How many spills?

Today is one of my favorite days of the year! First, we take the kids to the Easter egg hunt at the park across the street. I love being able to walk to this every year. So easy and low key. It’s more of a race than a hunt. There are hundreds of eggs just thrown in a field and when they say go, it’s a free for all! But the kids have fun. My daughter was beyond excited all morning, and when we called her over to get in line, her exuberant reaction was just too much to handle 🙂 She just kills me. My son on the other hand…last year and this year, he has decided he doesn’t want to do it. He’s got some anxiety, and it’s all just a part of that. But once the race was on, he immediately started helping his sister. “Here’s one Sister! Look there’s one with flowers on it!” He continued to follow her around, pointing here and there, when we finally tried a little, “hey why don’t you grab one.” We have to be really careful how we talk to him because it’s really easy to spook him. But sure enough, he started picking them up and dropping them in the bag. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. To see him participating…I can’t even put it into words how amazing that made me feel.

After the dust settled, we headed home to dye some eggs! I have loved this since I was a kid. Even before my husband and I had kids, we dyed them, just the two of us. And now, it’s even more fun to see them have so much fun doing it. Yesterday, my son told us he did not want to color any eggs. It was hard to hide my disappointment. Despite his lack of participation in the egg hunt, he has always liked coloring eggs. The more we talked with him, it came out that last year, he must have cracked an egg while trying to color it and he maybe thought one of us got upset with him? We reassured him that was no problem and that in fact it’s fun to crack a couple because then you get to eat them! When the egg hunt was over, my husband had talked to him and apparently they had come up with a plan to make eggs to look like all of the Mario characters. Awesome.

Coloring started and one by one, the cups of dye filled up with eggs. While I usually go the traditional route, my daughter loves decorating in all fashions: stickers, markers, paint, crayons. And no matter what it looks like, she thinks it’s beautiful. “Isn’t mine beautiful? And everyone else has made beautiful ones too!” She’s so sweet and considerate. As time went on, little hands continued to grab eggs from cartons and draw, stick, and dunk the eggs. And then, WOOPS. Down goes the cup of bright green dye. All over the table, the floor, and my daughter. We were sure not to make a big deal out of it since it was my son who accidentally knocked it over. After a big cleanup, we were back in business. Coloring up a storm. Maybe 20 minutes later, WOOPS. Down does the cup of purple dye. This time, my daughter was the spiller. It wasn’t quite as big of a mess, but still required a cleanup. 7 years of dying eggs with the kids, and we have never knocked over a cup of dye. Not even when they were babies! And now twice in one day! Not a big deal, more funny than anything.

We luckily finish up without another spill. I did eventually get to decorate some of my own eggs when the kids finally lost interest. I got to sit at the table by myself and color a few in my favorite Easter colors. I love it.

At lunch right afterwards, you guessed, WOOPS, down goes a full cup of water. Guess we just have the spills today.

But it has been a great day. One of my favorite days. Egg hunts. Egg coloring. Doesn’t get much better than this.

29942865_10216238313051350_1546169901_o

Looney Tunes

My kids were with my parents for the last three days. I met my dad halfway today at a restaurant to pick them up. During lunch he and the kids were both telling me about how they were watching Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry while they were there. They have never really seen either before. Not because I think it’s so terrible (although I could do without shooting people at point blank range) but we just don’t get any channels that play it.

My dad said they were both laughing hysterically at it…that my 4.5 year old daughter said it was “HILARIOUS!” My 7.5 year old son was regaling me with how Tom was trying to be a lifeguard but when he went to jump off the diving board, Jerry cranked it up into outer space. My daughter jumped in to continue that when Jerry jumped in the pool, all of the water splashed out, and he smacked into the ground underneath. Then my son finished with the fact that the water then all fell on top of Jerry. They told it with such enthusiasm, excitement, and pure joy. It was so fun to listen to.

In the car on the way home, I got to hear all about the Coyote and the Roadrunner (or chicken if you hear it from my daughter. “Sister, just so you know, it’s a roadrunner.” “I just want to call it a chicken, okay!”) “And then the coyote did this and the roadrunner did that and then the coyote did this and the chicken did that. It was so funny!!”

