Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Fence. Check!

Yay! I have a new back yard fence! And the neighbors even agreed to the 12" topper (double lattice) so I don't have to peek into their kitchen anymore. Not to mention that the 8 foot gaping hole is no longer there! It almost feels "un-neighborly" to put the fence up and prevent any communication by easily putting my foot/leg/body over and through the failing fence. But now we have exchanged our phone numbers and I've also offered to keep an eye on their home while they go on an extended vacation overseas--which they seemed to appreciate. We split the bill 50/50 and she even brought us over some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Having good neighbors is priceless. And you know what they say, "Good fences, make good neighbors." So, by that stance, we should become even better friends.
Funny, I hadn't really thought of my spending money as being good for the economy but yesterday I could clearly see that my plunking down a large check would be allowing Fence-Man Juan the ability to cut checks for his hard-working crew, and a better day-to-day life for many people that rely on them.
I feel good about that. Now I just have to juggle a little money from one account to cover the check I wrote (or it would assuredly bounce!).
On the downside, T had a pretty significant asthma attack two nights ago, despite my starting with the inhalers as soon as the cough arrived. At least I was able to calm him (with inhalers and Tylenol for the fever) and get the breathing rate to less than 30/minute (and no wheezing or laboring) and he fell asleep 2 hours later. Of course it always happens around 2AM. I'm very thankful we didn't have to go the the ER. Last night it was nearly as bad, but he slept most of the night (as long as I was crammed next to him in his twin sized "big boy bed").
Now, on to prepping my bedroom for painting! And a birthday party for T's friend from school.
I'm looking forward to another day where I can scratch something off my list. Soooo exciting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some Success

Hey, yesterday's blog note was a nice way to focus my efforts on what needs doing.
Actually there were a few things I didn't write down that were on the list in my mind.
Yesterday, I called and arranged for 2 quotes to replace the backyard fence that's been falling apart for the last 10 years. This morning I had a third one. Now I have enough information to present to my neighbors to chose which company and what type of fence (6 foot or 7 foot--with or without lattice). I'd like the extra privacy so I don't have to look at their kitchen and bedroom windows (and I'm assuming they can see into mine). But it's an extra expense, so maybe they don't want to. I'm totally OK with any fence, just as long as it's standing straight up and no boards are missing!
Then I spot cleaned the chair I intend to sell and also the living room and T's bedroom carpet. The living room one really needs to be professionally cleaned but for now it will do.
I also trimmed my orange tree and hope that by removing the very top branches (that weren't producing fruit) that more energy will go into sweetening up the bazillion oranges on there now. They are beautiful and look ripe but the taste is more like a lemon than an orange. The look on T's face when he bit into it was priceless. And he still wanted to suck on it. Blech. He really likes tangy stuff. It was a little too much for me! Let's hope that a bit more time and sun will make them yummy. I also cleared off all the tree crud that's been building on the backyard shed and cleared out the gutters. I was mortified to find a few weeds had been growing on the back side that were over a foot high! What must my neighbors have thought! The roof is really old and half rotted in places (wood shake do that eventually!) but the tree crud build-up makes the process go that much faster. And I'm not quite ready to plunk down the money for a new roof for my home and backyard sheds just yet. Probably a project for next year.
I also trimmed the rosemary bush and English Ivy plants in the backyard. And then the gardeners showed up (typically mow and blow guys but they do trim my rose bushes once a year) and they removed the large piles of greenery I'd built AND asked if I had any fertilizer. Well, of course I did! So he fertilized the front and back lawns too. Yay! One more thing off my lengthy inside-my-brain list.
My mom came by later in the day and I recruited her to help me prepare and then paint my bedroom. I mean, I could have done it on my own, but it's WAY more fun to paint with someone else. Plus she's got all the supplies and lots of experience in painting. Her arthritic fingers don't let her do all she wants to do, but I hope to have her do mostly light work and keep me company. She loves to do this kind of thing too. It gets her out of the house and makes her feel useful--and capable of doing what she wants. She's a stubborn sort. And very, very patient. Waaaaay more patient than I could ever be. I wish I had that virtue. She's also a perfectionist. I have that quality in small amounts but she won't finish a project until it's PERFECT. She's amazing.
Anyway, back to the fence. I got the courage to walk through the fence and knock on the back door but just as I was about to, he opened it and said he'd tried to visit last night to talk about fence quotes. He said mine were lower than his and he seemed willing to get this project going. He'll talk it over with his wife and if all is good, the work may start on Monday. Unfortunately, it's been pretty rainy and I think Sunday another storm is blowing in. Today would have be perfect weather for outside work. Oh well. I'm just really glad it's going to be done. Now, to find the money! I know it's in a bank account somewhere. Honestly, I've been a little fearful to check out how much is left in savings after all this economic downturn crap. I'm worth about 47% less than I used to be. Dammit.
The neighbors phoned and asked if they could pick up T with their daughter from after-school care and so he was happily playing in the neighborhood with a few kids when I returned from the nursery. Mom and I went there to do a little detective work on a plant that has been growing in my sister's home. They had rented it out for a few years and now have moved back in (after losing their big beautiful home in a short sell due to crazily rising mortgage payments). She has a "honey bush" and even though the foliage is nice, it's a little leggy and not as beautiful as something else she will eventually pick out. She'll be yanking it out shortly. But now she knows what she's yanking on! lol
I love my neighbors and feel much more in touch since 3 of T's classmates live around the block. Too bad they don't live ON my block, but still, close enough. It felt nice to stand around with 3-4 of the parents, watching the kids play and laughing about nothing in particular.
Having been so busy, I forgot to plan for dinner and Rou*nd Table Pizza sounded SO good. So we piled in the car and made our way to dinner. T ate THREE pieces and even ate the green peppers and the crust too! He's growing up so fast! After he finished eating, a girl of 7 or 8 years old saw him pretend-play with the electronic games in the corner and she put 2 quarters in to let him play. I was so surprised that the game was actually going and he was working the "race car". In all my year, no stranger ever gave me money so I could play a game. I thanked her profusely and T said, "Thanks" like it was no biggie. Actually he said thanks many more times after we left. So I think the soft spoken "thanks" was more shyness than anything. He's really cautious around "big kids"--anyone in 1st grade or more. It's a good thing, but can also make you a target for any potential bully. We've already had a few little problems at his after school care but have been able to address the kids and their attitudes so far.
Well, I've got to finish the 2 loads of washing I've started and then begin filling holes and cracks in the walls.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One Week Done, Three To Go

