Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall is here

I don't know why, but I am not a huge fan of fall. I love spring- The colors are so vibrant as they come out and after a long dreary winter, and I am so thankful to get out of my frumpy sweaters and put on a t-shirt. I love summer- I love the feel of the sun on my skin, I love to be hot, I love to drink ice water all day and not get cold from it. I used to like fall somewhat, back when I lived in New Mexico. It signaled a time for things to slow down and time to spend more time with the family. The colors were beautiful as the trees turned yellow, orange and red. You would think with all of the trees in Texas we would have a beautiful fall- WRONG. Fall here stinks. The trees just turn a sickly yellow and then brown and fall everywhere. There are no brilliant color shows, not fiery backdrops, just dead leaves. I hate to be cold. I much prefer sweating than shivering. I do not like to have to get up in the dark, or to be at practice and it be dark- at 7:00. I love to wake up with the sun and play late into the night. I am not ready to pull out sweaters again, I get so sick of them. Fall is not a time to slow down any more- life just keeps truckin' on by. The kids are just busy no matter what time of year it is. The only thing that is worse than fall is winter. I liked it better in New Mexico where we had a real winter and could go into the mountains and play in the snow. It felt like winter there. Here it just gets cold, and with all the humidity in the air it chills you to the bone. I just feels like a cold, fake winter without snow. Thank goodness it doesn't last to long here. It is nice to get a break from watering the lawn and running the AC- two very expensive things here, so I always remind myself of that to make me feel better. I do, however look forward to the day I am back in my bathing suit laying at the pool. I guess I will go switch up the kids closets and bring their warm clothes forward. Fall is knocking at my door, telling me it has arrived.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Time for an attitude adjustment

When Decota was little, and we were both mad and upset (which seems to happen to both of us at the same time, often), we would decide it was time for an attitude adjustment. In order to change our attitude we would turn each other's noses upside down and make a cute little sound effect. At that point we would laugh, hug, and life was good again. I think I am about ready to twist everyone's nose right now. We are in serious need of an attitude adjustment in the Johnson home.
Thursday Rodney parents called to let us know that they would be coming down with Alicia, Dustin and Logan for the weekend. Rodney also found out that he would have to go to Houston on Friday to watch a test being preformed for work. When I took the kids to school on Friday I made them promise to come home ready to pitch in and help me get the house clean. I decided I was going to work real hard and get at least the downstairs done by myself while they were at school. It literally took me the WHOLE school day to get my downstairs done. It took me so long to hop on one leg everywhere and clean. Vacuuming, sweeping, and moping were KILLERS. It took me at least 5 times as long as normal to do them. I was hot, sweaty, and sore, but I was determined to do it all on my own and surprise the kids. By the time picked them up from school I was EXHAUSTED. I had completed everything downstairs, did all the laundry (I developed a really great way to haul laundry baskets around by sticking my bad foot in it and dragging it behind as I hobble on my crutches), and had done all of my room except for the vacuuming in there. All the kids had left were their rooms, bathrooms, and basic chores. I thought they would be so grateful for all that I did to make it easier for them, and that they would pitch in and get it all done in 1/2 an hour. I was wrong. 3 hours later I was TICKED that I had told them to get busy a million times, and they were still goofing off. I finally yelled at them and told them to get off their lazy butts and get it done NOW! I was then informed what a rotten mom I was and how horribly I talked to my kids. Decota tried to tell me that she had a party to be at so she couldn't do her chores, she had run out of time. I didn't let her get away with that and told her that she had to finish to go- She was an hour late and was not a happy camper. By the time our company came I was aggravated- both at my kids for being such brats, and at myself for not being able to do all that I usually can. When Rodney's parents got here his mom took me to the grocery store to help me get my shopping done. I am too stubborn to ride in one of those conspicuous motorized obesity carts, so I hobbled all through the store on my crutches. By 10:00pm we were home, Rodney was back home, and the groceries were put away, but I was sore and tired. Instead of going to bed being thankful for all that I achieved in the day, I went to bed frustrated that I was so irritated with my kids and that it was taking me so much effort to do anything.
Saturday I was sore. I enjoyed the day of soccer and hanging out, but I was sore (my armpit would burn like an electric charge if my crutch put any pressure on the right place). I just felt tired and blah. I hate to feel that way when I have company because that is when it is time to play, but I was just blah.
Sunday I think we were all done for. My armpit was killing me. I had to hold my crutches a different way so that it would not touch my armpit at all, but that cramped up my hands. I felt like I was moving like a turtle, and was, quite frankly, trying to do the least I could so I didn't have to move to much. I had asked for my kids help several times, and they started saying "NO, we are sick of helping you." I was feeling SO frustrated. I am sick of asking for help. I like to do things on my own. I hate that I can't even carry a glass of water upstairs by myself. I was so mad that they flat out refused to help. No matter what, I am the mom and they should do as they are told- period. It all made me very emotional, and felt like crying on and off all day. I started being ornery to them, and when they asked for help on things I would say "I am sick of helping you"- which made me feel bad, but also made me feel good, like an 8 year old brat who "just showed you". By night I was feeling guilty, so I cooled it and helped Decota and Cambria out with some projects. Once again I was pooped by bedtime.
This morning I got up and got the kids ready. I was determined to make it a better day. Before I knew it Declan and Decota are fighting, hitting, and shoving each other. They started yelling an screaming at me to get up and fix their fight. I was instantly fired up. They had been piddling all morning. They were doing things to just irritate each other. I was done. Rodney heard them and he was done. We got everyone around the breakfast table and #1 grounded Declan and Decota all weekend next weekend, #2 lectured them on helping out, and #3 told everyone to change their attitude. They left for school with a little bit better of an attitude, but a long way to go. I am blogging with a little bit better of an attitude, but have a long way to go also.
I guess it is up to me to get my head on straight before they come home. I need to do something to set the tone for the week when they walk in the door. I will rest a while today and get some of my energy back. They want to go to this Trunk-or-Treat thing at the church tonight (notice I did not call it STIPID Trunk-or-Treat thing, which is how I feel), and I have told them no way; so I guess I could just buck up and do it because they want to (have I ever told you how much I hate Halloween- ugh, bad attitude). I will have a yummy dinner ready that smells great when they walk in the door, that always puts me in a good mood. I am going to only use my nice voice (I figure even if it sounds fake at first, my mood will eventually catch on, right). I am going to not think about all that I can't do right now, and get over it. This is temporary, I am not permanently disabled. I have figured out how to do almost everything. I am not going to whine over a couple of lost conveniences. I am LUCKY that I will soon be whole and fixed. My family is TOTALY capable of helping me out, I would do it for them, and I am NOT raising spoiled rotten brats that expect the world to wait on them hand and foot. They are good kids, they are just tired too. This all affects them also. I guess in the end it is OK for all of my family to be human, it is just time for all of us to suck it up and be better. It is time for an attitude change.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bodies Rock

