Monday, April 30, 2012


Well, Boo finally did it.  He went 14 days (in a row even! actually, almost 20 now!) accident free.  In big boy underpants the entire time, even at night.  He has more than earned his lightsaber.  You can't really tell from this picture but he was soooo excited and proud to get it.  He had so much fun showing it off to everyone in the building when we got home as well.
I'm so thrilled!
And a little bit sad.
When we were on our way to the checkout this evening to buy his new lightsaber ("I have to get a green one!") he says in that matter-of-fact tone that young kids do so well "I'm not a baby any more."
No, Bubs, you're not.  My baby Boo is growing up and way too fast.

I was having a conversation with my friend Cynthia at work today.  Her daughter just turned 4 months old yesterday.  We were both amazed at how the time just flies.  And I told her to hang on, because it only gets faster.  I swear, just yesterday Boo was only 4 months old and here he is turning 4 years old in a matter of weeks!

But yes, I'm thrilled not to have to buy, change or otherwise deal with diapers.  It really was getting quite old.  I mean, it's one thing when they're an itty-bitty and just don't have any concept, but I swear, I think it's more been just plain stubborn more than anything the last 6 months to a year.  We finally hit upon the right bribe and I'm pretty sure his best buddy Dominik had something to do with it as well.  Dom is 6 months younger and has been using the potty since December or so.  I'm pretty sure he convinced Boo that it was just plain easier in the long run to use the potty.  At any rate, I'm thankful.

I'm keeping this post short because I'd really love to get to bed a little early so I can actually go for my swim in the morning.  I missed both of them last week because I was just so darn exhausted.  So, I'll just leave you with a few pictures from Saturday.

Zoe blowing out her birthday candles.

Zoe, Boo and Billy on a boat ride.

Zoe, Troy and Rachel on the swing ride.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Party Time!

We're off to see the wizard!  Well, maybe not the wizard of Oz, but we're off.  We're off to Knoebel's for Zoe's birthday party.  Can you believe she's 11 already?  I can't.  It seems like only yesterday Kat was telling me she was pregnant!  Or heck, that I has just met Kat at the airport on our way to Space Academy.  Time really does fly.

Anyhow, it should be a great adventure.  Unfortunately, Gak has to work today so he won't be joining us. *pout*

The rest of the week got a bit better over time.  There's still a lingering funk and the exhaustion has been holding on fast.  And yes, if I feel like this at the end of next week, I'll be calling the doctor.  I'm hoping this crazy hot/cold, dry/wet wacky weather pattern we've been having the last week or two is part of the problem.  Yeah, I know, I'm reaching.

Anyhow, I'd best be getting ready.  So, enjoy a picture from one of our trips last year.  (Actually, looking at this picture makes me realize exactly how much my boy-o has really grown this past year. *sniff*  He really isn't a baby at all any more... well, he'll always be my baby, even when he gets taller than me, probably by age 10.)

Peace to all and may your adventures be fun.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


First off, let me start by saying that I'm feeling better.  Not 100% better and as happy-go-lucky as I usually am, but I am feeling better.

However, I'm exhausted.  I've noticed this trend for a while now.  I go through phases of just being totally worn out and wrung out, and then I'll take a weekend "off" or skip a few workouts or something and I'll be back to "normal" levels of tired.  The last few months it's been getting worse though I think.  I'm not really rebounding to having my full energy levels.  Despite how active I was last week (about 8 days in a row where I either went to swim, rode the bike and/or got an exercise/weight training video in or a hike) I feel even more exhausted.  Well, duh? you may be thinking.  No, when I get 6 or 8 days in a row of being really active, my energy levels actually begin to pick up, I feel better and healthier and in a much better place mentally.  Yep, it's those silly endorphins everyone talks about.  I never get that "runner's high", but I do have a much better outlook and energy level if I keep the activity going.
Not this week.  I'm more exhausted than ever.  Normally when I get over tired I start to get cold and feel like I need another five or six layers on.  I swear it's my body's way of telling me "I'm going to sleep whether you want me to or not!".  Well, most nights that'll hit around 10:00 or so.  (It used to be much later, like midnight on some nights...)  Today I don't think I made it to 4:00.  By the time I came home, I had that cold tired feeling where I want to just curl up in a ball and it actually almost hurts to uncurl.  (So, why am I up and writing this at 8:00 when a boy-o is in bet?  Because I need to think a bit... and I don't want to be waking up at 2 am and not being able to get back to sleep....)

