Everyone’s got something wrong

English: Hand sanitizer with aloe.


“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson


It’s been one of those weeks where you just know the universe is trying to teach you a lesson.  If only I knew what it wanted me to know.  My husband’s sciatica has gotten much much worse, so he’s limping around and in so much pain he can hardly sit down.  My eldest son had a light cough last week and this week is having to have breathing treatments because it’s looking like he has walking pneumonia.  I have a double sinus infection and an ear infection and I’ve started coughing, too plus I can feel my last infusion wearing off already.  Now our youngest says his throat is very sore.  Only my middle son is left unscathed.  You don’t want to come to our house this week. 😦


What’s a wife/mom to do?  I’m too exhausted to think at this point.


  1. Sent my husband off to the massage therapist and now on to the chiropractor.  Next it’s back to the doctor.
  2. My eldest is seeing the doctor again today for more special breathing treatments (though we had to get him up at 11pm and 5am to do them at home, too).  We’ll find out today if this is bronchitis or pneumonia.  I’ve already got emails out to his teachers to send missed schoolwork home to us.
  3. I’ve given up hope of having my infusion next week, though I need to call in and let them know so they can give my appointment away.  I’m using hand sanitizer by the bucket-full.  I’ve canceled as many of my commitments this week as I can.
  4. Sent my youngest off to school with throat lozenges in his pocket for lunch time.
  5. Pray that my middle kid remains germ-free and remind him he has hand sanitizer in his backpack pocket (and maybe put some in his lunchbox tomorrow, too).


Throat Lozenges

Our other new best friend (Photo credit: incurable_hippie)


Another sinus infection

I’ve been fairly fortunate with my Orencia infusions insofar as side effects go.  I’ve been on it since October and this is my first sinus infection.  I’ve felt a couple trying to start in the past few months, but I’d been diligent in the past about rinsing my nose out as per the doctor’s orders and resting up.  Not so, this time.  I was super busy last week with book fair (oh how I love talking to kids about books!) and PTA events (serving BBQ at the Fine Arts Night my kids were singing, dancing, and signing at) and a kindergarten field trip to the planetarium (Did you know there are kids out there scared of outer space?!  I had no idea.) and the church’s regional weekend (I signed on to do crafts, which is far and beyond easier than working in the kitchen), so I wasn’t really ever home long enough to do more than eat, sleep, and change clothes.  Hence the sinus infection.  😦  So tomorrow I go in for yet more antibiotics and hope that this clears up before my next infusion.  I also finally get to check in with my OB/GYN about the menstrual issues.  I had blood work drawn last week for this appointment.


I subbed up at the school yesterday as the librarian.  Some days are quite quiet up there, but Tuesday’s are her big day: 6 classes back to back with a little break to eat & shelve books in the middle.  The regular teachers like to use library time as a place to park the kids while they go off and do other things, so it’s all up to the librarian to get the kids through a lesson and finding books and checking out and then time in the computer lab.  (Some teachers do stay close by, but busy.  One actually stayed and helped, which I LOVE her for.)  By the time the third period had gone through my hands were swollen up big enough that the bigger sized rings that I was wearing were too small for me.  (I need to remember to get them out of my wallet still.)


Anyhow, my day wasn’t over then.  Middle boy had dance class, then both the older boys had piano lessons, then we came home and did all the days chores (we’re trying out choremonster.com, by the way.  It’s a bit of a beast to set up, but the kids are LOVING it so far), the dishwasher overflowed all over the kitchen so we had to clean up that, and my husband finally came home from the meeting at the middle school that I was supposed to attend (but was too tired to).  We ate leftovers for dinner.  Yeah.


And today we do it all over again!  Though with less after school craziness.  So glad today is Wednesday.

life, the universe, and everything

When last I posted, I was in the middle of a flare. I thought it would be gone soon and I could pick up my regular pace and get some posting in on various topics, but the flare would not die off like they normally do. I started a prednisone taper, got a little better, then got a lot worse when I came off of it. I couldn’t walk farther than my bathroom and back to the couch.