Today I saw my doctor for my 2 week follow-up. It AMAZES me how wonderfully the body works, and how quickly it fixes itself. How can you look at a body and not see a miracle. I had all of the tape that was on my incisions removed, and was amazed to see my leg healed- no stitches, no staples, just pulled back together with tape. It is so cool. I also got about 4 pages full of pictures of my surgery. It is amazing what doctors can do to fix us. I love those pictures and am so excited to show them to anyone that will look! My new ligament is BEAUTIFUL. It is so big and looks so strong. I am so excited. I also was able to see my meniscus, and it was pretty cool. It was not only torn, but it had come unattached in a spot and would fold over itself. My doctor (who I think is awesome) told me that he ended up cutting part of it off because it was so torn up and was in a place that allowed him to remove it, and then he reattached the rest of it. My therapist and I were hoping that I would be able to put some weight on it this week, but my doctor said it was too substantial of a tear, and that I would have to wait 2 more weeks. In 2 weeks I will be able to put 25 lbs of pressure on it, and then a week later 50 lbs. So the bad news is- 4 more weeks on crutches, 4 more weeks with this DANG anti-embolism sock (although he is letting me take it off at night now), and I only get to go to therapy (which I love) 1 time a week for the next 4 weeks (my insurance only allows me 18-20 therapy visits, and I have accomplished all that I can do there for now, and I am motivated enough to do the exercises on my own at home, so they want to save the rest for when I can walk again). The good news- I can get my whole leg wet now, no more ace bandage, I am healing very well, and my doctor called me superwoman and told me he wished all of his patients were like me (because I have worked so hard and my movement great, and mostly because I have not taken any pain pills since 36 hours after my surgery). I just feel so lucky in this whole ordeal- #1 because my husband and kids are AWESOME and have totally stepped up and made this very easy and guilt free, #2 because my mom and dad have been so great with all of their help and support, #3 because I am so pleased with my doctor and my therapist, and #4 because I will not have to worry about every little thing popping my knee out- I WILL BE FIXED! I can't believe how wonderfully this has all worked out! I am so pleased with my results, my supportive family, and my miraculous body!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life in the slow lane!

