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I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

After Surgery

So many of you have inquired as to how I am doing after my surgery and I apologize for not responding to everyone.  Recovery has not been a bed of roses; every other day is a bad one, and I wasn't eager to type it all out.  So I won't.  I will say there has been a lot of pain (which is almost gone now), unpleasant side effects and tears.  But it should be all uphill from now on.  I did my hair and put on makeup today for the 1st time since March 30th; that did wonders for my mood!  ;o)

Everyone at the hospital was kind, detailed and solicitous.  Some were even funny.  I had no idea the hospital was a teaching one.  I panicked when they told me.  I was already in my gown, shower cap and booties but almost bolted at that news.  I watch Grey's Anatomy; I know what happens at teaching hospitals!  I was not going to be some guinea pig with a 007 intern practicing on my head!

They assured me that if any residents were to be in my surgery, I would be told ahead of time.  "But I don't want any intern working on me," I insisted.  They would let me know of any residents were there for more than observation.  "When?  In recovery?"  The doctors would come to me before surgery and let me know what everyone's roll was.

The first "doctor" I met was the anesthesiologist's intern!  Oh, hell to the no!  He's just going to observe.  Mm, hmm, he better, because I will come back and haunt him if he doesn't!  He didn't just observe; he held a mask on my face and told me to take deep breaths.  The mask was supposed to cover my nose and mouth but he managed to put it over my right eye, holding my eyelid captive in mid blink.

They either didn't hear me or ignored me and I couldn't move the mask myself because one of the nurses had just finished wrapping me up in styrofoam and strapping me down to the table.  I looked like a mummy in a psych ward with Sammy Davis, Jr. eyes.

The bones in my ear were supposed to be gone by then but the doctor still didn't know if he'd be able to put the prosthetic bones in that day.  If the mass removal went too long, or if the middle ear was too inflamed, he would have to do it another time.

When surgery was over the doctor went to the hubs in the waiting room and told him that after he removed the mass he was shocked to see all 3 ear bones still intact!  Each showed signs of erosion, but it was minimal, they were all attached to each other and attached on each end!  There was no need for prosthetic ear bones.

He's done thousands of these surgeries but said he'd never seen that before.  I guess none of his former patients has had as many people praying for them as I had.  Thank you all so much for your thoughts, prayers and love!!!  Y'all worked a miracle for me and I am so grateful!

Thank you to those of you who brought us food the 1st week after the surgery.  It was such a burden off me to not have to worry about feeding us!  And there was always enough food not only for dinner, but leftovers for lunch, as well.

I thank my bestie, R and her husband.  Her husband took a day off work to stay home with one sick child and pick up the other after school, so she could sit with my hubs in the waiting room.  That was a wonderful gift to the hubs!  He didn't sit there, alone, and worry or play what ifs in his head and the time did not drag on.  He and my bestie talked about everything, he said, and had a wonderful time.  He is so grateful he had her there and so am I!

I want to thank the hubs for taking care of me, holding me, wiping my tears, administering medicine, taking care of B and the house and holding it together.  It's so hard for men to see a loved one ill.  They're fixers; that's what they do.  It's in they're DNA.  He kept his frustration and anger (born out of fear) over not being about to  fix me or take all the hurt away for me, from me.  Internalizing that isn't good for a body, but he knows once I'm able to climb out of my tree, he gets to go right up his.

I still can't hear in my left ear, but it's still healing.  My hearing won't be checked until 6-7 weeks after surgery, to give everything time to heal and swelling to go down.  You can't see the hole in my head because the doctor drilled where the back of my ear meets my head, and then covered the hole with a fold of skin (double layer for double protection).  My left ear pokes out further than my right now; that may change after time or it may stay the same.  I don't mind.

Thank you all.  I hold you very dear in my heart and am sending your prayers back at you.  MUAH!

