Tuesday, April 15, 2014

100 Happy Days: First 10

For those of you unfamiliar with the sunny little campaign that's making the rounds on social media click here.

My first thought when I read that was, "71%?!? Unacceptable." So far I'm up to day 11, but the highest I've seen on my daily perusal of the other posts was someone on day 90 and that was 5 days ago. I hope she finishes! I hope so many of us make it to end that the numbers change.

Here's what I posted so far:

Day 1

27 Days, fast passes booked!

Day 2

I freaking did it! French braid success!

Day 3

Puppy Visits!

Day 4

I did it! My Easter table!

Day 5

Princess hugs puppy.

Day 6

Fridge gallery clear. I love a finished project.

Day 7

Kid art!

Day 8

Prepping for a shopping trip makes me feel like an athlete before a big game. Go team!

Day 9

A hot breakfast that I don't have share with children. Amen.

Day 10

Hair cut!

Do my a favor, if you are participating in 100HappyDays leave a comment or message me on the FB page and keep being awesome!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Drip, Drip, Drop Little April Showers

Let's talk in-climate weather logistics. Honestly, since I rarely used a mobility device unless I was post surgery growing up, I guess it wasn't an issue. The first time I remember rain being an issue was in college when I was suddenly had to traverse a vast, hilly campus on wheels. Obviously, holding an umbrella was not an option while pushing my wheelchair up hills slick with rain so mostly I'd bundle up in my winter coat with my hood up.

Later, I suffered the standard how-do-I-get-the-baby-and-groceries-inside-the-house conundrum. I wasn't still using mobility devices on a regular basis. I just wished I had more hands (don't we all). When I had to carry a baby and an umbrella I was ok, but getting her and I into the car dry was always tricky. I started arranging the umbrella between the door and car roof so I had both hands free to get her situated. It meant a dry baby and mostly dry mommy. Usually, I'd get rain trickling down my back a bit before I could get in.

I'm not complaining. I don't mind being a little damp. I just wanted to give you a frame of reference. Now several years after the baby and a few major surgeries later I'm on crutches outside the house. Aside from not easily being able to manage an umbrella there's the crutches on a wet surface issue. I can't count the number of times I've had my crutches go out from under me in opposite directions on wet ladies room floor, or on a puddle-ly sidewalk. A crutch on water is like stepping on a banana peel. I've never (knock on wood) been injured seriously, but it always scares me to pieces. One-a these days Alice, broken hip!

The other issue is that anyone with bad joints or any inclination towards inflammation isn't a fan of what rain does to their body. It never used to bother me much, but I grew up and got hit by a bus. Ever since the bus, rains hurts. It doesn't always take me out of circulation, but I always feel it to some degree.

These days, I ditch one of my crutches if I can because lopsided-ness is worth umbrella coverage. I really don't care about getting wet at all, except that it makes the joint pain worse. Wet equals cold, cold equals muscle tension. I try to keep my joints warm and keep my physical activity mid-level to minimum. I take fish oil twice a day to help my joints and minimize the need for anti-inflammatories. I try to get in for regular messages and stretch often, but it doesn't always work. Best case scenario is obviously to stay in, but let's get real kids have to get to school and errands must be run even on a rainy day. I keep an eye out for puddles so I don't slip, but things happen. Mostly, I try not to be too rough on myself if the rain throws a wrench in my to do list. Luckily, I know a little girl with pink kitty rain boots who's usually up for cuddle when the rain wins.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Friday night as I sat in my bed, probably typing my blog, my hip popped out. This had happened before. My left hip never rested in the socket from birth until my last hip surgery. That surgery was in my late 20's so we're talking several decades. When I was pregnant with Riley it popped out quite a bit. Since my last hip surgery, which placed the ball back in the socket, it hasn't happened. It should not happen. I was sitting in bed and I felt an extremely uncomfortable sensation in my left hip. I raised my body up off the bed with my arms to re-position myself and when my weight was back on my hip I knew it was out.

I explained the situation to Mike
"Honey my hip popped out. It's out."
"I'm not going to the emergency room"
"I mean it, all they ever do is dope me up on pain medicine that makes me puke."
After ice packs and Advil.
He gently moved my left leg while feeling the hip socket with his other hand. "Yup", he concurred, "that's out."
"I know", I snapped back.
"Do you want me to push in?"

He did, push it back in. It burned for about 45 minutes after that. I was extremely anxious now that the pain was dying down. How can this have happened? What does it mean? I don't want another hip surgery (or any surgery). I couldn't shake the fear. I laid there breathing through the pain and fear for a while. I sucked it up eventually. I think I watched some funny TV at that point and got myself out of the pain, fear spiral.

Fortunately, I had a dental issue flair up Friday night too so I was able to put the weirdness with my hip on the back burner. As of today I have been to the dentist and am hopeful that all is well on that front, but I have not spoken to the surgeon who fixed my hip. I think it's just extremely tight and that caused it to pop out. I hope, because anti-inflammatories and massage sound way more do-able than another hip surgery. I think for now I'll try to keep it stretched out and try to keep the inflammation low and see if it happens again.

