Friday, May 30, 2008

The other invitations we considered...

But we liked the one we chose the best:

I sent this design to my fabulous friend Natalie, a graphic artist, and she was able to create an identical invitation. Then she even designed coordinating inserts- it all turned out PERFECTLY and was exactly what we wanted! What a fabulous wedding gift she gave us- THANK YOU NATALIE!!! :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The surgeon impressedly pronounced the tendon "shredded"

Posted by Jessica

Dave was jazzed for his surgery!

But he was sad he had to wear a girly gown.

But then he tried it on,

and liked how he looked

because of his purple bows.

Then he asked me, "If I'm totally out of it, what if I accidently pee during surgery?"

I said he shouldn't worry about it. But he was worried.

"I didn't bring an extra change of clothes!" he insisted. So he made the nurse let him take a last-minute pit stop.

Once he came back, relieved in more ways than one, he was ready to have his temp taken,

get painfully poked

and get hooked up to his new best buddy, the IV.

The hospital wanted to be very sure that the correct leg got operated on, so they asked Dave 25 times if it was the left one (which it was) and finally wrote a big 'YES' on the front and backside of the calf to be sure. Apparently you can't be too careful. Maybe telling us this was meant to make us feel better that the correct leg would indeed receive the operation. Instead, we had to wonder about a surgeon who couldn't be trusted with his knowledge of lefts and rights.

Dave got to wear a special hat,

and enjoyed both special socks and ballerina tights for the duration of the procedure.

They wheeled him away

and then he was gone.

As soon as the surgery was over, his doctor came out and pronounced the tendon 'shredded'. He was quite impressed. He said he'd fixed it up though, and everything had gone perfectly.

When I was allowed to see Dave, about an hour and half later, he was groggy and woozy. He was peering around with his eyes squinched almost shut, wagging his head from side to side.

"Hi!" I said. "How are you feeling?" A swirly-eyed stare came instead of an answer. He didn't seem to recognize language, but I continued politely.

"The doctor said everything went really well," I told him.

"Is that a question... or an answer?" he belted drunkenly, in a thickly-slurred voice, much too loud for the room.

"Ha ha," I laughed nervously.

His voice was hoarse and raspy when he told me that right before he fell asleep he became very worried that only the word "Yes" was written on his leg.

"I mean WHAT IF," he bellowed sloppily, "they knew it was the right leg but didn't know what to do to it? They should have written 'Yes. Please fix the Achilles tendon.' "

"Yes, yes, of course they should have," I cooed comfortingly.

The nurse came over to ask Dave how he was feeling and generally chat a lot about the book I was reading, the church he goes to, his wife, his favorite author, the ENTIRE plot of three books by that author, and other things I've since forgotten. Every time he paused for a breath, Dave would bellow, "Gotcha!" Dave 'gotcha'ed him about 17 times in 5 minutes. Most of those times, 'gotcha' was not a response that fit the conversation. The nurse didn't seem to mind though and seemed intent, instead, on sharing as much of his life story as possible before I could get away. I felt a tad alone, on Planet Crazy.

On our way home, we needed to stop at the drug store to pick up the prescriptions. A large Rite Aid loomed on our right.

"Turn left!" Dave slobbered, pointing to his right. At least, we learned today, he wasn't alone in that confusion.

Kicking Me While I'm Down

Many thanks go to my lovely fiancee Jessica for "telling my story" as I asked her to do the night of my Achilles fun. Now, just like Achilles of old, you know my weak spot (apparently when I was dipped in the River Styx they held me by my heels AND my shoulder) and that is the best part of the worst stuff.

Yesterday we went to consult with an orthopedic surgeon, a sprawling office that certainly needs a moving sidewalk since half the people there are on crutches. He concluded, based on a "squeeze the calf" test I'm sure took years to perfect, that my Achilles is fully torn. He offered two options:
  • Cast up to my thigh for 4 weeks, lower-leg cast for 4 weeks and then "Golden Girls" reruns for 6-8 months before I can resume athletic activity
  • Surgery, followed by 2 weeks in cast, then 2 months in a boot (most of that with crutches), back running in about 6 months

Upon hearing our options, Jess and I felt like we'd been offered the option of lethal injection in either Bubble Gum or Tutti Frutti flavors -- in other words, neither option was good but we may as well enjoy the little choices we have. Our response to the doctor was basically, "How soon can we cut?"

The answer is: Today at 1PM. So I'm going under the knife today to repair the tendon and start the rehab process. Through all of this, Jess has been an absolute champ, helping out however she can and at the same time dealing with the ramifications of this from the wedding perspective. It goes without saying that this isn't how we had expected the wedding plans to proceed from this point. We'll certainly make the most of it, but for now we're stuck in our current location, coordinates 120 degrees Shock and 150 degrees Ugh (I believe this is near a Shari's in Clackamas but don't quote me on that).

More to come post-op --

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Begins With a Bang... er, a Rupture

Posted by Jessica

Today, we played with Pixie,
Dave and his friends played some soccer,

and Dave wound up here:

But when the Urgent Care couldn't help us, we had to go to the ER. The upside was Dave got a wheelchair and a cool gadget to buzz him when his room was ready.

