Almost halfway through 2012 and I have spent most of it off work. I just started back a couple weeks ago and while some of the folks who I don't see on a daily basis, said with genuine concern, "Where have you been?", others seemed to have not noticed or after asking how long I was gone, and I responded with "three months" they promptly look down at my stomach. No, I didn't have another baby - did I really look 9 months pregnant last time you saw me???
Towards the end of last year, I developed some butt pain. Quite literally. Thought it was a muscle, it didn't respond to any of the stretching, yoga etc that I tried and just got worse until one day it felt like a jolt of electricity running down my leg. Hello sciatica. Off to physical therapy. 2 months of that and after some slight improvement, things got much worse. Way more intense nerve pain (which can only be described as hell - you can't sit, you can't lay down, you can't sleep) and then my foot and leg suddenly started going numb and my reflex was gone and my muscles in my leg felt like I had run a marathon, when all I had done was get out of bed. Off to MRI. Herniated disc. Off work because I can't fulfill my job description of being able to lift 35 pounds. Off to surgery.
The anticipation of surgery was way worse than the actual day, and immediate recovery is actually pretty quick. You are up walking and home the same day. It was a great success as my nerve pain was pretty much gone over night. Surgical pain is nothing - I was happy to have that kind of pain. Because backs are touchy and discs are slow to heal, I took my maximum time allowed for FMLA to minimize risk of reherniation. And here I am feeling pretty good and back at the grind. There is plenty of soreness and weird daily aches and pains and I have to be very diligent with PT and careful with how I do everything, but it is so much better than before.
So that has been all consuming. My mom has practically lived here since the surgery helping with Cam (no lifting allowed in the beginning and definitely not a 40 pound child) and generally taking care of the house, the chickens and the garden. She has been a lifesaver.
|Mom getting a garden going for us.|
|Me and my boy|
|Teaching them to how to drink. See? 30 doesn't look like that many!|
|Month old chicks...getting crowded!|
|Checking out the great outdoors. About 5 weeks here.|
|About 8 weeks old. In their expanded outdoor area.|
Other summary in photos....
We hosted my work holiday party this year. A great excuse to clean the house - who knew it could look that clean? Also, isn't it weird how the unpainted texture shows up in photos? We will paint in here....someday.
|Watching waves. Look how Melody is doing all the work!|
|Keith and Dwayne out on the water.|
New Years was spent on the coast with our lovely friends. The light in this photo is not particularly good, but I love the conspiring look on their faces.
|"3,2,1 Drop!" Yelled over and over and over....|
|Some serious Diego watching. The beer helps.|
|One of several trips to Snow Canyon. How do we get him out?|
|Lovely day hike north of town.|
Camden update....He is doing great at daycare and developing friends that he spends most of his time with. He has stopped napping (as of January) for us at home, but will still nap at daycare. He needs one about every third day and if it's not a daycare day, he sometimes will end up falling asleep at the end of a meltdown at 4:00 PM. He has officially started to read. Small words, but does all the sounding out and loves figuring out new words. Everywhere we go, he asks, "what does that say?' 'What are those big words?" I love it. His keen sense of observation and caution has not abated. We've had two attempts at going to the dentist and while he talks a good game about sitting in the chair and opening his mouth, this action has yet to materialize. And his two favorite activities remain playing with cars and riding his bike.
|Easter! He loved the search this year.|
|At a train show. He LOVES railroad crossings.|
|At a Pt Defiance beach after the zoo.|
|"Come on Grandpa! We're almost to the easy part!"|
|Another great train ride.|
|The cloud came at just the right time.|
And finally, we leave you with a video. Cam is not the most aggressive boy when it comes to physical activity. When he hit three, he learned to fear things, so he approaches any new physical activity with caution. I am OK with this, and you can imagine my surprise, when I witnessed what he's been doing at Grandma's....