Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Over

And just like that, it's gone.

DH's symptoms progressed since Wednesday night, making him very hard to understand this weekend. His left leg was buckling with every step. But we kept with the strategy of not "babying" him and having him just work through it.

Amazingly . . .







it has seemed to work!

He came home from work today actually better than he was yesterday. And by the time I came home from Hebrew School tonight, he was about 98% back to normal.

DH is now able to lift his left leg up normally. His knee comes up to the same height as his right one. The fingers on his left hand move apart as far as the ones on his right. His smile is almost not lopsided anymore.

We still have no idea why it sarted again, but we're so glad it's almost over!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Back

DH's symptoms came back Wednesday night.

When he came home (he had a meeting after school and then went out to do work) around 7:15, the left side of his mouth was visably drooping, his left hand was not working well, and he could not raise his left arm too high. We debated what to do for a little but by 8:30 we were on the road to Jefferson Hospital's ER (as per the neurologist instructions when he was discharged from Jeff in September). By the time we got there he was limping again. We didn't leave there until around 3 AM after getting neurological work ups from numerous doctors and a bunch of tests that again all came back negative.

Yesterday we went to his general practitioner who did a few more tests (all negative, of course) and we all decided that this time we are going to try to have him work through it.

He went back to work today, and while he survived the day, he had to go to bed at 7. His speech is much more slurred now due to all the talking he had to do at school (mainly because the righ side of his mouth is doing ALL the work), but we both think that it will be better by morning. Walking up the stairs tonight was tough for him. Yesterday he was able to go upstairs alternating his feet; tonight, not so much.

I don't know if it will get worse before it gets better or if we're making it worse, but this is one strategy we haven't tried before so who knows?!!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Old Habits

I didn't plan it.

Yes, I'm very aware of my weight, and yes, I've been trying to lose about 30 pounds pretty much since J was born, but it was not a conscious decision I made.

But I've noticed it now. I can't go on pretending that oops, I just didn't have time to eat breakfast and oops, I forgot my lunch and oops, I have to run out at dinner time.

I was anorexic for about five years growing up. As an adult I used to joke, "What I wouldn't give for that kind of willpower now!" It was simpler then, just an easier way to lose weight: don't eat. But not the healthiest. And, of course, it wasn't all about weight - it was about control.

Hmmm...could I be feeling a little out of control recently? Time to take control again - let's go get some lunch!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Nutshell

My life in a nutshell:

I teach preschool from 9-1 Monday through Friday. I work with two-year-olds, which I love, but can often be compared to attempting to herd cats. I teach Hebrew on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, which I also love. On Sundays I teach Religious School to Kindergarteners, which I also love. This summer I will be the director of a brand new camp at my school, so I am working on creating a budget, advertising, and setting that up. In the fall I will be teaching Kindergarten (my DREAM grade) at a brand new full-day kindergarten we are starting at my school, so I am also working on creating a budget, advertising, and setting that up.

Oh yeah, and my three kids come home from school between 3 and 3:30. Then there's homework, dinner, laundry,bills, household paperwork, and all that other stuff.

I'm tired.

I know it's too much. I love what I do, but I know it's too much.

I'm working on finding time for myself (ha!) and to get everything accomplished, though my DH, reading over my shoulder, laughs at the idea that I have trouble finding time for myself. I'm having a lot of trouble trying to balance everything.

Tomorrow is another day, time to finish my plans for the next few weeks, time to finish my holiday card, time to update my address list to send out holiday cards, time to create a Hannukah present on Shutterfly for my niece and nephew, time to do some more planning for both the camp and the kindergarten.

And for now, I sit on the couch with my husband watching Get Smart.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'll Be Back . . .

An anonymous commenter gave me the kick in the butt I needed. She or he wrote: "I hope you are posting somewhere, and it didn't just stop. Your writing deserves it."

I haven't been writing anywhere. I've been allowing myself to get so caught up in everything going on in my life that I am barely giving myself a chance to take a breath. And that's what this blog has always been for me: a chance to stop what I'm doing, even if it is just for a moment, and take a breath.

Of course, I don't really have time to breathe right this moment (I'm off to parent-teacher conferences at the boys' school then back to my school to pick up all 3 kids then home to finish laundry and . . .) but I just wanted to stop back in and make a promise to myself and anyone else who reads this that I will be back again soon.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Privacy

I haven't been posting much recently. I'm sure you noticed.

Maybe you noticed.

Did you notice?!!

Probably not. I've probably lost all my readers by now. But I will continue posting, and hopefully you will find me again.

I've been so conflicted on what I can post on here and what I can't. I've made this blog "anonymous", removing my name and the names of the other people in my life, but I know that's not enough. I know that in reality, anyone who knows me and knows my blog can figure out who and what I'm writing about whether I mention names or not. And therein lies my problem.

There's been a lot going on in my life that affects way more than just me that just isn't okay for me to put out there into the big bad blogosphere.

While MY life is an open book, I know that not everyone feels that way about their own lives, which has, at times, made blogging challenging. I don't know how you other bloggers handle this. I've gone back and forth, but finally came up with a solution that I think will work for me.

I just created a brand new blog.

And, no, I'm NOT going to tell you where it is!

My anonymous blog will allow me a place to ramble on and on about everything without needing to censor myself.

Don't worry! (I could tell, you were worried, weren't you? You - I'm talking to YOU! Is ANYone still out there?!) This blog will still exist. And I will still write about my life, even though I'm hardly a SAHM anymore.

Just had to tell you how I resolved this problem. And now I'm REALLY curious: how much do you hold back in your blog? What do you do with all that stuff going on in your life that you need to get off your chest?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Always a Bridesmaid . . .

Or not.



My brother got married last weekend. I'm so happy for him. I really, truly, sincerely am. He seems in love and she seems really good for him.



The wedding was in New Hampshire, which required very complicated childcare and travel arrangements, but it was worth it because DH and I were able to spend a weekend away - the first time in THREE years. My sister and I drove for ten hours (yes, you read that correctly) Friday, leaving at 9:30 in the morning and having to end up driving directly to the rehearsal dinner at 7:30 instead of checking in to the hotel to wash up and change as we had expected. Both of our DHs couldn't miss work so they ended up flying out Friday night (we only hate them a little) and then we all drove back together Sunday afternoon ("only" took us seven hours coming home). Other family members were able to join us for the weekend and it was fabulous spending quality time hanging out and laughing with family that I don't see that often. The rehearsal dinner was at a crab place (No comments on spending Shabbat eating shellfish!) and was delicious. The reception was so nice - worked with the bartender to find a drink that I liked and looked pretty (a Cosmo which he made with less alcohol than usual for me since I'm such an easy drunk a lightweight), ate incredible food, got to slow dance with my DH, and laughed more than I had in a long time with the other at our table. The brunch the next day was also fabulous - delicious food, amazing company.



The ceremony itself just made me sad. I've mentioned before how my brother and I have never been close, how we didn't have much of a relationship growing up and that's it's even less now, but that was never more apparent than sitting at my brother's wedding and observing how he chose to not involve my sister and I in any way what so ever. At all. Not even to pass out programs, or read something, or even sing (not to brag, but I have sung professionally so know I'm at least somewhat decent, and my new SIL's cousin sang two different songs). I feel so petty feeling this way, but it's just the way it is. My brother was an usher in both my sister's and my weddings, and when he had gotten married before my sister and I were both bridesmaids (and I sang). Now I could understand if he was trying to make this ceremony completely different from his other one, but to not be included in any way made me feel like I was not even related to him. And that made me so sad. I tried to talking to J about this, but she will only look at it as proof that she needs to try even harder to pursue a relationship with him and his wife. I don't quite know how she could do that since she has called and e-mailed him many times before without getting responses. I have sent gifts/cards for holidays and his birthday before but have never received any type of acknowledgement that he even received it, let only any reciprocation.

So I'm left feeling so strange, so ambivalent, so conflicted. I DO want to have a relationship with him. The few times I have talked with my new SIL I have really enjoyed it. But every attempt I have made in the past has been rebuffed. They will be coming to PA on the 25th for an informal reception my parents are throwing to welcome my SIL to the family. My sister and I both invited them to spend the weekend as a way for us to have time together, but the response was very lukewarm at best, a "maybe" and "we'll see" tossed out. I plan to send them an e-mail with a more official type of invitation, maybe inviting them to brunch before the party or the next day. And if that is rebuffed as well, I really don't know where to go. He hasn't come home for family events or holidays in a while - he came to our grandfather's funeral but left almost immediately afterwards. He's in CT, so I know that it's not too conveniant to come home too often, but it would be great if he did once in a while.

The weekend away was great, but the wedding left me feeling sad. And I just don't know what to do about that.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Baruch Ata Adonai . . .

Thank You, God.
Every morning my two-year-old class sings this song. After becoming familiar with this phrase (in the Hebrew and English) we begin thinking of things to for which we could say Thank You.

