Thursday, July 24, 2014


The calendar keeps churning away and July is almost gone!

Happy Anniversary today to my sweet husband. Nine years of crazy and fun. Emphasis on the crazy. Tonight we go out to celebrate by stuffing ourselves with various food items covered in cheese and chocolate. Just not at the same time. That would be gross.

1. We still can't agree on how to properly fold a towel.
2. He forgets to put tools away.
3. I forget the laundry.
4. He brings me Starbucks.
5. I make his coffee in the morning.
6. He uses too much cleaning spray.
7. I use too much pepper.
8. He makes the regular thoughtful gesture.
9. I dream up a never-ending stream of projects that require tools and his time.
Love ya' Honey!

Girl Scout Day Camp
Last week Rylan attended her week-long Girl Scout Day Camp. Luckily it was nice and cool most of the week - totally out of character for July - but along with that came thundershowers every afternoon, which made me a nervous wreck. With minimal help from me, Rylan got herself packed up every morning and made her own lunch and snack. At camp she fished, canoed, shot some arrows, scaled a climbing wall, sang songs, made some swaps and did a lot of crafts. I have to say something about all the craft-in-a-bag kits and especially the 'plastic cup basket weaving' project. Here is the offending object:

Sigh. A plastic cup? Really? Cue the creak of the rocking chair: "When I went to camp..." we wove actual baskets. With real grass. We spent a couple of hours working on our baskets, not the hurried pace of a new activity every 35 minutes. Camp Amakulo, I miss you. We also finger-wove yarn baskets. I kept mine for several years, but I don't know what happened to it. Rylan started her cup/yarn project at camp, and then had to stuff it into her backpack to take home and finish later. So as soon as she arrived home, she settled herself on the couch, and in quiet content, she spent the next hour 'weaving'. She remarked that it was so much easier to concentrate when there weren't sixty other girls yakking away. I agree.

Christmas in July
Just this past Saturday, Rylan attended her first dance audition. Her dance studio was holding try-outs for different parts in the Nutcracker, as rehearsals start next month. Rylan wore a number pinned to her leotard, and joined a few other girls in her age group (6-8 yr olds) for their audition. She could be placed in any number of parts - a dancing present in the party scene, or a tumbling candy cane or gingerbread. I think her tumbling experience in last years' class will help. She has a part for sure, as her dance class this year will be performing as butterflies in the Waltz of the Flowers scene. Performing in the Nutcracker isn't mandatory, but practicing the dance (different parts dictated by class level) is a part of regular dance class leading up to the performance. Dean and I will dance in the party scene again this year, but it just dawned on me that I will only have about 4 months of rehab from my surgery before it is time. I hope the healing goes well! And that I can fit into my dress. No exercise and emotional eating in the past couple of months has really put me back to almost where I started from!

The Big Squeeze
I had my mammogram and annual a couple of days ago. I have been dreading this mammogram ever since my BR surgery 9 months ago. I am not completely healed yet. My scars are tender, my breasts are tender... just imagining them being squeezed by the scanning machine has made me cringe every single day leading up to this. I'm not going to lie - it hurt. That is still no excuse not to get a mammogram, so if you haven't yet - DO IT. The tech did a total of four scans. The first one was the worst. When they place your breast on the plate, they then fine tune the position of the plate by moving it up and away from you to stretch things just a bit more. Since it is your bare skin sitting on this plate thingy, it sort of sticks there, and is pulled along as the plate moves around, and this is where most of the God-awful pain comes from - it was even that way before surgery, but this time around it pulled right along where my incision line is, and that. hurt. So after that first scan, when I could barely squeak out an "I'm OK" (which I clearly wasn't, but wanted to get the damn thing over with), she took out a large adhesive pad (picture a giant-sized mouse pad) and laid it on top of that plate thingy. What. a. difference. She told me not to tell anyone about it, since the pads cost $5 apiece. WTF!? If there is a way to make a mammogram less painful for women, I will shout it from the roof tops to all who will hear. Ask for the pad! Your skin won't stick and it adds just enough cushion during the squeeze portion of the scan that it makes it bearable. This year there was less squeezing actually than in times past. Less dense breast tissue to work through, I guess. They used to have to flatten each breast out like a dinner plate. Embarrassing AND painful! It was interesting to compare the scan from last year to this year. My breasts are totally different in the inside, and there is visible scar tissue now. This scan will now be my new baseline. I am very, very happy about my BR, and I don't regret it a second. The recovery time is much longer than I ever thought, and it really did do a number on my entire system (pain, numbness, lethargy and so forth) but it was sooo worth it.

ACL Reconstruction
I saw my orthopedic surgeon last week so that he could confirm that I am ready for my surgery next week. I have decided to go the autograft route, where I donate a portion of my own patellar tendon to the cause. I am feeling pretty good at this point. I can go without my brace and walk mostly w/o a limp, I can walk more than a mile at a time now, I can do stairs, squats and ride my bike. I even got down on both knees to dig through a bin last night. This all sounds good, but it is all done with a degree of instability that I can 'feel' in my joint. I always feel like my knee will give way at any moment. Occasionally my knee does pop backward or to the medial side, and Holy Hannah does that hurt. I also 'hear' and 'feel' the sound of the 'pop' as it happened at the time of injury, as my mind replays it for me in an endless loop at inappropriate times - like when I am trying to go to sleep or reading a book. Evil.

This will make for 3 surgeries in 14 months. I was most worked up about the BR surgery of course, because it would change my appearance and it meant major scarring and chances of infection. My shoulder surgery would grant almost instant pain relief - and it did. :) My knee though.. this is the surgery I am dreading. Knee pain stays with you. Every shift of your body, no matter how subtle, hurts. Maybe not so much now, but it was that way for that first month after injury, and I imagine it will be that way again after surgery. I am dreading that pain again, and I am dreading my impending loss of mobility. I can't keep up with the kids, the house, the everything...

I dragged my husband to IKEA last weekend. We went with the intent of getting some tables and chairs to use in our schoolroom. I had the hair-brained idea that even though I am just days away from major surgery, this is the perfect time to completely gut a room, repaint, redo the lighting and do some decorating. I blame it on the 'nesting' instinct - similar to what you do right before baby. The painting was done last weekend, and we purchased two tables, 8 table legs, 4 swivel chairs, a new lighting system and some other odds and ends. Everything has been put together and in place, and it works beautifully for us. I just have to wrap up painting an old bookshelf and the art work, and then I will show and tell!

The Alphabet
I am in the finishing stages of a huge art project that I have wanted to create for several years. You will see when it is all done. For now - I present the letter "W".

The roof over our heads
We've picked the shingle color, we've obtained permission from the HOA, we've cashed the insurance check and made the down-payment with the roofing contractor. Now I am just waiting for the call from the contractor with the date when the roofers will arrive and complete the job. The call was supposed to come this week, and it is already Thursday. He's got 'til noon, then I am calling him. Don't mess with an overly-stressed lady who is frantically trying to get her ducks in a row! And we still need to talk to the windows guy, the painter guy....

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