Just keep swimming...

Monday, April 7, 2014

March-ing On Part 2

Jump in your time machines fellow travelers and let's go all the way back...to mid March! We'll all pretend I totally skipped almost two whole months of posts on purpose so I could do a few cute recap posts. Here we go...

Anniversary game

We celebrated two years of marriage and almost seven years together (it'll be seven next month). We rang in this milestone in our usual super cool style...with board games! Cards against Humanity and such, chips and dips and some drinks. It was actually a lovely evening, not in the top ten most romantic nights of my life, but exactly what we were in the mood for. Here's to fifty or so more years!

Character Day Dress Character Day Hair Flower
Character Day Dress 2 Meditation

Right on the heals of Isaac's character day Roo's school had fairy tale character day! It was conveniently the day after Epcot so she had just received her brand new Mulan dress (not that she has any shortage of options before that). I was thrilled that she wanted to be Mulan because I was sure the room would be full of Rapunzels and Belles, but she was bound to be the only Mulan. We found her a white flower from the garden for her hair, gave her some purple eye shadow and red lip gloss and even managed to find her "beads of jade". She looked perfect. Let's face it my kids kick butt at character days!

Scenes from Spring Break

Bounce House Playing Vet
Weather Girl Legos
Puzzles Puppy
Mega Bag Pony

I talked a lot about spring break an earlier post...But let's just sum up here as well. Children's Museum, library, movie nights, board games (Disney Sorry FTW), coloring, car sing-a-longs, play dates!, dress up, out to lunch, Easter decorating, playing "quietly", puzzles, books, running around in the backyard and making a pony at build-a-bear!

Date Night

We snuck a date night into the mix right at the end our spring break. More board games and adult conversation for us. Good times.

Slumber Party

The kids had their first and second night sleeping away from home about a week apart. Their grandparents took them out to dinner, to the Lego movie and then swimming the next morning. They gave them back happy and tired. The next weekend I asked Roo's Bestie's family to watch them so Mike and I could go out. She kindly volunteered to let them sleep over. It was very nice and super weird. It's odd, but when Mike and I are alone I always dream up all these fun things to do and then we end up happily doing nothing. I just always feel the full weight of being tired when I stop moving. It's why I don't stop moving too often if I can help it, so I can keep ignoring the tired. That being said I enjoyed my time off very much almost as much as I missed them.

Let Down Your Hair Riley-punzel

Miss Roo and I took a stroll through one of the world's biggest Disney Stores and we found her the wig for her Halloween. It was late March and she just happened to demand her skeleton tights. My silly girl. She got compliments all day on them. Then we got home we tried on the whole ensemble. Amazing, right? Now we just have to wait seven months....

And now my friends you have been brought up to the present, hurray!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Epcot on Wheels (aka Disney Round 2)

As you know from my last post I was pretty satisfied with my first trip to Animal Kingdom. It was a fun day and I did it without having to drag my grumpy husband. I was super tired the next couple days, but the pain was tolerable (nowhere near what I expected for such a long day). When my Disney partner in crime asked if I was interested in hitting Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival a mere seven days after our Animal Kingdom trip I was super excited. A lot of stressful stuff went on in February this year that I'd rather not talk about, but the night before our Epcot trip more than one person remarked that my stress level was "scaring them". I almost backed out of the trip I was so overwhelmed, but the consensus was that getting away for the day was the best thing I could do.

Not to worry the wheelchair gloves made it into the bag this time. I also hit up a Disney store sale with a gift card I'd been saving from Christmas and scored Roo an awesome Mulan dress. I figured since we were going to Epcot I'd break it out. I didn't tell her anything ahead of time this trip. I put her to bed like any other night. When I woke her up she complained "Mom it's still dark out!" and I said "That's because I thought we'd go to Disney today." I gave her a Minnie shirt and a jean skirt to wear and then told her to come get breakfast. I'd hung the Mulan dress in the kitchen. She was thrilled!

As we were driving there she slept. All the sudden about 10min before the Welcome sign Roo woke up and started fretting. She must have had a nightmare because she kept insisting "Mom! Mom! I forgot to wear clothes! There's nothing under my Mulan dress!" She was beside herself and laughing at her only made it worse. Poor pumpkin. Eventually, she woke up enough for me to reassure her and we were there.

We're HereEpcot

Our Epcot day started off great! It was a no plans kind of trip. We were there when the park opened, no ticket issues this time and we had an amazing encounter with the some of our favorite celebrities at exactly 9am.