Here's my list:
  1. The members of the preschool PTO where I teach who chipped in and bought us an extremely generous amount of gift cards for three different local grocery stores
  2. The faculty and staff at DH's school who took up a collection and ended up with an incredible amount of cash to offset all of our medical expenses. It is enough to pay off what we owe to the hospital for July (we're still waiting to hear what we need to pay for September) plus all of the remaining PT and OT co-pays. We're so grateful we have insurance - can't even imagine how much we owe if we didn't - but the co-pays still add up very quickly!
  3. The department that DH works in that gave him a Visa gift card to also help with co-pays.
  4. My amazing cousin who organized donations from my dad's side of the family and ordered groceries from Acme that were delivered to our house last week and pizzas which were delivered yesterday night. She also organized a collection of frozen meals for us which, even though I was so grateful, I begged her to deliver to my other cousin who recently injured both her legs causing her to be off her feet for a while so I could feel like I was helping in some small way.
  5. The huge number of people who made and delivered meals so I could have one less thing to think about. We still have enough meals in the freezer for the next two weeks.
  6. The people who brought over convenience type foods (like Uncrustables, Granola Bars, Juice Boxes, etc.) for me to throw in the kids' lunch boxes each night.
  7. The numerous people who were able to watch the kids on different days and times so I could go to the hospital with DH or so I could go to work and not leave DH in charge of the kids by himself.
  8. My sister and mom who have been searching thrift stores and even sales at various clothing stores in the area to find long pants for my boys, since I have not been able to get out and do that and they had outgrown all pants from last year.
  9. My parents who were able to pay for the first three months of my dues for the boys to attend Religious School.
  10. The incredible Rabbi at my synagogue who was able to work with me to help relieve other financial burdens we have for the year.
  11. The amazing number of people contacted us to tell us about a friend of a friend who had similar symptoms as DH only to discover that it was ______. We have really appreciated all the ideas and theories. For the record, and to relieve all the people who continue to call and offer this diagnosis: it is NOT Lyme Disease. He had three negative blood tests, did not respond to IV antibiotics, AND there was no evidence of Lyme Disease in his spinal tap.
  12. The friends and family who allowed DH and I to make light of this whole scary situation by participating in our betting pool we had going on things like when he would be discharged from the hospital, what the eventual diagnosis would be, if he would relapse yet again, when he would return to work, just to name a few. We know we're sick people, but if you can't laugh, you cry.
  13. The father of one of DH's students who happens to be a landscaper - he came out yesterday with a partner and took care of our lawn.
  14. Our next door neighbors who have mowed our lawn the previous weeks.
  15. The prayers, good wishes, e-mails, phone calls, get well cards, and visits.
  16. DH's health continues to improve every day.

I'm sure there is more to add to this list, but that's all I can think of right now. Don't I have a lot to be thankful for?!

DH worked half days last week while continuing to do PT and OT four times a week. He seems virtually symptom free, though his left arm is still sore from the weakness. Tomorrow he will begin teaching full days PLUS PT and OT. I am quite nervous that this will cause a relapse again (teaching two full days at the beginning of September had caused this latest relapse) but am trying to stay optimistic. To make matters worse, he has developed an abcess on the tooth that was knocked loose last year when he broke up a fight at school, so must see the dentist right after school tomorrow. His whole face is swollen and he's in a lot of pain.

Please continue to pray!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Update on DH

For everyone checking the blog to see updates about DH, here's the scoop:
DH continues to improve. Tonight he goes back to OT and tomorrow he has PT. He is supposed to do both twice a week ($15 a pop - woohoo!) and is supposed to do all his exercises at home as well. His goal is to ease back into work next week, teaching one or two blocks (each block is one and a half hours) a day. Hopefully he'll be able to begin teaching again withOUT relapsing.

I have one hour of non-kid time before I have to go back to teach Hebrew School, so I'm scooping up all my papers and the laptop and heading to Starbucks.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Home

I worked hard on Wednesday trying to find a doctor at Jefferson (big university hospital in Philly that has a great reputation for neurology). I put the word out that we needed anyone who knew anyone who might be able to help, and the outpouring of support and offers of help was amazing. Ultimately I got his hospital doctor (HMS doctor) to contact a particular doctor at Jeff and the transfer took place on Thursday night. They work through the night there, and doctors were in to see him that night and around six Friday morning. They took him for a few tests that night and even drew some blood for another test at one in the morning.

Ultimately they agreed with what the doctors at Bryn Mawr said: since nothing at all is showing up on any of the tests, they are calling it Functional Neurological Disorder, which basically means that it is medically unexplained. All tests continue to be clean and physically he has improved so much that had we not been transferred from another acute facility, the doctors probably would have looked at us like we were crazy.

Early yesterday evening they sent him home. We won't mention how I brought his clothes that he wore to the hospital home when we were cleaning out his first hospital room, so I had to go to the gift shop and buy him a shirt so he wouldn't look like an escaped mental patient, though he did still have to were their pajama pants and special socks home. We also won't mention how the sleep deprivation caught up with me so much on the ride home that I had to keep begging DH to talk with me so I could stay awake. Or how I fell asleep around 6 o'clock and pretty much slept through until around 5:30 this morning when my sister called to tell me that J's coughing has been pretty bad and she's not sure what more to do. I drove out, picked her up, brought her home, did a neb treatment for her, then let her sleep in bed with Mommy and Daddy. At least she slept in with us!

I took her to the doctor this morning who basically, after listening to how the last seven days had gone, prescribed time together as a whole family.

Time together as a family, hmmm? I know my new found medical degree is only from Google, but I agree with his prescription.

Sorry for the cliched quote, but . . . "there's no place like home."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

This is my 500th post. I had planned to do something special for this milestone. But the old quote always comes back to haunt me: "Man plans, God laughs."

Those of you who know me IRL know that I try to be very positive. I generally keep a smile on my face to go along with the attitude of fake it until you make it, and usually it works - I smile and trick my body and mind into thinking that everything is okay, at least for the most part. So I'm going to try to focus on staying positive with everything happening with DH.

The good news:
  • The radiologist WAS able to perform a spinal tap today.
  • The spinal fluid was clear, so at least we know there is no major infection or whatever it would be that would make it cloudy and therefore bad.
  • OT, PT, and Speech were all in today to do evaluations. Even though he is much worse than he was last time this all happened in July, they will all try to start him doing at least some rehab tomorrow.
  • The neurologist thought of another test for DH (a CT angiogram or something like that) which they performed this afternoon.

And that's all the news I have.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Because Things Weren't Interesting Enough

I'm finally online here at the hospital. Our fabulous friends B and N came to visit and B was able to figure out how to make it work. Thank you, B!!! And thanks N for the magazines and chocolates - exactly what I need.

The MRI of DH's brain was once again clean. Good.

DH began losing strength on his RIGHT side, which is a brand new symptom. Bad.

The neurologist who had already seen him this morning and was planning to do a spinal tap tomorrow was still here, so he rushed back to DH's room to do the tap. Good.

DH's vitals went totally haywire the two times the neurologist tried it, which caused him to pass out during the first attempt and for his heart rate to drop significantly during the second attempt. Bad.

The dr. will try to do another spinal tap tomorrow or Tuesday with Radiology, which (in theory) should make it easier. PT, OT, and Speech will be in tomorrow to do an eval and start therapy. And that's the update. We're trying to focus on one day at a time because the "What Ifs . . ." are too hard to deal with right now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Spoke Too Soon

While I was working on my plans at Burlap and Bean, DH walked in to pick me up. He had been hanging out with me there all morning, but had eventually gotten bored and decided to go to the library for an hour or two. The way DH's knee buckled with every step he took warned me that something was way wrong.

I tried driving him to the ER myself, but couldn't go fast enough, plus he was scaring the cr*p out of me with how bad he looked. When I gave him a drink of water it wouldn't even stay in his mouth. I stopped at home to pick up the medical records of this bizarre journey (that I just got a chance to organize yesterday) and made the decision to call 911. They sent an ambulance and we were on our way.

And now we are back in the mystery world of unknown diagnosis. They did a CAT scan of his brain, which revealed that he did not have a major stroke. He was admitted (of course) and will be seen again by the neurologist in the morning. They'll be doing a whole bunch of other tests tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be able to figure out what is causing all this now.

This journey has been so incredibly frustrating and scary I don't even know what to do. I wish we could find an answer. I wish he hadn't lost ALL the progress he had made in PT and OT. I wish he wasn't WORSE now than he was the last time. I wish it was still summer so we didn't have to figure out how to do all this AND deal with my school and the kids' school.

I wish . . .

You Asked For It

Oh, Blog, how I've abandoned you. I've ignored you, I've cheated on you (with Facebook), and I'm so sorry. I know I've said it before (and I'll probably say it again) but things have been crazy. Really, really crazy. As crazy as they were this summer but with all of us at home. I'm going to try to make up for it with a long post filling you in on what has been going on, complete with links and everything.

DH went back to school the last week of August. He had no students until Thursday, and had nothing to do each morning but plan and prep for school. Each afternoon he had meeting to sit through. I know, really taxing, right? But since he was only back to about 85% normalcy (if he ever actually was normal, but that's a WHOLE other post), he came home each day completely exhausted, actually barely able to make it through the entire school day until he could crawl into bed or onto the couch and sleep.


The following week school started for real the day after Labor Day. He had students for the whole day and taught. And because he is the incredible teacher that he is, he couldn't do it halfway. He had to walk among the desks, stay on his feet as he moved around the room to help keep the kids' interest (hey, they're seniors, what do you expect?) and maintain discipline. He taught two full days and had a relapse on Thursday. His mouth started drooping on the left side, he began limping because he his left leg lost so much strength, he started having trouble writing (he's left handed). And, because he is who he is, he continued teaching all day, only going to his doctor after school and only because he already had an appointment scheduled.

DH has been out of work since that day. The doctor had hoped with rest he would begin to improve, but unfortunately he has gotten a little worse each day. His speech is slurred because the left side of his mouth is pulling downward. The progress he had made since his hospital stay has diminished significantly. AND NO ONE KNOWS WHY!
His general practioner (forever more to be known as GP) took multiple gallons of blood (give or take) and ran every viral test known to man (or at least, that he could find in his big doctor book). The results told us nothing, but did show that, like 99% of the population, he had the antibody for Epstein-Barr, which just indicates that he had the virus once before.

