Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out with the Old, In with the New!

After at least nine years of faithful service, I had to retire my dear pink galoshes. They served me well at UCSB during many bike rides to and from campus in the pouring rain. They were invaluable on wet camping trips to the coast. They even helped my feet stay dry on a few visits to the snow.

Alas, they have a hole and can keep me dry no longer.

It's okay though, because I just bought these.

They're not pink, but they are covered in elephants.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

18 Months

How on earth did we get here already?

The Bean has grown so much. Her language skills continue to amaze us. She still talks in babble sentences, but there is always at least one recognizable word in there. She's using more and more small sentences of all real words, mostly "My _______." Her cutest phrase is "Daddy's home!" She has learned some words to a few songs and it is the most precious thing in the world to hear her sing "I am a child of God" or "Rock-a-bye baby." She doesn't get all of the words in there, but you can tell what she's singing and I love it.

Emma's top two canines have made their entrance, now we just have to get her to want to brush her teeth again. She is becoming a more confident climber on playgrounds and loves going down slides. She is still terrified of swinging. Her climbing skills and added height have allowed her to climb on to the couch on her own, which is a little nerve wracking. She loves my old Cabbage Patch Kids doll. We only watch Sesame Street a little at a time, but she loves it and knows several characters. It makes me happy that my kid likes Grover. I'll accept the fact that she likes Elmo a lot, too.

This week she slept through the night once. The kid sleeps about 11.5 hours each night and has slept straight through maybe twelve times total in her whole life. She wakes at least once a night and calls out for me. I nurse her and she goes straight back to sleep, so it's not too terrible to deal with, but it's not my favorite thing either. Yes, we still nurse a few times a day. (Learn why here.) I'm all for extended breastfeeding and baby-led weaning.

When it comes to her JA, it seems that she is getting around a little bit better. Her swollen joints still look the same, but she's almost running, which is a vast improvement from the slow hobble we've been dealing with for the past three months. She seems to be feeling okay, but the more I learn about this disease, the more I worry about what will happen next. I'm doing my best at letting go of my worries and just taking things day by day, but if you know me, you know I'm a worrier. So it goes.

Being a parent is full of ups and downs, isn't it? I'm thankful that the ups are absolutely incredible.

Monday, August 8, 2011

PT part Dos

Emma saw the physical therapist again today and it went pretty well. As I mentioned before, we don't actually do much physical therapy. We mostly talk, watch Emma move around, measure some of her joints' range of motion, and talk some more about the kinds of activities I should encourage.

The good news is that Em's range of motion is improving. Her knee went from -30 degrees to -17. I don't know if the sporadic, short intervals of PT exercises that we've been doing have made the difference, or if the mtx is starting to reduce swelling and give her some more flexibility. Either way, I'm happy. We go back again in four weeks and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things are even better by then.

I gave Em her 4th mtx injection yesterday. They're getting better and better. She cries and talks to me all about her "boo boo" and "ouchie" as soon as she sees me get out the medication. She stresses out and cries when I give her the shot, but about five seconds later, she's fine. I'm becoming more comfortable with the whole process, too, which is making everything better. I can't believe how hard it must be for someone with no previous experience giving injections. One woman told me that she gives it to her daughter when she's sleeping. I kind of like that idea, except who knows if Emma would sleep through it. With my luck, that little bee-stinger-sized needle would wake her up and ruin our entire day. I don't know. As long as we continue to have success doing the injections while she's awake, that's what I'm going to keep on doing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I just finished reading a book called Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. He's a Navy SEAL who went through some seriously difficult experiences in the mountains of Afghanistan. I was able to get past the fact that he has the mouth of a sailor and is a super conservative military man, and really enjoyed the book. It was well written and the story was unlike anything I've ever read. I like being in a book group because it introduces me to books that I would never read on my own. It's good to be exposed to different perspectives. It's also good to learn a little about what our Armed Forces go through. It makes me thankful for the challenges I face in comparison.

Speaking of which, I have my first cold since Emma started methotrexate. I'm feeling paranoid. For those of you who don't know, methotrexate (mtx) is a drug that suppresses the immune system in such a way that inhibits inflammation. I'm not so keen on having a kid running around with a suppressed immune system. I know I can't put her in a bubble, (Her rheumatologist expressly told me I couldn't!) but I would like to limit her exposure to sick people. Slightly impossible when the sick person is me, especially since I know I was contagious before I started having symptoms. I can't take back all of the kisses and snuggles I gave her yesterday.
I hope she doesn't get sick. 

At least I don't have to fight battles in some foreign land where my life is constantly in danger.

Okay, bedtime for Mrs. Sore Throat.