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Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Paul and Kate are experimenting with a "chocolate trifle" - we usually do the traditional berry type (Paul's grandmother's recipe), but Kate asked for something different. It's looking pretty darn yummy!!! That'll be tomorrow's dessert.

Last night we made the grasshopper pies, which will be tonight's dessert. Yup, it's crazy dessert time of year, LOL!

Got nearly 2 miles in this morning, but just walking, I wasn't feeling the running today. At least I got out and moved though. In a bit, I'm taking Kate to get a manicure. A huge luxury for a 10-year-old, I know, but I'm tired of fighting with her and her nails look awful, really need some maintenance. She always messes them up when she tries to pain them, and when I pain them we always get in a snit because she won't sit still long enough for them to dry properly. So I'm going to pay a professional to do it, LOL!

This afternoon, we'll grab my dad and head to the Bay Area for the annual xmas eve party. My family has spent xmas eve with two other families for as long as I can remember. It's fun because it used to be parents and kids, but now most of us "kids" have kids, ranging from kindergarten to college grad! So it's a big group. I only see them once or twice a year so it's wonderful to catch up with everyone, they're like family to me since my actual relatives all live back East. And we do a big gift exchange that's always fun.

Tomorrow morning after presents and all, we'll once again grab my dad, and head up to Paul's parents' for the day. His sister will be there, but her partner is at her own mom's house for xmas. It'll be a nice couple days, though I'm really going to try hard to keep my eating reined in!

Then on Friday afternoon we head to San Francisco to board a plane to London!!! Can't believe it's almost here!!! I've got to start working on a packing list, I've barely even thought about what I'm going to take. But it'll all work out.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 12/24/2014 6:50PM

    You have a very Merry Christmas too Erin.

And have a blast in London too!

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WOOFERCOALBOY 12/24/2014 2:04PM

    Take lots of pictures in London & post them!!!

Congratulations for the walk this morning, keeping up the exercise.

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Last Day of Work for 2014!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Today is my last day of work till January 5th, woo hoo!

My new boss is starting today, so that's kind of nice - we can start forward progress before the break. Such a relief to have all the unknowns out of the way after this month of uncertainty - our new chief starts today, our other new consultant starts January 2nd, and we had a conference call with our new Chair the other day (we'll meet with him in person the first week of January, when the legislative session starts).

Kate was doing much better last night, though tired, understandably. I think it was good for her to have a day with the grandparents. Grammy took her shopping at the knitting store where the two of them will be taking a beginner class in January - Kate is very excited about it! She's already planning to knit many scarves. ;-)

Dragged myself out of bed to exercise this morning, I'm making myself do every day this week except Thursday (hard to fit a workout in on Christmas morning, just a little bit going on then!). I was just going to walk, but then I thought that's stupid, I'm unencumbered (e.g., the dog was crashed out back home, exhausted from playing with my in-laws' dog all day yesterday), so I should go for it. So I did run 1-1/2, walk 2, and I made myself actually stick to 2 minutes on those walks! And I found myself often running more like 1:40 or 1:45, so it must be about time to bump up to 2-min runs. Not sure I'll manage that before we leave on vacation, but I'll try. Anyhow, I got 10-1/2 min of running in.

That's about it, better get back to work. Happy Christmas Eve eve!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORNH 12/23/2014 9:24PM

    Nice! Enjoy the time off for the holiday!

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SUGIRL06 12/23/2014 5:45PM

    Great job getting out there for a run!!

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ERIN1128 12/23/2014 12:39PM

    Ha! I put that on there to remind myself to add it, then forgot to delete it. Need more coffee!

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UMBILICAL 12/23/2014 12:36PM


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GHK1962 12/23/2014 12:31PM

    What I'm reallllllyyyyyy wondering is ....

What is the "2.4" at the bottom all about?!?!?

hahaha - you have a GREAT Christmas Erin. And wooohoooo last day of work!

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Nuclear Kid Meltdown

Monday, December 22, 2014

Oh lordy, where to begin. How about with exercise...I took Saturday off but took the pooch out for 2.6 miles yesterday. This morning I was exhausted - didn't get to bed till nearly midnight, more on that in a minute - so I decided to try for 6 minutes of running. Don't know why I picked that number, other than that it's about half of what I've been running. Continued my run 1-1/2 minutes, walk 2 (I know, I really need to start increasing!), but my walks today were more like 2-1/2 - 3. But I got 10-1/2 minutes in! Not quite as good as I've been doing, but better than I set out to do so I guess that's something.

Super busy weekend...made cookie dough Friday night for the cookie party....had the annual cookie party with Kate's friend Eleanor and her mom on Saturday afternoon (I really dislike that woman more each time I have to spend time with her, ugh)...made gingerbread cookies Sunday morning for the other party...had a Girl Scout meeting Sunday afternoon...and had the entire troop over for a Christmas party last night. And then got told at bedtime, when Kate was in total meltdown, what a horrible parent I am and how I never do anything for her. AAAAARGH.