Thursday morning he had yet another MRI of the brain. It was clear. That afternoon we saw an infectious disease specialist. He was very thorough and after taking a complete history and examining him, he acknowledged that he has major weakness over his whole left side but does not feel it is related to some kind of infectious disease.

Friday he saw his neurologist and they scheduled a spinal tap (why not - they've done everything else!). That afternoon we saw his GP again who is referring him to get a second opinion from another neurologist and wrote a note for DH to be out of school for at least two more weeks (and then we'll go from there).

While that has been going on, the boys started first grade. They are in different classrooms for the very first time, which I think will be fabulous for both of them. A has a new assistant and seems to be doing okay. Pull-out begins next week, and he will see his Asperger's Support teacher three times a week, a counselor who will work on social skills once a week, speech twice a week, and PT and OT both once a week. B will also begin getting pulled out for OT (FINALLY) and speech. I am so concerned with both his attention/focusing skills and his fine motor skills, but I've told his teacher my concerns already and will e-mail his OT this weekend so she's up to speed with what I've been seeing. We may need to revisit his IEP to create some more specially-designed instruction for his classroom work. Yesterday his teacher sent home a paper that he had written his name on and nothing else. She wrote on the top "Independent Work" and "25 minutes" and "Please finish and return." When I questioned B about it, in between all kinds of excuses, I got out that he had sat at his desk for the 25 minutes and had not even started the paper. WTF?!! It was a handwriting/ABC paper, so I rewrote the worksheet onto a special paper that his OT had given us to make it a little easier for him, but even with that he needed me to sit right next to him to refocus him after almost every other letter. So I'm concerned.
And while that has been going on, school started for me. I'm now teaching almost thirty hours a week. I love it. Preschool began on Monday, though we were in the week before for staff meetings and "Meet the Teacher" days. I'm teaching five mornings plus staying for lunch
(8:30-1:00). Hebrew School started on Monday too. I am teaching all the "Alef" kids, the ones that are just beginning. I worked last year and this summer on rewriting the curriculum, applying everything I know about how kids learn to read to teaching Hebrew. And I actually got paid for it! Good thing I didn't tell them that I am so excited about making all the changes I would have done it for free. I teach two different Alef classes, one Monday night, one Tuesday afternoon. And tomorrow Religious School begins. I was able to take the year-long plans I had used last year (which I had really liked and had spent a lot of time working on last summer) and revise them for this year, but still have more prep to do before the first day. Normally, while I'm on top of each class, I would have so much more plans completed for at least the full month. I had hoped to create monthly newsletters to go home for both Hebrew and Religious School over the summer with what I had planned, revising them a little if I needed to. That's not done. Oh well, there's still time. But just getting my classroom ready and prepping everything that I needed so far has taken so much more time than I thought it would, especially since I had to juggle DH, the kids, and the house at the same time.
Which brings me to the house. While everything else has been going on, I've been trying to work out a new budget (which has been messed up due to all of DH's medical co-pays), stay on top of all three kids' school papers/notices, do the laundry enough so the kids have clean clothes to wear to school, buy enough groceries so I can pack their lunches and have something on hand to make for dinner, keep the floor picked up enough so no one trips, etc.
It got tough enough that I set up a "community" at this incredible website that allows me to type in what kinds of help we need and when and for people we know to join up and sign up for what they will do. We've got dinners coming in for the next week, which is such a relief. My incredible cousin sent out an e-mail to all her friends and family inviting them to a "meal making party" to create dinners for us to freeze and have on hand AND is setting up her paypal account to collect enough money to buy groceries for us for two weeks (at least, that's the goal). Even if it doesn't work, what an incredibly thoughtful plan! And she lives in New Jersey! We've had people join the community that we don't even know really well, friends of friends or connections through various groups we are involved with, all signing up to show support and offer help. And we've had friends that don't live too close or have too much going on in their own lives contact us to let us know they're thinking of us or praying for us. Thank goodnes DH's GP has completely okayed DH helping out around the house (especially since he has been since he's been home despite me nagging him constantly to rest). My sister volunteered to take the kids overnight last night and keep them today until dinnertime, which is allowing us to hang out at a great coffee place while I catch you up and work on plans for school. Plus we got to watch our friends film a music video here for her first CD. The support from everyone has been overwhelming, which, considering up until I started asking for help all I've been feeling is overwhelmed but in a totally different kind of way, is a huge relief.
So that's it. You're now officially caught up. Now quite bugging me so I can get some work done! Just kidding, I've really missed writing here. It's very theraputic for me to get it all out, especially since a) I'm working really hard on pushing through any and all emotions I have about the whole DH medical situation since I have too much to do and b) everyone (okay my mom and someone at work) has been reminding me how important it is to take some time for myself. This was it. I took time for myself to update my blog.
I hope you're happy.





Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Planning

Got a call the other night from one of our favorite babysitters who told me that she doesn't have to work today and could I use her. Uhhhh....YEAH!!! So now I'm at the best independent coffee houses in the area getting focused, ready to get organized and prepared for the start of school.

I've been trying to get the kids (and me) on what will be our schedule beginning next week, but am having such an incredibly hard time getting my a$$ out of bed. The sleep doctor is sending away for this special nighttime medication for me to take that will make my sleep more productive, which in theory sounds like I would be able to get out of bed rested in the morning. However every medication I've ever taken that has the tiniest "may make you drowsy" warning on it has left me drugged the whole next day. But the doctor pointed out that due to my weight gain (Ow . . . just rub a little more salt in that wound, Doc!) my minor apnea may have increased some causing me to not sleep well. As if I hadn't already decided that I needed to focus on my diet and exercise. Sheesh!

And going along with all that is the understanding that I HAVE to get at least eight hours of sleep. Which means I have to head upstairs at nine so I can wash up and relax some so I can be asleep by ten, because I HAVE to get out of bed at six so I can be dressed and awake when the kids get up at seven so we can be ready to leave the house a little after eight. Which means that no matter how much my bed beckons, no matter how much my eyes begin to close again on their own, no matter how much I want to pull up the covers again and go back to sleep, I have no choice but to GET UP!

And now, that being said, I have to end this post so I can get started working on my plans for Preschool. NOW!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Not Dead Yet!

I'm baaaaaaaaaaa--aaaaack!!!

I know you've all been worried, wondering where I was and why I wasn't blogging. Every day I said to myself, "Make some time for your public your readers the one or two people who check in to see what you're rambling about now." And yet I didn't. There's a few good reasons, like:
  • I discovered Facebook, which is so much more addicting then I realized!
  • We went on vacation down the shore for a whole week with my parents and my sister and her whole family.
  • School is starting all too soon and I am so frigging behind in all that I need to do to prep for Preschool, Hebrew School, and Religious School.
  • As I do every year around this time, I'm trying to find the most efficient way to handle household things like bills, groceries, meals, laundry so things will run smoothly once the school year begins.
  • I'm planning a big "Thank you" party for this Friday for all the people that helped while DH was sick (Sorry, Anjali, I'd invite you but the plane fare might not be worth it!)

But even though I'm just a tad overwhelmed, I just wanted to pop on to show that I'm not dead yet (Monty Python reference anyone?) and to mention the fact that I just went to my sleep doctor today (I'll be trying some new drugs in addition to the drugs I'm on now) and was weighed: in one year I've gained TEN pounds. That is so wrong. Yeah, so now, in addition to all the stuff I listed above, I have to REALLY start working on my diet again.

Well, at least no one is in the hospital - oh, man, I almost went and did it! I'm not superstitious, but I know better than to put a kinahera on my life right now. I better just publish this before I end up spitting all over the computer through two fingers to get rid of the evil eye.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Whirlwind in my Head

Sorry.
This is going to be a boring post. I can feel it even as I start. I just have so many thoughts wrestling for dominance floating around in my mind that I can't hear over the voices shouting in my head it's hard to focus.

Aren't you so glad that I figured out once again how to show off the one cool blogger trick I've learned cross things out?

July pretty much sucked for us. There were good moments, such as having so many friends and family and people that DH works with step up and offer support in so many different ways. But spending so much time in and out of the hospital really screwed up our summer plans leaving DH and I so far behind the eight ball that I can't even take the time to create a good pool reference to finish the metaphor - if it is in fact a metaphor at all really complicated all the plans we had to get ready for each of our school years.

But now it's August. I had managed to find a babysitter to do stuff with the kids for today, tomorrow, and Thursday so DH and I would both have the time to plan, set up our rooms, do all the stuff we need to do to get ready. HOWEVER, the babysitter for today called early this morning that she has strep. Did you hear the sobs from your house? She started antibiotics already and will be ready to sit for the kids tomorrow, but boy did it mess up my plans for today! Ultimately, DH and I worked it out so he's at school all day (I keep checking in with him to remind him to take it easy) getting his classroom library set up (he teaches English using reading workshop and has spent a ton of his own money buying young adult literature). We will have a babysitter (keep your fingers crossed) Wednesday and Thursday and DH will be in charge of the kids on Friday.

And then there's Saturday. My parents have rented a house for all of us (us, my sister and her family, and them) to spend the week down the shore. What an incredible gift and I'm really looking forward to an amazing week. I'm going to do what I can so DH can REST as much as possible. He's freaking out a little that he won't have the energy to last through the whole day of teaching once school starts (he goes back the last week in August), so I keep stressing to him how much rest he will be getting. Hopefully helping him rest won't end up causing me too much stress to enjoy the week!