I called the doctor and eventually got fit in. We agreed that it was time for me to start on the big guns meds again, as my range of motion had gotten to the pitiful point, not just in the bursitis-y hip, but my arms, shoulders, hands, etc. So I spoke to the infusion nurse and got signed on to start Orencia once approval goes through (a two week process, I’m told, which I’m nearly at the end of). Also got a shot for the hip, which of course made it worse for a couple days before it got better. The shot made it so I could make it through all of the end-of-the-school year stuff with the kids (graduations from pre-school and elementary school, award ceremonies, parties) and could get back to all my cleaning (the dishwasher went out a couple months ago and it’s been taking me 2 hours every day just to get through the dishes; the new dishwasher is supposed to be in any day now).


Then, of course, just as I was thinking I’d get some down time finally, my mom managed to hurt her back badly enough that I’m needed to go down and help with her. My dad’s been dealing with her on his own for several days and hasn’t managed to talk her into seeing the doctor (she hates them; hasn’t been to one in years) yet, although she’s reached the point where she’s been in bed long enough to get bedsores.  I’m going down to dig through their health insurance stuff and try to make sense of it, find them a doctor off their list, try to get her in with a new doctor asap, and then figure out how to literally get her in to the doctor (not just getting her to agree to it, but actually physically getting her into the car).


And I need to figure out who to get to feed the fish.  We’ve not had pets in a very long time and we got fish on Friday, not knowing that my mom was doing poorly until after we’d gotten the fish.  My husband is also going out of town this week.  Do you call a petsitter for fish? IDEK!   (Plus must call all the playdates/parties/babysitter for our date and cancel. AIE.)


*This post brought to you by a night filled with tossing and turning and not sleeping, no, never sleeping.

Rough week


AIE, but it’s been a rough week!  We had our first ever Spring Recital at church, which my husband and I were in charge of.  We had a bunch of people helping us, of course, and lots of people to perform, but there was a lot of behind the scenes work that we did for it (getting refreshments, making & printing programs, emailing performers, etc), plus I was a performer as well (our kids, too), so the week started off with a huge deficit of energy.


But there’s no rest for me, because then of course there was also this week the Spring Carnival for our kids elementary school.  I’m on the PTA board as the contact person for the homeroom parents, so I’d already spent several weeks emailing, emailing, emailing, preparing documents, sending things home to parents, etc before we even got to this week.  Then there was all the running around the last couple days getting stuff ready and purchased and set up, followed by the 3 hours of carnival itself selling tickets and helping to run booths for my kids classes.  It was quite a workout.

Needless to say, really, but I totally overdid it.

So  today, since I very literally can’t walk more than 20 steps without falling over from pain (I can get to the closest bathroom, but not to *my* bathroom, it’s really annoying), I’m staying home and resting.  Every time I close my eyes, though, I’m back in some panic situation, out of food or tickets or prizes or something, and it’s just not restful.  I’m trying to think good thoughts, though.  Cupcakes, for example.  There are lots of those in my kitchen, thanks to a kindergartner that turned them upside down.  They just needed to be flipped over and refrosted and they were good as new (the cake walk lady was going to toss them; oh no, said I).  So some triple chocolate yum for me later when I feel up to getting into the kitchen.  And in the meantime I’ve found a sort-of upright position to look at the computer from, which is a vast improvement from the morning when I was really stuck flat (my hips hadn’t found the right position somehow, but after a lot of effort they’re in a bit better place).  So hey, I have both time and ability to catch up on some blogging and reading others blogs that I haven’t had the last few weeks.  So yay for that, too!  🙂

15 Ways to entertain kids while mostly laying down

“Most of us become parents long before we have stopped being children. “

~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

I’ve been so tired lately.  While I haven’t been laying down as much, I have spent quite a lot of time in my chair in the corner the last couple weeks.  Just being less mobile got me to remembering some of the things I’ve had to do with the kids while I really have had to lay around a lot more.  Here’s some of them.