I have not written in what feels like forever. I just do not seem to have anything great to write about. I feels like my days are flying by with me only accomplishing a couple of minute things. This weekend we were out the door to soccer at 9:00am. At 3:00 we were finally finished and headed to a restaurant to get an sandwich for "linner". We went to a place we had never been called "Life's a Beach". It kind of had a caribbean flair to all of it's dishes, and I ended up with Caribbean Jerk Chicken Nachos which were very yummy. We sat indoors so we could watch football, but the whole wall was glass doors that were opened, so it was like sitting on the patio. At the edge of the patio were sand volleyball courts. The weather was so beautiful, the kids were having so much fun playing volleyball, Rodney was enjoying the OU vs Kansas Game, and I was so comfortable with my leg propped up and watching the kids that we ended up staying 3 hours. After we got home Rodney and I went to a Halloween party, I was dressed as a broken Cowboys team, Rodney was dressed as the Cowboys guardian angel who is on vacation (complete with wings, a lei, and a grass skirt). It was fun. We finally got home at 10:30, and I was pooped. Luckily church had been moved to 1:00, so we were able to sleep in and get our chores done. After church I decided to make a decent dinner, but it sure took me a lot longer than normal. The kids had a fireside and I was pushing it to get it made and them out the door on time. I was pooped by that evening, and just cuddled up with Cambria and watched Food Network. Yesterday I had physical therapy, and my therapist pushed me hard. He introduced more exercises into my routine, and put weights on my legs for old exercises. My movement has gotten really good, so he feels like, until I can put weight on it, there is not much else he can help me with. I only get 20 visits from my insurance, so he does not want to use them up until I get to put weight on my leg. I will go on Wednesday again, and then go to the Doctor, but if he doesn't release me to put weight on it (which I doubt he will) I will only go to therapy 1 time a week until I am released. I will just have to work out a home. Yesterday afternoon I ran with Rodney to get dog food and new A/C filters. I was SO exhausted by the time we got back. Every muscle in my body ached. When the kids got home I think they could tell I was beat. They all got right to work on their homework and got it done. I laid in bed with Declan and watched part of a movie with him, and then when he went to bed I did too. I never go to bed before 11:00, but last night I went to bed at 9:45. I slept all night, no waking up to adjust or anything. Today I do not have anything except Declan's football game, so I am going to take it easy, elevate and ice my leg, and watch some TV (rough life huh). Rodney and the kids have been SO WONDERFUL since mom left. My house is spotless, and they are so sweet and helpful. I sure appreciate how much they show me they love me. Hopefully my Dr will have a good report for me tomorrow! (I am so ready to take off this uncomfortable anti-embolism sock!!!) I am sure he will. I may be tired, but I feel pretty dang good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Physical Therapy

Today I had my 1st Physical Therapy appointment. It felt so great to get my leg moving. It is amazing how quickly the muscles try to run away and hide. It was very hard to get any definition in my quad when I was flexing it- and it has only been one week. He put a shocker on my leg that would send pulses into my quad muscle and make it tighten up, and then I would use my strength to try to tighten it further. After a few minutes of it you could see a resemblance of a muscle again. It actually felt great though! I felt really good when we were all done, and my movement had increased quite a bit in the hour and a half I was working it. I have to go 3 times a week, which stinks in some ways, but is great in others. I like the feeling of working out and breaking a sweat, and I feel quite invigorated to be moving my body. I can feel my strength grow by leaps and bounds everyday, and my comfort is getting so much better.
Today mom spent the afternoon baking and freezing treats for the kids so that I could pull them out for them after she left. She is definitely going to get me the good mom award for all of her efforts. She has spoiled us SO MUCH while she has been here!!!! It will be so sad when she leaves, but I'm sure she will be ready to take a month long nap! It has been so nice to have her around, and I am hoping now that I am feeling better, we might be able to enjoy each others company a little more over the last few days!
I am so glad that the worst is behind me and that the best is yet to come!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 10, 2008- Decota turns 12!

I can't believe how quickly 12 years has passes me by. Twelve years ago Decota made a statement as she came into the world. I think she has been making them ever since. Let me explain.

I was not ready for Decota to be born. I had a lease that was up within a couple days, was waiting on our first house to close, and had a million things to do. Decota's pregnancy had not been the easiest one. Although I felt great, I was having a lot of pain in my side because of the way she was laying on my hip. At times my left leg would kind of drag behind, and I worried that she might break my hip when she came out. It also seemed that she was not growing like she should. There was very little amniotic fluid in the sac, and the Dr. was very worried about this. He was also worried about my body because of how many times I had been pregnant within the last year (Declan's pregnancy, five months later when I was pregnant again and then miscarried three months into it, and then two weeks after my miscarriage when I found out I was pregnant with Decota). Towards the end of my pregnancy with her I was going in for ultrasounds every week. I kept telling her that I needed her to be 2 weeks late. In true Decota fashion, she didn't listen. I went in for an ultrasound one morning, and because she was showing signs of stress, did not seem to have gained any weight in the last month or so ( he thought she was 4 lbs max), and my body was starting into labor, the doctor decided I needed to be at the hospital by noon to be induced! I was not ready! I had totally convinced myself she would be late, and it was 8 days early. After I was in the hospital for a couple of hours and things were progressing, Decota's heart rate dropped in half and her stress levels increased. Everything was kind of a blur to me at that point, but I do remember that I was not fully dilated so the Dr. told me he would have to try to dilate me by hand, I remember they had life flight ready to take Decota to Albuquerque, and I remember him saying I had to push really hard while he tried to vacuum her out or I would have to have an emergency C-section. I also remember that there was a lot of family there, and nobody quite knew where to go. They wanted to give me privacy, yet they also wanted to know exactly what was going on. At one point the nurse asked me if she should send everyone away, but I did not care - I just wanted Decota to be out and healthy. And then, all of a sudden, there she was. Out, stress gone, heart rate normal, healthy, and 6 pounds (my biggest baby)! In the end, I think all of the drama was created by Decota just so everyone knew she was coming and it would be a grand entrance to remember. She seemed to say "I'm here world, and I am going to show everyone that I can fight through anything and come out stronger than you could ever guess!".