I took the kids and my laptop to Chick-Fil-A today (it has a terrific indoor play area and I had coupons for free kid meals). I was able to get some planning done, mainly listing the projects I want to do for each holiday for the year and revising my plans for religious school. I still need to rewrite the Hebrew School curriculum and plan out an overview for the year, finish revising my religious school plans, work on my plans for the beginning of the year for preschool as well as a detailed overview for the whole year, and try to work on getting low-cost/free publicity for my business. And set up my preschool classroom. And pack for the shore, which includes cleaning out the fridge of perishables. In three full days. I can do it. Really. No problem.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I think I can.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I Can SEE!!!

I don't have time for a real post right now, but just had to share:
A is my favorite person in the whole wide world right now. Even though DH and I searched for my glasses high and low, apparently we never moved the couches. A just screamed out, "I found Mommy's glasses!" Don't know (or want to know) why he was looking there, but they were under the couch. YAY!!







Just in time for me to pay $250+ for my replacement pair (which we will be putting directly into my night table drawer for the next time I lose them).

Monday, August 04, 2008

I Can't Read!

If I could create some kind of system for glasses, something that all of us absent-minded glasses wearers could attach to our glasses so we could just touch a button or clap our hands and then we could instantly locate said glasses, I could make a fortune. Or maybe I'm the only one that does this over and over again. In any case, my glasses are gone, we've searched all day, I have finally ordered a new pair (which won't be in until Thursday at the earliest). That means no updates until then. No reading, no computer, no writing, no paperwork, nothing close up until I get the new pair. Yeah, I won't be going through withdrawal or anything. Nahhh....piece of cake.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Life is Good

I finally have good things to share.



DH is now using a cane instead of the walker. He had his first PT appointment yesterday and did great. They found some residual weakness, but it was amazing watching them test him and comparing it in my mind to how it had been just last week at this time. They gave him some moist heat on his left shoulder and leg and then he was able to do a few exercises that actually involved him lifting his left arm all the way above his head, and extend his left leg straight out, things he has not been able to do in over a week. Wow! Right now he is out on his own for the first time since the 21st. This morning we went to see a free movie together as a family - he drove and did fine, so this afternoon is a test to see how much he can do. His plan is to go to school and to his favorite book store and then come home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's not too much for him, but I told him when we came home that I would not be questioning him all the time about if he was sure he was up to anything, that he would have to listen to his body and judge. I'm just biting my lip and hoping he's doing that.



The kids right now are having a picnic with our next-door-neighbors in a "clubhouse" they've all created between some trees. My sister and I had a "hideout" in the space created between a row of evergreen trees that lined our driveway growing up, so this make me feel all warm inside.



When all this medical stuff got to the acute stage last week and DH was hospitalized indefinitely, I turned all the coordination of the kid-care and meals over to my incredibly organized and amazing sister, after I stared at the computer and my cell phone for about fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to work all this stuff out so I could spend as much time as I could at the hospital. That night she reported back to me all the different things she lined up for us, exclaiming, "You've got some incredible networks of friends!" It's funny, I go through chunks of time where I wish I had more close friends, friends that would call me up and invite me to go out for coffee with them or for a night out. But times like this make me realize that I have friends, I have people that love me or that can only imagine the situation we were in and want to reach out to support us however they can.



My sister worked out a shift system and had people picking up the kids from the hospital after they visited Daddy in the morning (shift one) to take them out in the morning and then dropping them off at someone else's house for the afternoon (shift two) and then someone picking them up from that person's house to take them somewhere for dinner (shift three) and then back to my house so someone else (shift four) could come and help me get them ready for bed (I wanted them to stay here in their own beds each night to give them SOME sense of routine) and stay with them once they were asleep so I could go back to the hospital if needed (I never ended up doing that, but it was great to know I could I wanted). First of all, isn't that incredibly organized? I would have written anal and crossed it out but right now I can't remember how to do that and don't want to take the time to look it up. Second of all, isn't that amazing that she found enough people to volunteer for that?!!



I've had people bring us meals, pick up groceries without me even asking (things like snacks for the kids, bread, peanut butter, jelly, random stuff that families need), pick up stuff at my request (healthy snacks for DH and I to eat in the hospital - that person also picked up two slices of packaged Oreo pie for me!), call, visit, e-mail. My local Mothers and More group stepped up; some members helped with the kids, some tooke care of meals, one member who I hadn't even met brought a meal and groceries - incredible! I even had my cousin (Michelle's SIL) who lives in Jersey call - she's going to be sending us some pizza for tomorrow night's dinner! Our neighbors have mowed the lawn, pulled the weeds, even taken out our trash. And now the kids have moved from their clubhouse in the backyard to another neighbor's house across the street to try out a great big frisbee that one of them got.



And all the people who have prayed for us - I don't talk about faith too much on this blog because it is so deeply personal for everyone, but I am a very spiritual person. It has meant so much to me to hear people tell me that we are in their prayers, or even that they are sending good thoughts our way (the non-religious person's way of praying, in my mind). On Tuesday I was driving back to the hospital after dropping the kids off somewhere and running home to get some stuff. I had seen my neighbors and tried to update them some, but got somewhat emotional and had to stop. I do great in a crisis. I can tuck my feelings away like the best of them (I know, not exactly healthy, but helpful at times like this), but once I start to cry it's really hard to start. I didn't want to bring that back to the hospital with me, so I knew I had to pull it together somehow. I found myself pulling into my synagogue's parking lot almost without thinking about it. I walked in, bypassing the office and all the people I know that work there, and walked into the sanctuary on my own. And I prayed. At first, I didn't really know what to pray for, my mind was such a jumble of concerns and doubts and guilt for not bringing him back to the hospital sooner, so I finally just stopped and listened to my heart. And then it was clear: I thanked God for the medical care that is available to us, and prayed for strength to get through this crisis. And I gave it all up to God. I knew that I had no control over this situation, that things would work out as they are supposed to, so I reminded myself that it is in God's hands. And I left there feeling such peace, something I hadn't felt since all this started on July 10th when we first went to the hospital thinking he was having a heart attack. And now that he's been released, everything bad ruled out, improving every day, I still feel it.

I'm still tired (sleep deprivation + narcolepsy are not a good mix), still trying to get the paperwork and the house back in order, still opening cabinets and finding things in strange places due to all the different people who have been here to help, but it's all okay.

Life is good.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HOME!

Yep, I brought him home this morning. He needs to use the walker for a while, and can't be left alone in case he falls (plus I have to "spot" him as he goes up and down the stairs), but he's HOME!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here's the latest:
Everything has now been ruled out (stroke, MS, any central nervous problems, tumors, lyme disease, any heart defects or infections). The doctors feel this is something viral that will have to run its course and we need to focus on rehab to build his strength back up and retrain his brain to move his left side.

He is actually going to be discharged today, either going to an in-patient rehab facility or home to do intensive PT. We are waiting for the rehab doctor to examine him to determine where he is going.

Yesterday and today he is actually showing small signs of improvement. He is now able to lift his left arm a little higher and when he squeezes with his left hand you can actually feel a little squeeze. Yesterday he was able to walk down the hall to the special shower (it has a bench) they have with assistance, limping all the way. Once we got there he was too exhausted to do much more then sit on the bench and hold the shower head while scrubbed him down. He then needed a wheelchair to get back to his room. As the day went on he went on three more "walks" to try to build up his strength - each walk was no more than two minutes, but it's a start. I'm a little concerned about them sending him home since we just have the one bathroom UPSTAIRS, but I'm going to get dressed so I can head back to the hospital with the kids so they can see Daddy but also so I can be there when the rehab doctor is there so I can voice my concerns.

Thank you all for the amazing support you have shown me through comments and offers of help. It has helped so much to know that so much is taken care of.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yes, His Smile is Still Drooping

Two neurological exams and two MRIs of the brain later, a stroke has been ruled out. An EMG of his left side has ruled out nerve damage. MS has been ruled out, along with a bunch of other letters I don't remember right now. Tomorrow they will do a PCR test for Lyme disease even though the two blood tests have come back negative just to be sure. They will also do a TEE test on his heart, for which he will have to be knocked out. The doctor has also talked about bringing in an infectious disease specialist to see if there is something viral going on. They have also made it clear that when they do eventually discharge him from the hospital, he will be sent to an in-patient rehab so he can work on using his left side again.

Watching the different doctors and therapists evaluate his strength has been scary. The loss of strength is so significant, and it is still declining. Yesterday, before we made the decision to go back to the ER, he took the kids to his school for a little and then to IKEA for a little. He was limping some, but felt okay to do all this (though when I called him while he was finishing up at IKEA he told me he was exausted). Today after the PT and OT evaluated his strength they had him walk a little bit. Not only is the limp much more prominent now, he became quite fatigued by the time he got to the hallway!

So that's all I have to report for now. If you're local and are able to help out with childcare/meals, my sister is coordinating all of that. Leave a comment and she'll get back to you. If you know my DH in real life, please consider visiting him at Bryn Mawr Hospital. There is a lot of down time between tests and therapies.

