Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pinched nerves and Precious moments

My girls came home on Sunday and we celebrated Christmas. We've been roller blading and Nintendo DSing like mad, lol. It's been a nice few days.



A few days before Christmas I started having neck pain. So on day four, the day after Christmas, I called a chiropractor who said he could see me that day. I was fairly miserable with the pain on Christmas day and didn't want to keep just enduring it. It wasn't like...the pain of giving birth, mind you...but it was gnawing and I was getting nothing done. (Not that I mind having an excuse to sit around, lol...but I had just a very few projects I was going to try to tackle during my break, and they didn't get done. I doubt they will at this rate. Any work I do in the days ahead will be in the form of lesson plans and laundry.)



Anyway I went to the chiro and found out I have a pinched nerve. I also let him check out my lower back because I've had pain in it for at least four years. I had therapy for it a couple summers ago and the PT told me it was muscle spasms in my... well, in my batootie. lol Yeah, that was some interesting therapy. ha ha



So the chiro took xrays of my neck and of my lower back. He took a profile of each and one straight on. He was very gabby and not "really" seeing patients that day, so he took his time. I stood there several minutes for the xrays. It wasn't like an xray tech that whisks you in and out and you're done. Shouldn't have been a problem, but...I THINK I was standing with my knees locked. There was one more xray to go and the thought went through my head, "Have I had my knees locked?" and I started moving my legs immediately. I guess I was a little late. I headed for a chair and made it, yay! But I nearly passed out. Tingling all over, then HOT HOT HOT, man was it HOT in there, and then came the nausea. It was quite the adventure. Then a couple minutes later I was fine and we went on with things.



He went over the xrays with me. My lower back looked perfect, he said, from both angles...which basically means that the pain IS muscular...but he can do some to help with that, so I'm happy girl. Then he showed me the xrays of my neck. Of course from the back or front, your cervical spine should be straight. Mine veers to the right for now because it's protecting that little pinched nerve in my neck. Then he showed me the profile xray. From the profile, your cervical spine should make a curved line. Mine makes a straight line. It's angled: I'm not like a pole, lol, but it's a straight line. What does this mean? It means that instead of the 20 lbs of my big ol' head resting on the cartilige...it is putting that weight on the discs. Not a good thing. And my 5th and 6th vertebra have very very very little space remaining between them. I guess they're the ones putting the pinch on my nerve. Those vertebra show some "wear and tear." Instead of a nice pointy corner on them as there should be, it is rounded off a bit. He showed me on this lovely poster that my neck is in the first stage of degeneration (or was it deterioration?). The good news is that it can be reversed...not quite back to normal but it can be reversed. If it had advanced to the next stage I'd have been out of luck as far as trying to reverse things. Bones would have started fusing and lovely things like that. But it's going to be a process. Not a terribly long one, but we're not talking a one visit fix.



Tomorrow I go for my third visit. I'm nearly counting down the hours. A visit mean RELIEF. How do *I* spell relief? Not ROLAIDS, but CHIROPRACTOR. It's longer, but it feels better.



Now for the precious moment I mentioned. When I typed it I thought of the Precious Moments figurines. I love those little things. I started collecting them as a teen, but I made myself promise myself not to buy them for myself. Yeah, my collection's pretty small, lol. That's okay.


But that's not the kind of precious moments I was referring to. I meant the ones when I'm tucking my kids in at night. Like when I tuck in Alli, I sit on the edge of her bed and we talk a couple minutes. Then we pray together and when it's time for me to get up and leave her room, I think she asks for a hug and a kiss somewhere around 50 times. Sometimes she comes right out and asks for 100 hugs and kisses. Makes a mommy feel very very very loved.

