Monday, July 27, 2009

Annual blog post.

I was just begging for a new video camera on Amy's blog and figured it was time to update my own.. which is severely behind.

So.. what have I been doing you may wonder... It's been a heck of a year.

As you know, I was pregnant with baby number 2, a boy. Emmett was born November 1st, 5 days late. The longest 5 days of my life.
A couple months before I was due to have Emmett, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This is tough news to hear at any time, least of all when 9 months pregnant and really hormonal. Mom was very lucky and ended up having two surgeries and some radiation after her pathology came back clean in her lymph nodes. Huge relief. Take that Cancer! You couldn't beat my Mom!
Mom was able to change her plans a bit and come visit with me before her surgery, which was part of the reason we were bumming that Emmett was late and didn't get to meet Grandma till one of the other catastrophic events of the past year.

So... Emmett was such a great baby. right from the start, he was only getting up once in the night which was so wonderful.. and then at some point ( 5 weeks) he started having blood in his stools. Yeah.. it was alarming. So I quit eating dairy rather than stop nursing him. I missed cheese, but loosing all the pregnancy weight and almost an extra 20 pounds was great! I anticipate gaining it back once I start eating dairy again.. if I CAN... I have heard that sometimes being off it for a long time can affect your ability to process it. *sigh.. Will I ever eat pizza again?

We all went on this no dairy diet ( at home at least, and we really didn't feel deprived once we added soy back in.) and got to try a lot of really good recipes. The really good news is that there is no dairy in BACON.

In April Emmett was 5 months old. In April on the Friday before easter Chris came down the stairs saying that he thought Emmett was having a seizure. I told him he was crazy and it was just him choking on some post nasal drip from the runny nose he always seemed to be having. The next day he did it again when I was leaving for work. His eyes would roll upward, his body tensed up and his arms and legs lifted up. It lasted seconds, but would repeat over and over to a count of about 10 times. Saturday evening it happened again and Chris found a video on you tube of a child doing what Emmett was doing, and now we had a name, and something to google. Infantile spasms. Infantile spasms is an extremely serious form of epilepsy that only infants get. So on Sunday, when he had his 4's episode of these spasms, I called the nurse line for more information. She said that I should go to the Children's hospital to Emergency and have him looked at. I did.

At first it seemed like they thought I was imagining something and were just going to send me home.. and then he had one there and knew it was unsettling. They gave him and EEG and glued electrodes all over his little (BIG) head. Apparently what they saw was textbook Hypsyrithmia ( chaotic brain waves) and can be devastating to Children, severely inhibiting their development. The neurologist came down and told me that they saw hyps in Emmett's EEG and that they would admit him to the hospital to treat him for Infantile spasms. All I remember really was the Dr. telling me that is was very serious and they would begin treatment right away.

Even now it is so surreal to think about all this. I never really felt like it was happening, and I was in some crazy dream. Emmet started on prednisolone ( a steroid) while we waited for insurance to approve the standard treatment drug ( ACthar gel) ACTH which comes for the bargain price of only $30000 a vial. We had a three week treatment and used three vials. I am very glad I have insurance, and that they approved it even though it vastly exceeded their weekly maximum. ( by a lot I think)

Emmett had his last spasm on May 1st, his last injection on may 8th (Oh did I forget to mention that we had to give him a shot in his little baby thighs every day?). So now he has been seizure free for almost 3 months. We feel so blessed. We are very thankful for Emmett's health, and for friends and family in general. You go day by day because you have to. We don't want to get ahead of our selves.

Emmett has no real delays for his illness. Possibly about a month behind when he was having spasms and treatment. He is sitting, almost crawling and all those things babies do at almost 9 months old. His infantile spasms were the kind with the best outcome, idiopathic. This means that there was no know cause. His MRI showed no problems with his brain, and his development was normal prior to the spasms starting. So we don't know why... and really since it is gone, I don't care. My son is back, and the ordeal is more than I'd wish on anyone... When on ACTH all he did was eat and cry.. The steroids make them get big puffy faces. We had to go to the clinic twice a week for blood draws, stool cards ( to check for blood) and to get his blood pressure check because the drug can cause hypertension. He never smiled or did any endearing sort of thing that babies do. It had gotten to us and then when we finally got a smile and then a laugh when he was almost weaned off his medicine we were overjoyed. You can't go back from that. You just want to squeeze them and never let them go.

