The Heat is On ~ by Sam

Both literally and figuratively, the heat is on this week.

After learning recently that we have a termite infestation to go along with the ants, pantry moths, and occasional earwig that we have been dealing with since we moved in to the house since we moved here in December of 2012, we have decided to bite the bullet and have the house tented and fumigated.  I HATE having to make that decision, but, given our situation, it seems like our best bet.  So, this Thursday, we will move in to a hotel room until Sunday.  This means, we have to prepare for fumigation, which includes not only packing for the hotel, boarding the cats and leaving the fish with a friend, but also packing up all of the food that is not in factory-sealed containers.  It’s a lot to think about, and really, a lot to do.

There’s only one problem: I can’t do a lot of the physical stuff involved in the preparation, because I might have broken my scaphoid when I fell on the tiled floor in the kitchen last Saturday.  I go in for a follow-up about that on Wednesday, so I will have more information right when it is too late for me to do much to help get ready for Thursday’s big event.  Right now, I am hunting and pecking with one hand, because it hurts when i try to use the fingers on the hand that belongs to the injured wrist, which, I’m thinking, is probably not a great sign.

I went online to read about the type of injury I might have, hoping to find encouraging news about how rare it is, and how it is much more likely that it’s just badly sprained.  What I found, instead was that, in a fall on to an outstretched hand, a sprained wrist is actually rather rare, and it is much more likely to result in exactly the kind of fracture the doctor at Urgent Care believes I have.

Stupid internet.

The good news is I had the exact same injury a couple of years ago, in the other wrist.  So, at least i developed some strategies for negotiating the world one-handed.  If I end up in a cast again, I am definitely investing in an electric can opener.  It’s the one thing I never got last time, and it really would have helped.

The other kind of “heat” that’s on is the burning pain in my left foot and ankle that comes with CRPS.  CRPS is a nervous system disorder, and I was diagnosed with it last Fall, after an injury in my foot.  Basically, it causes chronic pain.  There are days when my foot just feels like it’s broken, but I am supposed to keep using it as normally as possible, so I don’t lose the use of it.  There is also swelling, discolouration, and a burning sensation.  I mean, really burning.  Like I’m being attacked by fire ants (which actually happened once, when Justice was a baby, and we still l lived in Phoenix, so I know what that feels like.  I don’t, typically, have a lot of that burning pain, but, since we returned from our trip to Maryland in early August, it has occurred far more frequently than usual.  My doctor upped my nightly medication, and has prescribed a Ketamine gel, which is exorbitantly expensive at my usual pharmacy, so I will be checking Costco pharmacy tomorrow for a better deal.

Then, there’s the literal heat.  it’s hot.  To quote the film Biloxi Blues, “It’s like Africa hot.  Tarzan couldn’t stand this kind of hot.”  In truth, having lived in the Phoenix area, I can say, it’s hot, but it’s not that big a deal.  We’re just not used to days on end of above 100℉ on end here in Sunny So-Cal.  We’re not used to it being hot even at night.  Usually, the sun goes dow, and the temperature drops by, like 30 degrees.  Not lately.  It’s just hot.  All the time.  Having my arm and thumb in a stiff, thick black brace 24/7 is especially uncomfortable in the heat but it beats not having a brace, so I can deal.  The plants outside are not thrilled with the heat, but I think they’ll make it.  The forecast calls for a drop in temperatures ~ and maybe even some rain! ~ this week.

With the fumigation looming before us, I know it’s not going to be the easiest week of our lives, but we will get through it, and we’ll get to enjoy swimming in the pool, watching movies, ordering in food, and all of the other little luxuries that come with staying in a hotel.  It will be a nice break, I hope, after a couple of stressful weeks.

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Oops! I did it again. ~ by Sam

If you were following my “shorts” posts, you might have noticed I never posted the promised “graduation outfit” picture.  I didn’t forget.  It’s just that some things came up…and some went down…on to the tile floor…in the kitchen…with a resounding thud…and probably some cursing.  Just the one thing, really.  It was me.  I went down on to the tile floor in the kitchen, breaking my fall ~ albeit not very effectively, as it turned out ~ with my left hand.

It hurt, so I shook it off and took some Naproxen, because that’s what you do, right?

It still hurt, So I wrapped it in an ace bandage.

Three days later, with round-the-clock Naproxen and ace bandage, it still hurt, but I figured that was normal, given that I fell on it.  What wasn’t normal was the inability to grip things, turn doorknobs, depress soap dispensers…

So, I went in to Urgent Care.  Ah, Urgent Care ~ my sterile, uncomfortably-furnished home away from home!

I have a “suspected scaphoid fracture,” which means the doctor believes my scaphoid is fractured, but it didn’t show up on the x-ray.  This is the exact same type of fracture I had on the right side a couple of years ago, when I fell in the driveway.  I have mad skills, y’all.  I can fall anywhere, and I almost always break something.

