Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yay, we can have iced coffee (at some point)

First I should say that our good friend, known as Denise's Hubby, got several of us hooked on iced coffee and coffee granitas when he came to visit a couple of years ago. He introduced me to Mountain Mud, which was a tiny coffee shop in a parking lot. By tiny, I mean the size of those old Fotomat huts. Anyway, I fell in love with their flavored coffee granitas. The mint chocolate and cherry chocolate were awesome! Unfortunately for me, I could only afford to splurge on them about once every two months or so. Then even more unfortunately for me, they went out of business. I was so upset, one day while I was out with Alex only, I pulled into the parking lot to have a small memorial service while staring at the discolored square of parking lot, where the Mountain Med hut used to be. I suppose it was more of a "whine session" by me than a memorial. I whined about the loss of my delicious granitas and Alex tried to slink down in his seat in case any of his friends should see him attending the Mountain Mud Memorial.

Jack went and picked up a Mr. Coffee coffee maker from a freecyler today. He brought it home and into my bedroom to show me. This is one of those things that is only amusing to those who were there at the time, but since the main purpose of my blog is for me to have a written account of things, as my memory sucks, I'm including this conversation:

Me: That is much nicer than the $5 coffee makers we have had in the past that only last a month.

Jack: Why did you get a coffee maker, when none of us like coffee?

Me: Some of us like iced coffee. Of course, we don't have any coffee.

Jack aka Mr. Sarcasm: This is going to come in real handy then.

Back to School Charts

I just spent about an hour and a half, preparing daily checklists for the four youngest kids. I'm hoping that this will make things easier in the mornings, since all of them have ADHD and tend to forget everything. I finally found some charts that you can edit online, rather than having to print them and write everything in. This way it was easy to customize them to each child without having to write the same information in over and over.

I even made one for Luke, who is going into junior year. He probably won't be happy with it and might not use it, but at least he has the option.

Now I just have to figure out where to hang them for easy access. I'm thinking the front door would be best, I'm just not sure how to attach them. I don't want them falling off every time someone slams the door, which is every time they close it. I'll have to think about that a little and "problem solve" like I always tell the kids!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

WEIRD stuff happening this weekend!

In addition to Hannah offering and actually following through with cleaning the powder room, she then pitched in to clean up the kitchen and family room.

I was actually able to scrub out the kitchen sink today, make my own lunch, and sit long enough to sort out the mail and flyers from the last month.

The weirdest thing of all is that there is a car in our garage! We moved into this house exactly 8 years ago this week and there has never been room for a car in our garage. Mike worked his butt off this weekend and did a great job. Steven and Luke helped a little, but Mike did the vast majority of work, I'm sure. There is still a ton of stuff out there that needs to be gone through, but this is a huge step forward. We freecycled more than a dozen bikes and toddler toys and threw out quite a bit of items that were junk.

Mike also fixed several bikes so that each kid has a working one now. Steven still needs to get some back brakes for his since he has been riding it without brakes for some time now. I've told him how dangerous that is, but as usual, anything I say to him falls on deaf ears.

Are you kidding me????????

A volunteer to clean a bathroom, in this house, one of my kids???????

Hannah just walked into my room with rubber gloves on, telling me that she is going to clean the powder room! I have never heard those words out of the mouth of any of my children before. I'm in total shock. The fact that she has an ulterior motive (she wants to invite her friend over, who has an immaculate house) doesn't even matter.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Only one open house today, yay!

The elementary school open house was a breeze. Shauna only has two teachers this year, so we were in and out in no time. Her main teacher has had both Alex and Hannah, so we know him fairly well and she will only be switching classes for math. Her math teacher seems really nice and gave Hannah a huge hug, even though Hannah didn't have her last year. I was surprised that she even knew Hannah.

