Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Turning the BIG 3-0!

I had a bit of a milestone birthday last Friday, I turned three decades old! Most days, I do not feel or act my age, thanks to my daughters who give me the excuse to play dress up, swing on swings, stare at the clouds and make paint out of Jello. Of course, there are those days when I feel 100, where every part of my body aches at any movement and even 9 hours of sleep isn't enough to recharge.

Anyway, I digress...I had a great birthday, or should I say birthdays. We went to Montrose the week before my birthday and celebrated with my parents, younger brother and my aunt & uncle. My mom made a kick butt dinner and of course, homemade strawberry pie which has been my birthday dessert for years. Good times, good food, good company, can't beat that.

Fast forward to Friday, my actual birthday. By some strange twist of fate, Ben got pink eye and had to call in to his day job, so he was home with us all day. As long as he washed his hands and we took sanitizer when we went out, I figured he was fit to be around (note: none of us got pink eye from him) so we spent a rare Friday together as a family. Ben started off by taking me to the mall and to the Apple store. He sent me away while he got my gift, which still shocks me. I got the latest iPod, the iPod touch. I had been wanting one for awhile for when start walking and when we travel so that I can tune out the girls (just kidding). No really, my hope was to get an adapter so that I could play all of our favorite songs over my radio without having to fumble through CDs, which is dangerous while driving.
I'm still learning how to do all of the cool things that this allows me to do, but...short of sounding like a McDonald's commercial...

After the venture to the Apple store, we piled into the car and went to the Light Rail station to catch a train to LoDo. Ben had asked me where I'd like to go for my birthday dinner and I chose one of my favorite restaurants, BD's Mongolian BBQ. I just love that I can pile on tons of fresh veggies and watch it be grilled by cute guys doing mind-blogging tricks with those bigs chopsticks. Not much tops fresh stir-fry. We had an awesome meal to top off an awesomely fun day.

One thing that would've made it a tad bit better, some girlfriends to go out with...working on that though, working on it.

**edited to add--I'm a bad momma. Caitlin reminded me of the awesome gifts that she hand-selected for me for my birthday. This is one girl who knows her momma. She picked out a coconut body butter, green tea hand lotion and then two Almond Joy bars for her momma's birthday. Seriously, the husband could learn from her.**

ENT visit

Our concern of Cara's disrupted sleep, some nights, and her "stuffiness" led us to seek out the opinion of an ENT. We got a great referral from Cara's speech therapist. Dr. Werle really knew his stuff and knew what to say and how to say it to ease parental fears. Right now, we are in the beginning stage of finding out what might be causing her to snore and snort a lot. We are going to be going to Children's this week for a lateral neck x-ray to check her tonsils and adenoids. From looking down her throat and up her nose, it was concluded that Cara has enlarged tonsils and adenoids which isn't in and of itself necessarily a concern, but something to be checked out. Sometimes, kids just grow into them or they shrink with age. They can also be enlarged because the child is fighting off an infection. In any case, we're going to have a look-see. Dr. Werle also said that Cara has extra cartilage in her nose, which could be causing her to snort and snore. He wanted her to have a sleep study, but a call to Aetna put it on the back burner for now. Our primary insurance will not cover anything as we have not met our $5K deductible. When I called the Sleep Center at the hospital, I was informed that a typical pediatric study for sleep apnea runs no less than $4K and usually more like $7K! Holy smokes! I'd like to know one average person out there who could drop that kind of money for something non-essential. Even with our CICP, we were looking at $585 per service! $585 for the therapist, $585 for get the idea. Our already impressive bill with Children's would increase almost tri-fold. So, I got back on the horn and told her ENT's nurse and we agreed to postpone the sleep study and just go with a hearing test (got to rule it out), the xray and an office visit. If after all that is done, Dr. Werle still thinks a sleep study needs to be done, we may have to bite the bullet. That will be a very big one to swallow, however.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why I <3 Apple

Apple, Apple, I adore you! Let me sing your praises!

My laptop went in for repair (due to a dead hard drive) via our local DHL driver on Monday afternoon. I received a prompt email from Apple that it arrived at their repair facility on Monday night. By Tuesday afternoon, my laptop had been repaired and was leaving the facility. How's that for speedy service? I anxiously waited for the door bell to ring all day yesterday hoping that by some miracle it would arrive in less than a day. No such luck, but this morning, at 10:30, my door bell indeed rang and there was my MacBook. I was so excited! You don't know how much you miss your laptop until you have to use an antiquated POS machine for a few days. I could barely contain myself from ripping the box to shreds to get my machine out. I opened the "proper" way and saw my beautiful, white 13" MacBook staring at me (computers stare, didn't you know?). I booted it up, heard the Apple chime and life was good. What came next, I never expected in my wildest dreams. I mean, I know they had to reinstall and operating system and all, but who would've thought that they would---

INSTALL LEOPARD (the latest and greatest OS) for FREE?> It *almost* makes up for losing my documents and a few pictures...almost. I cannot wait until Ben gets home. I am going to have to help him pick up his chin off of the floor when he hears the news.

So, ladies and gents, I'm back online, super fast, and with the latest and greatest. Next time Apple, you can throw in another gig of RAM and a 20" iMac!

Monday, April 14, 2008

She's Come Undone!

Wanted: One 30 year old, functioning brain. Must be able to multi-task and remember important and mundane details without failure. Interested parties, inquire within.

