Kidney stones

I had my CT scan and it turns out I have a very large kidney stone.  Kind of crazy and I had ruled it out because I don’t have any pain but apparently it’s in a position where it doesn’t cause pain.  They said they don’t know how long it’s been there, could be years could be months, and I definitely cannot pass it on my own so I have to have a surgery to remove it.  I find it interesting they call it surgery because no cutting is involved.  I don’t have the right kind of stone to be able to use that ultrasonic wave machine to break up the stone so they have to go in with a laser to shatter it and then vacuum it out.  I’m not looking forward to that at all because I have to be put under and after having had my trauma with Leo’s birth I am super sketched out about that process.  Jesse says it’s silly because it’s not the anesthetics that caused my heart to stop, it was blood loss, but technically we *don’t* know what caused my heart to stop.  Most likely it WAS blood loss.  But there is no way to know for sure and I’m scared I won’t wake up from what should be a very easy procedure.  In any event, I have it scheduled in a couple weeks.

We put down payments on the windows and our deck finally and are trying to work out landscaping.  The people we hired to do the job have been kind of shady so we had another team out to bid on it a few days ago and are waiting for their quote now.  We’ve simplified the design but they are a larger firm with more overhead so not sure what it’ll all come out to.

Ezra had end of the year testing at his preschool at got a 166/167 which is apparently fantastic.  I guess they test at the Kindergarten level and he’s already where he should be by the end of his Kindergarten year.  His teacher told us we should get him into a dual-language program, the Gifted and Talented program, or skip him a year.  We’re looking into our options.

We’re still looking at kittens on KSL.  I see some that are cute but it seems like these people are all trying to get ride of 6-week kittens and I’m thinking they should be at least 8-week kittens before they leave mama, at the earliest, right?  Jojo is going to be PISSED when we get them.  She already hates Benny, she’s not going to want to share us with other animals.

Jesse is taking the boys with him in August to go see an eclipse or star show of some kind, I can’t recall.  I don’t have the time available to go with them so I will be staying home.  I have to say, I’m looking forward to that.  I get the house to myself, peace and quiet, and aside from fearing death at the hands of thieves I think it should be a relaxing time.

We have the family trip to Oregon in August as well.  It’s going to be a good month!

Leo has slowly started to string more words together.  Generally I still cannot make out what he’s trying to say but I like that he’s attempting it.  We’re still having some issues with Ezra not listening to us and general zaniness but I don’t think it’s anything serious, I think it’s because he’s five.  He learns so quickly!  He was singing whole strings of verse to me the other day.  Doesn’t quite have pitch and tone down yet but the memory retention is on point.

I started fermenting vegetables in a quart mason jar the other day.  I included onions, garlic, carrots, cauliflower, and asparagus then filled it with brine (salt water).  I don’t know how it will taste but when I loosen the lid ring to release the gasses it smells awesome!  I do believe I will start another kombucha batch either today or tomorrow.  It’s been so long since I’ve made it I’m going to have to look up the recipe to see how much sugar to water to use.  On the fence about starting sourdough bread again.  On the one hand I know fermented food is beneficial and fermented dough is easier to digest, but on the other hand I’m trying to eat low carb and even fermented bread is probably too much starch.  Will have to think on that.

Have I mentioned before that I think I want to get into flipping houses and owning rentals?  I totally want to do that.  I think owning property is a great investment for retirement.  I told Velvet she should get in the property flipping with me.  She’s done a lot of work around her house and would be helpful in this endeavor.  She seemed interested but neither one of us will have the capital to purchase property anytime soon.  I’m just getting a wee bit tired of what I’m doing for work.  They work itself is ok, I just don’t necessarily like having to deal with the public.  I’ve been doing in for over eight years now and it’s getting old, you know?  Working with my hands, painting, puttying holes in walls, it’s much more visual the stuff you get accomplished.  I think I would like that.

The poo saga continues

When we last left off, Leo had shat on the living room carpet upstairs.  I worried he would do it again as he loves to take off his pants and diaper and sometimes I’m just not paying attention.  I’m happy to report he has NOT pooped on the living room carpet upstairs again so far.  However.  He *did* poo on his bedroom carpet the next morning!

Ezra heard Leo moving around in his room so he opened the door to find him having just left a deposit on the floor.  *sigh*  We’re going to have to duct tape that kid into his diapers.

Lately Leo has been getting out of bed at night and turning on his light to play and “read” his books.  We go in an turn off the light and put him back down but it generally happens several times a night.  A few nights ago we decided to take out the bulbs in his bedroom light.  This was after several iterations of him getting up and we were all getting quite frustrated.  Us because we wanted him to sleep and him because we kept turning out the light.  After we took out the bulbs we heard him immediately pop up out of bed and scurry to flip on the light.  He was such a sad baby when the light didn’t work.  Cue the tears which I let go on for a couple minutes before I got up and led him back to bed.  He got up again to try it and after a few attempts I finally just let him cry it out and then he put himself back to bed.  I don’t think he tried the light at all last night.  Victory, sweet victory!