I do know, that unless something has drastically changed in the last year, it's not thyroid related.  I've had two complete sets of thyroid blood work done, one just last year.  And the last time, I swear it would have been easier to donate a unit and let them have it for testing... it took almost the same amount of time!  I know I should get an appointment with Dr. F, but I just don't know.  Every time I go to the doctor about something like this, all tests come back normal and it makes it look like this is all in my head.
But it's not.  I know it's not because Gak has commented on it.  Well, I know some of it is, because mentally I know I'm not at the top of my game and too many little things keep tripping me up and getting under my skin too easily.  You know, how you react when you really could use a good long nap?  Yeah.  Like my almost four-year-old son.

Anyhow, I'm just kinda randomly venting and thinking "out loud" so to say.  I wish I could just email Dr. F and tell her I need to update my family history (and update her on Dad's situation since I'm not sure I've told her yet...) "and by the way, I've been way more exhausted than I should be, even being a mom of a pre-schooler, full-time employee, Girl Scout leader, wife and everything else... any ideas?"  Her office is great about messages, but somehow I'm not sure I'm ready to do that.  I know I should just buck up and do it, it's not just my health that could be affected by whatever may or may not be going on, but Boo and Gak as well... I mean, I am the Momma... and the best way a momma can take care of her family is to take care of herself (same thing goes for daddys too!)  I'm not looking for guidance, just looking to write it all out and go hmmm....

Anyhow, I need to go remind my boy-o that it's lights out and then I'm curling up in bed (yes, it's not quite 8:15) and play with a little yarn.  (I'm still angry and frustrated with myself for my money situation, but that's nothing that I can fix and worrying about it right now really won't help anything at all.  Here's hoping I can get warm and that I can sleep through the night and that I'll either buck up and call the doctor or have an ah-hah! moment and some pieces will fall into place and I'll figure out it really is all stress related and how I can start to fix that.  *shrug* We'll see.

Peace to all and may you not be exhausted.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I was driving home tonight and I realized I'd been frowning all day.  Now anyone who knows me, knows that this isn't like me.  Sure, I look serious quite a bit, but I usually find something to smile about or at the very least I'm not frowning.  Today I was downright scowling.

And I couldn't pin it on any one thing.

I'm tired.  I feel like I've been going non-stop for months now.  I had an "easy" day yesterday with no actual real physical activity.  I didn't ride my bike, or go for a walk, or find an exercise video "On Demand".  We went shopping at the grocery store and ran to Target and I made sure to wander a bit more than I really needed to, but nothing that most people would qualify as capitol "A" Activity!.

I need a vacation and I'm not going to get one.  I've got a camping trip planned for the first weekend in May, but that's with my Girls and we don't have everything planned (by half) and since I'm a leader it's not exactly like I can take off mentally, these extra girls are my responsibility.  And I'll still have Boo with me.  And he's almost 4, which should be enough to get all parents and anyone with kids in their lives nodding.

Boo's a pretty easy going kiddo but he's hitting a growth spurt and wanting to press his independence but still insists on being clingy and whiny, especially when he's tired (which is a lot right now) and when he doesn't get his way, or thinks he won't get his way.  He's been so very, very good at pushing buttons.  It's a good thing he's cute, and such a good kid most days, otherwise there have been several moments where I've (and Gak's) had to just walk away... or send a boy to his room for his own good.

(On a positive note, we're at about 10 days in a row totally accident free.  6 more and he earns his lightsaber and we're ditching the diaper pail for good!  Oh, that includes overnight... not a requirement for a sticker, but I'm not telling him that!)

So, tonight I'm already grumpy and grousy because I didn't actually accomplish anything at work today despite spending most of the day connected to a customer's site.  All I did was get to a point where I've got half the development team scratching their heads going "huh??" when I show them what's going on.  Oh, and then there's the other site that's been a royal pain for a few weeks because it intermittently stops working, but not really... yeah.

We go to BJ's to pick up a few things for Zoe's birthday party Saturday (I told Kat I'd bring juice boxes and water).  Thankfully Boo is willing to ride in the cart so I can at least keep him from touching and poking at and manhandling EVERYTHING that's within a 6' radius of his current location.  But, he's being a bit on the loud side (but not screeching, I'm so thankful that he doesn't screech) and he's  being obnoxious with Trey and all but throwing him out of the cart.  And then we go to check out.  I'd moved some money around between the checking and savings, since I thought there was a bit to spare in the checking that I wouldn't need, completely forgetting the local taxes hadn't cleared this morning.  (Yes, I waited until the last minute to pay those...)  Well, they cleared between the time I checked the balance this morning and the time I went to check out... so.... we went back through the store and put everything back except the juice, the water and the squeezy apple/strawberry sauce that I promised Boo he could have.  (It is 100% fruit, no added sugar and may be more than the normal single serve cups but is much more mess free and was much cheaper than I could get it at the grocery store... win all around really...) Yeah, that was fun.  I'll pick up the rest of the stuff later.