It was really hard to leave him at daycare and go to work. I never loved a weekend so much. I'm sure I'm missing alot more details... but man.. what a couple months...

The more recent thing is that we applied for a loan to build our addition last week. We got a new plan this year, and a new builder. So.. I'm sure I'll have a remodeling blog post in the futire.. and if it doesn't happen.. a moving blog! But I hope it doesn't get to that.

Go give someone you love a hug.


Monday, July 28, 2008

That's what I get...

I got a new truck. a newer version of what I had. Black 1999 4runner 16-20 mpg. * awesome. Good thing I mostly just drive to and from work which is about a mile each way. As with all cars I've ever bought, I have a period of adjustment where I worry that I've made a mistake and that I've gotten a huge lemon of a car. This one was no exception. A week into owning said new car I was at peace with the broken power antenna and digital clock. The truck runs well and has a bunch more power than the '93 did. Plus, it has a scoop! it's decorative, but it's HOT. hehe.

So, I'm driving the truck to Madison for a dr's appointment. I brought a cd, because I wanted to try out the stereo. I brought Sarah Harmer - we were here, Kevin... Sounded great, I was happy, feeling good. Probably on a sugar high from the orange drink I had downed as part of my 1 hour glucose test. About 10-12 miles from home as I'm driving up a hill my CHECK ENGINE LIGHT comes on. Now... that was a short high... I called the dealer, and got a call back later from the sales guy. He said it had happened before, but now they would know before what the problem was. All I know if that he probably shouldn't have said that to me, because to me that constitutes a "Known issue" that wasn't on the buyers slip. This means to me that they are paying for this problem to be fixed. I also took the truck over to my mechanic to check the error code and they cleared it for me. Chris and I tested it by going for a drive to Verona to pick up a Radio Flyer tricycle for Iris that someone had up on Craigslist. On the way back, the light went back on.

I am getting big and starting to have hip pain and have trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep. I'm sure this will be my last pregnancy and I think I have mostly been too preoccupied with all the other things I have been trying to manage to be more conscious of it.

On the weekend Chris mowed the lawn. He mowed the way back part too and he and Iris were picking up sticks back there before hand. I brought a chair out and sat. It was so beautiful... We really never use this part of the yard because it is often so overgrown. When it's mowed you can remember all the possibilities it has and it makes you want to get going on them. Unfortunately, there's not a lot one can get done when walking across the yard makes you want to sit down and rest. I did have the bright idea of putting some mulch around the pole that the trumpet vine grows up. I got a shovel full and decided that I should get the wheel barrow, or this would take forever. I had it about half full when the shovel full I dumped into the wheel barrow had all these round things..
My mind raced, Pingpongballs, no, mushrooms, no OOHhhh.. so that's where the turtle laid her eggs. It's not everydy that you dig up freaking turtle eggs in your pile o' mulch. [ Over a month ago, a large snapping turtle had been hanging around ours, and the neighbour's yards.. She was next to my truck one morning with her butt in the dirt, and Chris roped off the area so we wouldn't hurt the eggs. Guess they aren't there!)]

Fun and games here in Wisconsin.
What creatures live in your back yard?

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Overachiever hits road block.

Yes, yes, I know it has been a while. I haven't felt like writing. Here's what is going on over here of late.

I'm pregnant! 25 weeks on Monday and.. it's a boy. Chris and i looked at each other at the ultrasound and commented to each other about how everyone will say "how perfect!" One of each... Chris is tickled, I think. I was convinced I would have two girls.. which is why I'm having a boy, I suppose. After initial freak out, I *am* looking forward to having a boy. If it had been two girls, I bet I would always wonder what a boy would have been like. Plus, I don't have to worry about competition for my affection in that way.. they will be so different. Iris will always be "my girl". I'm glad of that, I love the stage she is at, I love talking to her. Oh.. the things she says.. priceless.

