Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The week of the unexpected

  Sunday evening, as Josh and I were about to retire, I asked as to the weather forecast. Being informed that it was supposed to be balmy (you know, like only -5) and since we had just had a lovely dump of fresh snow, I decided it was high time to haul the kiddos out to the backyard for a good old romp in the snow. 
I remember my Mum always saying you spend as much time in getting them ready as you do in playing with them outdoors. How true! Amazing how long it takes to get little mittens and boots on and appropriately tucked in and such. :o)
The new snow on top of the old snow made a perfect sledding field, as I pulled one or both of them round and round the backyard in a circle. I thought of doing a figure 8, but it would have been a pretty tight eight, as the yard's not that long, and there was a snow pile at one end and I knew Hopey wouldn't enjoy the sensation of sliding sideways on it. :o)
Dear Joy was rather stuffed into her snow suit with those gloves, so it took her a while to find anything she was able to do in the snow. She liked it when I threw handfuls of snow into the air above her head and she could hear them falling on her hood. She also did what every other child has done (except Hope... the snow would be far too cold for her liking) - Joy ate snow. :o)
There's my happy little girl with the big top teeth!
And a big grin to go with them!
Hopey mostly dug and dumped snow with her little shovel and wheelbarrow, but when she saw me make a snow angel she was captivated and pretty much spent the rest of her time making little snow angels. Once the back yard was full or over full of them, we moved on to the front yard. A little bit of heaven right outside our front windows. :o)
Joy Belle, eating pizza, one of her latest favourites. She's gotta be eating what you're eating and like you're eating it too, and hurrah for her! She already eats things that Hopey still won't. (like chicken and tacos)
We set out to colour at their little table. I walked off to get something for Hope and came back to see Joy standing on her chair, smoothie in hand. OH MY, child!
Uhm, yep, the look says it all "I'm not supposed to be doing this, am I Mommy? But I'm still charming right?"

These two pictures were taken only days apart, but oh the life experiences we lived through in those 48 hours make them seem much further apart. I'll explain in a moment. :o)

Watching big sister Hopey stir her "tea," and trying to do it too. :o) 
I had a tea pretend tea party with the girls after their bath Thursday night,  while waiting for their Josh to be done the dishes and put them to bed, since I couldn't. 

Tuesday I had been chilled all day and got a "kink in my neck" in the afternoon. Not thinking much of it, I went to bed as usual, noticing I couldn't turn my head very far over my right shoulder, and feeling some pulling pain in my shoulder. I slept ok, noticing my neck feeling odd when I was up a couple times in the night. Nonetheless, morning came, and with it a wonderful gift from God through the girls, who slept in a bit and woke up happy and at about the same time. As I heard them starting to jabber and sing, I rolled over and stretched my arm out to see if my neck would loosen a bit. Once I felt awake, I went to sit up and get out of bed and that's when it all began. I got part way up and collapsed back into the safety of my pillow, in intense pain. I rested for a sec, thinking I could "shake it off." But no - I really couldn't sit up, or roll over.

Okay. Think. Josh was out, so I texted him what was up and asked him to please come home asap! :o) Let's just say I spent the day in bed and the recliner, needing help to sit, stand, or roll over. We prayed for wisdom and healing, not having a clue what was going on. The pain was all in the right side of my neck, and it was my right arm that I was having trouble moving. The conclusion we came to was what they call "rye neck" which is a very broad and general title for a seizing of the muscles in the neck, due to basically "catching a chill." 

After several hours with hot wheat bags and a heating pad kinda wrapped around my neck/shoulder, things loosed up a bit and I was at least able to roll over on my own. I still would get this overcoming pain at the back of my neck/head anytime I strained to sit up on my own. Josh was so wonderful to me and the girls. He basically took the day off, working from his laptop upstairs as he could and keeping on phone calls while attending to my needs and those of the girls. 

