Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't get me wrong....

I think modern medicine is GREAT, the way they can save your life these days! ...but that doesn't mean I don't have my fair share of complaints, and you're about to get an eye-full.
I'm back on heparin, the anticoagulant wonder-drug, simply as a precautionary measure after having a blood clot last pregnancy. Out of curiosity, I asked the doctor what the remedy was for blood clots back before pharmaceuticals saved the day, and she said you were either crippled from the pain (I'd believe it!) or you died. SOOOOO... thanks for the heparin, Modern Medicine! But NO THANKS for the bill, ya jerks. I went to get my measly 24-day prescription filled, and it was to the tune of $430!!! This was like reliving the Walgreens moment from 2007 (the day I got out of the hospital from The Clot) when I went to get my prescription for Lovenox filled, and THAT puppy cost us $50 a shot, at 2 shots a day! Add that to the cost of getting your jaw re-wired to your face after it crashed to the floor, and you're looking at one GIANT medical bill!! Fortunately, in both instances, insurance held out its mighty hand and simply required a co-pay and a then reimbursed our life savings. At least I THINK (I HOPE) that's what's happening this time - I filled half my already measly prescription so I only (only!!) paid $200 (for 12 days!) and meanwhile I'm waiting for the doctor's office to call our insurance to pre-authorize heparin for me, which should take care of everything but the co-pay. I HOPE.

Try not to get a blood clot, as the cost of curing it will surely kill you.

ANYWAY, as if the hit to the wallet didn't hurt already, the hits to my hips are already starting to! I have to give myself shots twice a day (I NEVER thought I would be able to do this, I can't even watch when the doctor gives me shots and paper cuts make me queasy - seriously. But here I am), on my left hip in the morning and my right hip at night, and they are really hurting already! I doubt I would really notice except that Patrick sits on those very same hips in the very same spots, and he's really getting quite heavy. They tell you to give yourself the shots in a fatty place, like your love handles, so I feel no regrets in my extra servings at dinner (and lunch and breakfast) because it's padding me with helpful fat. There is more "stuffing" to grab, so I feel those terrible needle-pokes less, and there's also more surface area for poking! If people think girls show more quickly the second time around, they should see what girls look like the second time around when they're TRYING to up the fluff! OK, I'm not really trying to get fat, but I'm not exactly doing crunches while my lean-cuisine nukes in the microwave.

How could such a little thing be so darn awfulawfulawful???

So if you see me, tell me I'm looking fabulous and give me a pat on the back, but steer clear of the love handles! And don't talk to me if I'm at Walgreens, I'm probably in a bad mood.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Truth or dare?

Truth! It's time to let you all in on a little secret... well, not ALL of you because some (OK, a lot) of you are already in on it... Joe and I are having a baby! Again!

Yes, we are VERY excited, we were hoping to have another quite close in age to Patrick and it seems that this will make that particular wish come true! I am not very far along (8 weeks) so there is still room for "error" (read: miscarriage) but I'm writing about it anyway for a few reasons. 1. I am more than happy to share our exciting news, as there is a lot to think on and look forward to. Likewise, I believe I would have something to say on the subject if the pregnancy did not work out - regrets, wishes, hopes for next time, etc. I pretty much wear my heart on my sleeve so there is little possibility that I wouldn't write on my blog about my experience, either way. I know lots of people don't feel this way and prefer to wait, and I absolutely respect that, but I suppose I am not one of those people. So if my blog get very sad very suddenly, there will be a logical explanation. However.... 2. Miscarriage is the exception to the rule, and I really try not to get carried away with the "what ifs" of life. I do realise I could miscarry during the first trimester, when miscarriages are statistically most likely, but this still does not make miscarriage "likely" in the scheme of things. It also doesn't make it impossible, it certainly doesn't make it "no big deal," but to me it does not mean that I should "plan to fail." Quite the opposite - I feel optimistic and healthy and I am really looking forward to what's up ahead! 3. If you take stock in statistics, I was quite the anomaly last time with a blood clot! VERY unusual to get a clot during pregnancy, but there it was! So if I looked a stats to tell me "what to expect when I'm expecting," THAT wouldn't have come up. So who's to say what will happen this time? I WILL say that this time anti coagulation is what's happening, and I will surely have LOTS to say on that *sore* subject (ouch, needles!) so if I didn't tell you about my pregnancy, you would surely wonder why I was going on and on about being on blood-thinners again.