12 years later not much has changed. Decota is still a fighter, and she still loves a dramatic effect. She still has a way of sucking people in and keeping every one's attention on her (In a good way, thank goodness). She has had a life full of unusual events- Her Arthritis and Iritis of course, and all of the hospitals and doctors that come with those diseases, being attacked by a cat and bitten by it all over resulting in a trip to the ER, stuffing a whole cardboard nerds box and a paper towel up her nose while traveling because she was bored- another trip to the ER, a broken arm on the day 1st day of our move into our new house in Texas- ER again, knocking out 2 teeth on the tramp that came out through her lip- yep, ER again. And when she is not at the doctors or in the ER, she is busily involved in everything. She loves parties, spend the nights, riding bikes, going on walks, swimming, shopping, doing hair, doing nails, doing makeovers, dancing, playing soccer, going to sports events, being involved in school organizations, and talking on the phone. Life is one big social event for Decota, and she always seems to end up the belle of the ball. Through all of the good and bad in her life she just keeps surprising us with all that she can accomplish in such a positive manner.

Today was Decota's first day in Young Women's (another social event she has been greatly anticipating). I was not able to go to church today because of my knee, so Rodney got to go into Young Women's and do her official introduction to the girls. I love it when he gets a chance to say wonderful things about the kids in front of people because they are so heartfelt;yet, at the same time I felt like I missed out. If I was there this is what I would have said:

I am here to tell you all a little about your new friend Decota. I know that several of you are quite a bit older than her, but I can guarantee you she will be your friend. Decota is someone that somehow can magically break down the barriers of age and become a friend to anyone. She is very easy to talk to, and loves to listen. Although she loves to joke and tease, you will always know that when she is serious everything she says is very genuine and sincere, and she truly wants anyone that is around her to be comfortable and happy. Decota is a fighter- she not only fights for her health, she fights for her friends, she fights for fairness, she fights for people's feelings, she fights for what's right. Decota loves to be active. She is willing to jump in and try anything. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty and work hard. She loves order and organization and can easily whip a group, or a room, into shape. Decota loves to dance. Music has always been a joy for her, and she has always bopped right along to the beat. She works very hard at her dance classes, and I have no doubt that whatever she decides she wants to do with this talent, she has the ability to do it. I believer that everyone in this room will have their life blessed because of Decota's presence in it. I also believe that everyone in this room will bless Decota in her own life in their own, special, individual way. She can learn so much from all of the girls in Young Women's- please give her the opportunity to learn from you. I am so proud of the beautiful girl that Decota is. I have enjoyed her personality over the last 12 years, and have become a better person because of her in my life. I am so excited to watch her grow and blossom into an even more beautiful daughter of God as she learns and realizes her potential in this world, and as she develops an even greater relationship with her Father in Heaven. I love you Decota, and welcome to Young Women's!

It is always sad when one phase in life ends- but then it is always exciting as another one begins. I will never have a chubby cheeked little Decota with her Disney dress-ups, feather boa, and plastic high heels dragging a baby doll around the house anymore, and that makes me a bit sad (thank goodness for cameras and scrapbooks). However, I am excited to watch the now tall and lean faced Decota in her fashionable clothes, matching accessories, and "cute" shoes drag her homework around as she talks on the phone and blares music in the background. I know that the next few years may get rocky at times, that there will be many times when she may forget she likes me, and that I may feel like I'm riding a rollercoaster; however, I know that in the end I love Decota, Decota loves me, Decota is an incredible girl. I know that everything will turn out great, and that this exciting stage of growing up will only happen once in her lifetime- and I want to be there to share in every aspect of it. I am so glad she is mine, and I know (even when she says otherwise) that she feels the same way about me.

I love you Decota. Continue to have the courage to fight for what is right. Shock the world as you defeat obstacles in your way. Make this place better because you are here. And always remember- no matter how old you are, you will always be my sweet little princess!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On The Road to Recovery

I really did not expect this surgery to be such a big deal. I was sure I would be walking around pretty good by now, and that I would be shocking the pants off of everyone as I "recovered so fast". I was wrong! It has been 3 days since my surgery and I am still camped out in bed. Let me tell you a bit about it:

Day 1- Rodney and I left the house at about 5:45 am to get to the surgical center for my ACL reconstruction. I was excited, and really not the least bit nervous. When they called me back for pre-op I kissed Rodney good-bye and hopped on back to get this thing over. After I was all dressed, IV'd, and ready, they called Rodney back to sit with me. This was not something that he was expecting to have to do, and I could see that he was not thrilled to have to be in the "hospital" area. They prepped my leg and ran through the procedure with us, and then gave me a little something to "help me relax". Relax nothing- I can't remember a single thing after that, although Rodney told me I got quite chatty after that. I guess as they wheeled me back to the operating room I was talking their ears off (I just hope I didn't ask the doctor to make all of this really worth it and make my boobs bigger while he was working on me!) It was supposed to be an easy procedure and I was supposed to be out of surgery in an hour to and hour and a half. Well, I guess the doctor had never been warned, nothing is just "easy" with me. When he got in there he realized that the artificial ligament that had been put in there previously had broken down and turned into "tons of tiny threads of spaghetti" in my leg. He had to do a lot of drilling and vacuuming to get it all out, and I guess he had to constantly unclog his vacuum because there was so much junk. Then he also realized that my meniscus was torn, so he had to fix that as well. In the end the surgery ended up taking 2 1/2 hours, and is going to set my healing time back a bit. When I woke up he told me that I was not allowed to put weight on my leg for 4 weeks!!! I was sure I'd be walking the next day. He also told Rodney I could be quite sore because of all of the drilling and moving of tissue he had done to get everything out. When we left the surgical center I felt great. I came home and sat downstairs and visited most of the day and felt wonderful. I never got emotional, I never threw up, I never felt much pain. All I needed was a few Advil here and there, and I was bending my leg like it was no big deal. I enjoyed being around everyone that night and thought "This is a breeze. I will be back at it soon, no problem." That night I decided to take one pain pill when I went to sleep just to make sure I was comfortable all night.

Day 2- I woke up a bit more sore Thursday. I could feel some swelling starting to kick in, so I decided to take it easy and just stay in my bed with my leg elevated. As the day wore on I got more and more stiff. I took 3 pain pills throughout the day, and was amazed how much the pressure on my bandages seemed to be growing by the hour. Mom and Rodney babied me all day, and I just laid there, reading, sleeping and just zoning out. By afternoon I hurt from my mid thigh the tip of my toe. My calf and ankle were pretty dang sore. By the end of the evening, I was pooped and ready to get some relief. This day was definitely harder than I expected. I took 2 pain pills when I went to bed at 10:00, and fell into a deep sleep.

Day3- Friday I woke up at 2:30 am and laid there monitoring my pain as is crept back into my leg. At 3:00 I decided to take another 2 pain pills to stay on top of the pain and get some more rest. At 5:30 I woke up feeling like my whole body was so heavy I was sinking into the bed. I felt like my chest was so heavy It was squishing my lungs. I monitored my breathing, and realized that I was breathing just fine, but could not convince myself that it was fine enough to not have to blow up my body like a balloon to relieve the weight. I laid there and took big breaths that I imagined where "blowing me up". I then laid there and envisioned the air leaking out as my body went flat again. Of course I then had to take some more big breaths to blow up my chest again. I knew in my head that I really was not anything to help, but I couldn't help doing it. I finally got up and stretched a bit, moving my leg around and breathing. I thought about going to the bathroom, but decided I was to dizzy and heavy to try to make it, so I laid back down and slipped back into sleep. I remember waking up a couple times as the kids were getting ready, and yelling out that I loved them, but I don't think anyone heard. The next thing I knew, mom was bringing me pancakes and eggs and the kids were gone. It took me awhile to eat them, I kept finding myself staring into space. When I got done I decided I needed to shake off the funk I was in and get up and get ready (to sit in bed again all day). Rodney and I started talking about how we hadn't even gotten to wish Decota "Happy Birthday" that morning (I was asleep and he was in the shower when she left for school) and decided to call her on her new cell phone and leave her a message telling her Happy Birthday (we did celebrate it Wednesday night and she had opened all of her presents then). When Rodney called her she did not have it off, and he heard her open it and say "It's mine, I'm so sorry!". A few minutes later she called us back upset that something may be wrong at home, and upset because she had gotten in trouble for having her phone on at school. I talked to her and tried to calm her down, but she broke into hysterical crying. I then talked to her teacher and told her what had happened and apologized. She told me she would not take Decota's phone away because she was so upset, and she believed that Decota had not meant to have it on. After we got off of the phone I felt like crap! I hadn't said Happy Birthday to her in the morning, and now she was upset and I couldn't go to the school and comfort her. When I told mom about it I just bawled. She decided to go ahead and got to the school, give Decota some eye drops that she needed, and check on her (which made me feel a lot better). After she left I couldn't make myself stop crying. I kept going, and going, and going. I told myself that everything was OK, but I just couldn't stop. Then Rodney came into the room, and I started crying even harder. I couldn't stop- and then, all of the sudden, I was laughing hysterically. I then went from crying to laughing for the next several minutes- so hard, in fact, that I could hardly catch my breath. Rodney proceeded to ask how much pain medication I had taken, and then came to count them all out to make sure I had my facts straight. I was exactly right, but we decided that I probably needed to lay off of them for a while. After a couple more hours I stopped staring off into space so much and began to feel like myself again. The pain was a lot better that day, and Advil did the trick, but I had an upset stomach from taking laxatives with no results. At the end of the day I decided to go watch TV with mom and Cambria. It was not the most comfortable thing, but it was a great change of scenery. Later, after Rodney, Declan, and Decota returned from the High School football game, I went downstairs, gave Decota her shot, and we had cake. All of the sudden I felt quite light headed. Decota said "Mom, why are you white? Why are you green now?". I decided I had had enough adventure for one day, so I wobbly took myself upstairs and went to bed- with 2 Advil and another laxative.