I had a talk with the kids in the van on the way home about their snotty attitudes. Okay, the truth is I yelled at them. I have had a very hard time integrating myself back into the family after a month of virtually being alone in my room. The kids have really only been coming in and spending time with me in the last week and a half or so. They have grown used to doing pretty much what they want since I wasn't around to say anything. They are not responding well to having my input.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not a good idea

I WAY overdid it today. In the last five weeks, I have only been out of the house for PT and the cul-de-sac party. Today was open house day at the middle school and high school. We left the house at 3:30 to go to the middle school for a meeting with Hannah's resource teacher. The meeting went really well and we really liked the teacher. She or her assistant will be in every single class with Hannah, offering help and making sure her IEP is followed. They also help all the students, so it doesn't get embarrassing for the special ed kids, which I think is great. This was my first time driving in more than 5 weeks. It was a little tricky because I had to sit on a fluffy pillow and try to keep my left thigh off the seat as much as possible.

When the teacher meeting ended, we had to go straight to the high school for Luke and his best friend, Stephen B., to pick up their schedules and meet all their teachers. We got there when there was only about 30 minutes left, but we managed to see all of their teachers and still get out of there only about 15 minutes after it officially ended.

Then we had to head back to the middle school for Alex and Hannah's open house. That was a little chaotic, since they had it set up differently this year and no one knew what to do. It was also very crowded, so it was a lot of fun maneuvering the wheelchair around the crowds. I can never figure out why groups of people will stop in the middle of a doorway or hallway to talk, when they are clearly blocking everyone else. We went to see Hannah's teachers first and they all seemed pretty nice. Steven was on the same team as Hannah, when he was in 6th grade, so a couple of the teachers remembered him, even though he was there 7 years ago. Some of Alex's 8th grade teachers also remembered him. I guess they tend to remember the kids who excel and those who are troublemakers. I won't say which group Steven is in!!! Then we headed over to the 8th grade hall, with Alex pushing my wheelchair. Hannah had pushed me when we went to her classes, as Luke and Stephen B. had headed straight to the choir room to hang out with their most beloved teacher, Mrs. Stone. I think I mentioned before that Alex was extremely embarrassed to have me in a wheelchair to begin with and pushing it was apparently the last straw. He was so obnoxious that I had to restrain myself from jumping out of the wheelchair and smacking him across his smart-ass little mouth! Since I don't want to model violence, my other option was to make him pull over a couple of times, while I quietly, but firmly told him to knock off the attitude and behave. That didn't work, by the way. Anyway, we got to meet all of the teachers and he only abandoned me once, when he suddenly zipped down another hall, yelling over his shoulder as he ran, "I'll be right back, I see some friends." He was around the corner before I even realized he was going, so I had no chance to yell, "Don't leave me here!". So there I sat, in the middle of the hallway, waiting for him to come back. The hallways go in kind of a square, so a few minutes later, I see him ahead of me, walking away, not towards me. Luckily the hall was pretty empty at that time, so when I hollered to him, he heard me. He had been walking quickly away with three girls. By the way, he had already hugged at least 25 girls by this time, we had to stop every few feet, whenever we heard those high pitched screams of "ALLLLLLEEEEEX!" So he hears me yell his name, turns around and yells to the girls, "Oh my gosh, I forgot my mom!" Thank you, son. At least he apologized for forgetting me, so that lessened my urge to smack quite a bit!

We got out of the middle school at 7:00 and by this time, my leg was KILLING me. That probably contributed to my desire to commit physical violence! It had started to get sore about halfway through the high school open house and by the time I got home, it was so painful I could barely make it up the driveway and stairs. I went straight to my room and plopped on the bed, where it has continued to ache for the last two hours, even though I've taken a double dose of painkillers. Ugh!

Tomorrow we only have the elementary school open house, with only one child attending, so that should be quick and easy, thank goodness! I just hope my leg is feeling better by then and I haven't set myself back. I didn't really have a choice, we had to go to open house and Mike is at work, so he couldn't do it for me. I have to say that Luke was very sweet to me the entire time. He wasn't at all embarrassed to push me around his school and he kept asking if I was alright and was I hurting. He was really worried about my pain when I was driving and kept asking if I needed more help. That sort of made up for the kids who treated me like a leper. Although, I also have to say that Hannah was fine with me, once we actually got to the school. She didn't act embarrassed at all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hamstring progress

My leg now barely hurts as long as I stay off it. As soon as I start walking around too much, the pain is back. The good part is that the pain goes away again as soon as I stop walking. I even managed to make two homemade pizzas tonight, before the pain was so intense, even after pain meds, that I had to sit down. Of course, I had a ton of help from Alex and a little from Shauna or I never would have been able to do that. I had to have Jack get the pizzas out of the oven and cut them because I was in too much pain.