I sincerely hope I have something to report by tomorrow night, some kind of answer, but for now I'm trying to just focus on one day at a time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

From Bad to Worse

DH was readmitted to the hospital again tonight. The weakness on his left side has progressed so that the left side of his mouth now droops down and he started limping somewhat. They plan to keep him indefinitely until they get to the bottom of the weakness. I am kicking myself for not bringing him to the ER on Saturday when I first saw his lopsided smile, but they had ruled out a stroke on the 12th when he was last in the hospital with an MRI of his brain, so I didn't realize that was even still a possiblity. Apparently there is such a thing as a slow stroke (or something like that) which would present like this. There are a ton of other things they're also considering, so in addition to the new MRI they did of his brain tonight (with contrast this time) they will be running a whole bunch of scary sounding tests tomorrow and the next day.

I'm going to try to go to bed now. I'm trying to take this one day at a time. The kids are at my sister's right now, but I don't know how long that can last, so I'm looking for people to take them for chunks of time tomorrow and the next few days, so feel free to comment if you can help at all.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Escape

I guess I just got what I wanted the only way I can.
DH took the kids to his parents' house at 10:30 this morning. I was being given the whole day (had to join them at 4:30) and had a huge to do list for both the house and my show to get accomplished.
And what did I do?




ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz





Yep, as soon as they left I took what was supposed to be a half hour nap. Despite the alarm clock (which I got up to hit snooze a few times before I turned it off) I slept the entire day. Just woke up. It's 3:45. Yeah, I have thirty minutes to shower, dress, and attempt to do something around the house? Maybe?

So the microwave just beeped telling me that my chai tea latte is ready. I figure at this point I need the caffiene boost (I took my narcolepsy meds this morning but I guess since I was ASLEEP I can't really tell if it was working or not). I'm going to drink my tea, shower and get dressed, go to my IL's to have dinner with them, get the kids ready for bed, and then drive them home.

DH will be driving to our community theater for what should be his first rehearsal for the dream play that he has wanted to direct for years. Instead he has made the gut-wrenching decision to step down as director due to all this health crap (yeah, his smile is a little lopside now and he has started limping some - his whole left side is losing strength - naaaaahhhh, we're not concerned at all!). He will tell the cast that tonight, announce the new director, and then he's done. So hard. But I'm so proud of him for making the decision that will ultimately be best for him.

I'm hoping that just maybe the kids will go to bed right away and DH will stick around the theater and I will move with superhuman speed around the house and at least clean up all the stuff on the floor, tables, counters, flat surfaces . . . .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!

I know it's such a cliche, but that's the way I'm feeling right now. I just want to get off for a little bit, maybe a couple days, get caught up in everything, and then I'd be ready to step back on and start being part of the rest of the world again.

  • We found a large, dark bruise on the right side of DH's stomach - don't know where it came from at all. He's at the doctor right now to see if they can figure out where it came from and if it's significant. Of course, he had remembered the wrong appointment time so when they called at 1:30 today saying he missed his 1:00 appointment (he thought it was for 3) and now will not be able to be seen, he was fairly pissed that they would not work with him at all to squeeze him in (he had called yesterday hoping to be seen but today was the earliest they could see him, even knowing all that's been going on recently). We decided he needs a new primary and after calling around found someone who COULD see him today. That's where he is now.
  • DH's pain had come back Monday night (he had been released Saturday morning) so I made him go back to the hospital despite his objections. Yeah, I'm just mean like that. The ER doctor decided (and the MRI of his neck kind of confirmed) that it was a bulging disk in his neck pinching a nerve that is causing the pain that is shooting down his left arm causing his hand to be somewhat numb and definitely not work very well. Of course, the bulging disk is on the right side of his neck and all the pain he is feeling is on the left side, but . . . He started DH on steroids and high doses of Alleve. The ER doc felt that the pinched nerve could also explain the chest pain as well (but did another EKG just to make sure it wasn't cardiac related).
  • We went to see a neurologist this morning about the neck. We even took the kids with us so I could go too and they were INCREDIBLY well behaved, even when the Gameboy's batteries died. The neurologist was the same one who had seen DH in the hospital; he had done an MRI of his brain just to make sure the pain was not being caused by something there. He never suggested ANY other possible cause. Anyway. He looked at DH's MRI report and also thought it was strange that the pain he is experiencing is all on the left side, but prescribed 8 weeks of PT to take care of it. He also told DH that he should definitely NOT be taking the steroid and the Alleve at the same time since they're both anti-inflamatories and they will hurt his stomach (which would explain the stomach pain DH has been feeling recently). The main thing he did NOT do is examine DH. Yeah, guess that would have taken too long or something?!!
  • DH just called from this new doctor, who actually DID a thorough examine and discovered that the entire left side of DH's body is significantly weaker than his right (yes, that includes his foot, leg, stomach, arm, and hand). The new doc is right now calling the neurologist from this morning to try to consult with him and impress upon him the significance of these new findings.
  • So, we have all that going on, which is scary and a lot to deal with. But life goes on no matter what, so there are still bills to be paid and laundry to wash (just enough so we have clean underwear and towels for the kids to bring outside and dry off) and meals to make and kids to occupy and strange smells to find the source of (well, I haven't really been keeping up with too much around the house so . . .) and then there's the whole show that I'm directing (for the children's theater camp I'm working at as head teacher) that needs to be performed at the end of the this month and the sleep I'm lacking and the weight I'm NOT losing and the paperwork I'm still trying to sort through. Not to mention the new Hebrew curriculum I was asked to write (something I'm so passionate about and will get paid for and will be the only teacher teaching it), the revisions and planning I still want to do for my preschool class, the work I want to do with my business to attract more customers. Plus the various activities/therapies I want to do with the kids to help them with various skills. Plus the fact that all this cardiac stuff has convinced DH he needs to eat better, which would be great for me too, but I haven't been able to organize myself enough to really get the food to prepare the meals for us to help with this new resolution.

I know that I have SO much going on right now, especially with this major uncertainty with DH's health, but I'm just so friggin' overwhelmed I feel like my head is spinning. And so I'm just asking, if it's possible, let's just stop the world for just a couple days, maybe just let me say FREEZE and stop everyone and everything right where they are, let me get caught up with the house and the paperwork and my show and the food and cleaning out the fridge (maybe that's where that funky smell is coming from), maybe even get caught up on my sleep too, and then we can start everything up again. That's all I need. Not too much to ask, right.

So . . . .

FREEZE!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Last Few Days

That was really scary.

Thursday night, I finally got the kids in bed and staying there, poured myself a bowl of cereal, and the phone rang. DH, sounding out of breath, telling me that's he's driving home and is having a lot of chest pain and it's shooting down his left arm and making is fingers tingly. And HE'S DRIVING! All I could picture was him crashing into a telephone pole and me trying to tell the ambulance where they can find him. I, as calmly as I can, find out where he is (he happened to be pretty close to his parents'), and tell him to drive there so they can drive him to the ER. I would be there as soon as I could.

I must admit, I pride myself in keeping calm in an emergency. But this was a little much for me. I did feel panic creeping in as I called everyone that lived near by to come sit with the kids so I could go. No one was home. I went next door and, trying to keep calm, relayed what I knew to my neighbors and they told me to go, they would sit with the kids. I went back in the house and felt like I was going around in circles. I got DH a book and one for me (we've done ER trips for the kids MANY times and know how long they normally last) and then found myself straightening up the house. Like it mattered. But I did.

Then I left the door open (one neighbor was coming over right then) and began driving to the hospital. I called him and started talking to him on his cell (he still sounded really bad) and soon realized that I was right behind his mom's car following them. We parked at the ER and he was able to get out of the car himself, though he was somewhat hunched over and grabbing his chest. We got to the counter, which DH needed to lean on to hold himself up, and I heard myself say in a low, tight voice I did not recognize to the woman whose back was towards us, "He's having chest pain." She took one glance at him and whipped a wheelchair around for him. She wheeled him to the room right behind her and had me stay to register him. Since he's in the computer (yeah, we're ALL in the computer there) it didn't take long, maybe two minutes, but by the time I got back to him the EKG was almost finished. It was normal, but his pain was still extreme.

The nurse left and others soon filed in - blood tests, more registration info (that's right, when it's bad enough, they come to you), a PA to take more info. All this time, the sharp stabbing pain directly above his heart was coming every minute or so, the amount of pain deemed a "10" on the pain scale by DH. He was losing feeling in his left hand so much that he was no longer able to squeeze as strongly as he could with his right. If he moved the pain escalated. Or laughed. Or turned his head. Or took a somewhat deep breath. It got to the point that I was reminding him how to find a focal point and focus on his breathing, the tricks I learned in preparing for natural childbirth.

They moved him to another room down the hall and started treating him as if he was having a heart attack, giving him four baby aspirins and a nitroglycerin tablet under his tongue. Apparently just about anyone with severe chest pain is treated this way, just in case. They wheeled him off for some test, and by the time he came back the pain was better, down to an "8". Another tablet, more relief. After the third tablet under his tongue, the pain was down to a "1". That sure seemed significant to me! The nurse said that he would definitely be admitted. The doctor came in and told him that if he were a betting man, he would say this is NOT cardiac related (all the tests were coming back clean, including the blood test looking for excess cardiac enzymes), but he was staying just in case. Apparently the fact that this was Thursday night and that we would still have a day in the hospital for them to run tests was good. They gave him a nitro patch (that would give him a steady amount of nitroglycerin) and admitted him. And I drove home.

I was so tempted to pick up one of the kids and bring them to bed with me so I could have a warm body next to me, but didn't want to wake any of them, so I didn't. It worked out since J came in around 4 in the morning and was then amazed because I didn't make her go back to bed, instead told her to go get her "Mine" and come back in bed with me. She did, no questions asked. DH called around 6:15 or so, to tell me that the pain came back during the night, though not as bad as it had been, and that a doctor and a PA were in already to tell him they would be running all kinds of tests today and would not discharge him until they got to the bottom of it. By 7 all three of them were in bed with me (I guess they woke, saw J not there, and figured out where she must be) though I don't really remember the boys joining us, and I took a breath and started to tell them what as going on.

