Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pain in the Butt Continued

Today is the babies 11 month birthday and I'm feeling like they've aged me at least that many years!  

On Monday morning I was oddly excited to get to work, hop on the computer and pull up my MRI report.  I know - weirdo!  Just as I had suspected, I have a herniated disc pressing on the affected nerve root.  I see folks for this kind of thing all the time and I've been self-treating but also avoiding my own advice - if it hurts don't do it.  Unfortunately, I still have to work and help take care of the babies.  I have been telling some of my clients who are going through the same thing that I just want to know what they're going through to help me be a better clinician. Which also leads me to some of the frustration; other than not sleeping well, if I can't fix myself how can I help others in the same boat?

I am unable to get into the specialist until next week for an epidural steroid injection to decrease the inflammation around the nerve root.  It is inflammation and not the disc itself that actually causes the pain.  Because my reflexes have gotten a little worse, lost a little more strength and since I can't get in for a while, I am going to try another dose of oral steroids since the numbness and weakness didn't start until after I finished the first round of steroids.   

Thank you for the kind thoughts, advice, and prayers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Real Pain in the Butt

It's been a couple of weeks since we've gotten back from Iowa and things haven't gotten any better around here, so I thought it was time to let everyone know what's been happening at our place.  Chris has a constant pain in his piriformis (or buttock) that is causing so much discomfort he hasn't slept since the flare-up (15 days and counting...).   On his second day in Iowa, he coaxed his brother-in-laws to join him in one of his CrossFit  workouts named, "The Cindy", that Chris often does at home.  During the workout he felt a twinge in his back and left leg.  The pain is better when he's walking around but nearly unbearable while sitting or lying down.  He's tried oral steroids, pain pills, a trigger point injection, nerve medication, sleeping pills, ibuprofen, and all of the above with a bottle of wine. He's also tried spinal traction, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and none of it relieves him enough to get more than an hour or two of sleep at a time.  Being a physical therapist, he was positive it would get better within a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks has come and gone and now his calf is going numb and getting weak as well, so he finally decided to get an MRI on Saturday morning and will find out his fate on Monday. 

A Magnetic Saturday Morning

Here's a fun video of the "incident" when it all started. I made it while in Iowa and had no idea at the time that he was in so much pain.

Here Are The Things That Cheer Daddy Up These Days...

His Baby Girl's Grin (6 Teeth So Far!)
Sophia Following In Daddy's PT Footsteps

Cohen's Crazy, Fun Hair
Noah's Irresistible Dimples

Finn & Jaz goofing around

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Share The Fun

Chris and I were thinking about how being new parents has really shown us how wildly selfish we can be. We are often craving more sleep, more time to ourselves, more freedom, more money...the list goes on and on. Then, as we were watching our babies steal toys out of each others hands in order to keep them for themselves, we realized that we have either already instilled this awful character flaw in our children in under a year or we are all born with this. We'll blame it on the latter so we can selfishly feed our egos and still feel great about the fabulous parents we have come to be. Anyway, all of this prompted this video with a few of the fun 'sharing' moments around our household. I'm sure there will be many sequels to come, but we'll strive to teach that in our house you do as we say not as we do.

Care to Share?

Be sure to check this out!
We are being featured along with some rocking quad families we hold very dear to us.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We Survived the Friendly Skies

We made it!  Yesterday was an 8 hour travel day from start to finish and it went incredibly smooth!  Chris and I brought the four babies home by ourselves, so this meant we had 4 purchased seats and 2 free lap babies. (No, they don't allow discounts or freebies for more than 1 baby under 2 years old per lap)  We brought 2 car seats and rotated who sat in those so they could get a bit of shut eye while we entertained the others.  It took 10 months, but both Cohen and Noah got to fall asleep in Daddy's arms for the first time.  

Daddy & Cohen

It must have been truly comical to see us walking around the airport with:

1 Laptop Bag
1 Camera Bag
2 Diaper Bags
4 Umbrella Strollers
2 Car Seats (Hanging on the Umbrella Stroller Handles)

We had quite a few onlookers, especially with our hour and a half layover in the Dallas airport. We heard a few who mistakenly thought the dangling car seats were infants as well say, "Oh my Goodness, I think they have 6!"   One woman said, "I will no longer feel sorry for myself!" as she walked away with her one toddler at her side.  And a gentleman came up to Chris and said, "Can I shake your hand?"  

Finn Gets Special Attention From the Flight Attendant

I prayed and prayed on the Dallas to Houston flight that God would put someone in our path to help us in Houston in order to get all of our checked luggage and car seats, plus the onboard cargo to the park-n-ride shuttle.  We arrived at baggage claim and a skycap walked right up to us with an enormous dolly and insisted on helping us out.  Thank you, Lord!  Our luggage was already coming off of the baggage carousel and so we loaded up and headed to wait for the shuttle.  The skycap waited for the shuttle outside while we transferred the babies to their car seats in the AC.  It was going so well, it was almost too good to be true.

After getting home and putting the babies down for the night, Chris and I enjoyed some Chinese takeout and finally started to go unpack a little.  This is when I realized that the day hadn't gone as perfectly as we thought.  We'd forgotten to get our toiletries bag from the carousel.  This bag had all of my jewelry, hair products, make-up - dear me, how could I have forgotten about it? I frantically called the airline's lost and found who wasn't able to locate it for the first 10 minutes while we were on the phone.  After some persistence, the gal found it.  Apparently she thought I said I was looking for a large red bag under the name Sterling.  When I figured out she had the wrong last name and told her Goerlich again, spelling it out for the third time,  she said, "Ah, yes!  The red bag is right here next to my desk!"  Goodness gracious, that was a frustrating call! Chris walked across the street to see if our sweet neighbor, Miss Becky, was able to come sit with the kids while we went to retrieve the bag.  She came right over and we came back an hour or so later with the bag in hand. Thank you, Miss Becky, you are always such a help to us!