So, I'm already fuming that I'm the worst person I know to handle money.  I know I've ranted about it before.  Thanks to stupid decision making on my part I'm paying $500/month more than I need to in bills.... and will be for at least another 18-36 months.  I'm angry and pissed and tired about the whole deal.  I really wish I could afford to just sign my check over to someone, they give me a card with the grocery money, a different card with the gas money and write the daycare and other checks and maybe $20/month fun money.  Then I might not be so angry about the whole money thing.

And then I start to think about the truck.  Don't get me wrong, I love the Durango.  But she's 10+ years old, has over 130k miles on her and has several little quarks that aren't big problems but I really need to fix.  And somehow without paying attention (yet again) I've managed to spend most of either the vacation money or the truck money and the savings are looking leaner than I want them to.  And the truck needs to be inspected by the end of June.  So, more anger and frustration.  Can I tell you how much that for once in my life I want to be able to go into a car dealership of my choosing and tell them what I want, have them order it for me and have payments I can manage and not feel like I had to compromise on anything?  Hell, just the thought of owning a newer car, let alone a new car is something out of my reach.

So, while all of this grumpyness is going on in my head, I'm making dinner.  (Which I didn't ruin, not by a long shot!)  Well, it was a dinner that required several pots/pans and most of the stove top.  Well, only 3 out of 4 burners, but my two small pots... I only own 3...  Boo wanted spaghetti for dinner.  I didn't have any leftovers for him.  I didn't have room on the stove (or pot of an appropriate size) available.  So, I tell him he can either have elbows and "shaky cheese" or mac-n-cheese, but not spaghetti.  Or he could have what Gak and I were having (chicken fried, lightened up a bit, gravy and mashed potatoes... the potatoes were taking forever and tying up the spaghetti pot...).  Well, he looses it and melts down.  To make a long, frustrating story short (too late!) it was a long and frustrating dinner and the boy-o didn't get any dinner and got sent to bed early.
He did calm down by the time I was done cleaning up the kitchen, so I red him a book (of my choice) and took him a half glass of milk.  I also told him no coming out of his room (unless to potty) or else no Muppets this week.  We've been having problems with him coming out of his room every 5 minutes (when he's drop dead tired, you can see it in his face and hear it in his voice) for this, that or the other thing and not actually going to sleep.  Sorry buster, I love you.  I understand you want and need me.  I want and need you to go to sleep, as does your body.  And I need my few minutes of "me" time that I carve out between 8 and 9:00.  (Not to mention try and get some adult conversation in with my wonderful and loving husband, and hopefully not have it be job or kid related...)

So, today I'm angry.  I'm angry at myself for a myriad of things ranging from work performance, money skills, dealing with the stress of an almost-four-year-old-boy badly to the fact that I'm grumpy.  (Yes, vicious circle that...)  I'm trying not to be angry with a boy-child for being almost four and being my son and everything that goes with it.  I'm trying not to be angry about the fact that I'm so freaking busy and that I feel like I'm not getting much help with anything (when in reality I am...).  I'm angry because the cost of gas, and everything else, keeps going up and I got a lousy 1.3% raise this year and none last year and they're finally taking the right local taxes out of my check so I'm actually not seeing any increase in take-home pay.  I'm just fed up and grumpy and trying to stay out of everyone's way.
It's only partially working.

I'm signing off to go take a shower, curl up with a book and hope that tomorrow won't be so gray outside and my mood won't be so black inside.

Peace to all and may anger not overwhelm your better sense.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Still Here...

I'm still here.  The post I've been toying with since Wednesday is being stubborn and not wanting to settle down and behave and get the right words onto the "paper".  So, I just thought I'd post a few quick lines to update on the week.

Let's see here... Sunday we finally had 7 accident free days with Boo, so Monday after a nice ride and a bit of play time at the park, we went and picked up Muppets.  To be honest, he's had way more than 7 days accident free, but this was 7 days accident free after I gave up on having them be all in a row.  Since last Friday actually he's been accident free.  Which means we're well into the 14 accident free days he needs to get his light saber.

