Sunday, March 28, 2010

I gotta feelin...

that fumes of some type are leaking into my sister's apartment. Megan and husband Chad said they would make a video for Will and Sawyer. Will said he wanted it to include "dancing around, music, and an Easter egg hunt." So they made a video.

Should you desire, you can watch it here:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bountiful Baskets

At 6:50 this morning (yes, a Saturday) I was in my car for the sake of produce.
My friend Annie had a post on her blog about "Bountiful Baskets" - they are a food co-op operating in a number of western states. I looked them up and found that they had a pick-up site right on Center Street in Provo.
You pay $15 plus a $1.50 handling fee (plus a one-time $3 charge if it is your first time buying) and you get an assortment of fruits and vegetables. You don't know in advance what you will be getting and you don't get to pick and choose, but they focus on foods that the average family will use. You can pay extra for an all-organic selection. Or you can add on extra products: this week you could add bread, a case of mangoes, or an "Easter egg dying kit" full of veggies that you could boil to produce dyes strong enough to naturally dye your Easter eggs.
I just got the conventional ($15 + $1.50) basket.
The Provo location pick-up time is 7 a.m. and you need to be there promptly. You can send someone else to pick up your baskets, but if you don't pick them up they are donated to the local fire station. I set out early this morning to find the location and was surprised by the number of cars there. This is a very popular little well-kept secret! In fact, I kind of hate to spread the word because I'm just increasing my competition. (They sell out FAST every week. You have to purchase online in advance. Check their website for details.) But I like you, so I'm telling you.
For my $16.50 I got a box of strawberries, a pineapple, a cantaloupe, 8 apples, 6 tangelos, 4 yams, 2 huge heads of green leaf lettuce, a pound of asparagus, 8 cucumbers, 4 zucchini, a head of cauliflower, and 4 bananas.
If anyone in my area is interested in working out a pick-up trade-off schedule let me know! I think I would either buy a basket every week and split it with someone ($8.25 each) and alternate pick-up weeks or I would buy a basket every 2 weeks and only have to pick-up once a month. Or I would just buy once in a while...or, well, I'm open to any ideas! It wasn't a big pain to go get the stuff...I left at 6:50 and was home by 7:20 - it is just a bit early for me! And it isn't a club or subscription so you aren't obligated to keep purchasing. I probably won't buy anything once we have a lot of garden produce of our own to eat.
I knew I was a sucker for a good deal...who knew it would extend to produce?

Uh. Hi.

Bryce talks in his sleep. (So does Will.) Last night I woke up because Bryce was talking.

Bryce: Why hello little penguin. I'll take care of YOU later.

What the...

I think it is interesting that not only does Bryce talk in his sleep...but everything he says in his sleep is totally strange. (Ex. the night we got married: "There's cheese and peppers over there." - pointing to the corner of the hotel room.)

He has also been known to rock his pillow and then put it in the cradle and, on another occasion, to jump out of bed yelling and insisting the walls are wet and then turn the lights on and off over and over.

My mom says she hopes he isn't just faking to establish a history so that when he does away with me one night he can blame it on sleepwalking. Because that is the kind of comforting thing my parents like to tell their children.

Between my spouse and my children it is hard to get a good night's sleep over here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Erin Go Bragh

(Ireland forever)

I always liked St. Patrick's Day as a kid because my name was on the signs. I still kind of like it for that reason. I made corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread this year. I decided that I do not like corned beef. Next year I am making pot roast and calling it corned beef. I have authority to do stuff like that because my name is Erin. Even if my name inspiration was from a character on the Waltons and I'm not Irish.

Will spent most of the afternoon trying to catch a leprechaun using a stick and a big gulp cup. Before bed I caught him changing clothes and asked what was going on. He told me that "there was a little bit of pee in his underwear...from a leprechaun...that tricky leprechaun!" Nice try child. About 10 minutes after I put him to bed I heard sobbing and discovered Will crying because he "hadn't caught a leprechaun." I told him that no one had ever caught one. He was insistent that other kids got to see one, but I told him that was impossible because they were invisible. Obviously.

