Friday, 28 January 2011

Friday Night Bowling

Thank goodness my sister is here to take pictures! These are all from her camera. We took advantage of the $30 family fun night at the bowling alley. The kids love it and for 2 hours of bowling and food included, you cannot beat $30!  Tink had a birthday party at the skating rink, so she wasn't there.  The other ones love it more than her anyway, so it was good.  I didn't bowl because of my arm, but we all had a blast. We had talked our friends into going as well, so they had the lane next to us. It was great fun.  Minnie won. I think she usually does, but the boys both bowled without the ramp this time.  That was pretty comical at times, since it would take Goofy's ball about 5 minutes to roll down the lane.  He loves it though and wants to be a big boy and bowl like a grownup. 

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

And Almost One Year Later....

    One of the reasons I started a blog was for journaling purposes. Many others have done this and I fought it for a long time.  Then last February, things changed.  I had started jogging with my two youngest in the jogging stroller again and soon after my fingers went all tingly and numb.  I called a doctor friend who reassured me (the only thing I knew of with tingly fingers was a stroke, so he ruled that out--lol)  that it was probably carpel tunnel.  I made an appointment to see my doc, but it was going to be about a week before they could get me in. The pain move all the way up my arm and into my shoulder.  It throbbed all night, so I wasn't getting any sleep.  I broke down at the grocery store when I couldn't even push the shopping cart. I called the nurse in tears who got me a wrist splint which helped immediately. 
    My first diagnosis was carpel tunnel and they gave me meds and told me to wear the wrist splint.  This worked for a month, but if I stopped wearing the splint, it would come back immediately.  Another good friend doctor saw me wearing it and asked about it. He told me that if it was carpel tunnel it wouldn't be doing what it was doing.  The fingers that were numb/tingly on me were my pinkie, ring, and middle fingers.  These are not the ones affected with carpel tunnel. So I set up an appointment to see him. He did some more testing and poking around on my wrist.  He said it was my ulnar nerve that was the problem.  We did an x-ray (I remembered that I had fallen in December on the ice and caught myself with that arm, so we thought maybe I had fractured something), but it was not broken.  I was sent to neurology for nerve conduction studies--they all came back normal.  But my reflexes were nonexistent in that arm and the neurologist was worried something may be causing it from my neck, so I had to wait a few months before I could get an MRI of my neck.  After that came back normal, I had to wait another few months to get an MRI of my wrist.  After that came back normal as well. I finally was sent to orthopedic, where I went today. 
   Whew. It has been a long way, but I think the end is in sight.  He said it is definitely my ulnar nerve. Most likely the culprit is from bending my arms at night and it pinches that nerve.  So for the next few weeks, I will be wrapping my arm up to keep it straight at night.  If this doesn't fix it, I will then have a simple surgery to move that tendon and release the pinching.  Oh, may this all work.  The pain is pretty severe at times and annoying at the very least.  When I can't even color with my kids, yeah, I don't like that.  So back to my original thought:  I started this blog because I couldn't even hold a pen for very long to actually write in my journal. Typing I can do as long as I don't set my wrist down to get pinched. 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Banham Zoo

 Today we went to Banham Zoo, which is on the way to Diss. I had gone to an auction in Diss on Friday and won a silent bid on a violin for Bucko's birthday. So since we had to go back to pick it up, we decided to stop at the zoo while we were out. The kids LOVED it.  The weather was nice--no rain and fairly warm (when I say "fairly warm," I mean not freezing. It was about 45 degrees.)



The tiger was pretty awesome.  We also liked the cheetahs. We went to their feeding time, which was fun. They have such a little meow for the fastest land mammal.  Minnie kept asking when we were going to see them run super fast.  The kids all loved the owls as well, especially the snow owl that looked like Hedwig from Harry Potter. The only disappointment of the day was that the little train wasn't going that day. Goofy was pretty bummed out by that, but we were ready to go by that point anyway.  All in all it was a fun day!