I have been instructed to return in one week for a follow-up exam, and possibly more x-rays.  Oh, boy.

In the meantime, I get to wear this incredibly uncomfortable brace, night and day.  It’s very difficult to sleep in this thing, so last night was super fun.  However, the receptionist in radiology gave me little packets of graham crackers, so I guess it isn’t all bad.

Eventually, I will get around to wearing that new outfit, and I’ll be sure to have someone snap a picture.  In the meantime, a toast ~ “To tile floors and wide-legged pants!  Clearly, you’ve bested me.  Well done.”Photo on 9-10-15 at 7.58 AM

Short Stop ~ by Sam

Well, today is Day 8 of my “short” experiment.  I think it’s officially the last day.  When I started, I counted 9 pairs of shorts in my drawer, but I have since realized that one of my pairs of “shorts” is not shorts at all.  They actually come to just below my knee.  Does that make them clamdiggers?  Whatever they are, they are not shorts, so they won’t be included in this series.  They will continue their rotation in my wardrobe, because I actually kind of like them, but I won’t delude myself into believing they are shorts.

I have learned a lot about myself (and a lot about shorts) in the past week and half or so.  I would like to believe I have a better handle on how the way I see myself differs from the way others see me.  Just by taking and sharing a series of photographs of myself, I have learned that, when I look at a photograph, I might get a glimpse of what others see.  It’s like, by snapping a photo, I can step outside of my brain, and view myself more objectively.  And you know what?  I look okay in shorts.

I have also learned a lot about how my kids perceive me, and how the things I say and do affect how they see themselves.  I have been open about my struggle with eating disorders, and my self-esteem and body image issues.  I have always been aware of the impact my attitudes and behaviors have on my children; and I have tried very hard to make sure that they know they are, each one of them, perfect, and gorgeous and important ~ that they are strong, and brilliant, and their potential is limitless.  Hopefully, I am doing an okay job.  At this point in time, they 17, 15 and 12 year old girls; and I think it is crucial that we keep the dialogue going about these issues.  Body shaming is not allowed in our home ~ not toward others, and not toward ourselves.  The girls are very good at this.  It is I who still need work.  I’ll throw out the odd, “Ugh, my legs look gross,” or “My neck is so skinny,” without even thinking about it.  Then, someone says to one of them, “You’re just like your mom!”  Oh.  I see.  I see why it is important now to talk myself down.  Because they are like me, every one of them, in one way or another; and, when someone says, “You’re just like you’re mom,” they should know that it’s a compliment.  They should know that I feel flattered that anyone thinks I am at all like them.  They, for the record, are AWESOME.

It matters.  Every word matters.  Whether it is about how we look, or something else about ourselves, it matters.  When we say, “I’m too skinny,” “I’m too fat” (or “My hair’s too frizzy,” “My thighs are flabby,” etc.) and mean “…and that makes me not good enough, or beautiful enough,” there’s someone listening who’s thinking, “Well, shoot.  If she’s not good enough, what am I?” If my daughter is told her legs are just like mine, and she’s only ever heard me say negative things about them, what is she going to think of herself?  I hope she will think, “Mama’s wrong.  Her legs are great, and so are mine!”

Even if you don’t have kids, it matters what you say.  It matters what you say to yourself.  I read recently that smiling at your image in a mirror for just a few seconds a day (10 or 15 ~ I can’t remember.  Do it for 15, just to be sure!) can completely change the way we see ourselves, bolstering our self-esteem and sense of self.  How great is that?

When we were looking at pictures and talking about why I embarked on this particular journey, Hallie, who is 15 now, said, “Perspective is everything.”  She explained how, sometimes, if she is looking down at herself, she might think, “My stomach sticks out way too much!” but then, when she looks at a photograph, she can see that it doesn’t.  It just that, when you bend to look at yourself, your body changes shape.  Like when I sit down, and my thighs spread, or, even as thin as I am, my belly pooches out ever so slightly.  It’s normal, and the only reason people in magazines don’t have that thigh spread or belly pooch is because someone photoshopped it out of the final image.  So, yes, perspective IS everything; but I think that’s true not just as it refers to the physical angle from which we view ourselves, but from where we are in our heads, as well.  I am still trying to teach my brain to see my body as it really is.  I don’t know if it will ever catch on, but at least, now, I have a more clear understanding of the fact that, sometimes, it doesn’t.

Well, I guess that’s all for now.  I will come back and post pics of my “graduation outfit,” which I plan to wear sometime this weekend.  Before I go, I will add these pictures.

Remember when I started this thing, and I talked about how I had put on shorts to go out with Shane and the kids, then decided I didn’t like the way my thighs looked, and gone back and changed into longer ones that covered my thighs?  Well, I found some pictures from that day.  These are the shorts I ended up wearing.  Like the jeans shorts from yesterday, these are a length with which I feel okay.  I still feel a little self-conscious about my knees (why?  They’re knees.  They look like knees), but I will wear shorts this length far more often than I will wear short shorts.