So I've explained WHY I'm breaking the news, but what about the news itself? Like I said, we're REALLY excited! We are hoping for a boy, simply for Patrick to have a true-blue playmate and wrestling buddy, but we would be be happy with a healthy baby, of course, no matter what gender. Joe is a wonderful daddy who loves playing with his son and teaching him new things, and he was probably more excited than I was when I told him the news! I love being a mom, though I'm the FIRST to admit that it can be REALLY tough and there are plenty of days when I'm not sure I'm up to the job. There are also plenty of days when I know I wouldn't trade it for anything else, and these are the days that keep us going! Before becoming a mother of multiples, though (put the horse before the cart!), I have to go through this little (loooooooong) thing called pregnancy, and for THAT I actually look forward to breaking out the maternity clothes again! I think I got some REALLY cute stuff last time and it's all pretty new, whereas the rest of my wardrobe hails from my early college years, if not high school... pretty over-played (and over-worn)(except for the awesome things Joe gets me at Christmas, but I wear them so often because they're new that they're NOT new anymore). I feel great so far, no morning sickness (though I do have a more limited appetite), and I'm extra tired, but I feel very lucky to get to nap when Patrick naps! I know I won't be so lucky this time around (or next time, or however many more "next times" I get), so I'm definitely taking advantage. Soooooo.... that's our big news! As I said, I'll keep on posting, whatever happens, but we are very excited and hoping for the best! Now, off to be because I'm extra tired :)
Looking forward to this always-stylish Crazy-Tired look again! Still to com: more on heparin, v-bacs, and why I'd like a midwife this time around!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bad spelling, but nice bathroom

Elsha caught me with WAY too many spelling errors in my last post (I've since spell-checked, so don't waste your time looking), but in my defense it's not because I actually spell them wrong - our keyboard has decided to only register 9 out of 10 keys we hit, which adds up to missing quite a few during a 200-word post. It started the same day we switched Internet services from Comcast to Qwest, so I feel inclined to blame Qwest, though I don't know how they could have any influence over my keyboard's behavior. Still, nice to have a scapegoat. Now if I could just find the reason for the lingering over-ripe smell that has invaded our kitchen and WILL NOT GET OUT even though we've cleaned the fridge twice and checked all our cupboards.... SO SMELLY. Grrrrr.....

But now on to our last GJ project: finishing what we started. The little main floor bathroom needed some finishing touches after my parents replaced to vanity and toilet, so we painted but we were unable to finish all the extras in one shot (much like the purple room). Now, they're finished! Here ya go:
And where was Patrick during all of this? Well, he was running to Home Depot and Lowe's and Walmart and basically being as helpful as possible :) Really, we couldn't have asked for more obliging behavior from any child, much less a toddler - he was an angel the entire week! He even took great naps every day and slept through the night almost every single night, despite his unfamiliar surroundings and lack of dad. It was WONDERFUL and made me extra-glad we stayed the week. Although he may have missed his dad, he LOVED his grandpa Gustavson and get all excited every time he saw him, and very sad every time he left the room. Probably he was hoping grandpa would show him the lawn mower and roto-tiller again... Patrick also loved his grandma and would spend hours with her outside, just as long as I was nowhere in sight. The ranking seems to be grandma is great, but mom trumps grandma, and grandpa trumps mom. Fortunately, everyone enjoyed having Patrick around and I had fabulous babysitters so I could slave away over the paint can.
Shopping for couches
Hanging in the shopping cart's driver's seat at Lowe's

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Purple people-eater

As teenage girls we got pretty excited to paint our rooms, so we used exciting paint colors, like VERY purple and VERY blue and we weren't very experienced, so they turned out very... interesting. But hey, we worked hard, so they stayed! Now with all the Gustavson kids grown up, it was time the rooms grew up, too. The purple room got painted (the blue room is on the queue), though it is still a work in progress - we're rearranging some furniture and hoping to get a small writing desk or vanity in addition, plus put some more photos, shelves, gorgeous white curtains with darker purple accent borders (made by Yours Truly), redo the closet interior, perhaps new closet doors, put in new carpet with new trim (should I keep going?) ... but we are THRILLED with the changes thus far! I give you: before and after! Although this photos looks more purple than the others, it isn't. Just a bad photo, we were trying to capture the fact that there are now blinds.

OK, so this room wasn't nearly as exciting as the little bathroom. I had accidentally partially stripped the room before I took "before" photos so the random decorating scheme isn't fully revealed, plus there are about 1,001 things still left to do, but I was so excited about the light touch of lavender walls and the cool border! If you, too, would like to know how to paint perfectly straight lines on a textured wall, listen up:

1. Tape where you'd like the lines to be

2. Paint where you want your lines to be, NOT in the color you want the finished lines, but the EXISTING color of the wall. Paint will bleed through tape on textured walls, no matter how carefully you pressed it down, so this allows the existing color to bleed through so you won't notice it, and creates a barrier so the REAL color you wanted will peel right up with the tape!