Work's been rough this week.  Not from the volume of work, but from the fact that I've been stuck in "hurry up and wait" mode so much, which makes it that much harder to stay busy... especially since there's been a big emphasis on the "wait" part.  Ugh.  The awesome weather isn't helping me any either... Well, the awesome weather Monday and yesterday, Tuesday was pretty nice too....

Two birthdays this week.  Jon's was yesterday and Zoe's is tomorrow.  Since Jon is in California, I have to say happy birthday long distance and Zoe's birthday party will actually be next Saturday.  Should be fun!

This weekend should be fairly low key.  Hopefully we'll get a ride or a hike in tomorrow or Sunday, whichever one decides not to be rainy.  I'm really glad we're supposed to have a few rainy days because we really, really need them, I just wish it was in the middle of the week, not the weekends.

Well, I now have 15 minutes to throw together lunch, figure out breakfast, get dressed and out the door to work.  I'll hopefully post more soon.  Oh, I do have pictures from last week to post, but I just haven't posted them to Flickr yet... Hopefully tonight.

Peace to all and may your weeks keep rolling along.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


No, not my fears, my boy's fears.  You see, for the longest time certain things have pretty much terrified Boo.  But it seems like in the last week or two, some within the last 6 months even, most of those fears have vanished.

For instance, take the fact that our play date with Dominik and his family two weeks ago was at the place with all the inflatable bouncers and that he couldn't wait to go.  At Dominik's party in November, it took him most of the party to warm up to them, but by the end he was OK.  And the time before that in January, forget it!  Screaming fits and tears and clinging onto Momma for dear life.  He's never really liked squishy things or being on unstable ground.  (Which is funny because he used to love being on our waterbed, but no one else's....)

That's impressive enough.
But no, in the last few weeks it's gotten even better!

Last week it was Play-Doh.  Yep, that fun squishy substance that inevitably every mom on the planet has had to try and get out of the carpet at some point... or keep her young kiddo from eating.  Boo wouldn't go anywhere near it.  Or anything squishy for that matter.
In October when we went to the Crayola Factory, we got little packets of the Model Magic.  We didn't open them until a few weeks later at home.  Boo was very happy to tell me what to make out of it, but wanted nothing to do with it himself.  And Model Magic is much more "dry" then Play-Doh.
He got a small container of knock-off yellow Play-Doh in his Easter basket at school.  I figured I would add it to my collection of doh that the boy would never touch, but I could play with.  Well, last Saturday I got a surprise.  He actually asked me to open it and pry it out of the container.  Then he willingly played with it.  And so I broke out the containers I'd been hoarding for a few years (I love the stuff myself...).  We played for a good half-hour with it.  As evidenced by this picture.

And the other amazing thing, Easter morning he was more interested in the canisters we'd left sitting out on the table than the big bucket filled with candy right beside it.  Go figure.  We've played with the doh a few more times in the last week or so.

Last weekend was another first (that I don't have photographic proof of, sadly).  Boo actually climbed a ladder.  Not just any ladder, but the straight up ladder to the platform on Zoe's swing-set.  Actually, I take that back.  He's climbed ladders like that before, but they were only 2 or 3 rungs, this one is 5 I think and pretty big steps too.  He usually needed a lot of encouragement for the little ones on the playground, but he was zipping up this one and sliding down the slide like a real playground pro!  He and Billy were having a lot of fun playing together.

The playground is the scene for several other fears the boy-o has gotten past.  He now will willingly go down the twisty slide all by himself.  Something he would never, ever dream of doing even just a few short weeks ago.  And even more impressive, he actually goes across the "shaky bridge" at out big playground.  You know, one of those things made of wood that is a suspension bridge that bounces and shakes and rattles.  Yeah, he didn't even want me to go across it without him, let alone carry him.  As you can see from the picture, he now handles it like a pro.

Where is my little boy going?  He's growing up too fast in such jumps.  Today we finally got 7 stickers on the board (not 7 days in a row, I relented on that part...) and we can go get the Muppets for being 7 days accident free.  I wasn't sure we were ever going to make it, especially after last week.  Friday he suddenly wanted to not have accidents again, so life is good.  He even made it through a nice hike with some of my Girl Scouts and some of the family without a single problem.  Now if he makes it for another 14 accident free days, we'll talk about getting him that light saber he's been eyeing up.

