Tuesday, July 21, 2015

my back

A post isn't a post without a picture of Helena.  7/4/15 day after I hurt my back.  I look happy but I'm in pain.
Thankfully my injured back from 2 and half weeks ago seems like a thing of the past, but for documentation sake I want to remember the details.
It was Friday July 3rd, I had the day off as the holiday for July 4th.  I was super excited to go to Dance Jam in the morning!  The gym was overly crowded from the holiday (that’s what I think anyways) so I had to park even farther away (further than normal) from the entrance to the gym.  I had Helena with me and I didn’t want to carry her all the way to the daycare so I carried her into the gym in my Beco carrier (this was the first time I’ve done this).  
It was the last 10-15 minutes of class and we were doing my current favorite song: “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy.  This is one of the songs that I know all of the choreography to, so I always look forward to it and just jam out in my own little world since I don’t need to look at Sarah (the instructor) for the routine.  And since I know all of the moves to this song I jam out hard!  There is part of the song where you do a squat forward while head banging your head, and that’s when I felt it.  I immediately felt the pain and discomfort in my lower left back.  This was about half way through the song, and I somehow completed the song.  I tried to do the next song (another favorite: “Your lips are moving, your lips are moving…”) but I couldn’t.  I could barely bend down to pick up my water bottle, and when I tried to get my towel off of the floor I got tears in my eyes.  I walked out of class.  I was scared.  Who knows if it looked “off” but I felt like I was walking funny, and I had to take the stairs one by one to get down to the locker room and to get Helena.  It was a weird place to all of a sudden be injured and moving so slowly while all of these people are moving swiftly going along their day. 
Anyways I got to my locker and put on my carrier while thinking I was so thankful I brought it, as I know that had I not had my carrier with me I would not have been able to carry Helena all the way back to my car.  I go get Helena from the daycare and ask one of caregivers to hand her to me as I couldn’t bend down to get her, all while I’m fighting tears.  I very slowly walk to my car and basically throw Helena into her car seat, at which she started crying.  I felt so bad, so then I started crying.  I got her all buckled in and called Chris to advise him of my injury.  Upon my arrival home Helena was asleep so Chris came to get her and put her down, then Chris came back to the car to help me into the house.  He got some ice and I plopped onto the couch.  It hurt so bad.  Later that afternoon my in-laws arrived.  The pain was agonizing.  Chris had to help me do everything, and so it was also incredibly embarrassing.  The only things I really remember about being home that day is keeping my back iced and Chris having to help me go to the bathroom.  I think at some point I contacted a friend who is also a instructor at the gym and also a physical therapist, seeking her opinion on my back. 
The next day was the 4th of July.  After a painful night’s sleep (I did get some sleep) I woke up with the brilliant idea to take a cold shower and that the cold water pounding on my back would be good.  I had previously heard Chris get up and assumed he would be in the house if I needed to yell at him for help.  I screamed myself into the shower and once I got in and realized I couldn’t lift my hands to do my hair I knew I had made a mistake.  I seriously couldn’t take my hands off of my hips.  So I stumbled out of the shower, somehow got a towel around me and fell to the floor while I screamed and screamed for Chris.  When I succumbed to the fact that the house was empty I did the next logical thing: cry.  Chris finally came into the bedroom to see what I assumed look like a big dead whale on the floor.  I can’t remember how exactly I got up off of the floor but we eventually solved the puzzle and got me to my feet.  I knew I wanted to get out of the house for the holiday so that afternoon we made our way to the 4th of July festivities.  This was the day I found that getting up and moving was much better than sitting.  
The next day was when we went to the pool.  This is where I took advantage of being “weightless” and tried to stretch out my back as much as possible.  On Monday 7/6 I booked a morning appointment with Lori and she advised me I strained my back in three different spots.  She showed me some stretches to help increase my mobility and advised me that I will get better.  Going into work was horrible.  I felt like I was walking like a stick was up my a$$ and to the side.  One co-worker looked at me and said “You look crooked.”  On Thursday I even went and got a 90 minute massage hoping that would help, but it didn't really.  By Friday 7/10 morning I was over it.  Who knows if something did get worse or it was just living with this chronic pain, but Friday morning I couldn’t get comfortable.  Every position I would try and sit in was uncomfortable so I kept adjusting and out of frustration and pain I just kept crying.  I thankfully had Friday off since my parents were in town.  I called my doctor’s office and got an appointment for that afternoon.  The doctor again advised me I would feel normal again and he advised giving me a shot.  I do not like needles.  The last time I got my blood drawn I passed out.  So I opted for the shot to me administer in the butt….and wow am I glad I did.  It took some convincing from the doctor to get this shot, and I’m glad I finally said “I guess.”  This shot seriously took away all of my pain!  I was able to get down on the floor and fully do all of the stretched that Lori told me about and I was able to feel “normal” again!  
Since then things have all been up hill.  I’ve had some discomfort but the past two days I’ve been essentially pain free!  I haven’t worked out yet but I’m super anxious to get back into the gym!
I gotta give a special shout out to my hot husband who was there for all my “fits” and emotional outbursts!  And for truly seeing me at my worse, and for massaging my back for a week straight!  Thank you for taking care of me, I love you.
This injury brought me a glimpse of what it could be like to live with chronic pain, I honestly don’t know how people do it.  It even hurt to sneeze or cough (the closest thing I can describe it to is the pain you experience when you have a c-section and it hurts to laugh/sneeze/cough, this was the same type of pain but in your back).  This injury as given me new motivation to get all of this extra weight off.  To be healthy and to not take my moving pain-free body for granted.    