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The funny thing is, when I look at these pictures, I think, “well, those aren’t really the most flattering pants, are they?”  My mom has been following these posts, and she told me today that, after looking at all of these posts, she really thinks the shorter shorts look best on me.  I think she might be right.  I am still trying to make peace with that idea, and I do still like these shorts (I mean, come on ~ they have little skulls and crossbones embroidered all over them!), but the shorter shorts are, as hard as it is for me to say this, more flattering.  Isn’t that weird?  I never thought I would say that.  But here, you be the judge.

These are the shorts I started to wear that day.  I changed out of them then, and it was hard for me to commit to wearing them all day today; but I did, and, now, I think I like them. Well, I always liked them ~ I bought them because they have tiny flying seagulls all over them, and I love seagulls.  If you don’t love seagulls, you should probably read Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”  Then, you will love at least one seagull ~ but now, I think I like them on me.

photo 1-1

The lighting was kind of weird, but I decided it looked cool, and you can still see the shorts.

photo 2-1

So, on that note, I will leave you with a quote from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, because it is on my mind:
“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”

Back in Black ~ by Sam

It’s gonna be another short one ~ haha!  Get it?  SHORT one? ~ but I have way too much going on to spend much time writing.

Found out today that there was a music parent meeting at Kaia’s school last night.  Missed that.

Went to take a shower and found it full of ants.  Seriously?  So, yeah.  Ants and termites.  How fun!  After much research on the subject, we have scheduled a home fumigation.  I am not thrilled about this, but it is the only way to make sure the termites are all gone.  It also means we get to spend three days in a hotel, and we love hotels (note how I am trying valiantly not to consider the cost of all this).

Also, I wore shorts.  These are cut off Dickies.  I vaguely remember that the pants ripped somehow, so I cut them off.  You will note that I left them longish.  I also wore one of my favourite shirts.  So, here ya go:

In this picture, I am making a goofy face, and Snoopy’s doghouse (AKA our cuckoo clock) is on my head.  Not really.  It’s really hanging on the wall, but wasn’t standing here for the picture a good idea?  It’s like a festive little hat.

photo 1

Oh, and the house is messy, and you know what?  I don’t even care!  I’m so done, y’all.  I mean: D-O-N-E.  DONE.

Hallie took another pic, from the back, so you could see why this is one of my favourite shirts.  I saw this online a while back, mentioned how much I liked it, and my mom bought it for me, because she’s awesome like that.

photo 2

In case you can’t read it, it says, “It’s not the size of the girl in the fight.  It’s the size of the fight in the girl.”

Yep.

In Brief ~ by Sam

No, I am not wearing briefs in this post.  Well, I might be, but there won’t be any pictures.

I didn’t wear shorts over the weekend.  We went to a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, and The Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival on Sunday, so shorts weren’t really going to cut it.  My plan was to go back to the shorts thing today, but then the day got away from me.

I started out by rearranging the furniture.  Then, there was a lot of running around, grocery shopping and kid pick-up.  By the time I got home from picking up Hallie, the groceries had been in the car for a while; but that was okay, because I had planned for that, with an insulated bag and an ice pack.  Or so I thought.  Somehow, a can of crescent rolls had missed being put in the chilled bag.  So, when I opened the trunk ~ pop!  The can just popped opened, and the dough came oozing out one end.  It still felt cold to the touch, so I decided to bake them.  Luckily, we had some Smart Dogs and cheese; so I wrapped up “pigs in blankets” for Justice and Hallie and rolled up the rest of the crescent rolls. and baked ’em.

Then, I got back to organizing the room.  And putting the stuff back on the shelves I had moved.  And realizing that I had moved one piece of furniture into a place where it wouldn’t work.  And leaving it there, anyway.  For now.  Then, I remembered that needed to balance the books and pay bills…but I didn’t do it, because, just then, there was a knock at the door.  Two gentlemen had arrived to do a termite inspection.  We’d noticed what we thought were signs of termites a few days ago, and called to have it checked out.  I wasn’t expecting them today, but what do I know?  I told them to go ahead and inspect.

We were right.  We have termites.  We can have a spot treatment, or we can have the house tented.  Tenting will mean moving out for 3 days, boarding the cats, leaving the fish with friends, and then cleaning up after.  It also means the company will guarantee that the house will be termite-free.

*sigh*

So, today, I never put on my shorts.  Or made dinner.  (It’s okay ~ we had plenty of leftovers.)  Or finished organizing the bedroom.

Being first-time homeowners (we bought in December of 2012), we have very little experience with…well…home ownership.

So, we have a big decision to make tonight.  I will probably be wearing jammies.

On the up side, while rearranging and organizing the bedroom, I found the portrait of me Kaia drew for Mother’s Day.  I think it’s pretty awesome.

MeByKaia'15