Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bull's Eye!

We've had a couple of injuries incurred in the past couple of weeks.  First of all, Isaac and Alex LOVE to wrestle, fight, and generally rough house.  It drives me crazy usually but sometimes it's cute.  Alex is really good and kind to Isaac when they are going at it and so nobody gets hurt.  But sometimes accidents do happen.  Isaac got a knee to the cheek a couple of weeks ago from playing and it bruised up his eye too.  At first when I told him I think he'd have a black eye he was worried that he would be made fun of at school.  But when Alex and Martin told him it was a sign of "manliness" he got really excited.  He then kept asking me hopefully, if it was getting blacker....which it did for a couple of days.
My bull's eye 2 days post-incision
In other news I noticed a bump on the back of my knee a week ago that looked and felt like a giant pimple or ingrown hair.  I didn't think much of it until I kept waking up all night in pain because of it and could barely walk!  The size of said "blemish" had expanded quite a bit and it hurt!   It looked like a gigantic bull's eye--and it kept growing!!  Martin suggested I see the doctor and boy, am I glad I did!  The doctor told me it was an ingrown hair, pimple, or some type of insect bite that had gotten infected...and HOW!  My leg felt like it was on fire.  It felt like it was in my muscle so that every time I bent the leg a little bit it hurt.  (Just so you know you really stretch the skin on the back of your knee when you me).   I got some antibiotics and the doc sent me home with instructions to lay off the leg for a few days.  Well, I already had my workout gear on, and my leg felt alright that morning so I went off to the gym.  Big mistake!  Later, my leg was so swollen I couldn't even bend it.  Flash forward 2 days and I'm in the doctor's office squeezing the very life out of Martin's hand as the doc lanced the sore to relieve some of the fluid.  The oozy stuff just kept on coming out.  It was really disgusting.  She had to really push throughout the sore and cut into the abscess to find all the infection.  I was glad I had my back to the doctor and couldn't see it!  I then had to have a "drain" put in to continue to drain the extra pus.  It is still at this moment draining so much that it runs down my leg if I don't cover it up!  TMI???   It is the grossest, most painful thing ever!  I am so glad I got on those antibiotics as soon as I did or I could have been in real trouble.  I think of the infection my Dad had gotten and how it spread to his knee and I feel very glad that I listened to Martin and got into the doctor as soon as I did.  Dad must have been in so much pain to have had the infection spread to his knee.  I cringe just thinking about it! 

I hope this doesn't make you too sick!  Hahahaha!   It's definitely been a hard week and I hope I can get back to life next week!   Whoo knew a tiny little sore could cause so much trouble?!  It was really miserable.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Bunch of Muggles on All Hallows Eve

We had so much fun this weekend.  It was Halloween on Sunday, of course, but the weekend was super fun from the beginning of Friday morning to the last trick-or-treater Sunday night.  I can't remember a funner weekend.  And no, it hasn't got anything to do with the fact that I accidentally took my AM medications in the PM and vice-versa.  Did I have more energy?  Yes, but I also slept about 2 hours Friday night.  By the time Saturday night came around I could barely sit up straight.  That's how it goes when you take so many pills that you need a pill sorter (like my 69 year old Dad) to keep your life organized.

I am the room coordinator this year again for Isaac's class (don't ask).  It was awesome fun to get to plan the party for his class.  He has been so excited.
 When that party was over, I hate to say it, but I went home and slept about 3 hours.  I was exhausted!  20 seven year old kids to entertain is not always easy.  How do their teachers do it?

Friday night we did our annual pumpkin cutting adventure.  What can I say?  I was groomed as a master pumpkin cutter by my very own Father.  I didn't get out the chain saw this year, the size of my pumpkin required much less this year.  However, Martin thinks it's funny that I can gut 4 pumpkins in the time it takes him to gut his own.  Jealous????  Yeah, I got skills.

Martin, Alex and Isaac's pumpkins.  Guess which one's Isaac's.

Livi and my pumpkins.  Mine's the tree and Livi, who loves owls, is the owl.

Saturday morning we were off to the big city to the Pacific Science Center to catch the Harry Potter Exhibit.  The kids were so excited they didn't sleep.  I didn't sleep, but that was for another reason...(see above).  We had so much fun waiting in line for the exhibit.  The excitement was thick enough to cut with a knife, especially from Isaac.  It's too bad he was the first one to be severely disappointed!  He was bored within 15 minutes of beginning the tour.  It was a little advanced fan-wise for him.  The other 4 of us were so into it that we looked like complete idiots ooohing and aaahhhing at the different costumes and props.  I am seriously a Harry Potter geek.  I got goose bumps when I saw Professor Dumbledore's dress robes!

Isaac BEFORE his severe disappointment reared its ugly head!