Day 4- Today is Saturday. I didn't wake up stoned, but I don't know that I did much better. I woke Rodney up to get Declan to a band rehearsal at 9:00. His teacher did not show up until 9:40. I had Rodney pick Declan up at 9:45 and take him to the soccer field to ref 2 games. I sent them to the wrong field. Declan finally made it to the right field, missing the 1st half. He called frantically because his ref whistle had broken, nothing I could do about it but let him figure it out. I tried to help out with some chores in my room. I was dizzy and nauseous by the time I simply wiped down the counter tops and dusted my dresser. My laxatives finally kicked in, sometimes I wonder if that is a good thing. I finally ended up back in bed. This afternoon I feel pretty dang good, that is until I get up for more than 5 minutes. I missed all of the soccer games today, missed taking Decota out to spend her birthday money, basically missed Saturday. I guess I just thought I would be a lot further ahead on my progress by now. I can move my leg a lot more today than the past 2 days. The swelling is a lot better. I feel more like myself. I just don't know how to get to the next phase, the one where I can get everywhere on my crutches without being dizzy or worn out. I know, I know, one day at a time. I am being patient. It is not a race. I can see that each day is getting better. Heck, tomorrow I even get to take a real shower, no more sponge baths! I am just so glad mom is here. I truly couldn't have done it without her. I think Rodney would have died if he was on his own at this point. Everyone is being well cared for (maybe a little bit to well- they might not want me back). I guess I will just lay back and continue to let my body tell me when it is ready for the next phase. Until then I should enjoy having my laundry done, my house cleaned, my meals made, and a chauffeur for my kids. I always wanted to be a kept woman!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Getting ready to go under

