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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Carpal Tunnel

After two years, I was very happy to have carpal tunnel release surgery on Wednesday.  I'm weird, so the following statement might not make sense to you:  I quite enjoyed the surgery.  First off, patients lay down on one of those comfy, comfy surgery beds.  You know, the kind you can make the legs move up and the back up to sitting position (note to hubby: GREAT birthday gift!!).  Then there is this waiting period: simply relaxing. And to top it all off, nurses kept bringing heated blankets.  Heated!  They put them around my shoulders, on my feet and over my pregnant tummy.  Seriously?  I told the nurse this was like a visit to a spa.  She chuckled that I must be a mother of little ones.  Ha!
After they rolled me into the ER, I had a short panic attack after a strange feeling flooded my body.  Panic washed over me and I thought I might have an unexplained reaction to something.  I asked the anesthesiologist if he had given me something and he said that yes, indeed, he had administered a mild sedative.  That made me feel better.  Well, I'm not gonna lie, the sedative made me feel fantastic.  Didn't feel a thing during the surgery.  And my wonderful husband greeted me as soon as I was done.  My hand was numb and as soon as the lidocaine was metabolized, the hand was feeling better.
The main reason for my post though is not to bore anyone with my perspective of the surgery but the funny, if not hilarious reactions my kids had.  After surgery the doctor put a simple wrap around my hand to stay for 24 hours.  The repaired hand also had to rest above my heart for at least 48 hours.  This is what my kids first saw.
Isabelle just kept her distance for a while.  I held her a few times but she was definitely confused.  The second day, my wrap came off and she saw my owie.  She kept coming by, wanting to look at it and kept saying "poor mamee."  She'd lay her head on my lap as to comfort me.  It was too cute.  I tried explaining that it didn't really hurt and just looked bad but she was not distracted from her sympathy.  She tried to touch it a few times and I had to really impress upon her that this was not a good idea.  She started to get real weary of my surgical leftover again when I resorted to my last-ditch effort to make her feel better: My cut started to talk to her.  Yep, it's weird.  But it worked.  Well, for a little while.  Because I wasn't allow to do anything but feed myself and dress myself, she was getting very emotional.  She wanted me to constantly pick her up and do things that just weren't possible.  Grandma, who was amazing enough to help out during this time, got the toddler wrath.  She was basically my "replacement" and Isabelle, who usually adores her grandma, wouldn't have any of it.  She'd scream and yell at poor "grammy".   Naturally, some rules were bent, little girls were picked up and well, you know how it is...
Abigail seemed fine after she saw me.  She seemed the only one undisturbed by the whole thing.  Makes sense, she is a lot like me, so this wouldn't bother her at all.  Until I walked toward her yesterday to hug her and she looked at me earnestly and said: "Please don't touch me with your yucky hand."  Hmmm...
Nathan was the funniest one.  He was somewhat stressed over this whole thing, not wanting mom "to have to hurt."  Although he was told multiple times that there wouldn't be any pain, he didn't quite understand this.  When I greeted him at the door after he returned from school, he surprised me with his emotion over my wrapped hand.  Again, he was assured that it looked worse than it was and there was no pain.  This is the boy who watched multiple carpal tunnel surgeries on YouTube with me.  He could also not look upon my hand after the wrap was removed.  Hiding my hand from him is the best strategy for this child.  :-)
All in all, their reactions are different from what I would have expected.  Isabelle's emotion over it all was a big surprise.  Nathan being grossed out is normal but after he watched some of the surgeries, the expectations were somewhat different.  Abigail was just funny.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spirit Week 2014

The kids' school has a really fun Spirit Week every year.  Different themes are selected for each day of the week such as pajama day, color day, sports day, dress-up day, crazy hair day.  In addition they have all sorts of fun events throughout the week, such as teacher/student volley ball matches, class competitions, etc.  It all ends in Valentines Day parties in their classrooms.
Spirit week this year was a bit stressful, so I didn't get pictures of sports day or crazy hair day.  For crazy hair day Nathan has his hair colored with 7 different colors.  Oh, it was crazy.  And for sports day he wore his Denver Broncos uniform.  Brave man.  Most of his classmates are Seahawks fans.

Alas, I managed to get some pictures of pajama day:

Nathan wanted to wear his "Mommy's Monster" pjs.  Those are a size 8 and I noticed on that day that they have become short!  That boy grows faster than I can buy clothes.

Abigail had a hard time deciding what to wear.  I finally took the choices away from her and she happily settled into her favorite purple nightgown (from Oma) with her matching purple leggings.

Color day!  Abby's color for her grade was rainbow.  She had planned for two weeks what she would wear.  The one thing we forgot is to paint her fingernails.  I remembered after I dropped her off.  Nathan's color was purple.

Rainbow shirt, breakfast and hair!  :-)

Nathan with purple hair. 

Isabelle didn't want to be left out, so we colored some of her hair with chalks as well.  These are regular chalks from the craft section and we just made them wet so they would adhere to the hair.  All kids were advised to not go near water.