On Friday nights we usually watch a movie and eat pizza on the couch. The kids tend to want to watch the same movies over and over. But as I was scrolling the options, I see one come on the screen that we had not watched and that I think just might be PERFECT for today. I turn it on. “Nooooo!” I hear from my son. Then, “What is it?” Yep, that’s my son, saying no before he even knows what it is. Then he hears the music and sees a character come on the screen. “Ohhhh! Yeah!” What did he see? Bugs Bunny. What movie did I pick?

 

 

1200x630bb

Yes! Space Jam! I loved it! I hadn’t seen it in a long time. Probably since it came out. And that’s also the time I was still watching basketball. I stopped watching when the Bulls all split up after all the championships (I’m from Chicago). But before that, I watched every game, knew all the players on all the teams. So I was super psyched when I was seeing all my guys on the screen! It was like I was transported back in time!

And the best part of watching this was watching and listening to my daughter. She busting a gut the whole time, with the cutest, most precious smile on her face. I couldn’t get enough. It was harder to read my son. He laughed a few times, but I couldn’t tell if he was enjoying it or not. After it was over, I asked him if he liked it, and he said he did. That’s a big win. He would let you know if he didn’t!

Yay! One more movie to add to the repertoire! And a fun family movie night 🙂

HOT and cold, part 2

Maybe you read yesterday’s post, maybe you didn’t. It’s worth a read to realize how stupid and mind boggling this next ailment is. If you don’t want to read it, here’s the super quick recap: I have Raynaud’s. It causes my hands and feet to turn ice cold, blue, purple, and/or white, numb, and super painful. Got it? Good.

A couple years ago, I started noticing that while I’d just be chilling out watching TV, my hands would suddenly feel really hot. You see where I’m going with this? Yes, I said HOT. Just minding my own business, and suddenly, they’d feel like THE SUN. Okay, soooooo I’ve had Raynaud’s for 24 years. While it’s not pleasant, I understand it, and I’m used to it. It throws me a curve ball every once in a while, but never a flaming hot curve ball! The hotness would come and go, but not often enough to keep it in the front of my mind.

Then it started happening to my feet too. I like socks on most of the time in the Winter. But suddenly I had been finding myself at night, running to my room, stripping my socks off as fast as I could, diving into my bed, and rubbing my feet all over the cool sheets, letting out loud sighs of relief. From an onlooker’s perspective, I’m sure I look like quite the crazypants. But still, it wasn’t happening all the time.

But now, as the “you know what” is hitting the fan with all of the ailments of my life, this is starting to switch into overdrive as well. Yay for me being an overachiever! Now, the hands are happening at least every other night. And feet at least once a week. And while it may not be quite as painful as the numbness of Raynaud’s, at least I can stick my hands up my husband’s shirt to try to fix them 🙂

When I get the hot flares, I have to find something cold, and that’s harder to come by. I have to go searching for something. This sometimes means molesting a cold water bottle. Or repeating the dive and rub maneuver explained above only this time with my hands. Last night, you first would have found me smearing my hands up and down the front storm door. I’m sure that looked really great to the neighbors! When that only provided temporary relief, I had to run my hands under COLD WATER…when I have Raynaud’s…Which freezes my hands. WTF. How ridiculous is this? But Wait! Don’t let them stay in the water too long, or I’ll trigger a Raynaud’s attack!! Learned that the hard way! Isn’t this MESSED UP?!!

So I finally looked this up, and it is a thing. It’s called “Berries, you’re screwed.” No wait, that’s not it. It’s called erythromelalgia. Apparently it’s, wait for it….rare! But it does happen where people with Raynaud’s can also get this lovely opposite ailment. Who doesn’t love a good opposite? It does seem like I actually have a relatively mild case of it, but it still sucks. a lot.

Now, just like with that sneaky bugger Raynaud’s who can just creep up and take over my body whenever it wants (usually with some kind of cause but not always), now I have it’s bastard step sister lurking around, ready to strike. Whenever.it.freaking.feels like it. Just ready and waiting to set my hands or feet on fire. (hands are much more uncomfortable/painful) What sets off a flare you might ask? I have no clue. So I can’t even try to prevent one.

