Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I had an appointment

Happy Birthday to me!  I had the appointment - the consultation appointment for my Breast Reduction.  So on Monday afternoon, my mother in law (who has had the same procedure) came over to batton down the hatches while I went up to Carmel.

I have never been in such a fancy doctor's office in my life!  I guess there's a lot of $$ in Plastic Surgery.  Queen Anne Chairs, girly flowery fabrics, an entire face Spa, right there!  I felt tremendously out of place in my jeans and croc sandals.  But they put me in a room, in a gown, and a nurse came in to get my story and answer/ask questions.

I should also warn, if this sort of talk bothers you, don't read on.

It's really surprising how to the point these people are, it's all very matter of fact.   I had to watch a rather graphic video that would have made Eric queasy, carefully outlining Exactly what they were going to do to me.  Two things that actually shocked me:  One, she told me that they'll send me home in a sports bra, but then I can pop over to Wal-mart or Meijer for another one, in a day or two.  I laughed out loud!  I've never been able to buy a bra at Wal-mart!   But in theory, that is one of my goals with this. The other thing was she mentioned I'm not allowed to take a bath for 3 weeks, quick showers are ok, as early as the day after surgery, but I can't soak.  I started to get worried, see I take a hot bath for back relief every day.  She smiled at me, and said, well, in theory, you won't have as much back pain.  It took me a second to get that. How crazy would that be?  To not NEED the bath.  I know reduction in back pain is what is hoped for, expected, and what we tell the insurance company in hopes they'll pay for it.  But I guess there was a part of me that didn't seriously expect that I actually would get back pain relief.  I haven't had a pain free day since I was 21, unless you could getting a spinal for a c-section, and I really don't, they don't go high enough on the spine.  But even if it just never got worse.  Well, that just might be worth it.

Then I got to meet the doctor.  Dr. T was very nice, she took one glance at me and could tell that I was uneven and big, and she described Exactly what she wanted to do.  Without getting too graphic, it's a lot more invasive a procedure than I thought, even moreso than the video, to get me down to a D, which is the size I was thinking.  I don't want to go too small, that would make me look - less like me.  But a D, or maybe a heavy C, that could be nice.  I could shop for bras anywhere.   It was a little disconcerting.  There will be consequences, and that was kind of upsetting too.  I don't think they are deal breaker consequences, but there will be nerve damage from the skin graft, and I just was really surprised by that.  They want to do it as an Outpatient Procedure.  That's weird to me. When my mother in law had hers done, she was in overnight. I'd be going home day of, and Eric would have to take care of me.  I can't lift Jacob for a month.    But I have a wonderful supporting husband, who is ok with all this, and a great mother in law who offered to help post-op.  And Luckily, the kids are at an age, they can help themselves.   Jacob can even climb into the car now... he doesn't always choose to do so, but he Can.

They asked when was my last Mammogram?  I'm a slacker.  I'd never had one. I got a script for one last August at my annual, because I'm 40 now, and that's officially old enough.  Yippee.    But then I lost the script. I didn't mean to lose it, my goal was to take back my health, and get all things checked out in 2015 that needed checking.  But I wasn't too worried. It was ok, I figured they'd want one before this procedure anyway.  And so it was.  They gave me the script for it when I went home.  They told me when they get the mammogram results and dr's dictation, they'll send it in to the insurance company, and see if they agree to their recommendations.   So we wait.  They thought that would by the end of May.  I guess if I had my choice, I would wait until August, when the boys go back to school to do the surgery.  It'll be easier if I don't have to juggle all three all day while I'm down.

Yesterday, which  I set a goal to call about the mammogram.  No one told me WHERE to get it done.  Not only did I call about it, but when I talked to the gal, she asked when I could do it.  I joked and said, I'm child free until 12 today, but maybe next Tuesday?   She said they had an opening at 11.   I said SOLD!   So I drove to Northwest Radiology over by St. V's, and they did the mammogram.  The facility was very clean, and the staff super nice.  The gal doing the test walked the perfect line of professionalism and having a good humor.  It could've been so much more uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally, and it wasn't.  I was surprised.  The head on shots were easy, because it's literally easy to throw the girls down on a plate.  But the side shots, they had to grab all the way to the muscle, and that was a little uncomfortable.  It was awkward to hug the machine to get the picture.  I called it hugging my boob buddy.  But you know, it's a helluva lot more uncomfortable to not catch breast cancer early.  It's not that bad.   I think I stresseed out more than I needed to.