I just have to say that Blogger is kind of driving me crazy. I've been trying to figure out how to get these pictures the way that I want them to be, and I can't do it. It doesn't work. So sorry about the sloppy post, but I'm fed up!

Monday, 10 January 2011


What a beautiful world we live in!  Tink asked me to wake her up a bit earlier this morning so I could curl her hair for school. (We curled hers and Minnie's for church yesterday, and they looked so cute!)  Well, since they were all up and ready earlier than normal, we had time to notice things. The sunrise was amazing! Tink saw it first, running in to say "The sky is PINK!" We don't get to see the sunrise very often in the winter here, so we were really excited because it was absolutely gorgeous. The pink and orange colors were so vibrant. I ran up to my room and took a picture out my window.  They loved having the sun up for their walk to school. It can be so dark and dreary most days.  This was also the second day in a row to have sunshine.  It's amazing how your spirits can be lifted with light.  It's also amazing how much my sensitive blue eyes can hurt from the sun! Gave me a splitting headache while driving this morning! 
Well, here is the sunrise.
 And I have just been so thankful for my family lately as well.  My kids give me such hope. I see their strength, faith, and love every day.  I am amazed by them.  I feel so blessed to have been trusted with their special spirits.  I hope I can teach them what they need to learn.
 The girls got new dresses that were very similar, so they really wanted to wear them.  Then the boys decided to wear their blue striped shirts.  They all looked so beautiful.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Brotherly Kindness

Goofy was super tired today and I was busy working on some things, so I asked Bucko to read him a story.  A couple minutes later, I look in on them, and Goofy is fast asleep.  Bucko was still reading and loving that he was helping out in such a great way.  What sweet, sweet boys.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New Years Paris!

 Our first stop for Day 2 was the Louvre.  We lucked out since we took the Metro in, we came into it from underneath. We walked over to buy the museum pass (NO LINE!) and then went right in! When we came out, we saw the line going up the stairs and waaaaayyyyy outside.  We had thought we would have to wait as well, but boy we were lucky.  So we walked around, mostly just going to see the Mona Lisa. Honestly, it wasn't THAT cool. It's smaller than you would probably think and there are SO many people trying to take pictures that it is crazy.  
 Next we headed to Notre Dame. Yes, it was cool.  Inside, I kept singing, "God Help the Outcasts" from the Disney movie. 

Inside Notre Dame
  After Notre Dame, I was getting hungry again.  We saw a crepe shop right next door and stopped in.  Yum!  We both got a nutella banana crepe.

 Next we headed over to La Conciergerie. This was a prison where many were beheaded during the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette was also held prisoner here. They even had a recreation of her in her cell. It was a bit creepy looking.

This is the Salle des Gens d'Armes, thought to be one of Europe's oldest medieval halls where members of the royal household would dine. This is the big room you come into when you first enter the Conciergerie.
Then we headed over to the Saint-Chappelle line. We did have to wait about an hour to get in here. It has the most stained glass of any building in the word. And we learned from Rick Steeves (We downloaded some things on iTunes to listen to on the way) that it was built to house the Crown of Thorns that Christ wore on the cross.  This was all done by Louis IX who paid something like 150,000 for the Crown of Thorns, but only spent 40,000 for Saint-Chappelle to house it.  It was really pretty inside though. 

At one point in all our walking around Paris, we saw a Paul's sandwich shop.  I held Paul in my hand!
 I guess the next few pictures are self-explanatory. This was our last stop. By the way, it was SO cold all day. I was freezing!  And by the time we left (we went back to the hotel for a few hours before heading back out for New Years) the Metro was packed!  When we first got on, I was held up by all the pressing bodies. I couldn't reach a pole to hold on to, so I just had to be held up by all the others. It was crazy.  The Eiffel Tower WAS cool though.  And we did go back to it at night.  The city of Paris, however, didn't set off any fireworks this year.  There were several set off just by random people though.  And the tower is lit up and then sparkles on the hour. It was definitley worth seeing. (I could have done without all the crazy drunks though! Everyone was drinking, which meant that people were peeing in the streets, attacking cars that drove by, we even heard of someone in our group getting thrown up on. Gross.)

