Currently {May 30th}

Hey you guys! I swear I did not fall off the Earth. This week was the last week of school for my kids so we were sort of busy with that. Plus I've been knitting and reading and being kind of lazy.  So I'm sneaking in a Currently post before the week is over.

this week:
watching, dealing, losing, dreaming, committing

I'm watching Bones on Netflix right now.  I used to watch it all the time, but stopped for some reason that I don't even remember.  I'm trying to get as caught up as I can.

We are dealing with the "why" stage of Ro's life.  Why is the sun out?  Why is it cloudy?  Why do we go pee?  What is a butthole? (After her sister called her a butthole.)

I'm dreaming of harvesting veggies from our garden!  We finally got a decent little garden going and I go outside daily to see how much everything has grown.

I am trying to commit to reading more.  I am so behind on my challenge of 25 books. Can you believe that it's almost June!?!?

Reading:  I finished reading Witches of East End.  So different from the show, but still a good book.  I lucked out and found Prince Lestat at the library and was the first to check it out.  There is something oddly pleasing about being the first person to check out a new book.

next week:
reading, watching, listening, eating, enjoying

Currently link up is hosted by Kale + Beans and OT & ET.

Square Foods

I stumbled upon these images.  I couldn't stop thinking they were facinating.  It was possibly due to the narcotics I've been taking for the past week.

via Lernert & Sander
A Dutch newspaper, De Volkskran, commissioned the design studio, Lernert & Sander, "to make a photograph for their documentary photography special, with the theme Food. We transformed unprocessed food into perfect cubes of 2,5 x 2,5 x 2,5 cm."

via Lernert & Sander
Some of these seem to be easy to identify, but others...  I am so lost.  A reddit user decided to take on the task of labeling them all.

via ChanguitaShadow on reddit 

I don't know why I find all these tiny, perfectly square foods strangely satisfying, but I do. And apparently tons of other people do too because the reddit discussion is just as awesome.

Currently {May 21st}

this week:
tasting, wearing, working, checking, playing

I have not been tasting too much this week.  I'm trying to keep it bland-ish.  I don't want to upset my stomach too much.  I want to let it get used to not having a gallbladder.  However, I have been eating more and more "normal" foods to test the waters.  I even had some bacon that my husband made sure to cook a little more than I usually like it and then he even made sure to soak up as much grease as he could.  Told me he just loved me that much.  Awww...

I am wearing all the yoga pants and all the lose fitting shirts.  I would say this is because of the surgery, but I wear these more than I should on a regular basis anyway.

I have been letting others do all the working for me.  My husband and son got the four corner posts set into the ground for the fencing around the garden, but that's as far as they have gotten and I am itching to get the rest of it done.

I was checking on my incision site way more than I should.  I really, really, really wanted to take the dressing off so I could see what it looked like under there.  But I waited like I was told to do...  Finally removing it on Monday night.  There is a picture over on Instagram if you want to check it out.

I have been playing online games a bit more than usual this week.  When I have the time, usually on the weekends, I play Runescape.  Since the little has been staying with my mom during the day so I could recover without chasing a toddler, I've been logging on more often.

Watching:  Catching up on shows that I missed last week.  Game of Thrones, Lost Girl, Bitten, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., etc.

Reading:  Ermahgerd, I HAVE been reading!  Witches of East End.

next week:
watching, dealing, losing, dreaming, committing

Currently link up is hosted by Kale + Beans and OT & ET.

My Gallbladder Surgery - Part Three - A Diary

Now that it's been a week since my surgery I can reflect back with more clarity. Because hydrocodone is pleasant when taken every four hours as prescribed.

When I first got home, I tried to lay down in my bed as I had planned, but quickly realized that wasn't going to work because I couldn't get up or down at all without jabbing abdominal pains.  I felt like I had done a thousand sit-ups the day before.  Laying down wasn't really an option so I took up camp on the couch instead.