I explained that last night Daddy's heart starting hurting him so we took him to the hospital and the doctors are helping him feel better. B, who has a hero worship thing going on with his Daddy, teared up immediately asking if the doctors gave him a shot that made him go to sleep. I had to think for a moment before I realized he was asking if the doctors gave him anastesia so they could operate on him. For some reason the idea of being put to sleep like that (no, we don't have a pet and he has never heard of an animal being "put to sleep") terrifies him. I assured him that Daddy is being given medicine so his heart doesn't hurt right now but he is wide awake. I didn't want to tell him that Daddy won't be having an operation because at that point I really didn't know. The other two asked questions, but didn't seem as upset. I explained to them what our day would be like today since it was changing (and that's really hard for A). We had planned to see Peter Pan that day as a family (a local children's theater camp performs different kids' shows each week) so of course we had to do that (couldn't change things THAT much - it had been on the kids' calendar all week). My sister agreed to take the kids after that and keep them overnight, so I told them the order of the day: we would eat breakfast, go visit Daddy, see Peter Pan, and then go to Aunt J's for lunch and to have a sleepover, and I kept repeating it as the day progressed so all of them (A) would remember it.

DH called me twice while I was getting the kids ready to leave the house. Once to tell me that a doctor had just been there and told him that he would be going home a little later that morning (?!!) despite that fact that he still had significant pain and they hadn't figured out what was causing it and then again to tell me they just gave him something for the pain and that he wasn't sure when he would be going home and he didn't really care anymore. Yeah, they gave him some good stuff, but at least then I knew he wasn't really going home any time soon - they wouldn't have given him something so strong if he was going home.

I finally go them out the door and to the hospital. Major miscalculation - I forgot to prep them for how DH would look. He was hooked up to all kinds of monitors, had an Oxygen tube in his nose, and was receiving saline through an IV. B kept looking everywhere but DH, asking him questions all the time (especially about the needle they used to give him the IV and whether or not they gave him something to make him go to sleep - apparently Mommy's word was not enough). A was excited about all the electronics he saw around DH and had to find out what each number and line meant. J was the first to agree to go up and give DH a hug, which made something start beeping, which caused A so much panic that he couldn't even look at DH. I encouraged him to give Daddy a hug (if he wanted) and he approached Daddy so tentatively, hands flapping, that I reasurred him that he didn't have to hug him if he didn't want to, to which he replied, "Okay!" and backed away completely. My MIL was there and volunteered to take the kids for a walk so DH and I could talk. She found some monitors in the hallway that were not hooked up to anything and let the kids touch them some so they could see that they were not so scary. I went out in the hallway and tracked down DH's nurse to find out if his perception that he would be released soon was accurate (of course it wasn't) and gave him some more info that she needed. As soon as I went back in the room, DH was laughing at me that I had to go "rat him out." Hey, just doing what I had to do!

And with that, I took the kids to see Peter Pan, again reminding them of the new schedule a few times as we drove. We sat down and watched the AMAZING production - professional quality entertainment all performed by KIDS! A was definitely off through most of the show, needing to sit on my lap about 1/4 of the way through (he often craves pressure so seeks out hugs a lot), at times turning in to me for a tight hug, at times turning to the show but staying on my lap. J, not to lose her Mommy's lap, insisted on sitting on my lap too (luckily I have two knees and lots of experience sharing my lap), cuddling into me to rest. B sat with his hands over his ears (two years ago we had attempted to watch another production of Peter Pan and B had gotten two scared about the idea of the crocodile eating Captain Hook's hand so we had to leave) pressed up against my right side. When the show was over and I repeated the schedule for the rest of the day (go out and meet the characters, go to Aunt J's for lunch and then for a sleepover while Mommy went back to see Daddy) A broke down completely, sobbing that he thought we were having lunch at home (see why I repeat the schedule so often, even though it still didn't work this time?). Luckily we were in the absolute top row so I was able to pull him onto my lap and rock him as he cried. The other two, almost oblivious to A's hysteria, began pestering me to go out so we could see Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, anxious we would miss them. It got to the point that I started looking around the auditorium, desparately searching for anyone else that I knew who could help. Never mind all the people we saw before the show started that we knew, I couldn't find anyone now. I finally was able to get A to verbalize WHY he wanted to have lunch at home (yes, I'm so grateful he is verbal) and then reasssured him that he could have his electronic time on Aunt J's computer just like he does at home, but not if he kept crying. That stopped him quickly enough, and we went out to say hi to the various characters. I then drove them to J's, went home to get a couple things for DH, pack the kids' stuff for their sleepover, and put together some things for me to do while waiting in his room, and then drove back to the hospital.

Part two will come later - my time is up and I have to get home so I can join everyone at my IL's for dinner. I am so behind in paperwork (which I was planning to be doing this afternoon) but writing seems to help me process things, so that's what I chose to do instead, and I think that did help.

Friday, July 11, 2008

DH's update

Just left the hospital. DH seems to be virtually pain free at this point, but they're keeping him overnight again for observation. The doctors plan to discharge him in the morning. We still don't know what caused the pain, but they did a ton of tests which ruled out life-threatening stuff. I will be talking with his doctor tomorrow morning to find out what we do next. I have more to say, but I'm tired and need to go to bed.

Just had to note how incredible my neighbors are:
One neighbor came over no questions asked last night to sit with the kids so I could meet DH at the ER.
While I was at the hospital all day, two of my other neighbors came over and weeded and weedwhacked the yard.
Aren't they amazing?!!

Useful knowledge

Wanna know the quickest way to be seen when you go to the ER? Just mention "chest pain." Yup, they wisked DH back so fast by the time I finished with the very fast registration they already had him hooked up to the EKG machine.

His pain responded to the nitro tablets they put under his tongue, so they decided to admit him to run more tests. He's there now. All the tests are showing no cardiac problems, but the chest pain has come back (just not to the same extent). He just called me to say the last doctor to come in made it seem like he was going to be discharged this morning, which really surprises me since he's STILL IN PAIN and they DON'T KNOW WHY!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Food Choices

I don't think the way we lose weight is really fair.

I understand how it all works - burn off more calories then you take in. But I really think the food choices you make should really count a whole lot more than they do. For example, J and I were at Starbucks tonight (the boys are taking a drama class from 6-8 so it's easiest for J and I to hang out instead of going home and coming back out). I was hungry, and quite tempted by all the incredible pastries they still had in the display case. But I was good and selected the fruit and yogurt parfait they had.

This morning I had a bowl of Curves cereal - one bowl of a good cereal, not two or three with lots of added sugar. I had half a Coke at lunch time (wasn't really hungry and decided not to eat just because it was lunch time) and then a nonfat yogurt and some grapes around 3 when I was hungry - instead of buying the kids and I snacks at the pool snack bar we were visiting. I had a homemade "steak sandwhich" (toast, low fat salad dressing, leftover steak sliced up - now you see why, as someone living so close to Philly, I had to write the name of my sandwhich in quotations) for dinner - instead of driving thru McDonalds like I really wanted. All those great food choices, I should be dropping the pounds so easily.





I guess that big bowl of ice cream after I put the kids to bed didn't help too much, huh.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Nineteen years ago I met the man I would spend the rest of my life with. I just didn't know it at the time. We were in high school auditioning for a show - the first for him, I'd lost track of how many it was for me by that time. His hands shook as he read from the copied paper the director had prepared. He swears I laughed at him; I can't imagine doing something like that. We became friends, especially as rehearsals began and we worked on our on-stage relationship as romantic opposites in Harvey.

Time passed, I went away to college, and came home that summer to reconnect with old friends. I found out that my good friend was going to attend the same college as me when he graduated - wasn't that great! Later that summer, after his girlfriend didn't feel like dancing, he asked me to dance with him while at a party, another friend's sweet sixteen. That first time we slow danced, I felt sparks flying. By the third time, dancing to "After All," the electricity between us felt so strong I felt everyone must see it. I went home that night trying to talk myself out of my feelings. I couldn't be falling for him; he was just a friend. And every time we got together with our group of friends I found myself making excuses to be near him, sit next to him, share a big pillow when we all watched a video together. Even after he broke up with his girlfriend, we still didn't acknowledge any change in feelings. It actually took us until the end of that summer to finally acknowledge what we both knew, that we were no longer just friends, but something much more.

We dated for four years, though got engaged after two. We got married right out of college, knowing that we wanted to spend our lives together so figured we'd might as well get married. That first year was tough, especially since neither one of us had lived on our own before, but we stuck it out. And it's honestly gotten better every year.

All relationships have their ups and downs, but every time we have a dip in ours, I have faith we'll be heading up and out of it soon enough. I heard this song on the radio a year or two ago that, in my mind, seemed to sum up a lot of our relationship. It might sound crazy, but I feel that's the foundation of our relationship. No matter what problems we go through, no matter how frustrated I get over the little things (and sometimes the big things), I know that, "I'll never leave, I'll never stray. My love for you will never change . . ." and that he could say the same thing back at me (even though I am perfect and he could NEVER get frustrated at me).

