Thursday, December 8, 2011

Could This Be It?

This might be my wonder drug.  Gabapentin.  I take 3 of these puppies at night, and 1 in the morning.  My migraines are less frequent and less intense.  When I do get one, I am able to take my rescue medication (Imitrex or Treximet) right away, and the migraine goes away within 30 minutes.  I am thrilled!  I am still going to the Headache Center about once every 6 weeks.  I just had blood work to check some levels...I never heard back from the clinic, so I'm guessing no news is good news.  I should have a repeat MRI in March to determine if the little white spots are staying the same or if they are changing.  So, yes, we are making progress.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friends Galore!

I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends in my life.  And it seems that lately, they are just what I need.  Just last week, I was able to drive to the Chicago area to visit my long-time friend, Kari, for an impromtu overnight stay.  She was in town for a conference and suggested I come and see her.  It was completely random, but I asked my parents if they could take the kiddos overnight (Joe was out of town for work) and they said yes!  We had a great time catching up over dinner, drinks, and some penny slots at the Casino down the street!  We topped off the night with an 80s and 90s cover band in the bar.  What a blast!

A few days later, I boarded a plane to Seattle.  My much-awaited get-away to visit my highschool friend, Christine.  Christine has a 3 year old son, 1 year old twin sons, and she is expecting.  It was exciting to see her little baby bump!  I was able to see her everyday life, which made my everyday life seem a bit more normal! We all have chaos!  We were able to get away on Saturday to have lunch and shop at a very fancy mall.  I would've been satisfied with doing those two things, but our day out ended with a visit to the spa.  It was amazing.  I wrote about my treatment in my last post, but here is a picture of the "Vichy Shower."  The photo is NOT of me.

This full-body shower was followed by a shea butter massage, which included a clarifying facial treatment and scalp massage at the end.  I was so eyelids are getting a little droopy just thinking about it.  Time to schedule my next massage I think...

On Sunday, Christine's parents (who moved from Michigan) babysat the kiddos so Christine, myself, and her hubby could go into downtown Seattle for a nice dinner.  One of my old college roommates was able to join us.  She is an anesthesiologist completing her residency in the Seattle area.  It was so nice to be able to see two friends in one trip!  We had dinner at this great Italian restaurant called "The Pink Door."  It was down this little alley, and the only way you knew it was the place was by the pink door.  It was dimmly lit, which eclectic decorations.  The best part?  There was a trapeze artist.  You read that correctly.  Here's the proof!

Christine and I don't talk on the phone...we e-mail every now and again...but she's the kind of friend where it feels like you just pick right up where you left off. It was so nice being able to bounce parenting ideas off each other, since our parenting style seems pretty similar.  I am so grateful that we have remained friends after all of these years. 

And if that's not very best friend of over 25 years is coming to visit me this Friday!  Andrea lives with her husband in Columbus, Ohio.  Unfortunately, Mark can't make the trip this time.  They are expecting their first child this March.  I can't wait to give her a hug and touch her belly! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Lifesaver

That would be my husband.  He is truely my lifesaver.  He knew that I was having a challenging and frustrating time with our children, so he arranged for me to go visit my friend, Christine, in Seattle. Whatta guy, huh?  On November 4th, I fly into Seattle and will stay until November 7th.  Christine as lined up a day for just us girls...a visit to the spa, lunch, shopping...sounds devine, doesn't it?  I'm going to get the Warm Shea Butter Melt & Massage which is described as this:
Your cares melt away with the ultimate in hydration and nurturing relaxation. A nourishing sugar exfoliation is followed by a full-body warm shea butter massage. Enjoy a gentle facial cleanse and pressure point face and scalp massage while cocooned in a luxurious wrap. Because this is extraordinarily hydrating, it is wonderful for those with dry or sensitive skin. This premium therapy includes a Vichy shower.

What is a Vichy shower, you might ask?  Here is the desciption:

Our exclusive Vichy shower, which houses a triple rain bar and 14 massage jets to improve circulation, and revive your body and spirit.

So, needless to say, I am so super excited to go visit Christine...not just for the spa day! :)

After a long day of trying to keep my kids occupied, Joe swoops in to take over, giving me a much needed break.  I am so lucky to have a husband that is on the same page as me.  We really are equals, and I love that.

I do have to mention that my parents are my lifesavers as well.  I really don't know what I would do without them.  They are always available to help me if I need to run to the grocery store or the doctor, or if I just need a few minutes to breathe in peace and quiet!  I am so grateful and blessed that they moved to be closer to us!

Migraine update:

I think the new medication is working!  I take 900mg of gabapentin at night, and 300mg in the morning.  It makes me a little drowsy, but nothing I can't handle.  My migraines are less frequent and when I do get one, it is less intense and painful.  When I do get one, I take sumatriptan (generic Imitrex) or Treximet.  My neurologist wants to repeat the MRI in 6 months to make sure the white matter lesions haven't changed.  I am planning on getting a digital copy of the MRI and sending to my friend Gretchen, who is an MD specializing in radiology.  Lucky me, huh?  Can't hurt to have a second pair of eyes take a peek.  So yay, knock on wood, things are getting better!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Baby Boy Turns 3!

How did 3 years go by so fast?  A friend of mine told me recently, "The days are long, but the years are short."  Isn't that the truth?!? 

There is so much to say about do I even sum it up?  He's sweet (when he's not having a tantrum,) he's funny (when he's not whinny,) he's a good brother (when he's not hitting Ella,) and he's a cuddler (all the time!)

