Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where Did the Decade Go?

In just a few hours 2010 will be upon us. Scott and I are once again resolving to have a boring year. This year we enjoyed the wonderful arrival of Michael Perry, but also more drama than we wanted. So a little bit of boring is sounding perfect for 2010.

With the change to the new decade, I was thinking back ten years ago. Scott and I were unemployed grad students living off the our good friend Stafford Loan. Our only responsibilities were knowing the best places for happy hour deals and remembering to occasionally feed Buford, our cat. Today the list of responsibilities is long. Just like most of you, today there are the kids, the house, the bills, and all the stuff of real life. Plus, we still have to remember to occasionally feed Buford.

If you would have asked me on 12/31/99 what the decade had in store, I would have had lots of ideas and dreams and goals. And if you asked me today how many of them came true - I would say not too many. But that is just fine, because I wouldn't trade my life for all the tea in China. Sometimes the surprises that are the best part.

I could spout off lots of thoughts about what this new decade has in store, but I won't because I already know that it most likely won't turn out as I expect. Instead, I'll close with a couple of funny things from the kids during the holiday season.

Michael Perry - Thanksgiving Day, Just as the Turkey Came Out of the Oven - He treated us to his all-time biggest, messiest, need a bath now, diaper blow-out. So much for a hot meal - maybe next year.

Sarah - Before Christmas - "I want to ask Santa for a machine that cleans up the playroom for me." While your at it, ask Santa for a machine to clean up the house and do the grocery shopping for me.

Jaley - On Christmas Morning - "Wow drums. I didn't even want that." It was on the top of her Santa list, just the week before.

Who knows what the next decade holds, but I guarantee that the kids will give us many more laughs.

That is life in the Stroller Lane. Happy 91st Birthday Grandpa Harrell. Lots of Love.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Did Someone Give the Kids Red Bull?

Did someone give Sarah and Jaley Red Bull to drink? Or do I forget how excited they get for Christmas every year? Hopefully, the latter.

While I may not have the energy of the girls, I'm excited for Christmas too. This is our first Christmas with my mom living nearby. She is hosting us all for Christmas Eve dinner - a homemade Italian feast - complete with cannoli. All the feast and none of the cooking for me. That is better than any Christmas gift I could unwrap - but I won't tell Scott that. He's still on the hook for, at least, a little shopping. I figure I bore him a son this year - I must be on his nice list.

Cisco is shut down from Christmas until New Years, so we are planning to enjoy the week. We going to have ourselves a "staycation." It is a code word for when you want to enjoy yourself like a vacation, but are just too lazy to actually plan a get away.

The only thing that would make this holiday sweeter is having Jan, Mike, Emily, and Marcus in town, too. But, Santa can't deliver everything. So that is what we will hope for next year.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of Love.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Three Months and Counting

Michael Perry is 3 months old. It is hard to believe that it was only a few months ago and we were still anticipating his arrival. Now he is "a big boy." He is rolling over and laughing and (mostly) sleeping through the night. According to the pediatrician, those first two skills are developmentally much more important. However, as a parent of three kids - two of whom were crummy sleepers as babies - that sleeping skill is like a winning lottery ticket. Nothing is better for my quality as a parent than a full night's sleep.

Since we have been celebrating Christmas since the Turkey was carved, we made sure to have a little enjoyment this week. Sarah had her Holiday School Performance. All the kindergartners were bears in a "Share Bear" story. It was all that is school performance should be. There were problems with the AV system, missed cues, and lots of off key singing. In other words, it was perfect. We caught it all on video and loved every minute of it.

As for me, I am feeling much better and the problems with my eyes are mostly resolved. I even got out of the house today for a little while. I hope to be fully back to myself really soon.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Home and Resting

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and support. I headed off to UNC hospital on Thursday and was home by Friday. I wouldn't say, I'm good as new yet, but I hope to be soon. While I did have surgery, I didn't have the pain mapping part. Much to the frustration of my surgeons, the anesthesiologist didn't want any audience participation from me. After a bunch of bickering amongst the docs (or dare I say fighting), we decided to skip the pain mapping, proceed with the hysterectomy, and hope that it solves the problem.

Everything went well in the surgery. However, I was in the recovery room for forever. The nurse told Scott I was just sleeping like a baby. I told Scott, I was just enjoying the opportunity to sleep for once without a baby. I was discharged on Friday and happy to be home. Typical of the hospital, after my long slumber in recovery, I didn't enjoy too much more rest. The lights were on all night and there were about a zillion people in and out.

The rest of the weekend, I became queen of the castle. I lounged in my room. Jan and Mike tirelessly entertained the girls and did the work around the house. Scott took care of me and Michael Perry. My mom took over when Jan and Mike returned home Monday, she has been cooking, washing clothes, and carpooling kids ever since. As of the start of the week, I have graduated to lounging on the couch. Though, I am still enjoying my queen status.