Then I go into Meg's room. Megan always wants to be last when getting tucked in, because she always wants me to lay down beside her and stay with her a few minutes. So I lay down by her and she cuddles up close and I pray aloud and then she usually prays silently while I just lay still and hold her close. Then when she's done she asks me to stay a couple more minutes. Sometimes, though, she is so incredibly chatty and despite my shushing she keeps talking. Like tonight. So I finally said, "I'm leaving in two minutes!" (We'd already prayed, etc.) She kept talking so I said, "59..........58........57........56...." She told me not to do that. Her last couple minutes she always tries to fall asleep before I leave. Doesn't work, but she can at least be totally relaxed. So she shushed me on that. So I stopped, counting in my head, and ok...mischievously said, "50!" and paused a moment before saying "40!" She shushed me. So I really stopped then. But I could tell she was just waiting for me to do it again. Suddenly she said, "I know what you're going to say: ...... 30!" I didn't say a word. A couple more moments passed and she said, "Are you using Mississippi's???" She sounded hopeful. Throw in some Mississippi's and you get a couple more seconds to the minute. I loved it: "Are you using Mississippi's?"

Being a mom is so cool. Tiring, but cool.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Phab Phriday Photo Phun

Ok, I know that's not what it's called but my brain isn't quite up to remembering the real title. It's Fx4. We'll leave it at that. And it can be found at CandidCarrie's blog every Phriday. It's a phun, share-your-phavorite-photos thingie...or videos...or whatnot. So I'm going with a video.

I was scouring through my files to decide what to share and I came across a video from the summer of 07. My girls were in a Summer Music Camp at their dad's church that year and Meg got to tell a joke on stage. I love watching her. She's nervous. She's excited. And she's grinning from ear to ear the whole time. But she nails it!

She and Alli are at their dad's for another day or two and so maybe that has something to do with me choosing this video. If nothing else I miss this smile.....




video

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Wishes

Hi everybody. I know there are a couple days still before Christmas, but I thought most folks would be caught up with family on Christmas day and that perhaps Christmas Eve would be the last chance to extend wishes before it's too late. And since some of you get on here before I plan to open my eyes tomorrow, lol, I decided to get this blog up tonight.

My Christmas wishes...

I wish for each and every one of you true happiness this Christmas. I hope that you all will be surrounded by people you love and who love you. I pray that the Christ of Christmas would be real to you and fill your hearts with His peace no matter what your life is dishing out these days. May that deep, settled peace bring quiet and pure joy that nothing can take away from.

I love you all and wish you the merriest of Christmases.

Love,

Hillary


Monday, December 22, 2008

Honest Scrap

My blog has been awarded the Honest Scrap Award by Sunshine B . Thank you, Sunshine! (I'm TOTALLY copying from your blog, you know...except my answers.) Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will.

There are 2 guidelines for receiving this award. One, you are to list 10 honest things about yourself. Make them interesting, even if you have to dig deep. Two, present the award to 7 other bloggers. (I honestly don't follow 7 bloggers and the ones I do are receiving the award from Sunshine already so ummmm....yeah I'm only half-receiving this thing, lol.)

1. I am a very undisciplined person...badly so.
2. I want to have more babies.
3. I keep an embarrassingly messy house. When I get it spic and span, I turn into a tyrant if anyone messes anything up. So I'm either one extreme or the other. I guess I prefer being a nice slob over being a grumpy Martha Stewart.
4. I have a very stubborn heart that doesn't like to take directions from my head.
5. I adore Greg Page and always will (please see number 4). WHAT?!! That's the honest truth. I'm just sayin' it out loud.
6. I battle with discontentment and unforgiveness.
7. I have a rather obsessive personality. Example: For years, whenever I bought a new bottle of shampoo, I had to read EVERY word on the bottle before I used it the first time...even the ingredients. I had no reason for doing it. I just did it. Even when it was the same brand as I'd had before. If the bottle was new, I read it. Same for conditioner. And my books must be in alphabetical order by authors....and then in order of when they were written.
8. I don't really care for my appearance. I'm thankful I'm healthy and all, and I like the color of my hair...and sometimes my eyes, but the rest, not so much.
9. My relationship with God is the core of who I am. And having said that, I struggle with making time with Him the priority that it needs to be...hence number 6 above.
10. I have credit card debt out of pure carelessness. A few times purchases were made simply because it was the only way to survive, but most is carelessness...and that makes me ashamed.

