Chronicling the life of Luci… and other stuff on the side….


SUCK IT, Spinal Tap!!!!

If you’re reading this and this is the first you’ve heard about all of this, sorry.  I’ve kept it pretty much to myself because 1) I didn’t want to worry anybody and because 2) I’m not worried.

8/2/10- ETA- I didn’t have to worry cuz all tests came out NEGATIVE!  So, everything going on with me is either genetic or related so some other non-neurological reason.  GREAT news.

But, just had to post this little PSA about spinal taps. 

Considering a Spinal Tap?  Always curious about what a needle into the spinal column would feel like?  Well, unless it’s a life and death situation, do not, I repeat, do NOT do it!  Tell your Dr to suck it!

So, I had to have a spinal tap.  And, it sucked ass. 

I have this weird vision crap going on and my Dr is trying to see if there’s a neurological cause.  So, I had to have a bunch of tests done including an MRI (which was normal) and a dang spinal tap.

The spinal tap was last Friday.  While the procedure itself wasn’t too bad (minus one brief second when the Dr hit a nerve with the needle and I screamed out and cried like a little baby), the aftermath was horriffic.  Absolutely ballz to the wallz crazy. 

So, I got this thing that 20% of patients get after the procedure called a “Spinal Headache” which basically involves the pressure in your spinal column going beserk due to the removal of the cerebrospinal fluid as well as a small leak in the punctured membrane that surrounds your spinal cord and brain.  Basically, they puncture the membrane containing the cerebrospinal fluid to draw it out (4 test tubes worth they told me) and the hole doesn’t seal so you’re leaking spinal fluid into surrounding tissues which results in pressure loss which screws up the positioning of your brain.  From what I understand, in an upright position, due to the low fluid amounts and weird pressure, the membrane, with your brain inside it, “floats down” and sits on the base of your skull.  When usually the brain is floating about all happy in your skull enveloped in this fluid-filled membrane, you see.  And, when the fluid is low and the leak is screwing with the pressure, you see, the brain sits in the base of your skull, you see, and….. it hurts like a BITCH.  I’m talking 100% incapacitating pain- like nothing I’ve ever felt- absolutely excruitating.  I was on bedrest for 5 days straight.  If I was upright for 30+ seconds, the pain set in- like if I was getting a drink in the kitchen or something, I’d literally RUN back to my bed, crying from the pain.  Oh, and if I was up for 2+ minutes, I started vomiting, which was another nice surprise.   I finally had to be readmitted to the hospital so they could do a procedure to fix it.  It was the worst 5 days of my life  health-wise.  100% sucky.  100% frustrating cuz I was stuck in bed and didn’t get to hang with Luci.  100%  crazy-awful-horrible.  And 100%  tramatic.

Oh, and all in all, it cost me 2 full days in the hospital, 3 unexpected missed days at work AND $800 bucks outta pocket.  Awesome.

So, don’t get a spinal tap.  Don’t even think about it.

I know, all gloom and doom and woe is me here.  But, not really cuz:

In other, more exciting and happy news:  Date night tonight!  AND, vacation in a little over a month!  Going to Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.  Then, NYC trip for work (and will get to see my sis!)!  And, I just got off of work and get to hang with little Luci and Craiggie for the rest of the weekend.  Oh, and Luci turns 2 on Aug 4th!  WOW!

And, the smiles just keep on comin’….

I talk about it just about every day.  Just how damn happy I am.  Although the rest of my life is crazy (work, etc)– pre-Luci, I’d really really be freaking out.  But, now that I have Luci, everything is put into perspective and I just don’t really give a crap about anything else.  So I worry less about non-Luci topics, and I smile a lot more.  A LOT more. 

I mean, how could I not? 

Date Night, New Blog and Luci is a tird- help!

Date nights are AWESOME.  We hadn’t been on one in a long, long, long time.  We have been out, have gotten a babysitter and all that, but we’ve gone to weddings, have had friends in town, etc etc, so we haven’t actually been on a “date-date” in prolly 4+ months?

So, I redesigned my blog!  It’s kinda fancy but I like it.  I was bored with the other design so there ya go…. hope you like it.

