Saturday, December 14, 2013

Another Wausau Adventure!

I cannot believe it has taken this long to get my niece and nephews together with my "adopted" nephews.  When Shannon mentioned a combined birthday party for Nolan and Madeline, I decided this would be the PERFECT opportunity.

So, yesterday we packed up Alan, Evan, and Owen and started the 167 mile journey from La Crosse to Wausau for a "cousins, but not really cousins" weekend!

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know I like to quote the conversations I have with the kids.  Here's what our 2 hours and 45 minutes sounded like:

[On Highway 16 between La Crosse and Onalaska]
OWEN: LISSA!  Are we in Wausau?
ME: Nope!  We're still in La Crosse.
OWEN: UGH!!!  How much longer, Lissa?
ME: Almost three hours!
ME: It's like watching 6 episodes of Ninjago.

------A little bit of quiet time---------

OWEN: LISSA!!!!  How much gas we got?
ME: Over a half of a tank, Owen.
OWEN: We dotta go get gas, LISSA!!!!
ME: Not yet.  I think we'll make it on this tank.
OWEN: If we run outta gas Lissa, the van won't go anymore.
ME:  I'll make sure that doesn't happen, okay?
OWEN:  LISSA!!!!  We need hot chocolate.
ME: Yep!  We'll stop in Tomah.
OWEN: Does Tomah have hot chocolate?
ME: I'm pretty sure we'll find some.
OWEN: Right now?
ME: We have about twenty minutes before we get there!
ALAN: I have my wallet and it's got 22 bucks in it.
ME: Oh, really?  Were you supposed to bring that along?
ALAN: Well, I brought it in case we stopped somewhere so I can buy a snack or something.
ME: I think I can cover your snacks.  Save your money.
ALAN: Yeah, you have a job and I don't, so that's a good idea.
ME: We have quite a while, Owen.


------ More quiet time after the Tomah stop! -------------

ALAN: I just CAN'T WAIT to get there!!!  I'm SO excited!!!  And I bet they are, too!


OWEN: Where are we, Lissa?
ME: Almost to Marshfield!
OWEN: Aw, I don't like Marshfield!  I wanna be in Wausau!

[A few minutes later]

ME: Marshfield!
OWEN: We already been here, Lissa!
ME: I know.

[A few minutes later]

OWEN: Where are we?
ME: Still in Marshfield!
OWEN: I really don't like Marshgarden, Lissa!

OWEN: LISSA!  Your sister, with the spiky hair...
ALAN: SHANNON!  Her name is Shannon!

[Side note - she doesn't have spiky hair, but... okay.]

OWEN: Does her house have a bathroom?
ME: No, they don't have any bathrooms in the house.
OWEN: Where are we gonna pee?
ME: We have to pee outside!
OWEN: In the Marshgarden???
ME: Yep!
OWEN: REALLY?  Lissa, you're just joking!
EVAN: Yeah, she's joking Owen!  They have bathrooms!  And fireplaces!
OWEN: Do you have bathrooms at your house?
ME: Do you remember where I live, Owen?  [This is a conversation we had earlier in the day.  I think he forgets that I still live with them.]
OWEN: No.  Where's your house, Lissa?
ME: I don't have a house, yet.  I live with you.  Remember?
OWEN: Oh, yeah.  I forget sometimes.

-------  A Very BRIEF Pause in the Conversation ------

OWEN: Lissa, how did you meet us?
ME: I met your Mom at school.  She was one of my teachers.
OWEN: At school?
ME: Yep.  And we traveled to Belize together a few years ago with school.
OWEN:  I don't remember that!  When did you meet us?  Owen, Alan, and Evan?
ME: A few months after your mom and I went to Belize, I came to your house.  Remember?  We did some pictures and I liked you guys so much I talked your parents into letting me babysit.
EVAN: And she's the best babysitter EVER!    [[I pay them to say that.  Okay, no I don't.]]
ALAN:  She's more than a babysitter now!
OWEN: How did you stay with us?
ME:  Well, I felt bad that your basement didn't have anybody living in it, so I just decided to move in and your parents haven't kicked me out yet.
OWEN: That was a really good idea, Lissa!!!


I should probably quit blogging and feed the troops!  More to come, I'm sure!

Friday, December 13, 2013

"Now, what the @#% is wrong with you??"

Just because I'm all about my ailments these days, how about another ER/Urgent Care blog post?

Last night marked my 7th visit to Emergency Services at Gundersen for 2013.  This time, I was able to be treated in Urgent Care and didn't have to go to the ER.  After last night, though, I am going to seriously reconsider ever going in for a headache.  

