Wednesday, July 31, 2013

All About Me Week: The Pinched Nerve (or so I thought)

I am cursing the day I made the running sash. The prototypes were too big and when I ran with them, they fell off my shoulders. So I developed a run wherein my shoulder popped up to (almost) meet my ear. I woke up Friday mornings (usually the days after I ran with the sash) and my shoulders and neck would be sore. But then it got worse. I started having some sharp pain and a numb right thumb. But happily the sharp pain went away weeks ago, never to return. But sadly the numbness is spreading. I feel it a lot in my thumb and pointer finger, as well as up and down my arm. It's worse with certain activities (using a computer mouse among them), and falling asleep hasn't been easy (although, thankfully, staying asleep has been).

I went to the neurologist right before we left for Utah, and he was able to diagnose me with a C6 pinched nerve. Awesome. Until I went back on Monday to a different neurologist who doesn't think it's a pinched nerve. He thinks it's either an irritated nerve or an ideo-blah-blibbity-blah. (So much medical jargon; who can keep track?) Tomorrow I go back for an EMG--something the doctor called "uncomfortable" which we all know means "pretty darn painful." All I know is my body hurts. But I guess it could be worse, eh?

P.S. Dude. The eight-inch donut was awesome. As if there was any reason to doubt it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

All About Me Week: Eye Update

It's still weird to me that I can see without wearing contacts or glasses. Even now, when the alarm goes off every morning, I reach for those glasses. And in the shower? I'm still amazed that I can read the bottles without pulling them to my face.

But it's not been super easy to get here. That first week was really hard. Although I (thankfully) escaped eye pain due to the surgery, I just wanted to see. Day five was amazing, but that was almost more damaging because the days immediately following weren't. And they weren't for a long time. But now, more than four weeks after having the surgery, am I starting to really feel good about what I can see. (And yes, for the PRK procedure with someone who had as bad of vision as I did, this is totally normal.) My eyes aren't yet 20/20, but I can safely drive, read, and see the T.V. You know, all the important things.

I still have to wear sunglasses whenever I'm outside, so I'm still wearing glasses a lot. And I'm still taking steroids and wetting drops. But otherwise, it's been great. Hopefully it will continue to get greater.

And if you want to know what it's like to have super bad vision, this might give you a taste. It makes my eyes cross even looking at this.

P.S. For FHE dessert tonight, we're eating an eight-inch donut. That's right. EIGHT INCHES.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A New Porch

When you and your husband live in a humid environment and are not good at taking care of wood, bad things happen. But when you and your husband save money for home improvement projects, then you get to hire someone to fix bad wood for you. I'll spare you the in-between photos, but here are the before and after. We're super happy about how it turned out and can't wait to sit and enjoy it with some lemonade!



And yep, the big bush in front is gone. Chuck did it, and I am pretty impressed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Saturday Trip to the Beach

Last Friday I had had enough of the heat and the humidity. I just wanted to go to the beach. But the thought of spending six hours in the car with our boys was shudder-inducing. Rather than do six hours, however, I was pretty sure I could handle two. And two hours is just perfect for a trip to the Chesapeake Bay and back. We picked a beach and surprised the boys Saturday morning with the news.

We left our house before eight, and we were at the beach by nine. It was perfect. Matapeake Beach was small, but entirely ours for almost two hours. The water was warm and not too wave-y for my littles. The sand wasn't as grainy as it is at Sandy Point. The water was super shallow for a super long time. And the jellyfish allowed us to play with them, but they didn't bite. Victory!

Would I recommend this beach to others? Sure. It was perfect for little kids. Did I miss the excitement of the Ocean City boardwalk? Of course. Did I miss the yummy funnel cakes? Of course. Did I miss the hours in the car and the hard time finding parking and the super crowded beach? Of course not. Let's be honest: my two boys just want a big giant sandbox and water they're comfortable getting in, and this beach provided both.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just When You Think Life Isn't Going to Change...

Remember when I used to work full-time in the summer because my husband was a teacher? Right: it's happening now. But after our upcoming trip to Montreal, that will be a thing of the past. For the foreseeable future at least. Why? Last Wednesday Chuck was offered a job as an Instructional Specialist with the school system. And he took it. WHAT WHAT?!

Yep. Our lives are about to change pretty dramatically. Goodbye very early mornings for Chuck (and goodbye alarm clocks as our boys take care of that for us). Goodbye three o'clock in the afternoons being off from work. Goodbye days off from work for Jewish holidays, voting days, teacher workdays. Goodbye spring breaks or week-long Christmas vacations (unless he takes the time off). Goodbye wearing hockey jerseys to work. And the biggest change of all: Goodbye summers with the boys. And this is the one I truly mourn. I know this is how most people live, but it hasn't been how we live. And so that will be hard.

But there are good things! Hello later-morning runs for me. Hello help getting the boys up and dressed. Hello more money. Hello part-time work (for me) permanently. Hello summers for me to do all sorts of fun summery-things with the boys. Hello new job opportunities and growth. Hello business cards. It's exciting and scary, but that's life, right?

P.S. More about the job: He will be giving support and training to those who teach in the IB and magnet programs in our county. Some days he will be in his office. Some days he will be out on school visits. It is all very exciting, i assure you.