  1. Play catch with a soft ball or a balloon.  I especially like the balloon option because it’s less catch and more a gentle nudge with any body part that gets it going.
  2. Play a game of “What is it?”  Have the kid bring you an object hidden inside a bag or a blanket and make you feel it and figure out what it is.  You can do this over and over and over all day long practically.
  3. Have them put on a show for you.  Let them dress up and sing you a song or do a little dance or a magic show or whatever your kid likes to do.  Mine are musical these days so that’s a lot of what I get now, but when they were little I got a lot of TA-DA’s!  If you have a large costume chest this can go on forever, if you don’t, might I suggest the post-Halloween sales?
  4. Lie down somewhere different than your bed.  Lie down in a fort under the table with your blankets and pillows and kids and books.  Or in one of their beds so you can be in their room while they play.  Or if you have another person around to help you could set up a tent and hang out in there in the living room or the backyard on a nice day.  It’s so annoying to be sick and trapped inside in one location.
  5. Get out the laptop and watch home movies with the kids.  Most of our videos are on the computer these days, with more and more of our old family videos being converted as the years go by.  My kids love watching old movies of family.  And if you don’t have videos, go to a folder of your more recent pictures and hit “slideshow” and put something bouncy on itunes in the background.  My kids will watch just about anything that has them or old pictures of grandma or Aunt April in it.
  6. Or get out the laptop and watch silly youtube videos or look up cute animal pictures.  Cute animal pictures will definitely make you feel better.
  7. We once saw a game advertised that was the storytelling game.  It was sort of like MadLibs, but it had different cards of characters, places, things, etc to tell the story with.  We never found a copy, but here’s the way I play the game with my kids: I start telling a story and when I stall out, I have them bring me three surprising things from somewhere else in the house that I have to put into the story.   The kids act things out for me with the stuff they’ve brought and I get to giggle a lot.  :)Sometimes we come up with great stories this way.  Sometimes they’re awful, but they are always fun.
  8. Play pretend that you are the Queen that Never Leaves Her Room or the Foreign Ambassador in Hiding or Alien in the Cupboard.  The kids have to bring you everything you want and everything they want.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes they bring you really random stuff and you have to figure out how to make that fun instead.
  9. Let the kids play doctor or nurse or mama.  Let them take care of you, however it works.  My kids like going the doctor route, though they are quick to point out that the doctor and nurse share the job and each has fun perks that the other doesn’t.  (Love kids!)
  10. Get out the laptop again & let the kids “paint” and then email their creations to family and friends.  We do this under supervision with the younger two still, just because who knows who will have email sent to them otherwise.
  11. Have your kid “read” to you.  Or really read to you, according to their age.  I have two readers, one who reads stuff I’m reading along with and one that is reading the Magic Treehouse Books.  The youngest will tell me his versions of stories, which sometimes are hysterical.  I enjoy those a lot.
  12. Beauty Salon.  Even though I have boys, they are addicted to scented lotions and won’t admit it that often.  And since I’m a girl, we have several different scents.  So they’ll put lotion on my hands or face or feet and brush my hair. One of them likes to do my toenails, but that is an iffy proposition outside of the bathroom. Sweet sweet boys.
  13. My youngest son plays “Mail Delivery.” He picks a treasured toy or object from elsewhere in the house and wraps it in tissue paper. (You could use plastic sacks or newspaper or whatever you have on hand.  I have tons of used tissue paper.) Then he “addresses” the package to me and adds stickers just to be festive. Finally, he knocks on the door (or closest wall) of the room I’m in & yells “Delivery!”  I open the package and make much of it. Then he does it all over again with something else (and someone else if others are at home).
  14. The older kids like to play this game they learned at church.  They take turns writing something on my back and I have to figure out what they are writing.  The youngest can’t write, so he’ll draw me pictures, which, again, is hysterical.
  15. Get under a really big blanket.  Get everyone under with you.  Pretend you are in a cave.  Pretend something is coming.  It doesn’t have to be scary.  It could be a cute little bird, hiding out from the rain or the wind.  It could be a girl coming to kiss you.  It could be a big frightening spooky something.  Whatever you’d like, really.  But soon it’s in there with you and you hear it making noises and you have to be really quiet and curl up really close and listen…

