Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nesting hardcore

The nesting urge has become so fierce I'm actually dreaming of it at night.  I'm mentally cleaning my house, organizing things, and purging what needs to go.  It's been very very frustrating for me because my arms don't allow me to do much at all - so mentally I'm rearranging things but physically I have to wait till I take a painkiller or until Chris will do it for me.  This homeschooling thing has been wonderful for this.  I've been able to channel my insane urge to organize into getting everything ready.  Once the rest of my supplies are in I'll be posting pictures of just how crazy I am.  I hope to have 10 weeks worth of lesson plans planned prior to Charlies birth so that when Chris needs to take over he can do so without a hiccup.  

Chris thinks I'm insane of course.  And I am.  I know this.  My house is full of labels.  My kitchen cupboards are labeled with what is on the inside (even though a few children have ripped off a few labels), my pantry has labeled shelves for what is supposed to go on them, my kids drawers are labeled with the the appropriate clothes (in Charlies case it's labeled by size).  There is specific way I have my medicines organized, the clothes organized, ect.... It drives Chris crazy, but he puts up with it.  To an extent.  Even though the shelves are labeled he's still really great at not reading the labels and will ask me where the rice is (uh..hun? It's on the shelf labeled "rice").  For most of our relationship I've let it slide, my insanity shouldn't be pushed on the rest of the world, but it's quite hard to ignore it when he has to pick up my slack now.  He cracked up laughing the other night when I told him that the things I'm looking forward to the most when my wrists are fixed is being able to deep scrub the house, and reorganize things that need it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

2010 Family Photo Shoot

This year we went to Portrait Studios and I loved it! They were much cheaper than Walmart and so much better.  This is the link to the whole shoot, some of the pictures are awful, but the kids are so cute.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


When Chris and I first found out we were pregnant with our oldest we had tossed around the idea of homeschooling.  We pretty much did informal homeschooling with him and our other kids ever since they were born, but we did decide to send Anthony to public school.  Mainly we figured we would since we lived in an amazing school district, but also Chris had concerns about the social aspect of homeschooling.  He had met some homeschooled children that he found to greatly lack the ability to interact with others.  I told him that I thought it was just their particular personalities, but it still concerned him.  Now with all my health issues and losing the ability to drive or work carseats it's becoming increasingly difficult to get Anthony to and from school.  Our school system doesn't really have a bus system, so that wouldn't be an option.  On top of it, Chris and I aren't really pleased with Anthony's schooling anyway.  He is incredibly bored at school, and even though they've placed him in advanced reading groups and such they are still not working on HIS level.  The kid is reading encyclopedias for goodness sakes, and they are only letting him check out second grade reading level books.  So after discussing it numerous times over we decided that, at least, for next year we'll totally homeschool.  At first it was only meant to be for the next year, but after looking into it more and more we've decided to play it by ear.  If he excels this year, and I feel comfortable with it we may continue on.  I am incredibly nervous that I will somehow screw him up and hinder him rather than help him.

I pretty much have completely settled on which programs I'll use, and which materials.  I've got ideas for Social Studies but that is the subject I'm looking forward to least, it's just so completely broad.  I've stitched together my own Language Arts program for him, since any designed for a first grader was not going to challenge him.  We'll also be starting him on the recorder and foreign language since he is showing an interest in both Spanish and music.  For math we are using the "Math Mammoth" program.  I really love the website, and an online friend uses them and really loves it.  It's a state requirement to do health so we'll be using the, "Growing Growing Strong" book.  For science I've fallen in love with the "R.E.A.L Science" program, and can't decide which subject so we'll be pulling from all three.  

For Anastasia I purchased a few basic preschool materials as this year she'll be starting (homeschooled) preschool.  She is very excited, but upset that she can't learn piano and we won't buy her one.  We're looking into getting her a keyboard.

I'm insanely organized and have already begun setting up the materials, even though we won't be starting until June.  We've explained to Anthony what is going to happen and he is very excited.  He tells us that the kids at school aren't nice to him, which we had observed.  Anthony doesn't connect well to kids his own age.  He'll be starting Cub Scouts soon, and I hope that proves to be better for him.  Hopefully I'll get everything ready here soon, I'd like some lessons planned prior to Charlie coming as it will be a jammed packed year after he arrives.  I need to be organized so when I'm recovering from surgery Chris can take over the schooling for a week or so.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Surgeon Appt. Take 2

