Saturday, March 29, 2008

It occurred to me …

… that I've never offered up any context for all this back/hip pain that I've been blogging about. This is not anything new for me—I've had back pain most of my life, due to scoliosis and a surgery when I was 15 to correct it. Pilates, massage and chiropractic have helped me keep it mostly in check for the past several years, but I've had trouble keeping up on my Pilates during pregnancy, and I think that has made me more susceptible to imbalances.

Want some fun facts about my back? Here goes:
  • Before my surgery, I had a 62-degree curvature of the spine. After surgery that was reduced to 28 degrees.
  • I now have 11 fused vertebrae (basically my entire thoracic spine), fixed in place with two metal rods.
  • I came out of my surgery an inch and a half taller than I was when I went in.
  • I have somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds of stainless steel in my body. I try to remind myself of that every time I'm weighed.
  • In spite of all that metal, I do not set off metal detectors.
  • In high school, I used to convince people I was magnetic by hiding a big magnet under my shirt and letting them stick other magnets to me.
Hmm. I think that's all the spinal trivia I can come up with right now. Very exciting, I know. I hope it helps my recent posts seem a bit less bizarre. Also, I'm feeling TONS better. Leaps and bounds. I can even lift Sidamo as much as I need to, so no more crib climbing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On the mend

Thanks so much for all the emails and concern about my last post. I'm feeling much better now. I still feel very sore in the ribcage, but it's not that acute, stabbing pain from this weekend. Such an improvement.

I've been working hard at not lifting Sidamo (I still hold and cuddle with him while we're sitting down, but lifting is really rough on my back). It's been interesting. I feel like a bit of a delinquent mom saying things like, "OK, sweetie, now climb out of your crib! Go ahead, just swing your leg over—you can't fall far." He thinks it's a blast. He's not much of a climber, so this is all new to him. I know moms of climbers must think I'm insane for introducing him to the concept, but you do what you have to do.

Sidamo has also come out with some gems recently. This weekend, Greg and I were in the kitchen while Sidamo was napping, and on the monitor we heard him wake up and start calling, "Daddy. Daddy!" (lazily at first), then, "Hey, Daddy!" Pause. "HEY GREG!" Big laughs.

Then tonight after Greg put Sidamo to sleep, he did his babbling thing for a long time (Sidamo, not Greg). When he started kicking the sides of his crib, Greg decided to go up and help him settle down. He stood there comforting him for a little while, and despite the fact that Sidamo was almost asleep as Greg was walking out of the room, he woke up enough to say, "Come back soon!"

Fun times. I love how much more expressive he's getting and how he parrots back things we've said—sometimes long ago. Of course, it means we need to watch our mouths—as we were reminded after the "Crap, Daddy" incident. Like I said, fun times!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I guess I should start with a Happy Easter before getting into my pity party.

Happy Easter.

Okay, now onto me. I was feeling so much better by the end of last week—Thursday I even went for a nice long walk with Sidamo for the first time in ages. Then Friday I had a coughing attack (still some remnants from that cold), and I heard something in my ribs crack. I couldn't move at all without excruciating pain, and I had Sidamo and Max that morning. Luckily Greg was able to come home at around 3 so I could get to the chiropractor.

She did some adjusting and said I likely either dislocated or cracked a rib, but the adjustment didn't help at all. Then yesterday I had a private Pilates lesson scheduled with someone who is also a physical therapist specializing in back issues. She massaged the muscles between my ribs and said those muscles were spasming and causing all the pain. I felt better much of the day, but then something happened in the evening and made the pain even worse than it had been on Friday. Every inhale, cough, movement, etc., caused a sharp, stabbing pain in two parts of my back ribs. It kept me up literally all night—I finally fell asleep at 6:30 after spending hours in the bath tub, but then I was up at 8:30 when Sidamo wouldn't be shushed any longer.

Today has been pretty rough too. I feel better right now than I have all day, but there's still a lot of pain and I have to be very careful about how I move, breathe, etc. I'm not sure how I'm going to manage this week with Greg back at work, since I can't lift Sidamo at all. Please send some healing thoughts to my ribcage!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

28 weeks

In case you're wondering about my never-ending expansion, here's the latest:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Babble on

For the past couple weeks, Sidamo has been lying in his crib after we put him down and just talking for HOURS. We start the bedtime routine at 7:30. It's now 9:03 and I can still hear him babbling on the monitor. He's not crying or even calling for us—he will once or twice, and we go up and soothe him, but for the most part he's just talking to himself.

What do you say, expert parents, should we shush him or just let him talk himself to sleep? And furthermore, for expert adoptive parents, is this some sort of self-soothing behavior we should interrupt? Or is he just a little boy with a lot to say?

Monday, March 17, 2008

All clear!

Daisy's pathology results are in, and everything looks good. Yay! Somehow we weren't expecting such good news after the crazy week we've been having, so we're very pleasantly surprised.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and cead mille failte!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Indignity and other updates

Well, Daisy, if you weren't so hell-bent on ripping out your stitches, it wouldn't have come to this. Besides, this is nothing compared to the time you had to wear adult diapers with a tail-hole cut out.