Thursday, July 16, 2015

more visitors!

The Sweat household has been extremely busy!  Let’s break it down.
My in-laws arrived Friday 7/3 and left to go on a Western Colorado vacation (they visited Steamboat Springs and Aspen) on 7/6 and 7/7.  They came back to our place on 7/8 and left Friday 7/10.  My parents arrived Thursday  7/9 and left Monday 7/13.  PHEW! 
The photos are extremely out of order! 
Lovely dinner!

We all went out to dinner and had a great time.  Helena loved all of the attention!  This was the first time Helena has had all 4 of her grandparents at the same time!

Friday morning was pretty casual as we awaiting my parents, and I went to the doctor for my back (more on that later).  After Helena’s afternoon nap we ventured out to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  We got there around 4:15pm, just to find out they close at 5pm.  But the last 30 minutes of the museum is free so we just hung out until we could enter at 4:30pm.  The museum has an amazing “Discovery Zone” just for kids to run free!  So that’s where we took Helena for 30 minutes.  Afterwards we went to dinner at LoHi Steakhouse.  It was just ok.  The perk was its location near Little Man Ice Cream! 
@ Little Man Ice Cream

@ Coors Field for a Rockies game

Saturday morning we went to a nearby library where a symphony was playing just for the little kids!  It was a lot of fun and Helena got to play with lots of musical instruments!   
After her nap it was downtown to Coors Field for a Rockies game!  It was SO hot and we were right in the sun that we only watched 3 innings before going inside (thankfully we had club seats!).  Helena had a blast walking around saying Hi to everyone!
Out and about with Grandpa (they were chasing two rabbits)

playing the piano

Sunday morning we went back to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to actually explore the museum!  It was a lot of fun, and we of course ended the visit back at the kids Discovery Zone for Helena to run around some more!
Sunday afternoon we went to the pool! 
Monday morning we to Carpenter Park where Helena playing in the swing and for some reason was afraid of the slide…she’s gone down in before!  It’s so nice taking her to kid friendly places where she can truly just wonder and I don’t have to be too concerned or worried about her getting into something she shouldn’t get into!
having fun on the swing!

Discovery Zone

Discovery Zone

Discovery Zone

Mythical Creatures Exhibit at the DMNS

at the pool

she loves the water!
One of the things I love about this age is for the most part Helena is predictable.  She has her one nap that is usually taken around 12noon so our days are split up into “morning” and “afternoon”.  It makes outings so much easier because Helena as a schedule!  I love seeing her soak everything in!  It’s so much fun seeing her see things for the first time.  
Her latest development is dancing.  You ask her dance and she'll shake her little bum and it's the cutest thing you ever did see!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4th of July weekend