Here’s erythromelalgia in all it’s hotty pants glory:

853f70d1e548af9eff17744b1bbb8648

l787925921

It may not look like much, but it feels like this:

flameing_hand_by_sten443

Yesterday I was Elsa. Today, I’m Te Kā from Moana. SO DON’T MESS WITH ME. Either way, I’m can kick your @@@. Te_Ka

hot and COLD, part 1

It may sound like a Katy Perry song, but it’s actually the day to day life of my hands and feet. Just a fun little treat I deal with among all of the other delectable sweets that make up my health.

Today’s fun ailment you may be more familiar with. “Oh yeah, my best friend’s cousin’s grandma has that!” Or maybe even you have it. It’s called Raynaud’s phenomenon/syndrome/disease. Call it what you want…it sucks. I first started showing symptoms when I was 12. My finger nail beds started turning purple often and my parents started worrying my fingers were going to fall off. They figured I might need them in the future, so off I went to a specialist, where we learn that I have Raynaud’s. They did a bunch of blood work to make sure it’s not secondary to any really awful diseases like lupus (it’s never lupus…House fans?? anyone?? nevermind) or scleroderma and when they found out that it’s not, they tell us there’s not much they can do for it. Yay. So I went with the purple finger nails. It wasn’t too bad at first. Cool looking manicure. And some of my friends called me Hyper colors, which I thought was kind of fun. Remember those shirts?! I loved those! Can those make a come back? I would totally buy one! Woops, sorry, off track. (but seriously, I want one)

Problem is that as time went on, it got a lot worse.

  • First, purple nail beds
  • Then, purple and very cold finger tips
  • Then, purple and very cold, painful fingers and toes and sometimes even my lips (of course toes are rare and lips are super rare. Go me for being a special snowflake :/ )
  • Then, purple and blue very cold, painful fingers and purple or black very cold, numb toes
  • And finally, for the last few years, any variation of purple/blue/white/red, (as the blood flow starts to return…I often look very patriotic!) cold, numb, and EXTREMELY painful fingers and finger tips, AND dark purple or black, numb, and EXTREMELY painful toes.

It gets worse every year. More painful. The numbness and pain lasts longer. It gets harder to warm them up. My husband, always the engineer…the eternal fixer, has bought me countless warming devices. Some of them have worked better than others, but none are great. The one he really hates is his stomach or his back!! LOL. But honestly, skin is the best one. I’ve had to do it to myself many times. And trust me, when you’re already cold and numb, sticking your icicle hands on your own stomach is one of the most horrible things you can do to yourself! I much prefer the other, grosser, but pretty equally effective method of sticking all of my fingers in my mouth. You may not want to shake my hand right afterwards, but it does the trick in a pinch! You can also often see me driving down the road in the winter with my hands INSIDE the heat vents.

So what sets these crap attacks off? Preeeeeeeety much anything. It’s not even just the winter either. A 65 degree day can set it off. Or peeling an orange. Or eating cold grapes. Or holding a glass of ice water. Or grabbing something out of the freezer. Or the air conditioning being a little too low. Oh and did I mention nervousness????!! Yeah!!!! Isn’t that amazing! So if I’m really nervous about something, I get an attack, so then my hands and feet go all wiggy, which then actually makes me cold. So now I’m nervous and shivering because I’m freezing. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. So you can imagine how great that works out for me during a job interview or a speech or something equally nerve wracking and important. Teeth chattering, legs shaking, fingers the color of the American flag. It’s a hot mess. Or should I say cold mess.

So here’s my Raynaud’s in all it’s glory. (this is nowhere near it being at its worst)

15230642_10211489414611857_5035191479760984545_n

And this is more like what it feels like.

ice_hand

Maybe it’s cool now. I’m mother friggin’ Elsa.

elsa

Stay tuned for my next installment, when you learn about Raynaud’s bastard step sister, Erythromelalgia. (say that 3 times fast. Heck I can’t even say it once!) You won’t want to miss it. If today I’m Elsa. Tomorrow I’ll be Te Kā from Moana.

