Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ok, one down

Got through the biopsy this morning, the hardest part was getting to the hospital at 5:30 am. And now I have "discomfort", although John filled my prescription for painkillers - I just haven't taken any yet. Probably before bed.

And the antibiotic for the leg will take care of any infection issues for the root canal, so the attending dr. said, "that works out well!" Yeah, well, he can go have the root canal.

So I'm a little achy and grumpy, but pretty mobile (a little freaked out by that, seems like should need to stay off it more!), and in some pain but not too bad yet. I suppose it could be worse. It is worse - I can't think of any witty, pithy comment to make about this!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Warranty Expired

Thanks for putting up with my "it sucks to be me" post yesterday. I'm in a better place now, though still shaking my head at the confluence of events.

I did library volunteer today (so I don't have to do it next week, right after the root canal), and the librarian and I were talking about feeling like you're falling apart. She said she hit a certain age and felt like her warranty had just expired, because all sorts of things started going wrong.

That's it, exactly. My warranty has expired, and of course now everything is breaking down. I thought I was going in for basic service and here I am with lots of expensive repairs.

I suppose my only hope is that my husband doesn't decide to trade me in for a newer model.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Joys of Getting Old, part 2

I can't decide if its that I really am falling apart faster in my 40th year, or just paying more attention to it because I feel like it's time to take care of myself.

Found out today I need a root canal for an infected tooth. Like, urgently, we would love to do it today. However, I have a biopsy on a nerve in my leg scheduled for Thursday, so how do these two things mesh? I've called the surgeon to find out if I can take the dentist's antibiotics after the biopsy and before the root canal, and I'm waiting for the call back. The current plan is the root canal on Monday, so my leg will hurt and my mouth will hurt. Bleah.

The last time I had surgery, which was much more complicated and I won't go into gross details, I was in the hospital for 2 days and recovering for weeks at home before I felt "normal" again. I realized I'm sort of expecting that, even though this is a biopsy, really just a deep cut in my leg. I don't know whether I should do more internet research, or if it will only make me more stressed about it. And then of course, I will be waiting for results this time, which is a little different.

I suppose I should look at the root canal as probably no more painful than what I've been living with all this time. And the biopsy site may hurt, but nothing like what I went through before. Oh Joy.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


We had a really nice Thanksgiving. No, we didn't have a houseful of friends or relatives, it was just us. I had a friend ask, "are you ok with that?" I thought that was an interesting question. I hear so many people moaning and complaining about having to cook for everybody, or having to spend the day with everybody, and it was a nice reminder that getting together with friends and family is a reason to be thankful, despite (maybe because of?) the effort.

So yes, I was ok with just us. And we made our favorite foods, except for sweet potatoes and/or mashed potatoes, because I was the only one who wanted those. And I had no set time that dinner had to be ready, so we just cooked at a leisurely pace and ended up eating about 2pm, which was just about perfect. And John got the dining room and front hall cleaned up while I cooked, so I feel like we're ahead, not behind.

And then Friday night we went to a friend's house for turkey soup and games and the kids played and adults talked and it was great. Best of both worlds.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Geriatric Cat

So how is my poor Jenny, who I was convinced was taking a one-way trip to the vet? It is a miracle of modern science. We have been feeding her the prescription cat food, and the 2nd choice one, at that, because her kidneys can't handle the high protein version. She is now jumping onto the family room sofa, venturing up the stairs into the great room, and actually interacting with the family!!!

It has been a long time since she did more than eat and sleep, so this is very wonderful. Soon, I will take her back to the vet for a bath (really, she needs help grooming) and probably arthritis medicine. And then I won't know how to keep up with her!

And she's still the same old Jenny. I pet or brush her as we sit on the sofa, and she'll lick my hand, and purr, and then chomp down on me. Or dig in her claws as she stretches. Her love nips are on the vicious side...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

We woke up to snow on the ground this morning! Not a huge amount, maybe half an inch of heavy, wet snow, but big flakes in the air still coming down. This is the first time in 17 years of living here that I remember snow on the ground BEFORE Thanksgiving. A flurry, yeah, but sticking? As William would say, "Whoa!" Actually, what he said was "Awesome!" All the kids were excited, even though school was neither cancelled nor delayed.