3. NOW paint the color you want the lines to be over that first layer you just painted. Sounds time-consuming, but it's worth it.

So as an example: if your walls are white but you want a blue stripe, put your tape down, then paint white where you want the blue stripe, making sure to cover the inner edges of the tape. Sounds counter-intuitive, but keep going. When that dries, paint blue where you want the blue stripe. The first coat of white paint will be covered, and there are no messy blue bleed-throughs! Ta-Da!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A(bsolutely) B(reathtaking)

Joe and I left our lovely Fort Collins to visit Grand Junction for a weekend and to spend that weekend redoing my parents' guest bathroom. This is a small little thing, so you'd think surely it couldn't take more than a weekend! But don't be fooled - you will ALWAYS be fooled if you think a weekend project will only take one weekend. In the end, it took us TWO weekends and various hours during the week between (while I stayed in town and Joe went back to Fort Collins) to get this bathroom from A(trocious) to B(eautiful). Like I said, we suffered severe head trauma and forgot to take before pictures so you coud revel in the linoleum faux-wood parquet, the orange counter top, the 10-minute-per-flush toilet, etc. Fortunately, we DID get some pictures after the room had been gutted, which is pretty much equally ugly, just in a different way. Now, BEHOLD!!! My design, Joe's hard labor, and my light labor (what else could you call installing towel bars?) paid off in a BIG way - check it out! Photos are from start to finish, I won't label each individually, just enjoy the tranformation!

Ta-DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Unfortunately the shower will be transformed at a later date, so for now it remains kinda yellow-tan tan. And there WILL be a vanity mirror, we just changed our minds at the last minute and had not bought a new one by the time I photographed. But THER THAN THAT, this looks pretty darn good, eh? eh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We're still here... wherever that is

Joe, Patrick and I headed to Grand Junction last Thursday evening after spending a WONDERFUL week with my mom in Fort Collins! While she was there we were busy as bees and other busy insects, shopping for ideas and materials for the project we were about to undertake in Grand Junction: the guest bathroom. Here's the before picture:

...oh, wait, we don't have a before picture. We forgot to take one. And we don't have an after picture, because we are still not done. Joe was loathe to leave an unfinished bathroom to be finished by another lucky soul, so he proposed coming back this next weekend. Sounds great! Travelling with Patrick twice over the mountains sounded terrible, though! So Patrick and I stayed behind in Grand Junction and Joe is coming to rescue us and rescue the bathroom project on Friday night. Meanwhile, I've been busy messing up the rest of the house painting and redecorating and whatnot. I'll be sure to post "after" pictures.... as soon as "after" happens. The current situation is just too ugly to post pictures of. Wish my parents luck, their house will need it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pretty Sure...

... that Patrick's first word was "NO." Not exactly what I was hoping for... especially since the only way he say it is to YELL it. Sweeeeet.


While picking up Patick's photos from JCPenney's we ran across a smokin' deal on one of those one-cup-at-a-time blenders, like the Magic Bullet* (a terrible name, if you ask me - fortunately ours is generic so it's not called that), which Joe urged me to buy so we could make smoothies.
*Only visit the Magic Bullet site if you want to be TOTALLY SOLD on buying one RIGHT NOW. It has a built-in info-mercial on the site! You won't be able to resist!! It will suck you in - I have exactly the same thing (only not called the Magic Bulet, like I said) and I STILL wanted to buy it.

Anyhow, at the time (without the aid of an info-mercial) getting this little blender thingy sounded RIDICULOUS since we have an immersion blender and we NEVER made smoothies, which an immersion blender is perfectly capable of making. But whatever, it was a steal ($20!!)and we've been trying to eat healthier so if this blender led us to the light, it would all be worth it. Well, it is WORTH IT!!! I don't remember the last time I consumed so much fresh fruit and yogurt - not just in a day, but every single day! We make at least 2 smoothies a day, of which Patrick powers down one SOLO. He, also, is in love with the smoothie maker - as soon as he hears it tun on her comes running. Last night Joe tempted us by getting ingredients for milkshakes (not exactly along the "eating "right" lines, but who am I to argue?), which were DELICIOUS, but even with ice cream in the freezer I reached right past it for the frozen strawberries tonight to blend me up some goodness. And it is gooooooooood goodness :)
And now that I've visited the Magic Bullet website, I'll be making broccoli soup and quesadillas and nachos and omlets and... well, smoothies are just the beginning.