Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Some wholly unscientific thoughts on thunderstorms

We have a pretty decent chance of severe weather this afternoon and evening, which used to send me on hourly trips to the window to check for interesting looking clouds, obsessive checking of the radar, and a days long state of distractedness. That still happens now, but it's mostly because I'm terrified of my house, yard, and car getting pummeled by large hail.

We have already had our roof replaced once since we moved in eight years ago, after a storm nearly ripped our back door off its hinges, sent our neighbor's trampoline tumbling into our yard, and threatened to drop a tornado down at the end of our culdesac. I have a picture of me holding a toddler Charley and nursing a baby Wes in the closet under the stairs like some kind of dystopian suburban Harry Potter hellscape.

In the picture I am very sweaty. I seem to remember that Ryan and our dog were also occupying the eight foot by two foot space with us. We don't have our sweet puppy anymore but Charley is the size of a small man and there are two additional kids. Gracious.

So naturally I have spent much of today dreading the demise of my vegetable garden and the associated emotional breakdown that the kids (or *I* will have if that happens. I have been mentally concocting ways to cover the plants with something solid in the event the advertised big-ass hail happens (which, if it does, will probably wait until I decide to lower my guard and go to bed around two o'clock in the morning). Practical things like "drag kitchen table outside to cover plants". I mean. This weekend Mary ripped out one of the tomato plants Charley has been treating like his firstborn son for the last four weeks and I thought I was going to vomit. This is why we don't have chickens. This and the HOA.

(Interestingly, Charley calmly explained to Mary that we don't "weed" this garden, then put the sad plant in the compost bin.)

I'm also dreading having to be the Decision Maker should the time come to evacuate the upstairs and head for the (newly cleaned!) storm closet. Because apparently thirty graduate hours in meteorology coursework make me some kind of psychic who can tell whether it makes sense to get the kids all riled up after they've already fallen asleep (the last time we had to do that Ryan didn't even stop scrubbing the shower he was working on when I asked him if he, the family breadwinner, would be joining us in the safety of the closet downstairs. "Send me a text if the roof comes off" were his exact words. He appeared in the closet with the dog about twenty minutes later after the TV meteorologist practically listed our street by name.)

Ironically, obsessing about the weather is keeping me from making real progress on the study of extreme rainfall I am supposed to be working on (related: CLASSES ARE OVER FOR THE SEMESTER!!). I should get back to that. But first I have to look out the window like seventeen more times and check out the noon model runs and stare at the SPC discussion some more.

Monday, April 25, 2016

I KNOW I am forgetting something.

James is really killing me right now. In many ways. Yesterday was a perfect example of his manic alternation between freaking adorable and freaking insane. I won't spend a lot of time talking about the epic tantrum he had at my parents' church yesterday morning. He had spent the night at my parents' house and we met at their church in the morning. The moment he laid eyes on me he exploded with happiness. "NOW WE HAVE TIME TO GO TO COHEN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY!" he shrieked even though 1) We absolutely did not have time to make it to Cohen's birthday party and 2) I had already explained this the day before. And the day before that. But HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.

What happened next was quite the embarrassing display of crappy behavior (while screaming, he threw himself on the ground and deliberately tried to trip me as I walked past him) and possibly, though the details are fuzzy, crappy parenting, which culminated in me locking him in my car then standing just outside until the screaming and kicking stopped. I may have referred to him as an a**hole. To my dad. While standing in front of their church. #winning. Later he calmed the heck down, allowed me to dress him in church clothes, and let me take him in.

Later that day I was out in the driveway getting ready to repot some flowers into a ceramic pot. James ran out, eager to help. I showed him how to get the plant out of its original pot and together we scooped handfuls of potting soil into the new pot. It was all done and I asked him to please go get some water to give to the plant and he skipped off toward the house. Twenty minutes later, I was ready to go to take the plant to a friend's house. I had been talking to Ryan and assumed James had forgotten about the water. I took the plant to the van and was just about to leave when James came around the corner from the back yard, carrying a COMPLETELY FULL watering can, his clothes soaked.


"ALMOST THERE!" he grunted. He grunted with effort all the way to the driveway. I got the plant back out of the car so he could water it. He dropped the watering can at my feet and exclaimed "MAN! THAT WAS HEAVY! I FEEL LIKE AN OLD MAN!" This kid slays me.

