Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Every Step Counts

It was May 30, 2014, I was minding my own business, the best I could.  My toddler had been diagnosed with strep throat the day before.  We were invited to a beginning of summer S'mores party at a friend's house.  I sent my husband and three older children with all the necessary fixins.

I stayed home with the little one, because, to be honest, who wants to have a sick kid around?!  If it isn't my sick kid, I prefer to not have them around.  As a mom, I have always tried to be responsible; not bring my kids to church sick, and not send them to school sick.  So, as much as I LOVE burnt marshmallows (more than you can understand reading this), I stayed home.

I figured while I was home, I should exercise.  I did 12 minutes of running in place, in 20 second increments. Run 20 seconds, rest 20 seconds, and so on, for 12 minutes total.  I ran for six minutes and rested for six minutes, but when you do the running as fast as you possibly can, it can really poop you out!  Then I thought, well, why don't I do some push-ups, on the stairs.  I proceeded to do that.  I can't even begin to tell you how many I did, because what happened next led to the worst pain in my entire life.  Yes, I am including childbirth.  Possibly because I got to see, or hold, or know I would see soon, the most amazing little person in the world.  I had four of those most amazing little people...

I stood up, started coming down the stairs, and didn't realize how far up I was.  I took, what I imagined was, the last step.  Well, it was one of the last steps I took for six weeks.  I was at least two stairs up higher than I thought.  I took that step, and I knew, mid-air, that I had done something drastically wrong.  I landed directly on my ankle.  Everything that could pop in my left foot, did pop.

I was still at home, with my toddler.  My husband and three older children were still gone.  My husband doesn't use a cell phone.  Thankfully, one of my friends, went to the party too.  I sent her a message to send my husband home, telling her that I was pretty sure I broke my ankle.  I sent this message, via my Facebook on the computer, since I didn't have a cell either.  My toddler wasn't amused that her sobbing Mom was taking the computer from her.  Like I said, the most painful thing in my life...

My husband arrived home, probably 20 minutes later.  I was still sobbing.  But, I had known, that I was going to deal with the pain through the night.  With the aid of Mobu Herbals PM Pain Lotion, acetaminophen, ice, and elevation, I made it through the night.  My husband and I don't have health insurance.  The Urgent Care location that we have a membership to had closed at 8 pm.  It was 8:15 pm when it happened.  There was no way I was going to an ER to pay them $1000's when I could go to the Urgent Care for $10.

I found out that I broke the third metatarsal in my foot and sprained my ankle.  As to how I didn't break my ankle, that is still well beyond my grasp.  Anyway, I was put in a splint for 4-6 weeks.  My parents came out the following week to help me out, since this happened the day the children got out of school for the summer.


I would spend the next six weeks in this.  Non-weight bearing, on crutches.  That is when I realized that it was a very bad idea to ever buy a house without a bathroom on the main level.  If you take nothing else from reading this, only buy a house that has a bathroom on the main level!  My parents stayed out here for four weeks.  Then we headed back east.  I brought my four children with me.  We stayed there for six weeks.  At the six week mark, I got to switch to a boot and start putting minimal weight on my foot.


That was a happy day in my life, being able to walk on two feet again, even if it was with crutches.  I was excited to be done with the splint.  I was excited to have two feet on the ground again.  I was minimum weight bearing for two weeks.  Then I got rid of the crutches, at eight weeks.  That was also a great day in my life!  Crutch free!  I used my boot for about 2 1/2 more weeks, mostly because I forgot to bring my other shoe back to New York with me when I left.

I noticed, at about five or six weeks, that the muscle in my leg was starting to disappear.  It wasn't a nice day to notice that, especially since there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  It was hard to basically see a lot of loose skin, where muscle used to be.  I didn't pay a lot of attention to it, mostly because I couldn't change it.

I didn't realize, until today, how much that muscle really mattered.  Although there was nothing I could do about losing it, because I don't know that you can strengthen it, when you can't even put your weight on it, let alone any other weight.  I started "running" again on Saturday.  The time it takes to run two miles is not anything I would ever brag about.  I timed it on Monday, and it is basically a 14:20 mile, over two miles.  I wasn't amused at all about that time, since it is more than four minutes slower than my fastest time.  Heck, I had run 2 miles in less than four minutes slower than that mile.