The other good news is that the PT noticed, as did I, that the hamstring muscles aren't tightening up anywhere nearly as badly as they were, even last Friday. That is good progress. My doctor ordered a wheelchair for me, which is getting delivered tomorrow, so I can go to the kid's open houses this week. I am going to be embarrassed using the wheelchair, but apparently Alex and Hannah are going to be even more embarrassed. Both are threatening not to go to open house if they have to be seen with me. They think they are so smart, wait until they realize that not only am I going to be in a wheelchair, but I am going to wear my highly dreaded fannie pack as well!!!!

Another mini-meltdown

Well, today started off fairly smoothly. I had a PT appointment in the afternoon and I was almost ready to go when I heard screaming from the family room. It was Hannah yelling something and Shauna screaming, "Stop, you're hurting me! Owww! Hannah, stoooooop!", over and over again. Since I can't move quickly, there wasn't a whole lot I could do. Then Shauna managed to break away and came running in my room, screaming in pain. It turned out that Hannah had somehow found a perfume that they both thought belonged to them. Shauna told Hannah that she couldn't use it and Hannah said she could and she grabbed Shauna's hand around the finger area and was squeezing as hard as she could. Shauna must have told her to stop at least 10 times and made it very clear that Hannah was hurting her. Hannah finally came in my room after I called her three times on the phone and she kept hanging up on me. I asked each one what had happened and both girls had the same story. Hannah, however, felt that she was justified in what she did because Shauna pinched her. I asked her why Shauna pinched her and she said, "Because I was squeezing her hand and she wanted me to stop." So I said, "Well, if you were hurting her and she was trying to get you to stop, that is called self defense and that is allowed." I explained several times, but Hannah just couldn't "get it". She was convinced that she was in the right. I told her that she was going to get a consequence for the physical violence and she yelled "Whatever" as she headed toward my bedroom door to leave. Of course, she couldn't leave it at that and she was furious with me, so she grabbed an expensive, handmade porcelain doll that I had on my dresser and she threw it across the room at me. It missed me, but hit the wood on the side of my bed frame and broke the face. I was heartbroken because I absolutely love that doll.

I remember the day I got the doll in September of 1997. I was at a local craft fair with my friend, Debbie and I had Hannah in the stroller. We came upon a booth of handcrafted porcelain dolls.
They were beautiful and extremely well done. There was an African American baby girl doll, sucking her thumb that looked so much like Hannah that I had to have it. The price was really high, I think close to $200 and I really have never spent that much money on anything like that in my life, but it looked so much like Hannah that I couldn't resist. I ended up putting it on layaway and paying it off over a few months. I truly loved that doll because to me it represented the incredible love that I had for my first daughter.

I am going to talk to Hannah alone tonight and let her know just how much what she did hurt me. I don't want to make her feel bad, but she needs to realize that when she doesn't control herself, it can really physically or emotionally hurt someone. I know she will understand me, but when she gets into one of her rages, all of the little bit of logic that she actually has retained, goes straight out the window.

Well, that went well. As I was finishing up that last sentence, she came in my room and I told her I wanted to talk about the doll. She ran for the door and I told her to get back in here and she screamed, "No, it will just make me mad, I'm not talking about it". I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to try again, but she WILL talk about it, whether she wants to or not.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dog or cat?

I guess this is what happens when you bring an eight week old puppy into a house with nine cats!
He can't figure out if he is canine or feline. Maybe he should have some counseling!


Last night, Mike sent Hannah into my bedroom to take her medicine. She came in crying, saying she didn't understand why she had to take medicine and none of her friends did, etc. I hugged her and told her that I understood why she feels that way, but she still had to take the meds. I explained that a part of her brain didn't work right and the medicine makes it work the way it is supposed to. At first it seemed like she was going to take it, but all of a sudden her mood switched from sobbing to anger and she started yelling at me and refusing to take the medicine. She then left the room without taking it, even though I told her that if she didn't take it last night, she would be grounded today.