I'll keep it short and sweet this time.  Wrist replacement isn't an option because of my age.  There is a good possibility, he said, that with a replacement it would break or not take and then we'd have larger issues at hand.  Drug therapy isn't an option at this point either, obviously.  Instead what we are looking at is a wrist fusion for both hands, and an elbow cleanup.  I have heard of wrist fusions many times over on the EDS support boards, so this wasn't huge news to me.  He won't do any surgery until after Charlie is born, and he won't do two surgeries at once.  So I'm looking at the next 8 months or so for the first round of surgeries.  First he'll clean up my elbow, about 2-4 weeks after I deliver.  He will remove the membrane, the radial bones, and repair what can be repaired.  He said this will decrease or eliminate pain, as for mobility it's up in the air.  Eventually it will need an elbow replacement but right now the pros of doing that don't outweigh the cons.  The healing is 1 week in a splint and 2 weeks in a sling.  Once I've strengthened that up he'll do a wrist fusion on one of my hands.  This involves a large incision down the back of my hand and arm and then he'll screw a metal plate to fuse my wrist.  The healing for this surgery is 6 weeks in a hard cast up to my elbow, and then 6 more weeks in a brace. A few months after that surgery he'll do the other wrist.  1 year after the fusion takes place he'll go back in and remove the metal plates, at which point my wrist bones will have fused into one hard bone.  This will eliminate the need to repair my tendons as I won't need them there anymore, and it will create a very strong bone in my wrist.  I will lose complete mobility and will no longer be able to bend my wrists forward or backwards, but I will still be able to supine my arms.  I can't say I'm happy or unhappy at this point.  It is still so far away, at least 2 months before the first surgery will take place, and 2 years before the surgeries are all completed so its a little surreal.  I'm not unhappy about the fusion, I knew it was a possibility 18 months ago when I was diagnosed with EDS and honestly a fusion is better than what I have now.  Also he said that a replacement isn't out of the question down the road, when I'm older and don't need the wrist strength as much for daily activities.  So for now it's a waiting game.  When I'm in labor Chris is supposed to call him and set up the first surgery appt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bon Jovi!!!!

Last night I attended a concert I've been wanting desperately to see for a good decade now.  I got to experience, in person, the awesomeness of Jon Bon Jovi!  Bon Jovi is really the only concert I've ever really desperately wanted to attend, I like music but his music is especially special to me.  It really got me through some really tough times and some tough years.  When I found out he was coming to Omaha I literally screamed and called Chris and begged him to find some way to get tickets.  I've never been able to go because I've always had a young nursling at home who I couldn't leave for any length of time - so the timing this time was just perfect.  

As frugal as I am I still wanted some Bon Jovi merchandise, regardless of the insane prices.  I wanted to get myself something and I wanted to get Charlie something since this was his first concert.  I ended up getting a pink Bon Jovi hoodie for myself, and Charlie ended up with an amazingly soft brown Bon Jovi blanket.  I wanted a medium hoodie since hoodies can be worn larger, but they only had small and larges left.  The small was already big on me, so there was no way the large would remotely fit.  I'm not sure how much more wear I'll get out of it this year, but I will definitely wear it next year!

The opening act was DashBoard Confessional, which was a little strange.  They aren't bad, but they aren't really the same type of music as Bon Jovi either.  

The concert itself was AMAZING!  Absolutely amazing.  It was everything I was hoping it would be.  He played a good mix of his newer stuff and his older stuff.  I had told Chris that it be a sign, a great sign, if he played "Someday I'll Be Saturday Night".  It's not one of his more well known songs, or his more popular songs, but it's my absolute favorite song and really means a lot to me.  Chris told me not to get my hopes up, but towards the end of the concert he began playing it. I squealed and sang along as loud as I could.  I was one of the few singing along to that song, but I was thrilled he played it.

"Someday I'll Be Saturday Night lyrics
Hey, man I'm alive I'm takin' each day and night at a time
I'm feelin' like a Monday but someday I'll be Saturday night

Hey, my name is Jim, where did I go wrong
My life's a bargain basement, all the good shit's gone
I just can't hold a job, where do I belong
I'm sleeping in my car, my dreams move on

My name is Billy Jean, my love was bought and sold
I'm only sixteen, I feel a hundred years old
My foster daddy went, took my innocence away
The street life aint much better, but at least I get paid

And Tuesday just might go my way
It can't get worse than yesterday
Thursdays, Fridays ain't been kind
But somehow I'll survive

Hey man I'm alive I'm takin' each day and night at a time
Yeah I'm down, but I know I'll get by
Hey hey hey hey, man gotta live my life
Like I ain't got nothin' but this roll of the dice
I'm feelin' like a Monday, but someday I'll be Saturday night

Now I can't say my name, and tell you where I am
I want to roll myself away, don't know if I can

I wish that I could be in some other time and place
With someone elses soul, someone elses face

