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!

 

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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

SuperMom, SuperFriend, SuperTired.

*Yes, I’m ignoring the prompt today.  I don’t like to clutter up my music with thoughts of RA, thanks.*

 

A couple weeks ago I realized that a friend I rarely see these days was posting a lot about not having time to finish her work projects and that her son was really lonely.  I made a few small overatures of “Hey, send that kid my way” by text message, but heard nothing back.  Then a couple days ago we ran into her son at the bagel place and he attacked hugged my son and dragged him all over the place clinging to him.  His mom wasn’t with him, but his grandmother relayed the story and later I got a FB message asking if I was at all interested in babysitting.  So yesterday I took my big kids to school & headed over to her house to see about making arrangements.

 

It boiled down to me taking her son about four hours a day, twice a week, on our non-MDO days.  He and my son get along famously, so it’s not much more than a couple overly-long playdates a week.  In exchange I get nifty art for my wall and art lessons for my boys once the holidays are over.  I think it’s an awesome trade, so I said yes.

 

As we were talking, I realized that she wasn’t looking at me.  I thought she was just doodling, but she was, in fact, trying to work and visit all at once.  So I scooped up the boys and went home.  We played for a couple hours and had lunch and the spare boy (A.) was about to be picked up when I got a call from another friend.  She was having a terrible day and needed somewhere to park her eldest while the younger two slept and she got something done.  Since the morning had gone so well (I got my kitchen 100% clean while the kids had argument-free playtime), I said “sure.”

 

So the two moms show up in my driveway at the same time (which wasn’t part of the plan).  The spare boy was devastated to have to go home now that there was a new kid to play with.  He didn’t tantrum, he just quietly balled up and cried, so I caved and kept both kids for the afternoon.  Play with three kids was different than with two.  Greg and K.  would have played house and grocery store and restaurant.  With A. there, they had weird competitions and poured water all over the construction kit.  It was…not optimal.  K. came inside for “alone time” for a while and I built her a curtain for the reading nook (an adult can see straight in from above, but kid sized people cannot – perfect).  The boys were sad that they’d made her need alone time and made rules for further play, such as “no competitions, no slamming doors, K. gets alone time because she’s a girl, and no water in the bedroom because we’ll put it places it doesn’t belong.”  Greg picked flowers from the backyard and gave them to her.  Things went well after that.  🙂  I got a couple loads of laundry done before snacktime and then we got everyone off to their own houses.

 

 

Of course the day didn’t end there.  After that I had to take all of my kids to the store to buy supplies for the box car derby.  Then come home and make dinner (it was my night).  Then drive kids to/from scouts.  And then after all that, time to work on PTA stuff.

 

What a day.  It was exhausting.  The sad thing is, other than having two extra (and super nice) kids, it wasn’t that different from a regular day.

 

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

 

Elevator Talk

Today’s prompt is about what you would tell someone in 30 seconds (or a minute, or two) about your blog.  Another prompt with a timer needed, how exciting!

 

30 seconds: My blog is about my health deficiencies, specifically about how I deal with being a chronically ill mother of three boys.

One minute: My blog is about my health: I have rheumatoid arthritis and migraines, but they aren’t exactly what you think.  One is an autoimmune condition and one is a neurological issue.  Mostly I talk about how I deal with being a chronically ill mother of three boys.

 

Two minutes: My blog deals with my life as the chronically ill mother of three boys.  I talk a lot about the misconceptions of my illnesses, how RA is not osteoarthritis and migraines aren’t just headaches.  I blog about family and the way I juggle health and wellness with the daily realities of being a mom to small, active people.  Mostly I just tell it like it is: sometimes messy, but always striving for normalcy and fun.

Another day, another post

Here’s where I admit defeat: I am not loving all the prompts.  I feel bad about that, but I don’t have a lot to say that’s on topic and other things I’d like to say instead most days.  Today’s prompt wanted me to talk about what’s right and good about the health communities I’m part of.  Well, here’s all I have to say about that: they are full of good & supportive people and I don’t get to spend as much time around them as I’d like because I have a full time job keeping up with the munchkins & their activities.

 

Speaking of the munchkins, I’ve been working overtime this week preparing for my son’s birthday party.  We sent out invitations last week shaped & photoshopped to look like Pokemon cards.  I’m thinking they’ve mostly gone astray, as I’ve only heard back from the two parents that I personally talked to about the party.  That being said, we invited 16, are prepared for about 12, and will probably have just 6 kids.  You know how it goes.  I’ve spent hours online researching Pokemon (which my kid loves & I know oddly little about outside of the fact that they are playing cards).  I’ve come up with games that can be played both inside or out (there’s rain in the forecast, but we rarely get it when they say we will) and this afternoon I’ll go buy supplies for them.  We’ve also got well child check-ups this morning, playgroup after at the park, and a new TV coming in this afternoon, so it’s shaping up to be a super busy day.  Hope I have enough spoons. Smile

 

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

happy day

I’m forgoing the prompt from wego today.  It’s my middle son’s 8th birthday today.  I love him so much!  We had special cranberry orange muffins (from a package, not homemade, that was part of the request) for breakfast and played Quirkle (his new favorite game).  I will be bringing his class homemade white cupcakes with colored frosting & mini m&m’s on top after lunch.  After school I’d planned on having one of his friends over for a while (but haven’t heard back from the mom yet).  Then we’ll have pizza for dinner and his present from grandma after.

 

This sweet, sweet boy has never known a mom without RA.  I’ve not been able to do all the active things with him that I’ve wanted to.  Sometimes he’s had to forgo fun things because I just can’t do them.  He’s such a good boy, though.  I’m very super extra blessed to have him (and his brothers, of course) in my life.