Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Big Brother Is Watching You, or Our Trip To The Post Office

The preschoolers got to mail their homemade Valentines at the post office in February.

The coolest part was seeing the behind the scenes where they literally have a walk way over the whole operation where someone may or may not be watching the workers at all times.  It was a tunnel with windows placed every foot and in the floor of the walk way.  Very dystopian and I have to admit I didn't take a picture of it while I was there because I was afraid someone was in there and would see me... and I would feel stupid...because that would be horrible.
At the end they weighed the entire class on their industrial scale (786 lbs) and gave all the kids some candy in a mail bag.
Super fun and interesting and I can honestly say I want to be the person that may or may not exist in the tunnel on the ceiling who may or may not be watching you!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Want To See What Going Crazy Is Like? Try Sinus Surgery!

After three years of constant sinus problems I finally went to an ENT to see what could be done.  He basically told me that I had no one big problem, but lots of little problems, meaning there was no one way to fix everything.  He agreed, after looking through my records and noting I had 7 sinus infections in the last calender year, (which means I was sick more often than not last year!) that something needed to be done, so he recommended surgery.

Because there was no one problem I ended up getting three different surgeries at once.  The tissue in my nose was cut back, the sinus' were drained and my septum was straightened.  When I asked him what the recovery was going to be like he looked me right in the face and boldly lied "You will be uncomfortable for about a week."

What he should have said is: "For two full days your nose will be completely closed off which mean you will be unable to sleep more than 5 minutes at a time without gasping yourself awake.  Your mouth and throat will eventually get a slimy film on it to protect itself from being constantly open.  You will slowly go insane from the lack of sleep, pain, and claustrophobia from feeling trapped in your own head. You will barf every time you even smell food, let alone eat it.  Every time someone accidentally bumps you it will hurt.  If you touch your own nose to even move away a hair you will scream out in shock at the pain.  You will pass out every time you even think of sneezing."

When the office called to check on me I told them how hard it was for me.  I cried the entire phone conversation.  They said it would get better when I could take the packing out.  What they should have said was:

"You will barely stay sane by holding onto the idea that you get to remove the packing after two days,but when you finally can remove the packing you will realize you have airways the size of coffee stir straws to breathe through.  You will still be unable to sleep.  You will still have crazy pain and feel trapped in your skull by the amount of blood and mucus you are producing but can't expel.  That realization will cause you to have a complete mental break where you sit in front of a window and chant to yourself quietly under your breath."
Swollen nose.  It was easily the coolest and scariest thing I have ever seen on myself.
I finally got the inserts out after a week.  The whole thing was the same width as my pinkie with a tiny opening down the center to breath through.  Why not make the whole thing a giant tube so a person can actually feel like they can catch their breath once in a while?
I ended up going back after a few days because I was making so much mucus and wasn't allowed to blow my nose for 3 more weeks (try going 3 weeks without blowing you nose!  It is crazy hard!).  My fabulously deceptive doctor was unavailable so I got to see his colleague who talked to me for 2 minutes and said "Why don't we get you an anti-anxiety pill.  I think you could use a good night's sleep." 

2 minutes to realize "this woman is suffering mentally and maybe I could solve this easily with a safe pill."  The other doctor brushed me off after 2 phone calls and an office visit which all consisted of me breaking down and crying.  Guess who I am going to next time I need an ENT?

Was it worth it?  I can breath better, I don't have constant sinus headache pain, and my nose is even a little straighter, but right now, no, it wasn't.  Maybe if I can stay healthy for a while I will look back on it and say it was worth it, but right now I am still petrified of ever having to do anything like that again.  I have had 3 c-sections and 2 organs removed and I'd rather go through ALL of that all over again than have sinus surgery ever again.

So if I've been a little absent, or distant, or cranky, I'm sorry.  I've been trying to overcome the pain, panic attacks and depression I've had since the surgery.  Things are looking better now.  I typed this whole thing without crying or needing to walk around the house singing songs quietly to myself, so I think my brain is slowly learning to forget what happened.  Which is why I am writing this now so I NEVER FORGET HOW HORRIBLE THAT WAS!  DO YOU READ THIS NICOLE?  DON'T DO IT!!!

Stop Ordering Me Around, Chocolate!

I remember Dove Chocolate having cute little fortune type messages on them. Sometimes a deep or funny thought. These just seemed like they were telling me what to do.
It says "Sleep under the stars tonight."
No, Dove, I will not. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A YM Activity Made In Heaven For Eric (For Me It Would Have Been From Somewhere Lower)

In the fall Eric was moved from Scoutmaster to a counselor in Young Mens.  He's a great leader and diligently goes every week, but the last week in January I think was his favorite activity ever.
I got a text message from the Young Women's president saying he was running around, showing the kids the best moves.  He was like the Scrabble Puppet Master.
There were technically two teams, but it was basically Eric playing against himself, moving kids around like little pawns on the giant board.  For me it would have been torture, but I'm glad he had a good time.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A 20 Minute Live Commercial, Or Livi's Fieldtrip to Home Depot

The last two field trips Livi went on have somehow landed exactly on the days I got my hair done, so I was super excited to be able to go to Home Depot with her class.  It was mostly a tour where employees toted how great the store is to the parents and kids getting very bored and trying to grab packages of light bulbs,  but at the end they had little work aprons for the kids to paint.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Excuse Me, Your Absurd is Showing

Every once in a while (okay, once a week) there is something in the paper that just makes me sit back and think "Wow, they must have 10 year olds on staff."

 photo 59fd87fb-70f4-444d-a68d-d7dddcf612db.jpg
Good thing they gave us that quote.  We may not have understood what laughing sounded like.

