Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm Out of Time!

Design by Anne Taintor. Check out their website.

I had such an ambitious To Do list written out for my time at home. I was going to finish my son's baby book and I was going to work on various projects. The only thing I was successful at working on was my writing. Other than that I spent my time playing a game, taking care of the kids, and logging on to work at least once a day. Just those things alone took up the whole day. Although I didn't plan on working while being out sick I was inevitably called at least once a day by my assistant. That took up time too.

Here I am at the tail end of my sick leave. I can drive now, although very limited. I've only done it once and to the store. Now that school is starting in one week exactly I have a few errands I need to run. I need to get school uniforms tomorrow. I need to register the kids for the After School program. Dance and Sports for my daughter again and Sports for my son. I'm thinking of adding a second activity to his schedule but I haven't decided what yet.

These last four days are going to just FLY by! I know they are. At this point I can only try to get the most important things done. We have Ice Cream Socials at the kids' school and they get to meet their teachers, Tuesday for one and Thursday for the other.

My cousin also has a reading Tuesday night at Brazos Bookstore. I'm going to try to swing both the school thing and the reading if I can. I may get to the reading late, but I want to show up for moral support.

Busy week ahead! And then there's my follow up doctor's appointment on Thursday so that I can go back to work on Friday. Fun!

I'm going to miss being a stay at home mom! Other than the housework, I think I'd be really good at it. In between everything else I also need to get my laundry done. It's amazing how much can pile up when you're limited on what you can do.
Back to work, back to reality! Just the thought of it is too much!! Calgon take me away, already!
Oh! And I'm already having crazy nightmares about the whole start of school thing!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Being a Stay at Home Mom is Awesome (Minus the Housework & the Pain)

Magnet by Anne TaintorI woke up early to tend to my crops on Farmville. Yes, Farmville. You heard me right. I am a virtual farmer with a farm. At least until I have to go back to work. It's been fun while it lasts and not something I'll have time for when I'm working and the kids are at school. I've said that this is how you know that I'm really sick and recuperating because I'm actually playing an online game.

I'm not going to lie, it's been AWESOME!! Except for the pain part that is. That part wasn't awesome the first few days. But Monday until today have been great because the pain is minimal now and I'm feeling a lot better. It's crazy though that it's abdominal surgery and that although I may be feeling better on the outside the inside still has to stick together. I'm not supposed to really drive for the two weeks that I'm out so I've been good and I haven't gone anywhere.

What's even more awesome and this is probably the reason why I've loved being at home, I haven't been able to do any housework or laundry. I've just washed dishes, lightly swept up, and just stretched the comforter back on the bed. But no hardcore cleaning or washing has been done. Yeah, that's the kind of stay at home mom I want to be!

Last night my wonderful saint mother-in-law called and said she was taking the kids overnight until Thursday. I was beside myself! I started thinking of all the things I would do today.

I decided to start my day early and I woke up when my husband did. But after I checked my farm this morning and harvested my pumpkins I decided I was going to go to bed for another hour. I set my alarm and laid down. I had barely been down a few minutes when the phone rang. It was my 85 year old father calling to tell me somebody stole his cell phone. He thought it might have been the neighbor or maybe the neighbor's worker who came by his house yesterday. He said those were the only strangers who had entered his house.

I asked him if he'd tried calling himself. He hadn't, of course. I told him I'd call him so he could look around for the phone if he heard it ring. He answered it the 2nd time I called him. He said he put it on a different plug to charge overnight and he’d forgotten. To add to that he had placed a towel on top of the phone and he couldn’t see it. My daddy!

While I was talking to him my husband called so I just figured I was up for the day. I made coffee and got settled in and I set up my writing area.

First I wrote my skirt! blog and then I started working on my short story. I started writing the story long hand in June. Now I'm typing it in so I can finish it and submit it to a literary journal. I'm taking a break from that to write here for a bit.

Tonight when my husband comes home we're going out for a romantic tête-à-tête at our favorite local restaurant. Even better, I'm off all the medications so I should be able to have a little drink. Yay!

Later in the evening I'm going to prepare for our meeting (religious) for tomorrow night quietly and uninterrupted by children. BLISS!

On to writing and on to dinner with husband and on to preparing for my meeting tomorrow. The day is almost over! Seize the day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Green Mile Moment

Magnet by Anne TaintorI don't often discuss the nasty side effects of the lap band because you all would just think I was downright gross. But I have to share this story because it's SO GROSS and freaking hilarious all at the same time. So prepare yourself if you aren't into hearing gross stories especially those that have to do with puke.

