Posted in Health, Jim

Rolling With the Punches

I don’t think we’ve had a year where Christmas with each side of the family happened when it was supposed to in years. This year is no different.

Jim complained early this week that something was in his eyeball, causing vision issues. He called the eye doctor, but only got the answering service and didn’t get a call back. He didn’t complain, so I didn’t give it much thought. Yesterday he complained again and I called the office. When I explained the problem–and that it wasn’t acting like a floater–they said “come in now”. He did.

Awhile later, he texted me that he had a torn retina.


Retinas are terrifying around here. I have a blind teenager, a partially blind/partially visually impaired teenager, and a very near sighted teenager because of retinas. So yeah, retina damage utterly freaks me out. And this is a guy who’s job it is to stare at a computer all day. So yeah. Terrifying.

The ophthalmologist (it took me years to spell that word correctly every time!) called the office that Ethan goes to, which has two retina specialists. They said they would stay for him, because this is a Big Deal.

I met him there, they got him in, examined and took pictures and video and yuck. They INSERTED A NEEDLE INTO HIS EYEBALL with a gas bubble into it and injected it. The hope is the bubble will push the retina back down and then they will laser it today. In the meantime, he first had to spend an hour with his face facing down to the ground and then the next two days (aka today and tomorrow) with his head at a 45 degree angle so the gas bubble will be in the correct spot (cuz it wants to float to the top and the tear is at 1:00.)

We have a follow up appointment at 10am (aka 45 minutes from now) where the doctor will hopefully see that the gas bubble has done its job and he will then laser the retina as well. Then I think we go again on Sunday.

This has somewhat played havoc with weekend plans. The kids’ friends are still coming over tomorrow, but NYE over my sister’s? Nope. Continuing work on the house? On pause. Forced rest for my husband on the couch with a lot of “saved on the DVR and eventually I’ll watch it” stuff to watch? Yes!

He has already noticed an improvement in his sight–he could read “Deer Park” on the water bottle that he was unable to read earlier, so I’m hopeful about today’s appointment. We’ll see!

Posted in Holiday, House

In The Bleak Midwinter

Rain in late December IS rather bleak, although I will take it anyway over the “wintry mix” we were supposed to get on Christmas Day that changed course!

It’s been a weird week. We’re still settling in, still figuring out where stuff goes, still have some boxes upstairs to unpack and a ton of stuff in the basement to deal with. (My prayer this morning was that the HOUSE would become a HOME this year.) On one of my errand days this week I was driving by the cemetery where Connor is buried. I pass by it quite often, but this one day I decided to stop. It took a few minutes to find his grave–it’s been awhile and they’ve added quite a number around him–but I finally did. I’m guessing Nana (Jim’s mom) stopped by with a wreath.

For whatever reason–the general season, the whole year just adding up or who knows, that wreath at my son’s grave just got to me. I cried. I sobbed. So often I’m fine–really–with not having him here and dealing with it, but this month has just left me a mess in general and that in particular.

We’re down to two days before Christmas and the list of “Things to do before family descends” is well under hand. I still have a lot of cooking ahead of me, but I’m ok with that, and I’m looking forward to seeing the family and having them hang out here.

I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful new year!


Posted in House

Snowy December Sunday

It’s been a productive week and weekend. We’re starting to figure things out and things are finding homes. Not to mention this:

Christmas Fireplace

It’s our first fireplace as a married couple/family. This is the living room, where the fireplace currently is only decorative (per the chimney people who are coming out late this month to make it actually useful!). House decorations are on the light side this year. Everything in the lower two feet is toddler friendly for my two-year-old niece (those buckets flanking the fireplace have stuffed snowballs in them!).

We haven’t officially met any more neighbors than our backdoor one, but with the unpacking and now the snow, I’m ok with that. Oh, yeah, it’s southeastern PA and we have SNOW in early December! That hardly EVER happens!

In house stuff, let’s see….the shed site has been prepped and we’re getting it tomorrow. We hired a handyman for a couple of days and all our windows sport curtains and we have a different chandelier in the kitchen (the previous one reminded me of the international space station). We got a new mattress. We bought a BUNCH of hooks and bars for the bathrooms so our towels will actually all fit in them. TONS of empty boxes are in the attic now, and there’a  nice “donate” pile in the living room. Most importantly, we’re completely finished at the apartment–it’s cleared out, cleaned out and we turned in the keys. WHEW! That was a big burden off our shoulders!

Slowly but surely we’re getting organized. I wouldn’t say this house feels like HOME yet. I’m guessing that will take awhile. But it’s a HUGE improvement over the apartment and it’s a lot more liveable than it was a short week ago.


Posted in House

Third Day in the House

Well, sort of. If you consider moving boxes and going to and from the storage unit and apartment and house actually “being in the house”.

We’re….doing ok. Some things are easier than I thought. There’s less boxes than I remembered. Unpacking is not as horrible as I dreaded. Ethan is doing WAYYY better at getting around than I expected. Neighbors have been friendly and welcoming when we’ve met.

Some things are harder than I thought: My back hurts constantly. I’m tired. A LOT. The past week I haven’t slept through the night once and I’m back to waking up in the 4am range instead of 5am. Jim and I are sniping at each other from stress and exhaustion and just general getting-on-each-other’s-nerves. We couldn’t get the queen box spring upstairs so my mattress is on the floor. Jim’s didn’t even get delivered–they are waiting for the split box springs to come in and then will deliver on Saturday.

Catie cried–SOBBED–the first evening here. When we moved from the only home she had ever known into the apartment she handled it fine. Which very much surprised me. So when it finally came to a head now I wasn’t shocked. The crying seemed to help her and she SEEMS to be a little better now. It will take time–for ALL of us–to have this house become our home.

One thing that’s funny is how big the house is. If we had moved directly from our old home to here it might not have been so obvious, but this house is about 1400 square feel larger than the apartment. It’s VERY different!

No pictures yet, because everything is just a mad jumble. I’ll post some when things get more organized, unpacked and figured out.