Welcome Home, Sophia!

Here are a few travel tips if your flying with infant quads:

-Have a relative or friend get a pass from the airline to help you through security and onto the plane. My dad was able to go through and get us all the way to the airplane door - helped us break down strollers to valet check and waited with the babies as we boarded everyone.

-Try to keep the babies' schedule as close to normal as you can.  We took advantage of the short layover in Dallas to feed bottles and change diapers, but on the way up to Iowa we fed babies one by one on the plane and it went really well.

-Bring lots of goldfish crackers or dry cereal - food is a very effective diversion to those who are suffering from lack of sleep.

-Bring your car seats onboard - it is so helpful to be able to strap a couple in so you don't have four little ones bouncing off of the walls.

-If you can, wait to deplane after everyone else has gone and the flight crew can help you to get all of the babies and belongings off of the aircraft.

-If you don't have someone meeting you at your destination - take advantage of the skycaps at the baggage claim - and tip them well - they are worth every penny!

-Make a list of the luggage you brought and double-check you have it all! :)

It's Good to be Home!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yippee, Daddy's Here!

Chris finally made it! I picked him up from the airport and we grabbed lunch while the babies were down for a nap. When we got back he surprised them by sliding down the stairs to where they were playing. I don't think the babies recognized him at first but after a few hugs and raspberries things were back to normal.  

Daddy's Back!

Uncle Jim Gets Sophia Used To Working The Farm

We have been busy the last few days enjoying all of the family time and beautiful weather. On Saturday, we once again had Olympic fever so we created our own family Olympic events. We had a blindfolded eating contest, an obstacle course, shooting event, family trivia, treasure hunt and more. It was a blast for everyone. That evening we got a babysitter and the adults went out for a wonderful dinner at Vino's.

Our First Olympic Event - Team Red Took the Gold!

Sunday we did a little fishing, canoeing, and cannonballs into the pond. We topped the day off with Grillmaster Glass throwing some ribs and burgers on the grill and what bar-b-que would be complete without Iowa sweet corn!  

1, 2, 3....
Cannon Ball!

We'll be flying home soon and are praying for an uneventful day...but either way, we'll keep you posted on all the travel entertainment that our family is sure to bring to the skies this week! 

Lots of love from the Heartland!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Postcard From Pitiful

Dear Chris,

Well, I don't know if we're overcome with homesickness or what, but we've all been down with what seems to be colds for over a week now and poor Mr. Finn has been down in the dumps the most. Luckily there is a lot of extra help around here so he has been held and cuddled and is spoiled rotten and ready for you to love on him when you arrive.

Even though we're feeling crumby, we did make you a video from footage when we were still spunky as ever. The toys here are much more fun than our house and you'll see on the video which one is our favorite so far.

See you in just a couple of days, daddy-o!

Love you so much!

Mari, Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Postcard Of Photos

Dear Chris,

They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'll let them do most of the talking. We had a fun day yesterday. It was the quintessential Fourth of July with a BBQ picnic, fishing, roasting marshmallows on the fire and a wonderful family gathered together. The only thing missing was you. We miss you so much!  

We Tried Watermelon & Loved It!
We Watched Our Papa & Cousins Fish
Auntie Em Gave Us Extra Hugs
Great, Great Aunt Mary Lee Came From St. Louis To Hold Us!

We Enjoyed the New Patio By the Pond

Sending Our Love,

Mari, Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia

Postcards from the Patio

Dear Mari,

Happy 4th of July! I hope y'all had a great time up there. It just isn't the 4th without y'all here and your famous 4th of July dessert (I think you have one; if not you do now). So, I hung out on the patio, planned my grilling attack, and waiting for the neighborhood festivities to begin. It just is not the 4th without burgers....and hot dogs....and watermelon....and fireworks. Once again, our neighborhood sounded like a war zone and the smell of smoke filled the air - Jaz was lovin' it.

I will return to the sandbar today for more fun in the sun and to get my island fix. I miss y'all and all the giggles.

Love, Chris

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Postcard from Some Young Pups

Dear Chris,

You and Jaz look like you could use some safer diversions from the honey-do list, so I'm sending you this video. I hope the irresistibly cute footage will make up for the fact that the song may torture you all day long if it gets stuck in your head like it does mine.

Sending you all of our love,
Mari, Cohen, Noah, Finn & Sophia

A New Friend

Postcard from an Old Dog

Dear Mari,

Do you remember the "To Do List" I had for this time while you're gone? (get carpets cleaned, scrub tile on hands and knees, power wash the house, organize baby clothes, re-landscape the front yard, etc.) Well, I haven't done any of it. But I know I work better under pressure so I will do it all the day before I leave. With all this time on my hands not doing what I'm supposed to, I've been doing a lot of thinking.

I was hanging with Jaz and remembered how she won that award at obedience school (cupcakes anyone?). I thought it was time to teach her something new...

And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

Then I thought, "if Jaz can learn to push the stroller, surely I can learn some new skate tricks." But,

I'm not 12 years old anymore!

The skatepark is nice at 6:30am before all the good skaters get there. Earlier, I tried to catch backside air but ended up creating backside air when I ate it, as you can see from the hole in my jeans. Then I decided I should stop doing that since I now I have 4 kids and need all my limbs - and to avoid another angry comment from you:)

Wish you were here, or that I was there!