Later he would spend thirty minutes painstakingly dicing a bell pepper with my chef's knife. Thirty minutes that were as terrifying as they were extremely sloooowwww. You could make a meditation video of a kid cutting up vegetables. Though it wouldn't be as satisfying as that pressure-washing one. I tried to show him how to cut it into strips, then to line up the strips and cut them all at once by saying "Let's lie down together and go to sleep, bell peppers!" as I lined up the strips. He joined in, trilling "And then we're going to sneak in and cut you in half with a big knife, bell peppers!" Erm.

Our weekend was kind of ridiculous, as weekends have been tending to go recently. Ryan came home Friday afternoon and walked into a PACK of kids, my two friends, pizza, brownies (my friend Rosa made THREE KINDS and they were all amazing), beer, watermelon, and associated revelry.

Does not do justice to the level of chaos.

Then he and the big boys left for a Scout campout while the other ladies and I put on a movie for the kids and hung out in my kitchen before giving all the kids baths upstairs (girls) and in the back yard (boys, James: "THIS IS THE BEST PARTY EVER!!"). Saturday I had a work thing in the morning followed by brunch with the little kids and our friend Peter, which is always a treat. We took the kids to the playground when the restaurant started filling up so they could get stuck on the spinny chair thing and start screaming. Then the kids went over to my parents' house and I came home. A friend whose house had FIVE SHOWINGS Saturday brought her two kids over so we could all veg on the porch. Then I left her at my house with instructions to stay as long as she wanted, even promising to open a new bottle of wine when I got home, to go to another friend's birthday party at a nice outdoor restaurant. That was a magical night too and we only left when the servers started clearing their throats about forty-five minutes after closing. Sunday morning was church with my parents and then the campers came home and we all relaxed in the back yard some more. We are relishing this in-between weather while it lasts because soon the porch won't be so inviting.

Now it's Monday and I have a frillion things to remember and do, like the fact that MY LAST CLASS OF THE SEMESTER STARTS JUST TWENTY-FIVE HOURS FROM NOW. And that means I have to get ready for summer research, which is, um, so far not going according to plan. GOOD TIMES. And freak, I just remembered that I made plans to do something "mid-May" and I am not sure if it is the thing I am already thinking of or if there is something else. BETTER GET BACK TO IT EVEN THOUGH I REALLY JUST WANT TO GO BACK TO THE PORCH.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Everyone knows to stay out of mom's way when she's got her closet cleaning mojo happening

Slogging through the end of the semester and preparing for summer in a HIGHLY piecemeal fashion.  Does anyone remember what the hell weeks I signed the kids up for Y camp?  Anyone?  Because I'm pretty sure three weeks of camp plus three weeks of school does not equal the eight weeks of my summer research program, but hey, I'm not that good at math (not entirely true).

We have this week of class and half of next week left, but if you ask my brain, I should already be eating popsicles next to an inflatable pool in my front yard.  So things are going well.

We have had a series of exciting episodes of heavy rain over the last couple of weeks.  I've taken to posting radar images on my Facebook feed and naming them after works of music.  The first was the Imperial Death March.  The next one was kind of pretty and exciting, but not scary looking, so I called it "Ride of the Valkyries."  And then the other night I woke up to thunder at three o'clock in the morning, looked at the radar image on my phone and thought "O Fortuna," which I think means that this fun little game has turned into a full-fledged psychological problem.

We had a fairly low-key weekend, which was nice after our trip to camp last weekend. The kids' Saturday chores have been badly neglected (Have I told you about Saturday chores? There are four: toilets, bathroom floors, bathroom counters/sinks, and vacuuming. After breakfast the kids pick a popsicle stick out of a coffee mug with the name of their chore for that Saturday and then they go do it. Vacuuming and toilets are highly coveted jobs. They also have to put all their clean laundry away and straighten their rooms. They cannot watch TV or play outside until they are done with their jobs. This arrangement has reduced then number of neurological events I have had when walking up the stairs into a total craphole by at least 75%.) so it was good to get back into that.

We also had a church cleanup for Scouts. Mary spent the first thirty minutes standing nearby, whining pitifully, but then got REALLY into it.


It's never really been hard to get the boys excited about landscape work.


I was so proud when someone told Ryan "Your kids are such hard workers!" but it's really because we're kind of mean. And she caught us on a good day. And we told everyone we were going out for hamburgers at a place with a playground afterward. It could have been any of those things.

Friday we went to a friend's birthday party. Of course, since the invitation said 5:30-7:30 we didn't leave until almost 10:00 and even then we had to tear ourselves away because one of the kids started screaming. I'd say the kids enjoyed themselves.