3 Decades Strong

Bryce turned 30! Not wanting to let such a momentous occasion pass I thought I would throw him a party. And what does Bryce like more than pizza and playing basketball? Errr...well...not much. So I thought I would throw him a pizza andbasketball-playing party at the church since it has a full basketball court in the gym. (Is it weird to have basketball courts in your church? Discuss.)

I thought I'd be sneaky and spread out the food purchases over a 2-month period so the crawl space was full of soda and chips. Which, although carefully transported and covered with a blanket, were discovered by Bryce within days of purchase. Combined with other not-so-stealthy maneuvers on my part I don't think the party was much of a surprise. I suspected that he already knew about it, but you can't really ask someone if they already know about their surprise party. Well, you can...

Am I the only one that still gets really nervous about throwing parties because "what if no one comes?" Not that it has ever happened to me. Oh no. I've always had at least 1 guest come...out of...uhh...let's move on.

I think we had a fun time. Well, I had a fun time. And my kids had a fun time. And Bryce says he had a fun time.

Thanks to friends that helped with food and such. A HUGE thanks to my one friend (whom I won't embarrass by naming) who helped me set up and clean up and a million other things.

Bryce's actual birthday was on a Saturday this year so we went to Tucano's for his free birthday lunch. Later, we ate leftover cheesecake from the party and opened presents.

Happy Birthday honey! I love you! I think you are officially an adult now. Keep that in mind the next time you are tempted to light something on fire. Lighting stuff on fire as a teenager/college student = typical young male. Lighting stuff on fire as a 30 year-old = arsonist.

[I took a few pictures of the birthday celebrations, but they must be on a different card somewhere because I can't find them. Maybe some day this post will have pictures.]


I had a follow-up appointment with the urologist. They did 2 x-rays and told me that the stone was gone. Which seemed kind of obvious seeings that I was no longer wanting to cut out my own kidney with a butter knife.

On the topic of prevention the urologist said there "was no magic bullet...but it might help to avoid certain foods - like chocolate." There were more things on the list, but I can handle limiting my spinach and cranberry juice intake.

Chocolate. Hmmm.

Having a kidney stone and lithotripsy was probably the most painful experience of my life. I would have preferred to have a c-section. Especially since a baby is cuter than a kidney stone. And the experience is costing a good chunk of money. Looks like it will be at least $1600 out of pocket.

But I do like chocolate. Hmmm.

And not eating it might help avoid getting stones in the future.


I think the choice here is obvious.

Brownie, anyone?

Strange things to say before surgery

While waiting to be put under for lithotripsy, the pre-op nurse took some blood. As she was drawing blood the surgical nurse walked over, looked down, and said:
Nurse: "Oh my gosh. Her blood is black!"
Erin: "Oh. Um. Is that weird?"
Nurse: "Edward would love you!" [walks away]



It is always nice when you get married and get to start your own traditions with your own little family. In our family we have a tradition that goes like this: "If one spouse plans a surprise, non-refundable get-away for the other, the to-be-surprised spouse will end up in the E.R." We are 2 for 2 on this one.

You may recall a couple summers ago when I planned a surprise overnight kid-free getaway to NYC while we were vacationing in Connecticut. The day before our trip Bryce ended up in the E.R. with what turned out to be a gastro-intestinal infection caused by cow-feces-contaminated water consumed at Scout camp a few days before. That put a bit of a damper on our getaway.

This year Bryce planned a surprise kid-free overnighter as a Valentine's Day present. I ended up in the E.R. with a kidney stone. Luckily, I had 5.5 days between my E.R. visit and our trip. Unluckily that time was spent having lithotripsy and not getting out of bed. We couldn't reschedule the trip and it was already paid for and we already had Mollie lined up to stay overnight with the boys so we decided to go anyways. I was still in a lot of pain from the lithotripsy, but I don't pass up opportunities to get away.