So this morning she came in my room and asked if she could go to her friend's house. I said, no because you are grounded today because you didn't take your medicine last night. For the next 15 minutes, she cried, screamed, and basically bugged me over and over to let her go out. She threatened to break my leg and I thought she was going to get violent, but the most she did was gently push my good leg. I could tell she wanted to kick me, but controlled herself, which is a great thing. She finally calmed down a bit and I told her that if she took a small portion of her meds and didn't tantrum for the rest of the day, she could go out for two hours at 4:00. She agreed, took the meds with no problem and went on her way. I don't ever like to shorten a consequence, but Hannah has a very warped sense of time and a whole day seems like several days to her, so I think making her stay in until 4:00 is enough to make her reconsider not taking meds at night. I did tell her that if she refuses the meds again, the grounding would not be shortened for any reason.

I'm sure the mood swings were caused by me because I told her she didn't have to take her meds last Saturday night because she went to a sleepover with all the girls from the neighborhood and I know it embarrasses her to take meds in front of them and they ask all sorts of questions. She can't take them before the sleepover because she can't stay awake for than 20 minutes or so after she takes them. It's amazing how not taking them just one day makes such a difference. Well, looking on the bright side, at least I know the meds are really working!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Party Results

Hannah and her best friend, Shannon. They have been best friends for 8 years!
The grilling Mikes. My Mike on the left and our across the street neighbor, Mike on the right. They won the best grill on the block contest, hands down!
Shannon, Shauna and Aaron
All the grown-ups, chatting away.

The cul-de-sac party was so much fun! I was really tired and in pain and trying to decide if it was worth the effort to get myself down the front stairs, down the steep driveway and across the street. I am so glad that I decided to take a double dose of painkillers and head out. It was so nice to talk to adults, since I've basically been stuck in the house for the past month, with my kids. I was actually able to sit in a lawnchair with a pillow for 3 1/2 hours, without much pain at all.

Cul-de-sac party

We are having a cul-de-sac party today. It is something some of us have talked about doing since we moved in 8 years ago. I think we decided not to because we had some jerky people in our cul-de-sac at first, but they all moved out and really nice people moved in, so now is a really good time. The newest arrival, Kim, who has lived here about a year and a half now, organized it. I hope I am able to go. I'm a little worried because it is still really painful to sit and I can't stand for more than a few minutes because I am so shaky and weak.

I also have to prepare dishes to share, but the kids and Mike will help with that. Steven is going to make a corn salad, a recipe I found on some one's blog (can't remember which blog). I'm also going to make my broccoli casserole that my kids love. The girls and Alex are going to make a pan of brownies and Steven just told me that he is going to make a chocolate snack cake that his friend's mom makes. I'm so glad he is working at a restaurant and is now interested in cooking.

Typical conversation with Steven before the restaurant job:

Steven: "Mom, can I have some soup/tuna/spaghetti o's, etc."
Mom: "Sure."
Steven: "Will you make it for me?"
Mom: "No, you can make it yourself."
Steven: "Never mind, if I have to open a can, I just won't eat."

Conversation with Steven after taking the restaurant job:

Steven: "If you give me the recipe, I will make the whole thing." (I had asked him last night to just slice the tomatoes and cucumbers that I need for the corn salad, not actually make it)
Mom: "Oh, thanks, that would be great."
Steven: "I'm also going to make the chocolate snack cake that Jeff's mom makes, if Dad bought all the ingredients."
Mom: No reply, she is too shocked to talk!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I don't have any more babies

Alex and Hannah just left to go to the outlet mall with friends to shop for back to school clothes. They picked out really good things when they went shopping last weekend with Mike, so I hope they do so again this time. They are especially good at finding bargains, I guess some of what I tell them really does sink in!

It just makes me sad that my kids are so grown up that they are able to go out shopping without me. This year Shauna isn't interested in going with them, but I'm sure she will be next year as she enters middle school.

I think I need some grandchildren!

My garage is getting cleaned! YAY!