One last crepe stop!
We left the next morning, and of course, our ride home on the bus took forever!  The ferry crossing we were supposed to be on was canceled, so we had to wait an hour for the next one.  We bought some super yummy panini's on the ferry though, and that was worth it! The kids were excited to see us too.  All in all a great trip and we saw all the highlights that we had wanted to see. 

Day 1 in Paris--December 30, 2011

So my sister and I went to Paris for New Years!  We left the kids with a family that we love, and they had a blast.  They kept asking to go back even after we came home!  That was such a blessing, though, to know that they were in the very loving, capable hands of this family.
So on the 30th, we woke up at 4:00 AM to get to the bus. We went with a group, which I had thought would be nice. Well, at least I thought it would be safer and a better deal than booking a Eurostar ticket and hotel on our own.  It wasn't bad, but the driver had us stop WAY too many times.  I think he just needed a cigarette break, but we were all just tired of stopping! It's 3 hours to Dover and then about 3 more to Paris.  However, with all the stinking stops, plus the 90 minutes ferry across, we didn't get to our hotel until after 4 PM!! Ugh!  Well, now we know.  Here I am in Dover with our bus behind me.
My sister was suffering from a cold I gave her. I felt so bad! I had it a few days before we left and slept a ton one day and then felt much better.  She was still having some bad sniffles, so the first thing we did when we arrived was to ask the hotel clerk where we could get her some medicine. Luckily, there was a pharmacy right up the street in the market.  As we started walking in the direction we were pretty sure it was, I saw some parking guys and decided to stop and make sure we were getting close.  "Excuse moi, ou est la pharmacie?"  I was so proud of my French! But then he started spouting out the answer and I had to shake my head and say, "Parlez-vous anglais?"  He didn't, but he pointed to where it was and we recognized the word "green."  So we were off.  It was harder than we expected inside, though, as only one worker knew English and we could NOT read the medicine boxes! I don't remember that much French from high school! (In fact, I don't think we really learned medicinal terms.)

Our next adventure was the RER.  Whew! We had a small map, but they gave us a more detailed one when we bought our tickets. It took us a long time to make sure we were getting on the right train, but we did it!  It was so nice b/c our hotel was right at the stop. So no more than 20 minutes and you are pretty much anywhere you want to be.

Our first stop was to the Printemps shopping center. The lights they had up for Christmas were awesome.  You can barely see them in this picture, but you can see the big shopping center behind me.

Arc de Triumph!

We left the Arc and walked down the Champs Elysees. That was fun! Then we headed over this bridge and caught our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower! It was SO foggy, but you can see the bottom in the background.

We tried to go to the Hard Rock for dinner, but there was a 2 hour wait.  Their food is good, but it was after 8PM and I get cranky when I don't eat.  We had seen this cute fondue place down the street, so we headed back down. Oh my yumminess!  I got the most gorgeous cheese fondue in the world! Oh!  It came with potatoes and lots of bread, but my sis was worried I wouldn't have enough to eat. No worries, though. I was stuffed and it was SO good!  This is a total goober picture of me, true to life, though, eyes closed and enjoying fondue.

Opera Palais Garnier 

Yes, there is a story here. I saw these pictures as we were walking to go under the tunnel under the Arc de Triumph.  They were selling them 1 print for 6 Euros or 2 for 10.  But the canvas paintings were a million times better and 65 Euros for the large ones. He said, "Oh, I have smaller ones!"  He was selling those for 35. Those were nicer and more in the price range I was willing to pay.  He says, "For you 28." Still, we were ready to walk on. I wanted one, but didn't want to walk around with it and it was still a bit pricey. He asked what I would pay for them, and I told him 2 for 20.  (Hey, I needed one and my sister needed one, right?)  He pretty much laughed in my face, but in the end, yep, that's what we paid. Definitely the best deal we got all weekend. I was very proud of my bargaining skills.  (Mine is the one on the left and my sis got the one on the right.)