Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grandparents

So one of the perks of me having to take it easy and needing a ton of help is that the girls have gotten to spend a ton of time with their grandparents over the past few weeks.

During Kirsten's spring break we made it over to see Grandma Alleman and have a picnic in the backyard.
 Katie discovered Grandpa's tractor and would probably have spent the entire day on it if we let her.
 Katie really loves to color these days, especially if Kirsten is coloring.  They got to spend time creating masterpieces with their Aunt Megan.
 Last week on Thursday and Friday Patty came to stay with us.  Then on Saturday we had her and my dad over to celebrate her birthday.  Jeremy and Kirsten made a chocolate cake and they brought over a feast from Rosa's cafe.  I think that we had four meals from it - delicious!
 Katie loved snuggling with her Grandma Lowe.
 My mom got here on Saturday to stay for a week and help us out.  Saturday night after the girls' baths, my mom rolled their hair in socks.  Kirsten's looked beautiful on Sunday for church, but Katie managed to get hers out and throw them on the floor by her crib.
 Katie has loved tons of snuggle time this week with her Grandma Starnes.  Isn't she so cute?!
 I think that Grandma is getting spoiled having two little girls loving on her so much.   My mom is out getting her nails done right now and Kirsten is sobbing, refusing to go to bed until Grandma tickles her back.  Because as she repeatedly tells me "Grandma Starnes is the best back tickler in the world!"
I feel so blessed to have had so much help from my family these past weeks.  My mom, dad, step mom and Jeremy have all taken time off work to be here and I know that it has been a great sacrifice.  I love them so much and am so grateful for their willingness to help me.  I do not know how I would have survived these past two and a half weeks without my amazing husband and parents.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A little better each day

So I am happy to say that I am feeling a little bit better each day.  I actually have made it today with only one pain pill when I woke up this morning.  I am able to be up a little bit more - although my doctor keeps reminding me to keep my foot up unless I am up to go to the bathroom.  I am trying.

My mom got in on Saturday and it has been a huge help having her here.  Kirsten was thrilled to have Grandma drop her off and pick her up from school today.  It was a little rough this afternoon getting Kirsten back into the habit of practicing her piano, violin, reading, going to ballet, doing spelling words, bath, and bedtime after spring break, but hopefully we will do better tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I am headed back to work.  I am actually really looking forward to it, but am a little scared at the same time.  Wish me luck!  I am trying to go back to the day at a time attitude and not worry about what next week will bring.  It is working so far - I have gone two days without crying or yelling at anyone!

By the end of the week I will have to start figuring out how to do things on my own and really take stock of what I can and cannot do.  For now though, I am really enjoying having my mommy take care of me.

Friday, March 16, 2012

And the schedule has been cleared....

When you look at my calendar for a typical week, it is booked solid.  I start at 6:30 am and don't rest until about 10 pm or later most nights.  It has been funny for me to look at my Google calendar the past 2 weeks and realize that it is completely empty other than the occasional doctor's appointment.  So apparently in order for me to take a step back and empty out my schedule, it takes surgery.   It has been so hard on me to sit and do nothing for two weeks.  I think that it is even harder now that I am starting to feel better, but I still have to stay off of my foot.  I look around the house and think about all the things that I would like to do, particularly cleaning, cooking, laundry, and playing with my kids, and I struggle that I cannot do it.

This week was Kirsten's spring break and so Jeremy stayed with me the first three days this week.  We were able to get out of the house and head to visit with his parents on Monday and have a picnic lunch.  Tuesday, Jeremy took Kirsten and Katie to the Allen Natatorium Indoor Pool.  Kirsten loved the lazy river and the big slides, and Katie loved the toddler splash pool.  I hope that next time I can go with them.  

On Wednesday we headed out in the morning to see the Lorax and then in the afternoon Jeremy took Kirsten to the library for a special program about the UK.  It has been great to get out of the house some and hopefully Kirsten has not been totally bored during her break from school.  The past two days Patty has been here with us. The girls have loved having two full days with their Grandma and have enjoyed making bread, baking cookies, shopping, playing in the back yard and taking over her NOOK.  

