Saturday, February 28, 2009

The weirdest injury of all

On Thursday afternoon, my left arm started aching around the elbow. I had no idea why and thought maybe I had slept on it funny (I had just woken up from a 30 minute snooze on the couch).

But by the time Ryan got home for dinner, my elbow was the size of a tennis ball, it was giving off a lot of heat and I couldn't move my fingers that well.

So, after dinner, I was off to find a walk-in clinic. After failing to find an open one, I ended up at Emergency. I wasn't keen on going to the hospital, but the pain and not being able to do anything with my arm was enough to make me go.

I checked in at about 8:45 and thankfully, I was out by 10. The doctor who saw me, of course asked what I did, at which point, I had to respond, 'I don't know', because, honestly, I had no memory of banging my arm in the last 24 hours. But that didn't mean it didn't happen.

After poking and prodding a bit, she determined I had likely over-rotated the elbow joint somehow and now the swelling was pushing on the nerves, etc. She precscribed an anti-inflammatory and told me to follow up with my family doctor in a couple of days because it could be something more. It could actually be an infection in my elbow, but it was hard to determine at this point since I didn't have any other symptoms (such as fever, or swelling beyond the elbow).

So, I filled my prescription and went home.

Friday was miserable. My arm hurt, no matter what I did, and I'm pretty sure I had a touch of the flu that Austin had just gotten over. Ryan had to stay home from work to take care of the kids, because I couldn't. I was feeling crappy and I couldn't use my left arm.

By Friday evening, the fluish symptoms had past but the arm hurt more than ever. As I was heading to bed, I checked it out in the mirror and discovered that it wasn't only my elbow that was swollen, but my forearm as well.

By morning, the swelling was reaching my hand and was creeping up toward my shoulder. Not a good sign. So, it was back to the doctor for me.

After waiting two hours at the walk-in clinic, I was finally seen by a doctor. After hearing me say I don't know what I did to hurt it, she concluded I had an infection.

In my elbow.

How I got it, she has no idea. Something as simple as a scratch could've done it.

So, now I'm on some pretty potent antibiotics and if the swelling doesn't reduce in the next 48 hours (or gets worse in the next 24 hours) I've been ordered to go to the Hospital for IV antibiotics. Fun stuff, I tell you.

I still can't use my arm for anything -- so doing things like holding Alex and even getting dressed is a challenge -- but at least it doesn't hurt right now, unless someone or something touches it, or even just grazes it.

Only me, klutz extraordinaire, could end up with an injury/illness like this. Hey, gotta keep a sense of humour, right?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I did it! A cake designed in my kitchen

I guess I have to take back everything I've ever said about not being crafty or creative. Because this weekend, I did this:
Since Austin is big into Mickey Mouse right now, for his third birthday party, I baked and designed a Mickey Mouse cake for him.

I've been flip flopping on whether to do this for weeks. I wanted to but was afraid I wouldn't be able to. Finally, on Friday afternoon, I decided to go for it. I figured, the worst that could happen is that it turned into a disaster, I scrapped it and baked cupcakes.

So, I packed the kids in the car and headed to Bulk Barn to rent a Mickey Mouse-shaped pan. And it's at this point, I discovered it came with paint-by-number instructions on the back. Suddenly, I thought, this might not be so hard afterall.

The icing project started Saturday afternoon around 1:30. First task on the list was to dye the icing. Something that really isn't that hard, but being a newby at this, I used WAY TOO MUCH black dye. This isn't really a problem in the 'how it looks' department -- in fact it made the black look great. But it is a problem in the 'staining everything in sight' department...including the teeth, mouth and face of those eating it.

Aside from the black dye incident, the rest of the colours worked out ok. And so I began painting by number. And painting and painting and painting.

It was 8:30 p.m. by the time I finished (stopping for a bit, mind you, to eat dinner and do a couple of other things). As the hours ticked by, Austin kept hopping up on his stool to 'check on my work'. So, I guess he was pretty excited by the Mickey cake.

In the end, I think it looked great. I was exhausted and didn't couldn't fathom the idea of looking at anymore icing. But the rest of the evening, and the next morning before the party, I kept peeking in the fridge to look at it. I couldn't help it because I couldn't believe I DID IT!

And I'm already thinking about what to do next time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rain, rain...get out of my basement

What do you get when 25 mm of rain falls on a hell of a lot of snow in your backyard in a very short period of time?

A wet basement.

This morning, as I ran downstairs to grab something while the kids were eating breakfast, my foot did a sort of 'squish' as I stepped into the family room. 'Hmm,' I thought. 'That's not right.' So, after very little investigating, I discovered that my floor was wet under my carpet. And sadly it was wet in a very bad place. Because it was not wet in the corner of a room near an outside wall, but smack in the middle of my basement where the subfloor in the family room ends and the basement floor begins (all of which is covered by one carpet).

This meant just one thing. The water was seeping in from somewhere clear across the room and enough of it had seeped in that it had flowed under the subfloor in search of an exit -- where the subfloor ended. (The subfloor sits about 4 inches above the concrete floor in my family room. It's supposed to help make the room warmer because the carpet is not directly on the concrete.)

At this point, I did what anyone woman with no idea of how to fix anything would do. I called Ryan at work.

After cursing a few times, he got in the car and drove home from Mississauga. He spent about two hours working in the basement -- cutting the carpet to stop the flow of water, breaking apart the wood panelled wall in what he correctly guessed was the source of the leak and popping over to Home Depot to rent an industrial-sized fan to dry out our wet carpet.

When the lake in my backyard goes down, and the basement dries out we'll have to determine the extent of the damage and go from there. Hopefully, when everything dries, the damage will be minor.