Actually, writing this reminded me to text our friends to ask them whether they'd come across Charley's shirt or James's shoes. It was a good night.

Saturday afternoon Wes went to a Star Wars themed birthday party. We stopped at Target on the way.


And then he spent the next two hours running around in the rain with a pack of kids, hitting each other with lightsabers.


Until he'd finally had enough getting whacked with lightsabers, tearfully took off his costume, and walked slowly to the car, shoes in hand. Later he fell asleep in my lap after one page of Harry Potter.

Sunday after church it was pouring outside and the kids were plugged into the TV, so I opened a beer and dove into the Closet of Doom underneath the stairs. We've just been blindly throwing crap in there for years, which is a problem because it is also the designated tornado safety room for our house. It became more difficult to ignore when we started up our Saturday chore program because that is where we keep the vacuum, and when the vacuum is resting in a horizontal position atop a pile of Christmas decorations and outgrown/broken toys, and someone (me) has to extricate it every Saturday, knocking down a crap-valanche everysingletime, it tends to start things off on the wrong foot. Specifically, a yelling and swearing foot.

Here's the before. I'd rather take my chances with the tornado.


Here's the after:


Sometimes I go in there just to look at it. And now I have to go teach and then work on this thing I volunteered for that is WAY, WAY, WAY out of my depth and also due tomorrow morning. I tried to finish it last night, but as it turns out I am no longer cut out to stay up until two AM making sense of twenty pages of isotope analysis. Aging is a bitch.

Friday, April 15, 2016

An update on the superknot situation

Somehow it is Friday again and for the first Friday in a long time I have NO PT because my physical therapist went on vacation to Brazil for the next ten days.  This is good and bad.  Good because it means my non class days will be totally open to get ready for the summer student research project.  Bad because it means I am totally on my own when it comes to not letting my back and shoulder go back into full on defcon 5 mode.

I spent the last two days in kind of a funk about it because OW.

To add insult to injury, I ran out of my ibuprofen horse pills, which leaves me with a bunch of muscle relaxers that I can only take at night unless I want to risk falling asleep in the middle of the day/school pickup line.

It is making me realize how much she has been helping me, even though half the time I want to start crying in the first ten minutes because, you guys.  It is SO HARD.  It's is like every Lifetime movie you have ever seen about someone learning to walk again after a terrible accident except that I am learning how to sit in a chair, fold laundry, stand up from a seated position, and reach for things.  We do fun exercises like "OK, pretend you're doing laundry at your counter.  Reach for a towel.  NOPE, WRONG.  Reach for the towel.  NOPE, CHEST OUT.  Reach for the towel.  DON'T FORGET YOUR CORE."

Progress is sure but slug-like.

The biggest problem I can see is that my core packed up and left about five years ago.

On Wednesday, I told the therapist that I had been experiencing "tightness and pain" at a new and unpleasant level since our previous visit, three days prior.  She kind of nodded her head and wrote something in my chart, then had me lie on my belly so she could do the part of the visit I call "CPR", where she presses her hands against my spine and uses every ounce of her ninety pound frame to push it down towards the table such that I cannot inhale and suddenly have to go to the bathroom.

"Woah, dude!  What happened?  You are JACKED UP!  No wonder this is bothering you!" she said subtly when she looked at my spine.

Later, she manipulated my shoulder blades, holding the right one up and over to the side, asking "This is where your shoulder blade will be one day.  Does your insurance give you unlimited visits?  Because this is going to take a while."

I felt great for a few hours after lots and lots of pushing and pulling but then my shoulder started to lock up again once I got home with the kids (are we surprised?).  It's been driving me nuts the last couple of days as the laundry has piled up and I've gritted my teeth through the dishes and other mundane details of my life.  I've tried to maintain my posture and check myself against a wall as many times as possible throughout the day.  I've been doing my exercises, creating artful sculptures of towels and canned goods in an effort to recreate the therapy table in my house.  I've been taking muscle relaxers at night and icing down my shoulder as much as I can during the day.

But this morning I finally tried a new thing she showed me, where you roll up a towel and lie on top of it with the towel roll under your back wherever the knot is for five minutes.  I did the first knot first, for five minutes.  It felt better but not 100%.  Then I tried doing it for the second knot, which I usually avoid messing with because it is the GRANDDADDY OF KNOTS, the one that once got so bad I had to babystep all the way to my neighbor's house to ask her to get my phone up off the floor for me so I could call Ryan and scream unintelligibly into the phone.  No need to piss that sucker off.

But this morning I was kind of desperate so I went for it.  When I got up I felt NORMAL, WHICH IS AMAZING.