Okay, one nasty side effect is that food sometimes gets stuck and I either have to wait patiently for it to pass through the small opening that now goes to my stomach or I have to let it back out. I know it sounds gross but it's not like nasty bile vomit. It's more like I skim off the top before it's been digested and gets all gross and stinky. Are you grossed out yet? Well I think I am just describing it to you.

So if you are brave enough to keep reading. A couple of days before my surgery I stopped by Starbucks to get a coffee. I was running late and what's even better to do when you're running late but to just run later, right? After I got my coffee and I took a few sips I started feeling really "tight." That's the sensation that I feel in the morning a lot of times because my lap band is tighter when I wake up. I feel like I can't swallow very much and the coffee goes down slow. Forget drinking anything cold first thing. I usually drink something hot, like coffee, and I'm better.

But this morning in particular it was not getting better. In fact after a few sips I was feeling worse. What was even weirder was the granulous (I know not a word but the only one I can think best describes it) feeling that I was getting in my throat, like sand or something grainy like that. Weird. As I approached work it got even worse so as soon as I got into the building I ran into the restroom to get it out. That's when it happened.

I had my "Green Mile Moment." You know the moment. When John Coffey (like the drink only not spelled the same) spits out all the evil into tiny little specs. THAT is what I threw up. YES! I threw up all the evil I had inside. It was like I had eaten something (this is even grosser) the day before maybe?? and it was stuck in there in tiny little grains. OR Rey thinks that maybe there was something in my coffee and I didn't realize it. Either one is gross and I don't know which one is worse.

Rey asked me if "I took it back." I laughed so hard when he said that. I told him I'd gotten all the evil out like John Coffey.
I told one of my sisters the story today and she said, "Thanks a lot for telling me this as I eat some peanuts and they are grainy." LOL!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pain is NOT my Friend

By Anne Taintor. Order yours today!

I'm not good with pain. Of course that's hard to believe when you consider the fact that I went twenty-two hours with no pain medication when I was giving birth to my first child. I so desperately wanted to have a natural child birth, void of any drugs. I literally heaved and tried to throw up from the pain.

I got to the 22 hour mark and the doctor said, "No!" I hadn't dilated to 10 and the baby was big. Now they were asking me to hold her in and to wait for the epidural. The anesthesiologist was in shock that I hadn't received an epidural and now he had to administer it in between my hard contractions. I sat on the edge of the bed, my head pressed hard against my husband's chest. My hands gripped his arms even harder. The doctor watched the monitor for my contractions and asked for my input. In between each contraction he steadily stuck the needle into my spine. I thought he was the most talented anesthesiologist ever. He didn't paralyze me for life as I had feared. Having a sister who was an OBGYN nurse and told horror stories since I was a baby didn't help.

I had another c-section after that one and the 2nd one hurt more than the first. I actually felt the epidural going in that time. I say it's because it was scheduled and planned and I knew it was coming. The first time everything happened so fast and I had already gone to that dark place with pain that the epidural was a piece of cake. I also healed slower from the c-section the second time around.

A year and a half ago I had elective surgery and that didn't hurt too bad. So I guess I wasn't really prepared for the pain I experienced from last week's surgery. Not fun!
When I removed the bandage a couple of days later and looked at my stitches I realized that they only went in through my belly button. I thought that he was going to cut around it as well for some reason. I was surprised that the stitches are all inside of my belly button.

No wonder it hurt so much! Our belly button is the center of our soul! Just think about it. When you are in utero you receive all of your nutrients through that cord that connects right into the center of your body. Now poke yourself in the belly button. Clean it out and see how it feels. Don't you feel a weird sensation? Now imagine being cut there... Not a great thought is it?

It's been five days since my surgery now and I'm finally off the strong stuff. I only had to take extra strength Tylenol yesterday. That Vicodin was evil! The side effects were killing me. I have no idea how anyone can become addicted to that horrible drug. What was Chandler thinking??

I'm feeling better but I still ache in my center. I still can only sleep on my back and not on my side like I like to sleep. I don't feel well enough to drive yet. But I can feel my body slowly healing. Our body is amazing, how we patch ourselves up.