Though still, afterwards, I felt like I needed chocolate or sushi, maybe both.  As it just so happened, both was on the docket.  I was on my way to Trader Joes' for yogurt, so I picked myself a chocolate pick-me-up, dark chocolate and roasted pistachio covered toffee.  Wickedness.   So sweet my teeth hurt eating it!  Chocolate did too the trick!

And then for my birthday my mother in law took us out for sushi for my birthday.   All was right with the world.   I took a selfie with my fancy camera phone.  :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happy Birthday to me!

My 40th year went by very quickly.  Why does this keep happening?  I can't believe I'm 41 now.  Guess it's safe to say, I'm in my 40s.

So for my Birthday, I am happy to say Christopher got a Black Belt in Karate.  Saturday was his Black Belt Test, and he passed with flying colors.

I think this about sums up his reaction. And mine.  I couldn't have been more proud of him.  

He looks good in a Black Belt.  We partied hard.   
But that story is for another blog.  
He's worked so hard the last few weeks, he's been up in  Carmel doing special sessions, and doing the Black Belt Boot Camps every weekend for months.   This most definitely was intense as any sport I've ever seen.  And he's built strength, both inside, and in his muscles.  

I promised him, for My Birthday, we weren't going anywhere for Karate.  
Honestly, I hadn't spent an evening at home doing nothing in so long, I didn't want to go anywhere.  
I would've been Perfectly content to do nothing all day.  

We came pretty close to that. The boyz were so kind.  They let me sleep in, Eric made honey flakey biscuits and maple snausages.  Then I got to just veg out and Chris and I finished the 6th Harry Potter Movie.   We started #7, part 1, before lunch, after which I got a big fat nap.   

Then, the only thing that could drag me out of the house, on my lazy day, dinner at my Dad's.  
And Birthday Party for Jacob, Lisa, Me, and Charlie!  With that kind of Festivity, how could I refuse?

Fishie Face Seestors.  

Me and my little Birthday Boy. 

Daddy and MB got crowns for all of us, and this pic Eric got, actually turned out pretty fabulously. 

Sam snapped this pic of us getting ready to blow out our candles.  Unfortunately, he didn't capture the big moments of all 4 of us and our candles.  But no birthday is complete without my Stepmom's Bowl Of Cake:  Chocolate cake layered with whip cream and strawberries, so beautiful it's served in a trifle bowl.   It's our favorite dessert. Every year she makes it for us, her mind boggles at why we always choose this.  But after 27 years of Bowl of Cake for our birthdays, we'd never want anything else. 

And it's always the Perfect ending to a Happy Birthday.  And it was Just So this time too. <3

Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Flowers!

My yard looks pretty amazing.  

The Daffodils that we got randomly planted, and lining the driveway are all blooming and looking fabulous.  I'm happy to see the bright yellow as I pull up.  

The weather is finally cooperating to let the kids out to play.  

They look amazing against the bright blue sky of spring! 

Like a Superstar! 

But the Tulips are really what take my breath away.  

They positively glow. 

They don't look to shabby agaist the bright blue sky either. 

Though it's pretty tricky to get a decent shot at this angle.  

I am loving the bright sunshine with these tulips.  

I'm fairly sure that tulips are my favorite flowers!

My word.  
The Beauty.

I almost find it hard to believe that this is my front yard. <3

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I have an appointment

(Warning - this post contains talk of Boobs - if you have a problem with that, move on.)

I have an Appointment. 


I kept telling myself, that I wouldn't even worry about a Breast Reduction Surgery until I was done nursing my last child.  I had heard too many stories about big breasted women having trouble nursing.  I made that choice back in my twenties when doctors and therapists started hinting at the fact that a significant portion of my back pain may be caused by my top heaviness.

I finished nursing in September.