I'm going to take that towel everywhere I go from now on.  That towel is my lovey, (funny story, last night I found my dad in my kitchen holding a wet plate and a dishtowel, looking curiously at the dish towel.  I asked him if he needed help and he said "Is this a dishtowel or is this someone's lovey?"  A valid question at my house).

I cannot wait until my PT gets back and sees my relaxed rhomboids.  Rawwr.

And now I have to actually get started on my work stuff, because now I can SIT IN MY CHAIR.  Good times, good times indeed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Super Speedy Stream of Consiousness

Sure is nice to use my normal grown up shampoo again after two days of using Mary's baby Aveeno shampoo/conditioner blend when I couldn't find the shampoo bottle I took on our trip to camp.  It took me that long to 1) Go to the store and 2) Remember to buy shampoo.  I also replaced the kids' toothpaste that has been out for several weeks because I'm tired of them destroying my bathroom every night.

Today is kind of insane (which is why I am on here, obviously) because I have to write some stuff for my super secret other part time research "job" that I hope one day will be a legit part time research job (no quotes) by this afternoon.  I also have a physical therapy appointment at noon and Charley has a doctor's appointment at three.  AND I forgot to get Charley's prescription refilled on the way home yesterday so I had to wait until the pharmacy opened at 8 then take it up to him at school, which took about an hour.

And let's just say that the house has been a bit neglected so it would be good if I could at least run all the laundry and have it ready for my Wednesday Night PBS Binge Watching party (party of one, but there is pie).

To triage all this I had to divide my time into chunks.  I only had 30 mins between when everyone left and the pharmacy opened so I snuck in folding a load of laundry and starting a new one there.  Then I came home to write write write shower lunch write before PT (which starts in thirty minutes).  After that I will write some more, get the kids, go to the doctor's appointment and if I am done writing then I will go to the Y to drop them off at childcare and sneak in an Olympic power walk (really hoping I can manage that since I ate an oreo cupcake for breakfast).

Should be NBD.

Last night my friend came over to help me load all the soil into the new garden bed (This simple job required outside help because of my neckthritis and Ryan's lower back pain of mystery).  We were outside working when a pack of kids (hers and mine) tumbled through the back door to play on the swingset.   This is only remarkable because Mary was completely naked.  I would have taken an adorable picture of her working in the garden naked but I don't want to go to prison.

Anyway.  Now that the bed is ready, I think I better add "get plants" to my todo list, which sounds like fun but could be problematic since the last time we went to the nursery together we left with everyone screaming after a train passed by the back of the store and blew its horn so loud that Wes screamed "I'M GOING DEAF!!!!"

And this is our last night off for a while, since tomorrow is Ryan's birthday (local) family dinner, Friday is a friend's birthday party, and Saturday is another friend's birthday party.  Busy but good, is what I think they call this, except that we are woefully behind on House of Cards.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Church camp-a-palooza

Just got back from our annual weekend at church camp tonight and it there is anything that makes it worth it to endure a three hour car ride with four over-tired, over-sugared children who inexplicably cannot fall asleep, it's church camp.  The kids talk about it nonstop as it gets closer.  James calls it "the place where I fell off the bunk bed and hurt my foot and had to wear that thing around my ankle for the rest of the time".  The other kids call it church camp.  It is really a retreat that our church takes once a year.

This year was even better than years past for several reasons.  Mainly: instead of the kids' summer campsite where it is usually held they put us in this other place that more closely resembled a family resort than a camp.  Seriously.  We used to stay in a room full of bunkbeds and share a tiny bathroom with another family, which was totally fine, but this year we had a giant cabin with bunk beds, trundle beds, a couch, and a KING SIZED BED along with two full bathrooms.  We shared it with one other family and it was SO PERFECT.  And there were two playgrounds (one with a FENCE AROUND IT AND ROCKING CHAIRS IN THE SHADE) and in addition to the usual river swimming they had a series of wading pools connected by waterfalls for the younger kids AND A WATERSLIDE.  IT WAS A HIT FOR ALL OF US.

Sadly I don't have many pictures because I spent all afternoon Saturday at the waterfront with the three boys while Mary (and Ryan) napped.  I volunteered for this because I usually spend Saturday afternoon hanging out with my friends on the river watching the kids swim.  What I was not expecting was that Charley would spend the day spending terrifying amounts of time out of eyesight IN A KAYAK.  But nevertheless every time I gathered the other two kids and started to get into a canoe to go look for him, he paddled back around the corner, happy as can be.  I had to remind myself that he is ALMOST TEN about sixty million times.  Anyway, hoisting wet kids in and out of a river while having a continuous low-level panic attack is not conducive to photography.