We stayed at the Homestead Resort and went to Park City to shop at the outlets and went out to dinner. Later that night we decided to go to the hot tub before it closed. Unfortunately we hadn't remembered that we would have to walk outdoors from our room to the main building where the pool/hot tub are so we looked kind of strange walking around in our bathing suits, coats, and shoes. I thought the hot tub would be a good idea for my muscle pain and it was a good idea at first. But the change from the heat of the hot tub to the freezing cold of the outside as we walked back to our room in wet bathing suits was a very, very bad idea. The sore muscles in my side went crazy and I couldn't move for about an hour until my next dose of painkillers set in.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel (included in the package Bryce purchased) and headed home.

Did I mention Mollie babysat? So we came home to a clean house. It wasn't until the next day that I discovered that she had also cleaned our unfinished laundry room/bathroom area. It was full of construction debris and drywall dust and lint, etc. But now it is all clean. Like even the lint stuck down the side of the drier that would have been there until we moved out of this house. Sorry, she is not for hire. (Especially not now that she is going to Harvard. I don't think we can afford her anymore.)

Dear Bryce,
No more surprise overnighters for each other ok? I am tired of the E.R.

May cause kidney stones?

If you watched any of the Olympics, you probably saw advertisements for 50 McDonald's chicken nuggets for $10. Or $15 if you include 2 large fries and 2 drinks. And if you know me, you probably know that I love me some McDonald's chicken nuggets. Yes, yes, I know. I just like them ok? I happen to think they are delicious. And I can eat a lot of them. Although exactly how many had never before been put to the test.

At home they had $1 four-piece McNuggets on Tuesdays. Tuesdays were good days.

So when Mollie and I saw the ads for 50 chicken nuggets we knew we would have to go get them. And soon. Limited time offer you know. We made our plans and went for a late lunch/early dinner on a Thursday. Only to discover that it was a Friday-Sunday only offer. Not to be discouraged Mollie went and asked if we could get them anyways and they said we could since we asked.

We were both more than a little disappointed to find that we just got 5 of the normal ten-piece boxes. Come on, admit it. Weren't you picturing a giant box full of 50 nuggets? We were. Mollie, Will, Sawyer and I set to eating our nuggets. Will packed in 9. Sawyer ate 3.5. (The playground was just too exciting.) Mollie and I ate until we were full and then counted our boxes. We had both tucked away 17 nuggets (um each. not combined.). Bryce met us there and polished off the remaining few.


We love nuggets.

Connection to the kidney stone I got a few weeks later? Unsubstantiated. Should probably eat more nuggets to test the theory.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Cory Williamson,

Dear Sir,
Please stop giving out my home phone number as your home phone number. On things like your resume. And to people that you apparently owe money to. I am tired of answering phone calls from bill collectors looking for you. I am also tired of getting your medical bills in the mail.
Not. Cory. Williamson.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Ulterior motive

Right when I stepped out of the shower today Will came into my bathroom very carefully hiding a package of Poptarts behind his back.

Will: Uhhh...Mom? I was wondering if you could take a little longer shower.
Me: Why, Will? So you can get into Poptarts?
Will: I just want you to be a little...uhh...cleaner.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Will said the prayer the other night at dinner:

"And thank you that I have a best friend. And that his name is Bryce. And that he's my dad."

Sawyer kept yelling things after I put him to bed:

"Mom! I wuv you! ... Dad! I wuv you! ... Will! I wuv you! ... Mom! I wuv you! You a sweetie! That means I wuv you!" (This went on for about 40 minutes.)

Bryce came downstairs yesterday morning and discovered that Will was already up.
Will: Dad? Who's the grown-up after Heavenly Father?
Bryce: Uh what?
Will: Who's the grown-up after Heavenly Father?
Bryce: Um. Like who is Heavenly Father's dad?
Will: Yeah.
Bryce: Uhh...I don't really know.