Saturday night we all loaded up and headed off to the trunk or treat at the church.  It was fun and no better place for the kids to get their fill of candy.  You'd think they wouldn't need to get any more, but the next night found them all off collecting more.  It was ridiculous!  Livi's candy weighed 10 pounds (she weighed it).  Now what is she going to do with that much candy???  I guess just be a  kid.  And that's what I felt like this whole weekend.  It was so much fun and we will remember it for a lot of years to come!
Harry Potter, Juan and Livi the Roaring 20's flapper at the trunk or treat!
"Ay, Caramba!"
A bunch of lovely ladies

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Mish-Mash of Emotion

My emotions have been (a-hem), well, difficult to deal with lately.  I have had an especially hard time the last month or two.  It has been hard to have Dad sick and in the treatment center.  It's been hard to leave family behind after spending a long time with them in Utah this summer.  It's been hard to figure out what our next move should be in our family's infertility battle.  I'm dealing with these emotions and coming to terms with them.  Here's an update on all those fronts!

I have been going through pictures again!!!  I found a lot from this summer that I consider to be from the BEST DAY EVER.  I've been trying to explain to my shrink why I had such a hard time coming home from Utah this past summer.  I have no idea what the answer is to that question, but maybe if I show him these pictures he'll get it better.  How can you not have fun and be happy when you watch children having such fun!?


Olivia looking lovely as ever
Alex, who became super-swimmer boy

Dallon and Isaac jumping in tandem (well, trying to at least)

Isaac looking like Mr. GQ

Erin and Phoenix being sweet sisters

A pod of cute swimmers

Pretty Savannah
My Dad goes home tomorrow from the ""Country Club," as he calls it!!  It's actually the care center he's referring to that he's been in for approximately 100 days following his stroke.  I'm so excited and happy that he's going to be able to sleep in his own room and see family members every day! 
Dad and Mom with my kids at the "Country Club"
  Alex has been playing "Fall ball" this year and he's been having fun.  Most games were rained out but we still had fun cheering him on when we could!

Our infertility journey has taken a hiatus this summer.  My body needed it and so did my psyche!!  My Doctor told me last May that I needed to get my BMI down several points before attempting In-Vitro fertilization, which is the next stop for us.  When you hear you're too fat that is NEVER a fun conversation.. just in case you have never had one.  However, since this was not some kind of revelation for me I knew it was the best thing for me, even putting aside my wishes for more rug rats.  I've lost hundreds of pounds in the past (most fat people are super good at losing weight), but this time I wanted to try something different, something that might actually stick.  So I dug in, increased my work-out intensity (turns out I've been taking it too easy on myself in my routine work outs), and cut back on my calorie intake and I lost 20 pounds (give or take).  I'm half a point away from the BMI I need to be at to do the procedure!  Get this:  I did it sans Weight Watchers, Personal Trainers, Nutri-System, Jenny Craig or hypnosis (all of which I have done in the past).  Plus, this is something I can stick to easily.  Now I know this is a drop in the proverbial bucket for me in terms of what I should lose, but I'm happy with finding a way to take it off slow and sure. 

So, this is what's been in my emotional pool lately.  Just thought you'd like to know!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Do I Always Do This?

Every year I think I do this.  I wait until forever before updating my blog when I get home from Utah.  It isn't intentional.  I think I feel like things are too crazy for a while school gets up and going again.  Then I couldn't figure out how to use the new tool bar in the "New Post" section and so I frankly gave up.  Now I'm back and there's lots to talk about so let's get it goin'!
Oakley just prior to her barfing episode

Mindy in her new shirt ready to hike up with Oakley on her back.

The Mount!

Livi and Val stuck together via ear buds!

I realized I didn't finish my posts about the rest of our trip to Utah this summer!  We went to Timpanogas Cave with my sisters Mindy and Amy and their families and we had a really fun time.  It was so warm that day and I'm so miserable in this crummy Seattle weather lately that I just look at these pictures and get cozy!!  But I digress...


Totally breaking the rules and climbing where the Ranger told them specifically not to climb...led by my sister, Amy, the teacher, no less!!


Jordan and Oakley (he's wearing a long sleeved shirt, guys.


Alex up above
Even though the hike was taxing (we sea level folks have less oxygen up in those mountains) it was beautiful and I loved holding Martin's hand while we walked up the trail.  The kids had a great time with each other.  Livi and Valerie had their heads stuck together with their ear buds listening to Taylor Swift songs and singing together as they hiked.  Oakley got sick before we even started out and threw up all over Mindy, which I have to say, was hilarious.  We had to buy Mindy a new shirt, but once we got going up the mountain Oakie-Doo seemed fine and even fell asleep part way up and was asleep all the way through the freezing cold cave!!  Jordan, my 17-year-old nephew hiked up with Oakley on his back most of the way without even breaking a sweat!  Oh, to be that young and in shape again...