Absurd isn't always a stupid thing, though. I loved how self aware the instructions were for Livi's Barbie Dreamhouse:  photo e405a2e9-dc11-4743-a868-e7357dc41985.jpg

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ethan is a Pre-Teen

We weren't ready for it, and boy has the time gone by too quickly, but we are so grateful that we have been able to have Ethan in our family for the past 11 years!

Video games + and Star Wars T-shirts= Happy Birthday!

We had cupcakes for his class and on his actual birthday.

A little over a week later, when everyone was healthy and it wasn't a school night we had the Bagleys over for pizza and chocolate bunt cake.  It's always so fun to have our Nebraska family over for birthdays!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stott Time

Since most of the Stott siblings were in town we did quite a few activities together.  Here are some highlights:
Golfing and Go-Carts
Grandma Joan and Cheryl were nice enough to be on a team with the kids.

Whereas I got the team with the INSANELY competitive brothers.
Ella was not surprisingly very good at steering go carts.
Ethan was a little more deliberate in his driving, but still better than I would have been when I was their age.

Livi and Cheryl were maniacs and I could hear hooting and cheering whenever they drove by.

Our group together.  Notice Eric and Jared's prom pose.
Not our favorite activity, but definitely the one we are most grateful for: Teeth Cleaning.  It was Livi's first time for a full cleaning and she was about this happy:

She did a great job when she finally calmed down.
My knees where hurting a little when everyone decided to go on a hike to Devil's Punchbowl, but my side of the family was represented there by James in pictures on the trail:

James' hair is still this amazing!

The brave group.

The kids mini rock climbing while Uncle Ryan did the real thing.

A lizard, another reason I'm glad I didn't go.

100th Day of Sickness (at least that's what it feels like)

The 100th Day of School, that wonderful magical day where you are way over half way and your class throws a party.  There are games, everyone brings 100 treats to share, and you count up to the super high number that you have all been working on.  I had been hearing about it for weeks, we had our treats ready to go, and Livi was a bundle of excited-ness the night before.

Unfortunately she had been sick for a couple days  and she woke up that morning still with a fever, runny nose and cough.  She was devastated but we decided we could celebrate at home on our own.  We counted out 100 treats of her choice:
 Then snuggled on the couch and watched a movie.
It's been a long year with a lot of sickness, but this sick day was actually a lot of fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lesson Learned, or Tonks Gets To Come To Christmas!

Things get pretty hectic around Christmas.  I have so much I have to remember: making travel plans, packing, prepaying bills, utility and services to put on hold, etc.  In the hubbub we may have forgotten to get the Tonks into a kennel for Christmas.  By the time I remembered to remind Eric it was too late, and there was no room in the tiny doggy inns.  So...she got to come too.  It turns out it was exactly the same price to leave her here or bring her with us, so I thought "Wow, this will be amazing!  We will have her with us for Christmas for the 1st time.  It will be awesome!"


I don't like flying on airplanes so I knew it would be hard on her.  Because I am ridiculously invested in my dogs well being we went to the vet, got her papers and some doggy Valium.

We got to try out the Valium right away at the hotel.  It did help keep her moaning down to a manageable volume where we could actually get a little sleep.

Even wrapped in a security blanket, flanked by the girls wasn't enough to help the poor dog sleep.

Blurry picture, but Tonks is in her carrier on the express train in the airport.  She was pretty good in the airport.  She must be a people watcher like me!

I tried to help Tonks with the air pressure by giving her treats to chew on, but I think she caught on and started whining as soon as she finished a treat because she knew I would immediately shove another one in her kennel by my feet.  She was worse than any of my kids ever where!!!

Tonks just about met her limit when we got to my parents house and she was assaulted by a GIANT loving mass of Casey.  She did NOT want to get off my lap.

and it pretty much stayed that way for the entire trip.  If she couldn't be on my lap she was hiding under the desk in our room where Casey couldn't love her to death.
Seeing her constantly on laps or on the couch made Casey a little jealous.  I'm not sure who wished he was a lap dog more here, Casey or Dad.

Toward the end Tonks started seeing that Casey really did just want to be friends and they started bonding over food.  Or basically Casey let Tonks have all the food all of the time...
Until he didn't.  He finally broke on one of our very last nights.  He had been so good, so kind, always letting her lick the plates first, but then Dad made bacon.  The bacon was the end of it all.  Casey tried to let Tonksie lick the pan first, was BACON.  He finally snapped at her, and luckily I was there to yank her out of the way from his giant mouth.  I don't think he wanted to hurt her, he seemed really chagrined afterwards, but she didn't leave our room, unless forced, for the rest of the trip.