Wednesday (Day 1) and Thursday (Day 2):  I felt a bit better.  I tried spacing out the pain meds further than every 4 hours.  The throat dryness and pain was nearly as bad as the stomach pains.  I still wasn't too interested in food though.  I ate yogurt, grapes, oatmeal, potato soup.  Drank lots of water and occasionally a ginger ale.  I pretty much just slept all day.

Friday (Day 3):  I decided to forego pain meds for the day.  I kept reading how everyone had stopped taking them by day three because they can cause constipation.  The thought of having to strain to push out even the tiniest of all turds terrified me.  My throat wasn't hurting anymore so I drank juice, took stool softener, and ate some chicken.  By the time everyone got home from school/work, I wasn't having a good day.  I had become lightheaded and cranky.  Finally, I broke down and took some pain meds around 9PM and suddenly all was right with the world.  I slept all night.

Saturday (Day 4):  I really did feel better.  Still had some lightheadedness, which I am attributing to the fact that I hadn't eaten enough to keep a bird alive up to this point.  My appetite actually returned.  I ate some peanut butter crackers, grapes, Goldfish.  I got up and moved around, even went outside for a bit.  I had been getting up and down and using the bathroom on my own up to this point already, but by Saturday I didn't really have to have a pillow smooshed up on my belly.  I moved myself to my bed from the couch.  I even had a "proper" supper of baked fish with side veggies.

Sunday (Day 5):  I pooped!  Too much information?  Probably, but after 4-ish days of pain meds, daily stool softeners, and fear of painful pushing, actually going #2 gave me a bit of relief.  I felt like that was my last hurdle to cross.  Getting up and down was so much easier and I even ventured outside for a while.  Standing for too long is still a problem though.  I ate two pieces of bacon with no adverse effects.  Thank god.  I love bacon.  But to be honest, other than these "attacks" I'd had three times, I really had/have no other food related issues.  Sure, eating a bowl of Ramen noodles always gives me the scooties, but who eats Ramen and DOESN'T have to go poo?!  My new fear is that I will have issues eating certain foods that I did not have before my gall bladder was removed.  Since Friday, I have only been taking pain meds at bedtime.

Monday (Day 6):  I am feeling about 80% myself again.  I slowly sipped on a cup of cappuccino this morning.  Stomach seems to take it just fine.  I can actually stand up straight now with minimal pain in my abdomen.  I feel a little itchy.  Kind of on the inside, kind of around the dressing.  I want to take it off now, but the nurse made sure to tell me several times to leave it on for one week.  Tonight was my son's first band banquet and I missed it.  It made me sad.  I probably could have gone, but I wasn't sure if I could sit in a hard chair for a few hours and still be comfortable so I skipped it.

Tuesday (Day 7):  I gave in.  Took the bandage off last night.  I did wait until about 8pm to do it though.  I just couldn't stand it anymore!!   I feel 95% myself today.  I double checked my discharge instructions and it said to make a follow-up appointment for a week.  When I called she made my appointment for two weeks.  Oops.  I'm not having any adverse side effects so I think two weeks is ok.  I realized yesterday that I've lost my flip flops.  I wore them to the hospital on surgery day and I know that I didn't leave the hospital barefoot.  So I lost them some where between surgery day and Thursday.  Those days are a little lost to me so....

Conclusion:  Surgery sucks.  At 36, I'd never had any major surgery.  It wasn't fun, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated it to be.  Basically it boils down to my abdomen feeling like I had done a million sit-ups for a week.  I was lucky that the doctor was able to do a single site surgery and I have only one incision in my belly button.  A quick search of the gallbladder surgery hashtag on Instagram reveals that 99% of the surgeries had multiple incisions.  And that was the original plan according to the doctor.  I didn't know until I woke up in recovery that there had only been one.

I am thankful and I am grateful to my family and friends who helped me out the last week. It would have been nearly impossible to get by without them.

My Gallbladder Surgery - Part Two

So that anesthesiologist knocked my ass out without even so much as a warning.  And thank whatever god you please for that because I DID NOT want to see the operating room.