As of today, I am feeling much better. As is always the case with me, I am battling a couple of random medical mysteries. All weekend, I felt really dizzy, I had trouble seeing, and my eyes were dilated. I seemed like I had been double dipping in the pain meds. However, I hadn't taken any of the "good" pain meds, because they make me sick. Instead, I was trying to make due with just my friends Tylenol and Advil. I turns out I had a bad reaction to the anti-nausea meds that I got at the hospital. Yes, the stuff to make me feel better, made me feel worse.

As I said before, today I'm feeling much better. Now that I'm a close to a week post-op, the Advil and Tylenol are now plenty strong enough to keep the pain in check. My head is (mostly) clear. I am seeing well enough and should be back in my contact lens by Thursday. I am even planning to leave the house tonight to see Sarah's holiday show at school. I'll finally even get out of my PJ's.

Time will only tell if my pain problems are solved, but I am hopeful. The doctors, though not sure of the exact cause of problem, felt that a hysterectomy would most likely solve it. So now I need to get back to the TV. I'm sure there is some infomercial or soap opera that I am missing.

Once again, thanks for all the well wishes. That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

OK, Santa It's Time to Deliver

As you know, all I want for Christmas is a cure for my mystery pain issues. Tomorrow is the day for Santa to deliver. Jan and Mike are coming into town today to help with the kids and I'm off to UNC tomorrow.

Right now, I'm a whole mix of emotions. I'm apprehensive to be back in the OR again. Despite my current record, I don't consider surgery a recreational activity. I'm a bit nervous that they are planning to wake me up in the middle of surgery. I keep having this vision of someone giving me a shot of whiskey and a stick to bite down on, but they promise it won't hurt "too much." I'm thankful to have so many people offering help and support. It makes such a difference to know I have my own team of cheerleaders rooting me on. Most of all, I'm hopeful that the end of this two year saga may be near. You better sell short your pharmaceutical stocks, because I plan to take pain killers off my daily menu in the very near future.

Wish me luck tomorrow. That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of Love.

Friday, December 4, 2009

You know your a Mom when...

Monday morning we weren't running smoothly, we were just running late. It is Sarah's first day back to school after track out and we are all a bit sluggish after a four day weekend. With the final school bell nearing, I need to get the kids out the door. Some chant "ohm" or "peace," in the mornings I chant "put on your shoes."

With keys in hand, I realize Michael Perry needs a diaper change. So at lightning speed I whip him out of his wet diaper and into a dry one. He is ready to go and I just need to dispose of the nappy, when Jaley spills a glass of milk on the floor. I whip out the Swiffer Wetjet (what did we do be for mini-mops) and have the kitchen floor milk free in record time. Out the door we go.

Jaley is the first drop off. I get quite a few strange looks from the other moms, but I just chalk it up thinking that my hair is a mess or there is spit up on my shirt - both daily events. Sarah is the second drop off. I get a few angry glances in the carpool line, but I think that is because we are holding up traffic when Sarah jumps out of the car and forgets to shut the door - leaving me to jump out of the car and shut it for her.

Then, I am back home hollering at Scott that he needs to hop in the car - NOW. We are late for an appointment for him to get some medical testing. He gave me a couple of strange looks, but he was just feeling awful from the pre-appointment medication - so I just ignored them.

I drive like a bat out of you know where and get us to the doctor's on time. I get more strange glances in the office, but I figure that's because I'm nursing Michael Perry and no one really wants to see my boobs. The nurse calls Scott back and tells me he should be done in about an hour. Lil' Junior, now fed, is still fussy. I decide to take him for a little walk outside. As I walk out the door, I look down at myself for the first time since I brushed my teeth. There sticking out of the pocket of my jacket is Michael Perry's dirty diaper. Between the rush and the spilled milk, I guess I shoved it in my pocket instead of the garbage can. And now, I have gone to three different places, seen about 50 different people - all with a diaper hanging off me. I was horrified for a second, then I was laughing hysterically. And that my friends is when you truly know your a mom...

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

P.S. The results of Scott's testing were fine. He left with a couple of pieces of advice from the doctor and a timeline for follow-up, but overall a clean bill of heath (a big blessing for us).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Countdown

As you already know, we are on the accelerated Christmas plan. There may be 22 more shopping days until Christmas for you, but for us there are only six.

One priority was a visit with Santa Claus. We donned our holiday clothes and saw the man in the red suit. Sarah was thrilled, Michael Perry was asleep, and Jaley wouldn't get within 10 feet of him. Thankfully, Santa informed us to email him Jaley's list. So much for sending a list USPS, just log on and upload your list directly to the North Pole. By next year, he said he would be accepting text messages.

With only a few days left for holiday prep, it looks like everything (or at least enough things) will be done by December 9. We (which means mostly me) have the house decorated, the gifts bought, and the cards sent.

With the Christmas to-do list under control, I am planning to try and enjoy the next few days. I am nervous about next week's surgery, so I figure the best way to calm my nerves is to indulge a bit. Bring on the wine and chocolate - it is for medicinal reasons.

That is life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.