As I walked today, the same distance that I ran on Monday, in the same spot, I realized something.  Maybe it isn't right, but it is the conclusion I came to.  This left leg of mine does not have the necessary muscle for the foot turnover rate that it used to have.  On top of that, my foot, ankle and heel still bother me.  I am sure that there are several tendons and ligaments torn up in there.  I can't afford to get it fixed, and even I could, I don't think I would.  I have heard too many stories of feet/ankles being worse after surgery than they were before.

From this point on, I will remember that it isn't about the time right now, it is about rebuilding the muscle that was lost in six weeks of not bearing weight, two additional weeks of bearing minimal weight, and a total of 14 weeks without running.  I also have to remember that I gained weight, so I am also hauling around additional weight.  Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers to help correct that issue.

I will get back to running how I used to, but I guess I have to build back up to that.  EVERY STEP COUNTS!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

12 Weeks and 2 Days Later

With the last update, it was my children's last day of school and I broke my foot.  That happened 12 weeks and two days ago.  A lot has happened since then.  My parents spent about four weeks here with me to help out with the children while I couldn't walk on my foot.  We then headed back east for six weeks. 

I had a wonderful summer in New York.  My children and I rode back with my parents.  My mom drove my van with myself and my two youngest children and our dog.  My dad drove back with my two older children and their dog.  It took us about 3 days of driving, stopping at night to sleep. 

While I was home, I got to see some of my friends.  I saw some longer than others, but I was thankful for any time I got to spend with them.  Life is busy, and not being able to walk for most of the summer had its limitations. 

I got to go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant with my mom, my chldren and one of our friends, who is also the creator and President of MOBU Herbals.  It was her first time to go, and it was just coincidental that her visit to NY coincided with the Pageant.  We got to have a meeting with her and it helped to introduce the product to some of my friends in the area.

I got to watch a lot of softball games.  My brother has played with some of his fellow ballplayers for as long as I can remember.  They are like brothers.  I enjoy getting to cheer them on.  My sister-in-law has played on the same team for years, and I enjoyed getting to see her play and some of the teammates I remembered from before. 

My children got to catch up with some of their friends also.  They also have children that we consider cousins.  They are my sister-in-law's niece and nephews.  They spent a lot of time with them.  I guess it is hard to explain our family dynamics, but we love my sister-in-law's family as if they are our own.  Some of the cousins from Washington also came out for a few weeks so my children got to see them also.  We love being together with everyone.

I started to put weight on my foot, without crutches, a couple of weeks before leaving New York.  I hate crutches.  It is something I never want to deal with again! 

We went blueberry picking, which is a very pastime for us.  We have been doing that since I was in high school.  We spent a lot of time in the backyard.  I love my parents' backyard.  They have a couple swings that we just sit in and swing.  Dad bought a badminton set for the kids to play.  They spent hours playing and laughing.

My dad turned 70 while we were there.  It is amazing/crazy to me, that my dad is 70.  If you know him, I am sure you agree that it seems impossible. 

While I was home, two of my sisters and one of my brothers came home.  All at different times, but it was wonderful to see them all.  The worst thing about living where I do is that it is so far away from family.  My sister and her husband will be moving back here in a few weeks, so I am really excited about that.

I honestly would have never come back here if I hadn't left my husband here.  So those in this area that are glad, or sad, I am back, you can thank my husband.  Those in New York who are sad, or glad, I am not there, can also thank my husband.

I think I have written before about how running helps me deal with life and curb depression.  Having not been able to run for the last 12 weeks and 2 days hasn't been good for the psyche.  The funny thing is that I was fine in New York, probably because I was surrounded by people that love me.  It isn't so much here.  I have a really hard time and miss being able to pound the pavement to get over that.