Beware of garage explosions

The kids are safely dropped off at Grandma and Papa’s house. The entire ride home, all I can think about is getting into my pajamas, crawling under my favorite purple blanket and never leaving there again, unless it’s to get into bed, where I can continue being lazy, being comfy and watching TV. I finally arrive at home, alone. (the choir of angels sing!!) The excitement builds. My pajamas are only yards away! Netflix can be on in just minutes! I pull in the driveway, ready to start my VERY much needed 2 1/2 kid-free days. Things already feel different, even though I’m not in the house yet. It’s glorious. I take a deep breath in and let it o…WTF???!!!!

What in the hell was that noise???! And that jolt of my car?? I had to have hit something? How in the hell could I have hit something in the garage with that much force to make that kind of sound (it was LOUD) and to feel it inside the car like that? I was going 2 mph!! And I’m in my freaking garage!!!

My mind starts spinning immediately. “I rear ended someone last year, and I was without a car for several weeks and it cost us lots of money. I’m not working right now, we can’t afford to fix my car again!  This was supposed to be the start of my relaxing time! THIS IS NOT RELAXING!”

So, I back up out of the garage, park the car, and slowly open the door, unsure of what kind of carnage I might see. And carnage it was…

29634995_10216198630219304_1815528795_o

Ahh yes. What sounds like a huge pop that you can feel inside the car? A basketball EXPLODING.

giphy10

Fortunately, my car is fine. Unfortunately, this is my son’s basketball. That he LOVES. This will have to be replaced ASAP. Thank the internet gods for prime shipping. We may even have it before he gets home from Grandma’s.

“Look son, it’s all shiny and new looking! Don’t mind that basketball carcass over there.”

 

 

 

 

Stepping back in time through my pain

download

This question is always hiding in the back of my mind, jockeying for position into my daily thoughts. Every once in a while, especially on a higher pain day (like today), the question finds an open space to squeeze through, and there it is, present in my everyday thoughts. But it’s more than simply “what if I feel this way…” but “what if it just keeps getting worse?” Because so far, my body’s track record isn’t great.

How did I see things when I was…

  • That 14 year old barely teenager just trying to figure out how she fit in this new big high school. She had lost most of her friends from middle school and was an emotional wreck. And now she began to feel this low, dull ache in her back. She mentioned it here and there, but she still lived a relatively normal life. She never saw what was coming next. It was the new normal. She couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • That 17 year old girl had a boyfriend she loved, lots of great friends, and loved being in choir. But she had to make the first of many hard choices because of her pain and only sing, not dance in her senior year show choir concert. She was devastated. That 17 year old who couldn’t take the pain anymore went through a lot that year. Before and after her surgery, she was in hell. But that was her new normal. She couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • That 26 year old young teacher in the beginning of her career, already struggling through the school days and now starting to feel feel worse. Mid back pain soon joined the already agonizing low back pain. It was awful, but it soon became the new normal. It was so horrible that she couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • That 33 year old, now mom of 2 who fought every day for herself. For her kids. For her husband. And now she started feeling fibromyalgia symptoms, bringing on a new kind of hell. New pain that she had never experienced before. She didn’t know what hit her. How could life be like this? Feeling like being hit by a hammer all over your body every few weeks on top of everything else? How can she do this? But she did. She figured out ways to avoid flares, sometimes. She lived through flares. She survived. And that became the new normal. It was so horrendous, she couldn’t imagine things getting any worse.
  • And now, that 36 year old who struggled so hard to keep working. To make it through day after day of work and then other commitments and dinner and bedtime, etc. But she just couldn’t. She couldn’t take it anymore. She was miserable. That mom who feels like she isn’t being a good enough mom to her kids. That wife who feels like she isn’t being a good enough wife to her husband. That person who feels like she is a burden to everyone. That woman. Her fears of things getting worse are yet again confirmed. Migraines, wrist pain, teeth pain, nausea, toe pain, etc. are all new ailments she gets to deal with. She thinks, I don’t know how it could get worse…but if history teaches me anything…it will. Somehow. For now, this has become the new normal. It’s tortuous, and she couldn’t imagine things getting any worse….

It’s really not what if it feels this way for the rest of my life? I think that’s a given at this point. It’s, what more can happen? And am I strong enough?