So, the party...well, Kate spent weeks and weeks planning it, with help from her friend Amelia, and she had it basically planned down to the minute. Which didn't work too well...the girls were happy starting off, but when she started rushing them from one "station" to the next, they finally rebelled (understandably) and said they wanted to do stuff at their own pace.

So Kate had a bit of a meltdown, and we had to pull her aside and have a chat...she was furious that she had worked so hard and they didn't want to do it her way - yes, she unfortunately is the child of two control-freak parents! So we talked to her about loosening up a bit and being flexible and letting the girls just pick what station to go to, and to her credit she sucked it up and did that and the rest of the party went great.

But she had a huge meltdown at bedtime...we'd kind of known this was coming, because she's been giving us huge attitude lately and we seem to have to go through this pattern once in a while..tons of attitude, then we call her on it, she goes into a huge meltdown, then she seems to feel better and everything is good for a while. She was so tired this morning that I couldn't get a good read on how she's doing today, but she'll be spending the day with Grammy which is always good.

But I have to tell you, it was hard to keep my own temper in check, to be told I never do anything for her, after spending basically my entire weekend on her stuff! Oy, the joys of being a parent. Obviously I want her to be happy, but she also needs to appreciate the amount of time we spend on being a Girl Scout leader, Paul on PTA, both of us volunteering at school, etc. Sigh. Hopefully we'll be better moving forward, or this trip is going to be interesting!

As for the trip, I don't know if I've said, but we're going to LONDON! Woo hoo! A friend of Paul's is living there temporarily for work and offered us his place so how could we resist? At first we were thinking next summer, because we didn't want to pull Kate out of school again after our October vacation, but we don't know how long he'll be there, and it occurred to us that if we do it next week we don't have to pull her out of school!

He lives in the financial district because he works for one of those big companies like Bear Stearns, but he's right next to a "tube" station and his place has a view of the River Thames. Should be pretty cool! We're flying out of San Francisco on Friday night (the day after xmas), and returning the following Friday. A quick trip, but worth it. Gonna be darn cold though, looks like highs in the 40s....brrrrr for us Californians! ;-)

In other news, the scale was down about half a pound yesterday, but I'm not getting excited yet because I go up and down 2-3 lbs so often! But at least it didn't go up. But xmas is this week so it'll be tough to maintain, and then we're off on vacation and between travel-eating and not being able to exercise (other than all the tourist walking), I'm not optimistic about where my weight will be when we get back.

Other than that, the dog started limping out of nowhere yesterday afternoon, so we took today off walking her and hopefully that'll do the trick. The fridge started randomly beeping and giving us repair messages this morning, so we're getting someone out today to deal with that. The fun never stops!!!!

Happy Monday.

p.s. edited to add that the tramadol is helping greatly - I'm not pain-free, but MUCH lower level of pain. I'm only taking half a pill at a time, per doc's suggestion, and I'm feeling a tad funky so I think I'll stick with that rather than going up to a whole pill.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORNH 12/23/2014 2:03AM

    Wow, what a post! Hopefully Kate will be back to herself soon. My folks recently shared that I was an easy kid overall execpt during my adolescent and teen years when I drove them, especially my Dad who is very logical, nuts! As hard as it is let the "bad parent" stuff roll off your back even as you set whatever limits around it that feel right to you and Paul. My Mom jokes about how she was "the meanest mommy in the whole wide world" according to my brother Vince when he was four or five.

Have a great trip to London!! I visited after Christmas one year when I was still a Floridian and while the weather wasn't great, it wasn't horrible either.

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GHK1962 12/22/2014 11:59PM

    I think Kate did an awesome job planning. And yeah, she got a little ...

But that's ok.

You and Paul are awesome parents. She drives you crazy. You have to be more than patient. And it's Christmas!

I think overall, when I read about how you and your husband make time for your daughter .... and how you take time for your walks .... you all are having kinda a good balance, even with "those" days. You should be proud of yourself I think. :-)

And .... you have an absolutely GREAT time in in London!

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Well, I started on the tramadol last night - half of one at bedtime, the other half when I got up - and it is HUGELY helping with the pain. Woooooo hoooooooooo!!!! I can't tell you how nice it is to be at a 2 or 3 pain level, as opposed to an 8 or 10. I was feeling funky for a little while this morning, but I think maybe that's because I took it on an empty stomach...the doc said I should take it with food, but I'm so used to just taking my pills when I get up (I work out, then eat breakfast) that I didn't think about it. So I'll try to be a little more careful about that.

We found out our committee chair (the Senator boss) the other day, and this morning we found out who the chief consultant (the staff boss) will be. So finally, things are coming together! Nice that we'll be able to leave for xmas break without everything being totally up in the air.

I was good at dinner last night - we went out for Paul's mom's bday - I had spaghetti and meatballs, passed up all the burgers on the menu, and didn't poach anybody's fries. And we didn't end up going out for ice cream after, so that was good!