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Oh the joys of home ownership.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crafting corner

I'm not crafty.

I can't draw, I can't paint, I can't create something out of nothing. And I most definitely can't sew. So much so, that not only do I not own a sewing machine (and if I did, I wouldn't know how to use it), I would rather buy a new shirt than sew a button back on.

The only semi-crafty thing I do do is scrapbooking, but that's really something that morphed from my love of putting photos in photo albums. I'm old fashioned that way; I love being able to flip through a photo album rather than look at pictures online. But when I scrapbook, I don't tend to buy fancy paper and stickers, hole punches and scissors -- my emphasis is on displaying the photos, not on decorating the pages with other things.

But recently, I have an almost three year old who wants to 'do stuff'. And suddenly, I've been making trips to the dollar store to buy craft material (since I don't 'do stuff' on my own, I certainly don't have stuff to do stuff with) and have been sitting down to do crafts with him.

At first it stressed me out. Part of my inability to be crafty is my inability to come up with creative ideas. But it slowly dawned on me, that I don't need original ideas for a three-year-old to do, I just need the Internet. So, thanks to my crafty and creative friend, I've found some kid-friendly craft blogs with some pretty fun ideas.

What I've realized that while it would be nice to be creative enough to 'make things' like many of my friends do, kids crafts don't have to be super-cool. They just have to be super-cute and fun for a three-year-old to do with a little help from mom. Making a dinosaur out of construction paper and glue or heart shaped balloons with some markers, paper and pipe cleaners is not only easy, but a lot of fun.

Because at three, your kid doesn't yet know that you're not that talented -- he just thinks you're helping him do some pretty cool crafts. In another few years, he'll figure out that I really can't draw but until then, I'm going to enjoy pretending looking like a genius to him.

So without further ado, here is our wall of crafts:

Two years ago I said I don't bake and now I bake with my three year old. So I guess baking and starting our own craft corner means that anything is possible.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lost in Lost

Four TV seasons ago, Ryan got hooked on Lost. We watched the first episode together, maybe even the second, and then I completely tuned out. It was too complicated, too weird, and quite frankly, a little creepy. And anyone who knows me knows I don't like to be scared by TV.

I quit watching. But Ryan was hooked. So, for four years it's been one of the two shows that we don't watch together. (I watch ER and Ryan doesn't.)

We watch a fair number of shows -- all one-hour dramas. And ever since Austin was old enough to comprehend images on TV, we only watch our shows after he goes to bed. Meaning we watch one, maybe two shows a night. So having two shows that we didn't want to watch with each other means the PVR is constantly filling up while each of us waits for an opportunity to watch our show when the other isn't around.

For me, it isn't too difficult, with mat leaves and such. But for Ryan, Lost would sit on the PVR for months. In fact, I think he watched the season 4 finale from May in October.

So, partly to reduce the amount of shows we were storing on our PVR and partly out of curiousity; when Lost returned this January, I opted to watch too. Before the season premiere, I settled into the one-hour recap clip show, in hopes that four seasons of a confusing TV show would make sense.

And then we sat down to watch the premiere. And it sort of creeped me out. And I sort of got hooked anyway. But with every episode, at least two or three times, I've had to look over at Ryan and say 'who's that?' or 'huh?'. I felt better when a couple of times, the answer was 'I don't know'.

So, I guess I'm officially lost in Lost now. It's a good thing ER is in its final season because I don't know when I'm going to find the tme to watch it anymore.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

25 random things about me

Usually I hate the annoying questionnaires that friends pass around by e-mail. You know, the ones where you have to answer random questions about yourself -- such as your favourite colour and the last movie you saw -- and then pass it on to more friends.

They're a waste of time to fill out and aren't very insightful. And I don't usually have much time to spare as it is. And when I do have spare time, I'd rather be indulging in something like watching TV or playing Wii.

Nevertheless, for some reason, when this questionnaire was sent to me on Facebook this week, it caught my attention. It was different and interesting. So, as I wasted away enough time coming up with the 25 random things this afternoon -- rather than writing a blog post as I had intended to when I sat down at the computer -- I figured I'd share. The original blog post I planned on writing will have to wait for another day.

Here, in no particular order, are 25 random facts about me:

1. I usually ignore these types of things and hate responding to them.

2. I want to run my very first 10 km race this year.

3. I can’t live without my morning coffee.

4. My coffee maker died this morning BEFORE it brewed my coffee.

5. I hate wearing socks.

6. My son was 12 days overdue.

7. My daughter was born 7 minutes after I walked into the delivery room.

8. I walked into the delivery room, after even insisting on going to the parking garage with my husband rather than him dropping me off at the door.

9. I didn’t intentionally give both my kids names that start with A. We just liked the names.

10. I’ve lost 10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight and want to lose another 5 to 10.

12. I like traveling and have been to about a dozen or so countries.

12. My favourite place to visit is France. I’ve been there 4 times.

13. Red wine no longer gives me migraines.

14. I now like bacon and ham. I blame my pregnancies for my change in food likes/dislikes.

15. I liked being pregnant.

16. I always wanted three kids but now that I have two I don’t know anymore.

17. I don’t think I’m very creative or crafty.

18. I don’t mind doing laundry.

19. I'm disgustingly organized. Yet my house seems like it's never organized.

20. I can’t believe I love camping.

21. I’m not looking forward to going back to work at the end of my maternity leave.

22. After my first maternity leave, I was excited to start work again.

23. I have two cats and don’t want dogs. My husband wants dogs.

24. In high school, I was a lifeguard at an outdoor water park.

25. I’ll be happy to finish nursing my daughter because then I can treat myself to nice new bras that actually fit!