One fear that is getting better, but will still be a long time in leaving is his fear of anything four-footed and furry.  He now likes to point out dogs and cats and look at them and admire them, but heaven forbid you suggest he go say hi to them or one come within about 5 feet of him.  Superglue has less stick.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that my boy-o is growing up and learning and enjoying the world, but I do miss the itty-bitty Boo that depended on me for everything.  He really is growing into such a wonderful kid.  I can't wait to see where we go next on this adventure.

So, I bid you peace and the enjoyment of watching those that you love grow.

Friday, April 13, 2012


This post actually has been be-bopping around in my head for a couple of days.  I just didn't have time to write it yesterday.

Anyhow, I've had my nook simple touch since Christmas and I'm really amazed at how it has changed my reading.

Somehow, I seem to read more and faster on the nook.  Don't ask me, Gak's made the same observation with his as well.  Maybe it's because the pages are "smaller" in that they only show about half of a normal print page so the page turns go quicker, but somehow that's not all of it.  Maybe it's because I don't have to juggle a whole book and my hand doesn't get tired from it.  Maybe it's just all psychological.  It doesn't really matter in the long run other than the fact that I do seem to read faster on it.  (And about half speed when I try and read a long article on the computer screen... so go figure...)

And yes, when I was reading the Hunger Games trilogy I was thrilled that when I finished one I could just download the next in about a minute (including the search for the title and purchase...) and be on my merry way.  That and if I want to read something new, I just have to push a few buttons.  Yes, it is so much easier if I already know what I want to read, but still, it's pretty easy to get a new book.

Right now I'm finishing up the Baroque Cycle by Neil Stephenson.  It's pretty interesting if long reading.  It's not very difficult reading, but you've got to be in a right mindset to slog through parts of it.  I really am enjoying it, but sometimes the going gets a bit rough.
Every English teacher I've ever had, well, maybe not one really awesome one in high school, has imparted the impression that unless you read with a dictionary by your side to look up every word you're not 100% sure of, you're not really a reader and not getting everything out of it.  Personally, I can usually gather the meaning of words I'm not familiar with from the context.  Yes, sometimes I get it wrong, but I usually figure that out in a sentence or two and life is good.  I've always hated the interruption of putting my book down, flipping through a dictionary to find a word, read the deffinition and then figure out where you were in your originally book. (And who has room for a good dictionary in bed with them when they're reading?  What?  I'm supposed to do all my reading at a desk?  Please!  How can you get into and enjoy a book if you're not comfortable?  Oh, I'm not supposed to enjoy it?  Oh, my mistake...)  Sorry about that little side rant... it just escaped.
But back to the beginning of this section, I'm reading the Baroque Cycle.  And Neil Stephenson is an excellent writer and captures the feel of the 1660's through 1680s quite well.  Unfortunately, he tends to use big words.  I like big words, don't get me wrong.  Or he uses old words is a better way of stating it.  In the past I would have just read right past them and done my usual guessing.  Well, with my handy, dandy little nook simple touch, I just press on a word long enough for it to highlight and it'll look up the word for me without loosing my place or having extra books in my bed.  All in the blink of an eye and I'm back to my story.  The funny thing is, I find myself actually looking up lots of words, even if I think I know them.  Because, in a way, it's kinda fun.  And it doesn't really take away from the reading.

So, maybe those English teachers were on to something after all... but I still prefer reading straight through and gathering meaning from context.  Or aren't I supposed to be able to do that?  I thought I was. Must have missed the memo because my nose was stuck in a book...

So, I'm really loving this little toy of mine.  And it's changed how and in some ways what I read.  I wonder what further adventures lie ahead?

Don't get me wrong, I will always love the print version of books.  There's something about curling up with a favorite dog-eared copy on a cold evening and disappearing for a while.  But, I really do love my nook.

So, I bid you peace and may you enjoy your reading no matter what the words are printed on.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Right now I feel like I'm a bit on a rollercoaster, and I'm not sure it's one of the fun ones either.
I think I feel this way because I'm tired and I need a day off and I'm not sure when I'll be able to squeeze that into my schedule.  Yep, that's normal reporting month exhaustion speaking there.  But it does go beyond that a bit.

Actually, let me change my first statement... I feel like I'm trying to ride three rollercoasters at once.  Yeah, that sounds a bit more like my reality at the moment.  You could probably add a 4th kiddie ride to the mix that would be the rest of life, but it's not being rough right now...

