Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank you

I never intended for this blog to be read by more than a handful of people. I'm flattered, really, to have even a meager following. One of my favorite perks of having (a few) people read this blog-thingy is when people leave comments like this:
"Thank you so much for posting that Jenny! I really needed to be reminded that things do pass. You are such an awesome writer, you know exactly how to phrase things. I love reading your blog."

And this:
"My name is (removed) and my niece (name removed) is 14 and has CF. She recently moved in with me. I wanted to thank you for telling your story through your blog. I can't wait to share with her a person who is married and has a child. She seems as if not to see much in the future and seems to be reluctant to take her meds or do her treatments. I am not sure if she is angry about the CF daily routine or the recent family dynamics that resulted in her moving in with me. I am so excited for her to see your blog and realize she can have a future of happiness awaiting her. Thank you."

And simple ones like:
"Thanks for a much needed laugh."

"I love your blog."

"Thank you for writing this post."

Comments like these put a smile on my face and make me think that maybe, just maybe, people actually enjoy what I do here.

So here's thanks to you, dear readers! Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for your sweet comments. Thank you for swapping stories and advice and laughs. Thank you for simply being here.

You guys are awesome!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Catnap


I've always been amazed by those perpetually alert people who can operate a vehicle or adequately perform their jobs or, you know, butter a piece of toast on less than six hours of sleep. I'm fascinated by them because I, on the other hand, need at least a good seven or eight hours of sleep to even have hope of landing feet-first as I fall out of bed.

Adam says it's my best talent, sleeping, and I think I have to agree with him. (Although eating is a close second to sleeping.) I love sleeping and truth be told, I'm darn good at it! I've always been able to manipulate things enough to get a good nights sleep at least five nights a week. Even with a newborn, I was averaging about seven hours of sleep a night. It's a priority for me because when I don't get enough sleep I turn into an irrational, emotional, irritable WRECK! I know some of you reading this think I'm absolutely ridiculous and you probably eat people like me for breakfast (after getting only four hours of sleep). I have nothing to say to that, really, except that I'm a tiny bit jealous of you.

Sometimes I think of all the things I could do during those extra hours of awareness, but then all that thinking about doing things makes me sleepy.

It became apparent that I was "different" in preschool when our teacher would read us a story before naptime and by the time she hit page four, I was snoring. Without fail, thirty minutes later, Felipe (the ever so handsome teaching assistant) would have to shake me from a deep sleep and help me wipe the drool off my face as the other children bounced into their chairs, ready for snacktime. And while they sat at the table, happily chatting with eachother and eating their graham crackers, I'd sit there in the corner resting my sweaty head against the cold metal bookshelf behind me, making attempt after attempt to pry my eyes open, feeling disoriented and trying to figure out where the heck I was.

Now that I'm an adult, naptime is not a scheduled part of my day, although I must admit that I'm not really sure why. I firmly believe that a short naptime for employees would greatly increase productivity in the workplace, but I won't go into detail about that here. No, I'll save that for our next employee meeting or perhaps a letter to my congressman. Anyway, to help combat daily fatigue, I'll occasionally curl up in the front seat of my parked car during my lunch break. I set the alarm on my cell phone, recline into a comfortable position and doze off for a few minutes. I can sleep anywhere, really. It's like this instinctual act of survival I have, to catch a little shut-eye at any given opportunity. Which explains why the extra space under my supervisors desk looks so comfortable and inviting sometimes... it's not because I'm lazy, it's because I'm a SURVIVOR!

I suppose it's fortunate that I work in a small office, because I'm afraid that if there were more foot traffic near my car, someone may walk past, see the form of my lifeless body on the seat and call the police because they think there's been a homicide. That would just be the perfect way to ruin a nice nap, wouldn't it? A knock, knock, knock on the window followed by an, "Excuse me, ma'am, are you okay?"

Well, today was one of those days that I really needed to nap, if even for just a few minutes. Except I must have been more tired than I thought because I fell into such a sound sleep that I didn't hear my alarm going off at first... or maybe I heard it, but the music somehow fit into my dream. All I know is that by the time I actually realized what that noise was, I was startled enough that I shot into an upright position so quickly that I got a head rush. And for just a few seconds I was thrown right back into preschool: tired and confused, looking around groggily, wondering where the heck I was.