When I woke up, the first thing I remember was noticing the clock across the room from me.  I didn't have my glasses on so I was virtually blind.  That's when I started to talk.  It went down something like this.

I looked at the nurse and said... nothing because I couldn't get any words to form.  Stupid breathing tube done jacked up my throat.

Nurse:  "Would you like some water?"

Me: nods furiously, nurse hands me a styrofoam cup of ice water

It was freakin' amazing.  I remember telling myself to sip slowly.  I did not want to hurl.

Me:  "I don't have on my glasses, but does that clock say it's 6 o'clock?"

Nurse:  "It sure does!"

Me:  "Can I have water when I get home?"

Nurse:  "Uh huh, you sure can.  Are you in pain?"

M:  "A little, but you know this isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I love those things on my legs. *lifts legs*  They're like little massages for your legs.  They are awesome."

N: "Yes, they're compression so you don't get blood clots."

This is where things get a bit foggy.  I think I asked something else about going home or if I could pee when I got home...  I'm not sure, but the next thing I remember is being back in the secondary recovery area with my new nurse, Sandra. 

Sandra is a blessing.  She talked to me in a soft, pleasant voice.  She came into the room and, as she was noticing my cup of water, asked if I'd had something to drink yet.  I told her that I had and she said...

Sandra:  "That's great!  Let's get you up so you can go to the bathroom."

M:  "Okay!"

Sandra:  "Oh, I guess you already peed.  Did you know you had gone hun?  Just feel down there."  *points*

M:  *feels the bed behind my butt*  "Uh... yeah, nope.  Had no idea.  Sorry."

Yep, I peed in the bed.  I think now that must have been what I was asking the first recovery nurses about.

So sweet Sandra helps me to the bathroom (I do not remember the trip there) and helps me get out of my hospital granny panties.  Let me just add right here that those suckers are fabulous.  She got a warm, soapy wash cloth, cleaned me off, then handed me another warm wash cloth to rinse with.  While I was rinsing off, I asked Sandra if this counted as eliminating.  It's one of the requirements for getting to go home.  And she said, "Absolutely honey!"

I love Sandra.  She helped me get dressed then went to get Chris.  The husband, not the anesthesiologist.  She asked if I needed anything for pain, but then checked my chart and realized I'd already been given a healthy dose of demerol.  I asked her how long I needed to wait before taking any of my pain meds that the doctor had prescribed and she told me to take them as soon as I wanted.  She let me know they'd ended up giving me three bags of fluids, which is probably part of the reason I'd peed on myself.  

She told me not to take off my bandage for a week.  "Just the one bandage!," she said, "because they used the daVinci machine."  She helped me into a wheel chair, helped me into my car, blessed my heart, and sent me on my way.

My Gallbladder Surgery - Part One

I was not nervous on the day of surgery.  Every other day leading up to surgery day was a different story.  I tried to think of every reason why I should not have my gallbladder removed.  To be honest, my hindsight is telling me that I probably should have just let it go.  

I've had three "attacks" since January.  The last one was in April and I went to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack.  The ER doctor told me that he couldn't really contribute what I was feeling to the gallstones they discovered, but that it could very likely be the culprit.  I made an appointment to speak with a gastroenterologist just to hear his opinion of the ultrasound results.  In the meantime, I consulted Dr. Google.  I briefly considered trying to flush the stones "naturally", but my brain immediately went into panic mode and I knew for certain that a stone would become lodged in my common bile duct and I'd die of pancreatitus. 

So they scheduled my surgery for May 12th at noon.

I arrived a little early because that's just what I do.  Then we waited.  And waited...

Finally they called me back to get prepped.  Around 1:30PM.

The nurse, Dana, got my IV started with only one stick, but it was rough.  

She said, "Wow, that vein was a tough one."  

I responded, "Probably because I haven't had anything to eat or drink in more than 15 hours."  

She got a bag of fluids started.  We began to wait again.  Because as per the usual for life, things were running behind.  A previous surgery had taken a bit longer than expected.  So the person before me was behind too.  

