Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Back" to Normal...Well, almost...

Last Tuesday, I woke up early for some unknown reason.  So, I decided that it was a sign that it was time to test out the old hip and go for a run.  I haven't run since the Warrior Dash, I've kept it just to roller blading and swimming.  I went for my run, did a little over 2 miles and then came home, because I didn't want to push my luck since my hip wasn't hurting at all.  I got in the shower, ate some breakfast and then watched the news, waiting for the kids to wake up.  Eventually, they did, and when I got up to get them, I noticed a dull ache in my back that hadn't been there before.  For the rest of the day the ache got a bit worse.  Fortunately we had our weekly session at the chiropractor that afternoon.  After being interrogated on whether or not I had stretched (the answer was yes) and if I had done any heavy lifting or turned weird or fallen in the shower (all no's), Dr. Rich concluded that I had definitely done a number on my low back (hooray for me).  He spent a good 15 minutes adjusting me.  Then he told me to ice it- no heat, and to come back on Thursday.

Wednesday morning, I woke up at 4 AM and I tried to move.  The pain had gotten incredibly worse and I couldn't figure out how to get out of the bed without making it hurt more.  I had felt this pain before, and I remember it well.  My junior year at Bethel, I had torn my psoas muscle in my hip/back and had spent all summer recovering from that.  Somehow I got myself on my stomach and slid out of bed onto my knees and crawled (literally) to the bathroom.  At this point, the room was spinning and I was sweating from the pain, so I stopped and laid down on the bathroom floor, which was a bad decision, because then I had to get back up on my hands and knees.  I thought about yelling for Ryan to help, but then I remembered that he could sleep through a heavy metal rock concert in our bedroom.  I eventually got my business done and made it back to bed.  When Ryan got up for work, I had him help me get up and get downstairs.  By the time he left for work, I had figured out that standing was the best and as long as I kept an ice pack on my back and tried not to move, I could get through the day.  Unfortunately, with kids, you can't be still, so that wasn't going to work.  I called the chiropractor and they got me in for a morning adjustment.  It was a pain filled drive to the office but the adjustment helped and I was able to stand up when I left.  I was told to come back in the afternoon, and that was a smart decision on his part, because a few hours after the adjustment the pain was back in full force.  I was biting my lip and cheeks with any movement and trying not to cry when I took any steps or made any type of movement.

As the week went on and I continued with my "2 a day" adjustments, my back got better.  Ice packs were still my best friend, and I traveled everywhere with them.  By Sunday I was feeling really good and contemplated going to the gym for a swim, but Ryan wouldn't let me saying that it probably wasn't a good idea to push myself after hurting my back so badly.  Monday I felt even better, but then I had a little setback.  Chili Dawg had to have surgery on his ear, and when I went to pick him up, he was still a bit loopy from the anesthetic which if you have 4 legs isn't such a big deal, but when you only have 3 legs it's a bit harder to walk.  He fell a couple times leaving the vet, and I had to pick him up and get him back on his 3 legs, which irritated my back.  I'm sure you're asking why didn't I send Ryan to do that?  Because, Chili is my dog.  I didn't get to be with him for his amputation since that doctor was much closer to Ryan's work, so I was going to make sure he knew I was there for him for this surgery.  Plus, look at how pathetic he looks in this picture.
Yesterday, my back felt good.  I was tired of not getting to be active, so I put the kids in the jogger, strapped on my back brace (ugh!), and put on my skates.  We only did 1.2 miles, because I didn't want to hurt myself.  Then, I iced my back for a while.  When we saw the chiropractor that afternoon, he was pleased with how my back had done after several days of no adjustments, and even more impressed that I went roller blading.  I went skating again with the kids this morning, the same distance and my back still feels decent.  I still have the ache, but the sharp pains I felt on Wednesday and Thursday are now gone.   I don't think I'll go for a run for quite a while, because whatever I did to my back was not quite worth it.  For now I'll stick with rollerblading and swimming, it seems to be my new thing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finchy & Juliana...

Auntie Jenny passed on some squeaky toys to Finchy and Chili Dawg recently.  Ryan and I immediately labeled them as "outside" toys.  Finchy has a habit of squeaking the squeaky toys over and over and over and over and over and, well you get the point.  Even with the heat this week, Finchy has wanted to spend lots of time outside with his squeaky toys, so we have had to make a few exceptions with the squeakies so that he doesn't suffer from heat exhaustion.  Every day for a couple hours, I let him bring one squeaky into the house and squeak it to his hearts' content until it drives me nuts and I have to send it back outside. 

One of the reasons we love Finchy is because of his gentleness with our kids.  Boxers are known as good family dogs, and I think the video below with Juliana will prove that as well.  He's a sweet boy, even if he couldn't learn a new name when we rescued him.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Arizona Vacation...

