Sunday, February 13, 2011

I've Got Answers

Last Tuesday my camo-cast came off. The doctor told me I was free to walk to my heart's content now, using only one crutch. He said I was to be my own physical therapist by doing deep lunges and writing the alphabet in large, swoopy letters with my ankle. Just wear this little brace thingy and all's swell. I was pretty excited by all of this, actually. No physical therapy appointments? I can walk again? Awesome!

Yeah, in theory: awesome. In real life: not happening. Except for the swell part. There's plenty of that going on.

My foot/ankle/leg continue to be puffy, tender, achy, and swollen when not elevated. Heck, even when it is elevated it looks like aliens abducted my formerly normal right foot and replaced it with someone else's. But I'm dealing with it. I'm making myself put pressure on it and stretch those muscles back to where they used to be and I'm doing my best to find the good in everything.

In fact, today I made myself walk to the kitchen using only one crutch in a sort of half-hobble half-hop kind of gait. I then promptly rewarded myself with a bowl of ice cream and a cookie. I'm not going to get THAT kind of awesome treatment at any physical therapy office!

Anyway, between chillin' with my sweet little chub-o, putting myself through physical torture and trying to get my life back to normal, I've been neglecting my blog. Would you mind helping me with that?

Here's what you do:

This week I will leave the comments open on this post for you to ask me questions. Ask me whatever you want, and I will answer. Most answers I'll give in the comments, but some questions I'll answer as a post. Anything you've always wanted to ask me? Ask away! Have a silly/serious/sarcastic question? Every single question will receive an answer.

It's sort of like the Reader Appreciation Day I did last year. (Actually, it's exactly like that. Except for answering in posts, too.)


Ask away!


Broughton said...

Really! I'm the first one?!!! Woo-hoo!! Ok What is your most favorite dessert recipe?! (I am having a sugar attack and nothing would make me happier then a new recipe! )

Oh and I am glad that you got your cast off, good luck!

Rachel said...

Dear Gerb,

Actually, I do have a question for you. Since you asked. Are ALL THOSE YOURS? I mean, you do know how to stop having all of those kids right? I know that you're Mormon and all, but you don't have to populate the world all by yourself ya know...? How can you possibly take care of all of those children!?


A concerned reader

Rebecca said...

If you had all 10 boys or all 10girls, instead of some of both gender, which would you choose?

Rebecca said...

How have you/do you/will you teach your kids to be financially responsible?

Rebecca said...

This one is not a question, just a comment. What a bummer that after getting your cast off, you're not able to feel and function well yet. The post-cast picture looks more painful to me than the pre-cast pic. I still think some muffins are in order...

Gina said...

That picture is unreal. I almost can't believe the amount of swelling this much later and, and, and...WOW! So sorry, sistuh.

My question:
Let's revisit how you plan, cook and feed your family. I get so tired of it all. I am not creative enough. I am too behind. Do you meal plan in advance and buy for the upcoming meals? What are some of your favorite dinners? You can give recipes, or just general ideas of what you do.

Much appreciated,

Michele Holmes said...

I stumbled on your blog recently (while looking for Mia Shalom camp info) and must admit I am hooked---if not slightly depressed. I only have half the kids you do, yet my life seems constantly out of control. Your children all appear so . . . normal (okay, the cute one with the bangs may be a tad on the dangerously creative side). Our children, while wonderful, have some fairly serious and draining issues (depression, for one). I call them my high maintenance kids, because they take turns (or not, and then it is really bad) needing 110+% of me. My question is this, do you have any really difficult issues with any of your children, and if so, HOW do you balance helping them with caring for all your others? I stand in awe over here of all you do. We always wanted a large family, but circumstances being what they are, have changed our motto to, "five and trying to make it out alive!"
Good luck with your ankle. You're a trooper---even more amazing than before :)

Blogful said...

My kids are young, so my questions (can I ask two?) are practical. I'm sure you've ridden the "potty train" before. What age do you start and what's yours system?
Greedy second question: Do your kids have allowance? How do you teach financial responsibility?

Gerb said...