Only this time I didn't have a lovely Latin man wiping the drool off my face.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Here we go

My sister in law posted this picture of her backyard on Facebook this morning.
---------

When I saw this, I thought


Snow???


In October???


In Utah???


Yeah, that sounds about right.

--------

Goodbye, beautiful fall. I hardly knew ye.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How To

HOW TO ANNOY ME:

- Ask me a question from another room and continue repeating it over and over even though you know I CAN'T HEAR YOU! I realize that I do this too, but it's endearing when I do it.

- Act like innocently sitting there on your little doggy bed, wagging your stumpy tail and avoiding making eye contact is going to make me forget it was you who left five piles of shit on the kitchen floor while I was at work.

- Try to convince me that Justin Bieber is a legitimate artist.

- Tell me to "be sure and take good care" of myself just as you are stepping out the door to light up a cigarette.

- Sign up for a reality TV show, then have the audacity to complain about the situations you are being put in. Also, if you use the words "connect" and "on so many levels" in the same sentence again, I'm going to have a stroke.


HOW TO WOO ME:

- Understand that the food on your plate always tastes better than the food on my plate.

- Try to defend your generous use of the word "redunktant", then threaten to "pumble" me when I laugh at you for making up words.

- Stay next to me in bed even though I keep you awake all night by loudly coughing up pieces of my right lung.

- Forgive me for still knowing all the trivial details about the lives of The Babysitters Club members (including the Jr. officers) and for reciting those details to you over dinner.

- Admit that your last counseling session ended with you crying and asking your therapist, "Why won't you just sleep with me?" Glad to hear this whole therapy thing is working out for you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Currently loving

1. Fall

Fall in Utah usually lasts about as long as a Britney Spears, alcohol induced, quickie Las Vegas wedding. However, this year it's lasted at least a full two weeks already and I'm finally understanding why people LOVE this season. The air is cool, crisp and fresh. The grass is still green and perfect for playing on, while the trees are a breathtaking array of yellows, oranges and reds. I've rearranged my closet so that my cute sweaters and comfy boots are right in front, ready to be worn; I'm actually wearing a hooded sweater and my favorite pair of "pirate" boots as I type this. I love that the shift from blazing heat to bitter cold hasn't happened overnight and I've actually had time to enjoy the transition.


2. My Kitchen 

Made-from-scratch beef stew

The weekend before last, I woke up with the peculiar desire to make chili. So I rummaged through my kitchen until I found enough random ingredients to (hopefully) make a decent pot of chili, threw them in the slow cooker and let the concoction simmer all day long. Then, since I was already feeling all domestic n' stuff, I decided to make some cornbread to go along with it. Later that night I sat down to the yummiest bowl of chili I'd ever eaten (if I do say so myself) and the rest is history. Over the past couple weeks I've fallen in love with cooking. In fact, this past Sunday afternoon was spent entirely in the confines of my kitchen: Adam helping me chop vegetables for stew; the occasional break from meal preperation to swing Morgan up onto my hip and twirl around as the radio played in the background; the smell of spiced cider drifting through the house; laughing and dancing and just having a good time together.


3. Family Outings


We began our weekend with a family trip to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it was so nice to get out of the house. I have to admit, the carousel was my favorite part but the girls really enjoyed the animals.

After the zoo, we were off to my uncle's wedding. It was a a small, backyard wedding officiated by a friend of the bride, who happens to be a Buddhist priest. (I believe he was Buddhist, anyway. Since no one has corrected me yet, that's what I'm going to say.) The ceremony took place under a large chestnut tree, glittered with little white lights. There were more lights strung throughout the yard as well as flickering candles on nearly every flat surface in sight -- absolutely gorgeous! But even more beautiful than the setting was the LOVE that was felt there. I'm a sucker for weddings anyway, but add a bunch of family to the mix and it's just that much better.


Congratulations Tim and Robin! You both simply shine.


4. Family in General


Last night we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather (see #1) and go for a walk through the neighborhood. As we passed my dad's house (he lives about three blocks away) we decided to stop in and say hello. We sat there chatting with my dad and stepmom while my little brother and sister chased Morgan around the island in the kitchen. After we left and were on our way back home, I thought again of how grateful I am to have family living so close. I love that my girls will grow up surrounded by their cousins like I did, I love that our families provide such a strong support system for us, I love going to Wal Mart and unexpectedly running into my brother and his family, and I love being able to stop in unannounced only to be welcomed by sweet smiles and loving arms.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Well, they didn't admit me

But that's about the best news I got at clinic this week.

