Monday, May 23, 2011

Post-Surgery Update

Rockin' the hospital gown. Why hasn't this taken off as a fashion staple? I think the tent look suits me....
I'm back home after my surgery. (Which was actually septoplasty with a turbinate cautery, not a septoplasty with a turbinectomy as I had previously thought. In case you were wondering-- I thought you were). I woke up bright and early this morning to head to the hospital. Last night my mom told one of her friends about my upcoming septoplasty. Her friend warned her that she'd had that same surgery and the recovery was awful-- they pack your nose with gauze and your head feels awful for days on end. So on that happy note, I headed off this morning with some pretty low expectations for my day.

Hangin' with the ice pack post-surgery. It kind of looks like a polar bear mask with a red nose.
I got prepped for the surgery and they gave me some Versed to help me relax. Dave asked me if I felt anything and I told him I didn't and then (apparently...I don't remember anything) clonked out about 30 seconds later. I woke up what seemed like about 15 minutes later in the post-op recovery room with no memory of being in the operating room whatsoever. I asked the nurses about 5 times whether the operation was really over already. I was a bit woozy after the operation, but overall I really didn't feel half bad at all. It helped that they didn't pack my nose. (The doctor said they try to avoid it when they can because people-- and I quote-- hate it with a purple passion.) Instead, I have a moustache-style device to hold a gauze pad under my nose. It looks awkward, but I'll take it over having my nose packed full of gauze. 
Sportin' my moustache-style gauze-holder. I've never had a bandaid that I put on around my ears before....
So after a calm, relaxing day-- including a medically-induced nap-- I'm back at home watching movies and dinking on my computer. I may not be feeling so great when the local anesthetic they used on my nose wears off, but for now at least I'm liking my excuse to sit on the couch and be a bit lazy. Kind of like my experience having my wisdom teeth out, it's kinda nice every once in a while to have something that forces you to stop everything and take a break. Even if that break involved hospital food. (Honestly, it wasn't so very bad....)

Pickin' at my deluxe hospital meal. Actually the fruit plate was pretty awesome.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My First-Ever Turbinectomy!

Tomorrow is my first-ever surgery. I am having a septoplasty and turbinectomy-- which sounds like I'm having a septic tank fixed and a turban removed but actually means that I am having a deviated septum in my nose corrected and an enlarged lower turbinate reduced-- with the end result hopefully being that I will be able to breathe normally for the first time in years. I was supposed to have this surgery 11 years ago but I procrastinated it because I didn't want to take time off work and I was afraid of going under general anesthesia. So hooray for ending the procrastination and finally getting around to doing it. I haven't been able to breathe clearly through my nose for years, so I am excited to get this over with. I think.

It isn't a major surgery (although I've heard that the only minor surgery is one that happens to someone else) but I'm still a bit nervous. The general anesthesia thing still doesn't excite me-- although it is much more exciting than the alternative. I tend to underplay things in my mind so I'm sure tomorrow I will be hating life and feeling crappy, but hopefully in a week or two I will have be feeling more normal AND be able to breathe through my nose for a change. Here's hoping.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Father Son Campout

Last night Dave took Jared and Jackson camping at the beach for a church Father/Son Campout. I told Jared to pack a change of clothes into a bag and he did-- along with a package of hot dogs and a half-open bag of giant marshmallows. (I wish I had a picture of the stuff in his bag amid the pajamas and socks...)

Today they are playing on the beach before coming home. These photos are brought to you courtesy of emails from Dave's Blackberry. (Isn't technology amazing?) I love how Jared is dressed in his swimsuit on the gray, freezing Oregon beach. At least he's prepared for the best.... :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Know It's Been a Bad Day When...

You know it's been a bad day when, you drive down the street and stop when you realize your son's shoes are still on the hood of the car where you set them five minutes earlier....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Mommy-Son Date

A while back Dave got called out of town unexpectedly. I already had a babysitter set up for our Friday night date and wasn't looking forward to the prospect of going out by myself. I decided to see if Jared wanted to go out for a "Mommy/Son" date. He wasn't sure if he liked this idea. He was initially just hoping to just get a Slurpee as bribery for (back from when we went tubing during Spring Break) taking Jackson in his tube while I dealt with a meltdown from another child. (I'm seeing a pattern here of using Slurpees for snow-related bribery.) 