Nurse changed from Dana to Rocky.  When they came into my room to let me know they were changing shifts, the first nurse realized I'd almost gotten the entire bag of fluid already.  Whoops.  So she let the new nurse know I'd be needing a new bag.  Rocky changed my bag and lowered the drip level.  Thank you Nurse Rocky.  That was the last time I saw her.  Somewhere in here I began to freak out and considered running for my life.

Anesthesiologist came in around 2:30ish, his name was Chris.  He asked me all the routine questions. He explained to me what he would be doing.  

He said, "What I'm going to do is, when we get ready to go to the OR, I'll put something in your IV to relax you.  Then when we get to the OR, I'll give you an oxygen mask.  It's going to smell funny, like rubber, but that is normal.  When you are asleep, I'll put a breathing tube in so that we'll make sure your airway is clear and you are breathing normally."

"Okay?", he said.

"Okay.", I said.

That is not what happened.  At 3PM, the nurse and Chris came into the room to take me back.  I gave my husband a kiss and hug and told him bye.  At the same time, the anesthesiologist was pushing that "something to relax" me into my IV.  

I said, "Oh that's warm.  Is that th.... yes, it is."

That's all I remember.

Currently {Delayed Version}

Hey peeps! So... I had this sort of queued up to post because I thought by Thursday I'd be fine to write out a Currently post. I was mistaken. Horribly, horribly mistaken. I'm just going to do a quick little post here then work on a post about my surgical adventure for next week. I'm aiming for Monday, but I ain't makin' no guarantees.

this week:
looking, loving, planning, starting, wishing

Last week I did a lot of looking at gallbladder stuff online.  What happens before surgery, after surgery... during surgery.

The day before my surgery the farmer sowed the fields next to and behind our house.  I was outside with Ro when he started and we stood next to the house to watch him plant.  He pulled right up to the fence and waved for us to come to the tractor then offered to let us ride along.  Ro was loving it!  If I'm honest, I did too.  It was pretty fun.

I spent the majority of my time  planning for my recovery situation.  Getting everything set up in my bedroom.  Which turned out to be stupid because I've spent the last few days posted up on my couch instead.

The garden is finally starting to show some sprouts!  We are having some critters, probably rabbits, visit at night and eat our little green bean leaves.  We're looking into putting up a fence of some kind to deter them for now.

Last week I was just wishing for Tuesday to get here so I could have the surgery and be done.  Now I am wishing that I had just not done it!

next week:
tasting, wearing, working, checking, playing

Currently link up is hosted by Kale + Beans and OT & ET.

Spherical Shapes

Last year I downloaded the Google Camera app to my phone.  Just so I could create one of those cool photo spheres you see on Google Maps.  So I went to my backyard and did a little quick snap snap or spin spin really (it automatically takes photos as you move) to try it out.

Then uploaded it.

Never intending to be more than a trial in doing a photo sphere.

My embarrassing backyard photo sphere now has over 1,000 views.  A thousand people have viewed the overgrown weeds and trees, the makeshift metal covering a window that needs to be replaced, and my seemingly one legged shadow.

Er. Muh. Gerd. Y'all.


I didn't exactly plan to be all matchy with my 3.5 year old, but it turned out that we do kind of match.

My dress is made with one of my grandmother's vintage sheets!  It's super soft and light.  I used the Angie dress pattern from SisBoom Patterns.  Rowan's dress is made with vintage pillowcases.  For hers, I used a FREE pattern from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom (I just love her blog name!). For a free pattern, the pattern and her tutorial are awesome!  Plus it goes from 12 months to 8 years!

Tomorrow is surgery day.  Probably won't be too much sewing or crafting for a little while.  I hope I'm only "down" for a few days.  Good news is that I found a couple of cookbooks at the library on Saturday that I can look through and copy down recipes.  I also happened across Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz.  I loved the tv show, but since it got cancelled - BUMMER - I thought I'd just read the book!  I've also stocked up on yogurt, chicken noodle soup, and some nice veggie stew.  I don't want to piss off my stomach too early on.  One of my besties (who is a SAINT!) has volunteered to make us a few freezer casseroles and me some potato soup for the next week.  I pink puffy heart her.