I am getting ready for my surgery that will take place Wednesday. I am going to have my ACL redone. I am very excited and not nervous in the least bit. I have noticed that I am a bit unable to relax right now, though. I feel like I have so many things to do, and I want everything in order. My mom flies in today and will be helping out. I know that she is fully capable of handling everything, I just need to get it all in order for her. I worked at the schools all week last week, except for the day that we had a Dr's appointment, and so I think I felt more behind than usual as the weekend came. Saturday we were out the door at 8:45 for pictures for soccer, and then the day went by with one thing after the next. I did not get home again until 9:30 pm, after our last soccer game in Euless. By then I was beat. Sunday morning I woke up and started getting my disaster of a hose picked up. By the time conference came on I was so wound up I could not concentrate. I found myself obsessing over all I needed to do, and I think my restlessness rubbed off on everyone. We finally decided to TiVo conference, because we were getting nothing out of it, and get some stuff done. Declan was assigned a major math project that counted as 2 test grades, and I did not want my mom to have to help with that because it was a PAIN. We spent hours on it, and still have a bit more to do tonight to finish it up. In the end I was non-stop going until 10:30 last night working on getting things in order. I feel horrible that I missed conference, but I know that I will have plenty of time to sit and ENJOY it after my surgery. I don't know why I get wound so tight sometimes, I just do. I always do this right before someone comes to visit, or right before a trip, or right before a big event. I just need to feel like everything is in order; I can't function if I don't feel it is. It can be really annoying, but that is how I roll. I feel so much better today, and am ready to enjoy my mom. I only have a short list of things to accomplish left, not a huge one. I am ready to get this whole surgery over with and move on to getting better. I'm SO excited to have my leg back, and not feel like I am limited in what I can and can't do. Two more days until I am on the road to recovery!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Today is my mom's birthday. The kids and I called her this morning to wish her happy birthday, and Decota informed her that she was now and old lady. When my mom said she had been one for a long time, I told her to just tell everyone she was 27- like me. She told me that, unfortunately, she did not feel 27 anymore. My poor mom. She has always felt worse than someone should, with no real explanation for why she feels that way or any helpful treatment. I know that most of her adult life has been lived in varying degrees of pain, and that she has never felt truly healthy. With all that said, I have never know a woman to tackle so many different things and complete them so above and beyond what is expected, even when she was feeling crummier than you or I could ever imagine. Whether it be as a class mom, a leader in a church calling, a homemaker, or a mother to 8; she has always made her duties seem like a piece of cake, and shocked everyone with the completely organized and breathtaking results. You want examples- OK! Birthday cakes! I can barley get the frosting to spread half way decent on a cake- my mom, on the other hand, made the most gorgeous birthday cakes- FOR 8 KIDS!!! I loved my birthday cakes- dolls in big dresses, Holly Hobby, Brut and Ernie, Minnie and Mickey (she would take on about anything I could come up with). They were the real deal, done with all the tips and all the fancy homemade frosting (I do not know how she put millions of little stars of icing all over those cakes- no wonder her hands hurt to this day)! Baking! When mom bakes it is not some wimpy cake out of the box or cookies out of a mix like me, it is full blown, made from scratch heaven. And when mom bakes it is not just one little thing- it is dozens and dozens of different kinds of cookies (cookies that the normal person never even knew existed). This summer when the kids and I were visiting she promised them she would make them a coffee cake- when I woke up in the morning there were 4! Cleaning! Come on mom, you had 8 kids. How did you keep the house spotless all the time? I don't mean it just looks clean like mine. I mean you could move any piece of furniture and find a clean floor underneath. I remember baseboards always being wiped, beds and dressers being moved to vacuum under, trashcans being washed out. Did you ever sleep? Notes! Now there are 2 different kinds of notes that I feel I must address here- notes to teachers and notes to her children. My mom was the queen of writing us notes (or maybe it was just me because I was so difficult to talk to). I can not even tell you how many times I walked into my room and found a note on my bed from my mom. I could have had a really bad day, or be really mad at my parents, and then read that special note that my mom left and feel lifted up a bit more. It was never just a quickly jotted down note; it was a thoughtful, from the heart note, written in her beautiful handwriting (I still have many of these notes tucked away in my special things file). The beautiful handwriting- that is the other part about the notes. My children's teachers can hardly read the notes I send to school with them (they never know if they went to the dentist today or delivered turkey today- I have horrible handwriting). My mom's notes were always beautiful, even in the early morning rush. It made it very hard to forge her signature (but I tried it anyway). Really, who writes in calligraphy to excuse their child from school because they had diarrhea? Young Women's! Every lesson was given with beautiful visual aides. Not some cute thing you cheat and print off the computer, homemade visual aides. When she was making a poster, she would not just write in her perfect calligraphy, she would then decorate it with cute borders of leafs or flowers. Homemade, home laminated bookmarks and quotes were always given out. Lessons where prayerful prepared and went off without hitch (even with me shooting her daggers in the background). Her New Home! She has sunk her whole being into her new house. It is so beautiful, and definitely has her touch all over the place. Every fabric has been thoughtfully picked out, every wall color has been perfectly matched, every door handle and drawer pull has been specifically picked. It has nearly killed her, but she has done an amazing job on her dream house! And the best part of it is that, after never living there, when I come visit it feels like home. There are so many more examples I could give- Relief Society meetings, Halloween costumes, flower arrangement- but I think I will conclude with MOTHERHOOD! My mom is an incredible mother. First off, she had eight kids and is still sane enough to tell-the-tale. I remember siting with her early in the morning before school started as a kindergartner eating my breakfast as she read to me about Nephi's journey. I remember laying in bed with her as she read me nursery rhymes. I remember singing to Crystal Gale, or Wham, as we did our hair in the morning. I remember her putting my hair in Princess Leah buns over and over again because I thought I was her. I remember homework over the summer, just so we didn't start the school year behind. I remember home cooked meals- always, no matter what her schedule held (and not just spaghetti, but roasts and ham). I remember watching her stand on a ladder 8 months pregnant as she wallpapered our house and quizzed me for a test. I remember her hauling all of the kids with her so she could watch me cheer at games. She always was, and still is, my biggest supporter and defender (she believes I can do anything, and she wont stand for anyone telling me differently). I think that the most incredible thing she has done is raise a whole brood of kids to love each other as much as my siblings and I do. She raised us in a house full of best friends and confidants (although, I must admit, every minute was not "love at home"). When we are near her we always know we are in a safe and secure place, in her arms we find both love and home. When my grandmother was pregnant with my mom they wanted her to have an abortion because the doctors felt that my mom would be born with disabilities and that the pregnancy was too great of a risk to my grandmother's health. Of course my grandmother rejected their advise. How grateful I am to her for that. If she had listened I would have missed out on meeting the greatest woman in my life, and would have been denied my perfect mother. 