Happy anniversary, DH. And here's to many more.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Business Website

Just met up with my fabulous friend who tried to help me get the site I designed up and running for my party business but we finally realized that it could only be published using Yahoo. Frustrating, but not the end of the world. However, Yahoo won't let me get in right now. She just left, and I'm still at Starbucks (I have thirty more minutes before I need to meet up with the kids and DH) working on staying calm (I'm so impatient) until I can try it again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Dark Side

I've crossed over to the dark side.
I set up a Facebook account - who knew how addicting that was?! I'm finding people I haven't seen in years!
And I also set up a Twitter account (see it there on the right) but can't figure out how to fix it. I posted something, didn't see it, posted it again, and now they're BOTH there! I even deleted one of them from the Twitter home page, but it's still there on my blog. ARGH!

Edited to add: Well, sure, NOW it's fixed. All on it's own. Guess I just had to be patient. Yeah, patient. Piece of cake. No problem.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Website help needed

I have been working on a brand new website for my business. It is finished finally, I love it, now I just have to figure out how to publish it so it replaces my current website (that a fabulous friend made and uploaded for me when I first got started). PLEASE contact me if you have any experience with this kind of thing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

BlogHer

Okay, all my local blogging friends, anyone else interested in going to BlogHer when it comes to DC in October? This is a serious question - I really want to go, and not only would I love attending with people I know, I really can't travel that far by myself for fear of falling asleep (darn Narcolepsy).

Soooo....who else is up for a ROAD TRIP?!! That's right, I'm talking to you, DG, Lauren (even if you haven't updated your blog in forever - what's up with that?!!), CryssyeR (I know I don't REALLY know you in real life, but I know your sister really well and I've been reading your blog, so I FEEL like I know you!), Bossy (well, you're probably speaking at it, but still . . .), Mommychicky, Mommy Brain, Ruth, Mama's World, O, Michelle, Motherhood101Aplus, Perky, Trace, "Only Me" (You are so much more than "only" so I must write that in quotes.), Adorable Girlfriend, HG ....
I know I missed some local bloggers in my list here, but it was only because I never bookmarked your blog - sorry!

Bottom line, if you blog, and you are in this general area (and you know who you are), PLEASE let me know if you are interested in going to BlogHer in October in DC. That is all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eating Out for a WHOLE Lot Less Money

Am I the only one who never used Restaurant.com before?

I just purchased $75 worth of gift cards to use at a local restaurant (I've never been there before but it was voted "Most romantic" in my county and I'm making secret plans for DH and I to celebrate our anniversary.) and it only cost me . . .




Wait for it . . . .




I'm still kind of in awe . . .



Fifteen dollars.

Yes, you read that right. I don't know how this works, but I'm not complaining. In addition to the regular discount you get just using Restaurant.com, I went to one of my new favorite sites, iMommies, to get an additional 50% off the cost. This offer is only good until the 22nd, so if you're interested in checking it out, do it soon!

And, no, I'm not getting paid by either website, though wouldn't mind if they're looking for paid spokespeople!

Now if I could just find a babysitter who wouldn't mind watching the kids for free . . .

Monday, June 16, 2008

92.5 xtu ROCKS!

A is such a fan of our area's country station. We decided to call and request one of his favorite songs, "Our Song" and the dj recorded him and put him on the radio. The song is coming up soon (she had put his request on as a sneak peak of what's coming up) and A has been jumping up and down all around the house since he spoke with her. Thank you, Leigh, for making his day!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Recap of Last Week (I know, what a title!)

I can't believe it has been a whole week since I last posted. So much has happened I just haven't had made time to write. Let's see if I can provide a recap to remember the craziness of the last week:
  • Thursday was the last day of school for my one class; Friday was the last day for my other class (and for the rest of the school, including J). We had pizza parties both days.
  • After school on Friday my DS took my three kids (along with her two kids and the infant she is watching) with her to a pool party that one of the moms was throwing to celebrate the end of the year. The mom had hired three lifeguards - what a great idea when having about 30 or so preschoolers in and around your in-ground pool.
  • While the kids were at the party, I worked to pack up my classroom so it could be cleaned over the summer. Being who I am (anal and obsessed with organization) I of course had to reorganize everything as I packed it up to make the room more efficient for me come September. This is the room in which I teach preschool, religious school on Sundays, and Hebrew school on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I wanted to set up the best way to have all of my stuff readily available. It took me longer than I expected, and even with the window unit going full blast in my relatively small room, I was drenched with sweat by the time I was finished (more on that later), but I was able to leave the room knowing that I wouldn't have to go back until it was time to set up in August - nice! When I used to be a classroom teacher teaching full time, I would end up coming in up to two extra weeks to pack up/reorganize my room. Now that I have kids, that's just not an option!
  • I started working at a drama camp last week (classes are two hours each, twice a week). This is a fabulous program that a friend of mine started - the focus is on building confidence and allowing each child to shine, NOT on creating the best production possible, which is a philosophy I really love. In fact, I love it so much that not only am I teaching at one of the sites, DH is teaching older kids at another site, and the boys are doing the camp at yet another site. I'm a little nervous about them staying up that late (classes are from 6-8, which means that last night - their first class - all three of them weren't in bed until 9, which is tough for kids who wake up before 7 every day no matter what) but they are so excited about it we'll just see how it goes!
  • The kids and I started working on presents for them to give to their teachers for the end of the year. They painted pots, which I will modge-podge, which we wil put flowers in and give out on Friday (the boys' last day is actually Thursday, though there is school on Friday, so we'll deliver gifts that morning).
  • Have to go pick up said boys right now. I LOVE that Starbucks now has free wi-fi - J and I have been hanging out here the last few mornings so I could do work while she pushes her baby around in the high chairs with wheels. Fun for all!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy Birthday!

For some reason my e-mail is not working right now (ARGH!!!) which means I can't e-mail one of my best friends to wish her a happy birthday today. With B being sick (he's totally better now and is going back to school tomorrow) I literally lost track of the date! It wasn't until a little bit ago that I looked at the calendar and saw that it was June 4.

Since I know N and her DH B read my blog, I figured this would be a good way to let her know that I am thinking of her and hope she had a great day. N - we need to get together SOON to celebrate!

It's late and I need to go to bed, otherwise I would write more about the fact that N and I have been friends since the first grade and how now that she doesn't live in the same town we don't get together as often as we want, I still consider her to be my blond sister.

Happy Birthday, N!!!

100%

Every once in a while I find a quiz that entices me. I have been reading Housewife Hiccups for a couple weeks now and saw "Would you make a good housewife?" I felt the burning desire to have a random quiz determine my worth as a "housewife," a term I don't even use to identify myself at all but still felt curious to see what it would say.

I took the quiz and felt great relief to be declared a "normal housewife" (whatever that means).

You're a normal housewife. You wish you could be perfect, but realize the impossibility. And you really like pizza.

Normal housewife 60%
Perfect housewife 50%
Housewife disaster 10%

Now I know I was not a math major (like my super smart sister), but does anyone else see a problem with these percentages?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I'm Really NOT a Bad Mom, But . . .

So much to write, only so much time to write it....

B is sick.

No, maybe you don't understand: B IS SICK.

I love all my children, and when they're not feeling well, I want to take all their pain away. And the same holds true for B. But when B is sick, I also want to find some kind of sedative to allow him to sleep it off and wake up when he finally feels better. Does that make me a bad mom?

B's speech is somewhat garbled at times, especially when he is excited about something. When he is sick he becomes almost uninteligible. I truly cannot understand 80% of what he is saying. It's as if when he's sick he decides that moving his lips or tongue is just too much effort. I cannot even count how many times I've asked him to repeat himself.

And then there's the whining. Nonstop. Everything he says is a whine. And when he's not trying to say something, he is just lying there, moaning. Whining. Without end.

He's had a cold for the last two weeks or so, made worse by the fact that he has decided not to use a tissue anymore. His cheeks, nose, chin, even both his wrists, are covered with a bright red rash brought on by wiping his nose without the use of a tissue. I know, gross. Every night we smear his face and wrist with Neosporin and he wakes up looking a lot better, but by the end of the day they're all red again. Sunday night he looked pretty good, probably from DH and I being on him all weekend to use a tissue. Unfortunately by the time he was brought to my classroom Monday, even though his face looked better, he had started whining, his signal of incoming illness.

By bedtime he had a slight fever. I was going back and forth with finding someone to just watch him during the day so I could still go to school (it was my turn to stay home with a sick kid but it IS my last week of school) and just get him checked out in the afternoon, but by 10PM he had already woken screaming from throat pain a few times, so I knew I needed to bring him to the doctor in the morning first thing.

We were up with him just about every half hour. Even though DH and I take turns with getting up in the middle of the night (a great system that works really well, even if I do have to wake DH for his turn each time), we both still ended up awake for most of the night. I had to talk DH down from wanting to drive him immediately to the ER so they could do something to put B out of his misery. I knew it was strep (which the dr. confirmed this morning, go Dr. Mom!), and while the ER could have confirmed that, it would have cost us $50, we would have been up all night, probably not getting home until about 3 AM (based on past experiences), and would have only started him on antibiotics about six hours earlier then normal. Glad he didn't push the issue!

Anyway, the non-stop whining is KILLING me. I have hidden myself downstairs, having set J and B upstairs with a DVD and a tray of chicken soup and juice boxes, A downstairs with another DVD (yeah, if one of them is sick and needs to rest on the couch, they ALL end up with extra tv time - that's just the way it is) eating his sandwich. If I play my cards right, I might be able to hide out for another five minutes. Just don't tell them where I am. Please. I'm begging you!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Did It!

