Subglottic Stenosis Balloon Dilation — again!

Sounds sexy, eh?! Last Friday I went in for another surgery (procedure?) to clear the scar tissue building up in my trachea. This is my fourth time (first, second, third) and this time my ENT sent me to Boston where they do the procedure a little differently. Alan and I went down late Thursday night, stayed in an scary-seeming-but-actually-pretty-cool hotel for a short night’s sleep, then up early for a 5:45am check-in at the hospital. The surgery went well, lots of Covid precautions and nice medical people taking care of me. Apparently they gave me some good drugs (or else I was very tired, which is equally likely!) because I slept for a good long time after the surgery. The post-op nurse joked that she was given the sleepy girls that day. Me and a child who was there because she got an earring stuck all the way IN her ear canal! We both enjoyed our long naps. :)

They still don’t know what is causing this problem and have officially diagnosed it as “idiopathic” which is med-speak for *shrug*. I’m still on the reflux meds, but apparently that’s not the problem. I tried cutting out caffeine, reflux-inducing foods, and alcohol, but the problem keeps coming back anyway. I joined a gym back in March, after the last surgery, but then Covid shut down the world. :/ I will keep trying to figure it out. This Boston ENT does a procedure that includes a steroid injection during the procedure and potentially follow-up injections with the goal of delaying the recurrence. He says it won’t “cure” the problem, but it hopefully will give me more time between buildups. *hopefully*

We got home Friday afternoon and I worked really hard to “rest my voice” and not talk. I’m not great at that! Especially when my sister and parents are hanging out with me after a long Covid separation! 💗 I am enjoying my week at home with my kiddos. I’m technically working from home, so the three of us have a mishmash of meetings and activities to do online, and Lex going into school every other day. It has been nice.

The recovery process has been a little different this time around. The throat-clearing cough that is a clear sign of the scar tissue building up usually goes away right after surgery, but this time it’s stuck around for awhile. Coughing, of course, hinders the healing in my trachea, so I try hard not to give in to that throat tingle the begs to be cleared. Lots of water and herbal tea. I was getting worried around Wednesday when my throat was still very sore and the cough was still present, but Thursday and now Friday have been better. I decided to get another Covid test today before going back to school on Monday. I went at 11am today and got results at 5:52pm! So quick. And NEGATIVE! I feel much better about returning to school next week, but not yet. First we get the weekend. :)

Weekend Update

I know it’s only Saturday night, but I’m in the mood for a weekend update. :)

I came home from school Friday afternoon and found that Eve had decorated for Halloween. It made me SUPER happy to see the ghosties on the tree when came down our street. 🧡🖤

This baby tree is doing a great job holding up the bats and ghosties.

The porch lights were one.

When she started decorating the dog I knew it was time for a new activity. :)

I spent today cleaning the windows, cleaning the kitchen, and making two apple pies (one for the freezer), all while listening to an audio book. Then we ended the day with pizza delivery and a Zoom “book tour” with Rick Riordan. It was a lot of fun! Our book tour ticket included an autographed book and Camp Half Blood baseball cap, both of which are still in the mail. We had fun with the Zoom event though. We also got a hint at his next book series. :)

Hello Uncle Rick!

This platter has been on the counter all week and it was just calling for a pie! So I made one. :)

Tomorrow I’ll have to go grocery shopping and do some school work, but today I thoroughly enjoyed my Saturday activities.

Beautiful

Eve has been doing a ton of drawing these days. She even saved up all her money and bought herself a sweet drawing tablet. Recently we were talking about time lapse videos (or “speedpaint” in YouTube terms) and I showed her a tool to make them. Today she made one and posted it on YouTube. I LOVE it!!  She is such a creative thinker. She gave me permission to share it here as well. 💗🧡💛💚💙💜 Enjoy!

(sound on)

Stuff.

  • Huxley is finally heartworm free!!
  • I am so tired these days.
  • Can it please, please, PLEASE be November so we can get 45 out of office! My brain can’t handle it.
  • Someone held a wedding at the Woodstock Inn and no one wore masks! C’mon people! My guess is that it’s an out-of-town couple who came to safe Vermont for a nice normal wedding. 😡
  • 😡 is my most frequently used emoji these days.
  • It turns out it’s really hard to get a Covid test if you are asymptomatic.
  • I need to step away. Sigh.

Garden news

We have been busy with the gardens this summer. Back in April we planted some Hostas and a rose bush, all donated by kind friends. In May we added some Morning Glories to the garden. The goal was that the Morning Glories would fill in the gaps between the Hostas, but instead they took over the garden!

The Hostas got pretty buried and didn’t do much growing. I have faith they grew roots though and will grow bigger next summer!  We even got three roses on the tiny new rose bush! I was shocked and thrilled. :)

Last weekend Eve and I decided to add a tree to the collection. The oak tree that the landscapers planted years ago died the first year and we have been thinking about a replacement ever since. Eve started asking for a cherry tree, and I love cherry trees, so we finally got around to making it happen!