I have spent most of my time working on converting my into books, reading, and catching up on scrapbooking.  I also managed to do all of the girls spring clothes shopping from the comfort of my chair.  I am to the point of complete boredom and frustration though.  I am looking forward to going back to work next week, but scared at the same time as to how I am going to handle it.  Just a trip to the doctor today for an hour completely wiped me out.  My mom is coming in tomorrow and will be here for a week, but after that I am on my own.  I cannot even think about it without having a meltdown.  Because even though I am starting to feel better, I still have 4 to 6 more weeks that I have to be off of my foot and on crutches.  That is 4 to 6 weeks where I am not able to pick up Katie, change her diapers, get her down for a nap, get either of us food or drinks, get her in and out of the car, get down on the floor to play with her, pick Kirsten up from school, do laundry, get myself dressed, clean at all or even cook dinner.  I can't even get myself a glass of water.  I feel so completely and totally helpless and worthless.  This has been so much harder on me both physically and mentally than I ever imagined.  I hope and pray that a few months ago I will be able to look back on this and see that it was worth it, because right now I think that I should have just dealt with the pain.

Monday, March 12, 2012

100th Birthday

Happy 100th Birthday to the Girl Scouts!

My mom was a Girl Scout when they celebrated their 50th birthday.  She was a leader and I was a Girl Scout when they celebrated their 75th birthday.  Now I am a leader and my daughter is a Girl Scout as they celebrate their 100th birthday.  Not a bad 3 generation legacy.  I feel so blessed to be part of this great organization and love what it  has done for not only me and my daughter, but for what we can do for the girls in our troop and our community.  What an amazing organization!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Potato Soup

I am not totally sure that I can claim this one as my own, as Jeremy did the actual cooking.  However, I was yelling the instructions from the other room with my leg up in a cast.  It has been cold and wet here the past few days and my wonderful husband made potato soup for dinner.

Ingredients
8 slices of bacon
8 medium potatoes
1 small sliced sweet onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 cups milk
1 can of corn
1 Tbsp Salt
White pepper
green onions - chopped
grated cheese

Start out by cooking the bacon until it is crispy and then crumble into pieces - this will help it not get soggy in the soup later on.
 While the bacon is cooking, peel and dice your potatoes and onion.
 Leave a 1/2 inch layer of the bacon grease in the pan after removing the bacon.
Saute the potatoes and onion in the bacon grease until they start to become golden.
 In a larger saucepan, whisk together the Cream of Chicken soup, milk, salt and pepper.
 Add the can of corn and potatoes.  Bring to a boil, and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
 Dish into bowls and top with the cheese, bacon and green onions.
Enjoy!

Jeremy the Great!

I have said it before, and I will probably say it everyday for the rest of my life - Jeremy is the most amazing husband/father/man on the planet!  I feel so blessed to have him in my life and am grateful every day that my daughters have someone as amazing as him for their father.  The past week has been anything but easy around this house, and he has kept everything running smoothly.  He even took Kirsten to buy flowers for the front yard yesterday, did the laundry and then made soup for dinner tonight as I yelled instructions from my chair in the other room.  And considering that he does all of that while accompanied by two adorable appendages.....
He truly is "Jeremy the Great!"


My dad was wonderful and came and stayed here with me all day Thursday and Friday.  Katie even started saying "Grandpa" to him Thursday evening.  I know it was a great sacrifice for him to take off of work to change dirty diapers, chase a toddler, do the school drop and pick up thing, run me to doctors appointments and just generally do my bidding, but he did it with a smile and we are so grateful for him.  We have so many wonderful men in our lives!


I am doing significantly better today, although still not great.  I had a hard cast put on this past Friday which is protecting my ankle much better.  We also bought a bath stool so I am able to take actual showers - it is unbelievable how much that helps!  I am able to go six hours between pain killers now and am only waking up in excruciating pain once or twice a  night.  I made it to church today - I figured I could sit at home with my foot up or I could sit at church with my foot up.  It was exactly the lift that I needed to partake of the sacrament and be fed spiritually.  The girls are dealing with everything better, today is the first day that Katie will really come near me since Monday.  Speaking of Katie, have you ever seen a prettier 20 month old in your life?!
I am taking things a day at a time right now - but that is improved from the previous hour at a time.  I am so thankful for all of the support and help of my dear friends and family.  Between bringing meals, showing up with surprise donuts for breakfast and taking Katie to the Library for story time - you have made this week manageable.  You are all so wonderful!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Surgery

Ten and a half years ago, while on my mission in Honduras, I rolled my left ankle.  I spent the next four months walking on it until I came home.  I had torn a tendon and went through months of physical therapy to help repair it.  I was declared "healed" although it never stopped hurting completely.  It was tolerable most of the time though.  Then this October I hurt it again while running.  I went to the podiatrist and was put in a walking boot for two months.  This should have repaired the tendon, but it did not.   In December an MRI revealed that I had a two inch lateral tear in the Peroneus Brevis tendon of my left ankle.  We decided at that point that surgery would be our best option.  We looked at our schedules and decided that March 5th would be the best time to do it.  It would allow me to have two weeks off of work - one being spring break, and would allow my mom to be able to come down and help too.  