Anyhow, we'll start with the easiest one.  Rollercoaster number one is potty training.  I'm sure some of you have seen my Facebook posts.  If you've read for any length of time here, you've seen the few posts or pieces of posts here about our adventures with Boo and the potty.  Last week we were riding pretty high thinking that we were finally getting to the end of this ride.  Nope, this week we're at a low again.  Yesterday he didn't even want to wear his new Cars big-boy underpants, but insisted on a pullup.  And he had an accident at school not while at nap time.  (All last week his only accidents were after school when he was tired and just didn't care or didn't want to poop on the potty...)  And he's been having more accidents in general.  So, we're on a downward trend again and I hope it's short lived.  I know Gak is just about as ready as I am (if not more so) to finally be to the point where there may be the occasional accident but we're diaper and pullup free.  I have no real idea what Boo's thoughts on the subject are.
Knowing him, part of the issue this week is his "but I did that last week" mentality.  Or it could be the stubborn "I'm not going to because you want me to" streak he's got. *whistles innocently* I have no idea where he got that from... *sarcasm*  Or it could be that he really just isn't ready to do this full time and it really is being hard for him.  I'm thinking it's a bit of all of that and maybe something else too for all I know.  All I do know is that Boo's been in a pisser of a mood and letting his attitude fly in the evenings and really pushing buttons.

(Cute story though, last night as I was trying to get him ready for bed he looks at me as he's fighting putting on his pajama top and says "I'm pushing buttons on you.  I'm pushing buttons all over" and he starts giggling and poking at me going "beep!".  I couldn't help but laugh at that one... even though I just wanted to get him into his jammies and into bed at that point...)

So, we'll ride this coaster for a bit longer.

The other two rollercoasters are a bit more complex.  They're both important, but in different ways.  I'm not sure which one is "bigger" or "harder" so I'll just pick one and roll with it.

I sort of alluded to this rollercoaster in my opening lines.  It's reporting month again at work and that brings it's own normal chaos.  But, it goes a bit above and beyond that right now.  I normally wouldn't post this, but it's being a big deal mentally and I've got to get it off my chest.  You see, despite the fact that I'm one of the more productive members of my team, I'm in trouble for my apparent productivity.  Yeah, you read that sentence right.  I've been having a bit (a lot) more unapplied time on my timesheet that "people" think is appropriate.  And apparently "people" have noticed.  So, I've been officially reprimanded for it.  (And yes, I'm writing this during work, but my computer is mostly tied up evaluating reports for a customer and it's taken me about thirty minutes to write this much...)  The most annoying and frustrating part, I'm one of the more productive members of my group and because I refuse to lie on my timesheet, it doesn't look that way.  There are one or two other guys here who are always up and wandering around.  At least my unapplied time is usually spent at my desk being disorganized and not transitioning between tasks well.  I refused to point out the obvious lies on my coworkers times (he showed me a graph with all our unapplied time by week) because I know damn right well he knows about the worst offender.  It just so happens that my boss and that guy get along really well.  And I have absolutely nothing in common with our boss and even though I've known him about 11 years now, we just don't get along all that well beyond what I like to call "business friendly", we don't dislike each other most days, but we just don't like each other much either.  (Admittedly, the other guy's behavior has improved the last two weeks... but....)

I have a "follow up" meeting today.  No, I'm not looking forward to it.  It makes me feel like I'm in elementary school or something.  Sure, I can see the point that we can't justify adding people if I'm driving up the unapplied time.  But you know what, don't talk to me like I'm an idiot or that I'm 10 years old and disrupting the class.  Yes, it's "nice" of him to pull me aside and he doesn't actually yell, but man if I don't want to just explode.  Like I said, it wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel like I was being singled out.  And, with the improvements in the other guy's time I know I'm not, but it does seem personal.

No, I probably shouldn't be posting this.  But, I've used no names and unless you know me in real life, I've never once mentioned who I work for.  Sure, if you're in the industry and stumbled across this little corner of the web you might be able to figure it out.  Sure, if I ever decide to change jobs (something that keeps entering my mind every few months but I keep ignoring) and a future employer sees this, it doesn't do me any favors.  But, I'm not going to apologize for writing this.  It's part of the rollercoaster that is my life right now.  It has me hurt, frustrated, scared and tired.  Not to mention just plain old upset.  I do try hard.  I know I'm not at the top of my game.  I don't really know why.  I'm fighting against things I've been fighting against my entire life.  I'm an expert in avoiding what I don't want to do.  And most of the time it's silly and stupid what I don't want to do.  And the sad part, is that teachers and employers get hung up on the silly things you don't want to do instead of looking at your overall productivity or absorption of knowledge that shows you really do know what you're talking about or doing and you're being useful and productive.  I have thoughts, but they're not ones my boss would remotely understand and would make me seem even more "weak" and probably even "useless" in his eyes.  (No, he's not against women in the workplace, but even though he's a young guy he just doesn't understand about being a parent in the workplace or any of the other things that are going on in my life that add outside pressures.  Or at least he comes off as not understanding and therefore I just don't try anymore with him.)