It's funny how the microclimates work around here. Down the hill from us, there was nothing on the ground and it switched over to rain very early. Up here, we still have good cover, and a few flakes in the air even an hour ago. Rachel scraped up enough to make a very short and squat snowman. Or snow pile with a hat, actually.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm an idiot

Or, at least, I can't read. We winterized the trailer yesterday. John mentioned that he hadn't gotten much antifreeze in the sinks and the traps might freeze. So I went in the garage, grabbed the jug with the pink liquid in it (only an inch or two left, as he said), and poured it down all the traps.

Tonight, he came in asking if I had put windshield wiper fluid in my car. Noooo... Yes, the brand he's been buying is pink, not the traditional blue. And yes, I never even looked at the label of the jug I poured down the sinks. So, yes, the trailer has windshield wiper fluid in the traps. Sigh...

I always tell the kids to read labels. I really do have a master's degree in science!

Birthday Blitz

Had William's "official" birthday party today. We went to one of those kid play places, where there's climbing tubes and this one has dress up and "pretend play" areas like a grocery store and a diner and a post office. They keep it very clean and it's well-run, but of course you pay through the nose. I admit to being conflicted about them, on the one hand, I love a simple, homemade birthday party at a house, without the elaborate goody bags, classic games, etc. On the other hand, I had to do NOTHING for this party. Ok, I addressed and mailed the invites - which they provided. They even had goody bags, for a fee of course, and they were cute little buckets with decent plastic figures (dinosaurs, farm animals, lizards, beads) inside, so nicer than junk I would buy at the party store.

Given that William wanted to invite all 18 of his classmates plus a couple of other friends, and that his birthday is in mid-November so no chance of doing it outside, I opted for the ease of spending money instead of time. But this is it, the last big party. Next year, 5 or 6 friends and some special activity, like a movie or something. We're done.

I am exhausted. Came home, opened presents, got the kids to bed and I've been a vegetable on the couch. Watched football for a bit but the Patriots are beating up the Bills, so channel surfing. Somewhere John came up with a new burst and he's building my IKEA bookcase for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving. Had everyone brainstorm this evening about favorite Thanksgiving foods so I can make a shopping list. We're kind of heavy on the starches, and i have to decide if I'm making sweet potatoes, since I'm the ONLY one who likes them.

And no-one else wants pumpkin pie. Apple, which I like, but I've made two of them this fall already, and I'm kind of tired of them. Ok, not really, but pumpkin is sounding good. And I have homemade pumpkin puree in the freezer. Oh well, I'll make it in a couple of weeks.

Cleaned off my kitchen counters today, and cleaned out the fridge yesterday. I'm ready to cook.

Slow Start

You would think, having made it to the meals place by 9am (early, even), that I would come home and mantain that momentum. No, now I've been sitting at the computer, reading email, re-reading blogs I've already read because no-one has posted since 10pm last night, and generally putting off the "getting on with the day". John took Rachel to soccer, so he's freezing his tush off (estimated temp about 38, maybe) and I should probably go have a cup of coffee to get me moving.

The meals thing was nice - I was expecting maybe some "magic" trick to make things that freeze well, but it was just real food and real ingredients, you do have to thaw stuff before you cook it, but one cooks in the foil pan, one goes on the grill, and one gets put on a baking sheet (went for chicken, steak, and pork tenderloin). You pay a little extra, but you don't have to buy things like fresh herbs that you'll then not use the rest of. I'll probably try to do it again with friends.

Ok, getting moving. Mush, mush!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday at last!

I don't know why I still look forward to Fridays. As a stay-at-home mom, Monday is really the day off. Saturday and Sunday are full of sports and church and chores - especially the stuff I haven't gotten to yet, and the stuff John needs to do.

But I still like Fridays - and tomorrow is the last day of Fall soccer so we'll be able to sleep in a little! Two games, winterizing the trailer, and cleaning up enough that I can have guests over for Thanksgiving without being completely embarassed. And I get to go make the meals I won - at my son's school fundraiser, I won three meals from a "take and bake" sort of place. They have all the ingredients prepped, you prepare it, take it home and put it in the freezer, and then it goes in the oven when you're ready to eat. Way cool, especially with my biopsy coming up and a few days off my feet.

William went in for his checkup today and thoroughly charmed the doctor, the nurse, and of course, me. He was in extra cute mode, drawing pictures on the paper on the exam table, singing happy birthday to himself, and generally being William. Healthy as a horse, 95% in height and 58% in weight - am I sure he's my kid?