A Bad Day

B and I both had a bad day yesterday, for different reasons. When I tucked him in for bed he was stiff and not his snuggly self.
Me: Are you mad at me?
B: No. I just.......don't have good feelings about you right now. Is that OK to say?
Me: It's OK to not have good feelings about me and it's OK to tell me. I'll do better tomorrow.
He smiled.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Avocado Chicken by The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

I needed some inspiration to cook chicken, yet again, for dinner last night.  So I went to my Poultry Recipes board on my Pinterest account looking for something new, easy and consisting of ingredients I had on hand.  I don't know about you, but I pin things all the time and can't remember all of them.  Looking through my own boards is like Christmas morning!  hehehe

I found this gloriously simple recipe for Avocado Chicken from The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife.  Definitely something new, quite easy and I had just bought tomatoes and avocados from Costco the day before.   *Ding, ding, ding*  We literally had a winner, winner, chicken dinner!

You know me, I can't make any recipe exactly the way it is, so I finished off the oven time by turning the broiler on for a little color.  The hubs is quite picky, and not a fan of tomatoes, but he agreed with me that dinner was delicious!

Adding this one to the rotation during tomato season.  Thank you, Navy Wife

Thursday, March 27, 2014

B's History Fair Project for Homeschool Co-Op - Flash Backs to My School Days!

"US Presidents in a Bag (5 Things I've chosen to represent each of their lives."
Our homeschool co-op had a History Fair this morning and B's presentation included a poster board. I've always been critical of parents who do their child's work for them. You can totally tell by looking at the Art wall in a preschool classroom or the 1st grade poster board presentations, which ones were done solely by children and which ones were done by parents who love neatness and straight lines. ;o)

B's presentation was not started until early yesterday afternoon and was still not done when he and the hubs left at 4pm for a planned guys' outing. It was just me and that unfinished History project on the floor and I was sooo tempted to finish it myself! 

I felt like Jacques the shrimp in Finding Nemo when Gill tells him he cannot clean the tank. At first he was all, "I shall resist!" but the dirtier the tank got, he couldn't resist.  When Gill caught Jacques cleaning, he hung his head. "I am ashamed."

But isn't this always the case in life? Be careful who you judge because it always comes back to bite you! At least it does for me. If I've judged a stranger by the snippet of their life I see from the outside, sometime later I'll find myself in that exact situation, and "I am ashamed."

I did resist, though, and he finished his project before dinner.  Phew!

Yesterday was a total flashback to when I was in school.  I always left projects to the last minute and never learned my lesson because I always received good marks on them.  At least it's easier for kids these days to get information for projects at the last minute.  I had no internet.  Most projects were due on Mondays and I never remembered that the local library was closed on Sundays until after it closed on Saturdays.  A 1974 Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia was my only reference.

Anywho, the History Fair was great this morning.  Some children chose a literal time or event in History and some chose to explain the history of a person or something.  There were displays on US Presidents, WWII, Hasbro Toys, Sharks, Egypt, Native Americans, Robots, The Wright Brothers, Ballet, Knights, Winnie the Pooh, Harriet Tubman, US Missions to the Moon!

I learned so much from these awesome kids!  I walked around and not only read from their displays but also listened to them tell me about their subject matter.  Somethings I didn't know before this fair:

  • Harriet Tubman was not her given name; she was born Araminta Ross.
  • A.A. Milne only wrote 4 books with Winnie the Pooh in them and not all off the Winnie the Pooh characters we have today appeared in those four books.  Everything else "Pooh" we have today were expanded upon from his original four works.
  • Hasbro was founded by three Rhode Island brothers and their 1st toys were doctor and nurse kits and modeling clay.
  • Leonardo DaVinci designed the first robot in 1495.
  • I had no idea how many countries were involved in WWII.  The Allies consisted of 26 countries alone!  I only knew about the "major" ones.
  • There is a Goblin Shark out there with a long, flat snout.
B chose to do a "montage" (his word, not mine) of the 1st six Presidents in a Bag he's created.  I pulled the pix off my blog, ordered enlarged prints from Costco and B copied and pasted the descriptions from my blog posts.  He glued them onto a poster board from Dollar Tree and wrote a description at the top.

After everyone had presented and learned, we went outside.  The kids played and we mommas chatted.  A very successful co-op, indeed!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Brave Writer's The Arrow

Last month we added Brave Writer's The Arrow to our Language Arts studies and I've noticed the difference in our homeschool already.  We're having so much fun with "The Brave Writer lifestyle". Our own language as well as our awareness of language around us - written, spoken and performed  - is heightened.  Here are some examples of what we've done.