**two hours later and during lunch**

Anyhow, on to rollercoaster number three.  Dad and his health.  Or lack there of these days.  I'm pretty sure I mentioned Dad wasn't feeling well Sunday when we went over.  I mean, feeling worse than usual.
He's really been in a lot of discomfort lately and it's distressing and saddening and overall just plain sucky.

I'll try and keep this as simple as possible.  I don't know everything, and I know I've forgotten a few of the things I've talked about with Mom.

Let's see here... I guess I'll start with a general overview of the symptoms/complaints.  There's the memory issues I've been talking about for a while.  Some days are better than others but lately it has just been too frustrating for him to be involved in conversations for more than a very brief time.  This has really been rough.

The thing he's been complaining about the longest has been pain and aching and other sensory issues, not just with his joints but with his muscles and bones too.  (Yes, it can feel like your bones hurt.)  That's been getting worse and worse recently and the various pain medications he's been on haven't been doing a damn bit of good.  How much is psychosomatic and how much is real is always up for debate, but I know he's been living with joint pain of some kind as long as I can remember and it's been getting steadily worse over time.

Things got so bad a few weeks back that Mom called the family doctor and said what can we do?  Well, he got Dad an appointment with a neurologist and had some special tests done.  One was an X-ray which confirmed that there is arthritis damage in his spine. (duh!)  Another was some fancy blood work.  Apparently the blood work confirms that Dad has something called Sjogren's Syndrome.  Normally it strikes women more than men and usually manifests itself as chronic dry-mouth and lack of tears.  In bad cases it can cause the kind of joint pain that Dad's been complaining of.  It's an auto-immune disease, meaning your immune system attacks your own body.

Well, yesterday was Dad's appointment.  From the short call I had with Mom last night, it sounds like this guy is really on top of things and doesn't always think within the box of standard diagnosis.  Yes, he believes that there is nerve damage and that's what is causing a lot of Dad's pain.  He's got a special electrode test thing on the 30th to further investigate this.  He's taken Dad off the narcotic pain meds as they weren't helping anyhow and has started him on some anti-seizure meds instead.  I'm a little fuzzy on the hows and whys of this, but when Mom was talking to me, it made sense.  Also, he wants to get Dad tested for Lyme's disease.
Yep, you read that right, Lyme's.
What are the symptoms of Lyme's?
Well, according to the "great" Wikipedia:
"...Early symptoms may include feverheadachefatigue,depression, and a characteristic circular skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early.[6] Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to the more serious symptoms, which can be disabling and difficult to treat.[7]"
According to the CDC:
"...Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. "

Anyhow,  what does this mean for Dad?  This means that at least some of his memory problems could be caused by Lyme's.  Can it be cured?  Probably not completely.  I do believe that there may be some underlying problems not caused by Lyme's.  Do I think the possibility of Lyme's is offering us false hope?  I hope not.  I'd love everything we've been dealing with for the last few years to be caused by something so simple.  But I know that at this stage of the game that even if it is Lyme's, Dad'll never get back to "normal".  The damage is done.  Some of it may be reversible, but even that I kinda doubt.  If it is Lyme and we'd all figured it out two years ago, we wouldn't be where we are now.  But, since it is now and not then, the picture is very different.  In any case if this is Lyme or Alzheimer's or something else entirely, Dad's memory will never be what it was.  His life is and will be impaired by the physical symptoms he has of whatever is causing him agony and the mental problems caused along the way.

So, that's where the rollercoaster lies.  I'm glad that we might possibly be getting some kind of good news, even if it's only a little tiny bit of good news and not all that good in the grand scheme of things.  But, it also reminds me, yet again, how tenuous this whole mental thing is.

So, that's where things stand.  I'm feeling like I'm not really in control of much.  And normally I'm OK with that, but there is so much going on that's pretty big that I can only smile and wave at, that I'm feeling a bit out of it.  And I woke up with a big case of the grumps.