So in October, I called the Doctor, and asked what I needed to do.  They gave me a list of things, people I had to contact etc.  I filled it all out.  Then in November, they called me asked for my doctor to send paperwork.  I called to act as middle man and find out what was the holdup.  I had hoped to do it over Thanksgiving or Christmas break.   But then Dr. Cooper's office said they had no record of me having back pain.  I lost my mind.  I fell into a deep depression.  It was mostly led by the fear that I'd have to start all kinds of painful testing and therapy, drugs, and awfullness all over again to prove to the insurance company that I needed this surgery.   I asked for a copy of my record.   Apparently it's all online, and they just print it off, there's no original doctors notes.  And sadly, every time I asked Dr. Cooper, or my Therapists to 'write that down' when I was in for drugs or spasms about the boobs, they didn't write it down.  Many trees were killed in this search for no information.
I was so sad.  Eric and I discussed it, and we decided to just wait until this year and start it over from scratch, then hopefully, we can cap out the insurance, before the surgery.  
But then in January, my back and neck started acting up again, and had been going to the Chiro.  He asked me last month, whatever happened with that boob job thing?  (in as delicate a manner as possible) I burst into tears.  

But then today, empowered by the boys good behavior while they played video games and watched TV, I traded in my bath time for a call to the Plastic Surgeon's Insurance gal.  We'd been playing phone tag since January.   She wanted the last 6 mos -1 year records from the Chiro.   She had the referral from our family doc, so that was at least something, even though all the years' worth of trouble were gone.   During our conversation, I burst into tears again, crying, "I know if you just Saw me, met me, you'd agree that I need this!"  

So she decided that after my most recent back pain bout, and my chiropractor's promise to not just write a note, but to send the whole chart, she informed me I could come in for a consultation.  

As it just so happened, in the previous hour, before our talk, she'd had a Cancellation, for an appointment on May 2nd at 4 pm.  Otherwise she was scheduling for July.   SOLD, May 2nd it is!

I have an appointment.  I'm getting my boob job.  The day after my birthday, I get a consultation with the doc who is supposed to be the best in town.  Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Sweaty self

I don't normally shout this sort of thing from the rooftops, but I'm a bit proud of myself today.  I hopped on the scale this morning, and was down another couple pounds.   I even got on the Wii Fit this morning, and played around for a half an hour, worked up a nice sweat.  I hadn't done the thing in years, but as part of my goals, I'm trying to move my body once a day.  So a couple weekends ago, I broke out the Wii Fit.  It called me names, like saying "Oh. You're Obese."  Well, yeah, that's why I'm trying move my big butt!  The kids thought this was Wonderful, wanting to join me in exercising.  Heck yeah baby!

So, this morning, I hopped on the scale, and exercised on the Wii Fit with the kids laughing and cheering for me along the way.  Something the Wii told me, my BMI was down, and that I met the goal I'd set last month.  Hooray.  But who takes a wii seriously.  Not me.  But then when I was done, I kind of began to take it a bit seriously, I started plugging and chugging, and I realized my BMI was below 40.   YES!  That means I'm no longer morbidly or severely obese, just regular obese.   Now in celebrating this online, I realize that I have to admit that was severely obese, and putting it out there may be embarrassing, but to the 4 of you that read this blog, you are the ones that would celebrate this milestone with me.  So what the hey - Hip Hip Hooray!  
So far this year, I'm down 17 1/2 pounds!  And my new BMI is 39.9!
This is a pretty awesome, since I ate out this week, ate chocolate, and went and had dinner with the Fam last night.  Though I have been drinking my lunch more often, and I think that's what is really making a difference.  My favorite lunch is a Chocolate Pure Protein Complete shake with milk, frozen banana, and a handful of fresh spinach.  If I know I'm going to be exercising in the evening.   I'll eat a solid lunch, and drink dinner.  And it really is making a difference.

I am enjoying seeing these differences.  I like feeling healthier, being able to rassle around with the kids, play with them a bit more.  I look forward to this spring, and actually being able to play outside with them.  After being unhealthy for so long, let me just say, being healthy rocks!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Mental Health Day

 There was a new Vincent Van  Gogh exhibit opening up at the Art Institute of Chicago. So, my bestie and I decided to take a day and go.   As it just so happened, the Van Gogh exhibit was beginning a week before the end of a Degas exhibit.   So the boys let us escape. God Bless Them.
We so desperately needed a day off.  In the olden days, we'd do some time in Edinburgh and shop for the kids.