I know some people who aren't receiving this award from Sunshine, but they're not bloggers so I'm not going to bother listing them...but I'm thankful for them...and their courage to speak the truth.

It's About Time

It's about time I got my tip-tap-typing fingers over here to blogland. I've missed being here, but you know how the Christmas season can be. Busy, busy, busy. And ok, confession: I waste a lot of time...doing a lot of nothing. But I'm working on it.

Aaaand it's about time for Christmas. I love Christmas. Did I ever mention that? If not, then hear me now. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I love the snow (which I haven't gotten to enjoy in the last 15 years). I love the music. I love the movies. I love the decorations. And I love the nativity and the fact that Christ came to earth as a baby, lived through the crud (and the joys) that Earth has to offer, and died for me. I love babies all the time, but during Christmas the whole newborn and motherhood thing has an ultra-ooey-gooey place in my heart.

At least one evening every Christmas season, I like to turn off all the lights inside the house, plug in the tree lights and sit and watch them blink. This year I have non-blinking, all-white lights, which, frankly, I think are gorgeous, but truth be told, I miss the colorful blinkiness a bit too. But I like to just sit in silence and stare at the tree...sometimes praying...and sometimes just sitting with no particular thought. Just enjoying the calm and the peace and the aesthetics of it all. Come to think of it...it ought to be followed up by some serious Josh Groban music. Talk about your aesthetics!

Today I was out doing some shopping and seldom does there fail to be something noteworthy (on a goofy scale) about a shopping spree. Today was no different.

For instance, I didn't quite know what to make of the cashier at ToysRUs. She was a friendly young thing, and I have no problem with that. But I'm thinking that she MIGHT be missing what some of us refer to as "a filtering system." Mmhmm. First of all, if you donate a dollar to Toys for Tots, they give you this sticker ... like when you donate blood, only Christmasier..or should that be Christmas-y-er? Anyway, she doesn't hand it to me, despite my reaching out to recieve it. No, she reaches right past my hand and puts it on my shirt front. I wasn't overly comfy with that. Personal space, you know? But I blew that off. It wasn't a huge deal. And we exchanged pleasantries, wishing each other a nice day, etc. I made a comment about how busy it was and here's where the filtering system failed.... The girl put her hands on her stomach and said, "I'm feelin' all crampy, can't hardly move, so I'm just goin' side to side" and she starts swaying back and forth. I said a merry "Get Well!" and left before I got more of her medical history. It was...interesting. Very open girl, that one.

And later I was in Wal-Mart and you will NEVER guess who I saw! A real celebrity and not only did I see him, but he saw ME and SMILED!! Try not to swoon. It was Yosemite Sam. BAHAHA! Ok, he didn't have the hat and he was definitely 3-dimensional, but it was ol' Sam alright. I'd know that face anywhere.





As excited as I was to see Yosemite Sam, it in NO way compared to what I saw just two nights ago. I was sitting here in my living room and could hear horns honking. It gradually got nearer and nearer until finally I went outside to see what the hoopla was. What to my wondering eyes should appear but a parade of somewhere between 20 and 30 golfcarts, all decked out in Christmas lights. Some had stereos playing music. Some were blowing bubbles. Others were calling out, "Merry Christmas" and "Ho ho ho!" It was hilarious and so much fun!! At the suggestion and with the help of my wonder friend, Sunshine I found a youtube video that looks shockingly similar. Click here to check it out.

I'm now on break from school, which means I should have more chances to get on here. However, I bought Mamma Mia! so ummm...well...let's just say it's as addictive on dvd as it was in the theater.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Photopalooza!!

Well, apparently I didn't take into account the fact that EVERY time I post more than one photo in a post here, I feel like I'd rather be having a root canal. Because I got this crazy idea that since I was camera crazy the past 36 hours, I'd kind of do a pictorial blog, if you will. So here...we...go.