Who knew he wakes up early to ponder the universe? I always thought it was so he could play video games and sneak fruit snacks and pop tarts.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A tale of two kidneys (ok really just one)

OR "Just in case you got here by googling lithotripsy"

So I'm sure all 4 of you really want to know about all the fun I had last week. If you don't you should stop reading now. Because there is nothing else here.

Last Sunday I woke up with a dull pain in my side - just to the right side of my belly button. I didn't think much of it and figured I had slept funny or some such thing. I showered and got dressed and ready for church. Then I got Will ready for church. Then I went to get Sawyer ready for church. I changed his diaper and leaned over to get some pants out of his dresser drawer. The moment I leaned over the dull pain in my side became a "holy crap did someone just stab me?" pain in my side. I couldn't stand up and was immediately nauseated.

Bryce helped me get to our bed and then he made some phone calls trying to figure out what the problem could be and what we should do. I thought maybe it was an ovarian cyst, but the obgyn thought that was unlikely. He suggested that I should rest for an hour with a hot pack...which suggests to me that he thought the reports of my pain were exaggerated. Bryce was afraid it might be my appendix and I was busy hoping I would pass out so we decided that we needed to get to a doctor. The original plan was to go to urgent care, but I vetoed that idea in the car and we went to the E.R. instead. Somehow this process took about an hour from the sudden onset of pain until we left for the hospital. Decisiveness is not my strong point.

Meanwhile, what were the boys up to? Will kept asking if we had to go to church. We kept ignoring him. Then he asked Sawyer, "Sawyer, do you think we're going to go to church today?" and Sawyer looked around the room and said "Yup." I guess he figured we were all dressed so it was inevitable. On the way to the hospital Will asked again if we were going to church and Bryce said "I don't think we will today...we have to take Mommy to the hospital." Will exclaimed "See Sawyer! I told you we wouldn't have to go to church!" Once we got to the E.R. they took me back to a room and both of the boys started complaining that they were sick. I thought it was sympathy pains, but then it became clear that they were trying to make sure they wouldn't have to go to church. And then they started arguing about who was really sick. And then they started hitting each other and screaming. At which point Mollie arrived and took the boys home which I'm sure the entire E.R. appreciated.

Now here's the thing about the E.R. - I'm sure that if your life is in danger they are capable of moving very quickly. But if you just feel like you are dying they are in no great hurry. The nurse was perfectly nice, but he wasn't about to move faster than his normal mosey. It took another hour before I got any kind of pain meds. A different guy came in and gave me morphine through the i.v. and told Bryce that it should do its thing in 5 minutes. Unfortunately, it never did anything. After another 45 minutes or so the nurse came back and established that the first dose hadn't helped and gave me another dose. That dose didn't do anything either. And when I say it didn't do anything, I mean it didn't do ANYTHING. It didn't effect the pain at all and it didn't make me loopy or sleepy or light-headed or anything. I might have expected this because the same thing happened when they gave me morphine when they were trying to stop me from being in labor with Sawyer. So we have now confirmed that I am resistant to morphine. Therefore, when someone tries to take over the world by injecting everyone with morphine and everyone else is too doped up and happy to care I will do my best to defend the motherland. Otherwise it appears to be a pretty useless talent.

Sometime during this the doctor came in and said that he "would bet it was an ovarian cyst." The plan was to do an ultrasound to find out.

After another 45 minutes the nurse came back and determined that my pain level was, if anything, going up instead of down and said he would go "talk to the doctor and re-evaluate what we are dealing with." He came back with a different kind of pain killer. I wish I could remember the name. He put that one through the i.v. and within 5 minutes I was somewhere else. It is a weird feeling to hear people talking and understand what they are saying, but at the same time you know you are not really acting right. They came to get me for the ultrasound and I know they asked me something which I didn't respond to right and I remember the nurse telling Bryce "Now is the time to pump her for information" and Bryce replied "I don't think she has any" and I would have said something, but my brain wasn't working right. But I didn't care because I wasn't in pain for the first time in 3 hours.