I'm feeling good, I really am. Unfortunately, my PFT's aren't reflecting that. In fact, I've lost all the lung function I gained with home IV treatment and my numbers are hovering right around where they were when I was admitted back in August.

I'm now walking the very fine line between doing okay and needing to be hospitalized. Heading into cold and flu season is going to make it that much harder to stay well, and if I slip up at all it's goodbye life, hello hospital for two weeks.

Ugh.

I'm more than a little frustrated by this, especially since I've been working my butt off - quite literally! I lost a few pounds after my tendon injury and surgery, then some more during my little surprise hospital stay, then even more during the two weeks of IV's that followed. I've been able to put most of that weight back on, but unfortunately my bum hasn't made a comeback quite yet.

There's now an APB on my rear end so if you happen to see it, please alert the proper authorities.

Apparently being totally compliant with my meds and upping my treatments to three times a day (the most I've ever been required to do) just isn't cutting it right now. Such is life... or, more accurately, such is CF life.

Fortunately, there are still A LOT of treatment options for me. I'm adding Cayston to the rotation, which means I'll be on inhaled antibiotics all the time now. Since I feel noticeably better during my TOBI months, both my doctor and I are optimistic that Cayston will make a difference for me. Also good news: my foot is feeling great (there were a few really rough days after the boot was removed, but things are getting better each day) so light exercise is a GO! I feel like a regular exercise routine is a HUGE part of what helped me bounce back from the worst exacerbation of my life, so I'm anxious to get moving around more.

Here's to hoping that (with continued dedication to treatments, the addition of Cayston and the gradual return to an exercise routine) my PFT's return to normal VERY SOON!

And that my bum quickly follows suit.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My sister, the platypus

I once heard that the gestation period for a duck billed platypus is ten days.

I believe I read it in Ranger Rick years ago, which is where I also learned that meerkats are immune to the poison from snakes and scorpions, giraffes have the highest blood pressure of the whole animal kingdom and naked mole rats (which are neither rats nor moles) live in colonies run by a queen, much like bees. You'd be AMAZED by all the useless information stored in this noggin' of mine... but that's not the point.

The point is: TEN DAYS! Can you imagine what it would be like to find out you're expecting, then have a baby in your arms just a week and a half later? I can't even begin to fathom what that would be like (considering the fact that my pregnancy more closely resembled that of an elephant) but I do know someone who can relate.

In August, I posted about my sister and her husband being approved for adoption. During the last week of September, my sister got a phone call from their adoption case worker. Long story short, a birth mother had decided to ask them to be the parents of her baby. Totally awesome, right?

 Oh and did I mention, she was scheduled to be induced six days later?

Well, six days turned into ten (which is still a very short amount of time, but I'm sure it seemed like an eternity to my sister) and all of this rambling is to say that I'm JUST SO EXCITED to introduce you to my new nephew, Miles Edward.



 Aren't they the cutest little platypus family you ever saw?  

Congratulations Chris and Teresa!

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 2010 Newsletter: 14 months

Take a deep breath and.... WHEW!

We made it to fourteen months, kiddo. There were times I seriously questioned whether or not we would. Without a doubt, this month has been the most difficult so far. But, I think the chaos only multiplies over time and I have a feeling that when the mom of three-year-old-you looks back at the mom of one-year-old-you, she's going to laugh and say you have no clue, lady, NO CLUE!


Why have the past few weeks been so crazy, you ask. I don't know, maybe it's because of those six teeth that decided to come in at once. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you no longer like to sleep through the night and you wake up at 3:00 every single morning, wailing like an air raid siren. Or perhaps it's because you've recently graduated from Skilled Mess Maker to Extreme Mess Maker. I'm not just talking about little messes like scattering your toys around the house. No, I'm talking about half-gallon puddles of paint on your bedroom floor and entire bottles of purple nail polish on your hands, in your mouth, and smeared into the couch cushions. Just the other day, I stepped into the bathroom for maybe 30 seconds and came out to find that half a minute is all the time you need to pull every last baby wipe out of a brand new package and spread them throughout the entire house and dump the dog's water dish onto the kitchen floor. Adding to the frustration of the messes themselves is the look on your face when we discover them; it's part amusement, part I can't believe I have to deal with these amateurs!