The things I mean to post

“My mom used to say it doesn’t matter how many kids you have… because one kid’ll take up 100% of your time so more kids can’t possibly take up more than 100% of your time. “

~Karen Brown

I’ve been sitting around and thinking quite a bit the last few days.  Worrying, some, yes.  Thinking on all the things I mean to do and don’t ever get to, more than that.  One of those things was posting more here about Chronically Ill Motherhood.  I really do mean to post about that, but it’s so hard to put into words and not sound whiny or upset about things when I am not, in fact feeling like whining or upset about things.

My small one and his small screen

My small one and his small screen

Today, for instance.  We went to the grocery this morning.  A quick in-and-out trip, only seven items we needed to buy.  We got most of them, no problem, but couldn’t find the last one without help.  Once we’d achieved help and arrived at the checkout I realized that I had overtaxed myself somehow even though it was just the start of the day.  I hadn’t had quite enough breakfast possibly, I was feeling woozy and head-poundy, and maybe, just maybe another weird episode was coming on.  I just couldn’t tell. So we quickly checked out, I had my little one grab one of the bags, I rushed us to the car, drove us home to the beat of the pounding in my head, and just managed to get the cold stuff in the fridge before needing to lie down.  The small boy?  Well, instead of the fun morning we had planned – a bike ride through the neighborhood right away – we had to watch some TV and drink some juice.  We did eventually get to the bike ride (well, he rode, I walked), but not until after we’d rested, played with Play-Doh, had a snack, and packed a bag full of necessities, like mama’s list of med’s and emergency numbers in case something happened and informed people we were going out and what kind of path we were taking in case we needed rescue (I like to call my neighbor friend) and packed a bottle of water and some NutriGrain bars.  Yeah, fun stuff just for a little jaunt around the block.

And now this afternoon I’m exhausted.  I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.  We didn’t go far on our little walk, just a few blocks.  We haven’t done a lot of exciting things today, but this afternoon we’re sitting in front of computer screens and maybe, just maybe if he’s lucky we’ll invade his brothers room, dig out some of my old stuff and we’ll build something out of Lego bricks & Tyco blocks before the big kids get home.  🙂

Happy holidays

Despite all the crazy, I did have a good Christmas holiday. 🙂

My friend thought she might be in labor, so we headed down a bit early.  I wore my wrist braces a lot.  She didn’t end up having the baby right away, so we did get a pre-baby visit in, which was lovely, as it was practically my only break that week.  She ended up having an emergency C-section and everyone was fine, completely fine.  I got to visit the baby twice before I got sick.  He’s the cutest little thing (outside of my own babies and my other best friends babies, of course, they are all equally cute!).  His nickname is “owl” and since I spent the week helping my mom finish her shopping, I tried 8 stores trying to find a stuffed owl for a boy (found a couple for girls, found lots of ceramic and jewelry ones, but nothing soft for boys after 8 stores) and ended up finding one in the hospital gift shop while waiting for our other (slightly late) friend to show up for a visit.  My mind boggled at that.  It was almost funny!