Also, James kept falling and hurting himself and screaming.  Nothing major, but the lifeguard still came over to check on him every time to confirm that NOPE, still no real injury.  Later James climbed onto a stand-up paddleboard and accidentally floated out into the middle of the swimming area with no paddle and no clue about how to get back to the side (had his floatie on).  He started shrieking again and Wes ran in to rescue him, but the lifeguard ran back over to see what was going on.  As we watched I said to her "I bet you'll be glad to see us go back to the lodge! Heh heh heh," and she just made a noncommittal noise and walked away.

Anyway, we spent so much time swimming in the FREEZING river on Saturday that the boys' lips turned blue and they were so tired they could barely climb the stairs back to the lodge to get their dry clothes on.  I sort of remember shivering then extreme fatigue as two symptoms of hypothermia (along with blue lips) from long-ago first aid training so I was a little worried but then they went inside and had some churros and hot chocolate and seemed fine.

After swimming and snacktime some other ladies and I corralled all the two year olds into the fenced in play area and sat on the porch for a while.  This fence was an INGENIOUS ADDITION TO CAMP.

After dinner Charley asked if he could go back in to work the dish room again.  Everyone gets a job assignment while they are at camp, like washing dishes or sweeping. You do it one time, usually around a meal, and then you can relax for the rest of the time.  Charley and I had dishwashing at Saturday lunch.  Charley has found his calling.  I just stood back and watched as he and a couple of other kids loaded up the trays, sprayed them down, slid them into the dishwasher, pulled the lever, then unpacked them on the other side. He was always ready with an empty dish tray and was confident and helpful showing the other kids jobs they could do.  He was IN HIS ELEMENT, which was incredible to watch and also hilarious because DISHWASHING.  He went back to wash more dishes Saturday at dinner and tried to go today at breakfast but it was too crowded.

I don't know what Wes's job was.  We only really saw Wes at mealtimes because he spent the entire weekend with a pack of kids on razor scooters tearing around the sidewalks, going up and down the ziplines, playing Gaga ball, and eating LOTS AND LOTS OF JUNK FOOD.  We call him the big brother of the neighborhood because he really loves helping younger kids with things.  He had so much fun running kids back and forth on the zipline and pushing kids on swings.

James bounced between us and a few other families, enjoying his friends and the camp.  He loved the suspension bridge and the treehouse and swimming in the river and the wading pools.  Mostly he loved that his best neighborhood friends came with us and he got to play with them for forty-eight hours straight.

Mary decided to leave our family and spend the weekend with our cabinmate family, my friend Rosa and her kids.  Probably because Rosa has two girls close to her age and fussed over Mary's hair the first morning of the trip.  Mary can sense that we know nothing about girl hair.  Watching Mary with pseudo-sisters was fascinating.

Last night we had a campfire with smores and a sing-a-long, which I think I've told you before is the highlight of the whole trip for me.  Ryan hung out at the fire and I set up camp with my friends at the sing-a-long and the kids ran back and forth and all around.  Finally around 9:30 we reluctantly shooed everyone back into the cabin for bedtime.

Wes was disappointed that he hadn't gotten dessert that night and when I asked him if he'd had any smores he responded "Only THREE!" with great indignation.

Bedtime went REALLY FAST Saturday night, which was good because afterward our cabinmates and I hung out on the back porch and ate cupcakes until almost midnight.  The cabin full of PhDs outlasted the boys' youth cabin across the lawn, BOOM.

Charley woke up still wearing his swimsuit.  He had charred marshmallow goo matted into his eyebrows.

This morning after breakfast and chapel I was standing by the playground wishing we didn't have to leave, which was a new feeling because as fun as it is, I am usually ready to lock the kids in the car and skedaddle the moment the benediction is over (which, incidentally, instead of his usual benediction today our pastor said "Don't forget to check out of your cabins and pick up a hot dog and a Coke for the drive home!") because by the time we get to Sunday they are WRECKED.  But today felt calmer and happier and the weather was nice and I was not in a hurry to go back to reality.  But not TWO SECONDS after I told Ryan we should hang out a little bit longer Mary had a potty accident and Wes began screaming at me.  TIME TO GO!