Still no word from the pathologist, so keep your fingers crossed. But Thursday evening, Daisy somehow managed to extract herself from the long-sleeved t-shirt she was wearing, fall down the stairs, and bust open the incision on her leg—necessitating a return visit to the vet where she got this nice new accessory. Earlier in the week (I think it was the evening of Daisy's surgery, but the week has become a blur), Saffron ripped one of her toenails off, leaving oodles of blood everywhere and prompting my sister to ask if we had run over a nun to deserve such a pox on our house.

In happier pictures, here's Sidamo helping his Grandpa open birthday presents a few weeks ago.

And here's a Sidamo and Mama self-photo at what has to be the coolest place on earth: Playgrounds, a restaurant/playground in Boulder. Such a good idea—grown-ups can eat (and even drink, if you're not in a fragile state such as mine) while the kids play in a very nicely designed and open play area. Every city should have one of these. Maybe even on every street corner.

Thanks everyone for all your concern about us this week. We're all feeling much better. The cough lingers, but even that is much better now. Last night I actually got an almost uninterrupted night of sleep (I was up maybe five times instead of 50). Fingers are crossed for an even better night tonight.

Sidamo's first sleepover went swimmingly. Grandma and Pappy report that he went to sleep without fuss and slept straight through until 7:30. I'm glad we had that little experiment, because we're going to need to spend the night away from him for that whole childbirth thing, and we've been worried about how he'd react. It couldn't have gone better—maybe because he was so relieved to get away from his sick, boring parents (his recurring question this week: "Mommy all done sleep yet?").

And finally, in case you were wondering just how exciting the life of a 10-year-old Great Dane is, here you go:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First sleepover

Sidamo's Grandma (Greg's mom) came over this afternoon after nap time to take Sidamo for a play date and give me and Greg some time to rest (Greg has the full-blown crud now too). The plan was to bring him back before bed time, but then she called and suggested they just keep him for the night. I agreed, sort of impulsively, and then realized what a huge step it is for us—it's our first night without him since he came home eight months ago. I know he's having a great time with Grandma, Pappy and Great-Grandma, but it's still such an odd and empty feeling to not have him here. We're very lucky to have such wonderful family to help out when we need it, though. And a good night's rest will be good for all of us. Still, I miss my little man!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sick house

I was sure we were going to make it through winter without succumbing to the nasty bug that's been going around—hey, we've made it to March—but no such luck. Thursday evening I came down with what has turned into the worst cold/flu/whatever I've had in years. It got worse each day over the weekend, and by yesterday I had a fever of 102.5. I went to the doctor today and learned I have an ear infection and whatever the crud is that everyone else seems to have lately. Ick.

Greg was a total rock star this weekend, taking care of Sidamo morning until night while I rested. He's back at work now, though, and I'm here alone with my little bundle of energy. Sidamo is starting to cough too, so I'm not sending him to his babysitters' (my friend Jess and Greg's mom) this week. Greg also feels something coming on, so we could be in for a long week.

These have to be some of the most challenging moments of parenthood—having another person (or people) completely reliant on you when all you want to do is curl in a ball and disappear.

In other sicko news, Daisy is undergoing surgery right now to have some lumps removed—one of which looked somewhat suspicious, the other the vet described as downright angry. Please send some healing thoughts her way and hope the bumps are just regular old-lady beauty spots. Here's an old photo to inspire you.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Girl Scouts vs. My Esophagus

Two weeks ago, pregnancy-related heartburn hit. It's worst at night and after I eat carbs.

Three weeks ago, I ordered Girl Scout cookies. Tonight they arrived.

They look so, so yummy, but the threat of staying up all night with heartburn has held me back so far. I won't say it's easy—we wait all year for this day, and when it finally comes, it hurts to have to sit on the sidelines. It's like waking up Christmas morning to a bunch of presents I can't open.

Dramatic? Maybe. But now you know how strongly I feel about Samoas and Tag-alongs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mean mommy

The other night after I put Sidamo to bed and Greg and I were watching TV, I heard a sweet, sing-songy voice coming from upstairs. I asked Greg to turn down the volume so we could hear what he was singing. Here's what we heard:

"Mean mommy, mean mommy, mean, mean mommy."


We were laughing so hard I couldn't manage to muster hurt feelings. I can't say I blame the kid for his sentiment. We've been having a testy week—Sidamo is fully embracing his inner 2-year-old, defying my every rule and throwing massive tantrums several times a day, and I'm having major back and hip pain that leaves me a little less patient than usual. I did take a little lesson from his song, though, and I've been working really hard at ignoring the more minor transgressions and picking my battles. It seems to be working, and today was a very happy and lovey day for momma and kiddo alike.

The day is only getting better, thanks to Greg (best husband ever) who is currently out buying me a hot fudge sundae. Sorry, ladies, he's spoken for.