P.P.S. I loved what you thought the news could be. New major callings? Me pregnant? A big move? A switch to only one (but whose??) income? Good ones!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Running Pictures are Only Good When...'re not actually running. I mean, come on. Not only am I not Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, I'm not even close.

Exhibit A: Pre-Running Picture. Not great, but not bad. I feel it's a pretty close likeness of me, no? (No judging me for wearing sunglasses all the time. I have to. Post-surgery rules.)

Exhibit B: ACK! Horrible!

And this one? Even worse! A side shot? Really, photographer, really?

Thank goodness I can laugh about all this, right? And by "laugh," I mean "cry." But really laugh.

P.S. EEK!! BIG (life-changing, even) news for our family! I'll spill all the details on Monday.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer Update

After Chuck's last day of school, I worked only 1.5 days before we went to Utah. After Utah, I had my eye surgery. Then after recovery, I took off days for the 4th of July. So it wasn't until last week that I worked my first forty-hour week since last August. And like every summer, I can say that I dislike working every day. I really have no plans to ever return to full-time work, even when the boys are in school. I mean, when will I get laundry done? Grocery shopping? Dinner prep? Helping in the boys' classrooms? Certainly not in the evenings! So full-time will only be a thing during the summer. Thank goodness.

How is it going? Okay. It's the same as every summer, I guess. I'm depressed that I have to work every day, preparing lunches the night before FIVE TIMES IN A ROW. Depressed that I have to miss major life events, like Rhett learning to ride a bike last Friday. Depressed that when I come home, the house is a mess and I have to fight the urge to clean it so that I can play with my boys.

But I'm happy to miss the hot, humid summer days of Maryland by being inside an air-conditioned office. I'm happy I can contribute to our family's financial well-being. I'm happy the boys get to spend the days with Chuck, doing things I'd never let them do.

So we'll survive. After this week, it's only two more weeks until we go to Montreal. After that, I have only one more full-time week and then Chuck goes back to work. I can do it. We can do it. We will do it!

P.S. If you want to know what it's like to live in humidity, try this experiment: Run your dishwasher. The second it finishes, open the door and hop on in. Live there. Run there. Play at a playground there. That is what it's like to live in humidity. You're welcome.

P.P.S. I just read "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and this type of literature is exactly why I hated English class in high school. I mean, what the...? I have no idea what was real and what wasn't. What happened and what didn't. What it meant and what it didn't. If anyone would like to enlighten me, please do.

Monday, July 15, 2013

You'll Probably Spy, I Didn't

The other day I walked into the boys' room to get Ollie from his nap. I looked in his bunk (you know, where I left him): no Ollie. I looked in Rhett's bunk (you know, where he's been known to climb): no Ollie. Where could this kid be? It took me much longer than it should have to find him. I bet you'll be faster.

This one's a bit tougher, however. My dad is wearing a shirt that was dyed with the same rock in which he's now camouflaged. Can you find him?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Our Trip, Part Vegas

The night we flew out our plane didn't take off until 11:30 p.m. We spent the evening keeping our kids awake (and not fussy) by walking the strip. Rhett LOVED it. Everything about it, he loved. It was funny.

P.S. To my Marylander friends that care (all three of you), Joann Fabrics is coming to Wheaton Plaza! No more driving to Gaithersburg! This news made my Thursday.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Our Trip, Part Bryce

Because the ranch had nothing planned for us on Sunday, we opted to spend the day at Bryce Canyon. I am so happy that we did. We hiked a couple of trails in the park, stopped at lots of pull-outs, and enjoyed time together. It was an amazing day. Except for when Ollie puked in the car. That was not amazing.

If you go to Bryce, you must hike this (Mossy Cave). It was so refreshing to get in the water and play. It was easy for kids, plus we got to be beneath all the hoodoos without all the work.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Our Trip, Part Dude

Loads of pictures. Sorry. But from this you can see pretty much everything we did. Except the hayride, campfire, barrel riding, tubing, horseshoeing, ping pong, hot tubbing, playing pool. and morning runs on the road.

But pictures do include horse and pony rides, lawn games, roping, archery, rodeo (as you can see, this did not end too well for Chuck), and feeding animals.

I will add that it was the most exciting horse ride I'd ever taken. We got to take the horses through lots of water. So I guess that made it exciting.

Friday, July 5, 2013

This Week in Pictures

Since I took off work all week to recuperate from PRK (and since I can't really focus that well on a computer, it was the right choice), we started to quickly develop a severe case of cabin fever. By Tuesday I knew we better come up with something FAST. So Wednesday we opted to go to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, since not one of us had ever been there. It was, of course, awesome. The Space Shuttle is HUGE. Can you see how little Rhett is in that third picture? And Dad, did you ever fly one of these? It said it was a precursor to the CH-46, but I'm not sure if it was also a precursor to you.

After that, I chose to hit one of the stops on Maryland's "Ice Cream Trail." (This sounds just like me, no?) While this ice cream was great, it was more expensive than our previous stop on the trail. The views were stunning, however. Maybe that's what we were paying for? I LOVE that shot of my boys. Love.

And finally, the 4th. Our ward had a breakfast and parade for the kids. We wore every piece of red/white/blue clothing we owned.

Next week I finish the trip report. Then I promise I'll have some interesting non-Mommy-blogger stuff to write.