I gave him his choice and he finally decided to go with the "Night Out with Mom" option. He decided on dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, but first we grabbed two cupcakes to save for dessert at the "Sweetest Thing" cupcake stand before they closed. Jared got his favorite, Pepperoni Pizza, while I got a Pear/Gorgonzola concoction that had salad greens on the top.
Jared looking appropriately "gourmet."

Pear and gorgonzola pizza.
After dinner, we got a chocolate to munch on at Leonidas and then strolled around the shopping center. Jared even humored me enough to let me go in Gymboree and buy a couple of things for the younger kids. We finished off the evening by browsing at Borders for a while, finally selecting a Sudoku book for Jared and a crossword puzzle book for me. Jared was super-excited to find a huge book of sudoku puzzles for only five dollars. We ate our cupcakes in the car before heading home.

Jared decided that he actually liked this concept of a night out with mom and bragged to Camryn the next day about how fun it was and how many cool things we got to do. He even suggested that Dave and I alter our Friday night date schedule to only every other week-- so we could take turns on the off weeks taking him or Camryn out for dinner instead. I told him that was a really good idea but Dad and I still needed our time together. We settled on an alternate arrangement of planning to do occasional parent/child dates.

I thought spending some one on one time would be a "good idea," but I was surprised at what good company Jared was and how much fun we had. It's really fun to observe as your kids get older and become people with opinions and interests and things to say. Maybe it's just that I'm grateful that I haven't gotten to the stage where my children are embarrassed to be seen in public with me, but I really loved having the chance to spend an evening with Jared.

Bring on the Power Tools!

Okay, power tools may be a bit of an exaggeration. But I need to brag about my latest home improvement project -- and it did involve the use a battery-powered drill in its completion. That counts, right?

So I typically have kept all of my necklaces in the jewelry drawer of my dresser. This drives me crazy because they often get tangled, it's difficult to see/remember what's in there, and so on and so forth. So I decided I needed a new method of jewelry storage that kept my necklaces both neat and visible. Enter Target and an battery-powered drill....

After checking out several necklace tree options and rejecting them because they didn't hold enough necklaces (or were just plain ugly), I settled on the idea of creating a place to hang necklaces on my wall using several dark-wood finished key rails from Target. I bought four of them at $3.99 each. 

I waited until Addy was down for a nap. Then, getting a step stool and engaging the ready help of my handy-dandy four-year-old, I set to work.

I eyeballed where I wanted the rails to go on the wall (I even brought out the level as a nod to my engineer husband, but did not go so far as measuring out exactly where it would be centered on the wall. Sorry, Dave.), marked out where I needed the holes with a pencil and then (gulp) drilled pilot holes into the wall, followed by screws holding the rails in place.

I repeated this process four times and got the following result: neat, tidy, visible and attractive necklace storage.
 As you can see, the dark wood even matches the finish on the mirror and dresser that are next to it.
Jackson proudly displaying the result of "our" effort. All for a grand total of $16.96 and one afternoon spent on a step stool with a four-year-old.

Poetry for Mother's Day

Jared's Mother's Day poem: (I think he has me pegged...)
Fun, Loving, Inspiring
Mother of Jared, Camryn, Jackson, Addy
Lover of relaxation and choral music
Who feels proud every time I make a new recipe
Who needs everything to be clean and organized
Who gives love and activity
Who fears a screaming Jackson
Who would like to see her children playing nicely once together

Moonstruck by Bunk

A while back Dave and I headed to Portland for a date (as we often do) because I had bought a Groupon for a ballroom dance lesson. Since we didn't have long for dinner, we ran into the evening outpost of Bunk Sandwiches on SE Water Ave. (it is open from 3 pm until late... there is a different daytime location on SE Morrison). 
The Bunk outpost on SE Water Ave.
Bunk is a Portland sandwich shop that uses high-quality ingredients to make some gut-busting bread and meat combinations. Or to use their own tagline, "With a name like Bunk, things are only bound to get better." They lean toward heavy-duty, meaty creations. This is not the place to get a delicate bite. Nor is it the place your cardiologist would recommend.... But for sheer oomph and greasy goodness, oh yeah.