Have you seen my brain, my common sense, or my memory? I think, if you were to do a CT scan of my head right now, you'd find a big, gaping void where my brain should be.

I seem to have lost my precious digital camera. Somewhere between our park outing last Sunday after church and the consignment shop last Thursday, my Kodak camera disappeared--complete with a "roll" of pictures from the park outing. So, no pun intended, I've lost more Kodak moments. I'd back-track and try to find it, but here's what has transpired in the days since I've last seen the camera---

*Loading of my car after park outing
*Trip to grocery store
*Trip to Children's Hospital, unloading of stroller from back of car
*Trip to local children's consignment shop with a car full of boxes and bags
*Car battery died while waiting for appointment time at consignment shop which lead to digging the "emergency kit" out of the back of the car to locate the jumper cables for the unsuccessful jumping attempt by a Good Samaritan.
*Boxes/bags unloaded from car and carried into consignment shop, in the snow.
*Rejects from consignment shop loaded back up into car
*Rejects dropped off at local Goodwill
*Trip to a children's museum accompanied with first conscious thought that camera is not in car
*Thorough search of car does not locate camera

See? It's hopeless. Unless the camera miraculously turns up somewhere, I'm out a way to capture my children's precious moments. Looks like we might actually help stimulate the economy when our economic stimulus check comes in May. Now, if I only knew what kind of camera to get. Any suggestions? Anyone?

Sunk My Battleship

I am officially out of commission. My MacBook's hard drive bit the dust over the weekend with not so much as a warning. Everything was running smoothly when we stepped out for a few hours. I come home and attempt to wake up the sleeping machine only to find that the screen saver had froze. No biggie, I'm thinking, it happens. So, I restarted my laptop, thinking that it would cure whatever was ailing the poor thing. After a prolonged period of time (mind you, it usually starts up in under 20 seconds), I finally see this-- I knew, in the back of my mind, that this couldn't be a good thing. I called my 24/7 on-call tech support man (read my husband) into the room to diagnosis the problem. Turns out that my hard disk decided that it had lived a long enough life and quit on me. Ben tried and tried to get it up and running again & trying to retrieve my data. A call to AppleCare (so glad that we got that included--for free--with both of our Macs) confirmed Ben's suspicions and a box to mail my useless laptop to Apple is en route to our house.

I cried a few tears over the documents and a few pictures that I had lost. Thankfully, I download most of my pictures to Flickr, so they are stored there and we can get them back relatively easy. I just do not know if the last batch downloaded on to Flickr is indeed the last round of pictures I took. Those precious moments will never happen again, so I'm in mourning. I suppose it could've been a lot worse, if I had had some pertinent information stored on my laptop. Lucky for me, it was mostly saved relay chat conversations and a few recipes. Somehow, I know life will go on.

Apple said that I will be without my beloved for 7-10 days, so, in the meantime, I am forced to use Ben's Mac Mini. It's a great computer, don't get me wrong, but it's not as convenient as my laptop and doesn't have all of my tabs & bookmarks that I worked so hard to find and set up. I will have a lot to do when I get my laptop back, to get it back to my liking. One good thing though, Ben is going to up my RAM when it comes back! We are also going to do a back up weekly, so that I never have to lose photos, videos or documents again!

So Judy, I kind of know what you were suffering through with your computer issues. It bytes...we rely on our computer more than we'd like to admit.

My name is Laura and I'm addicted to my laptop.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Neurosurgery Update

Cara had her *gasp* 9 month surgical follow-up with her neurosurgeon on Wednesday. While incredibly brief (he was running 20 minutes late and we had another appointment to make), we learned that her shunt appeared to be functioning well, and that in the past 6 months, her head circumference has only grown about a 1/4" of an inch. While she should be "growing into" her large head, a little bit of growth is normal because, well, children grow. He was also pleased to hear of Cara's progress in therapy and wants her to keep up the good work. As long as she remains stable, we do not have to see him again until October! I hope that we, again, get to report that all is well.

I, of course, had other questions to ask of her neurosurgeon but 1) there just wasn't time and 2) I really didn't think that he would have the answers since they were not medical questions. I am waiting to hear back from his staff assistant about a shunt alert card and about the existence of hydrocephalus support groups in my area.

In other news, thanks to Gabriel's Life, I have met two other moms who have children with hydrocephalus and we are hoping to get together soon. One even lives in the same city as we do. It will be interesting to see what else we have in common. I am really looking forward to creating a network of friendship and support, for both Cara & I.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Turning back the hands of time

GMail's April Fool's Prank, "Custom Time" was just ingenous! Never again would an email be late because you can send things back in time. Kind of a Back to the Future for email.

Here's what has been said about the new option--

Beta User Testimonials

"The entire concept of 'late' no longer exists for me. That's pretty cool. Thanks Gmail!"

Miriam S., Delivery girl

"I just got two tickets to Radiohead by being the 'first' to respond to a co-worker's 'first-come, first-serve' email. Someone else had already won them, but I told everyone to check their inboxes again. Everyone sort of knows I used Custom Time on this one, but I'm denying it."

Robby S., Paralegal

"This feature allows people to manipulate and mislead people with falsified time data. Time is a sacred truth that should never be tampered with."

Michael L., Epistemology Professor

"I used to be an honest person; but now I don't have to be. It's just so much easier this way. I've gained a lot of productivity by not having to think about doing the 'right' thing."

Todd J., Investment Banker


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