Just created an accountability blog for myself, my sisters, and some friends. All are welcome - we are trying to be supportive of each other in our various personal endeavours. Weight-loss, training, whatever. I'll post "make you think" polls on a regular basis, and comments are welcome.

One of my polls should be "How much time did you spend on the computer today?" and my answer will be "More than I should have." I don't watch a lot of TV anymore, but I spend way more time here than I should.

So show some backbone, get up and walk away and CLEAN that bathroom!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm deciding that a blog is like having a new toy, and now I want all the accessories. Just added a hit counter - didn't realize that I count on that, too, but I guess I could up my totals by visiting my blog often... Guess that doesn't count.

Trekked off to IKEA today in the pouring rain. IKEA is like drugs. You keep saying you're not going to do it anymore, it's not worth it, you should spend your money on better quality, and then you shop at a regular furniture store. Back you go, buying just one more piece of furniture (bookcase, today), and a whole load of other junk of course. And then, you get it all home and realize you have two of the same side of the bookcase and none of the other side. Suckered again. Gotta go BACK AGAIN.

Actually, I love IKEA, I love the styles, I just wish it was just a little nicer and you reliably got the right parts in the package. But maybe next trip I'll have time to have Swedish meatballs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Joys of Getting Old

Ok, I know 40 isn't old, but it's starting to feel that way. 6 months ago I went to the dr. because I've been having pain and tingling in my feet for a long time (like 3-4 years). You know when your feet get too cold outside and as they start to warm up they sort of burn? It's like that. Finally decided I should deal with this (yes, I know), and went in. She ordered every blood test she could think of.

I'm not diabetic BUT my fasting insulin response was low so I am on an insulin-boosting drug.
My heart is ok BUT one of the blood chemicals indicated I should take a low-dose asprin daily.
My rheumatoid factor is elevated = rheumatoid arthritis = Celebrex
My blood pressure has been creeping up = blood pressure medication
The RA seems to be causing carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists = braces (at night)

Notice that nowhere in there is the explanation for the feet? We're still pursuing that, I have to have biopsy of a nerve in my leg at the end of this month.

I'm starting to feel like I don't want to know what's wrong with me. Objectively, I know it's better to know and treat now before some of these issues get worse, but gimme a break! What's next? But, being the glass-half-full person that I am, I am coping most of the time. I look at what other people have to deal with, and am grateful that I am as healthy as I am, and that my issues are mostly treatable. And if I can loose weight, some of them may go away altogether. So we soldier onward, and I am blessed with beautiful children and a loving, supportive husband. Can't ask for more than that.

Birthday Sucessful

We're having William's "real" birthday party on Sunday at a kid's play place. I know, expensive, but EASY. With 19 kids in his class, home was not an option. So last night, his actual birthday, we went out to dinner at his favorite restaurant (hibachi steak house!) with his best friend's family (the mom is one of my best friends and they love hibachi also), and then came home to homemade birthday cake (mom points there!) and the present.

He has been pining over the Playmobil Roman ship since early September when we saw it in a store. So when he started pulling the paper off, he didn't get very far before he realized what it was. His eyes got REALLY big, and he started yelling "Whoa!" and was so excited he had to run around the kitchen counter to give me a huge hug before he even finished unwrapping it. "Mom, you get 95 points for this!" He really did say that. I guess we talk about "points" more than I thought.

So even though he got only one present from us, since he'll get umpteen from his friends at the party, he never even noticed because he was over the moon. And now I have to tear him away from it to go to school. We're going to be late.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Toasted Bagels

We are back from camping in the cold. Now, I know that New Jersey is not so very cold, after all, I grew up in Idaho and I know cold. However, in November, the weather can be all over the map. It's been shirt-sleeve warm and wool gloves cold. Within a week.

So since the teachers in NJ get two weekdays in November to attend a union convention (which only 16% of them do, according to the paper this morning), we took the long weekend to go camping. We were smart enough to head south about 2 hours, and it turned out to be a good thing. Our other choice was a campground about 1 1/2 hours north, and they got snow. We had low 40's, below freezing at night, rain Saturday morning, and then a heavy frost on Sunday. We had a roaring campfire going most of the time - except during the rain while the guys were stringing up a tarp for protection. But as soon as they had the tarp up, they built another fire. Between the 5 families that camped, we brought down a LOT of wood, and went through all but a tiny stack of it. And we would have used that up except the last morning we used charcoal so people could toast bagels easily.