Well, it's been a week since my surgery. I felt sort of out of it for about 3 days and every day since has been easier. I was so excited to have this time off work to really get some things accomplished, but a week has flown by and NOTHING has been done yet. I had all these ideas on what I could do with this time: go to the snow (but it's actively snowing this week and I will not try to brave the roads--learned that lesson the hard way), paint my room (reeealy tired of the pea green color), touch up the walls and trim with paint in the rest of the house, trim the orange tree, sew 3 tea cozies--my sister, mom and myself, darn a sock and a pair of sweat pants for T, trade two large area rugs in my bedrooms (a new look instantly!), take pictures and post various items that T doesn't play with on Craig*s List, clean out my garage and have a mini garage sale to lighten the load of all baby boys clothes I was unable to separate myself from earlier, de-clutter my small living space in general (which includes removing and rearranging furniture, and replacing my HUGE old TV with a sleek flat screened TV, post and sell my recliner chair on Craig*s List, wash the windows, have my living room rug cleaned, clean T's bedroom rug myself, and at least start a memory book for either the story of my son's creation OR my niece's trip to NYC and Paris (almost 2 years ago now!). Just a few things, but I'm feeling a huge lack of focus and energy. Part of my delay is just getting out from under the side effects of the darvocet and part of it is that T has had an extra 2 days off school (Lincoln's bday and President's day), so I spent more time playing with him. Not that I'm complaining! That's golden time, but in the back of head, the various projects/items are still tapping my on my shoulders, head, neck, and making me itch in general.
Plus, the items I need to sell (in great economic times, I'd have probably given them away, but now I'm trying to be smarter about this) have to be done without T's knowledge. He has a melt down when he sees me remove anything that has always been here and belongs to him. He still keeps asking about the pink scooter (we still have 2 other more boyish type scooters) we gave to the neighbor girl and when we'll be getting it back. So this time off work, while he's at school is an excellent time for that. I keep saying that to myself to motivate myself to DO IT. But so far, my in-action just makes for a little queasiness and a dull head ache sets in.
But now that I've just created an actual list of things I want to do...I'll print it and gleefully mark things off as I accomplish a few items! I love making lists--just so I can cross things off and feel successful!
Last night I made a recipe I saw on the cooking channel--curried coconut shrimp appetizers. Actually it turned out to be our entire dinner. Too much work to make any side dishes! It was pretty good, but I think I should have actually written down the recipe before attempting it. I think I had too much coconut and not enough bread crumbs because it didn't want to stick to the tiger shrimp too well (even double dipping into the egg white did little). T helped too and we had a great time doing it. But I had to let some control go on how much (or little) the coating was on the little fishies. Otherwise I would have ended up re-doing all T's efforts. And he was so proud to help. But they they looked fabulous after baking--all toasted and crispy! Next time, I'll follow the actual recipe and see how much better they can be.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's All Good

