Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ugly Truth

Throughout my childhood, my family took yearly road trips to Utah
to visit great-grandparents and distant relatives. We used to stay at my Great-Grandma Lamb's house (dad's dad's mom). I remember her fruit trees on the hill in her back yard, with a bench-swing right in the middle of the orchard. I remember how adventurous her dark cinderblock basement was with tunnels that went through the walls. But most of all, I remember... her feet. The poor woman had toes that were so mangled by corns, bunions, hammer toes, age and genetics that she couldn't wear shoes anymore. She wore nude nylons and slippers- a combination that provided flexibility enough to allow for the unnatural shape of her feet. And I remember hearing through out my youth that, "Looks like you have your Great-Grandma Lamb's feet." AAAAAHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!!!!

I went to a podiatrist once, as a teenager. I wasn't there long. He told me I was
too young to start then, but to "expect multiple surgeries on those feet in the future." Thanks doc. Then, a couple of years ago, driving home from work, a commercial on the radio asked me, "Do you have a bunion on one or both of your feet?" Yes. "Does it sometimes give you pain or discomfort?" Yes. "Are you unable to wear the stylish shoes you really want to because of this hiddeous growth of bone out of the side of your foot?" Yes, Yes, Yes. The commercial was advertising free bunionectomies to patients willing to test out a new post-operative pain medication. I couldn't participate at the time because I was pregnant, but I thought, "Man, I need that surgery anyway. How cool would it be to get it done for free?" Needless to say, I took advantage this time the commercial came around.

*the before picture doesn't do it justice, bu you can already see a change in the shape of my foot!

Long story a little longer, last Friday I had the surgery. Due to the study, I had to be hospitalized with NO VISITORS for 48 hours! They didn't want anyone sneaking me any drugs and messing with their results. For some reason, I thought it would be fun. Other than knowing I would miss my baby, I thought, "48 hours to catch up on all the books I've been wanting to read! 48 hours of rented movies to my hearts content! 48 hours to sleep in and take naps if I want!" But the glass was only half full. There was a lot of pain, nausea, vomiting, and nurses coming in to check my pain level and blood pressure every hour (so much for a good night's sleep). I also didn't realize how "out of comission" I would be. I started getting really frustrated that I couldn't take care of Wendy. When I got home, I couldn't bathe her, get her in or out of her crib, chase her around, or even pick her up. But I've been getting a little better each day, the hardest thing to do is be patient.

Special thanks to my wonderful husband Ryan who really stepped up to the plate. Thank you for realizing this was going to be more of an ordeal than I did. Thank you for taking on the role of the mom, the dad, the nurse, organizing babysitters, dinners, AND go to work each day. I get a little choked up just thinking about how grateful I am for all you've done. And thank you to my mom, my mother-in-law, aunt Jacque next door and my sister Rachel for taking care of Wendy when I couldn't.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Rachel Ramona!

*heather & rachel, fall 1985
(here you can totally see who wendy inherited her right-cheek-only-dimple from)

Today is my baby sister's birthday! Since I'm stuck in a hospital bed and can't go hang out with her (more on that later), I decided to celebrate her birth from this bed on my husband's work laptop.

*Laguna Beach, 1990

Rachel was born when I was 18 months old. She saved my life just by being born, literally. Long story short: soon after being born, Rachel stopped breathing a couple times for no apparent reason and had to go into the ICU. Because of this, my parents qualified for medical and we were able to get a MUCH better family docotor who took one look at me and said they needed to operate asap. I had an infected "dermoid cyst" on my nose and the infection was rapidly spreading and could have quickly killed me or caused brain damage. So because of Rachel, my life was spared by access to better medical care. Whenever we used to fight growing up, my mom would quickly remind us of this story and tell us that we must have been such special friends in heaven before we were born that Rachel offered to come to earth to save my life. I used to just roll my eyes but I know it's probably true. Predestined or not, I'm still thankful for Rachel.

*New York, 2007

Another reason I love Rachel is because she's the only person in the world who knows exactly where I'm coming from. Being so close in age, we shared almost everything growing up- friends, schools, bedrooms, life experiences, etc. Although there are 4 children in my family, and we all have the same parents/upbringing, I feel like Rachel is the only person in the world who had the exact same childhood as me. It's refreshing to have someone who understands where you're coming from and why you are the way you are.

Rachel inspires me.
Sometimes I feel like she's my big sister. I've always been the one who stresses out easier, but she's always been so happy-go-lucky and reminds me to stay balanced. She's been a shoulder to cry on through break-ups and mean "friends" in high school. Even though she hates talking on the phone :), I know I can call her if I ever need to talk or vent. She's so talented. She's incredibly crafty with a sewing machine AND better than the boys in almost any sport she plays. She's getting her masters this year and I am SO proud of her!

Happy birthday Rachel! I'm so happy you were born. And not just because you saved my life but because I get to have you in it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Did you think to pray?

I only work 2 days a week, but every time I come home from work I am amazed at how much Wendy has grown. Maybe it's the guilt I feel for leaving her at all, but it's like I walk in the house expected to greet the 18 month old Wendy only to find a 3 year old. Just for that first second I am so shocked when she smiles big and gives me an endearing, 2-syllabled "HHHIIIIIiiiiiiiii!" Then opens her arms up wide and adds, "Mommy, hug?"

I could go on and on
about the things she's recently started saying, but I'll just stick with my favorite. We have our bedtime routine down and it includes family prayers. Usually she just folds her arms and giggles through my ssshh's, then claps her hands when I say, "Amen," and looks around like, "Why aren't you guys clapping?" But Sunday night, when I finished she said, "Again?" So I told her, "Okay, again. You say the prayer." I did NOT expect her to really do it. She folds her arms and slowly rattled off:


Then the next night, she got even more into it:

Listening to her say her simple prayers makes me giggle and get choked up at the same time. I love that little girl and I absolutely love being her mom.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Organized with Polaroids

For Christmas, my parents gave me this wonderful camera from photojojo (if you're gonna get one, get it there- it's way cheaper than getting it from urban outfitters). I love it! I quickly put it to good use and took some cute pictures to help me organize Wendy's toys. This way her toys won't take over my house, they were starting to suffocate me. Seriously, I was starting to feel claustrophobic.

I'm really happy with the finished product. I might have to go back to Ikea and get some more of these square baskets to accomodate the rest of her toys. Hopefully it actually works and keeps me organized.