Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another Visit to the Doctor

If I don't change my ways soon, all of the doctors we see are going to think I only have one shirt. This shirt:

I'm so suave.
 It's easily my favorite shirt. It's the perfect lightweight combination of polyester and cotton. It's soft, loose, comfortable, and I love it. Plus, when I bought it in college it was on clearance because of some mysterious stain that I didn't find that day or any day since. I'm not sure why, but at some point it became my lucky shirt. I've always gravitated to lucky charms, including the cereal. Now, instead of carrying some talisman around in my pocket, I wear my lucky shirt to doctors' appointments. It keeps the bad news away. Call me superstitious if you want to, that's fine. So far, my shirt seems to be working fairly well.

We had a short visit with the rheumatologist today. Emma is looking and feeling fine. Her joints are greatly improved, though her ankle and knee are still a little thickened and her fingers are plain out fat. Her range of motion is magnificent and she is in no obvious pain, so her doctor is happy. So happy, in fact, that we're going to try reducing her naproxen (an NSAID also known as Aleve) to just once a day. If she is still doing fine, then we'll stop it completely and only give it as needed. Wouldn't that be AWESOME!?!?! No daily oral meds, just injections once a week!?! I'm praying that she does well so we can get her off of at least one medication.

On the way home I wanted to stop at the Oakland Temple. I asked Emma and she also wanted to go. She said something like, "YeaaH! Temple. Jesus lives temple." Melts a mommy's heart.

So we went. It's closed right now for maintenance and we got to see a novel sight. There were several people cleaning the face of the building, and one of these people got to climb up the wall to get the job done. After snapping a few pictures, we went into the Visitors' Center, to walk around and look at the artwork. It was a nice, peaceful way to end our adventures in Oakland today.

Looks like an exciting job.
Now I'm waiting for the singing to stop in Emma's room so I know that she's asleep. Maybe I'll nap too. Maybe I'll go sit on the couch and read.

I hope the rest of you get some good news this week and take a few minutes to stop and visit a place you love.
I love that silly smile.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

AH! She's almost TWO!

Today Emma is 23 months old. Or in real language: Emma will be two years old next month!

Little Miss Tink.

In case anyone forgot, my daughter is incredible. She is stubborn and knows what she wants. One of her favorite sentences is, "My have it." (Which can be used as a statement or a question.) It is difficult to resist her requests when she adds on her sweet little, "Peeease."

She has recently developed a tenderness that I adore. At least once a day she leans in close for a snuggle and says, "I dove you, Mommy." It might not look like much in print, but when her sweet little toddler voice tells me she loves me, completely unsolicited, my heart melts. She periodically says, "I hug you, Mommy." which means I had best stop what I'm doing and hug my little girl.

She continues to do very well physically. We go to physical therapy tomorrow and the rheumatologist next week, so it will be nice to get that confirmation from the professionals soon. Nothing like knowing there is something "wrong" with one's child to always keep a parent worrying. Emotionally, I know her arthritis will make her a strong, compassionate little girl. Right now, though, she doesn't understand all of the medical treatments and has been a HUGE fighter during her weekly shots. Poor little monkey.

I see no signs of the alleged 2-year-old molars and secretly hope they don't exist.

We are not really potty training the kid yet, but she sits on the toilet several times a day. Usually she asks to go after a dirty diaper. I'm not really sure what the point is to that, but I play along. I'm not really interested in pushing the issue and figure that when she's ready to really make the switch, she'll do it. Today she tinkled in the toilet three times, which is definitely a record for her. We always smile really big, happy smiles at each other when she goes in the potty, I high-five her and tell her I'm proud of her, then life moves on. We'll see how it goes.

I need to plan her birthday party. We'll definitely have one, I just need the details of timing, theme, food, um... all of the details. Maybe I should start working on that.
Best Buddies!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Year in (Book) Review(s)

2011 was a year of ups and downs, that's for sure.
I'm always going to remember it as the year that I learned about Juvenile Arthritis the hard way. It was also the year that Barry worked the least so far in our marriage, but we still survived. I made many new friends, read lots of books, started babysitting, and overall, had a pretty good year.

Let's talk about the books, shall we? (I'm not actually going to review them, that would take too long.) In 2011 I joined a book club for the first time in my life. I almost joined three, but quickly realized that was impossible. I love my (one) book group. Not only am I being introduced to new books, I've made new relationships with women I admire. It's awesome.

I'm really glad that I've found time to read. Once I got a hang of the whole parenting gig, I discovered that I could sneak in a few minutes with a book each day. It became really easy once Emma started napping long enough for me to finish a few chapters. Ah, the life of a mostly-stay-at-home-mom.

Here are the books I read in 2011. The ones with * are from the book club, the rest are just me. I liked them all and would recommend any of these if you're looking for something to read.

  1. Scapegoat - Daphne Du Maurier*
  2. Hunger Games -Suzanne Collins (Probably my favorite series. I'm so excited for the movie to come out in a few months!!!)
  3. Catching Fire  - Suzanne Collins
  4. Mocking Jay - Suzanne Collins
  5. I Am Nujood; Age 10 and Divorced - Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui*
  6. Magic Hour - Kristin Hannah* (A new favorite author, her characters always appeal to me and her stories are great. They get me hooked and teary-eyed every time.)
  7. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
  8. Austenland - Shannon Hale (A really fun read.) 
  9. Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah
  10. Child of the Jungle - Sabine Kuegler*
  11. The Checklist Manifesto - Atul Gawande
  12. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  13. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  14. Lady Susan - Jane Austen
  15. Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell* 
  16. True Colors - Kristin Hannah
  17. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde* (My pick. This is a fun series that my brother introduced to me a while ago.)
  18. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  19. Heaven is for Real - Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
  20. Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell* 
  21. Unlocked - Karen Kingsbury* 
  22. Wish You Well - David Baldacci*
  23. Night Road - Kristin Hannah
  24. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams*
  25. Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
  26. Life, The Universe, and Everything - Douglas Adams
  27. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish - Douglas Adams
  28. Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams 
  29. The Story of the Other Wiseman - Henry Van Dyke*
  30. Take Me Home From the Oscars - Christine Schwab (This was very interesting because it gave me a peek into a life of fashion and television, but it also gave me valuable insight regarding Rheumatoid Arthritis and what it can be like to live with this frustrating disease.)
Thirty books in 365 days? Not too shabby. That's not even counting the books I read to Emma!

I hope 2012 brings you lots of literary joy!