Our garage isn't really a garage, not now anyway. It is a 21 x 25 foot storage area for a ton of junk. Steven has decided that since his car is not drivable and he doesn't have the money to fix it, he wants to put it in the garage so he can take the car insurance off and turn in the license plate. Our homeowner's association doesn't allow unlicensed cars on the street or driveway, so this makes sense.

Steven actually started the chore yesterday (and called in sick to work, against my wishes, even though he was fine). Today Mike and Luke joined him. I ventured out of my room for a few minutes and took a quick peak at what they had accomplished. It is coming along, but it will take quite an effort to even fit one car in. I have a feeling that I will be putting a lot of things on freecycle tonight.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lime Ice Cream

We made a batch of lime ice cream last night. It was delicious. I guess it was really sherbert, but I am going to call it ice cream because after almost 26 years of marriage and dating for almost two years before that, Mike and I still have the sherbet/sherbert debate! According to the dictionary and Wikipedia, they are both acceptable, but I still like sherbert better, since that is the way it has always been said in my family. The ice cream was delicious and even though the recipe said it makes two quarts, it made closer to three.

Lime Ice Cream

3 ounce Lime Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 6 ounce frozen limeade (thawed)
1 dash salt
1 quart of milk (I used skim)
1 pint half and half
8 drops green food coloring

In large bowl, dissolve jello in boiling water.

Add sugar, thawed limeade and salt. Mix until sugar is all dissolved.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Make according to directions on your ice cream maker.

Results of the cleaning job

I haven't talked to my mom yet, to get her version of how well Alex and Hannah cleaned, but they said it went well and they had fun. They each earned $15 and Gramma treated them to Burger King. Hannah said there was a small glitch because Gramma told her to wash the woodwork in the family room and use her fingers to get all of the cat hair that had accumulated around the edges of the room. I call it baseboard, so she didn't know what woodwork meant, so she only got the cat hair cleaned up and thought she was done.

I will see my mom tomorrow when she drives me to physical therapy, so I will ask her how they did. I hope they did a good job, then she might ask them to come once in a while and help her out.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Earning money

Alex and Hannah are obsessed with buying new clothes for school. Hannah is going to middle school this year and is checking with Alex, who will be in his last year of middle school this year, which of her clothes are appropriate for middle school. She keeps telling him that she doesn't want people looking at her and saying "Oh, that is so elementary school". She wouldn't even pick out a backpack without Alex's approval.

Yesterday, they came to me with a question of how they could earn some extra money to buy school clothes. I didn't really have any ideas for them, but when Gramma brought me home from physical therapy yesterday, they were on the front balcony and asked her if she had any work she would like them to do. I told her they were trying to earn extra money for clothes and she said they could come help her clean today. She is having company in a couple of weeks, so she has plenty for them to do. She picked them up about 2:30 today and plans to have them scrub her baseboards and kitchen cabinets. I think they will do a good job. Of course, at home they would spend 2 minutes, do a half-assed job and whine and cry when I told them it wasn't good enough!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ice cream and brownies for dinner

The homemade vanilla ice cream came out great! We made 3 quarts and ate 1 quart while it was still soft-serve, directly out of the ice cream maker. We put 2 quarts in the freezer for later. It was yummy! As we were all sampling the ice cream and waiting for the brownies to cool, Alex said that he hadn't eaten dinner yet. That made me realize that none of us had eaten dinner! I had forgotten all about it. I had tried to talk Jack and Alex into making english muffin pizzas around 5:00, but they didn't want to. After that, I just forgot about it. Great parenting here! Oh well, tomorrow's another day.

I can't wait to try some more ice cream flavors, especially peppermint stick, which is my favorite and I haven't had it in several years. I guess the 12 pounds that I lost since I tore my hamstring will be rushing right back to join their friends!

Homemade Ice Cream, what was I thinking????

My leg felt so much better after physical therapy today. Since I hadn't had to take a pain pill since 1:30 this afternoon and I could walk around, almost pain free, I decided to make some homemade ice cream with the kids. We got an electric ice cream maker from freecyle at the same time that my leg got really bad, so I haven't been able to try it out yet. Anyway, this was a very bad idea! By the time I had mixed the ice cream ingredients together, my leg was killing me. I managed to get it all into the ice cream maker and turn it on before I had to crash on the bed.