Overall the holiday weekend was a lot of fun.  The big downer was my broken back.  Well, not really a broken back, but I hurt my back Friday morning in Dance Jam.  It was the end of class and one of my favorite songs came on: “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy.  Since I know this song and dance so well I jammed out and went hard.  Too hard.  There is a move where we head bang forward while doing squats.  And that motion tore my back in three different places.  After the song I escorted myself out.  I tried to sit and tears came to my eyes.  I thankfully brought Helena in with her carrier because the parking lot was more crowded than normal because of the holiday and I didn’t want to carry her all that way.  So I went to the locker room put on the carrier and went to the daycare to check Helena out.  I was a little frustrated as I called and made a reservation for the infant room (for babies 3 months and older)the day before.  The week prior when I dropped her off they advised she was still a little too little for the toddler room and was in the infant room (which you have to reserve at least 24 hours in advance).  And well when I picked her up on Friday she was crying like crazy in the toddler room, when I had a reserved a spot for her in the infant room!  I was too hurt with my back to make it a deal, so I just had one of the caregivers lift her so I could buckle the carrier and out we went.  Once I got home Chris got Helena from the car seat and put her down for her nap, and I just cried and cried.  I hate this type of pain because you can’t see it.  I had plans that afternoon as my in-laws were on their way.  But all I could do was sit with some ice on my back.  Chris had to help me go to the bathroom, everything.  Talk about embarrassing.  It was and is horrible.  I am obviously thankful that Chris is there to help, and it was good timing with my in-laws coming into town for even more help.  But not being able to pick up Helena out of her crib, and get on the floor to play with her is heartbreaking for me.  Thankfully she crawls up onto my lap for a few kisses and cuddles, and for me to read to her.  The big advantage of not being able to get down to the floor?  No diaper changes!!! :)
Because she doesn't have enough toys!

Her own basketball hoop!

Her own lawn chair!

and of course, bubbles!!!
 Saturday morning we just hung out at the house, Grandpa and Grandma Sweat came with a new toy: a green John Deere Tractor for her to ride, although she’s much more interested in pushing it.  Marty and Mary went to Target and came back with a basketball hoop!  Saturday afternoon and evening we went to Carpenter Park for the 4th of July festivities!  It was a lot of fun.  Once I get up and walking around I can more much easier.  The mornings are the worst.  We set up “camp” and Helena had a blast walking all around.  So many people were there!  They estimated 50,000 people!  Helena got spoiled yet again with a fun light toy that she can’t get enough of!  There was lots of food and a band for entertainment, and just the people watching was entertainment!  Around 8pm we changed Helena into her pajama’s and for the rest of the night she just hung out on Grandma’s lap and fell asleep around 9pm. At 9:30pm five parachutes jumped out of a plane and put on an awesome show with sparkler like lights, I don’t think I had ever seen a parachute at night and it was amazing!  They all came flying down and landed in the middle of the park that was blocked off for their arrival!  Once the final parachute landed the fireworks show started!  I was super nervous that the loud noise would affect Helena, but she slept through the whole thing!  I think the show was about 30 minutes long and then we made the journey back to the car.  I expected a delay getting out with so many people, and this park is only a little bit more than two miles from my house.  But it was crazy…it took us an hour and seven minutes to get home!  In the future we’ll definitely park in a different lot and plan better. 
Happy 4th!

Showing off her new light toy!

Hanging with Grandpa

Sleeping with Grandma 

Sunday morning we went to the indoor pool at the Broomfield Rec Center.  We all had a blast!  Marty, Mary, and Chris enjoyed the slides!  And Helena loved the little toddler area!  I myself floated around the “lazy river” a couple of times, and can’t remember being so relaxed!  After Helena’s long afternoon nap we went up to the Orchard for Helena to play in the little outdoor area (she wanted to go through the splashpad so bad!), followed by dinner. 
It was a great weekend, I just really wish I hadn’t hurt my back.  I went to go see a physical therapist this morning and got some exercises to do and was told I tore my muscles in three different areas!  My in-laws are currently vacationing in Steamboat Springs and Aspen and plan to come back on Thursday which is when my parents come into town for the weekend!  So I really hope to start feeling better soon!
I hope your 4th of July was colorful!

Monday, June 29, 2015

One Year Photos

Dress: Bonita Designs

Chris wanted to keep this one, as he says it's the perfect combination of the two of us.

All Photos Courtesy of BrynMaRae Photography

At the end of May Helena had her One Year photos taken!  The day her photos were shot was the day she started to get sick.  She looks so tired in her cake smash photos, but she still had a smile on her face, and Bryn still captured her happy baby nature! 
Thank you Bryn for shooting Helena's first year!!!  Can't wait to work with you in the future as our daughter grows!!!
Make sure to LIKE her Facebook page too!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June Happenings