So, the rest of the holiday… I was lucky in that my sister and dad were willing to hang out at the skateboard park with my kids a couple times on the nice days we were there.  I went once with them, as well, but there are no benches and everyplace that wasn’t the actual skateboard areas was muddy.  The other several days it was cold and rainy, so we didn’t do much outside of watching TV, building things out of tinkertoys, and trying to get everything to connect to the home network (I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am the Tech Support Gal for my family).  The rest of the time there was spent in feeding perpetually hungry boys, preparing presents, opening them, and then playing with them.


Eventually we drove home, but by then my nose had started dripping and my ears started stopping up and I was dizzy the last hour on the road.  Went home and slept for a few hours before attempting anything else.  Ate dinner and went straight back to bed.  The next day my other best friend drove down and brought me two giant bags of clothing in various sizes.  I am appalled to have to say this, but some of them were from her Quite Large era and those are the ones that fit me right now.  😦  But there are quite a few in sizes smaller that I am totally coveting (which makes no sense, really, as they are mine now) and I’m hoping that that will help encourage me into the next stage of the weight loss challenge.  If nothing else, wearing the “Quite Large” clothes and seeing them on me in the mirror will cause me to double take anytime I’m in the bathroom.  Anyway, the kids all got to play in the back yard for the first time in ages, so it was a nice visit.  I was just super tired afterwards.


So yesterday I declared a pajama day.  I know that quite a lot of people spend quite a lot of days in their pajamas, but I am totally not that person (unless it’s Christmas, which is totally different).  I just don’t feel like a real person if I spend the day sitting around in PJ’s, so I don’t do it.  (All of the rest of you can do so and be perfectly happy!  YAY!  Happy!)  So since I was still a Sicky Baby, we all spent the day in our jammies and hung out.  We watched A LOT of TV and played a lot of games and I even got a bit of stuff done on various tiny projects around the house.


Today’s been another quiet day, but we declared a Less Screen Time day (not entirely devoid of it, but attempting that), and spent a bunch of time outdoors – it’s 66 degrees out there today- and got some more around-the-house projects done.  The socks, they are matched.  All of them.  (well, not counting the ones I got fed up with and threw away – hey everything in the house is clean and I checked under all the beds or got boys to do so!)


Tomorrow we go out to my husband’s sister’s house for their parents Annual Anniversary Dinner (the remodeling of their own house is still not complete).  New Years Eve we’re doing church stuff most of the day, then partying with my family that evening.  New Years Day my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I are all traveling to Dallas to see Les Mis.  We’re so.very.excited!  🙂


So now you are all caught up!  I’ll see y’all in the new year!


Flare, flare, flare, flare, flare

Good morning!  I’m happy to report that after a couple weeks of not having hands up to the task of typing in the morning that this morning I can actually type.  Yay!  I’ve been having a flare up the last couple weeks, probably brought on by the stress of a) babysitting, b) trying to get ready for Christmas, and c) spending too much time on Pinterest (I love it, but it also stresses me out).

Another part of my problem is that I fell a couple weeks ago.  It was one of those things you’d see in a comedy where one foot slipped one way and I fell on my butt (hurting my left hip and right hand & wrist), then slipped again in the same water spot getting out of that position, (bending my right foot backwards) falling onto my right knee.  I was, naturally, babysitting at the time.  We’d just come back from the library and I had warmed the water for cocoa, taken it out of the microwave, and was walking over to the spoons when it happened.   The kids were delightful; they brought me towels and ice packs and marshmallows and then finished making cocoa on their own (which is amazing cause they’re only 4&5-year-olds).  I sat on the floor for about half an hour waiting for another adult to come home.  My husband was due back “any minute now” and the babysittee’s mom was due back very soon as well.  But neither of them was there and after a while the cold floor was making me feel so much worse.  So I told the kids to run off (so I wouldn’t fall on them), dragged a couple stools my way, and gingerly got up.  Used the tall stool as a crutch to get me to the comfy chair, where my phone was (the kids couldn’t find it, hence me not calling for help).  So I checked the phone and there were messages from both adults citing meetings as their cause for lateness.  The kids brought me the ice packs and towels again and we watched TV until my friend showed up.  She sat with me awhile, just chatting and keeping me company so I would rest (does everyone know I rush on the resting?!). She also, miraculously, had samples of BioFreeze in her car (her husband manages the local smoothie place & they get free samples of stuff).  So I tried that out (hated it, btw.  too cold feeling.)  Eventually I had to get up and finish my days plans, since it was the last day of the month and the car registration needed picking up – new tags do not come by mail, who knew? – we can’t have a ticket, no no.  I put on my ankle braces, my high topped shoes, my knee wrap, my wrist brace, and off I went.  Fortunately the line was super short and we sailed on back home, whereupon I did not leave the couch again the rest of the night.