Wednesday while I was at work, I had a headache come on very suddenly and it hit right in the eyes.  I took Ibuprofen and was able to finish out the day, but was completely exhausted by the time 8:00 finally rolled around.  I went right to bed after work and called in yesterday morning.  The headache came and went throughout the day.  Around noon, I dragged myself off the couch with the intention of going into Urgent Care, but ended up just doing a drive-by and ended up at Starbucks for a cup of coffee and a birthday cake pop.  If I've learned anything this year, a birthday cake pop from Starbucks is better medicine than anything else I've found.  

I returned to the couch in hopes of tackling my Christmas cards, which are not even out of the package, yet.  That didn't happen.  Instead, I slept.  And slept.  And SLEPT!  With the help of Google, I tried the ice pack idea and made the whole situation worse.  Finally, I decided it was time to go in.  Remember Natasha Richardson?  The actress that died after she fell skiing?  Well, I had a few incidents earlier this week at work that involved a few knocks on the head, so better safe than sorry... or dead.  

I believe in Christmas miracles and mine came in the form of two nurses and a PA that actually treated me like a human being instead of a lying "frequent flyer".  This was the first of the seven visits that my eating disorder history wasn't mentioned and I wasn't interrogated.  

They did a CT scan and everything was fine.  At that point, they decided to do a lumbar puncture (aka spinal tap) to make sure there was no bleeding.  I have now decided that should I ever give birth, it will be a cakewalk in comparison to some of the things I've been through this year.  

If you've never experienced a spinal tap, this is how it goes:

First things first, you put the beautiful back-wide-open hospital gown on.  Fortunately, the bra and granny panties could stay on.  You have to lay on your side with your knees brought up to your chest.  The doc sticks a drape cloth to your back and numbs the site.  He goes through the procedure and tells you things like, "you'll feel some pressure"and "tell me if you feel any pain in your legs".  

I like to believe I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but the second he started, my vision went out and I pictured myself in a morgue locker.  What felt like an hour was probably closer to 5 minutes.  Somewhere in there, I felt that "pain in your legs" he warned me about.  He should have said, "If you feel like you're being electrocuted in a bathtub", but that probably would have deterred me from agreeing to this in the first place.  

After it was done, they monitored my blood pressure and let me sleep until the results came back.  I don't recommend napping on exam tables, but after something like that, even a cardboard box looks comfortable.  

All of that to find that everything looks normal.  I have migraine/headache medication to get me through the weekend if I need it and a follow up with my physician next week.  Unfortunately, we aren't sure if this is related to everything else that has been going on the last few months, or if it was a result of the work incidents.  

Today the headache is not as bad, but my back is pretty darn sore.  I walked the mall this morning to see if that would help.  Not sure if it helped my back, but it certainly didn't help seeing people in their retirement years flying by me.  

I would like to think this was my last ER/Urgent Care visit of 2013.  

Weekend in Wausau

Nolan, Madeline, Gunner all ready and bundled up to go cut down the Christmas tree!

Last weekend on Saturday morning I drove up to Wausau to spend the weekend with my family!  Shannon, Colleen, and I surprised Nolan and Maddie and took them to see Frozen.  I had the absolute pleasure of sitting next to Shannon for the 85 minute film.  Have you ever gone to a movie with Shannon?  The first 30 seconds of the movie, she looks at me and says, "Okay, this is already too much singing."  This was actually my second time seeing the movie, so I'm thinking, Oh, she is not going to like this.

Well, there was a moment in the movie that Shannon seemed to enjoy.  A line in one of the songs, "what's a ballroom with no balls" sent her into a laughing fit.  The only two people in the theater busting a gut: Shannon and Me!  I'm pretty sure the people in front of us, behind us, and next to us were ready to kick us out.

What I LOVE about hanging out with the Mudler family is they always having something going on, but always make time for naps.  And, boy did we nap yesterday!  It was awesome.  What makes napping even better is there are kids eager to snuggle.  Nolan, Gunner, and I crashed in the spare bedroom on Saturday night and I woke up with Gunner's head pressed up against mine.  Nolan had his arm underneath me and wrapped around my rib cage in an I'm-never-letting-Aunt-Kiki-go kind of grip.  There really is no better way to wake up.


Shannon has some Grandma Jean tendencies, I've noticed.  As soon as I snuggled myself up in the recliner with a blanket and a 5-year-old lap warmer, Shannon comes out looking like this:

Apparently, it is that time of year when we rearrange the entire house and prepare for the Christmas tree.  So, there I sat in the recliner watching all of this crazy cleaning happen thinking to myself, "it's going to be cold out there, but hey, I can be a lumberjack."  

After the prep work was completed, we bundled up the children in their boots, snow pants, winter coats, hats, mittens, and scarves until they were walking like Randy from A Christmas Story.  And, we ventured out to the tree farm to find the perfect tree.

NOTE:  Shannon had no part of cutting down the tree


Gunner having a hard time getting back up.