Abby in her classroom.

Nathan's class looked so fun upon entering this purple kingdom.

Cade, one of Nathan's friends.

This is also a morning ritual.  Esther, Heidi, Maggie and Sydney all swarm Isabelle and want multiple hugs.  They love the little girl and sometimes she gets overwhelmed when she gets swarmed.  

School is definitely fun (sometimes).  :-)

Game Night

One of my favorite family games is Apples to Apples Junior.  It of course comes in handy that our Kindergartner is a fluent reader.  The kids seem to really like this game and we even figured out a way that Isabelle can play.  And watch out!  That two year old has this game in her back pocket. 

First off, we had to find seating for everyone.  Isabelle has been turning the bear over and sitting on his front legs.  It's a balancing act to behold.

Abigail was the clear winner of this game.  She just picks the right cards for each category.  It was Nathan's quest to not give her any when it was his turn to decide on a winner.  He ended up giving her most of her trophy cards....

Isabelle doesn't like to sit on chairs.  She will get comfy on the table.

"Did I just give Abby another trophy card???"

Abby posing for the camera. 

We gave Isabelle cards as well and had her pick one every round to put in the pile.

The game is quite funny.

Isabelle would wander off and play with something else and then ocassionally come back to us.  But the littlest one almost one the game!  She was one card shy of Abby's respectable stack.  Nathan and dad were next and for some reason, no one liked my answers; I ended up with only two cards.  Yes, you can hear a sad violin sound in the background.

Remember the snow the had?  Did you know it makes one really tired to play hard in the snow?

She fell asleep right in front of our coat closet.  :-)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Days 2014

Oh snow days, how I love thee.  Let me count the many ways:
  1. No school!  The kids are all ours!
  2. The kids playing with their dada for hours on end.  Even work stops...
  3. No getting up early because there is either no school at all or a 2.5 hour late start.
  4. Beautiful white everywhere (white is one of my favorites).
  5. The calmness that snow brings with it.  Even the kids seem calmer.
  6. Bird feet prints in the snow.
  7. Copper loving the snow.
  8. Hot chocolate.
  9. Snow-covered evergreens.
  10. Sitting by the window and watching my family play.
  11. Not going anywhere.  The best ever.
  12. Finally a reason to wear my knitted socks and boots.
  13. A fabulous time to knit.
  14. My house was cleaner than ever as I had all these fabulous little helpers around.

We do not get snow here very often.  When we do, it is usually a light covering that last for maybe two hours.  It is really just a different form of rain.  
This year was different.  There were the usual snow warnings on the radio but we've heard them before.  I dropped the kids off at school as usual when David told me that the school had sent out an e-mail warning of a possible early pick-up.  Thankfully I was already staying in the school town to visit with my very good friend Melissa.  And then the snow came.  The e-mails and messages from school districts kept coming and we finally got to pick the kids up at 11am.  Yeah!  By this time, the roads were starting to be covered pretty good and it kept snowing.  At night time it looked like this:

Copper in his first snow.  He took a liking to it pretty quickly and it gave him the excuse he needed to use the patio as his bathroom.  Bad doggie.

Amazing!!  Everything was covered.  It was beautiful.
So what do you do first?

Sniff the snow, logically.  What else would you do with it?

Oh, you could try to eat it.  That is pretty cool.

And snow-covered evergreens!  How awesome is that?

Then when you wake up in the morning, you get all the snow suits out of storage and you put on your pink kitty suit.  It even has a tail.  It just keeps getting better and better.  And best of all?  No school!  And you knew that by 5pm the night before so you could even go to bed late and sleep in.

We let Copper go outside with us without a leash to see how he would do.  He did fantastic.  He listened and stayed with us and never ran away.  He played with the boys mostly (football, of course).  David would throw the tennis ball for Copper, then the football for Nathan, the tennis ball for Copper....  Nathan braved wearing his Denver Bronco jersey.  Nathan is pretty obsessed with football these days.  He loves sports overall but football is his favorite.  
David was at first going to work but then he just decided to play with the kids instead.  The man can't resist snow.  He played for hours with them and he was my hero.  I have no maternity winter clothes, so there was no way I was going outside for long.  David made real memories for our kids, as always.  And I very much appreciate that.  It makes me love him so much more.  
Just in case you wonder:  He is the man.

The girl, all bundled up in blue, her favorite color (since pink isn't anymore).

Note Abby eating the snow, it'll be a theme.  Copper just loving every minute of this.  He was so exhausted by the end of the day, that all he could do was sleep on the couch.

Isabelly getting in on the football action, but really just wanting to run in the snow.

Eating snow...  Almost every time I looked at Abigail, she was eating snow.  It is quite humorous when you know that I have to make her drink water all day long, every single day. 

David went out with the kids every one of the four glorious snow days we had.  I loved every single one of them.  Most of all, I loved being snowed in with my family.  I love these people!  Until next time snow.