Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Good Report

I went to the Podiatrist today. First the cast came off (a very satisfying thing in itself). Then I had X-rays. Then I saw the doctor. The news is that my fracture is healing very nicely indeed. He tried to show me where you could still see the line from the fracture on the X-ray, but I couldn't see it. When I looked at the the X-ray from after I first broke the bone, the fracture was very obvious so this is showing us good progress. As a result of this good news, I am now wearing a walking boot. This will be my prefered footwear for the next three weeks. I may walk on it until my foot complains, then I have to rest it. When my foot feels strong enough, I may take the boot off for driving, as long as I put it back on for the actual walking. After three weeks, I am to wean myself off the walking boot back into normal shoes. The Podiatrist said that I should be back to normal activity 10 weeks after the original break.

I consider this excellent news. Coming back from the appointment I got to try out my ability to walk and I must say that I am out of practice. My balance is a little shaky, but I have been able to put my weight on the foot without pain. I will probably be walking slowly and gingerly for the next few days to see how well I can get around. I've already found the driveway to be a challenge (It's a bit on the steep side). If I catch on to walking in the boot as fast as I got used to the crutches, then I will be back to normal in very little time. This is good, because as I have been telling people, it is a race to see whether I or the baby will be walking unassisted first. Happy Boy started crawling and pulling up into a stand nearly two weeks ago and has picked up speed and determination. He's been trying to stand up in the middle of the floor with nothing nearby to hold on to. I fully expect to see him walking without help by the middle of December (that's how fast his sisters learned and he's been showing at least as much single mindedness if not more than them). By my calculations, I should be walking normally in normal shoes by the middle of November.

I guess that means that we will both be mobile for the holidays. However, I think I will try to keep Pillowfight Fairy's birthday (October) and Halloween pretty simple. I also have less of an excuse to go slow on the homeschooling. We have done minimal homeschooling in the last week and a half when I had the least help. More update and regular posts as things come up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sisterly dynamics

I did not have any sisters growing up. I had two older brothers and my growing up years with them provide fodder for many stories. Lately, I have been watching my daughters interact as sisters and have felt both amused and annoyed. They will definitely provide us with many stories in the years to come I am sure. Sometimes I wonder how much of the silliness is just common to kids and how much is because they are our kids. A few examples to amuse your day:

I have noticed in the last few weeks that Adrenalin Junkie, who has always enjoyed pretending, has suddenly gone full blown imaginary world on us. She will open imaginary doors and invite in imaginary beings (usually animals) with whom she will have imaginary conversations and imaginary adventures. Sometimes she puts on her imaginary clothes and equips herself with imaginary tools or toys. It is really quite sweet.

But all is not well in the house for Pillowfight Fairy has a contrary streak at times and will rush up and grab away Adrenalin Junkie's imaginary playmates and toys. Tears follow and I find myself scolding them for taking each others imaginary toys or friends. Usually, I can do this with a straight face and with complete seriousness. But, when I had to discipline the girls the other night and Daddy overheard it and said "What did you say to them?", I see how silly it sounds. Yes, I have to discipline my girls for pretending that they are stealing things from each other that don't exist.

Another thing came up tonight. Pillowfight Fairy had to translate for her sister (the first time that I remember). I saw that the girls had too many wiggles and were headed for trouble, so I suggested putting on some music to dance to. This was agreed to and I asked what music they would like. Adrenalin Junkie piped up immediately saying "Yucky Noodle!" At least that was what it sounded like to me. Obviously I heard her wrong and asked her to say that again. "Yucky Noodle!" was the answer. OK, stop and think, she has trouble saying "L" and it comes out "Y" so maybe she means "Lucky Noodle." No, that doesn't make any sense either. She was starting to get upset that Mommy was being so dense when Pillowfight Fairy explained that she wants "Yankee Doodle." Ahhh! Yes, Adrenalin Junkie agreed. So Mommy finally was able to save the day by putting on the children's song CD that we have which starts with the song "Yankee Doodle." Now we only had to deal with the tears that one kid had dancing slippers and the other one didn't, one wanted to dance with her sister when sister wanted to dance alone, and No Mommy isn't allowed to sing along. Of course when I told their Daddy about the mix up, he had the giggles for the next several minutes, saying "the more I think about it the funnier it is."

Could it be that they are going through emotional upheaval together? I know I had my share of emotional upheaval as a child, but it was egged on by the fact that my brothers spoiled me and let me get away with things if I cried. I think the emotionalism of one may feed off the other. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes they are kind. Sometimes they miss each other and want to be playmates again. Is this what it's like to raise girls? I guess I had better figure it out so that I know how to deal with it.


