Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

I don't like my grandmother.  yep.  i said it.  The words "don't like" is putting it mildly.  those of you that know me already know this.  One thing I have learned as I'm getting older, is to  forgive.  get over it.  move on.
So its been close to 5 years since I've seen her the last time (before that it had been like 10-15 years). Her name is Jane.  She has Alzheimers now and dementia.  She doesn't recognize her own kids much less her grandkids that she never sees.  She's 94 years old.  Now that I've had my last child (and as far as I know, Mason is and will be her very last great grandchild from all the cousins combined) I figured she should at least meet them all.  Even if she doesn't recognize us.  But yes, I made my effort.  Nothing to write about really -- but had to document for my kids sake that yes, they all met her at one time.  Here is a pic of her 2 out of 3 children, 3 out of 6 grandchildren, and 7 out of 11 great grands.

Let me do a word vomit summing up the rest of the past month:

stomach virus circulated each member of our family THREE times.  Christmas shopping.  Christmas cards.  Northside Fundraiser and chaperone.  Accent Open House.  Hair Appts.  Field Trips.  Wrap ALL of the presents before our TN trip.  Sunday School class Christmas party.  Matt and I won the costume photo booth contest for dressing up like Caitlyn and Bruce Jenner!  But sorry, can't share the picture because its THAT bad!  Hilarious though.  Dr. Appts.  Christmas class parties x 3 kids.  Christmas Program at the Preschool.  Teacher gifts.  Pack x 6 people for TN trip.  Gingerbread houses.  Reindeer food.  Make cookies for Santa.  Book Fair board.  Mati Claire tied for 3rd place in that!  Orthodontist and dentist appts.  Teething baby.  Very little sleep for both of us.  The Elf on the Shelf not helping matters.  Matt works nights.  Cook for all of the above parties.  Did I mention the stomach virus loved our house this past month?  A normal 7 hour drive to TN turned into a 10 hour drive with the kids because of holiday traffic and road construction.  Allergy/sinus crud for several of us thanks to the 'Sip's weather -- 85 degrees on Christmas Eve!  I'm really really really tired.

I have never been so glad to wake up this Christmas morning with everyone home and well (other than Mason's teething pains).  The picture above got me thinking.  Its been OVER 5 years and its still not a "complete" picture with the other cousins and grandkids not in it.  I know one day my kids will be grown and move away.  I hope and pray we don't go 5+ years without seeing them.  Even if its not at Christmas, I hope all the kids will visit at least once a year at the same time!  I was reminded that some of my friends don't have their babies with them this Christmas.  Several babies went to Heaven this past year and I am grateful for every second I have with mine.

Its not about the presents.  Its about getting together and having a good time with family.  Its about first Christmases.  Its about the traditions you make.  My favorite decorations in my house are the stockings that my other grandmother made me and can't be bought.  Above all, remembering the real reason we celebrate = JESUS.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

"Who are you???"   
This toy is suppose to work on body control and motor skills.   
Don't be fooled -- its not real.  "PurrfectPets"  is awesome and truly the perfect pet.  

Our Christmas card picture this year.  Dalton Lane photographer.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Heavy Hitter

Thanksgiving wasn't much of a break... and its hard to find something to be thankful for when you're cleaning up vomit and diarrhea every single day of the break.  Stomach bug hit our house hard.  Just passing it from one person to the next.  One child even got it twice (after days of being fine in between).

I went to the dermatologist for my annual checkup.  After getting slammed in the face by a harsh laser for scar tissue removal from my skin cancer (think of the hardest hitting rubber band popping you in the nose a thousand times), a marble sized cyst removed from under my arm, 4 stitches later, a black eye from the laser, and $500 less... again, finding it hard to be thankful and desperately looking for the Christmas spirit.

So then I notice my throat is hurting.  Hmm... thought it was just sinus drainage.  But then I remembered the last time I had a sore throat that caused a major psoriasis flareup 3 years ago.  (Strep is a trigger for that).  Anyway, I am THANKFUL TO HAVE A HUBBY WHO IS A DOCTOR AND CAN WRITE ME A PRESCRIPTION!  I asked Matt to err on the side of caution and call me in an antibiotic (fyi, if you catch the strep early enough it CAN prevent it from spreading and possibly decrease the severity if you're lucky).  So I started my antibiotic and felt great for 10 days.

The day after I finished it, I noticed red spots on my neck and chest.  Ugggghhhh.  By that night, it had spread to arms, legs, and torso.  I fully expected to look like my all time worst by the next morning, but to my complete surprise the spots actually looked somewhat better the next day???  Still there, but not enflamed or itching as bad.  I make my appointment with the dermatologist AGAIN expecting to start one of the new immune system depressants (Enbrel, Humira, Stelara, etc).  Within 3 days, the psoriasis had gotten worse and then almost completely gone!  All I could imagine was Clint Eastwood saying "Do ya feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?"    YES I DO!    After having my last flare-up completely clear up when I got pregnant with Merritt, I have no doubt that my breastfeeding Mason has helped again (keeping the pregnancy hormones up!) on top of the antibiotics.

My psoriatic-arthritis has reached an all-time high.  I'm 36 and can't walk more than 1/2 mile without my knees feeling like they are being stabbed with a knife.  My elbows throb in pain while I wash my hair.  Ankles, hips, and wrists hurt depending on what I'm doing.  I tend to find exercises that don't involve walking, running, or stairs.  Elliptical and Pilates seem to work for me - which I will get back to when I'm done nursing Mason.

Anyway - all that to say -- I will be starting some new treatment in the near future.  I'm a little terrified of trying this.  Mason is on a countdown to being weaned and then I have to make my decision. Being a pharmacist is sort of a curse when I know TOO much about drugs.  Ignorance is bliss people!

On top of all the physical pain lately, can I just tell you how much Merritt drives me insane??? I'm her mom so I can say that, right?  I love her to death, but ooohhhh myyyy goooodnessss.  Make.her.stop.  I really don't know where she comes from.  Certainly doesn't remind us of anyone (other than the fact that she looks like her Daddy).  She changes clothes AT LEAST 5 times a day, and normally wears multiple outfits...all at one time.  Yep, just layers them on because she's weird like that.  Usually different pieces from different outfits.  She loves her accessories to a scary degree.  I imagine her on one of those intervention reality shows where they tell her she has to sell all of her stuff one day and the high pitched screaming will be heard around the world.  Her vocabulary (and correct context) has reached a new level also.  Anyone who says she needs speech therapy needs a kick to the groin.  We need a therapist to get her to STOP talking.  Or a therapist to listen to her rants, because my ears are about to fall off.  So this week I was thinking that maybe... just maybe... we were beginning to round the corner from the terrible 2's and 3's.  She went 2 days where I would actually use the word GOOD to describe her.  Should have known that it would come back and bite me in the butt.  Yesterday, she cut her own hair.  2 good chunks missing out of the front that I'm pretty sure won't reach in a ponytail anymore.  Today, she is eating crayons.

November and December are proving to be hard hitters this year.  Is it January yet? Nope!  Its December 5th and we don't even have our tree decorated yet!

On a more positive note, we had pictures made with an amazing photographer in Tennessee back in July and I am just now getting the proofs back!  She's worth the wait though!  Here are just a FEW of my faves.

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