They did an ultrasound which seemed to take forever and then wheeled me back to the E.R. The doctor walked over and asked the ultrasound lady what she found. She told him that I had a cyst on my left ovary. He said something like "I knew it!...wait, what side?" She said it was on the left side. He said "but her pain is on the right side"...then he walked in the room and asked me "where does it hurt again?" I told him it hurt on the right side and he said "Well sometimes the pain can spread." I think he really wanted it to be a cyst like he had guessed. Then he said that they were going to do a ct scan before sending me home "just to make sure they hadn't missed anything." A guy came and got me and wheeled me down for the ct scan. Which, if you ever have to have one, is not a big deal. He injected some stuff into my i.v. and warned me that in 15 seconds I would get a weird taste in my mouth and would feel warm and "like you peed your pants, but you really didn't." And that pretty much sums up how the dye makes you feel. Then he left the room and the machine scanned several times, but the whole thing took about 5 minutes. Then he wheeled me back to the E.R. It took somewhere around an hour for the results to arrive and then the doctor came in and announced "Well it is kind of a surprise, but you have a big kidney stone!" So a good 5.5 hours later we finally knew what the problem was. He said I'd have to go see a urologist and have it broken up because it was almost a centimeter and too big to pass. And in case you are wondering "passing a kidney stone" means that it passes down into your bladder. Once it gets to the bladder it doesn't hurt anymore. And as long as it is in the kidney it doesn't hurt. It is only when it tries to get down the tube in between (or in my case lodges itself so that it is totally blocking the tube) that you want to die.

They gave me some more pain meds by i.v. and sent me home with prescriptions for antibiotics, pain meds, and anti-nausea meds to counteract the effects of the pain meds.

I was able to get into the urologist the next day. I wasn't in a lot of pain, but the pain meds made me super nauseated and dizzy whenever I moved. The urologist did an x-ray and showed us that he couldn't see the stone because my kidney was glowing like a sparkler from the ct scan dye that was still stuck in there from the day before. He said that he would have to insert a tube into my kidney to drain out all of the dye before they would be able to do the procedure to break up the stone (lithotripsy). Otherwise we could schedule the lithotripsy, but if we got there and the dye was still there they wouldn't be able to do the procedure and we'd have to pay for it anyways. The lithotripsy machine travels around the state and its availability also apparently "depends on your insurance" so we weren't sure how soon we would be able to have it done. The urologist made some calls and we decided that I would go in the next day to put in the tube to drain the dye and then would go back on Wednesday to have the lithotripsy done. The doctor had the nurse give me a phenergan shot to help with the nausea and I felt okay that night.

The next morning I had to be at the surgical center by 6:30 a.m. I got there and checked in and they took me back and started an i.v. Then the surgical nurse and the anesthesiologist came and got me and took me to an operating room. The anesthesiologist was asking me questions as he put stuff in my i.v. and it dawned on me that he was asking me questions so he'd know when I was out.

And then I woke up back out in the recovery area. It was about 30 minutes later. My throat felt like it had gunk in it and I asked if I had had something in my throat and they told me I'd been intubated. I hadn't known they would be doing that, although I guess I should have known that was standard procedure when you're put under. They told me that when they went to put the tube in they discovered that the dye had drained out on its own, but they weren't able to just go ahead with the lithotripsy because the machine wasn't there or something like that. The doctor said that instead of waiting until the next day I could come back and have the lithotripsy done at noon. The nurse told me I could just wait at the surgical center, but it was only 9:30 and I decided I would rather go home to wait. I went to change into my clothes and found that I still had EKG nodes stuck all over me. Which was an odd surprise. Bryce said they hooked me into the matrix.