The new Nintendo came yesterday and it took so long to get hooked up and then to go through all the settings I didn’t have much desire to actually play anything.  I did install Mario 3D World and it was SUPER frustrating.  I kept accidentally jumping off cliffs.  It was hard for me to jump on the bad guys because I couldn’t get lined up correctly.  I’ll download a couple more games today and give it another go.  The handheld controller is kind of tough to get used to as well.  And it just came with the one controller so now I’m trying to figure out if I should get another gamepad controller or the Wii style controllers.

I’ve been slowly selling off components of the soap company.  Our back bedroom is so full of oils and butter and soaps and packaging material, it’s ridiculous.  A few people have paid me online for their things but then haven’t picked them up yet.  Come and get them!  I mean, I am selling this stuff for a reason, to get it out of the bedroom.  I don’t want to turn into a glorified storage facility!  I need to reach out to those folks again to schedule a specific time to come over…

Mary has been watching the boys for half days this week since our normal sitter went camping for their spring break.  The boys have loved having grandma watch them, and so have I!  You know what she does?  She cleans!  That’s right!  She has done some dishes every day, wiped down the kitchen, cleaned the upstairs bathroom!  It’s like a friggin’ cleaning angel visits us every day, it’s wonderful.  Most especially because I’m lazy and while I love a clean house I’m not too motivated to make it so.

I’ve been having this weird medical condition going on since September where randomly I’ll have blood in my urine, and we’re talking A LOT OF BLOOD.  I’ve gone in a couple times (once to the E.R.) but they haven’t been able to figure it out so finally my doctor ordered a CT scan of my kidneys/bladder area and some kind of scoping thing where they camera around the bladder to check for polyps or cysts or just whatever.  I’m not in pain, no fevers, everything else seems to be working appropriately.  It’s mystifying.  A couple people we know said that blood in the urine was one of the first signs of their cancer but when I mentioned that the doctor didn’t seem to think that was the case.  I go in for the CT tomorrow so fingers crossed they figure out what’s causing it.

Spring has sprung

Spring is truly here!  Our backyard fruit trees are beautifully blossoming and are so pretty to look at!

We are only going to be keeping the one pear tree (white flowers) and cutting down the apple and peach as they are too close to our back fence line.  But we have another peach tree planted in a barrel so hopefully in a few years that will begin to produce.

Our landscaper was out to the house recently and it looks like we will finally get started on our new yard in about a week.  Here are some “before” photos of the backyard.

We are going to have a mulched play area for the kids and some garden boxes along the back of the yard and then the rest will be sod.  I have been imagining it for a LONG time now, super excited!

Leo has been pretty consistently telling us when he has to pee for about the last week.  Sometimes it’s because he wants to get in the tub and we usually try to have him go before getting into the bath and other times I think it’s because he genuinely realizes he has to pee.  Anyway, the other night he had just gone and I gave him his potty treats (three jelly beans) and I was getting dinner ready when he came in from the living room to show me his masticated jelly bean on his finger.  I think I said something like, “That’s nice,” though I might have also said something like, “Cool!  Eat it up!” and went back to making dinner.

A few minutes later I looked into the living room and thought there had suddenly sprung a bunch of dirt piles on the carpet.  Except it wasn’t dirt.  It was poo!  I hadn’t put Leo’s diaper on because he had just peed and I figured he was good to free ball it for awhile.  That jelly bean on his finger?  Yeah, that was poo.  I’m really hoping I didn’t tell him to eat it.  *shudder*  So Jesse got Leo into a bath while I cleaned up the carpet.  Good times with a toddler!  I guess the lesson here is if your kid hasn’t pooped all day you should either have them wait longer on the toilet or diaper up after getting off.  Probably both.

For the past year or so we’ve blocked off one of the bookcases upstairs.  I’d been using it for a shipping station and general catch all for all the crap I was too lazy to put away.  Well Leo has very easily been able to get past the gate for awhile now so I finally cleaned out all the things (sales have been really slow lately, anyway) and we took down that gate.  It’s crazy how open the living room feels now.

We moved the printer downstairs and got a new shelf for above the TV and the Xbox is on top of that now, and we rearranged all the cords so there is just the singular power cable cord plugged into the wall.  Leo has been leaving that alone so far.