The fall scared me to bits.  It was one of those things you don’t see coming and then you don’t think will have lasting consequences.  But I wasn’t able to play at my piano lesson that week; my hand wouldn’t reopen enough for arpeggios.  The piano teacher was all that was loveliness and we discussed my pain levels and treatment options.  I braced & limped my way through other activities, eventually going for the slow-but-no-limp option, as I was stressing the other side of my body by limping.  By my next piano lesson I still wasn’t playing well because my hand still hurt.  I’ve been doing hand exercises every morning in the shower and I seem to be doing better handwise now, but I can’t pedal with my right foot (and have you tried pedaling with your opposing foot?  It’s just weird!) as the front half of that foot still feels wrong.  I’m still wearing my super-heavy-duty shoes, the ones that keep my feet happily trapped and ankles upright.  I hate them, but I’m wearing them.  I keep thinking that if I’d been wearing them that day I wouldn’t have been hurt as bad.  Maybe not even slipped at all.  It’s ridiculous, but there it is.

So now that I’m all scared about another fall, I’m being certain I have my phone with me everywhere.  It’s cold outside, so I can wear the robe with the pockets in the morning and my phone rides along with me.  I’m taking it into the bathroom with me (in the past I’d leave it on the table by the door as I go in; people that talk on the phone in the bathroom bug me) and leave it right outside the shower door when I’m showering.  Like I said: this really scared me.

Anyway, so the flare flared up more after that.  I’ve been running around like a crazy person trying to get everything done.  It finally caught up with me Friday.  Nick came home from work at lunch, took one look at me, and suggested a nap.  I, who do not sleep at all during the day, laid down and slept for 3 hours.  Totally missed the kids piano lesson, only woke up because the piano teacher called and said she was waiting.  The next day I rested all morning, wore myself out completely showering, then stayed home and slept through church.  Got up, watched a movie, marveled at how comfy sweatpants really were, and finally got up enough energy to empty & refill the dishwasher for the first time in two days.

Yesterday the house really needed cleaning.  I broke it down into segments of “work really hard until a joint hurts to much to continue, then find another job that doesn’t involve that joint until a different one yells, then find a job that requires neither of them, then start over again.”  It was delightful, really it was. I put the kids in charge of laundry and cleaning their rooms.  I did the kitchen and the sweeping and the bathrooms.  Husband worked half the day, brought lunch home (we never have take away food, so it was such a surprise), and then fixed a light fixture and the dishwasher, as this is also the month everything breaks.

So I was really surprised after all that hand-using yesterday that my  hands would be up to typing this morning.  Yes, it’s taken a while, but my fingers really aren’t doing half bad this morning.  WOO HOO!  🙂

Little Engine that Could

I think I can…

…juggle many activities.

…keep on going all the time.

…be pleasant even when I don’t feel like it.

…eat whatever I like, whenever I like.

…do just about anything I set my mind to.

Not all of these are true all the time, though.  Here’s stuff that is:

I know I can…

…help others find the help and information they need when they need it.

…be a good mother to my kids, despite my health problems.

…talk to my friends when I’m frustrated with life, the universe, and everything in it.

…rely on my husband for back up whenever I need it.

…have a happy, full life.

This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J