Rachel- Yes! They're all ours, we know how they got here, we take care of them all and we are TOTALLY trying to repopulate the world - with some help from families like yours. ;)

Rebecca- I think your questions will all be answered in blog posts. You come up with the toughies, don't you? And yes, the foot is a source of frustration right now. But I'll get over it. (Muffins would help.)

Gina- Your question is for sure an upcoming blog post. There's too much to say for a comment!

Rachel said...

I can't believe I didn't get my own blogpost to answer my questions.... :D

I am sooooo lame. Such a bad friend. I have a gift for your baby that I'd had for like, FOREVER!! If you'd have shown up for dinner I'd have given it to you then. ;) Why haven't I just come over and given it to you? Gosh! Look who's asking the hard questions now!!

Because I'm lame.....

Hope we can all get together soon!

Gerb said...

Michele- First off, thanks for commenting! I love that you read my blog. Now I'll try to answer your questions. None of my kids have any serious or draining issues that I can think of. I am apprehensive of just saying it like that when it really seems unfair, but it is what it is. That being said, my kids do have lots of minor, typical issues that drive me crazy at times. They are all expert procrastinators. A couple of them find any excuse to feel sorry for themselves. Most of my girls have gone through a phase where they are overly emotional and cry about any and every little thing. Little O (age 2) refuses to eat vegetables (unless you count spaghetti sauce). The thing is, I think every family has its challenges and we all learn to work through them the best we can. I just read your most recent blog post and that is a perfect example of what an amazing family you have and what a great support system you are for each other!
So, despite the challenges which can frustrate all of us, I think we figure out how to pull through by working together. And I think that when we, as women, support each other in our efforts with our families, all sorts of amazing things can happen.

Did that answer your question?

Gerb said...

Blogful- Potty training. Blech. But we all go through it, don't we? Almost every one of my kids hasn't been potty trained until the age of 3 or 4. Why? I'd rather change diapers than clean up messes. I did have one daughter who potty trained at 2 because she wanted to wear princess panties. That was awesome. All of my girls have been easier to train than my boys (with the exception of Thumbelina who told me that she would use the toilet when she was 4 and held to that promise. Man, did that make me mad).
My method used to be bribery until someone suggested the book "Toilet Training in Less Than a Day". I've used that method with 4 of my kids and it has worked. The tough part is dedicating an entire day to that kid in the bathroom - but it's so worth it!
If you want more details on this method, just ask & I'll share. The book seems geared towards kids about 3 years old (which worked for me!) and was printed in the 70's but I love it.

Your other question I'll answer in a post. Thanks for the comment!

Gerb said...

Rachel- Why haven't you come over and delivered a gift? Is that your question? Here's my answer: I'm going to guess that it has to do with life continuing to occur all around you despite your best intentions.

And yes, a make-up dinner is in order sometime. Hopefully the baby will cooperate and not get sick next time around.

~j. said...

Do you think you'll ever get on stage again? Be in a musical? What's your dream role? Will you be going to girls camp? Pretty please?

Richard & Natalie said...

Oh your poor foot!

Here is my question- I wonder how you do it all. My mother thinks you are a saint (I do too), and when I complain about how I am going to get everything done, she always tells me I should ask you for tips. So how DO you do it all? Any tips on organizing my day to get it all done?
And as part of that question what is the one thing that is priority, you know the one thing that gets done no matter what?

Gerb said...

~j.- I would LOVE to get on stage again. A musical would be divine. My dream role? I'm not sure anymore. I've changed a lot since my acting/singing days so I don't think I could pull off any of the roles I used to want to play. If Enchanted were ever a stage musical it would be a dream come true to play Giselle.

Girl's Camp? Oh, how I wish. But this year I don't think it's going to happen with Baby X here (he'll only be 7 months old). You will come again, though, yes?

Gerb said...

Natalie- I am thinking over my answer for you. Keep watching for it. (I didn't want you to think you had been ignored.) ;)

Kara said...

I didn't realize that it would swell that much after getting a cast off. I assume you have mentioned this to your doctor. Here's hoping each day is a little better.

Okay I'm finally brave enough to ask this because I just can't seem to figure how it is done. I notice you include a lot of pictures/clip art/ cartoons that aren't something you took or created. Do you have certain sites you get these from and how do you go about doing it in regards to copy right?