I was working a case at work the other day for a handheld console that had 1k games preloaded onto it.  One of the games was Super Mario Bros., the original.  It got me to thinking how much I loved those old games growing up and while they were challenging it’s not like the overly complicated games available today.  These years past I’d bought either the PS or Xbox consoles but had drifted away from Nintendo.  I don’t know why, because I’d always enjoyed their games.  I toyed around with which console to get, the older/proven Wii U or the brand new Switch.  The Switch had a lot of points going for it but in the end I decided to go with the Wii U because they already have a HUGE stable of games and the tech is solid.  And it was about $100 less.  It should arrive soon and I’m excited!  Granted, I play video games maybe once a week so it’s kind of a silly purchase but I think we’ll all make use of it.

 

Did you know I made it 36 years without having a cavity that needed filling?  That’s right!  My teeth rock!  But alas, all good things must come to an end.  I am scheduled to have my first cavity filled in a couple weeks.  I’m a little freaked out by the thought but am pretty sure I can handle it.  I mean, I handled c-section recovery and also dying after childbirth with relative ease, what is a cavity filling compared to that?!

Since September I had lost about 40 lbs on the ketogenic diet, which was great.  The trouble is, it’s hard for me to stay on it.  I miss the crackers, chips, sweets.  Pretty much everything that got me here in the first place.  I’ve fallen off the wagon the past couple months and as a result am up 10 lbs again.  Today I start once more.  Wish me luck!

 

Spring Break 2017 edition

Ezra’s spring break was this past week so we decided to head out with Velvet’s family and go to Green River, UT.  We didn’t have an auspicious start to the trip; Jesse was pulled over and ticketed twice within maybe a half hour for speeding.  It was completely ridiculous in the sense that he was in no way being unsafe.  The roads were nice and dry, fairly straight stretches of land.  We get to contact the county’s municipal buildings in no less than 5 but no more than 14 days.  It’s always nice to shell out tons of money and get points on your license, right?

After that it was smooth sailing, though.  We got to the motel that evening and hit up a taco truck for dinner.  The food was really basic but pretty tasty.  It was too late for our family to swim that night but Velvet’s girls got some time in.

And around then is where it went to hell that night for us.  See, Leo had been able to crawl out of his crib at home so we had swapped him out for the mattress, but he was still sleeping in his pack ‘n play at Brenda’s and we brought that crib with us.  He really doesn’t fit in it well at all and within moments had crawled out of it and was zooming around the motel room.  We put him back to bed many times and finally we decided Jesse would sleep with Ezra and Leo would sleep with me, except LEO DID NOT WANT TO SLEEP.  I was tired from the trip and a little emotionally exhausted from the speeding tickets and I just wanted to sleep!  In the end I had to physically restrain Leo to stay in the bed and he was just screaming bloody murder.  I felt bad for the folks with rooms near us because those walls were THIN!  Eventually Leopold fell asleep and I was able to doze off as well.  I say “doze” because that’s what it was.  I kept waking up thinking Leo was going to fall off the bed (which was high off the ground) and that kid is a mover.  He was all over the place.  I had to move him around many times that night.  I was NOT refreshed the next morning.

But morning eventually came and we met with Velvet’s team at the complimentary breakfast.  Which was all carbs.  It was pretty much the cheapest form of breakfast you could offer people for free.  But whatever, we ate and then were on our way.  Except maybe three minutes into the drive Velvet signalled us to pull over because her tire light had come on.  Turned out she had a nail in her tire and so we turned back around into town to find a repair shop.  And then we had to stop back at the motel after that for some more incidentals.  But after that, we were ON OUR WAY!

We took one wrong exit but the drive was very pretty so we didn’t mind.  We finally got to Little Wildhorse Canyon and started the trek.  It was a pretty easy hike for the most part with a couple areas requiring a bit of scrambling.  Because it was pretty early in the year there were still a couple places with water pooled up where we had to get creative in getting through those areas.  Ezra freaked out because he didn’t want to fall in (it also turned out later that he thought there were snakes hiding in the water) and at one point he did fall in and get one foot wet.  He was much more scared on the return trip because he knew what to expect.  I got cocky and then slipped in the water on the return.  Good times.

It was a little over five miles round trip and I think we were all glad to get back to the cars.  Jesse had had Leo in a hiking backpack all day and while Leo had a great time being carted around, Jesse’s back probably wasn’t too pleased.

We headed over to Goblin Valley to hike around some more, but once down into the goblins my feet heaved great protest and Jesse and I headed back up while Velvet and her girls took charge of our boys and let them run around some more.

We went back to the motel for some swimming and hot tubbing which the kids loved.  The tub could have been a bit hotter but it was probably a good temp for the kids.

We went to dinner at Tamarisk (we had tried to go the night before but it was too busy) and at first they were saying they couldn’t give us a high chair for Leo because he would have to sit in an aisle and it was a fire safety code violation.  Like it was the only point of exit from the dining area.  But eventually they found a table where they swapped out an adult chair.  Seriously they made a much bigger deal about it than was necessary.  They had fantastic fry bread and my halibut fish was great.  We finished off the night with a giant cinnamon roll and headed back for more swimming.  At least, the others did.  I got back to the room with Leo and crashed.