In other news, I weaned my youngest, who is also my last, child while I was back east.  She went cold turkey on August 4th.  I knew that I would need a lot of support in my decision, so I knew that I should do it while I had that kind of support.  It made it a lot easier on me, and possibly on her too.

My kids head back to school tomorrow, so we know that summer is 12 weeks and 2 days long.  Although my summer didn't go as planned, starting the evening they got out of school, I can't complain.  I am blessed that I was able to spend the summer with family and friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Can the School Year be Over?

My little 6 year-old graduated from Kindergarten two weeks ago today.  As my toddler and I stood there and watched him get his certificate, I was so proud of him.  I felt that feeling in my heart that I feel when I am overwhelmed with how my children have grown.

Him, and his classmates, sang a song "I am a VIP in my Family."  It is so true.  He is a very important person in our family. As he sang that song (photo below) he kept looking at me and smiling.  He brings so much joy.  He has a smile that is contagious.  He says things that are wise beyond his years.  He is very caring, but he is mischievous too.




Here he is with his Kindergarten teacher.  I am so thankful for her patience.  I am thankful for how well she treated him.  When she started the graduation ceremony, she read a poem and started crying.  It talked about how she got them at the beginning of the year, and watched them grow into what they were that day.  I could tell she loved the children.

I said to him on the way back to our vehicle, "You know your teacher loves you?"

He said, "I know, she told us everyday."

Who doesn't want their children to have a teacher that will let them know that she loves them.  To the best of my memory, I never had a teacher tell us, as a class, that she/he loved us.  I think it would help kids treat each other and the teacher with more respect, knowing that the teacher cared about them.



He received his graduation cap and he wore it the whole day.  We went grocery shopping and he wore it.  He was so very proud that he was able to graduate from Kindergarten.  His little sister was able to enjoy the day with us also.



We didn't find out about graduation until that morning.  One of my friends on Facebook had posted that she couldn't believe her child was graduating the next morning, so I called and asked.  Thankfully I did, or I would have missed it.  I just didn't see the announcement when it came home.

My children officially finished school the next day.  They learned so much this school year, and I am always thankful for good teachers that treat my children well. 

I broke a bone in my foot that evening.  I am not allowed to put any weight on it for 4-6 weeks and then re-introduce a little weight at a time.  This summer will be interesting! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My New Work-at-Home Job - MOBU Herbals Utah

When I was first married, my husband and I rented a room from a wonderful woman.  We were blessed to have this woman welcome us into her home, and love us and treat us as she would a family member.  During this time, we got to know a couple of her children.  One of her children is Janell Cole.  She is a Naturopathic Doctor and Master Herbalist.  She is the creator/founder of MOBU Herbals.  My husband and I were blessed to get to know her during this time.

She has been selling MOBU Herbals for eight years via her website and it has been sold in select health food stores.  It is now available to be sold at home parties via consultants.  We are looking for determined people, that believe in the product, to go out and starting making a great income while teaching people about MOBU Herbals.


The products are wonderful!  They are organic and herbal based.  There are balms, lotions, body butters and lip balms.  The products sell themselves.  Samples are made available for people to try out.  There is no doubt that they work.  I have seen how they help with ear infections, coughs, colds, congestion, sore throats, migraines, back pain, tooth aches, bug bites and skin tags.  There are lotions and balms to help with energy, to activate a sluggish immune system, and energize adrenal and thyroid glands.  There is a product to naturally ease constipation.  All of the products are transdermal.  In other words, they are absorbed through the skin.  By doing so, they bypass the liver and digestive system, which depletes the potency of oral medications, sometimes up to 90%.  Furthermore, they will not injure the organs, as some medications that are taken orally have been found to do.

The body butters are great!  Like most body butters they provide relief from dry, cracked skin.  These also can minimize scarring and stretch marks.  They provide relief from eczema.  They soothe sunburned or peeling skin.  They smell amazing!  My favorite scents are Love Potion #9 and Chocolate Cherry.  There are nine scents to choose from and unscented.

I am excited to be starting with this company and be able to help out a good friend.  I believe in her and I believe in her product.  I have used it and I know that when others get the chance to try it, they will love it also.  That is why I have free samples and I will ship them out for others to try.   The only thing that I ask is that you post a review of the product(s) that you tried on my Facebook page.