We wanted to get an early start, so we could plan on getting there close to opening.  
We got a little late start, and it still was clear we needed to stop for drinkies.  So first stop 20 minutes in, was Starbucks.  Priorities yo.  And as it just so  happened, we both had some freebies saved up- Bonus!

The Tell-Tale Lion - these guys are an icon, apparently everyone thinks of these guys when they enter the Art Institute.  We drove by this entrance, but did not enter this way.  Not too bad a shot from the passenger side of the car, through the window.  

Since traffic impeded our smooth travel, we opted to go for Valet parking at the museum, to save time.  Plus, if we're each pitching in half, it's still cheaper than driving and parking alone.  There's also the bonus that I got to feel so Fancy driving up to the Museum, valet parking, and flashing our membership.  We cut all kinds of long lines!   So. Worth. It.  (And the car was there and waiting for us when the museum closed, we had shut it down, and we were so exhausted, we just exited, and poof - car!) 

When we bypassed people waiting to get into the member line, the line was already long.  As we walked past, we saw the line pass by a 60 minute sign.   We got in line next to a 30 minute wait sign.  I guess that's about how long our wait was, we didn't time it.   It moved fairly steadily.  There were a lot of people who wanted to see Van Gogh!  We didn't avoid the crowds. 

One of Vincent Van Gogh's most famous self-portraits, 1887.  

As we wove our way through to the demo room with the 3 Bedroom paintings, we got to see some other neat works, some letters, sketches, a few paintings.  I found this to be very interesting, Van Gogh's Yarn!  He would use yarn for color identification. 

This is Kathleen with the first bedroom painting, in southern France
Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles, 1888.

The whole exhibit focused on how rare it was for him to stay put in one place, and he stayed over a year, it was his first bedroom just for himself.  He had moved 37 times in his 37 years.   He was most likely Bipolar.  It was during one of these depressive times that the ear incident happened.  He returned to Arles, after his stay in an Asylum, where he painted Starry Night.  

This was the Second Painting of his Bedroom in Arles, September 1889.  
At first I only liked this one's floor, but it grew on me the further we got into the exhibit.  

My first thought was that I liked this one best, the third Bedroom, October 1889.  

This was another self portrait, late 1889, after the ear thing, so it just focuses on the right ear.  
It was neat to see the painting with his palette, because in one of the display cases was one of his palattes and some paints.  Really neat to see in real life! 

This was my favorite Georgia O'Keefe, Yellow Hickory Leaves with Daisy. 

America Windows.  
We found a lot of these works were used in the Museum scene of Ferris Bueller.  
We were kind of doing a Bueller tour.  But I loved this one, it was much more impressive in real life than in the movie.   We passed by it on our way to lunch in the museum cafeteria.  I got some fabulous scrumptious squash soup, inspired they said by Van Gogh, made to kind of look sunflower.  I could see it.   Kat got the swankiest Chicago Dog ever.  

After lunch, we were off on a mission to find Degas.  The exhibit was called something like From Steeples to Stage, and it was a bunch of his jockey/horseracing works, and many ballet things.  
Here's Kathleen checking out one of his largest pieces, Scene from the Steeplechase: The Fallen Jockey. 

I am not really sure why I love him, but I do.  I thought it was that he was a spainard in France, but no, I must've imagined that.  But he had a way of painting ballerinas, and their dancing, that I just love.  His technique of painting tutus to really achieve that lightness and texture, I just love it! 

This was my favorite ballerina picture they had.  

This was another big ticket display.  
This bronze sculpture by Degas, Little Dancer Age 14, was on loan for the exhibit.  
I love how well he does their feet, so true to real ballerinas and their toeshoes. 

After Degas, we continued on through other Impressionists. 
I loved this Renoir painting, it's called, Two Sisters. 
I love his use of color.  

And then one we were most excited to see. 

Georges Seurat's: Sunday in the Park at the Grand Jatte. 

This one featured heavily in Ferris Bueller.  We were a little lost looking at our map to find it, when a stranger came up to us, overhearing us, happy to find others as excited about art as he.  He asked if we knew the 'real focus' of the painting.  It's the little girl.  Not just from the movie.  I noticed she's the only one whose face is forward.  It's mind boggling to think he did this in 2 years just painting dots. 