Nate speeds around on his Spiderman bike like there's no tomorrow, and kicks a soccer ball right on target.  I may be stereotyping, but he is "all boy!"  He's my boy.  My big boy.  Always my baby.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Milwaukee Area Moms Unite!

I am president this year of this wonderful club, Suburban West Newcomers and Neighbors.  It is an amazing group of women and I am so grateful to have found this group. 

When Joe and I moved to New Berlin, we were parents to only one child, soon to be pregnant with our second.  We were the first couple to have a baby in our group of friends, and we lost touch with many of them.  We were at a different point in our lives.  We couldn't go out at a moments notice anymore.  We felt kinda isolated.  So we started looking for a church that suited our needs.  We soon came across this beautiful church in Elm Grove, Community United Methodist Church.

We were immediately welcomed into the church family and were given a "mentor" couple.  Now, I'm not one to get too "churchy" on people, but I do think God paired us up with this couple for a reason.  We are very good friends with Leslie and Jake to this day.  Leslie introduced me to many other moms and we discovered that we lived right in the same neighborhood. (They have since moved to another house, but are still in the metro-Milwaukee area.)  And here's where the story all fits together...

Leslie told me about a club she belonged to...Suburban West Newcomers. (We just recently added "Neighbors" to the title so established residents didn't feel like they couldn't join.)  Leslie was the co-chair of the Kids Club portion of the group, and I quickly joined because of this.  I needed to get out of the house on my days off and meet new people, give my kids a chance to socialize with children their age, and just be around other mothers!

I became very involved in the club and the following year became co-chair of Kids Club, with Anne, a newer member of the club.  Anne and I had a wonderful year planning outings, parties, and play groups.  Anne and I are now close friends, and she introduced me to Mom-to-Mom, a large group of mothers that meet every Wednesday morning at Brookfield Lutheran Church.  I get two hours of fellowship, learning, conversation, etc. all while my children are being taken care of in another room!  But this is a whole other post! 

Getting back to now this year, I am president of the entire club.  A daunting task, but one I'm willing to take on.  I want to see this club succeed and flourish.  I want other women to join and feel welcome, just like I did.  We do so many fun things!  Ladies Night Out, where we try new restaurants, go to wine tastings, explore the city, and so much more!  And now we have Ladies Night In, where we watch movies, play games, do crafts, whatever!  Once a month we usually have a couples event so we can get the husbands involved...sometimes against their will.  But secretly, I like the like being forced into having other male friends!  We have a gourmet cooking/dinner event called Bon Appetit, which is starting to get up and running again.

I'll say it again...I am just so grateful for the women I have met.  I look forward to all of the different events throughout the month.  I have developed many strong friendships because of this club! 

Just a few of the ladies at our annual picnic

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Migraine Update

I had my MRI a few weeks ago.  It was super fun...being in an enclosed space with jack-hammering sounds coming from every direction.  I survived.  Later that week I went in for my follow-up appointment with the nurse practitioner.  She had a preliminary report of the MRI, which showed very tiny white matter lesions on my left frontal lobe.  Sounds scary, right?  The lesions were so small, they were unmeasurable, and I'm told this is very common of migraineurs.  That's what they call us...migraineurs.  So I have brain lesions, whatev!  No seriously though, it's not a big deal, there's nothing that has to be done about it, my brain is fine.  Well, except for the migraines.  And the voices.  But I digress...

My medications remain the same, except for increasing the gabapentin to 600mg.  I was also given a sample of Treximet, which is just my normal Imitrex combined with Aleeve.  I tried it when I had a migraine last week, and it worked nicely.  To save on costs, the nurse practitioner said they can prescribe generic Imitrex (sumitriptan) and generic Aleeve (naproxin sodium.) 

I am supposed to call tomorrow, two weeks since I was last in the office, and then I go back in again in another 2 weeks.  I like the fact that I see or talk to someone every few weeks, rather than every 6 months, like it was with my previous neurologist.

A great site for migraine sufferers is, which is where I found this article about MRIs and white matter lesions.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ella turns 5!

 5 years ago today, my first child was born.  5 years ago.  How is that possible?  I've been thinking a lot about the day Ella was born...don't worry, I won't get into her birth story this year.  But wow, do I remember the pure love I felt when I saw her for the first time.  It's hard to put into words the way I feel about my first born, other than what I just said about the first time I saw her...pure love. 

I so enjoy the time we can spend one-on-one together, and I think she's realizing how much better it is for her when Nathan isn't around. Haha!  Boy, do they get into it with each other!  She's starting to say to me, "I just want to spend some time with you."  It breaks my heart when I can't give her my full attention, especially when I can tell she needs it. 

Ella knows exactly how to push her brother's buttons, and she always has to get in the last word.  But she's also very protective of Nathan and tries to make him feel better when he cries.  Nathan usually screams at her and tries to bite her, but hey, at least she's making the effort! 

Ella started 4K two weeks ago and seems to be adjusting well.  She started swimming lessons this past Monday and can now go in the pool without a parent.  In fact, parents aren't even allowed in the pool area.   Ella also started piano lessons!  She was so excited to go to her first lesson last week, and so was I.  She's been playing the one song she learned, "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater," over and over and over...and she is SO PROUD.  I hope she really loves it and sticks with it...just like her momma!

I look at Ella sometimes and think, "Wow, that's my daughter."  My daughter.  I am one lucky woman.  I've been given this amazing opportunity to be a mother to this beautiful child.  I can only hope she knows and feels the amazing amounts of love I have for her.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Ella!