So here goes nothing y'all!

Currently {May 7th}

this week:
bringing, running, listening, creating, buying

Bringing:  At this moment, I am bringing myself to my pre-op appointment to get ready for my surgery on the 12th.  I'm nervous.  If I'm being totally honest, I'm actually pretty scared.  At 36 years old, I've never had surgery.  Never even had a broken bone.  The only time I've ever been hospitalized was when my children were born.  I've never been put to sleep. That's what is really bothering me.  I'm just having my gallbladder removed, but still...  I iz skeer'd.

Running:  So far May has been a pretty active month for us.  We've been running to pick up one or both of the older kids from afterschool activities.  Neil has decided to try soccer this year and soon we'll be doing quite a bit more running for those games.  Kaia is considering color guard for marching band next year so she's been staying after doing some practices for that.

Listening:  I made an ambient station on my Pandora.  It's so calming and relaxing.  Helps to get the 3.5 year old to sleep faster.

Creating:  Today? Nothing.  This week?  Lots of dresses.  I haven't finished the knitted dress I'm working on yet though.

Buying:  Actually we aren't buying anything other than the necessities right now.  In fact, I just cancelled our satellite.  We talked about doing it last year, but never did it.  This year I didn't wait around for the husband to talk me out of it.  I just called and did it.  This will save us $90 a month.

Watching:  I've started watching Daredevil on Netflix.  I guess I'm a little behind.  I love to geek-out on all things Marvel so this is good.  And might I say that it's way better than the movie version.

Reading:  I should probably just stop adding this prompt.  However, I am going to the library on Saturday to look for some books.  Surgery on Tuesday so I'm anticipating laying around for several days afterward and I'll need something to do.

next week:
looking, loving, planning, starting, wishing

Currently link up is hosted by Kale + Beans and OT & ET.

WIP Wednesday {May 6th}

I finished up a third dress for Ro this morning.  I haven't taken any photos of it yet though.  Today I started on something new.  A dress for myself.  The pattern is called the Angie Dress and you can find it here.

I also tried my hand at making my own bias tape.  I used this awesome (and FREE!) printable single fold bias tape maker from Scientific Seamstress.  There is a 1" version and a 0.5" version.  The pattern calls for half-inch wide single fold so I used that one.  I made way more than I needed because it was so easy!

I managed to finish the bodice in between visitors, lunch, snacks, and before the older kids got off the bus.  I did realize that I made the wrong calculations for the skirt length though and I hope that I will be able to  add a little length before I get started on adding the skirt to the bodice.

WIP = Work in Progress

Spring Fling

My Mom recently gave me some vintage sheets and pillowcases.  Ok, so maybe I asked her if she had any hiding in a box in the closet.  She had these pretty flower pillowcases that I thought would make the cutest dress for Ro.  Especially with that ruffle edge.  I love these simple peasant dresses!

I added a tie/belt to the flower dress because, to be honest, it looked like a nightgown without it.  The Hello Kitty dress is a little short, but it's easy to just put on some leggings under it.  Bonus that as it gets too short as a dress, she can just wear it as tunic shirt.

Currently, I'm plotting the best yard sale locations for vintage sheets or really... just cute sheets. Because ...  seriously look at that pose.  She's a natural.

May the 4th and All that Jazz

Our wonderful neighbor came by on Friday evening and used a huge tiller to till up the new garden spot.  Bright and early Saturday morning, we headed to the local farm supply store for starter plants and seeds.  I broke out my 20 year old boots.

Hoein' ain't easy. *insert pimp joke* We spent more time than we should have removing clods of grass.  Eventually we got it done.  Green beans, corn, carrots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, and basil (because I LOVE PESTO).  I forgot onions, lettuce, and cabbage.  I blame it on my overexcitement of finally having a real garden after years of trying different container ideas.

