I haven’t posted a blog since my birthday post, 3 months ago. Ugh, that makes me disappointed in myself. I even had to look it up to see when the last post was. I also had to check my blog a few weeks ago to remind myself what my 18 goals for 2018 are. It’s been that kind of a year. Or maybe that kind of spring.
So, rather than waiting for a fantastic idea for a blog, I thought I should just write something while I have the house to myself on this lovely Tuesday afternoon. After all, my blog will be how I remember when stuff happened in the future. As in 3 months from now. So a quick rewind:
1) Rye had his tumor diagnosis and surgery on April 10! After months of limping and pain that would wake him in the middle of the night, we finally got a diagnosis of osteoid osteoma, a benign tumor in his femoral neck. The surgery used radiofrequency ablation to blast it out, but we were warned that if even a single cell was left behind, it would probably grow back. Within 6 months. After the surgery, Rye immediately stopped having pain, but he kept limping. It makes sense, because even without the inflammation, he had developed new muscle memory for walking with a limp. The doctors said he’s a kid, let him just be a kid, and if no improvement in a month or two, start doing physical therapy. We watched for 2 weeks and he seemed to be worse, so we decided to start doing the physical therapy exercises he had learned from professionals (before we had a diagnosis) at home, as many mornings as we could remember. We realized his right leg was severely weaker than his left, and the exercises did help him get the right leg stronger, if not as strong as the left. The limp would get a little better, then you’d miss 3 days of exercises because of busyness, and he would get worse. Over Memorial Weekend, he developed a completely new limp on his right leg that consisted of walking tippy toe on just his right leg. We started freaking out, and decided that we would give him another month to see if the middle of the night pain came back, and even if it didn’t, we would take him back to the surgeon and ask for another CAT scan. But then a week later that limp was gone. When he’s one-on-one with a parent, he walks better. When he’s playing with older kids, he tends to run better. He has good days and bad days. We’re still praying and just don’t know which direction this is going to go.
2) Rye has been doing gymnastics class for the past 7 weeks, once a week. He likes it, but it’s an evening class and he’s always pretty tired by the evening, because he seems to wake up at 5:50 a.m. and sometimes he naps and sometimes he doesn’t. If he does nap, he seems to stay up until 9:30/10 p.m. So he is both a morning lark and a night owl. I’m a little worried about how grumpy he is going to be this summer and how little sleep I’m going to be getting.
Granted, he doesn't know how to do a cartwheel yet,
but he looks pretty tired to me.
3) Our basement renovation took a break for March and I think most of April, but Scott of Nailed It Improvement came back and knocked out the rest of the sub-flooring and framing in like a week. Electric has been roughed-in, and we’re getting the final bid for plumbing tomorrow, then we should make the decisions on hiring HVAC and plumbing and hopefully will get those jobs roughed in by the end of June. Which means drywalling, cabinet installation, flooring and all the finish work can go on in July! (And maybe even be finished by the end of July, but I don’t want to get my hopes up yet.) Having the walls framed in, it feels smaller than I thought it would, and the ceiling looks like it’s going to be 6’5”, so it might feel kind of hobbit-ish to tall people, but I’m really excited about it. Home renovation projects can be really stressful, but this has gone really smoothly, knock on wood. And Scott has been the perfect contractor for us, not just as a contractor, but almost as a passive marriage counselor in the context of renovation-based decision making. Josh and I love houses and care passionately about decisions. Renovations the last time around, in 2008/2009, were tense. This time we have Scott as our general contractor, instead of us doing most of the managing on our own, and he is a deep researcher, considering all worst-case-scenarios like Josh does, and completely wants everything done the right way like we do, instead of the easy/cheap/temporary way. He and Josh will discuss every angle of an aspect, allowing Josh to feel like his worries have been respected and addressed, and yet Scott appreciates my quick decision making and lets Josh know when a door to a decision has been closed and should stay closed.
One of our last dangling decisions has been flooring. We originally wanted engineered hardwood, which is made from multiple layers of real wood, but it withstands moisture much better than hardwood, which is not recommended for basements. We installed the subflooring in a way specific for laying engineered hardwood on top, but then the price of the engineered hardwood went up and we decided we didn’t value it at a 40% higher cost. So we decided to go with luxury vinyl planks, which look like hardwood but are actually stickers over a very dense foam or something like that. These can get wet, to the point that if your basement floods, you can pick them up, dry them out and re-install them. We’re not really into fake things, but the primary purpose for the basement is for a children’s playroom and to get the toys out of our first-floor grown-up spaces. Plus it looks really nice. But we’d have to compromise our floating subfloor by drilling down the boards and through the foam insulation, and that just seems like undoing a lot of work that was already done. It’s like laying down solid hardwood floors and then installing carpet over it. Then the engineered hardwood came back down a little in price, so I feel like we should go back to it. Josh is still not sure. Then we went to a different flooring store yesterday because Scott said we really need to pick out a wood for our steps. We asked the saleslady for help and looked at a few samples and compared prices, then made the quick decision to go for the cheapest option (unfinished red oak that I will poly coat myself once they’re installed). We could have looked at the whole store for all new flooring options, but we didn’t. We decided to stick with the two options we have decided on, and just choose one of them. We’ll see in a few weeks which one we actually choose.
|Vintage hickory engineered hardwood|
|Trail oak luxury vinyl plank|
So that’s the catching up stuff. Looking ahead, I feel like summer is already slipping away, but it’s only June 12, and kids don’t even get out of school until the end of the week. I’ve been thinking about why I’m so anxious about the length of summer, and the reasons why it feels like summer is slipping away are: a) we’ve had more cold days than hot days; b) my school-year weekly meetings (weekly book club and bi-weekly MOPS group) ended in mid-May, and I already miss them; and c) everyone else’s schedule changes in summer and it just feels way harder to get together with friends, even though theoretically we all have more time. I don’t know if I should be planning more events so I feel like I’m making the most of summer or if I should chill out and enjoy the slowness of the season. I think the former. Without planned activities, the kids get bored and fight and whine and beg and hit and cry. I’ve made a list of about 100 things to do, simple things like “roast marshmallows, collect rocks, wash the car,” and I think we’ll randomly choose 5 out of a hat at the start of each week and shoot to actually do 3 of them each week. I also plan to make homemade ice cream every week or every other week. And get the kids together with their cousins more. And go to pools with friends. Ice cream and pools—this shall be “The Summer of Vitamin D.”
I like it.