I took a pain pill right away so, hopefully, I will feel well enough in a little while to get the ice cream out when it is done churning. This is my first ever attempt at homemade ice cream and I don't have an instruction booklet, so I hope it works. I was going to make some homemade fudge sauce to go with the vanilla ice cream, but I guess I will have to see how well this pain pill works, before I attempt that!

3 of the older boys are off to hockey, one is working overtime and the 3 little ones are making brownies. Sorry, Mikey, I'm sure they will all be gone before you get home this weekend!

Vanilla Ice Cream

Makes 3 quarts

6 large eggs (I use eggbeaters)
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 cups heavy cream
3 cups milk (I use skim)
6 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk eggs until light and fluffy.

Whisk in sugar, a little at a time.

Add cream, milk and vanilla and mix very well.

Make according to your ice cream maker.

Job News

Jack is still looking for a job and he applied at Colonial Williamsburg a few weeks ago. They called yesterday and he has an interview next Wednesday, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying that he gets the job. As much as I've loved having his help and company around the house, he really needs a job!

Speaking of jobs, Alex and Hannah have decided they want to try to earn some spending money. They asked Gramma if they could help her clean her house and she told them she would think about it. They aren't the best cleaners at home, but they would probably do a better job at someone else's house.

Physical Therapy

I love physical therapy! It has helped so much with the pain. At first it would feel great for about 12 hours after therapy and then the very intense pain would come back. This last week, though, the pain has steadily been decreasing, so I'm thrilled.

Now I'm working on getting some of my strength back. Since I've barely been getting out of bed for three weeks, I am very weak. As soon as I walk further than 10 feet, I get really shaky. Just taking a shower is a major event and I have to rest for at least an hour afterwards.

My mom bought me a beautiful cobalt blue shirt as a get well gift and gave it to me when she picked me up for therapy. It is really pretty and, of course I love anything blue!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Heard from a former foster son

One of my all time favorite foster sons called me today. He was Johnny when we got him at age 3 months. He was tiny thing, only 8 pounds and he had three broken bones. We had him until he was a year and a half old, when he and his bio sister were adopted by a wonderful couple. His name is now Ryan (his choice) and he is 19 years old. He just graduated and is soon to be starting college majoring in Homeland Security. I am so proud of him, he had a ton of obstacles to overcome and he has done a great job. It was so good to hear from him!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Wonderful Helpers

Since I have been bedridden, the family has really stepped up to help out, without complaining! Mike and Jack and Luke have taken over my share of the housework and they have taken on the task of making sure the kids follow through with their daily chores. They have also had to do all the cooking. Granted, cooking for them is heating chicken nuggets, frozen pizzas, etc. But, Mike made burgers on the grill tonight. Still, they are keeping everyone fed.

The younger kids have been fantastic in their behavior (with a small exception of Hannah, who had one or two semi-bad days after vacationing with Tricia and Tim, where she didn't take all of her meds every day) and they have been pitching in to bring me food, drinks, etc. I love it when they come in and sit on my bed and talk. Steven has also been very good about helping me, when he is here. Same with Drew, although he is rarely here.

My mom has been taking me to all of my physical therapy sessions, which I really appreciate since I can't sit up to drive. She reclines the seat for me and I elevate my left foot on my purse, which makes the ride bearable, since there isn't much pressure on the back of my thigh.

Tricia and Tim took the kids to the Outer Banks, as I said before, which gave me four days of not having to worry about them. I wish I could have gone, too, since I was invited, but it would just have been too painful to even consider.

Steven's Job

Well, he has been working at a local restaurant for a little over 3 weeks now, full time. He still loves it, which is great! The first day he washed dishes and since then they have had him cutting food, preparing salads, peeling potatoes, etc. He has been coming home and giving me advice on how to cut and cook!

Yesterday, he came home from work and told me that he really loves working in the restaurant and is thinking that if he continues to like it, he might go to community college to get his Associates degree and then go to culinary school. WOW! What a change from the kid, who three weeks ago, was only interesting in getting high or drunk as much as possible.