Sunday, I remembered that I am 36 years old.  Bending over repeatedly planting seeds and digging in the dirt for hours in the 80F degree heat is not as fun the day after doing it.

Please let there be fruit (and veggies) from my efforts. May the Force be with me.

Adventures on a Thursday

Thursday began normal enough.

A 3am wake up from the 3.5 year old proclaiming her need to pee.  As I shuffle into the bathroom without glasses in the dark, she then asks in the sweetest voice, "Mama, can I sleeps with you now?" Duh.  I'm just happy she's not likely to pee on me between now and 6:30am because she just went. So we both shuffle back to the bed.  That's when I realize that my husband isn't in the bed.

I get her all snuggled in.  I shuffle off again to find what happened to hubs.  I find him propped up on the couch with a washcloth over his eyes.  Super.  He's flash burned his eyes.  AGAIN.  He is a welder/fabricator so this has happened before.  He bought a new welding helmet recently and is still getting adjusted to the new settings.  Once I know what the dealio is...  I shuffle back off to bed.

I get up at 6:15am, make some coffee, turn on the local morning news.  Listen to the snores coming from the couch.  Getting the two oldest kids out of bed for school is always the most fun part of my day.  They finally wander out of their rooms in time to make it to school.  I don't think my daughter brushed her hair.  I hand her a hair tie and tell her to bun it.  I'm nervous and not paying much attention because Thursday was my appointment with the gastroenterologist.

I arrived 15 minutes early because I knew I would have to fill out a few forms.  I start talking to the receptionist and after a few minutes she asks for my insurance card and a picture ID.  Sure.  Oh wait...  I left my damn wallet in the car.  So I shuffle speedwalk out to the parking lot and grab my wallet.  She hands me my paperwork and tells me to go to the next waiting room.

Behind me the waiting room begins to fill in.  Apparently there are a couple of older than me couples sitting behind me (I didn't swivel around to look to see just how much older).  They begin chatting about food, people... politics.  It began as a little conversation about the current candidates for Kentucky's governors office.  Somehow this conversation morphed into gay people.  At first I was upset, maybe a little angry, when one of the ladies mentioned how so and so's cousin's brother was "that way" and how she wondered what the "older folks" must think of "all this mess".

I began to realize while listening that I wasn't really feeling anger.  I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed that people still have these kinds of views.  It all felt so 1950's to me.  Like I was overhearing the conversation at a cocktail party.  It's hard for me to convey the inflections of their conversation or even all of the conversations.  I wanted to say something.  I felt the need to say something, anything.  But I heard my husband's voice in my head telling me to not get into it.  He usually is the one to talk me down from confronting people.  THEN!  The same woman who was condeming so and so's cousin's brother for being "that way", began talking about Etta's granddaughter who married that one boy after they had that baby together and how she'd just kicked him out of the house, etc., etc.  I just continued knitting away and said in my best sing song voice, "That's a SIN TOO!!!"  Sorry hubs, I tried to keep my mouth shut.

By this time, it's 9:20ish and the nurse opens the little window and says the doctor isn't in yet.  She doesn't know where he is.  My appointment was at 9am.  He must have had a sixth sense about the nurse because she called me back just after her announcement.  It went pretty quickly.  Not the news I wanted to hear and in about 2 weeks I'll be sharing loads of gallbladder surgery photos and recovery tidbits.  It's going to be amazeballs.  Not.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!  We're just chillin', watching the evening news when I see one of our neighbors (that lives about 3 miles down the road because we live in the kuntry y'all) pull into our driveway on a tractor.  We go outside to say hello and he says, "Y'all want a garden?"

Uh... yes, please! So he used the disc to turn over a huge spot in our backyard.  He even said he'd come back in a few days and till it all up for us!  Now it's already May and I'm frantically trying to research what I can buy and plant to get this sucker growing.  I have grand dreams of canning my own salsa and eating fresh canned green beans in December.

And my Thursday ended just as normally as it started.