It wasn’t as difficult with Leo the second night but it still wasn’t fun.  I was able to get him to go to sleep in his crib and Ezra decided he wanted to sleep with me that night.  I have to say, that kid is a mover as well!  He was all over the place so I had to keep moving and scootching him around.  And then he would cuddle up next to me which was adorable except I was sleeping on less than a fourth of the bed and there was ALL this wide open space on the other side of Ez.  Finally, around 4am I got up and went to sleep with Jesse.  HE knows how to sleep vertically so I was able to get another 2.5 hours of sleep pretty uninterrupted.

The drive home was uneventful.  We took a different route home and saw some new sites.  We hit some snowy areas at one point.  It was so great unpacking everything and being able to sleep in our own beds!  I could have used a few more hours of sleep but that’s a fairly normal desire these days.

Ezra is a smarty

Ezra’s class finished mid-year testing and we went in this morning to get the results.  Apparently our child is amazingly brilliant, which we already knew.  He is leading his class in all areas and is more than double where he “should” be for the year.  She suggested for kindergarten we tell his teacher that he may need more advanced material than the rest of the class.  He has already mastered pretty much everything they will be teaching in kindergarten.  I asked if it would be worthwhile to have him tested to skip a grade and she said it could be beneficial but that he might miss out on the social interactions of kids his own age.  I think we’ll probably just continue to have him learn at home and then have his kindergarten teacher give him additional stuff to work on.

We also may still look into a dual-language immersion program of some sort, though Jesse is less keen on that idea than I am.  I am all for it, but Jess doesn’t want the hassle of trucking Ez to and from school.  But really, I’ll probably be the one doing that and I don’t have a problem with it.  Jesse reminded me that we still have an application in with the Neil Armstrong Academy.  I was thinking you have to apply every year but Jesse thinks it’s just a matter of being on the wait list.  I guess we’ll see.

We are down to just the two chickens now and I don’t think we’ll be getting more in the spring.  Jesse doesn’t want to have to take care of them and I can appreciate that.  It’s probably more expensive to feed them as well than to just buy eggs at the store, but I do like the fact that we know what our hens’ diet is and that they are able to forage for bugs and such.  There is a farm not too far from the house where we could get eggs, though.  We’ll probably just end up grassing over the chicken run area when we get the sod installed in the spring.

I’m also still thinking about getting a couple kittens.  I am still of the mind that if Benny was around more cats who weren’t afraid of him he would calm down around cats in general.  Of course, he may be too rough wanting to play with kittens and end up killing them….  He bit Jojo on the face the other night.  He was eating his food and Joline came inside and walked over to sniff at Benny’s food and he bit at her to get her to back off and ended up grazing her face.  She didn’t bleed but hair was taken off and she has a scab across her nose now.  Poor kitty.  Now she won’t come inside at all when Benny is eating so I have to go and pick her up and walk with her to the bathroom where her food dish is.

I brought the rest of the Christmas candy with me to work today.  I am trying hard to abstain from candy but it can be difficult when there is such an abundance around.  I left the Lifesavers there, though.  Those really aren’t my favorite and I am able to easily resist those.

Ezra has had much better behavior at school now that we are all doing sticker rewards.  He gets 10 minutes per sticker earned and he can earn them at school and at Brenda’s as well as our house.  Today is his record so far; he earned eight stickers yesterday with a bonus sticker for staying in bed last night for a total of nine stickers.  He was pretty excited about that.  The stickers he earns today will go toward his tablet time for tomorrow.  It’s working fairly well and I’m glad we implemented it.

Leo is a joy as ever.  He’s still fighting a cold and hates it when we have to clean off his nose.  We took down his high chair today and he’ll be eating at the table from now on.  He had been climbing up onto the high chair and sitting on the tray and then getting frustrated that he couldn’t get down.  Or he would push the chair over to the island and then crawl up the chair in order to get at the stuff on the island.  He’s a smarty as well.  But we said nuts to that and folded up the high chair.  I’m not too sure about having him sit at the table yet because he definitely doesn’t just sit still and eat unless he’s strapped in, and I don’t want him roaming with food.  We also have one of those high chairs that you strap to a regular kitchen chair.  We may use that instead.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m super excited that we’ve been able to pay down our Discover card so much.  A few more months and it should be all paid off, and that’s our last card with debt!  With the money that we are putting toward it now, once it’s paid off that could be the difference of my getting to stay home with the boys!  Of course, it’s better if I continue to work so we can put more money toward other debts like the cars or student loans, but just knowing we would have the opportunity is really freeing.  Here’s hoping 2017 will be a banner year!