

This might seem like obvious one I did not get done. It's a rough one. It involves money & talking about it, and ewww, where's the fun in that? Really, there isn't any, but I did actually get this one mostly done. I know, who would've thunk? We did get our finances in order. Met with a financial adviser and did some retirement planning. Turns out we were in better shape than we could've hoped. Because of this, I was able to QUIT. MY. JOB. Course, then the economy tanked, but still. We're still in good shape. (The girls just have to get scholarships to college.) The part we haven't done? Living trust. (The important one.)

2) Get the house completely unpacked.
a. Spare bedroom & den still have boxes that haven’t been unpacked. (Gee do you think we still need this stuff?)

You might think this would be the first one I'd do. It's relatively easy, just take it one box at a time. You might think that, but you'd be wrong. Apparently finding room for our crap is more traumatic than dealing with money matters for me. If anything, we are in worse shape than before, w/more crap having been piled on the still packed crap. I've made some headway toward cleaning out in a few areas, but then something happens and crap gets shoved into closets only to have more crap shoved on top of it. Do you see the reoccurring theme here? It's CRAP!!!

3) Get all the rooms decorated; still have pix to be hung, etc…I finally accepted that Daddy ain’t going to pony up so I’m starting to do it myself. (Need to unpack/hang at least one thing a week.)

Well, doesn't that sound like a nice plan. HA! We do have stuff (i.e.-pictures & such) on the walls. I actually got Daddyspeak to do the hanging even. I wouldn't begin to say I've been hanging one thing a week though. And, as we've gone along, I have more to hang, things to change out, etc... I'd say I more or less accomplished this one.

4) Follow the Flylady system again (the other stuff will fall into place if I stick with it)

I would guess I'm still stuck in the same rut in regard to my organization, or lack of it. In my defense, I've added much to my plate in the time frame that this resolution was declared. Specifically in regard to my back surgery a
nd this never ending recovery. One might argue that if I would get off my sorry arce, quit my bitching, and just follow her damn system, then the pity party would be over and I could stop making lame ass excuses. One might argue that, and one would be correct, but my house is still a sty.

5) Define house projects we’d like to do, prioritize them, budget them out & move on them (if I do #1 and #4 this will actually start to happen.)

I did do this. And we have been doing them. Hanging stuff was part of this one. We were able to refinance our mortgage last month and are redoing all the windows and doors this month. We'll also be having the outside of the house painted when done. Our house payment is going down a couple hundred a month and I'm going to put that in a bank account so that we can save up for other house projects.

6) Walk for 30 mins at least 3x a week.

Exercise. The standard resolution. Well, diet and exercise. I actually did this one as well. I lost all kinds of weight too. Not sure it was the walking or the pain, but the pounds did come off. I was really good about this until my back pain just got so bad I couldn't handle it anymore. After my surgery, I kept waiting for my pain to get good enough to start doing this again. October was the first time I felt good enough to start walking again. Right when everything gets super busy. Since things got bad again last month, who knows when I'll get back at it again. But for purposes of my follow up, I'd say I accomplished this one.

7) Get hair free (except my head) by EOY.

You've got to be going "Wha?" right about now. But I can say I accomplished my intent of this resolution for sure. I had laser hair removal for my face, legs, arm pits and bikini area. I'm supposed to be hair free for having had it done, but I'm not. I did get through all the treatments, and our bank account felt the hit. I can say, I don't have to shave nearly as often, so that's something, I guess. I would say I accomplished this resolution as well, even if the result was not as complete as I had hoped.

Out of 7 resolutions I accomplished 5. That's pretty good. Better than I would've thought. Maybe there's something to this whole resolution thing. OK, I'm on it. I will be declaring my resolutions for 2010 by end of this week.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Writing it All Down