We took our Tesla and went to the nursery, joking about who brings a Tesla to buy a tree, other than a Christmas tree, of course :)  When we got there, we saw another Tesla in the parking lot. LOL.

We found a Meteor Cherry Tree, the guy bundled up the roots and branches, and slid it right into the car! When we got home Eve went to work digging the hole and planting the tree. She was so confident that I went to the grocery store and let her plant the tree! She did a great job.

She named it George.👆🏻 Laurens supervised.👇🏻

Last week we had a few cold nights and frost took the Morning Glories, so over the weekend Eve decided to clean out the garden. Today we added some mulch and “put the garden to bed.”  :)

Eve is a great garden partner (as long as the spiders stay away). We almost got a free Meyer Lemon tree this week too! A lady was giving it away on a local listserve. I have always wanted a Meyer Lemon tree, so I was super excited when I saw it, but someone beat me to it. Oh well. I’ll be happy with George and the sleeping Hostas. :) Mostly I’ll be happy with my awesome green thumb daughter.

Saturday

We had a lovely autumnal Saturday today. Alan came down and we all got flu shots together. It was a drive-thru deal, so quick and easy! The nurse even commented on how far we’ve come as a family in the flu shot department. :)

Then we went to our favorite apple orchard for some apples, animals, and donuts.

The annual flu shot flex photo. :)

The forecast said sunny and 80s, but it ended up being cloudy and 60s. Perfect apple picking weather!

A paparazzi shot of my kids eating apples! :)

This sheep has a nice sweater.

The little one was adorable and really enjoyed that stick.

Eve’s new friend Laurens came along to help chose some Halloween pumpkins.

We spent the afternoon watching funny tv, doing jobs around the house, and playing a little Minecraft. A good time was had by all.

Teacher of the Year!!

Wha, what?!

Every year in the spring teachers in the building nominate someone for Teacher of the Year. We all have a chance to nominate, then there is a vote, then the winner is announced at the District-wide Back-to-School Breakfast at the beginning of the year.

This year, Covid-19 hit and all norms went right out the window! I maybe thought about Teacher of the Year briefly when I realized we weren’t doing the District Breakfast, but that was about it.  I assumed we were not doing it this year due to Covid.  There is A LOT we are not doing this year because of Covid! But you know what they say about assuming…

At our first official staff meeting, held virtually, of course, the principal announced the two longevity awards (for teachers who have been in the district for a long time) and then said this:  Video

I had no idea! If I even suspected, I would have done my hair and not been eating an apple! :)  The one day I woke up late, threw my hair in a ponytail, and tossed some random foods in my lunch box… turns out to be the day the whole school is looking at me!  LOL.

I feel pretty dang appreciated though!

Later in the evening I logged into the high school performing arts department’s Welcome Back zoom meeting for parents and students. When the music teachers pulled up the website to show parents, they also gave me a shout-out for all the work I’ve done on it and how awesome it is.

I work hard, for sure, and I never feel taken advantage of, but it is pretty nice to get the accolades!  And the plaque!

First day of school — corona style!

Students returned to school today for the first time since March 17th! Teachers returned for in-service three weeks ago, which seems like a lot of time, but boy did it go fast! There is a lot to do and even more decisions to make when you are opening school during a pandemic! But things were done and decisions were made and today we welcomed kids back with smiling eyes and lots of air hugs! It was weird and good and crazy and hard. Kids were on their best behaviors, for today, as we all navigated this new world together. I hope that behavior continues, though I’ve been around long enough to know that’s not a realistic hope!

On the home front, Eve has decided to participate in the fully-remote option and Lex has decided to do the hybrid options.  This meant that today Lex went to school and Eve was home. I made a deal with a neighbor friend that she would bring Lex to school and I’d pick her kids up with Lex at the end of the day. It was very weird leaving this morning and hoping that my kids would both get themselves to “school” on time. We did lots of prepping and planning, and it all paid off! Both kids got where they needed to be, did what they needed to do, and reported back that they had good days.  Whew!

First day photos are a little weird this year.  In hindsight, I wish I had made a #2020 or #coronatime (or something!) sign that they could have held with the pictures, but I didn’t.  Oh well.  I think Eve’s outfit says it all though. :)

We need to work on our group selfies. :)

I tried to take a picture of how exhausted I felt at 7pm, after a full day of school, kid pickup, and then an hour Remote Academy Zoom call (I’m running 4th grade for Remote Academy this year!). My phone decided to do portrait mode. I think it couldn’t handle my exhausted face! LOL.

2020 – the year when school supplies included masks, thermometers, and tick tweezers! 😲😱

What we did this weekend

We had a creative weekend.  Lex finished a song he’s been working on in Garage Band (an iPad app): Aria Sweden

I finished a hat I’ve been working on:

I also started my back-to-school bulletin board:

And Eve decided to celebrate Will Solace‘s birthday with a cake and greeting.

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Happy birthday Will

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