Oh, Tuesday just might go my way
It can't get worse than yesterday
Thursdays, Fridays ain't been kind
But somehow I'll survive

Hey, man I'm alive I'm takin' each day and night at a time
Yeah I'm down, but I know I'll get by
Hey hey hey hey, man gotta live my life
I'm gonna pick up all the pieces and what's left of my pride
I'm feelin' like a Monday, but someday I'll be Saturday night

Saturday night Here we go
Some day I'll be Saturday night
I'll be back on my feet, I'll be doin' alright
It may not be tomorrow baby, that's OK
I ain't goin' down, gonna find a way, hey hey hey

Hey man I'm alive I'm takin' each day and night at a time
Yeah, I'm down, but I know I'll get by
Hey hey hey hey, man, gotta live my life
Like I ain't got nothin' but this roll of the dice
I'm feelin' like a Monday, but someday I'll be Saturday night
I'm feelin' like a Monday, but someday I'll be Saturday night
Saturday night __,all right, all right
Saturday night __"

The bolded are the lyrics that really mean the most to me and have gotten me through a lot of tough times.

At the end he played a song off his new album and left the stage.  A bunch of people started heading out and I told Chris they were dumb - that he hadn't played "Wanted" or "Livin' on a Prayer" yet and there was no way he wasn't going to play those two.  Everyone was doing the cell phone light up thing waiting for him to come on, except those who left.  Sure enough a few minutes later he ran back on stage and played, "Runaway", "Wanted", and "Livin' on a Prayer".  He played all my favorites except, "Love Song" and "Bed of Roses" so I was totally stoked.  

My hands are pretty much in the most pain I've ever felt today.  I kept forgetting my pain and clapping and then remembering.  Hopefully in a few days they'll be better.  I hope I can see him in concert again before he retires! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I just got back from my EMG appt.  It went pretty well.  The doctor was incredibly friendly and had the best bed side manner I've ever experienced.  After being poked by needles (ouch!), and electrocuted the test showed that there is no permanent nerve damage.  What is happening is the damage in my right elbow is compressing the "funny bone" nerve which is causing my two fingers to burn - it's as if I'm hitting my funny bone every time I use my arm.  

He spoke very highly of the surgeon which makes me feel better.  

He also said he's seen so many EDS patients over the years and he can always tell them just by the way their skin feels.  He said my skin feels exactly like every other EDS patient - it's very smooth and velvety feeling.  Chris said he always thought my skin felt smooth and soft, and now we know why.

Flood! Maternal Fetal Appt.

Yesterday I had the first of many appointments in the next week.  I had to check back in with Dr. Barsoom.  I think this was my 8th or 9th ultrasound so far this pregnancy.  He recently had his office renovated and moved and this was the first time we've been to the new one.  It was a lot larger, and really nice.  All the rooms have huge flat screen T.V.'s so you can watch the ultrasound being performed instead of trying to look at the tiny little screen. It was really neat.  Charlie is doing great.  Still head down, which was a huge relief.  One of my biggest fears is that I'll need a c-section.  He's not a very active baby at all and moved a little but he was asleep most of the time.  Right at the end of the ultrasound we saw him stretch and yawn, which was absolutely amazing.  They tried to get a good shot of him in 3D, but since he's still so low the amniotic fluid is a little low near his face and makes it hard to get a good shot.  We ended up with about 10 more pictures to hang on our fridge.  Our fridge is completely covered with u/s pictures, it's crazy.  He is definitely still a boy, and there is no denying that.  It was quite crystal clear on the ultrasound!  He looks a lot like David and Chris's brother Cameron so far.  At least on the ultrasound he did.  Definitely has the Mizzell nose.  After the tech was done one of the two student techs with her asked if she could play around with the machine on me, I told her it didn't bother me any and she continued looking at him for 15 more minutes. After she left Dr. Barsoom came in and did his own ultrasound.  By the time he was done it was a good 45 minutes of laying on my back and when I sat up I felt my sciatic nerve had gone inflamed.  Sucks.  The rest of the appointment went well.  Dr. Barsoom said he'd send a letter to the surgeon telling him to go ahead and do the surgery while pregnant if thats what is holding him back.  He seemed taken back by the thought that the surgeries would all happen at the same time - which is exactly how Dr. Schropp my OB reacted - so at this point I'm thinking when/if they do the surgery it will be more than one surgery.  Dr. Barsoom strongly wants me to have an EKG to check my heart and make sure it's functioning well.  Some forms of EDS can come with heart issues, so it's important to get it checked every so often to create a baseline.  So I'm scheduled for that on Tuesday.  I go back to Dr. Barsoom in 4/5 weeks and that will be my last appt with him!