Anyhow, I'd best wrap this up and head back into the working world and try and transition to something I'm supposed to be doing.

Peace to all and may the only rollercoasters you ride be the ones you want...

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Weekends are Hard

Just a quick little update.
Weekends are hard.
Especially when you're not quite 4 and not quite 100% sold on the whole using the potty thing.

Tuesday through Thursday evening was perfect, we really couldn't have asked for better from Boo.  There was that minor accident Thursday evening.  Friday he did great all day playing over at Gradmom's with Zoe.  He had a minor incident where he just didn't pull his pants down far enough so ended up a little damp.  That happens.  Yesterday and today though, well... we were pretty good most of the day but had our problems.
Yesterday it was a stinker butt that we didn't want to tell anyone about and had been dealing with for a little while.  (I'm thinking he oopsed at lunch but didn't want to tell me to make me mad.  I really wouldn't have been, but in the mind of a pre-schooler...)  This morning it was getting too involved in playing with Play-Doh (I'll 'splain that revelation in a bit here...) and he peed on the floor.  Then at Amma's this afternoon he had another stinker butt incident, even though he'd tried while we were out.

So, weekends are hard.  I fully understand and get this.  We're not in our normal routine.  We're out and about and having all kinds of grand adventures.  I'm willing to grant some leeway on weekends, but I'd much rather he tell me about a stinker incident than ignore it.  Oh well.

Highlights of the weekend.
Saturday started out like a normal Saturday.  We did laundry and went over to bowling.  This was the last week of the season so they were having a party.  Zoe had a birthday party she was heading to with Grandmom and Aunt Kat was going for a ride with Scott on the bike.  Rachel was on a trip to NYC and Billy and Aunt Steph were heading to Billy's aunt's for an Easter Egg hunt later in the afternoon.  So, we headed over to Kat's to play with Billy for about an hour or so before we went and got some lunch, came home and had some nap time.  We went and picked up Gak from work then headed over to Target to do a little shopping.  Boo got some more big-boy underpants.  He got the ones with Cars on them.  We also picked him up some shorts, me some socks and about a total of $60 of odds and ends including a few groceries.

After dinner Boo was playing with a container of Play-Doh that he got in his Easter basket from school.  Now mind, until yesterday, Boo wanted nothing to do with Play-Doh or anything that could possibly be squishy.  Well, we played with it for about an hour last night and he was more interested in the containers we'd left out  on the table instead of the chocolate and other toys in the Easter basket on the table this morning.

Today we had a nice breakfast together and then cleaned up the apartment a bit.  After some hanging about, Boo and I get our butts in gear and head down to Amma's.  We have lunch and go to Trader Joe's.  By the time we get back PopPop is feeling good enough to be a little bit social.  I leave the boy with the grandparents and take a nice long walk for about 45 minutes while the boy-o plays wish his Amma outside and then watches a little baseball (and plays with the light-up frogs and duck Amma got for her birthday) for a little bit until I get back.  We came home, Boo and Gak played outside a bit, I ran to Lowes to get some garden stuff and attempt to transplant some of the seedlings, Boo and I played outside a bit and we had a good, but somewhat emotional, evening.  Boo was a bit tired and some little things just sent him over the edge into a crying spree....  Anyhow, we've had a good weekend over all, even if they can be hard.

Peace to all and may your weekends be easy.

Friday, April 06, 2012

58 and 122

Another week has come and gone.

I have two numbers for you.  58 and 122.

58 is the number of hours Boo was wearing Big Boy Underware before having an accident.
Yep, Tuesday I asked if he wanted to wear his big boy underware, he said yes.  I said OK, we'll take a pullup to school just in case.  "I won't need it".  And he hasn't.  And he insisted on wearing underware to bed, not a pullup.  OK.   He did have an accident yesterday, but it's partially my fault.  We were playing outside, he semi-indicated he thought he might have to go, but I didn't make us stop and go inside.  Oh well, it wasn't a big deal.

122 is the number of degrees that Mom can finally bend her knee.  Or at least she was able to on Monday.  Her goal was 120, so anything above and beyond that is gravy.  She's still going to therapy for a bit longer as stairs continue to be an issue.  Partially because when she's at home she's tired and her knee is tired and stiff from the day and partially because for about 9 years now stairs have been bad and she has to remember that her knee works now and that going down won't be a problem and then there's the general strength issue....

Anyhow, that's the big news this week.  Oh, that and I finally managed to get over 2 months of photos off the camera, edited and posted.  Here are a few for your amusement.