So what have I been up to? Not much. I’ve been hobbling around the house a lot, mostly without crutches when I can. The knee is much improved, thank-you. I saw the orthopedist again on Thursday and he’s going to schedule me for an MRI. Apparently he was expecting me to be able to bend my knee more at this point and wants to rule out any cartilage or ligament damage. He sent me home with some new exercises which have helped tremendously and instructed me to be a little more aggressive in trying to get the knee bent. By “aggressive” he means I have to lie on my back, lift my bad leg, wrap a towel around my thigh and pull it towards my chest while I slowly bend at the knee and let gravity do it’s thing. Not the most comfortable exercise, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get my mobility back. The leg has felt a bit stronger these past couple of days so I’m hoping I’ll be able to return to work on Wednesday sans crutches. I’m holding onto that handicap parking spot as long as possible though no matter how many times that lady in the PT Cruiser gives me the stink-eye.
Being unable to move as I normally do has given me a new appreciation of my very small bathroom. I’ve never liked the bathroom. It’s a little cave of a room squished in between our bedroom and Autumn’s and has no windows or proper ventilation. The toilet is way too close to the tub and there’s virtually no storage for towels and wash cloths. What’s even worse is there’s really no way to make it bigger without making the bedrooms smaller, so we’re kind of stuck with it the way it is. This past month though, I have made great use of the toilet’s proximity to the tub when getting in and out of the shower. After the first week I had my shower entrances and exits so well choreographed that I needed no assistance whatsoever. Baths were a different story. I’ve taken three since the accident and still cannot haul myself out of the tub very easily. Before the accident it wasn’t easy either, but now it’s all that much harder and an ugly sight to boot.
I tried not to let the injury taint the holiday so much, but the holiday was bound to be crap for reasons other than my bum knee. Christmas Eve was spent with Nathan’s family, though we only saw his dad and the wife for a little over an hour that night. Neither Nathan or I liked that Autumn’s gifts from them were addressed from “Grandma and Grandpa.” I asked Nathan to say something to his dad about it, but Nathan’s not the type of guy to initiate confrontation so I ended up calling his dad myself. I talked to him for a good half hour, probably the longest conversation I’ve ever had with the man. We both cried a bit and I told him how much it hurt to see his new wife referring to herself as “Grandma” already. It felt good to be honest with him and he appreciated the call and I think we might be at a point where it’s just best to move on and give the woman a chance.
Christmas Day with my family was good. We went to my mom and dad’s house for brunch and Autumn made out like a bandit. A good part of their family room was full of gifts for the girl, and when all was said and done, it looked as though a Toys ‘R Us had exploded in the room. I can’t begin to list everything the child took home, but here’s a picture of the loot packed into the back of our car:
That’s all hers, man. Every last bit of it. Yes, my mother is insane, especially when it comes to her granddaughter. The next day she called me up and asked me if there was anything we wished she hadn’t bought for Autumn. I said everything was nice but there was just so much of it and I’d hate for Autumn to come to expect this kid of windfall every Christmas. Mom knew she had gone a little overboard and promised to reign it in a bit next year.
While we did not take home the haul Autumn did this year, Nathan and were treated very well and Santa, in the guise of various relatives, was extremely nice to us. Nathan received gift cards to his two favorite stores; Best Buy and Barnes and Noble and I received gift cards to Ritz Camera. We both received cash to do with as we pleased and I was finally able to scrape enough together to buy the flash unit I’ve been coveting for my camera this past year. If you’re looking for a hobby that will drain your wallet or quickly suck up all that Christmas cash, get into photography. I love it, but man is it expensive.
As pricey as that flash unit was, it’s probably the best thing I could have added to my camera gear. I really have no idea how to use it yet, but already my pictures look so much better. I’ve never been a big fan of using the flash and try to avoid it, opting for natural light when possible. It being winter here where the natural light is kind of scarce, using a flash is a necessity indoors, especially when you’re photographing a toddler. Here’s an example of a picture taken with the camera’s on board pop-up flash:
And here’s a picture with my brand spanking new flash unit mounted on the camera and pointed straight up to bounce some light off the ceiling:
I’m no pro, but I really like how this picture turned out. It’s warmer and her skin really glows in this one. I still have a ways to go before I get this thing figured out, but we had some fun with it today…