 Last night we gave all the kids baths.  David and Anastasia were taking a bath in the master bathroom, and Anthony was taking a shower in the other bathroom.  Since we live in a disability house the main bathroom is handicap accessible, which means that the shower in there is flush with the floor.  The two younger ones were splashing and getting a fair bit of water on our bathroom so I called to Chris to help me get them out of the tub.  He was walking down the hall towards the master bathroom and noticed the carpet was absolutely soaked along the wall to the main bathroom.  He called to me to check it out and we opened up the main bathroom floor to discover Anthony stepping out of the shower into a completely flooded bathroom.  I immediately looked at the toilet thinking it must have been clogged, but it wasn't.  Anthony began crying and repeating, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over.  We asked him what happened and he said he clogged the drain with a towel.  Chris was just speechless and pretty angry and I was just dumbfounded.  We told Anthony to go dry up and get ready for bed while we began inspecting the damage.  There is a linen closet inside that bathroom that we keep all the blankets in, the whole bottom was soaked as were half a dozen blankets or so.  We don't keep much under the bathroom sink as it's a wheelchair accessible sink and therefore there is no bottom to the cabinet under there, but there were some extra rolls of toilet paper that were destroyed.  The water had climbed up the exterior wall and that's why the hallway was soaked.  Chris went and got the two youngest out of the tub while I began laying down towels to soak up the hallway and what I could get in the bathroom.  After we got all the kids ready for bed Chris asked me to go talk to Anthony because he was just too upset to do so at the moment. I went in and he was just distraught.  It was the first time I had ever seen him so upset for his own actions like that.  I asked him why he had clogged the drain and he told me he had wanted to go swimming.  I asked if he realized how much the water and messed up his bathroom and the hallway and he told me he understood and again told me he was sorry.  I actually felt bad for him because he was so upset but I told him that he wouldn't be allowed to stay up and read in bed that night.  He understood, I kissed him, tucked him in, and told him I loved him and turned the light off and left.  After I talked to Chris he calmed down and went to talk to Anthony himself.  They worked out that because we needed to spend so much of our night cleaning up this mess that when Anthony got home from school he would need to clean the playroom by himself and without complaining, Anthony agreed that this was appropriate.  This morning he was so happy to see his bathroom back in order and told us that when he got home he'd get the playroom cleaned super fast.  

Growing up I dealt with a lot of floods in my basement back in Maryland.  This was so minor compared to that.  I think this is why I wasn't as upset as Chris was about it but we both agreed that Anthony had to understand how badly he could have messed up our walls and carpet with flooding the bathroom on purpose.  I do have to say I'm proud that the both of us kept our heads about us, it's not always easy to do so when you have kids.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

dieting, becoming a big boy

Chris has put on a fair bit of weight since I met him.  This isn't a bad thing, he was way too underweight when we first got together.  He weighed between 115 and 120 lbs when we first began courting.  Now, 7+ years later he weighs in at 164 lbs.  While I think he looks great, he thinks there is room for improvement.  And he is right, he could stand to drop a few lbs but he doesn't look overweight in the least bit.  A lot of his weight gain is muscle as he habitually works out 5 or more days a week, but there are parts that are not quite toned to his liking.  I know how it feels to hate your body and not have it work/function/look the way you want it too, so I told him whatever he needed to feel good about himself I would be on board.  The base runs an annual Biggest Loser contest so he and a few friends joined up as a team.  He completely cut out sweets, pop, and junk food and upped his work out to 6 days-no excuses whatsoever.  Even on the days he flies he wakes up at 3 am to get to the gym and work out.  He's allowing himself one cheat day per pay period - his first is coming up on the 13th.  He is also looking at joining the Cross-fit gym up in Omaha.  Even though he has free access to the base gym he really likes the Cross-fit workouts.  He's already lost 5-6 lbs and is now down to 158/159 lbs.  Yesterday we had an appointment late in the afternoon and normally we'd just go out to eat when this happens.  I was very proud that Chris didn't, he came home and made a delicious stir-fry that was chock full of really healthy veggies.  His goal weight is 132 lbs which would put him at 10% body fat.  I think 132 lbs would look great on him :)

With surgery, hopefully, on the horizon Chris and I decided it was time to buy David his own bed.  I don't expect he'll sleep in it much, but this way he has his own space where we can lay him while I'm recuperating.  We bought him a twin mattress that we'll just lay on our bedroom floor for now, and when he's ready we'll buy Anthony and him a bunk bed set to go in the boys room.  I don't want him feeling as if we kicked him out of our bed, so we are doing this slow and at his own pace.  Even most nights Anastasia still comes into our room to sleep - although now she likes to sleep on the rocker recliner we have set up in there.