I've been good this week, haven't eaten any of the xmas crap that has come through the office. I've been having one or two kisses from our candy jar about every other night, not too too bad. I've been faithfully eating my plain greek yogurt for my morning snack. We have switched from white bread to multigrain, and I'm now doing one piece of peanut butter toast and one hardboiled egg for breakfast, instead of two pieces of peanut butter toast. I really don't love hardboiled eggs, I think I will need to change it up by scrambling them some days or something.

Lost track of my runs this morning but I'm almost positive I did 9 runs, which is 13-1/2 minutes. Might have actually done 10 runs, but I don't think so. (I'm running 1-1/2 minutes, walking 2).

Okay, gotta run, our new chief is here!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 12/22/2014 12:02PM

    There was what I call "The Great Cookie Binge" last week. I just couldn't stop myself! Then I had a cookie exchange party on Sunday and barely touched anything because I was so sick of sugar. At least I got it out of my system! I hope you are stronger than me!

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FLORNH 12/20/2014 3:12AM

    That all sounds good! Nice job on avoiding the holiday treats!
And I'm so glad the tramadol is working and your pain is reduced. Have a great weekend.

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GHK1962 12/19/2014 7:28PM

    Alright that the meds are working. That is a narcotic pain med I think. (I have had to take it before ... and interestingly enough, so has my dog! I learned more about it when I had to give it to the pup than when I needed it haha.)

And aren't those spine diagrams kinda cool?

So where are you all headed for vacation?

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MRI Followup with Doc

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Saw the doc this morning to go over the results of the MRI test. SUPER helpful! I probably screwed up her schedule for the entire day, because she spent a full half hour with me, but it was just great. She went through all the results with me, walked through all the treatment options, etc. etc. etc.

Basically, I have four problem discs - the four lowest, right down to my tailbone. Two of them (the two lowest) are bulging badly enough to cause "nerve impingement" (pinched nerve) and "degeneration" (arthritis).

She laid out three tiers of treatment. First, pain management and physical therapy...she prescribed me traumatol and physical therapy, and suggested acupuncture. I've heard good things about acupuncture and I believe my insurance is going to start covering it in 2015 so maybe I'll look into that in January.

Second tier is going to the pain management clinic and getting an epidural or even a nerve blocker. (Apparently cortisone isn't an option.) She said there are really mixed results - some people get relief from an epidural for 3-6 months, which is ideal, but some only get a few days' relief. She recommended starting with tier one for a month and seeing where I am. She's willing to prescribe an epidural if I want it, but would prefer to avoid it, which is fine with me.

Third tier is surgery, but that's the extreme, only if absolutely nothing else works and the pain just can't be managed. She doesn't see that being in the cards for me. Whew.

So we're starting with tier one - meds and physical therapy. I asked her if bulging discs solve themselves and she said no, surgery is the only way to do that. So I asked okay, does this mean I'm now on traumatol for the rest of my life? And she assured me that no, the reason I'm in so much pain right now is because everything has flared up. She thinks if I can get through another month or so (e.g, with pain management), then the inflammation will settle down and I'll basically be back to normal. I assume I'll have occasional flareups in the long term, but I don't really want to think about that! :-p

She said I'm not in horrendous shape - I don't have any loss of strength in my legs, and I'm not having problems with incontinence, numbness, etc. So I guess it could be worse. Fortunately today is a good day, it's not bothering me much. Though I've been up and down a lot, which helps - time in the chair is a killer and it's going to be tough when the legislative session starts up in January and I'm back to sitting in meetings half the day.

Other than that, just continuing the daily juggle that is life. Took Bam-Bam out this morning for a 2.2-mile walk. No rain today, yay! We're supposed to have a dry day, then I think it's coming back tomorrow. We'll beat this drought yet!

Tonight we're doing an early dinner for my mother-in-law's birthday, before Kate's band concert. I'll have to be good! Especially since I'm sure we'll go out for ice cream afterward.

Happy Thursday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PKBOO3 12/21/2014 5:38PM

    You can do it. Like I said before, the PT should help. They can teach you stuff you can continually use to strengthen your back.

I have a bulged disc also. (Plus scoliosis - that's a different issue). I do pretty good usually, but like your doctor said, it can flare up I suppose from overuse.

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FLORNH 12/19/2014 3:49AM

    It is great that you have answers and the condition will be manageable! And I highly recommend acupuncture!

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GHK1962 12/18/2014 7:28PM

    Ahh...the L discs. It also sounds like a good plan as far as how you are going about doing it. Least invasive first - that tends to be the best route most of the time. (Unless they see something that suggests otherwise ... and your doc doesn't so that is good.

As to what nerves get affected and where they affect, here are two links. The first one show the L vertabrae associated with each disc. The second is a diagram of the nerves coming out of the spinal area, and where they go. (I got the feeling your legs are being affected from what you say? But your lower mid back? If that is so, while 4 of the discs area going through degenerative disease (which most people start to get as they age ... nothing too startling) ... perhaps most of the issues is the disc between L2/L3? (Why am I playing doctor!?!? Sheeeshh....I am just looking at pictures and guessing!)



Anyway, I hope the PT works!

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