Please check out my facebook page MOBU Herbals Utah to find out about all the products.  I look forward to helping as many people as possible learn about these natural products.  

When you share this and place your first order, you will get a free lip balm of your choice... please message me, or send me an email at mobu.herbals.utah@gmail com, so I can add the lip balm to your order.  Place your order at www.stratusmall.com/store/6266 then click "health" on the left side, then "mobu herbals." When signing up as a customer, please pick "customer" (the bottom option).

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Sister's Big Day - April 26, 2014

We arrived in Minnesota on April 25, 2014.  Everyone in my vehicle was excited to finally get there and be with family.  My parents, brother, his wife, and each of their dog arrived about 1 1/2 hours later.  It was so wonderful to be together.

We picked up my brother the next day from the airport, and traded in the rental vehicle we had.   It started showing that it needed an oil change early the day before.  Since we were at the airport, it was the perfect time for the trade.

From the airport, we went to Costco.  We had to get food to eat and things for my sister's reception.  It was then that I discovered that Costco no longer has the ice cream bar at the food court.  It was a very sad moment in my life.

After Costco, we headed to the Mall of America.  It was somewhere my sister-in-law had always wanted to go to.  They were having Robot Wars in the main hallway.  We watched a couple of them.  I don't really understand the concept, but my brothers and my children enjoyed it.  We walked around and went into the Nickelodeon themed amusement park.  My toddler wasn't amused in the slightest when I didn't get her a stuffed Patrick or Spongebob toy.

It was getting late by this point.  We had to hurry back to the hotel and get ready for the wedding.  We then had to run to the reception hall and help get it ready.  We were really fast getting changed and getting out of the hotel.  I was impressed with the speed we got ready.

We headed to the reception hall where we had to get tables put in the correct places.  We made sure that chairs were around the tables and the tables were appropriately decorated.  My sister and I then went and helped our other sister get into her wedding gown.  She is absolutely beautiful.  We had to lace up the back of it.   We were busy lacing up her dress in the photo below.



We got her all laced up and got her headpiece attached.  She put on her jacket and it was time to head out.  She was taking a boat to the island she was getting married on.  We would be driving over.  My older daughter rode over on the boat because she was in charge of keeping the train off the ground.  She enjoyed that a lot!

We arrived on the island and the wedding got started.  It was a quick wedding, sweet and to the point.  There was a photographer there.  The photos have not arrived yet.  None of us remembered our cameras, so all the photos are with phones.  I think they turned out well.   I look forward to seeing the professional photos too!

After the photos were complete, we went to the reception hall.  When the bride decided it was time to eat, we all agreed.  I had lettuce wrap sandwiches.  They made them for me because of my gluten problem.  I chased my toddler around most of the night.  

One of my dear friends, who was a roommate of ours in college, was there with her family.  It was so nice to get to see her and visit with her during that evening.  She has a wonderful family.  She helped me chase my kiddos around.

The lighting in the reception hall was not very good.  Some pictures were taken in there, I found the best one of my sister.  


I am blessed to have been able to spend that day with them.  I was thankful that I was able to go.  It was an amazing evening.  I wish my sister and her husband an eternity of happiness!


Friday, May 2, 2014

The First Leg of the Trip to Minnesota

Last Wednesday, Apr 23, I picked up my little brother from the airport.  I rented a minivan, got my children and luggage, and hit the road.  Our ultimate destination was Minnesota.  We made a few stops in between.

We first stopped in Wyoming.  We stayed overnight at my sister's house.  She had some Domino's Pizza waiting for us.  She was kind enough to get me a gluten pizza.  The next morning, April 24, my children, my brother, my sister and my nephew got in the van and started heading further east.

It seemed like we drove for hours and hours without making much progress.  When we reached the area that we had to really start deciding if we wanted to make the turn toward Mount Rushmore or keep heading toward our final destination, we decided to take the side trip up the mountain to Mount Rushmore.  My brother was the only person in the vehicle that had ever been there.  This was my first trip into South Dakota.   As I drove the windy, mountain road up to the National Monument, I felt excitement that I was finally going to see it. 