There was not nearly enough sleeping in the car on the way home (lots of bickering, backtalk, and pillowfighting (OMG) but only Mary slept), so Ryan suggested we stop at a brewery we like on the way and get me a tasting flight as a reward for me not jumping out of the car and running screaming into a field of wildflowers.  So lunch was awesome.  The rest of the drive continued to be terrible until we were thirty minutes from home and I decided that instead of trying to keep them from bickering we were just going to crank the radio and ignore them.  It really lightened the mood.

Then we got home and put them to bed at 6:00.  James fell asleep before 6:07.  Everyone else was close behind.  I am already ready to go back.

Here are the four pictures I have!





Sunday, April 3, 2016

Screaming and neckthritis

Busy weekend with lots of screaming here at our house. Started with screaming on the way to church, followed by having to wait in the car while two kids changed out of pajamas in the *parking lot* because they had *refused* to do it at home. Something about walking into a group of your peers with teddy bear pants on is much more motivating than just making your parents' neck veins stick out. Then there was some low-level antics during church that was more amusing than irritating. Then we finished up the morning with a group meltdown on the way back to the car. Wes had to be bodily dragged the last fifty feet or so before getting forcibly loaded into the car with a warm, maternal "I have a lifetime Pres ription for physical therapy and I don't mind using it!!"

Ryan sent me out for the afternoon. I went to buy supplies for my garden, talked to a friend for a few minutes, and then worked at a coffeeshop for a couple of hours. When I got home dinner was almost ready and everyone was relatively happy.

Until someone knocked over someone else's Solo cup tower and three kids at once started screaming so ferociously that James's little friend from across the street ran to the front door and began throwing himself against it in a panicked attempt to flee our home.

Dinner was pleasant enough, briefly, until something set Wes off and he started up again. He got banished to the stairs be ause OMG enough already. Everyone fell asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow. Surprise!

But other than that we had a pretty good weekend! Yesterday we went to an open house at a community being built for homeless people that was so beautiful and peaceful that I could move right in. The kids had lots of fun touring all the sweet one room cottages different groups have designed and built for the residents. I only had to correct them from calling them "forts" a handful of times. They had cookies and lemonade and a sprawling, lush vegetable garden with lots of shady benches. I love that this place was designed and built with so much care and love for the people who need it. Truly inspiring.

Getting back to the car was kind of a catastrophe though.

Whyyyyy why why with the screaming?!

Fortunately we had a sitter and plans with friends already lined up because dang.

In other news, after assuming I was dying of motor-neuron disease for a couple of months I finally went to a doctor to ask about why the last two fingers on my right hand were numb and weak when it took me an hour to fill out two camp registration forms. The doctor did a blood test for like forty nine different things women in my age bracket come down with (lupus, thyroid issues, functional alcoholism) but those were all negative so I had to get an MRI of my neck.

Let me tell you that getting inside an MRI death tube is right up there at the top of my list of things that seem like less fun than actually dying. It was EVERYTHING I ANTICIPATED and MORE.

I was so tense during the while twenty minutes that when they rolled me out of the ti e and *unclamped my head*, I could not lift my arms properly. I was in such a fog I couldn't even go get the nice breakfast I had bribed myself with and instead spent thirty minutes wandering around a thrift store not touching anything because my arms were too tired to move. Then I went and got my breakfast because obviously.

Finally I got the MRI results which revealed, wait for it, NECK ARTHRITIS.

So THAT happened.

I got a prescription for some old lady NSAID that advised me to avoid alcohol and stay out if the sun and a prescription for physical therapy.

PT has been illuminating.

Apparently I have the posture of an elderly witch from a Disney movie due to, I'm assuming, a life spent either pregnant and nursing or hunvhed over a computer writing MATLAB code. This is not normal.

 Neither is the way my shoulder blades have begun sliding up and over my shoulders ore the way my neck muscles have all the strength of a newborn kitten.

Fortunately I have very little pride left and really need to be able to write with a pen, because so far it has been very helpful. I had to look a few pages back in my work notes today and was surprised to see my crazed stroke-victim handwriting from just a few weeks ago.

She has started to work on my wonky tight shoulders too (while feeling my upper left shoulder muscles she mused aloud "What is THAT?!"), which means a pauedo massage twice a week. A massage that on Friday ended with me getting nice and relaxed before she abruptly karate chopped my shoulder completely out of the blue.

So I guess having neck arthritis isn't so bad because you get to go to PT and learn how to do resistance exercises with your neck and whatnot. And now that Ryan is in PT for his back too we have a nice way to spend time together in the evenings. Down on the floor. Strengthening our rhomboids together. #notassexyasitsounds