To give you an idea how Large this painting is, here's Kathleen,  pensive as she checks out the Sunday in the Park with George.

Can you tell what this is?  
It's Water Lilies by Claude Monet. 
What an amazing use of color.  From a distance, it's obviously water lilies, but when we get up close, it's a hodge podge of color spackled on copious amounts.  I love his use of color and light.  The man was a genius.  Close up, it looks like it was spackled on, but it wasn't, it was intentional.  Brilliant. 

Old Man with a Guitar 

It's one of the classics from Picasso's blue period.  I'd seen this picture many times.  I'd have to say it's probably my favorite of his.   I love how his works changed over time.  I even like the Cubist stuff, because we spent a lot of time studying in Spanish history; it's much more than women with 3 boobs.  But this is my favorite.  I felt like I was smart when I was discussing the works of El Greco earlier (because we opted to not go to that part of the museum, in favor of the modernists), and mentioned how his people were so long and lanky, then we were looking at this and turns out Picasso was inspired by El Greco.  Ah ha!   I got it.  I know some stuff about art!  I tell you, doing this trip made me feel like an intelligent member of society.  Being a Mom is great, and I love it, but as it turns out, I am also a person that likes Art.  And sometimes I need to take a break to remind myself of that.  Maybe I've been in my own Blue Period.  

Surprisingly awesome.  This is Jackson Pollack.  I didn't use to like or understand his stuff either.  I thought it was just splatter, mass chaos.  But then I watched the movie a couple years back and realized how hard he worked to create these pieces, and how he went a little crazy.  It gave me a better insight and respect for his work.  I surprised myself by actually liking this one.  Most of his stuff is named after numbers.  I don't find myself enjoying that, because I can't get behind the story of #17.  This one was called Greyed Rainbow.  It was mostly black and white, but the bottom third had small hints of color.  We had to get kind of close to see it.  And again, though the paint looks like it was just thrown on, there's kind of a method to the madness.   So I liked this one.  

Turns out I like modern art too.   Some contemporary stuff I don't like, for it looks like the kids painted it, or something I could have done myself.  There were three giant grey blocks on one wall that made me think, Why!?  I didn't get that.  But it was refreshing to go see new things, and find out what I did or did not like.  I actually got to use my brain.  I'd almost forgotten how to do that.  

Me and Van Gogh, turns out we all need Mental Health Days. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sweet flowers from my Sweets

This was what greeted me on Valentine's day morning.  

Everyone received a giant chocolate covered marshmallow heart from me.   And some thought it was appropriate to start that before breakfast.  

My poor Sam, he hadn't eaten the night before, and when he doesn't eat, his stomach gets Angry in the morning.  On Vday, it took him a while to perk up. He started out the day pretty pitiful.  He missed church, but with some Digize, peppermint, and juice, and rest, like not going to church, by lunchtime he was back to crazy.  I confess, I totally kept him home from church, anticipating he just needed some Brat diet food, juice and bread, in order for him to rest up and feel better by going to church later. The church was having a Kids Only Valentine's Day Party - and I wanted them all to be able to go.   

Eric got me an orchid.  It's a Blue Mystic orchid.  

I hope I don't kill it.  

This was my bouquet that my boyz picked out for me.  Eric said it was called "crazy daisies", perfectly appropriate for me. 

I know they aren't a color that occurs in nature, in fact, the water turned purple when I put them in, but they sure are beautiful.  

There's something very happy about these flowers.  
They make me smile. 

I'm not the only one smiling for Valentine's Day.  The boys got to go to a special Valentine's Day party at the Church.  They had a great time, got pizza, watched movies, and decorated their own cookies.  They came home sugared up.  In the mean time, we made dinner at home.   We even ate in the dining room alone and everything. We found some frozen bacon wrapped scallops at Costco, along with some heart shaped ravioli.  Eric sauteed them up and covered them in a tomato creme sauce, then steamed up some asparagus with parmasan cheese.  Oh yeah!   Then we bought Ant Man digitally, because nothing says True Love like snuggling up for a superhero movie. 

I did talk my sweetboys into posing sweetly for some cheesy Valentine's photos for me.  

I love them, they love me, and we love you, our dearest friends and family.