I've mentioned in past posts that one of the things I love most is to write. Well, duh! I have a blog, go figure. Seriously, as much as I love all the pretty colors and textures in my scrapbooking, I realized that my favorite scrapbooking class was the writing class I took at Jessica through Jessica & Liv. A few months ago they followed up with a second class (Type & Writer 2) and I was not disappointed. In both cases, neither of these classes really taught me anything new as far as my journaling was concerned. I have a degree in Communications, I took a lot of different types of writing classes in college. I may not have always been good at it, but I've probably dabbled in most types of writing. What I enjoyed most about these writing classes were the prompts and the journey of the writing that was involved. Every night we'd have a 15 minute free write assignment. While we were encouraged to write on whatever topic we wished, we were given a topic to reflect upon which would be utilized in the next night's scrapbook page. For instance, we were asked to write about an "adventure" we'd been on. The adventure didn't have to be an African Safari, though that would be an obviously easy choice. It could be a walk in the park after it rained or Sunday dinner at Grandma's house, what was important was to convey why it was an adventure to you and to use all of your senses in describing this adventure. I wrote about our forays to the beach house. How the sunlight shines through the palm trees on the main drive and how you can taste the salt in the air when you get close. It is by far, one of my favorite pages. I love how the photos support what I wrote, instead of the other way around.

Realizing how much I miss writing like that I've been paroozing around for a similar outlet and sumbled upon a website called {W}rite of Passage. It is:
"A group of writers seeking a challenge, getting critique, and finding community."
Every week a a new "challange" is given. We sign up to write about it, and then provide each other creative criticism on our writing. The feedback is done "behind the scenes" on the {W}rite of Passage website, so as to keep it safe and friendly. Jumping in with both feet, I signed up for the next topic, January 4th. I'm excited to have found this outlet and hopeful that I won't be too embarrassed in the presence of some writers who I think very highly of. (Yeah, I know I wasn't supposed to end the sentence with an "of", but it's my blog, so I'm taking creative license. ;-) I'll be posting my first essay on Monday, so we'll see how it goes. But if you're interested in stepping up your writing I highly recommend checking out the website.
And for a little eye candy, here's the scrapbook page I mentioned:

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy Blogiversary!

I've never written about my "blogiversary" before. I always forget & then it's past & who really cares, right? But this year I remembered, before it happened, which means I do care this year. January 2, 2010 is my blog's 4 year anniversary. Hard to believe I've been writing for that long. When I started blogging, I picked blogger, because if was the magical price of FREE! I wasn't sure I'd stick w/it. I figured I'd give it a year or two & then I'd get a site where I could make all kinds of updates & such. This was supposed to be my starter blog. LOL. Four years later I'm still here, and the site looks more or less the same. What a surprise! When I started this, we had just moved into the house we're in now. I was pregnant, so LittleSpeak wasn't even born yet. I worked outside of our home. And my scrapbook pages were all physical! So, a lot about & around me has changed, even if I am too lazy to update the layout of my website.

This week is probably not the best for me to "take stock" of where I am & what I'm doing. I admit I'm a bit depressed right now. My back has been really bad this week & I've been taking it easy, but I'm still ending up having to take medication to help me with the pain. I'm frustrated and overwhelmed and I'm angry. I thought after my surgery last year, my back pain would go away. That a year later, I would most certainly be able to run & ride bikes w/my kids. That unloading the dishwasher wouldn't be the extent of "a good day" any more. And I'm not there yet. The way things have been this week, I'm not even close. I not asking to run a marathon, but I would like to be able to ride my bike around the block and not spend the next two days in bed. Soooo, that's where I'm at right now. One of those situations where you ask someone how they are, and they actually tell you. Opps! Yeah, I'm that person. I know, I'll get back into the doctor. I'll get a game plan & I'll work on this. I also know you Interwebs, will be there to help support me, as you have been this past four years. Right now, I'm just wallowing in my pity party.

While I am being Grumpy McPooperpants, I did take a look at a couple of my original posts. Cringe. (My spelling & grammar is worse than it is now, so don't go look.) I did take the opportunity to reflect a little on the past four years, and how my blog has impacted my life. I realize that I'm very grateful for my blog. I know it's helped to keep my sanity and give me a place to vent. And it's a lot cheaper than a shrink. This last year in particular, I've made some incredible friends & been offered some really cool opportunities. My "social networking" may drive my family crazy, but it's something I've ALWAYS done to some degree. Now there's a name for the thing I do best, and a tribe of people, just like me. Between FaceBook, Twitter, mommyspeak & Silicon Valley Mom's I've found my groove. I'm very lucky to have you Interwebs, life would be much less fun without you. The best part of all of this, (blogging/social networking) is that I've made some really good friends. I've met several in real life even! And have plans to meet several more this next year. These friends, those opportunities, none of that would've happened if not for this little ol'blog of mine. So in looking forward I'm expecting many more positive things, and lots of blog fodder from the negative. Happy New Year 2010!