You have a fascination with danger. You actually seek it out and you never pass on an opportunity to give me a heart attack. You're especially attracted to anything you can climb on top of; the higher the better. I'd love to hear what's going on inside your head as you do some of these things. Hey, nice bar stool - that'd be fun to stand on top of... I wonder how it'd feel to jump off the bed headfirst... Is that a stairway? I bet if I stand at the top and jump, I could clear at least five of those suckers... Super glue? How cool would it be to steal it from mom while she's using it and take a bite right outta the tube?

By the way, it only took a few days for the super glue to flake off your teeth entirely.


Last week you lost my cell phone. Well, lost or HID my phone, we aren't sure which. See, we thought you were just really prone to losing things (you are, after all, your mother's daughter) but when you suddenly came walking into the living room with a spray bottle we'd searched the entire house for more than once, we started thinking that maybe things don't just go missing by accident. I firmly believe you have a hidden stash of things you've "lost" in the past, although I'm not sure where it is because our house is certainly not large and we have literally turned it upside down looking for these things. I suppose that one day while I'm cleaning the house, I'll come across not only my phone, but also my make up mirror, two or three of your bottles, a few of your toys, that unopened bottle of ibuprofen I so needed after my surgery and who knows what else.


Morgan, you have to know that while it's true that these past few weeks have been difficult, they have also been filled with some of the most precious, fun and proud moments for me. My heart melts when you put your hands behind my neck and rest your cheek on mine, then drift off to sleep in our giant bear hug. I love the way you kiss Daddy goodnight, then try to push him off the bed because the few minutes before you go to sleep is our time - just me and you. My chest swelled with pride when just this morning you walked into the kitchen, pointed to and correctly identified a banana ("nana"). You always keep me laughing and your sense of fun serves a constant reminder that no matter how hectic life gets, you can't take things too seriously - having fun is necessary. And kid, I've never had more fun than I've had in the past fourteen months.


I had the day off work today. It's not very often that you and I have the chance to hang out together, just us. Neither of us got out of our pajamas and we spent most of the day reading, cuddling on the couch, watching TV and snacking. It was just so much fun! At one point I was lying on my back on the floor and you were using my body as your jungle gym. We were both laughing and squealing, but you suddenly became very quiet and you pressed your face to mine. Your nose was on my cheek and I could feel your smile against my skin, and we just sat there quietly for a few seconds, literally doing nothing but soaking in each others love.

There are very few truly perfect moments in life, Morgan. I want to thank you for that one.  

Love,
Mama

Friday, October 8, 2010

Because he doesn't want anyone making assumptions

When I was injured, my doctor explained to me that an achilles tendon injury is a particularly hard one to recover from. His original estimate was that I'd be on crutches for three months, at which point I'd graduate into a walking boot, followed by acute physical therapy. In short, it was going to be a loooong time before I'd be walking and even longer before I'd regain any discernible strength in that foot.

Imagine my surprise when roughly seven weeks (not three months) after my injury, my cast was removed and I started walking in a boot. Then multiply that surprise by about a hundred when earlier this week --72 days after The Unfortunate Incident -- I began walking completely unassisted!

This whole ordeal has been hugely inconvenient and at times very painful, but I'm told that I've made it through the worst. I still have a lot of work to do and I'm looking at possibly another nine months or so before I'm feeling "normal" again, but apparently to have made this much progress in such a short amount of time is totally unprecedented. In fact, my doctor went so far as to say that he has never seen such a smooth recovery from this type of injury.

Take that Mehmet Okur!

As wonderful as it is to be walking again, there are a few less-than-pleasant aspects to it as well. When I graduated from crutches to the walking boot, I discovered that I'd lost muscles I never knew I had in the first place. You know how they say if you don't use it, you lose it? Well, let me tell ya, they aren't kidding. Calling those muscles back into action was uncomfortable, to say the least. And after taking away the support and stability provided by the boot, those muscles have had to work even harder. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't painful. I've experienced more pain in the past couple days than I've dealt with since that first week after the injury/surgery.

Wednesday was my first day walking without the boot. It started out okay, but by the end of my work day (which, for the record, was about 3 hours shorter than a typical day) I was HURTING. When I got home, all I wanted to do was put my feet up and relax, but the universe had other plans. It wasn't until few hours, a trip to the grocery store, and one phone call to Poison Control later (apparently as long as nothing is actually glued shut or together, you don't have to be too awfully concerned when your child gets a mouthful of super glue... more on that later) that I finally had the chance to get off my feet.