I have now completed the very time-consuming job of removing the names of all family members from this blog. PLEASE let me know if you notice any names I missed. I'm so glad I finished this!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Zzzzz's Had It

Not such a great day.

Got everyone out the door remembering J's "Pair and Share" and Shabbat Bag, B's "Show and Tell" (but forgetting the boys' snack for today - oops!), ran to Giant to buy a case of water for B's contribution to his class since he was "Star of the Week" this week and needed to bring the case to school today, dropped the boys off at the friend who brings them to school today (they walk), brought said case of water to the boys' school since they can't carry it with them, brought J with me to school and immediately went to work helping get things ready for a special "Big Guy Breakfast" today, taught, came home from school, made lunch for everyone, cleaned up, took them back to the boys' school for an assembly (wasn't as great as I expected), came back home and collapsed on the couch.

Yes, I forgot my pills this morning AND had stayed up way too late last night. Not a good combination.

I ended up dozing on the couch for about three hours while the kids played around me, answering them and dealing with them when they came to me but tuning them out the rest of the time.

Bad Mommy.

Wasted the afternoon.

Could have been doing so much more with the kids and around the house, but the fatigue was too great. I should have ried to work through it more, but I could barely keep my eyes open as I drove them home from their school.

I'm not going to beat myself up about it anymore. It's 10:00. I'm going to bed.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bad Blogger

What a bad blogger I have been. If you didn't know any better, based on my last entry, you might have thought that A succeeded in burning down the house and therefore I have not been able to blog since my laptop would have gone up in flames. Luckily, NO, that did not happen.

This afternoon the kids and I will be traveling to the mall to get a replacement battery for DH's cell phone battery. Hopefully it will be replaced for free, but if not, that's the way it is.

I have so much to write about, but no time to do it! Preschool is over in two weeks, the boys' school goes one week more, DH is finished a week later (I think), so I've really been thinking a lot about things to do with the family for the summer.

"Quiet Time" is over and it is now "Electronics' Time" so I must end this post and let A and B get on the laptop.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Where There's Smoke

"I smell smoke," A mumbled as he stood in the living room with his hands over his ears. He was in the posture he takes when either he did something wrong or he's really scared. This time it was both.

I couldn't help it. I normally am able to stay calm around children, even when they do something wrong. Sure, I've had my moments, like when A smeared the contents of his diaper all over his room, paying close attention to his books and the rug. But even then I had the "luxery" of telling him to stay there (in a tone of voice that left NO room for doubt) while I removed myself from the situation long enough to get myself together. But this time, with images of the house catching on fire, my voice raised in volume automatically.

"What do you mean! Where do you smell smoke? What were you doing?" I yelled at A.

Knowing he had really done something wrong and not used to me acting so out-of-control, he does what makes sense to him and throws himself to the floor in a ball with his hands over his ear. Oh, no, I needed the answers to these questions, so I carry his limp body upstairs.

It took many frantic minutes on my part while A stood frozen in the hallway, but eventually I found DH's new phone (had still been in the box) on the floor with the back pulled off and in my room found the source of the burning smell - did you know phone batteries can catch on fire if handled incorrectly? We do!

While the battery never actually caught on fire, it became very hot very quickly (enough to burn A's fingers some) and began to smoke. I carried it and A outside to examine both the battery and his fingers better. His fingers were red but fine. When I tried to move the part of the battery that he had pulled out back to where it had originally been, it became extremely hot very fast and again started smoking.

Not knowing what consequence to give A, I knew I didn't want him playing inside anymore, so I sent him in to at least get his shoes on. When I followed him in a couple minutes later (had to sit and wait for the nausea to pass) I found him on my laptop.

He was on the AT&T website looking for a new phone for Daddy. Good thing I got to him when I did - my credit card was right next to the computer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm Tired of it All!

As you know I have been spending a lot of time going through my old posts to make them more anonymous, replacing the kids' names with initials. I've gone all the way back half-way through 2006 - not bad. As I go through a post looking through specific names to replace I, of course, end up re-reading what I had written. And I've noticed some disturbing themes that keep repeating themselves no matter what year or what month or what is going on in my life:

1) I'm tired. Whether related to depression, narcolepsy, or just my crazy-busy life, I'm forever tired. And I know and freely admit that one thing I have to do is get to bed on time. And yet, year after year, I just don't do it. Plus I end up staying in bed until the latest possible moment, resulting in all of us running around the house like crazy people in an effort to get out the door on time.

2) I'm overwhelmed with everything involved with running the house and am fed up with the clutter that seems to be everywhere. Even when I write how proud I am that I cleaned out ____, several months later I am again fed up with what a mess the same area is. Clearly, I need routines in place that I will stick with.

3) I'm very upset with my weight (close to forty pounds overweight), clearly related to my out-of-control eating and lack of exercise.

I recognize this, I'm tired of this, I need to change this.

I've started a new incentive to get me out of bed on time. DH leaves the house around 6 AM, a time that I've now decided would be good for me to get up and moving. I KNOW if I was up and ready to go earlier than the kids get up it would make a HUGE difference. So for the last two days when DH has come back to our room to say good-bye, I've asked him to turn the shower on for me. If I don't get up immediately I will end up wasting all that water, something the environmentalist in me can't stand. And if I'm too tired to care about that first thing in the morning, then the knowledge that if I don't get up soon I will need to take a cold shower will surely get me moving.

Today I showered, dressed, made my bed, got the kids' breakfast on the table, at my breakfast while quietly reading a book, drank my cup of Chai Tea Latte while checking my e-mail, folded the load of laundry in the dryer and put it away, AND put a new load in the washer. I had the energy to encourage the kids to get dressed and cleaned up (we have a series of to do lists with incentives for completing each list) without yelling or getting stressed.

We will be walking out the door in five minutes. We are all 100% ready (well, I still have to do J's hair, but I'm about to do that) and amazingly, I don't feel as sluggish as when I end up hitting the snooze alarm twenty times.

I think I'm going to work on this goal for a while, and then start focusing more on the others. But as for today, woohoo!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Vacation

Thank you to all of you who felt my pain and offered suggestions for where the TiVo remote was. I believe one of the boys (it truly could have been either one) put it behind the couch. When I was looking around the living room for the third time I noticed the couch was pulled out a little, which prompted me to look behind it and - POOF - there it was!

This weekend was good, but long. My DNs (dear niece and nephew for those of you not up on internet lingo) slept over Friday night and all five kids actually DID go to sleep okay and stayed in the room until the clock radio turned on in the morning. Not bad. That afternoon we had a surprise party for my FIL. Whether he was surprised or not is debatable, but I know he was pleased. It was the first b-day party he EVER had, and my MIL worked really hard to get people from his past to come. My MIL was so cute in planning this - she had REALLY wanted to surprise him, so she started planning it six months ago, which is also when she sent out the invites. I received the RSVPs and I heard from a number of people that they had never received an invitation that early. She just wanted everything to be just right. As it turns out, it was.

The party took place at an Irish restaurant that my ILs go to every Saturday, in a private room upstairs. A soon discovered a video game (one that sits on the bar) and sat watching it for pretty much the entire time (all FIVE hours). I thought he was just watching the sample games go by, but then I learned that the bartender had given him his code and he was able to play lots of games too. I knew it would be near impossible to pull him away from the game, so I didn't really try, though I knew we would pay for it that night and the next day, and we sure did. But overall, the party was great.

On Mother's Day the kids woke me with breakfast in bed (made by DH). J sang her special song to me, to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star": Mommy, Mommy, I love you. Yes, I, Yes, I, Yes, I do. You're so sweet, and oh, so kind. I'm so glad that you are mine. Mommy, Mommy, I love you. Yes, I, Yes, I, Yes, I do.

The song was adorable. And it is adorable the first two times she sings it each day. When she sings it non-stop, over and over again, it's not QUITE so cute, but still, she is so proud of the fact that she knows it all she sings it to everyone. And I do mean EVERYONE - the other teachers, other moms, even the pharmacist at Rite Aid!

The kids were really off (see above) on Sunday, which made me SOOOO glad it was Mother's Day and DH was in charge. Everytime the sounds of their screaming and whining got too loud, I just snuggled down into bed some more with my book and asked DH to shut the door. Sweet.

Religious School ended yesterday, and for the first time we combined the two sessions into one, which meant it went from 10-11:30, meaning I could sleep in some and still have time to do stuff in the afternoon. DH had the kids out with his mom, so I took advantage of the time alone in the house by reorganizing the entryway. Yeah, I know I'm an organizing dork, but that's what sounded like fun to me.

We ended the day with a BBQ at my parents with everyone invited (my ILs + my FIL's mom, my sister and her whole family which includes her two kids + her two step-kids + her niece + her SIL + her DH - all the people who live in her house, my parents, two of the three foreign students who are currently renting rooms from them, and us), just small, intimate party.

DH and I are good at giving presents to each other that we don't buy in the store. For Mother's Day in 2005 he gave me this, in 2006 he did it again, and in 2007 he gave me a WHOLE week to myself over the summer. By the third day of that week, he told me that he hoped I enjoyed my gift because he would never ever give me an entire week again. Which is why I was amazed to see this year's gift: three WHOLE weeks (7-4 each day) to myself in the middle of July to do whatever I want. I noticed the time limit of each day that DH included will hopefully allow him to keep his sanity this year. I'm not even totally sure if I WANT three weeks like that, but it's a fabulous gift one way or another.

So...any ideas about what I could do for those three weeks. Keep in mind I can't go away (I'll have from 7-4 each day). What would YOU do with three weeks of daytime freedom?