57 years ago today the world was blessed to be grace by the presence of my angle mother! Happy Birthday mom. I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Yesterday I was able to be Cambria's teacher for a 1/2 a day. She has one teacher in the morning that teaches Language Arts and Science, and then one in the afternoon that teaches Math and Social Studies. I was the Math and Social Studies teacher. When I received the call asking me to sub for that teacher, I wondered how Cambria would feel about it. Declan does not mind at all if I am his sub or a sub in a class near him. He loves it when all of his school friends tell him that I was their sub and that they liked me. Decota likes it when I am subbing near her- but has no desire for me to be her actual teacher. Cambria had me as a sub once in 3rd grade. Her teacher then was a very quite, soft spoken woman. She could get the class' attention by simply standing there real still and staring at them. I came in to sub and her class was so loud they could not hear me when I dinged the bell- so I had to shout out the count down for them to be quite. Cambria was humiliated. After school she told me I was mean and that she couldn't believe I yelled at her class. All I said was "5-4-3-2-1" in a loud voice. She swore she never wanted me for a sub again. After I accepted the job for yesterday, I went and told Cambria about it and asked her how she felt. I guess she forgot the humiliation after a year and a half, because she was so excited. She then went right on to tell me who to be mean to, because they were mean to her (she actually had a vengeance list). I explained that I would be nice to everyone, and that they would only get in trouble if they deserved it. All day Cambria was so excited to see me. She ran up and hugged me every chance she got. When it came time for her to come to my class, she had the biggest smile on her face. Her class was WONDERFUL! It is so awesome when your child gets to be in a class with such good kids. When I would give them an assignment they would get right to work on it without a peep. They were so good. I had been told all day by other teachers what a great class she had, but I had no idea it would be that wonderful. I am so excited that she is surrounded by such wonderful students. I was also informed by some teachers at the school that she is coming out of her shell. I am so happy to hear that. I warned them to be on the lookout though, because when she comes out a tornado is sure to follow- she is a wild woman!
Cambria has a very different personality. One time my mother-in-law made a comment about her that I have thought a lot about and feel is very true. She said that it is really easy to forget about Cambria sometimes because it is so hard to get to know her. As I have contemplated on that statement I have realized how true it is. Cambria is a very independent soul. She does not mind being on her own and doing her own thing at times. She can be very shy when you first get to know her, and does not like to draw attention to herself if she is uncertain about anything. She is not one that will sit down and just easily chat with you, she would rather run off and watch TV or play outside than sit and chat. On the other hand, once Cambria is feeling confident about something she wants everyone to recognize it (to the point of being boastful). She loves positive feedback and acknowledgment. She longs to be showered in praise and attention. She is quite the ham and can get quite goofy- to the point of annoying everyone (although her friends seem to follow along and mimic whatever she is doing). She lives like she runs- just kind of trotting along, and then a HUGE burst of energy (like 0-90) that blows you away; before you know it she is trotting along again.
Cambria is a leader. She is not automatically outgoing enough to be the same kind of leader as Decota- yet I watch her sneak up and take the reigns from behind, and then watch others mimicking what she does. She really only ever has contention with the girls who seem to be overbearing- probably because Cambria comes off so soft spoken at first, yet she WILL NOT do anything she doesn't want to (inevitably leading others away with her).
Cambria is also the most TENATIOUS child I have ever met (she reminds me so much of J-D, and sometimes I just wanted to shoot him). She gets something in her mind and she can just not drop it- ever, until it is fulfilled. She can hound you and hound you until you are about to break. Rodney loves the expression "ride you like a broken down horse". This is what I feel she does to me at times. This characteristic is also so positive in so many ways. Cambria never has to have any extra motivation for what she wants. I never have to remind her to work on things like homework or chores. When she does them go does them all the way. She likes to drive herself to near perfection.
Cambria LOVES soccer! She will practice soccer, go to extra soccer practices, and come home and practice some more. She is totally happy to be outside alone juggling her ball or working on kicking the ball over the mailbox from the other side of the cul-de-sac. She wants to be a famous soccer player and trains like she will be one someday. It took us a long time to get her to put away her fears about hurting the other teams feelings by beating them, and get her to be competitive, but once she tasted victory she decided she loved the flavor. If her team starts losing she gets fired-up. She starts making moves that you did not even fathom she could make, and is quite impressive (now if we could get her to do that all of the time).
I think the best thing about Cambria is her compassion. She is kind of stand-offish in a situation where she is uncomfortable, and maybe doesn't seem so openly compassionate; but I think she is the one that, in the end, is touched the deepest. She has been praying for some people daily, well over a year after their troubles began. When others have moved on to worry about another problem, she is just adding then new one to her list. She amazes me when she continually asks for updates on people that, I am sorry to say, have slipped my mind for awhile. She genuinely worries about people, and does not stop until the situation is resolved. She worries about Decota most of all. She hates it when Decota is upset. She fervently prays for her to get better. -Yet she is Cambria!
My favorite Cambria story is when Decota had just been diagnosed with her eye disease. Everyone was so worried about her. There were SO many threats to her losing her vision, and her disease was progressing so rapidly, that everyone was very worried. It was a very scary time for our family. Decota was showered with love, gifts and attention from people all over. Everyone had her on their mind. One afternoon Cambria came to me very quietly and asked me if people ever died of arthritis. I always want to be truthful with my children, so I told her that there is a very small percentage of children that actually do die from it when it takes over their organs; but then went on to reassure her that this would not happen to Decota because her arthritis had been limited to her legs and eyes. It really pulled on my heart strings as she walked out of the room, and I thought to myself "what a horrible thing for a child to have to worry about". A couple seconds later I hear Cambria in the other room talking to Decota and Declan, in a very nonchalant voice, saying "I don't see what the big deal is- your not going to die from arthritis. I could die from an asthma attack any day an no one is sending me presents!" Needless to say, I went from teary eyed to flat out cracking up in a matter of seconds. I have really tried to give her a bit of extra attention since then, and others have also been so sweet to pitch in with extra attention for her so that she doesn't feel resentful about living with a sick sister. What can I say though, Cambria always keep you on your toes!!!