Gerb said...

Natalie- Okay, I am ready. First off, you asked: So how DO you do it all?

And my answer is: I don't. I do what I can, when I can. And I have high expectations of myself. But I almost never do it ALL. Allen and the kids help plenty and our responsibility chart helps them to know what they need to do. When we work as a team it makes a world of difference!

Next, you asked: Any tips on organizing my day to get it all done?

I've found that when I have a plan I am much more productive. On the days that I don't have any sort of routine or plan in mind I am more likely to do almost nothing. So, my best tip is to come up with a plan for each day.

Your last question was:
What is the one thing that is priority, you know the one thing that gets done no matter what?

It really depends on the day, but usually if my bed is made and my front room is tidy (the only room most visitors see) then I feel like I've accomplished something. Next in line is dishes, then laundry, then vacuuming. These things are all my kids' responsibilities but that doesn't mean I have to leave my house a mess until they are home to clean it.

In general I sort of look at my staying home as my job while Allen goes off to his. Part of my 'job description' (my expectation for myself) is to cook and clean up meals, tend to the kids, keep the house under control and sneak as many treats as are needed throughout the day.

Does that cover it? Oh, by the way, thanks for thinking I'm a saint. I think your mom must be pretty amazing just by virtue of who you are - and I look up to you in many ways as well. :)

Gerb said...

Kara- I love including pictures with each post. It seems to add to them somehow.

I find all of the 'not-my pictures' online, usually through a google search. I type in a few words that I hope express what type of picture I'm looking for and when the search result comes back I click on the link to the left which says 'images'. When I find one that I like I right-click on it and save it in a file called 'Blog pictures' on my desktop. I take note of where the picture was found and usually acknowledge the website in a small, italic print beneath the picture so I am not violating copyright.

Does that make sense? If not, let me know and I'll clarify.

Sarah said...

Hey there! I have a very silly and somewhat shallow question to ask.
Since I read "A Thomas Jefferson Education", I have really weeded out my current collection of books and traded them in for others. Among those were the Twilight series. They were shockingly easy to get rid of.

Soooo. When I saw them, I couldn't help but wonder, what WAS it about those books that you didn't like?

Gerb said...

Sarah- Isn't 'A Thomas Jefferson Education' awesome? And now to your question. Hoo, boy. Can I just email you the answer? I don't like being vociferous about it because really, if someone loves those books (which many someones do), good for them. I always worry that my response will be offensive to some. So, check your email and I'll send you the short version of my answer. Does that work?

Sarah said...

Yep, Gerb. That TOTALLY works...I've got one or two (or five) blog posts saved in my drafts section that I refrain from posting because I'm worried I'll offend my friends!

Anonymous said...

Are you really so happy all the time? Do you ever have a bum day? Have you had any experiences that made you the way you are?

Cami said...

What can I do for you?

Gerb said...

Cami- You mean besides the awesome potato soup, rolls and rice krispy treats you brought over? Well, cheesecake brownies come to mind...

Seriously though, - you can just keep being my friend. That will do, Cami. That will do.

Lena the Teacher said...

I have a question if it is not too Late... How do you keep stuff organized memory wise for each kid- or do you?
Also- do you want to one day run again? Do other races when you get healed?

Gloria said...

This is really just a late comment. I'm so sorry about your poor foot, but grateful that with time it will heal. When you talked about your dentist calling to see how you were, I thought that it sounded so much what MY neighbor would do. I clicked on the link and found that your dentist is my neighbor's son.

You are an amazing lady and I so admire you.


Gerb said...

Lena- For you? Anything. It is never too late. How do I keep stuff organized in my memory for each kid? My calendar. Everything goes on there or I forget. Even their birthdays...

And yes, I would love to run again if my lame leg ever gets all better. Allen and the 3 oldest kids run in the Ragnar Relay every year and I'd love to try that once. At this point, I am frustrated with the gimpy foot, so we'll see what happens.

Gerb said...

Gloria- You are a sweetheart - thanks for your kind comment! I love that Dr. C's dad is just like him. You can tell his dad that he did a great job!