Upon entering Mount Rushmore, we are supposed to pay $11 to park.  We waited for an attendant at the security gate, but no one came and the gate had been propped open.  We figured that meant that we could just go in.  The car that entered before us had come to the same conclusion.  No one said anything to us so I am not sure if that is common but we did park.

When we entered the walkway at Mount Rushmore, we were greeted by wild mountain goats.  My toddler announced, "It's bunnies."  On the way out of the park, my six year-old suggested that we "take the llamas."  In the photo below, the white things in the grass behind my daughter are the mountain goats, aka bunnies and llamas.


We proceeded into the National Monument area.  It was absolutely majestic.  I don't really know the history or how long it took to create Mount Rushmore, but it is something to behold.  My sister took some pictures of my children and I in front of the Monument.  I was thankful that she had a phone with a camera because I forgot my camera at home.


I am pretty sure that my toddler will not remember that trip.  I am not sure if my six year-old will remember or not.  I am quite sure that my two older children will remember going to Mount Rushmore.  They added South Dakota to the states they have been to at the same time I did.


We continued on that evening and made it to Oacoma, South Dakota, where we found a hotel room. Although there were eight of us, I let the desk clerk know that we would share a room as long as there were two beds.  The children could sleep on the floor, in an effort to save money.   I was the only driver, because it was a rental vehicle and it would have cost $100 to add another driver for the time we were renting the vehicle.  I didn't want to add that to the cost of our trip.

The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast.  They offered a nice continental breakfast, which everyone enjoyed.  I was able to eat the omelets.  The hardest thing about being gluten free is trying to find things to eat when I am not the one cooking it.  After eating, we all got in the vehicle to continue our journey to Minnesota.  It was now Friday, April 25.  My sister that lives in Minnesota would be getting married the next day.

I had bought lunch meat, cheese, crackers, carrots, peanut butter, rice cakes, and some treats for the trip.  We stopped at a rest area and had some peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter on rice cakes.  At the rest area, there were some Thirteen Striped Ground Squirrels.  My sister saw it first and was pointing it out to me, asking what it was.  I told her it was some kind of lizard, it looked like the bearded dragon my brother once owned.  From the angle I was at, it looked like it had scaly skin instead of fur.  As it ran into its hole, the sun hit it at an angle where I could see that it was fur.  My sister thought I was nuts to think it was a lizard of some sort, because she was at an angle where she could tell it was fur.  We got a good laugh out of it, and she said she now knew why my kids thought the mountain goats were bunnies or llamas.

We arrived in Woodbury, Minnesota, at about 5 pm.  My sister and her fiance were waiting at our hotel for us to get there.  My parents, my brother and sister-in-law arrived about 1 1/2 hours later.  We then went over to the Old Country Buffet.  It was so wonderful to be together again!  We were only missing my older brother (as far as siblings go), who arrived on Saturday.  We missed many nieces and nephews and in-laws that were not able to make the trip.
 
Saturday would be the big day for my sister.  It was a very busy day.  I will end this post here and write about Saturday in the next one :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Birthday to my Ten Year-Old Daughter

It is hard to believe that I have had a daughter for ten years.  She arrived earlier than her scheduled c-section.  She was planned to arrive on May 5, 2004.  She wasn't about ready to wait.  I went into labor on April 29 while at work.  I got to leave work early.  I went home and relaxed, as much as someone in labor could relax, and waited until morning to go see my midwife.

Upon arrival at my midwife's office, I was examined and told to be at the hospital by 10 am.  It was about 9:45 am and I had to go get my husband from work and then return to the hospital.  It was after 10 when I got back to the hospital, but that was okay.

Then the frantic search for someone to come and watch my 13 month 13 day-old son began.  I called everyone I could think of.  That day was a meeting where almost all the people I knew from church was attending.  Thankfully I got a hold of one person that was willing to come and watch my son so my husband could join me in the operating room.