Ok, technically this was more than 36 hours ago...it was a few days ago...but Megan was waiting for her friend to pick her up to go to youth group on Wednesday and she wanted to wait outside. So she sat in the middle of our little Christmas decorations and I had to take a picture.



Yesterday (as you are well aware if you read my blog from yesterday) was Alli's birthday. Since it was a school day on her birthday I let her open presents in the morning. She chose to open two but save two for after school. Here are her bright and bushy-tailed morning present pictures...






And while we're on the present kick, let's go ahead with the pictures we took in the evening...a present from Grandma...and her so pathetic-looking birthday cupcake. Notice the crazy woman look in her eye in this next photo. It's because she was TOTALLY surprised. She wanted that doll SOOOO bad and thought she had to wait until Christmas for it. And Christmas is a whole 20 days after her birthday! Her big sister has a Bitty Baby from American Girl dolls that she got when Allison was born. Meg named her doll "Baby Allison." So she had a baby Alli and so did I. Baby Allison is sacred and little sister fingers are very very seldom allowed to touch her. So getting this baby TOTALLY rocked in Alli's opinion. She has been named "Abby."






Now we can back up a little. Right after school, Megan had a performance in the school choir at Saks 5th Avenue. That place is so far out of my league I don't even know if I spell it right.










Before the show, the makeup people in Saks were putting makeup on the girls. They ran out of time before the show began (because only one of the ladies was doing it...the others were busy standing around and chatting...not to be criticizing or anything, but they missed out on the fun. The girls thought it was the coolest thing ever and you could see the "magic" in their eyes.) Meg was one who didn't get hers done, so after they sang I took her back over and asked if she could still have it done and the lady was very sweet to oblige. Meg loved it!





"Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back."


...so I took the girls photo in front of the window... (I love Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken.")



We went home after that... in a round-about way and settled into some nice vegging...taking breaks to open that fabulous baby doll and blow out the trick candles (mwahahaha). And while we vegged, watching tv, playing on the computer...what did my 10-year-old do? Sometimes a picture tells it best...especially when words seriously fail...




You're not alone if you said, "What on earth?" Meg likes to glue things. This time it was cotton swabs, pinto beans and glitter glue. Welcome to my world. :D

And sometime in the midst of all that fun, I went into the kitchen. I went to get something from under the sink when I noticed that the floor of the cabinet was sloping way down back by the wall. I glanced up and saw that the pipes had come unconnected. Not broken...just unconnected. Apparently one of those little compression ring thingies just kind of gave up without telling me. And for who knows HOW long and HOW many garbage disposal runnings...all that water and "stuff" has been draining down and soaking into the particle board. I KNEW I smelled something but couldn't imagine what or where it was. NOW I know.

I rent. I COULD have called the land lord. But ummm...I was a little behind on doing my dishes and thought I could pass on the mortification of a repairman coming into my house when I couldn't use the sink. (I thought the pipe was broken broken, not just...undone.) So I decided I could soooooooooooo do it myself. And well...I wouldn't recommend my work to others, but I did it...and it's functional...and...and...and...well...I took photos.
The disaster...
The gathering of supplies...
Made these little T thingies for support under the bottom of the cabinet...

Put them in and put the first sheet of plywood in....all the way back into one of those spooky, hard-to-reach corners that no one likes to use because no matter what you put back there, you'll NEVER want to dig it out...

And voila! It's done and full of junk again!! Okay, I could easily get by with only about 4 or 5 of the products under there, but well....... Yes I should either paint the plywood or maybe line it with contact paper or something but am I going to? Well....not anytime soon.