A friend of mine experienced something really scary over the weekend that makes my surgery seem like small potatoes. Her leg had been bothering her for about three weeks and she just chalked it up to a pulled muscle. On Friday her leg became so swollen she ended up in the emergency room. It turned out that she had a blood clot in her leg and more in her lungs. She was very very fortunate that the blood clots gave her a warning sign in her leg. It shows us how important it is to pay attention to our body when it sends us a signal. Our body is talking to us every day. It’s our responsibility to listen. I’m glad my friend listened to hers because it saved her life.

Today is also the official debut of my cousin Oscar’s novel. You can read more about that over on my skirt! Blog.

I’m home these next 2 weeks and I’m going to pretend to be a stay at home mom/writer if I don't lose my mind first. I have a lot more to write while I’m here. I’ll keep you all posted.

P.S. Go over to Guanabee and check out this awesome interview with Oscar by my cousin Cindy.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Boxes and More Boxes

What is it with me, boxes and surgery? Why do those two things always come up around the same time? When I had surgery last time, around a year and a half ago, I had to go to my dad's to go through some boxes and to clean out my old apartment. It is too funny that I had to go and do the same exact thing this year before another surgery. Both times were situations where I had to go then and there and it couldn't wait. Both times I was about to have surgery and I had to get it done before then because I wouldn't be able to drive for a week.

The other reason it's funny is because I was sure that the box in his extra room wasn't mine. I was really surprised to find it full of old elementary school notebooks and some books. I'm convinced that it was brought out later, after the day I went through all the other boxes.

On a nice note, I found a couple of old books that I hadn't seen in a long time. I would have loved to have kept all those school notebooks but it would have been too much trash. I glanced at my childish writing and remembered the little girl I used to be. I just took the books and I'm going to tell my dad to dump the rest.

So today is my last day before my surgery. I hate surgery. I try to talk it up so I won't feel nervous but the truth is that I am a little nervous. I hate the thought of pain more than anything. YUCK!

I just swept and mopped my kitchen, living room and dining room. Now I'm going to throw some towels in to wash before I take a shower. I want to get some of those things out of the way before I can't move around for a few days.
Last post with the umbilical hernia. Next post will be post hernia. And if you want to see some really gross video of what a hernia surgery looks like go here. I'm warning you though. It was too gross to watch! I had to stop! Especially the day before my own surgery

Monday, August 03, 2009

Leopard Geckos, Bike Paths and More

See no one would probably believe me if I TOLD THEM that I saw a leopard spotted gecko. This little guy was inside the door of my garage. I had to get a picture of him or her to share. I took some bad pics with my camera phone and then Rey went and got a much better shot with the good camera.

Yesterday we (the family) saw something super cool! We were driving down Link St. between Airline and 45 and we came across a bike path with tiny little stop signs, yield signs and all. We got really curious so we went around the block a couple of times to see where it started and where it ended. Apparently it's part of a new City of Houston bike path project called Houston Bikeway Program.

The path so far only runs between Cavalcade at 45 and Enid St. right where 45 meets the 610 turn. According to something that I read online the paths are supposed to meet up with Metro bus and train lines. Very cool! We're wondering if it's going to eventually follow Little White Oak bayou to meet up with White Oak Bayou at Studewood Park. That would be even more cool!

The whole thing reminded me of Neighbors Project and how this is a really cool inner-city story to tell. So now I need to go over there to tell them about it.

I did something the other night that I hadn't done in ages. I spent the night at my in-laws house. Well, technically it's my brother-in-law's house, but being that they live there and contribute to the house in a big way I consider it their house too. My mother-in-law, the saint, is helping him raise his two children. The thing is that we went to a class reunion for Rey's classmates and rather than drive all the way home we just crashed at their house. The kids got a huge kick out of it and they got to have breakfast with their grandma and cousins in the morning. It was a nice treat.

So Wednesday is the day I go under the knife! I only have one more day of work and then I have a two week break. It will be nice to take a break and hang out at home for a few days and to be forced to take it easy. Even if I am going to be in all kinds of pain. Abdominal surgery is not fun. I've had it 3 times now. Two c-sections and a lap band.

So last but not least, I want to buy a swing set for my kids. Like one of those Rainbow swing sets. I checked on Craig's List and I saw one but I won't be ready to buy until September. So I will keep looking until then. But if anyone knows of someone selling one let me know.

OK that's all. Nothing too exciting to report here.