Friday, March 28, 2014

pre-birthday celebrations

I turn 25 tomorrow.

It's true, I do.  A quarter of a century.  And I feel very content about the whole thing.  Don't know if I'll be able to say that next year, or in 10 years, or in 20 years, but I hope so.  I hope that I'm always happy enough with the way my life is going that each year will just be another year full of good memories and fulfilled feelings.

Like this year.

The weather gave me an early birthday present today.  Sun.  Oh, how my heart has ached for the sun.  And that warmth.  Oh, the warmth.  There was still a slight chill in the air, but after the winter we've had I'll take it.  I've learned something about myself this winter, friends, and that is that the winter and I are not friends.  Not this Utah winter, anyway.  Arizona winter, on the other we were BFFs.  But Utah winter?  I spent way too many days feeling down and just pining away for the sun.  It just took more work to be happy.

But it wasn't hard today.

We decided to celebrate early, since we have a lot going on tomorrow.  Tim got off work around noon and came home to take me to lunch.  And Ellie, of course.  Because she's almost always with us.  And it's the best.

[Side note: We got our first non-family babysitter last weekend when we went to see South Pacific on stage.  I felt like a teenaged boy asking his first girl on a date.  It was awkward.  Those poor boys.  I've got empathy like no one's business after that.  But she was great.  And Ellie did great.  And the play was great.  I've always been a huge fan of Rogers and Hammerstein.  And even Tim was impressed.  Wish I'd gotten a picture.  End abnormally-long-side-note.]

I opened one of my presents early [thanks Aunt Ginny!].  I may or may not have already known what it was going to be and I may or may not have wanted to wear it with my outfit today.

My first pair of Toms!

I hated them when they first came out.  Those and skinny jeans.  And here I am, eating my words.  Wearing both of them.  Together.  [I'm always a few years behind the curve.]

Oh and see that turquoise rocker?  My parents gave it to me as an early birthday present whilst they were here and I still take a few seconds of silence each day in appreciation.  It's a favorite.

I just love them.

Can you guess where we went to lunch?  If you guessed Chipotle...then you know I'm really predictable.  I go there any chance I get.  Oh, you want to go for a drive?  Do you think we'll drive by Chipotle?  Oh, you're going to SLC for work?  Will you have time for a lunch Chipotle?  Oh, it's date night?  You want Chipotle tonight, too, right?  Tim just laughed at the absurdity when he "asked" me where I wanted to eat.  Captain Obvious, right here.

Love that little mischievous munchkin. 

Oh dang.  STUD. 

 "How did that quesadilla get on the ground?  Wasn't me..."

 My world, right there.

And then we went for a walk around Sugar House.  Such a cute area.  I can't wait to see it when it's all green outside!

We only got to walk around for a few minutes, since we needed to get home to feed the missionaries [one of them was from Prescott...holla!], but we loved it and want to go back soon.

A huge shout-out to Tim for doing everything in his power to make me feel and every day.  I don't know how I got so lucky.

Monday, March 17, 2014

that time i accidentally wrote too much about my gallbladder

Two weeks ago tomorrow, I got my gallbladder out.  Shortly after Ellie's birth, I started having some pain in my abdomen.  I went to one GP who pressed on my stomach hard enough to make me cry, and then dismissed it since he was "just pressing on my aorta," and I was "too young to have any complications with that."  I should have pressed the issue, but I was too surprised by his dismissal.

After some encouragement from Tim and my parents, I called my OBGYN.  Even though I knew it wasn't his area of expertise, I figured he could get me pointed in the right direction, since I wasn't sure I trusted my GP anymore.  He ordered an abdominal ultrasound, which showed that my liver was enlarged.  He referred me to a general surgeon.  The next two weeks waiting for my appointment were excruciating, mentally, because googling "abdominal pain and enlarged liver" is a terrible idea.  Too many life-threatening possibilities.

Thankfully, my concerns were alleviated almost immediately during my appointment.  The surgeon pressed around on my stomach for a few minutes, and then pressed under my ribs and told me to breathe deeply.  He noticed the pain on my face, and expressed his opinion that the pain and nausea I was experiencing were actually due to my gallbladder.  He ordered a HIDA scan, which would determine just how well my gallbladder was functioning.

It turns out that he was absolutely right - my gallbladder wasn't functioning at all.  Gallbladders generally have an ejection fraction of 25-75%, and mine was at 0%.  Although I could probably live with the pain an nausea for awhile, the doctor informed me that it was probably just a matter of time before it turned into an emergency gallbladder removal rather than a routine one.  And it could get worse during a future pregnancy, which would be a bad time to need an emergency removal.

My decision was made.  The gallbladder was coming out.