It really wasn't a bad job. The worst thing was dealing with one of the workers at Home Depot. He was wanting to make sure I got the right sizes of plywood before he cut it, so he was asking all these questions. Well I had done the measuring and was confident before I left home. Then he started firing questions at me. After he asked one of his questions, I answered and along the very same lines tried to tell him another detail about the cabinet and he INTERRUPTED me and said, "Let ME ask the questions." I almost said, "Let ME take my business to Lowe's." But I didn't. I ended up going home and checking it AGAIN, (I was right to begin with! Yay!) When I went back, a different man who was VERY friendly came and helped me. So all in all, not a big deal. Not that I want to do it AGAIN, but not a big deal.

Happy Weekend everyone....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

It's Friday again...and you know what that means! Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiesta! Well, Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, anyway.

But we're having another fiesta today, too. Alli's turning 8 and so it's time to partaaaaay. And so for my submission to the fabulous Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, hosted by CandidCarrie over here, I thought I'd share a photo or two of my birthday girl.

My sweet baby...

Lovin' her "makeover," courtesy of the innocent-looking ::cough:: sister behind her...

Messy, but baby-sweet. I love that little face and the baby fingers. She still has baby fingers. :)


Always at the height of fashion...

Lookin' sporty! (I deleted this, turned it around right, reuploaded and the stubborn thing still fell over sideways...so it's stayin' that way. See if I care, you jpeg file, you!)

And a couple weeks ago at the ripe old age of (Almost) eight!

What a blessing this child is to me. God gave me two very special girls and I'm not choosing favorites, but I'll tell you some of the things about her I love the most. First would be her gentle nature. She knows how to have fun and get crazy, but she's been the little shy, gentle soul who wants to cuddle. No talk necessary. Just be. That's about all she asks.
I have loved watching her grow. It's been a fascinating adventure. And I look forward to the next hundred years of her life, too. (Hey, I'm hoping for as much as I can!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blogging: The Great Controversy

Sound dramatic? "THE GREAT CONTROVERSY".... Ok, maybe not so much. But a bit of a ... should I say "a dilemma?" I'm not even sure if that's right.

Here's the deal. I like to write. I like to write a lot. I like to write as much and as often as I can. But really. I haven't done much writing around here. I haven't done much around anywhere. And unlike some of you, it's not because of a busy schedule. I mean...yeah, I have plenty to do, but I'd make time for blogging late every evening, so time isn't the issue.

So what IS the issue? It's my mood, for lack of better explanation. I'd love to write, but I guess I'm just really struggling these days and I don't want to come on here and be all wah, wah, wah all the time. So instead, if I don't have some great blogging idea, I just don't write. But then I feel discouraged about that because I WANT TO WRITE, dang it! lol

I continue my struggle with motivation. I am having more and more trouble just getting up and staying on top of everything. And I don't know any other way to say this, but I feel really down about me. I don't mean that I'm having a pity party, it's more like just seeing facts about myself and they do NOT please me. Some things are things I could/should change if I could get it together and go for it. Other things are just about who I am and the way others perceive me...and there's been a real pattern there all my life. Come highs or come lows, those things don't change and so it's easy to just believe others' opinions. What else is there to go on?

I also struggle with discontentment...and the fact that I feel discontented. I am blessed. I know that. I read our Thanksgiving list. (Did you? lol) But I struggle with who/where/what I am right now...in the sense of the uncontrollable. Things I wish for, dream of, and the time table of it all...frustrate me and leave me unsatisfied. And I KNOW this is wrong. Some would debate with me whether or not it's wrong, but I truly believe it is. And at the very least it's not the best choice. Choosing contentment and working toward better things is different than just sitting back and feeling dissatisfied and discontented. And that's a struggle for me right now. I'm not sure how I'm going to work through that one...or the motivation thing...or some real changes I'd like to make in me, for my health and for my "happiness."

So that's where I am right now. And that's why I'm not writing on here as much as I'd like. I didn't mean to come on and have a pity party or be a downer (which as I explained is why I've not been blogging very regularly lately.) And yet, explaining myself kind of did that anyway.

Just wanted to share. Maybe something good and funny will come up soon and I'll share it. Hey, we've got birthday #8 for my Al-gal this Friday. It'll be ... well, maybe I'll save that for Friday.