And that's when I saw it.

   


I had an honest to goodness, full-fledged CANKLE. The likes of which have not been seen around here since I decided to wear heels to a wedding (which turned out to be an all day event) when I was seven and a half months pregnant. In fact, that's exactly what Adam called it when he saw it -- a pregnant lady cankle. To which my response was, "Ugh. I hate it when I look pregnant in the foot!"

Apparently all the extra movement and weight bearing is still a little too much for that foot and so, to protest, it ballooned right up and threatened to shoot anyone who dared to touch it. Even today, everything from my knee to my toes is swollen and achy. So achy that I can't even ask for a massage because it would just hurt too much. I suppose it's going to take some time for that area of my body to get back into the swing of things. Until then, Adam insists that I cover that "pregnant lady cankle" up when we go out.

And I suppose he's right. After all, we wouldn't want people to see my swollen ankle and start spreading rumors that I'm pregnant.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hurricane Mo

We're pretty big on nicknames in our house, which means that Morgan is rarely referred to by her given name. In fact, it's quite possible that she doesn't even know what her name is. She answers to pretty much anything: Mo-Mo, Beauti-Mo, Baby Paige, GO TO THE KITCHEN DIXIE!

As soon as she became mobile, Adam started calling her Hurricane Mo because regardless of how much time we spend cleaning and tidying and picking things up, our house still looks like we've been victims of a natural disaster. Just like a hurricane, she wreaks havoc on everything in sight, leaving total destruction in her wake. In fact, there have been times that I look at the damages around me and honestly wonder how anyone made it out alive.

The older she gets, the more fitting that name has become. This kid is seriously a force to be reckoned with! I cannot leave her alone for even a second because if I even take the time to... I don't know, blink... I open my eyes to find that she's taken all the laundry I just folded and scattered it across the living room or she's standing on the rocking chair ready to swan dive into a pile of Lego's. If it's possible to throw, destroy, mangle or climb on top of something - count her in! And if it's not possible? Well, she'll find a way.

One morning last week, as I was getting ready for work, I kept noticing these little white spots on my carpet: there was one by the bathroom, one by the front door, three on our new area rug. I was in a hurry to get out the door so I didn't take the time to investigate too much. I figured that The Mo had gotten into something, AS SHE IS WONT TO DO, and sprinkled the unknown substance throughout the house because she's fun like that. But whatever it was, it was going to have to wait because I was running late for work.

Besides, if anything needed my attention it was probably that baby who had an electrical cord hanging out of her mouth and was attempting to scale the refrigerator.

It wasn't until I got home that evening that I realized just how many of these little white spots there were. They were everywhere! I asked Adam if he had any idea what they were, but he was just as clueless as I was. I knelt down next to one of the biggest spots to further investigate. As I rubbed it between my index finger and thumb I was thinking it's kind of sticky, kind of wet, it feels like it's about the consistency of... I don't know... caulking maybe? Or.... partially dried paint!

"Oh, I have a bad feeling about this" I told Adam as I headed into the bedroom. And sure enough:

That's about half a gallon of paint you're looking at.
OH. YES. SHE. DID!

I had recently done some rearranging and touch-up painting in the girls' bedroom. I wasn't quite done yet and thought nothing about leaving the paint in the room until I had time to finish up. How our little Momar got into the can of paint that I had HAMMERED the lid onto, I'll never know. (I've previously mentioned her freakish ability to open anything.) Also, by what miracle did she NOT come out of the room completely covered in it? Turns out, the only paint she touched happened to be the small bit that she stepped in, then proceeded to track through the house (the mystery of those little white spots: solved). Words cannot describe how grateful I am that she decided to refrain from making a TOTAL mess if even just this once. The whole situation could have been A LOT uglier if she had really gotten down and dirty.

It was one of those moments when you don't know whether it's appropriate to laugh or cry, so you just stand there completely speechless. Well, I stood there speechless. Morgan laughed hysterically as if she had been hiding this huge secret all day and the satisfaction of seeing us discover it was just too much for her to handle.

Adam stood there quietly for a moment too, and when he did open his mouth all he could manage to say was, "Well, IT IS hurricane season."