The day after this day my Dad had his stroke following his knee surgery.  He's been in the Crestwood Care Center since shortly after that.  I just found out today that my Dad will be coming home in a few weeks!!  I'm so happy he's progressing enough for that to be an option!!  Thanks for those of you have asked and wondered after him.  I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.  It's been hard for the family, especially my parents.  I will write more about what we've been up to later!!  At least this is getting me blogging again!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Independence Day

I've been in Utah now for about 6 weeks. It's been so fun!! I miss home, though. 3 weeks ago Martin had to go home (somebody in this family has to work) and I miss him terribly now too. My Dad is doing better after his stroke and living in a care center for the time being. They are trying to get his body working enough so that he can come home. We hope that time is soon! Poor Mom is being run ragged going back and forth from work to the care center to home for only a few hours at night! Anyone who knows my Mom knows what I'm talking about. In an emergency my Mom is the one to have around...she goes and goes and goes. I'm staying at her house under the pretense of "helping out" at home. But really all I do is mow the lawn with Dad's "farm jazzy" (it is sooooo fun! See picture below) and do a tiny bit of laundry.

Dad's "Farm Jazzy"
This is Dad before his surgery. He's on his way to spray something. He's riding on his only form of transportation for the 6 weeks prior to his knee replacement, his "farm jazzy."

Before Dad's surgery and stroke we got to celebrate the 4th of July. It was actually the 5th of July by the time we celebrated but it was great! The kids had a pool party out on the lawn with their cousins Erin, Phoenix and Oakley.

Later that night we went to the fireworks at Farr West park and I have to say that their fireworks were quite literally the best I've ever seen...sorry, Bellevue and Seattle, but you got nothing on this little city. Here's some pictures of us at the park waiting for the show.
Dad being silly as usual
Phoenix, Livi and Erin snuggling for the fireworks
Maddison and Carson
Oakley excited to see something up in the sky!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chamberlain Family Reunion

We have been in Utah now for a month! I know...a month is a long time to be away from home. All I can say is that if I can't be home, Utah is where I want to be. It's my first home and I still stay in the home I grew up in that belongs to my parents and it's fun to be "home."

This summer has been a hard one because my Dad went in for a new knee replacement and ended up having a stroke the following day in the hospital. Not a bad place to have a stroke, but strokes are not fun...anywhere. Dad is doing well. He has limited use of his left side (especially his leg) but is gaining some use here and there. He is living in a care center for now and we hope he can come home really soon with a lot of work and physical therapy on his part. If you feel so inclined, we would appreciate your prayers in his and my Mom's behalf. This has been very difficult for them especially. He can't walk because his "good" leg is the one that had the surgery. Thus, both legs are out of commission for now. Not a good combo.
Before Dad had his surgery we had a family reunion with Martin's family in Bear Lake. It was such a party! We got to catch up on everyone. It's the first time the Chamberlain's have gotten together at the same time since Lisa's wedding (10 years). I didn't get many pictures of the reunion for some reason (oh, wait, that's because Martin's mom took about a million). However, one day we did go to Minnetonka Cave and I got some photos there. Here's everyone that went that day!
Look at these cute little guys! These boys are all about the same age and they did great on all those (700 some odd) stairs...way, better than me. Let's just say I'm not used to the altitude yet! This is Josh, Caden, Isaac and Sammy.

Here are some more silly pictures of the reunion. Aunt Debbie made lots of beautiful dresses so the girls could all dress up. Here's Olivia, Skylar and cute little Kendall.
Uncle Nasib also playing with the dress-up items. Any man who can wield a gun for his job like Nasib and still feel comfortable dressing up is a-okay in my book!!

The fun thing about spending time with the "cousins" from the Chamberlain side was seeing how similar they all are. Here's a few pictures of them with my kids and you can definitely see the resemblance!
This is Alex and Nathan. They are a year apart. I just notice their smiles are similar (also their love of video games!).
Here's Caden and Isaac. These two are so alike it frankly scares me. Not only are they the same age and look alike, but they have the same temperament and like to do similar things! They had so much fun sleeping in the cabin together!
And, of course, here's Livi and Madison. These two are 5 days apart in age and they have the same eyes and same personality! They are bosom buddies forever and get along so well together! I think Madison got the "tall genes" of the family!
One cold night we went to the beach for dinner. The whole weekend was too cold to do much of anything outside although the sun shone quite a bit. This night we took silly family pictures with the beautiful dusk sun.

Livi being Livi...(freak!)

We had a great time in Bear Lake with the family. We love you guys and miss you all!