I was having this odd nausea throughout the day, attributing it to my neck, but then it got worse and worse in the late afternoon, and by evening it turned into the flu. I've not had the flu in 15 years, and I don't care to have it again for at least that long. Oh my. And of course, it had to happen at bedtime when Josh was trying to get the girls in their jammies and settled into bed. Oh well. What can you do? I was still smiling, finding the humour and blessing in it all, and Josh, bless his heart, was too. :o) Thank You, Lord, for grace! I concluded the one pain helped greatly in distracting me from the other pain, which was great! 

Thursday morning I awoke with the realization I wasn't going to be able to do much that day either. I had some energy, just no ability. I would almost pass out from pain anytime I did something with my right arm. My chiropractor's advice had been to move it as much as I could, as muscles heal with movement. So, I would do a few things, rest up, do a few more things, read to the girls, rest up... etc. My family was due in that night to stay with us for the Breakforth conference here in Edmonton, so while I couldn't do much, I wanted to do what I could and prepare the basement for them to stay in. Josh was a sweetheart, giving up most of his day again to help take care of me and the girls. 

It's amazing how much you can miss your kids when you're around them but can't interact as you normally do with them. I just wanted to hug and cuddle my girls, but knew there was no way I could lift them or handle any sudden wiggling motion if they were sitting on my lap. 

My family got in safe and sound Thursday evening, and made it out the door early Friday for the conference. Mercifully, Dad had decided not to register for the conference, saying he would just help me with the girls and play games and such. Little did I know then how much we would need him! Dad's availability allowed Josh to go back to work, while Dad washed dishes, changed diapers, played pretend, and helped make meals. He also dropped me off at the chiropractor and took the girls grocery shopping while I had my appointment, which revealed all three joints in my neck were out! No wonder I couldn't move!! I began doing the exercises as instructed by my chiropractor, and felt some relief, understanding I needed to be much looser before I could be adjusted back to a healthy neck position. I saw her again on Monday, with good improvement, and am hoping the third appointment will set me right again. As the weekend progressed, mobility and strength began to return to me and the pain lessened each day. 

A puzzle with Papa. Now that spells happiness.
And a story too! Oh boy. :o)
Joy the charmer. :o) This is what she does when she trips on her pants. (maybe the next growth spurt will affect her legs.)
And she's doing this funny extension/plopping thing with her left leg, which makes her sound rather clippity-cloppish in her walking. She's just doing it because she's Joy. There's not a thing wrong with her. :o)
And, when Dad's here, we do what we probably should take time to do more often - have a cup of tea before leaving the dinner table. And if Papa and Mommy are having tea, you'd better believe Hope and Joy will be having tea too!
Joy's still trying to get the hang of drinking from a real cup. Not going so well just yet.
But she was sure happy to be doing what we were doing. :o)
Dear Hopey wasn't used to this, and was quite wobbly in her torso, though she liked it and kept asking Papa "Can you do it again?"
Rinsing dishes - her new suppertime job, when she's finished her dinner in time that is. Some nights it takes her till all the dishes are done to finish her food.
A friend gave us a pie in this box on Sunday, and upon seeing it, I immediately thought it would be a great box for a car for the girls. And with Dad in the house, what a perfect activity to do together! Hope was thrilled to be allowed to hold the level and "learn" how to use it. :o)
"Humph. They stuck me here with a dumb snack while they're over there using markers and measuring tapes and all sorts of fun things. I don't think I like this very much."
And she didn't. And I had pity on her and held her once I had smoothies made for our lunch.
It's coming along....
No sooner was "the car" built than it went to the car wash where Hopey washed it's windows with a spatula, err, I mean, a squeegie! ;o)
And of course, you have to pay for car washes when you live in the city.
So that's what Joy did.
Then the car needed it's oil changed, so Papa instructed Hope on how to do it...
And then the car turned into an airplane and flew the girls to Denver to visit Grandma.
And then the car took them shopping, and Momma had to remind them not to "buy" more things than they could transport in their car. :o)
A simple, new, homemade toy, to aid many delightful hours of childhood imagination. Thanks, Dad. :o)