Tuesday, August 28, 2007


On Sunday, Riley discovered chocolate.

And I discovered how to keep her quiet for 15 minutes: chocolate.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Not-unhappy Anniversary

It was three months ago today that Matt was hospitalized.

I've gotta say, it's been the longest three months of my life. Lots of ups and downs. (But, honestly, mostly downs...)

The good news is that lately we're having increasingly more ups. Matt is getting stronger every day. Today he said he felt better than he's felt since he first got sick. And he's progressing so well that we're going to seek a second opinion on the whole chronic/need-for-steroids thing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

On the Farm

Last weekend, Riley and I visited a nearby farm with our friends Anna, Treva, and Chad. I picked 6 pounds of peaches and 16 ears of corn—all for $8.50 (nice!)—all while lugging a 20-pound baby (ouch!).

The payoff? Corn soup and peach jam. Yum!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This HAS to be a Record

Riley's new haircut.

In case you've lost count, that's FOUR since February.

I better learn to cut hair before we go broke on barbers. (But at least we're saving on Matt, whose grand total is ZERO since February.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

That Update I Promised

Sorry to be MIA. Caring for my dudes has been time (and energy) consuming. But here's an overview.

At his worst about two months ago, Matt couldn't:

  • Sit up unassisted
  • Open jars, tubes, bottles, or just about anything
  • Read well, thanks to double vision
  • Lift his arms or legs
  • Talk without lisping, thanks to a numb face
  • Move from his bed to a wheelchair unassisted
Now Matt can:

  • Walk short distances with forearm crutches (going from our condo to the car half a block away is enough to wipe him out)
  • (Sort of) write
  • Get from the couch to the floor to play with Riley (but getting back up is the hard part)
  • Lift Riley while he's seated
  • Stand unassisted momentarily
In a few months, Matt hopes to be able to:

  • Walk longer distances with his forearm crutches
  • Walk (very) short distances unassisted
  • Type
  • Open a sealed jar
  • Carry things while walking
  • Make his small mobiles
  • Do the dishes (oh wait, that's what *I* hope for...)

Latest news: a nerve-conduction test showed a lot of damage to Matt's nerves' coating and the nerves themselves, so the doctors think his condition may be chronic. (For you medical folks out there, it's called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. Blech.)

Anyhoo, that means the numbness in his extremities may linger indefinitely and he may be susceptible to future flare ups. Steroid treatments should suppress him immune system (to prevent his body from attacking his nervous system again), but long-term side effects from steroids aren't so great. Like Roid Rages. (Kidding. Different steroids, different side effects.) So let's, I dunno, hope the doctors are wrong?

To My Friends in Houston

Not to brag, but the high in Portland today was 69 degrees.

*Coming soon: a nice, meaty Richards Family (ok, just Matt) update. It's drafted, but when I try to post, it disappears into bloggyland. (This is pretty much a test post. I really don't care *that* much about the weather.)