We enjoyed this sign on the wall.
Dave was diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

He was fitted with a splint/cast and a super-snazzy knitted toe-warmer.

He was told to see the specialist on Tuesday to discuss surgery options and is not to put an ounce of weight on his foot before then. Additionally, he was strongly advised against showering before then, lest his cast get wet. Even though he came straight from his sweaty soccer game. We got some Vicadin and crutches and were on our way home six hours later. Dave spent the remainder of the evening fitfully switching from one uncomfortable position to the next on the couch in his sleep.

Though when he hobbled through the door with his crutches Pixie initially believed he was a vicious attacker sent to murder her family and thus promptly barked hysterically at him for half an hour, once she realized it was him and and he was hurt, she didn't leave his side all night.

Poor Dave!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Birds in My BBQ II: The Great Starling Hunt of 2008

You can read below about our intrepid feathered friends who had taken residence in my BBQ. At last report, all we had were three Cadbury eggs to show for the pounds of white turd on my deck and the delay of grilling season by two months.

As of Saturday, however, we got a lot more than we bargained for.

We had been hearing the newborn baby starlings screaming for their mamma for about a week, and Jess wanted to just get some simple pictures of the little ones -- not much, just a lift of the BBQ, a couple pictures, and we'd close the BBQ and let Shadrach and brothers percolate for another week or so before they flew the coop (literally -- and let me get distracted and note that the term "literally" is unfortunately overused and is now used in many instances as a substitute for "totally" -- as in, "that Angelina Jolie better not count her chickens before they hatch -- literally." Well, c'mon, as granola as Angelina and Brad are, I doubt they're "literally" breeding chickens along with their 27 kids, so let's just all agree to moderate our use of the term, nnnk? Sincerely, Vocabulary Dork).

What happened was a comedy of errors:

  • Jess opens BBQ cover to reveal three rather large Starling babies (Mom had apparently been injecting the worms with HGH -- is that BGH in this case?)

  • Starling babies scatter -- two towards the back of the BBQ, and one plays dead or lazy and kicks it in the nest

  • Baby Starling #1 steps between the grill and the BBQ cover, so if we closed the BBQ cover it would crush him into tiny little starling pieces

  • Jess attempts to encourage Baby Starlings to head back to their nest -- instead, they jump out of Said BBQ and onto the deck floor, precariously close to a 12-foot drop onto concrete

  • First attempt at corraling Baby Starlings towards the middle of the deck results in one flying/floating off the deck and another hiding between deck edge & BBQ

  • Dave sent below to a) look for first floating Baby Starling and b) catch second Baby Starling in case he falls off the edge

  • Second Baby Starling falls off edge.

  • Second Baby Starling lands softly on squishy back lawn, sending Jess flying down the steps to get him back in the BBQ. First Starling is now halfway to Tillamook, pleased to be out past curfew with his good-for-nothing adolescent Starling friends.

  • Jess impressively catches Second Baby Starling in her hands and gets him back into the BBQ. Lazy Baby Starling meanwhile has not moved.

  • Jess searches for First Starling for 2 hours with no luck.

  • First Starling sends postcard titled "Fiji -- Wish You Were Here"

Quite an adventure -- we've been happy having them here, but also happy when they're gone in a few days. Daddy needs his grill!

I Watched R.icki L.ake Give Birth Naked In A Bathtub

Really, that about sums it up.

I'll turn in my man card now.

Oh, you want to know MORE?! Are you SURE?! OK...

For several weeks now, Jess has been very interested in seeing a documentary called "The Business of Being Born." Sure, I thought. I love documentaries! And although childbirth wasn't tops on my list of topics I'd like to see a documentary on, I was pleased that Jess was interested in a boring documentary and so I was strangely interested in watching this with her.

And then it started -- and two minutes in, I thought "OH..... CRAPWITHCORN. BIRTHS."

Not your normal births, mind you, where a woman struggles and a curtain the size of Rhode Island separates the business side from the party side, and ne'er the twain shall meet. This is primal birth being shown my friends: warm tub, grunts, and then suddenly -- a baby emerges from the water like a little manatee.

The first one was OK -- had to look away a bit, but not bad. By the 12th description of a natural birth I was squirming a bit. Then suddenly R.icki L.ake (yes, the "Cousin Paternity Tests" R.icki L.ake) swifts us into the world of her second birth, and she captured it all on home video. I'll recap that portion of the film:

  • Ricki is pregnant and opts for a home birth

  • Ricki is in pain, wandering around her kitchen in moans and grunts

  • Ricki is in her bathtub giving birth -- aaaand, there's the baby

  • Ricki is breast-feeding and grateful for the experience

The rest of the film was a blur of natural births, grainy depictions of turn-of-the-century (that's from 19th to 20th) deliveries and me digging my fingernails into my eyelids to scrape away the memories.

Do I have a problem with midwives or home births? Absolutely not. But do I want to ever see that documentary again?

Let's put it this way... I'll see the entire "Ernest Goes To" movie set and "Teletubbies" reruns before I check that documentary out again. The way I see it, seeing the birth of a child is like watching any other home movie -- there's a right time and place for it, and it's a lot more interesting and exciting when it's your own.

This weekend, I'm picking the movie -- "Iron Man!"