As a side note, I have just over another week to go before I get this really, really annoying but very necessary cast off my foot. At that point, they will see how I have healed and decide on the next step (which I hope involves taking steps on it again). I am currently surviving with the kids with lots of help. We have people making us dinners nearly every day and I have ladies coming in the mornings to help me with the kids. I still have to handle all three on my own in the afternoon, but since two of the three kids go down for naps in the afternoon, it isn't as bad. I have also got a few work arounds to help me one of them being a desk chair taking the place of a wheelchair to help me get around. On the down side, Happy Boy decided to start crawling, pulling to a stand and cruising this past weekend. That's just about all he wants to do now and he is getting good fast. It is not a stretch to say that it is now a race to see which one of us will be walking unassisted first. I would usually be happy about such a development, even if it is more work. Now, it is just really awful timing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It is good to see people finishing their education

I went to college for what seemed like forever at times. I have two degrees and attended a total of 4 colleges with 4 different majors (Physics, History, Library Science and Theology). I was a college student whether full-time or part-time for about ten years. I am about 5 classes away from a third degree, but stopped because life intervened in the form of a grandmother moving in, a boss retiring, and starting to date my husband. My career was as a college librarian and I really care about education and education issues.

With that background, I love to hear stories of people not giving up and finishing their education. So many people start their education but find that something gets in the way and they give up. Both of my parents went back to school after their kids were half grown. Both my brothers left college for the work world. I have friends who had interrupted educations for many different reasons. Every person has a unique story of course, but most stories have a lot of mundane life thrown in. However, recently I saw a story that was not ordinary in any way. Here is the link to the news story.

We rarely hear of someone famous going back to school because they want an education. Stars and celebrities are supposed to have the best of life after all, why finish an interrupted education? But, how great is it that a rock star has what it takes to be an astrophysicist? I love it.

Oh, you might wonder if I am planning to go back and finish that degree. Right now, I can't say. I was pretty burned out on college after that many years of it. I have an extremely full life right now. I'm busy teaching my own kids after all. Maybe someday the time will be right again to return to it. But for now I am content.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Nature vs. Nurture

Today I was playing with Happy Boy and out of the blue he made a scrunchy-faced smile that reminded me of my paternal grandfather. Now, I have heard that my paternal grandfather had fair hair (I just remember it as white-gray). But, I would not otherwise have thought of him resembling Happy Boy much. This thought suddenly got me thinking thoughts about how much comes from DNA and how much is learned.

Yes, it is completely possible that my son has inherited physical features that remind me of my paternal grandfather. However, since his physical features generally favor his father's side of the family so greatly, it may be that I noticed something else. Could it be that I saw a learned expression on his face that mirrors one that I may do without thinking? This facial expression may have been passed down through generations, from my grandfather, to my father, to me, and now to my son. I never thought of my Dad's expressions mirroring his Dad because he already looks a lot like him (except for darker hair).

Added to this, I was mentioning the other day how I always thought that I looked more like my Mom, but that one of my Dad's relatives pegged me as his daughter (although I was not obviously being presented as one of the family and was mixed in with lots of other relatives the person had never met). The person I was talking to said that I probably was acting in a way that reminded them of him.

So today, playing with my son it dawned on me that he might be looking like my grandfather at times, because I look like my grandfather at times. Are there other things that I am passing along just as obliviously that I'm going to meet up with in the future? I know that I have "Southernisms" in the way I talk, word choices, that I picked up from my parents. Are my kids going to have some of that, too? My husband worries that they will pick up my bad grammar usages. We all realize that kids pick up our habits as we live together, but how many of us realize that we may be unconsciously passing along traits from relatives long gone? We assume it is inherited since the child has never met the person, but we forget that we have met the person and it shows to the little ones.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Getting the humor back

OK I've felt sorry for myself long enough. It's time to bring the humor back. Today at church I helped a lot of people feel like their problems weren't so bad after all. I even managed to wear an ensemble that matched my purple cast. I figured that if I color-matched with a cast, people would be less startled by the fact that the other foot was in an athletic shoe.

Today at lunch I started brainstorming up new sports that could be played by people in my condition. How about crutch hockey? That might just catch on. I have to play it to move toys out of my way. How about an obstacle course? I do that just going from the kitchen to the bathroom. Then there is my current favorite... just hop up and down on one foot for the next four weeks. It sounds ridiculous. That's because it is. I might as well wallow in the absurdity.

Living suddenly in a way that does not allow you to use one foot, requires so many adjustments. I can't do at least 90% of the things I would normally do. Most of the other 10% requires a lot of adjustment, too. You definitely begin to feel for those who have to make such an adjustment permanently. I am also a lot less inclined to let my kids leave their toys on the floor. Hopefully, I will make good progress in healing and will be slowly getting back to normal again. Will I look back on this and laugh, oh sure... I already do. Will I remember to be careful? Hopefully, but sometimes we can be forgetful when we are busy with the present.

Now that my humor is coming back, I need to help my husband find the humor, too. After all, he's taking vacation time to do those 90% of things that I can't do. So, things have to be really funny to phase him right now. But, I think that he's getting better at it, too.