Tim took a few days off work to take care of Ellie and me, and my parents (and my brother) were coming to visit right as Tim needed to go back to work.  It was perfect timing.  To say that I'm generally a worrier is a gross understatement, but I wasn't worried about this at all.  I was just excited to have it out, and I was excited to have Tim at home for a few days, and I was excited to see my parents.

The surgery went well, but apparently I woke up physically fighting off my nurses.  Ooops!  As I became a little more coherent, I overheard them telling Tim about my violence (ha) and didn't remember it at all.  [Sorry guys!]  The next few hours were mostly filled with sleepiness and nausea.  Poor Ellie was distressed by all the people touching me, and kept throwing herself over my chest and crying anytime they did.  The rest of the time, she was pretty content to sit by my side on the hospital bed.  I was told I could go home once I passed a series of requirements, and for a few hours, I thought it might not be until the next morning.  I was so nauseous that I couldn't pass any of the requirements.  Thankfully, that evening I finally felt better and passed them all.

Other than a sore throat from the breathing tube (which somehow turned into canker sores in my mouth and throat...yuck!) and nausea from the pain meds, I was a pretty happy girl for the most part.  Ultimately I decided that I preferred the pain over the nausea and stopped taking the meds.  And by the time my parents arrived, I was walking more like a 70-year-old instead of a 90-year-old.  Progress.  [It's the little things.]

Today, almost two weeks post-op, I feel almost normal.  Modern medicine is incredible.  My grandpa had his gallbladder removed years ago and it was an open surgery!  Weeks of recovery.  I had just a few tiny incisions, and was only in any significant pain for a few days.

Everyone from our church has been so kind bringing us meals and yummy homemade bread and checking up on me.  I feel so grateful for all the love.

And having my family here was so fun.  My mom sewed two skirts, one dress, and fixed two sets of curtains for me while she was here, and we even went on a few short shopping trips together (while I hobbled around like an old woman).  I went on a few short walks with my dad and brother, and was coerced into watching documentaries about prehistoric snakes (just kidding, guys, I actually liked them).  We ate out a couple of times, visited with my cousins, and celebrated my mom's birthday.  We talked, and talked, and talked some more.  And when they left, I cried like a little baby.  I love them so much.

My mom and Aunt Lynn with grandbabies

Ellie loved having them all here, too.  I think she misses all the attention.

Speaking of Ellie, she had her 12 month appointment this last week.  She weighed 16 pounds, 1 ounce (less than the 3rd percentile) and was 28.5 inches long (10th percentile).  And her head circumference was in the 3rd percentile, but I don't remember the exact size.  Yep, she's still teeny.  Probably not going to be a basketball player or anything.

She got two shots and hated being examined by the doctor, but she wasn't fussy at all the rest of the day.  Such a little trooper.

I'd intended to just write a post about Ellie's stats and look what happened!  I wrote a novel.  Well, at least I'll remember all the details someday, I guess. :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

ellie's 1st birthday

Ellie turned one on February 27, 2014.  It's impossible to put into words just how much she's changed my life, or how she's filled a hole in my heart I didn't even know existed until I heard her cries for the first time.  That little girl made me a mother, and I will always be grateful to her for that.

I love that she's my mini-me.  I love how her eyes look just like mine.  I love her sweet smile, and how freely she gives hugs and kisses.  I love her developing sense of humor, and wondering what she's thinking at any given moment.  I love that no matter how many times she falls, she's determined to get right back up again.  I love her waddle, and the way she throws her hands in the air when she wants to dance.  I love how she shakes her hips side to side, and how much she loves the song "Let It Go," even though we've never seen the movie.  I love that she drags stuffed animals three times as large as she is around the room, and how she tries to lift them up to show us how strong she is.

And most of all, I love that she's mine.  My heart will never be the same.

Ellie's birthday fell on a Thursday, and her party wasn't until Saturday, but we let her open a few presents from her doting aunt and grandma on her birthday itself.

She loved every second of it, and there was absolutely no doubt in her mind to whom those presents belonged.

The day of her party didn't go exactly as planned.  She boycotted her naps.  Two of the families who were going to come got sick - colds, RSV, sinus infections, stomach flu, you name it!  We decided on an "Up" theme, only to discover that Ellie has a very definite fear of balloons.  Ellie threw her cupcake on the ground.  And poor Tim accidentally deleted the video of her throwing said cupcake on the ground.

But it was fun!  And I got a good laugh when my brother referenced "Happy Birthday to the ground!" when he learned about the cupcake incident.

We got the toys behind her for $5 each at DI.  Holla! 

We used this tutorial for the cupcakes. 

"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!" 

The moment immediately before she threw half the cupcake on the ground.

Don't worry, she threw the other half, too. 

So happy Wayne, Michelle, and Tessa were able to make it! 

No doubt about it, Ellie is one very loved little girl.