Whole GangMickey

One of the reasons I love Epcot is because it absorbs crowds better than other parks. Which means I had no prolonged expriences where I was eye level with a sea of butts. No horrible back breaking inclines except the ramp into the building where The Land is. That thing is horrible! It was warm that day. I was over heated and tired by the time I tackled it. I will tell you halfway up that 409,879,239.2 mile beast someone stopped to give me push. Armed with my gloves getting around was much easier than my trip the week before though.

Now for some highlights:


Running into her best friend at Disney!

Riding the Nemo ride again, being eaten by a shark, talking to a turtle, visiting everyone's favorite small purple dragon, running into an old friend from our trip last summer, Disney magic and some treasure.

Mulan 1Mulan 2
Mulan 3 Mulan 3
Mulan 4 Mulan 5

Visiting Mulan! She said "If I would have known you were going to wear my dress I would have worn one of yours." It was an adorable, amazing visit. Not just because Roo visited one of favorites in costume, but also because when we got to the line we were turned away and a teenage girl and her mother gave us their spot! Disney magic. Mulan even kissed her!


Roo also had a wonderful visit with Mommy's favorite.

One last highlight is actually a Disney milestone...Roo's first Mickey Bar! It's a huge deal because I am an all or nothing (usually nothing) person when it comes to theme park food. I always packs snacks and usually lunch too. My kids have only ever eaten one table service dinner inside a Disney park. Getting an ice cream bar was a big deal. How cute is this?

Mickey Bar 1 Mickey Bar 2 Mickey Bar 3

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Animal Kingdom on Wheels

I am a life long Disney fan, of course. I haven't a clue exactly how many time I went from 3-21, but it has got to be a pretty decent number of times. When I was in college my boyfriend and I went every year between Christmas and New Years. We even debated getting annual passes so we could go every time I came home from collage. When I met Mike I hadn't been to Disney in a year or two. Between his issues with crowds, a poor economy and the fact that I was suddenly mom to a 5yr old I doubted if I'd ever get back there. It was a strange time and soon we had Riley.

Mike assured me that we'd go to Disney "someday". My hopes were not high. Then time passed and it seemed possible, but Mike insisted we wait until Riley was completely potty trained. I suspected he was stalling, but he had a point. Last summer we had an opportunity. I was stunned when he asked me to look into a Disney trip and blown away when he gave me the go ahead to plan it.

Summer Disney

We had a great three day trip to Disney. We all enjoyed ourselves. Mike didn't enjoy some parts and I doubted if I'd ever get us back as a family. When I asked if he'd go back he reverted to his old answer of "someday". Again my hopes weren't high. I pressed on another seven months trying not to think about the "Happy-est Place on Earth."

It wasn't hard to be distracted from Disney dreams there was a lot to keep me busy. As 2014 started I decided we needed to plan another family vacation. When I looked into things I found a great Groupon for a theme park we'd been to before and liked (not Disney).

Lego Camel

It was a wonderful way to celebrate Isaac's magnet middle school acceptance and academic achievements. We had a lovely day. I thought theme parks were behind me when I had the back surgery (Have I mentioned being wrong a lot?). It was so nice to have a theme park day with my family. I came away wanting more of them. In my mind theme park trips are one of the perks of your kids growing up. I worried that we just weren't a "theme park family" because Mike doesn't enjoy them as much as the kids and I.

When my best friend decided to grant her daughter's birthday candle wish of a trip to "princess land" aka Disney she asked me for tips. It really made me want to go back to Disney! I talked Disney with her, joined Disney Moms facebook groups and watched youtube videos of other people's Disney trips. That's when I decided to pitch Mike the idea of getting annual passes. He had some concerns and I pressed on offering varying ideas on the subject. In the end I agreed that Mike just wouldn't want to go that often. I was concerned whether I could handle taking the kids on my own. It boiled down to this: I could drive the kids to Disney and probably handle a day with them, but there's no way after all that I could get us home.

Ok, I give up. It's not realistic. There was no more to discuss. Then I found out about an amazing only-come-around-once-a-year deal. I could buy a 3 day ticket that equated to $43 a day! It didn't have to be used all at once either. I talked to Mike about it and we decided it would be ok for me to get Riley and I each a 3 day ticket. I would save one day to go with my sister, but I had two other trips to plan...

I was over the freaking moon to have such a problem. I called Mike's cousin's wife who has a pass and a 2yr old and she was planning a trip to Animal Kingdom that week! Hot Damn!! She was happy for the company and I was happy for the ride.

Mickey & MinnieWe've got Ears!
Goofy & PlutoDancing with Chip

I definitely wouldn't have been able to do the round trip drive and all that Disney fun. I left my wheelchair gloves at home which made everything harder. Hello, friction burns. There was a particularly vicious hill I am not a fan of at all that is of course in a central area. It's hard enough to mount a steep incline on your own, but try it in a crowd with a 4yr old on your lap, Oye! Other than that I felt like I did better than I expected. Roo had an awesome day with her little cousin and Mommy got her Disney fix. Were there's will there's a way, right Mickey?"

And Done