Two weeks ago, on Movie Wednesday, we watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off!  Beforehand, we discussed the meanings of plot, plot twists and climax.  I paused the movie as we went and we discussed who the good guy and bad guy should be according to the rules of right and wrong and who the good & bad guys were in B's eyes according to their personalities.  We discussed how important the script writing and each actor's portrayal of their rolls were in getting us to root for Ferris and relish Principal Rooney's mishaps.

I stopped it a number of times for B to tell me what the plot was, what he thought would happen next, his reaction to the "next" not being what he thought it was, etc.  When it was over, he excitedly told me when he thought climax began and when it ended.  We had this long, animated discussion about how people are not just black and white; we are all full of grays - good and evil, making right and wrong choices for the right and wrong reasons, etc..  It was so wonderful to see him expressing and discussing without just using the words, "Awesome" and "Amazing".

Yesterday, I asked him to write using descriptive language.  I wanted him to paint a picture with his words.  His writing in the past has been, "I played outside with my friends." I asked him to use words to describe the feel of the sun or the warmth of that Spring day.  Playing outside was just an example I gave him; he could write about whatever he wanted.

He chose to describe tasting a macadamia nut, which he did for the first time earlier that day.  I have to share his description with y'all.

"Today I tried a macadamia nut and it was awful!!(There was a frowny face with a tongue sticking out under the 2 exclamation points.)  It was so unbearable and repulsive I had to regurgitate it into the trash."

Now, he didn't try to describe what he thought it tasted like, an old gym sock, for example, but that's something to work on.  The fact that he wrote more than, "I hate macadamia nuts." or "Macadamia nuts are awful." and he wrote two sentences makes me very happy.  He took the assignment seriously and I can give more detailed direction in the future.

Most importantly, he's enjoying language and writing.  He's getting how important it is to his understanding and entertainment and we're (Julie Bogart and I) are stoking the desire in him to write like that for others.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shit Just Got Real

I'm having a really bad ear day.  I'm in pain.  One of the nurses from the hospital called this afternoon to do my pre-op interview.  Asked lots of yes or no questions - do I have these symptoms, do I have those conditions.  Needed details on previous surgeries, specialists, allergies, medications.  Gave me instructions I needed the day of surgery as well as the few more days leading up to it.  I still don't have a surgery time yet.

After I got off the phone, my breathing quickened.  My heart raced.  My eyes teared up.  Shit just got real to me.  There is a tiny crack in Miss Positive's veneer...

Summer Camp Registration

Yes, it's that time.  Can you believe it?  It doesn't feel like that time because, although the calendar says Spring has arrived, it hasn't yet sprung.  I don't mind the cold and the snow the last week of March; I love living in an area that experiences all four seasons.  I just don't want to be planning activities for June, July and August right now.

But I have to.  Camps in this area fill up very quickly; I've learned the hard way.  B's definitely in two camps - an acting week and fun, stay active week.  Two others I'm not sure about.  Both the baseball week and the movie-themed week ones are far from meeting their minimum required headcount so we wait and see.  He's never been enrolled in this many camps before.  He's thrilled!

Also, volunteer sign-up began for our church's Vacation Bible School this week.  If you volunteer, your child(ren) is(are) guaranteed a spot at VBS.  If you do not volunteer, you have to wait several weeks to register and we can only take so many children based on the number of volunteers.  So, I always volunteer to ensure B has a space.

However, when I went to sign myself up as a volunteer and B as a camper, I received quite a shock - he's too old to be a camper!  Surely this was a mistake!  Nope, he can't be a camper.  Well, they must have changed the rules this year because I remember telling B at the end of VBS last year he had one more year as a camper.  Nope.  I went through last year's emails and the cut off age was the same then.

I must have been in denial.  I'm glad I realized this late at night, sitting up alone, so B didn't have to see me cry.  I thought he'd be just as devastated as I was.  He was disappointed, but not devastated (dammit!).  I informed him that he's now old enough *gasp* to volunteer as a leader and, if he volunteered I would, too.  He said he'd think about it.  Two hours later he told me he wanted to lead so I signed us both up.

It isn't fair that he's growing up so fast.  It isn't fair that I didn't get the option to experience this all again.  *sniff, sniff*

Alright!  Pity party over!