Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/28/09 Pedaling backward

Katrina, my stubborn little girl...she's going to outgrow this tricycle before she learns to pedal it. She probably could pedal it if she weren't so OFFENDED by anyone trying to show her. Ah well. Tricycles are for fun, and she just loves sitting on it and pushing herself around with her feet on the ground in circles.


Friday, February 27, 2009

2/27/09 Sleepover

Kids out for the count tonight...any fantasies I had about spending the evening taking care of taxes or house things were re-directed by the mess I have for a lower back. Just as well....Dave and I went to see the 1950 movie 7 days to Noon, then out to a nice grownup dinner.

Hobbling around with a cane invites all sorts of bad-back stories and chiropractor recommendations, but few match the symptoms I have, until today. Ramon, our jobsite foreman, had an identical back problem to mine, including the falling-asleep feet. His problem is managed by some sports medicine specialists that I'd already heard of and had intended to contact. He confirms what I'd heard from the physiatrist I'd seen (who I like but only works Tues+Thurs, not often enough to see when the problem happens): probably a herniated lumbar disc.

(For Ramon, it worked out: once his back injury ruled out manual labor, our most excellent contractor sent him to treatment, then to school for project management, and now as a foreman managing projects, is one of our contractor's most valuable and loyal assets. Now that's smart business!)

It intrigues me again that our overall more sensitive child, Julian, acts oblivious to my handicap. But Gabriel is very concerned: "Mom, have you seen a doctor yet?" I remember feeling the same way when I was a kid too: you need to know your mother is completely strong. I remember once when there was a chance my mother would have to go into the hospital for pneumonia, and being utterly, completely, world-shatteringly terrified.

Dave and I had a nice night out in Palo Alto, but I'm quickly reminded as soon as it's time to stand up how restricted my movement is. And anyone who knows me well knows that I don't have much inbetween: I'm either in constant motion, or a complete slug. The in-between of sitting is the worst for my back. Like now. So I'm going to lie down.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

2/26/09 Back to back

The only thing missing: drugs. Alcohol will have to do.

Katrina ate green beans tonight, by request. Miracles do happen.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2/25/09 Service Outage

Gabriel went back to school today -- at first. We got called out because he was complaining of an earache. Dave took him to the pediatrician, who diagnosed an ear infection -- and a probable tail end case of hand, foot and mouth disease. Benign, no treatment, no isolation -- just an FYI. That could explain Julian's sore throat earlier this week too.

But that meant no work for me this afternoon as I'd planned. Not the end of the world, but since I know I have a lot of time off coming up (a week in March and a week in April), I'm trying to get in as much as I can.

I made the best of it my unexpected afternoon off, taking care of errands that had to be run anyway. Such as picking up and delivering our new ping-pong table! One good thing I have to say about this economy: it's not hard to buy a $400 table for $229. There it is in the garage, boxed up, after unloading.

Dave disapproves of this development on the grounds that it's a huge thing to store that won't get used much. Even though he's right, I wanted it anyway.

But I gave him another even sounder reason to frown on this idea this afternoon.

That box is heavy. Very very heavy. I got one of the guys at the jobsite to help me unload it, but...the operative word in there is one. Not two. One guy. So I did some of the lifting too. Guess what -- I can throw my back out by actually doing something, instead of just standing there innocently and feeling it snap!

I'm barely above cane level now, though fairly hunched over, and in an unusual amount of pain for this injury. I've been struggling against falling-asleep feet and legs for weeks, since my last close call, and this is a huge setback. I so don't need an injured back when we're about to move. I think today was a clear signal that my days of heavy lifting and being determined to do things myself no matter what may require reconsideration. Fortunately, in a few years I'll have two strong teenage sons to do all the heavy lifting around here.

Our new mantel is in!! It's so awesome that now I'm regretting the hearth tile, which is relatively washed-out and blah by comparison. It's so focal, it's crying out for granite. But the last thing I need now is to wish we'd done something fancier, when most of my regrets and fears are about having gone overboard. (In fact, speaking of overboard, I'm also wishing the surround tile was all just one type, no little details -- very unlike me, since I love little details. This tile is so neat that it really stands well just on its own, and I find the little square pieces along the top distracting.)

The stain color doesn't match the rest of the room, but FEH. I'm tired of matching. It's just not in my DNA. I'm a mishmash sort of person.

Besides, my MAIN reason for a mantel is because I consider it a crime against humanity not to have a place to put family photos or hang Christmas stockings over a fireplace. Now there's a place to set stuff! As usual, the "function" aspect is very clear to me -- the mantel also has built-in shelves on the side -- but the "form" part totally trips me up.

I had no idea how ill-suited I am mentally, intellectually and creatively to remodeling. I will be so, so glad when the constant barrage of New things to get used to is over. And for the next few days, my back will see to it that I see very much the same things.


p.s. I just love my $7 fireplace screen -- it fits perfectly!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2/24/09 Screen scream

Gabriel had a temperature and sore throat this morning, so I stayed home with him. If you can call it staying "home" -- unfortunately, I had to run him all over the place this morning. I was determined to go to another Lowe's way the heck out in S.J. to get the very last fireplace screen in the entire Bay Area, and was very proud of myself for succeeding, and for a mere $20. Then I dropped off a package at the UPS store, then took Gabriel to Target with the promise of finding ping-pong balls for a Lego project...

...and there I found a stack of clearance fireplace screens, for $7. AGGH! After all I've been through online and physical shopping for screens, here they are right at Target, and cheap, all along! I bought one just on principle. Actually, I like it better than the $20 one I got at Lowe's, which I'll return. These days I'm happy to make a trip to a store to save $13.

At least we won't fail final inspection for lack of a fireplace screen.

And since I couldn't find Gabriel any ping-pong balls at Target, we went to a sporting goods store. They had ping-pong balls, but what are ping-pong balls without a matching ping-pong table?

So I bought one of those too...!

Now if that doesn't lure my brother out here for a visit, I don't know what will. Not that I have any intention of letting him redeem himself, despite his wicked spin. I have my eye on Julian as my next opponent -- when he can see over the table, that is. Ping-pong tables are great at parties, and this one will be set up for our open house on Sunday afternoon, March 15th. That's an unofficial announcement!


2/22/09 A nothing Sunday

The pressure is relentless, but sometimes all that does is gridlock me. Taxes, final inspection details, packing....there's only so much I can take. So I took the younger two to the Y, where I lost myself in a Zumba class. Then I napped away the afternoon, exhausted from being up until 4am fretting.

The day's one bright spot came from Julian, who's been more of a black hole for fun lately than a bright spot. He was sitting at the table while I was making dinner, watching me. Then out of nowhere: "Oil and water are hydrophobic." We had a nice chat about oil and water after that. After dinner, I went to work.


Monday, February 23, 2009

2/23/09 Blue Monday

This should be an exciting day -- I scheduled the movers for Wednesday March 18.

Is this really coming to an end? I can't get excited about it yet. Indeed, it's daunting. I just want a normal life back. But the mountains of work ahead, the awful economy, our dwindled savings, our over-spectacular house, and my distorted memory of full-time motherhood have reset what "normal" is, or should be. I really have no idea anymore.

After kids were in bed, I went to work tonight. One "normal" I'm very much looking forward to putting behind us is the hours I spend on so many days driving around taking care of remodeling-related tasks.