The other thing is that since we are expanding the family, our space will be getting even smaller. Our third bedroom, at roughly 7x9ft is scarcely more than a closet. Fine for a baby I suppose, but then there is no where for guests to stay, and when we live so far from families, a place for guests to sleep is really a necessity here. So, in March or so we signed a contract to have plans drawn for a home addition that was within our budget. We liked the plan a lot and were anxious to begin... So, while trying to get bids.. a contractor recommended that we got to zoning to have them check our plans over to see if we could build them. Mostly this was to see if they would allow us to keep our septic system while adding another bedroom/ office. From here we found out that we had to have our septic system tested to see if the area three ft below the drain field was free of defects/ contamination. So, we had the test done... We failed the test, with them finding bacterias at 9ft below, where our tank vent in 9.5 ft deep. So... we have been "condemned" by the county and have to have the septic system replaced. The bright side of that is that we have room to get a conventional gravity fed system which is substantially less money than a mound system. We are extremely lucky to be able to do this while living on the river. ( whew)

Of course, this now takes up $5000 of our budget. A budget which is not huge to start with. Then, the day after the news of the septic needing to be replaced I had an appointment at zoning again to talk about getting a variance for our house plans. The plans had the garage extending 11 feet ahead of the house. I found out that our house is roughly 25 ft from the right of way and the minimum set back is 30ft. The house, of course, is grandfathered in, but the zoning administrator assured me that there would be no way a variance would allow something to be built that close to the right of way, especially with the other factors of us needing to have the septic replaced anyway, thus giving us other home plan options.

In addition, on my way back to my car, I heard crunching metal, and saw a lady hitting my car in the parking lot. She had insurance, which I got.. and they are fixing the damage to my car. Still, a prefect end to a rather disappointing day.

Here we are, four months into planning with little more than a better understanding of how we should proceed to build an addition. No plans, no bids, no builder. Six and a half months pregnant and frustrated beyond belief. To top things off, the guy that drew the now useless plans has left the company, so I'm not even sure where that leaves us with the home design contract. Time will tell.

Stay tuned.. I'll certainly have something to say.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Quarterly post...

Well. Here we are again. That was one of the fastest 4 month stretches ever and so much happened, that I'm not sure where to start.

I did a semester of graduate school. It was very interesting and I loved going to class. I met a bunch of cool people and I now know that I am smart enough. I came out with a grade of AB. I haven't been to school yet to pick up my last paper and grade sheet, but I saw the grade online. While I loved going to the class and reading the articles and books assigned for class, I hated writing most of the papers. I was always happy with the end product, but the writing process, for me is so painful and with the distractions of home and work, it compounded the difficulty. I started grinding my teeth again and I was just so stressed out I couldn't relax at home because the assignments were weighing so heavily on my mind.

I decided mid term that the stress of it wasn't worth it to me right now. That I wanted to be able to relax and spend time with my family and have just.. some time to do things I like to do at home. I now know how much time I have to do things like this. I plan to savour it. I feel lighter with out a class to go to, but I already miss the class its self and the new friends I have made there. Hopefully I'll be able to keep those friendships up, even though I'm not part of the school right now.

One thing that this has done for me is make me more confident. I can drive around in Madison where before I was very nervous. I kind of get the layout, where before I had no idea where I was. I learned how to have something that was for me, and I liked it. The freedom was really different, a lot different fro whe I was getting my undergrad at OUC all those years ago.

I just bought a kiln from someone on Craigslist and I hope to learn how to fuse and slump glass. Just as soon as Chris wires me a 240V plug for it. I've been crocheting a lot, I really missed that this fall, and I had hoped to crochet all sorts of gifts for people, that just never got done because I had no time to work on them. I hope that I will spend my newly freed up time of more creative endeavors.

I had my annual review on Thursday. It went well. My boss is retiring in June and I get along with her so well, I'll be sad to see her go. She was a good mentor and at my review she said that she hoped I wouldn't wait too long to go back to school because she thinks I would be a great Librarian. That really made me feel good. :) Change is hard right. But most good things are hard, or is it really worth it? I'm a little apprehensive about what will happen when we get a new director, they may not have the same vision as we are used to and there may be even more changes ahead.