It really felt like the day would never come, but I did my best to get ready.  I stocked the freezer full of prepared meals, cancelled lessons, got people to cover for Girls Scouts, got a handicapped tag, crutches, bath stool, knee scooter, water-proof boot, put my gym membership on hold, set up help for three weeks with the kids, did laundry, cleaned the house, and filled my prescriptions.  I thought I was all prepared.  I was wrong.  

I went in Monday morning for the surgery.  Patty took me in so that Jeremy could get Kirsten to school.  It was great to have her there with me.  The IV was started on the first try - a record, and a miracle for me.  I don't remember leaving the pre-op room, just waking up in severe pain.  When Dr Silvers got in there, he found that since the MRI in December, the tear had grown to 4 inches in length.  I could tell it was getting worse over the past few months.  

I was home before lunch time and slept for a few hours.  At 3 pm I woke up when Kirsten got home from school in the worst pain of my life.  My  pain medication was not working and I did not sleep again until Tuesday afternoon when I finally got some different medication.  I was not prepared for the intense pain associated with this surgery.  My pain scale (you know the 1-10 they always ask) has been completely re-calibrated.  I have been through natural childbirth and a c-section and they are nothing compared to this.  I have spent many hours curled up crying the past 3 days because there was nothing else I could do.  I have barely been able to eat enough to get medicine in me.

Getting up and down are the worst.  I never thought that going to the bathroom could be such an ordeal.  Jeremy has been so wonderful and patient with me the past three days.  He heads back to work tomorrow and my dad is coming to stay with me.  

I am feeling slightly better today.  I was able to wash my hair and get a sponge bath and a nap.  The girls have been especially wonderful.  Katie was really confused and curious about my foot when I first got home, but now she has learned to steer clear of mommy's foot and is being extremely cute and sweet.
I go in on Friday to get the stitches out and a hard cast put on.  Then it is four weeks in the cast and then four more weeks in a walking boot.  In total I will have 6 to 8 weeks that I have to be off of my foot completely. I am not entirely sure how I will do that in a few weeks when I am on my own, but right now I am just taking it an hour at a time.  I am trying to keep my eye on the prize - six months from now when all the therapies are done and I can walk, run, hike and bike and now be in pain.

Girl Scout Fun

Last week for our Girl Scout meeting, we went on a tour of the Frisco Recycling Center.  It was very informative and we all learned some great things.  The girls loved seeing gross things more though, including where they recycle oil.
 All of our girls were great listeners and paid close attention to Molly and all she had to teach them.
 We even had a relay race with a 30 pound brick of recycled styro-foam.
 This past Saturday was our first of two booth Cookie Booth Sales.  The girls took turns dressing up as a giant Girl Scout Cookie.
 The girls did a great job.  They started to get bored towards the end, but in 2 hours, they sold 70 boxes of cookies!  Way to go girls!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sickies

So we have been the victims of what many are calling the "Ogle Bug" because it seems that everyone at our school is getting some mysterious virus.  Kirsten started out a week and a half ago with a sinus infection.  Then while on her antibiotic, she got sent home from school with a 102 fever.  We took her to the doctor and they said it was a virus.  Three days later Katie woke up with a 102.8 fever and the same mystery virus.  This morning I woke up with it, and then Kirsten came down with a double ear infection this evening.  I am seriously done with all of this nonsense.  We have been to the doctor 8 times in the past two weeks and the people at CVS know me by name.  I am supposed to have my ankle surgery on Monday, but I cannot if I do not shake this.  Send prayers our way - I really do not want to have to reschedule.

Speaking of the surgery, I think that I have everything ready.  I have my crutches, a knee scooter, a bath stool, a walking boot, ankle brace, water proof boot, handicap tag, my prescriptions, laundry done, freezer stocked, meals set up, my gym membership on hold, and help with the kids for the next 3 weeks.  I am really trying to be prepared, but I am sure that I am missing something.  I am scared about the next two months and what the re-cooperation will be like, but I am looking forward to six months from now when I will be able to walk and not be in excruciating pain.  Maybe I will even be able to run again!  Here's to hoping!