A few weeks ago we got to visit my in-laws in Arizona.  We had a great time out there, and got to do a lot of fun things!

Ryan and his dad were smart.  Since we flew into Phoenix, they decided that it would probably work better for the kids for us to spend the night in Phoenix before driving to Tucson.  They were right- Juliana screamed for the last 30 minutes of the plane ride (it was magical).  After we ate lunch, we went to the SEA Life aquarium.  It was really cool!  The kids loved it!  It was set up kind of in a maze format so you moved from room to room, and some of the aquariums had "bubbles" so that you could stick your head up into the fish tank and look in on the fish.  One of the rooms allowed you to put your hands in the tanks and touch anemones, starfish, sea cucumbers.  I wasn't sure if Juliana would do it, with her sensory issues, but she put her hands and arms all the way into the tank and didn't want to leave that room.  The favorite room for the kids was this HUGE fishbowl and swimming in the fishbowl were all sorts of stingrays that would splash the water.  You could view them from up high, and crawl into a bubble and look into the tank- that was Noah's favorite part. 

After we left the aquarium, we went to the Squaw Peak Resort to check in.  Fortunately, all of Ryan's traveling had paid off and we stayed there on some of his Hilton Points (I finally found an upside for him being out of town).  We quickly got the kids into their swimsuits and sunscreened them up, and then met Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie Diane and went to the pool.  I seriously think that if Noah was a dog he would be a Portuguese Water Dog, because that kid loves the water!  The kids finally crashed (they did really well, since we had to get them up at 4 AM to go to the airport) and we got them dinner and put them to bed before Ryan and I crashed.  We were sure they would get up early the next day, but we were wrong- they were tired!  Noah slept 13 hours and Juliana slept 15.5 hours!  Wow!  After breakfast, we spent the rest of the morning at the pool before we checked out and made the drive to Tucson.

One of the things Noah told Grandpa that he wanted to do while we were there was to "run up a mountain".  So, Grandpa found us a smaller mountain that he thought Noah could hike up.  We didn't end up running up the mountain, but Noah hiked his way all the way to the top!  We only had to stop once, because his shoe came off when his foot got stuck, but he walked all the way with very little help from me.  Juliana tried to walk, but Ryan ended up carrying her most of the way up.  She tried to walk down too, but I ended up carrying her down (Ryan had the easier job on the way up).  One thing we did learn on this day, was that Juliana still overheats very quickly, so this was about all time she could be outside for when it's really hot.

We also visited the International Wildlife Museum, which was pretty cool too.  It had animals from all over the world.  The kids liked it alot.  One of their favorite parts was this tunnel that let them pretend they were ferrets and they crawled through it multiple times.  Juliana's favorite was walking under the giraffe.  Noah's favorite was the Gila Monster- at Grandma and Grandpa's, there was a lizard that Noah named Coco and would leave water out- it wasn't a Gila Monster, but that's Noah's favorite lizard now.  That night Grandpa broke out the Karaoke machine and Noah and Juliana "sang" to us on the microphone and danced for us as well.

One of my favorite places to visit when we are in Tucson is the Desert Museum.  Since we learned early on that Juliana overheats quickly, we kept her "cool" by soaking her shirt in the icy cold water fountains that they have throughout the museum.  I also would take her hat and fill it up with water and dump it on her head.  This way we were able to see more of the museum without her "melting" and we didn't have to worry about her body temperature rising quickly.  She wouldn't even shudder when we put the icy cold shirt back on her.  The kids really liked the museum, especially the hummingbird habitat, the raccoon (because he ran right up to them), the squirrel (because again he ran right up to them), and the cave.
Another part of the Desert Museum that the kids really liked was the digging for fossils area.  I think Noah could have spent the rest of the day there with Grandpa just digging in the sand for the hidden fossils, but after uncovering 3 of them, we had to move on- it was getting close to lunch and if you know Ryan, you know how he gets when he's hungry.

As we left the Desert Museum, Auntie Diane surprised the kids with Prickly Pear Punch.  It was this pretty pink color.  Both kids LOVED it, and Noah is still talking about how he drank it and how it comes from a cactus.  The flight home from Phoenix was a bit more magical than the flight to Phoenix with Juliana screaming for about AN HOUR after the MEAN stewardess FORCED me to buckle her into her seat when she was mostly asleep in my lap because we hit turbulence.  If she had just listened to me and let me continue to hold the mostly sleeping child, everyone would have had a much more peaceful flight, but I'm just a mom, so what would I know?

Forgetting about the plane rides, we had an awesome time out west!  Thank you Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie for showing us such a nice time!  We love you and miss you!