I turned 30 in November. A symbolic birthday, a leaving behind of youth, a certain responsibility has come and, I guess a power.. and confidence. I'm not really mourning the loss of the youth, but getting very nostalgic for everything that happened in my 20's. A whole lot of things... All contributing to what I have become.

I'm in a good place. It's almost Christmas and I'm looking ahead to the new year. Exciting... and full of possibility.

happy holidays people.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'll say "what happened?".

I said it today a lot... Where did the summer go? I can't believe it's September. I don't know where it went. I sure had a great time even though it went quickly. Our trip to BC was great, but hard to come home. Different from last time where I was more homesick for Wisconsin.

So now I give you the Summer in Review...

Iris turned two in July. It was a lovely day and she had some little friends over and some of my friends and I made a cake ( and decorated it) and we had snacks and it was a nice afternoon.

We went to BC for 10 day at the beginning of August. There was camping in Edgewood and hanging out at my Mom's house and at the beach. The weather was great, except for the day we left, when it rained, as if to make it easier for us to leave.

I didn't get the WLA WELead award that I was hoping for so my attention turned to Graduate school. I couldn't get Chris to agree right away... so finally, when we got back he said I could go. Nine hundred dollars later I am a UW - Madison special Student taking one class. This one class, providing I do well in it will hopefully be my ticket to actually being able to get into Grad school since my undergrad marks are less than stellar. I don't think those grades are a reflaction of my actual potential... heh... so I'm sort of terrified that I am actually just stupid and it wasn't just the personal problems of the time. We shall see! I will have to organize my time a little better.

This will probably mean I'll write less.. or not.. I may procrastinate writing papers and blog about not writing papers...

I'm excited. I am terrified. It's the start of something so new, so different. I'm sure it will be fine, but untill I have the first class... I'll worry about it.

Even though I haven't been posting, I have been reading everyones blogs and hunting for people on facebook. :0)

Lots of pics on Flickr, check them out. Get an account and you can comment there also.

Till we meet again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

working title

Last Thursday I had a circ desk shift to cover a vacation day. I normally go in to the library first thing on Thursdays to have the afternoon free. This time, I started at 12:30, so Iris and I got to have a slower start. I like these lazy mornings. I drink two cups of coffee and iris has breakfast a her little table in the living room. When she is done she climbs up next to me in the most impossibly small spot so she can cuddle on my lap. It would be easier if she climbed up on the other side, but I think she must like that I help her up and pull her into place. I can rest my chin on her curly blonde head.

Thursday was also the first day of Summer. It started out sunny and when we went outside to get in the truck we were greeted by butterflies. Many butterflies. There are a lot of red admirals this year and every where you looked you would see them fluttering around.

The other day Iris climbed up onto my lap and I cradled her like an infant. Then I started to sing "rock a bye, baby" to her and she chimed in. She knows the words now after hearing it so many times. My not-so-little baby.

Just last night at bedtime we were reading a story we have read a million time and I turned a page and she said "nonoyousaythatisn'trightthepigssayoinkalldayandnight" it was all together like one word really, but she said everything there. Chis and I were so surprised and thrilled. Every day is like that now. Children are so amazing.


Monday, May 28, 2007

I have a great excuse.

My computer died. It had been freezing up with more and more frequency and then it was having trouble actually booting. It would misfire or something.. The fan was on and.. eventually I could get it on after about two tries. The last time it booted up there were red bars here and there. It was very apocalyptic. It never booted again.


I wasn't in a huge hurry.. and I used Chris' laptop to check my email and that's about it.

I am remaining optimistic that I can retrieve some files, mostly pictures off of my old hard drive, but I may not... I'm sure I will live.

We put the dock in and it looks nice and I'm sure we'll fix the wobble on the second section soon enough.

I got a new computer yesterday. Huge deal and it came with a flat panel monitor, so my desk is no longer completely covered by a HUGE old style monitor.

I took a bunch of pictures today, so I should have a bunch of new stuff on the Flickr soon.