I'm super behind...again.
Here's what we've been up to.
Happy Summer!  It is finally feeling like summer here in Denver…hello 90 degree days!  I kinda love this type of heat.  Out of all the bad weather type of elements out here (extreme snow, wind, rain, cold) the heat for me is the one that is the easiest to deal with.  I’ve always favored summer when I was growing up…probably my love for swimming and always begging my mom to take me to the pool.  And I know how short our summers are so I soak them up, enjoy them, and try to get to the pool as many times as possible.  We’ve been a few times and once to an indoor pool.  Helena is getting better and better in the water.  I learned with our experience from Florida that she does much better when slowly being introduced to the water!  On Father's Day she even had her first ever splash pad experience.  It was a huge success and she had a great time.  I knew she was happy by how she was walking all over the place talking up a storm!  It was such a sight to see.  Speaking of walking…we have a full on walker on our hands!  Last week she was crawling less and less, especially once she got the strength to go from sitting to standing on her own.  I think it was last Tuesday when I last saw her crawl.  She’s still definitely in the “drunk” walking phase as she isn’t super sturdy and still falls on her little bum quite a bit, but she’s getting better and better, and it is just crazy!  And she’s wearing shoes!  I’m so thankful, last year my cousin Charlene sent us these adorable little sandals, and for the past week they’ve been the only thing she’s been wearing, especially since we’ve been going out a lot lately.
climbing up on the couch!

I feel like we’ve had a super busy month with a lot of firsts for Helena. 
So let’s go to the beginning. 
Helena is a climber.  She can climb up onto the couch.  As cute as this is, it is also terrifying.  She seems cautious when she is near the edge, but still terrifying. 
Helena is a kisser.  For me this was one of the milestones that took my breath away.  When you ask her for “kisses” she smooth her lips and make the “muah” sound while leaning toward your face.  It’s pretty much the cutest thing ever on the face of planet earth.

giving Kisses!

She had her first stay at a hotel.  The first weekend of the month we traveled to Scottsbluff, NE for a potential job for Chris.  We stayed two nights, and the first night was brutal.  She didn’t fall asleep until 11pm, and got up at 12:30pm.  I just cuddled her and had her sleep with Chris and I.  This was the first time Helena has ever slept with us.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep.  I was so anxious about her being in bed with us.  My senses were heightened with every single move from either Chris or Helena.  It was horrible.  She thankfully slept great the second night.

Scottsbluff, Nebraska

An afternoon at the pool will do that to ya!
 Helena loves to dance.  The following weekend there was a free concert at a nearby library.  She loved it.
The attempt of a family photo!

YUMMY corn!
 She loves corn on the cob.  Feeding Helena is sometimes a challenge, you know she’s hungry, she’s whining because she is hungry, you offer her food, yet she will not eat.  It is beyond frustrating.  We’ll have a perfectly good dinner with food she can eat but she won’t take it, bring out a food pouch or pureed baby food?  And she’s all over it!  Why won’t she just eat her FOOD?!  Ugh!  I have found that I usually have to offer something at least 3 times, majority of the time she’ll take it on that third offer, if she doesn’t take it she is truly done, or I try something else.  Does she want to feed herself?  Do I need to entertain her with a napkin (this is a new win in the eating challenges) or with an extra spoon for her to play with?  It’s all a guessing game and we are just flying by the seat of our pants (or however that saying goes).  I digress, my point is she loves corn on the cob.  I think she loves how she has to bite it off. 

Playing at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science!

She has 8  teeth now (3 all came in at once while she was sick).  The teeth help with the corn, obviously.
She is exhausted.  There have been two instances where she is fallen asleep from such a fulfilled afternoon.  
We also traveled to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a morning with Andrea and Grayson.  They have an amazing kids “Discovery Zone” area.  Helena loved it.  We went when she became a true “walker” and loved walking all over the place.  She usually always has to have a toy (or two) in her hand.  It was so much fun seeing her explore and able to get into anything and everything she wanted.  Afterwards we went outside and had a lovely picnic lunch.  It is so cute because Grayson and Helena share everything. Helena had some of Grayson’s carrots and he had some of her blueberries.  They even partnered up when Helena was pushing her stroller all over the place and I put on the breaks so she could no longer push it.  Well Helena was trying to push it by herself, which she couldn't.  But with Grayson's help they pushed it all over the place...who needs breaks?, when you have a friend!!!
 We met up with Grayson again for a Rockies game!  I found out Helena's new favorite fruit: cherries!  After the game we went to dinner, and the kiddos had a great time walking around and making friends with everyone!
Rockies game!

Splash pad!

Just walking around.
It's been such a fun month and great start to the summer!  Seeing Helena discover new things brings such light and appreciation into my eyes its as if I get to discover for the first time too!