But it was still fun, although we all complained about the cold, and pretty much all we did was sit around the fire. Last year, we went north and it was in the 60's. You never know. We had trailers with heaters - the boy scouts on the other side of the campground were in tents. In the rain.

Yes, in New Jersey, we toast bagels any way we can. Cut them in half and use a sturdy stick, they're pretty heavy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Hate Lice

We don't have lice. Yet. There have been 2 cases in my youngest's classroom in the past two weeks. They have been bagging their backpacks and coats when they come in to prevent spreading, and this week we're not bringing in backpacks.

Ewww, it makes my head itch just thinking about it. We are fortunate that he is a boy with short hair, so the odds are in our favor. But ewwww. There are towns in our area that have an endemic problem with lice, so it could be much worse. But still ewwww.

Add on to that all the news about MRSA, and the fact we got a note home from the schools that there was confirmed case in the High School, and now it gets scary. However, I've been reading up on MRSA and in some ways, I'm less worried about that than the lice. Wierdly enough, MRSA is more treatable.

Makes me want to move to the wilds of Montana and live off the grid...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The New Normal

I have realized that this sense of running around like a nut is not going to go away. It's not all the time, mostly after the kids are home from school, and it's not that we're so overbooked that we're ridiculous, but I'm used to having (as Thoreau said) a "broad margin to my days." But with three children all wanting afterschool activities, there is not one day that does not have something, right now. Soccer will end soon, which will give us Mondays back, and Thursday nights are mostly adult choir, so that's John and I instead of the kids.

I am savoring the evenings when we are all home, and I don't feel a deadline to get dinner on before some activity. I keep thinking of the list of stuff to do around the house and realizing there's not going to be a "good" block of time to box up all the outgrown clothes and books. Or a "good" time to get the kids back into doing chores (we've been very lax lately). It's all got to fit in here and there in the time we've got.

It's the new normal, and I will get used to it, but at the moment it feels very strange.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Day After

Do you remember in the 80's there was a made-for-TV movie called "The Day After"? At least, I think that was the title - it was about the aftermath of a nuclear war. Remember, this was the era of Reagan and the Soviet Union (before Gorbachov) and we really did grow up thinking that it could all end tomorrow, and this movie came out and it was ALL over the news and everyone was talking about it and all these kids were scared and...

I never saw it. Don't recall if there was a reason, but I never saw it. This is but one of many cultural events I seem to have missed, mostly revolving around TV. Never watched Saturday Night Live (still not sure I've watched all the way through a show). Never watched Dallas or Dynasty or Hill Street Blues. But it's amazing how much you can pick up through osmosis about things like that. I think those national moments revolving around TV are over (remember Roots?) Too many channels now.

But I always think of that movie when I use that phrase. Today was definitely a day after. Did all the Halloween stuff, got my cookies baked for the nursery school bake sale/concert tomorrow, even got my hair cut this morning (I should have taken before/after pictures, it was scary!). And by 10:30 all that was left was cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, laundry - all my not-so favorite stuff. I was even bored with surfing the web (no!). So I puttered and frittered for a while and then actually did some of the nasty stuff. I think this was the first morning since William started full-time kindergarten that I was actually bored. 2 months. And it wasn't like I didn't have stuff I could do, even fun stuff, but I just didn't feel like doing anything. Oh well. It's been a busy week. I can have half a day off, right?

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I was hoping to have some pictures to upload, but they're in John's camera still. We did have a good day, none of the kids had homework (thank you, teachers!), so we had an early dinner and went over to a friend's house to trick or treat. Now, our neighborhood is lovely and spread out, with most houses on an acre or more. No sidewalks in most places, so walking around our "block" is almost exactly a mile and you get maybe half a bucket of candy. And hilly - feels like uphill both ways, sometimes.

Our friends live in a townhouse in a condo complex. We walked maybe a mile total, all flat, and the kids buckets were overflowing. William was using the helmet from his knight costume for the excess. They had a good time, and I was amazed how much "good stuff" they got. We always go through and pull out the stuff no one will eat (nerds, etc.). But they had almost all chocolate. Excellent! Or as William would say "Awesome!"