Yesssirrreee! The surgery is done and everything is A-OK!
The whole experience was soooo lovely.
Everyone took such wonderful care of me. I felt like I floated into surgery and I tried to remember the operating room but once they brought me in I saw the lights on the ceiling and that's all I remember. No one else in the room except the guy that wheeled me in. The CRNA was one I'd known well from my L&D days. She's great! And the surgeon was wonderful too. Even one of my patients ended up doing my H&P. I didn't have ANY nausea or nastiness. In fact, I reacted to the IV morphine so much that I kept forgetting to breathe! My surgery started around 11:45AM and I woke up at about 5:00PM annoyed that that machine kept beeping at me. I'd crack my eyes open and noticed a big ZERO on there indicating I hadn't taken a breath for the last 24 seconds. And I had no desire to breathe either. It was a weird, calm feeling. I totally didn't care. I was quite comfortable. Mom kept feeding me ice chips because everytime I took some in the O2 monitor would climb back up over 90%. It was after 6PM that they could bring me to my room with the apnea episodes finally leaving me. The didn't let me sleep much--vitals were about every 3 hours. Plus I had to sit up to sleep--hard to do, but with drugs on board I was sort of unable to do much else. Plus I was tied down with these SED boots pumping up on my calves and the IV and machine making it drip. Having to call to ask to go the bathroom wasn't fun. They just sit outside the door and wait for me to finish. And if I take a bit too long...They barge in and ask if I'm alright! Right now, I feel like someone has kicked me in the throat. They glued it shut--no stitches or steri-strips. Not even a bandage. Of course the mass was not cancerous. Yay! But the doctor said it was only the size of a grape. I wonder why the radiology tech measured 2.5 x 5 cm in October?? They said they can vary in size, going up and down, but that seems like a big overestimation to me. Either way, it's over and I'm glad about that. Now I hope the TFTs (thyroid function tests) will be normal. I go to see the doctor in 2 weeks to see how things are healing, etc. I sure will enjoy this time to recover. Talking is hard to do but the doctor said I can talk--just not all day long.
I recieved lots of messages by phone and email as well as regular ol' fashioned visits too. My friends are the GREATEST!
Thank you all for your love and support.
Here's a picture of my crazy-glued incision:

Interesting, huh? OK, maybe gross to some of you, but I never expected to wake up with a glued-shut incision! I think it's cool!
T was a total trooper too. I told him the day before the event that the next day mama would be going to the hospital so that a bubble could be removed from my neck. He asked if there would be any pain or shots. I assured him they were going to give me good medicine with a breathing machine just like the one you use when you can't breathe so well (his asthma nebulizer treatments). He was fine with that. And so my mom attended to me while T was at school. When I was out of the recovery room, mom went to pick up T from after-school care. They went out for his choice dinner--Pizza! And then he slept in his big boy bed without any problems or whining. Mom was ready to bring him in for a visit if he was upset. But he was quite happy to have his day go the "normal" way--with his Oma in my place. He said to mom, "Well, if Mama gets another bubble, and another bubble and another bubble, everything will be OK." As long as his routine doesn't change, he's all good with that. But there can't be any shots involved.