Pork Belly Cubano Sandwich
We sampled the Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Pork Belly Cubano. And wow.... um, wow. With ham, Swiss, pickles and mustard, I wasn't sure the Cubano was going to be ringing any of my bells (I'm not a huge fan of mustard or pickles), but wow. I'm a convert. Even with the pickles.
Pulled Pork Sandwich with Kettle Chips
And just in case you weren't stuffed by the piles of deliciously greasy pork with apple cabbage slaw, they have Whoopie Pies (made by Sugar Pimp) and Pie Holes from Pie Spot. In our case, we got dessert first while we were waiting for our sandwiches. The Whoopie Pies (despite Dave's entranced expression in the picture below) were not amazing, but the Pie Holes from Pie Spot definitely are.
Whoopie Pie from Sugar Pimp
Dave having a tender moment with one of the Whoopie Pies.

We went to our ballroom dance lesson (where the instructor insisted on trying to teach me how to start cha-cha in a different way on a different count, even though I took four years of ballroom in college) and had the slightly awkward experience of changing partners and dancing with the different random people who happened to be at a new ballroom dance club on a weekend. Afterward we found ourselves at Moonstruck Chocolates on NW 23rd, enjoying some fantastic truffles. Much less awkward, all around.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sweetest Thing Cupcakes

We had spring break the last week of March. Which means that the best time to write about it would be... the second week of May! We stayed home and tried to do some short day trips or outings. One of our outings was to Sweetest Thing Cupcakes in Newberg.

"Sweetest Thing" is located in a beautiful restored Craftsman house in Oregon Wine Country (which locale would be much more exciting if I drank wine, but I don't). Luckily, however, I do eat cupcakes, of which they have many great varieties. There are several flavors of cupcakes that are available daily, but my favorites are the daily specials. They have fun flavors such as Fluffernutter (Peanut butter cake filled with peanut butter cream topped with toasted marshmallow frosting) or The Cowboy (chocolate cake filled with peanut butter topped with chocolate ganache). They also have really great scones or muffins and raspberry thumbprint cookies (a personal weakness). They even have a gluten-free menu for those with dietary restrictions.

On this trip, for the first time they had "Cake Pops," so we had to try those. They are balls made of cake crumbs and frosting that are dipped in chocolate-- and put on a stick for ease of eating. The kids really liked these and while they were really cute and yummy, for my money, I'd rather just get a cupcake or cookie.
If you have a cupcake craving but don't want to go all the way to Newberg, they have a stand in Bridgeport Village across from the movie theaters. The cupcakes taste just as good, even without the cute Tiffany-colored area to eat in. 
The dining area at the Newberg location.
I am really picky about cake or cupcakes. Cake is one of those things that is just not worth the calories for me unless it is REALLY good. But Sweetest Thing is one of those places that's worth it.

Our First Family Ski Trip

While I am on a belated blogging kick, I figured I would write about our first family ski trip of this season. On March 28th we took Jared and Camryn to Mt. Hood Meadows. And to fully celebrate the familial nature of this trip, I didn't take a single picture of the kids. Oops.

Maybe a better description of this ski trip would be, "We tried taking Jared and Camryn skiing in Utah last year and figured we could teach them to ski ourselves just fine. After spending the better part of an evening skiing down the hill with a 6-year-old between my knees I decided that ski school was a fantastic investment." And so Jared and Camryn had an all-day ski lesson. I think it was really helpful for them to have instruction from someone who wasn't "just" mom or dad (Never mind the fact that their dad is a fantastic skiier-- it's still carries more weight coming from someone else.) We skied with them for an hour at the end of the day and they eagerly showed off their newly acquired turning skill. But at that point I apparently had forgotten about my camera, so you will have to take my word for it that Jared and Camryn were actually on that trip.

It was a gorgeous day with blue sky and a fantastic view of Mt. Hood. We had great snow and had a great time.

At the top of my black diamond for the day. Did I mention I've skied a black diamond?

Look at that view! Gorgeous!

Belated Blogging: North Clackamas Aquatic Park

Back in March we took the kids on a Saturday trip to the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. Nothing like indoor heated pools, waterslides and a wave pool to break up the Oregon winter blues.

Jared in the wave pool

We had an altogether fabulous time-- except that we had to keep a really close eye on Jackson to make sure that he didn't go up the steps to the big water slides. Poor Jack-Jack couldn't figure out why he couldn't go on the big water slides and had to content himself with the little kiddie seal slide.

On the way there, the Jared and Camryn saw a carnival in a parking lot, so they wheedled their dad into braving the rain and taking them on "The Zipper."

We finished the evening with a dinner at that fabled dining destination (at least for kids)... Sweet Tomatoes. Nothing like a buffet with a soft-serve ice cream dispenser to make a kid's day.