I know, from lots and lots of experience, not to get my hopes up too high. This could all change in a heartbeat and he will quit the job and go back to his usual ways. I know that, but I can't help but hope that this will be the time he truly changes. It would be so wonderful for him to find something he truly loves and have him follow through with it. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed and praying that this works out well for him.

When I am feeling better and can start cooking again, I'm going to see if he would like to help me out a little, maybe even teach me a few things!

Oh, I forgot about this, Chef let him cook burgers for himself and one of the other workers and
Steven said when he flipped the burger, it broke and Chef told him not to worry that he would learn with practice. That seemed to help raise Steven's confidence.

He also, very sweetly, brought me home a bacon cheeseburger a couple of days ago! He isn't usually thoughtful, so this was really special!

School Supplies

Since I can't go shopping, Mike has taken over the back to school supply shopping this year. He took Alex and Hannah shopping yesterday and they each got some new jeans, since their school doesn't allow shorts. Hannah got two pairs and Alex got one. They did a great job picking them out and making sure they weren't too expensive (they used their own money for those).

Today, Mike took Alex, Hannah and Shauna shopping. They got backpacks and almost all of the other school supplies they needed. Shauna and Hannah got some shoes as well. I am proud of Mike, he did a great job. It is stressful and confusing to buy school supplies for a lot of kids and he handled it very well.


I guess I am still making progress in my healing. I am very sore, but the intense pain is pretty much gone. I am still needing pain pills every four hours or so and I still can't sit without a lot of pain, but even that is getting better, very slowly.

I am tired of being in bed!!! I finally got all the medication issues worked out with the doctor and that has helped a great deal. I really look forward to my physical therapy appointments on Tuesdays and Fridays. That is the only time I leave the house all week.

So far, because of my torn hamstring, I have missed two of Alex's plays, a trip to the Outer Banks, my work Family Festival and my niece, Tatum's second birthday party. Not to mention several days of work.

I never thought I would say this, but I am so anxious to get better that I am even looking forward to doing housework!!!!! I should mark this on my calender because it won't ever happen again!!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slowly but surely

I'm feeling a little less pain the last couple of days. I hope this upward trend continues. I am so tired on being in bed 24/7 and missing the last few weeks of the kids summer vacation. At this rate, I might not be out of bed before they head back to school.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Some light at the end of the tunnel

I've been in too much pain to blog lately, but I think I'm finally starting to heal. I went for my first physical therapy appointment today and it went great. I was terrified that I would have to do a bunch of really painful exercises, but that didn't happen at all. The girl who took care of me was very nice and gentle. She took a bunch of measurements for swelling and gave me some ultrasound therapy on the muscles and then finished with a massage, which surprisingly didn't hurt at all. The muscles feel a little sore right now, but I guess that is to be expected. I am looking forward to going again on Friday.

I am having no luck in getting the doctor to call me back to renew my muscle relaxers and pain medication. He didn't call at all yesterday and so I called again today and still no response. I guess my pain isn't as much of a concern for him as it is for me! I'm a little worried about how tonight will go, since I only have two vicodin left to take for pain. I hope I'm able to sleep.

Before my therapy session, I was really nervous and I cried when Mike called to wish me good luck. He was very supportive, which helped me a lot. My mom drove me to the YMCA for therapy and the car ride was pretty painful, but she suggested I recline the seat, which helped a lot.

Alex, Hannah and Shauna went to the outer banks with Tricia and Tim and their kids. They are having a great time and I wish I could have gone with them. I am so glad, though, they are out of the house and having fun. Having to stay in bed all day would be a lot worse if I knew they were having to fend for themselves. I really miss them, though, and am anxious to see them tomorrow.

Jack, Drew, Steven and Luke have been a huge help to me. Jack took the lead in cleaning the house, without being asked and assigned everyone chores (Steven hasn't done his share yet, not surprising). Drew volunteered to work for me on Tuesday. Luke has been helping Jack the most with the cleaning and they are all taking turns refilling my water bottle and bringing me food. Steven even shaved my legs before my therapy appointment!!! I think that almost makes up for the fact that he went to his friend's house without putting the clean laundry away. He told me he would make Steakums for dinner, but then he told me he wouldn't be home until 11, so I guess he won't be doing that.