I went home for a few hours and then went back and checked in again. I was not first in line for the lithotripsy machine so we had to wait for several hours. Then my urologist came in and said that he had to be back in his office by 2 and asked if it was ok if another doctor did the lithotripsy. Like I cared who did it at that point. I could hear a doctor talking to a middle-aged man in the bay next to me. He was ahead of me in line for lithotripsy. The man was asking 8 million questions about the lithotripsy and about kidney stones in general and what was going to happen, etc. etc. I felt like shouting "Buck up and get in there! I'm after you and I'm sick of waiting!" The new doctor came over and introduced himself and discussed the game plan. My urologist had said he would leave the tube in until Monday to help any remnants of stone pass through, but that he would leave the final decision to the replacement doctor. I was REALLY not enjoying having the tube in so I was highly against that plan and told them so. Finally the anesthesiologist came and got me again, telling me that "the second verse is the same as the first...a little longer and a little more meds." They wheeled me into an operating room and told me to slide over onto this water bed type of thing. The anesthesiologist had already injected the meds and I made it halfway over to the table and then thought "sorry guys but you're gonna have to do this yourself."

I woke up back in recovery. It was about an hour later. I was very happy to find out that the doctor had been able to break up the stone so completely that he decided it was okay to remove the tube at the same time. Apparently when I was coming out of the anesthesia I was making a fool of myself by asking over and over again if they had taken the stent out. Every time they told me yes I would cheer and give thumbs up. It is very strange to have multiple people telling you about things you did which you have zero recollection of. I "remember" waking up after the procedure, but the moment I remember as when I woke up was a good while after I started talking to everyone. Not only was I talking to people, but I'm told that I had a conversation with the doctor and asked him questions about preventing kidney stones in the future. Isn't it scary to think that your brain can function without you? The anesthesiologist told me that it takes 5 seconds from when he injects the drugs in the i.v. until you are out. There was no "I'm getting sleepy" feeling at all. I was awake and then I woke up somewhere else. Nothing in between. Crazy.

I got back home around 5 p.m. The lithotripsy may have taken care of the stone, but it left me feeling like someone had gone at my side with a baseball bat or ran over me with a truck. I had a hard time controlling the pain and nausea until I gave up on the percocet and switched to good old advil. The advil seemed to do a better job with the pain and didn't make me nauseated like the percocet did. The lithotripsy pain lasted until Sunday.

So it was not a very fun week. In fact, I'd really rather not do that ever again, thank you.

Many thanks to my sweet friends who called, brought food, and took my kids. I didn't see my kids for about 5 days. And I'm acquainted with my kids so I really, really appreciate what it means for someone else to have taken them every day. The boys came up to say goodnight before they went to bed every day and that was it. They were so cute. One night Sawyer brought me his dolphin puppet and said "Here Mom. I'll put this next to your face until you wake up." The next day he brought me his puppy. Then he colored me pictures to "make me feel better." Sawyer kept saying "Are you a little bit sick Mom? Feel better. Wuv you!" Will gathered up all his favorite toys and put them on my bed for me to play with. He kept asking "When do you think your pain will go away?" On Friday I was parenting from the couch (that counts right?) and I told Will to do something. He yelled, "No! You are sick. Remember? You can't be the boss again until you aren't sick!" I guess he figured it was his turn to step in and have a turn being the boss.

And my awesome friends brought 5 days' worth of dinners...not to mention treats. The men in the house weren't complaining about Mom not being able to cook. I think they preferred it actually.

And last but not least my wonderful husband took care of everything that needed to be done. He was my medication distributor and kept track of all my doses and set alarms to wake up at night to make sure I took the next dose and dealt with a lot of vomit. "If that's not love what iiiiisssss?!" And he kept the house cleaned up. Maybe he should be the stay-at-home parent. Hmmm.

Thus ends (permanently...please?) Erin's adventure with kidney stones. I have a check-up with the urologist in 2 weeks, but don't expect it to be anything more than a formality. Oh yeah, and just because I'm extra lucky and have that ovarian cyst as well I have to go back to the hospital to have another ultrasound done at the end of the month.

E.R. copay: $100
Urologist copay: $40
Prescriptions: $33
Deductible paid before they would do the lithotripsy: $1000
20% of hospital, doctors', and surgical fees: ????
Follow up with urologist: $40
Follow up ultrasound: $40 + ????

Having sweet kids, sweet friends, and a sweet husband: priceless.