My birthday girl today

At the birth of my daughter, I heard something I didn't hear before... crying!  Her crying set off my crying and my husband was crying too.  The sounds of a newborn's cry is an amazing sound, especially having not been blessed with that sound at the previous birth.  I saw something I hadn't seen before too... my newborn was shown to me over the drape and my husband was allowed to hold her so I could see her a little better after she had been cleaned up.

When my son first saw his little sister, although he was just barely over one year-old, there was an immediate recognition.  He had a big smile on his face.  He knew who she was and he knew one of his best friends had joined him on earth.

My children all have had amazing temperaments.  They only would cry when they wanted or needed something.  She was a mellow little girl.

She received an early birthday gift

Upon her birth, one of the nurses expressed concern that she might have club feet.  Her feet were turned sideways, with the bottom of the feet facing each other.  I guess that is the best way to express that.  I had noticed that when I was checking her over, so it wasn't too much of a surprise to me.  I asked the pediatrician about that when she came in.  She looked at her feet and moved them a little.  She assured me that it wasn't club feet and said it was likely how the feet were placed in the womb.  She told me to spend as much time as I could holding her feet stationary in the correct position.  Whenever I would nurse her, or just be holding her, I would hold her feet in the correct position.  I don't remember how long it took to correct the problem.  I believe it was a few months, but it did correct itself.  My next two children were born the same way and I knew what to do, although their feet weren't turned quite as much.

One of my memories with her as an infant is when I was talking on the phone with my mom.  She was still a newborn and I was nursing her.  I wasn't paying attention to her eating because I was paying attention to my phone conversation.  She just started to cry and cry.  I looked down and realized that my milk supply was emptying all over her face and head.  She was getting it in the ear, in the eyes (thankfully she knew how to blink and keep her eyes closed) and her face was just covered in milk.  I would have been crying too!  I have always laughed about it.

Another memory was while I was still in the hospital.  My brother-in-law brought one of his girlfriends to my room to meet me and see the baby.  Him and my husband left for a little while, and the woman stayed.  I had never met her, and I admit, I am not too talkative when meeting a person for the first time, generally.  Neither will I generally tell the new person that he/she is wrong about something.  This woman asked me if I was excited to know what color my daughter's eyes were.  I told her that I had seen her eyes and they are blue.  She then informed me that there was no way that I had seen her eyes, because babies don't open their eyes until they are at least three days old.

She was blowing us a kiss in a selfie today
 I could not believe what I was hearing.  My brother-in-law wasn't dating a pre-teen or a teenager... this was a woman.  She had to be, at least, in her twenties.  I was again assured her that I had seen her eyes.  She didn't believe me and restated her position.  I, then, explained that human babies open their eyes at birth.  I told her that kittens and puppies don't open their eyes for a few days after birth.  I had known for many, many years... since I was old enough to know anything, I imagine, that babies opened their eyes at birth.   I am so glad that woman didn't become a sister-in-law, I don't know that I could have handled it.

She has given me some scares in my life.  The most recent was last Friday when she almost ran out in a parking lot in front of a speeding car.  Thankfully, she saw the headlights.  Thankfully, the vehicle had its headlights on.  I didn't see her until it was almost too late.  The only thing I could have done was honk my horn and hope the vehicle would slam on its brakes.

She went through a period of time when she was two that she was sick for a long period of time, with high fevers.  It was frightening.  No one knew for sure what was wrong with her.  I would pray frequently that she would get better.  I would not get much sleep at all.  My prayers were answered a little after Thanksgiving and she recovered from whatever was ailing her.  We were never sure what it was.
My birthday girl and her little sis

I have been so blessed over the last ten years with my daughter in my life. I am so thankful that I was blessed to raise her.  She brings so much joy to my life.  She is an amazing singer.  She loves to read.  She enjoys helping others.  She loves to scrapbook.  She is a good friend to others.  She has always been outgoing.  We would go to softball tournaments ever since she was a newborn.  When she was old enough to start talking, she would make friends at the tournaments.  She has made me smile everyday for ten years.