And yes, I said it.  Luci is a tird (!)!  Help!   She has the good ol’ Spiesman temper, that’s for sure.  She probably gives us 3-5 ish tantrums a day now.  Anything can set her off.  And, it takes a while for her to calm herself down.  Don’t get me wrong, when she’s not tantrum-ing, she’s the sweetest little girl  But, lordy, we don’t know how to handle them.  And, she whines all the time and is soooo impatient (huh, wonder where she got that from??).  Any pointers will be much appreciated!  It seems the “terrible 2’s” have started early.  And, I’m kinda scared because everyone says the 3’s are much worse.  Good Lord, I hope not!

Where the hell have I been???

And WHAT have I been doing with my time?  I can tell you.  In one short, succinct sentence.  Or word, rather.


Holy Crappers.  I haven’t posted since November!  Now, that is insane.  In the membrane.

Work has really taken it out of me lately.  The last 8 months have been hell on earth or hell in the McCombs school and I am so in need of a break.

I’ve decided to take back my life.  Yes, indeed.

So, look for more posts from me.  Mostly Luci related.  I feel so guilty that I haven’t kept track of all of the exciting changes going on with her.  She’s growing up.  And, FAST!  She’s talking up a storm and is full of attitude.  Her favorite word is “no” and beyond that, “cheese”.

Will post more deets later.

“Han Hoo”!!!!

It seems like Luci has been making a ton of advances during the last few weeks. I’m not sure what’s going on, but she’s learning new “tricks” almost daily. It’s just so much damn fun. We’ve had the most fun with her over this long weekend. Makes me wish I was a stay at home mom. Like, really really bad.

Here’s an update on all the cutsie things she’s started in the last few weeks:

Twirling. She stands in the middle of the room and just goes round and round and round. Usually to music.

Dancing. She’s starting to dance by stomping her feet. She especially likes to dance to Dad’s harmonica playing (thanks, Iggy- we’ll buy you a new one soon!).

She’s started bringing us stuff. Like random stuff- things she finds around the house. Stuff from my shower, stuff from her toy box. Balloons. She obviously thinks we want/need this random stuff cuz when she hands it over, she has this huge, proud smile on her face, like: “Yes- I just KNEW you wanted this dirty pair of Daddy’s boxers and I just wanted to save you the trouble of getting up to get them yourself, yes, I’m so nice AND considerate!”. AND- she even takes the liberty of thanking herself on our behalf**, I’m assuming, to save us the trouble or extra effort.

**Saying “thank you”. Well, actually, it’s more like: “han hoo”. I taught her this one. She says it ALL the time. But mostly when she drops something and you pick it up for her. Or, when she brings you something, like said dirty boxers or stinky shoes, or some random piece of dirt she found on the floor.

She knows her nose!!!!! I just taught it to her yesterday, like a 1.5 minute lesson while changing her diaper. I didn’t think she was really absorbing anything but then today when we were playing peek-a-boo, I said something like “oh, there’s Luci- I KNOW you!!!!!”. She grabbed her nose (ya know, “know”- “nose”). Well, so I tested her over and over today and yep, she knows her nose alright! The next is “ear”.

Singing- she started this a while ago but lately, she’s really been trying to fine-tune her skills. Her favorite is the Annie soundtrack. And, I can tell you that nothing brightens up my day like walking in on my punk rock husband entertaining her with a full-on production of an Annie Broadway routine- high notes, high-kicks, jazz-hands and all. It’s pretty awesome.

She’s lovin the animals. We took her to the Austin zoo this weekend with friends Amy, Ashely Izzy, Sandy and Daniel, and she about went ape-shit when we first got there…. just squealing with delight. She’s mesmerized by animals. She does call them all “dog-dog”, but we’re working on that. And, speaking of ape-shit, those monkeys were stinkin’ it up pretty bad there at the ol zoo.

She’s learned to lock the dogs in their cage. She kinda terrorizes them. Corrals them to the cage, locks the door and walks away laughing. They kinda hate her right now.

She knows the moon! I think she learned this one at school because a teacher reported one day that a few of the other girls were pointing to the moon in the sky and saying “moon” and she caught Luci copying them. Well, now, all we have to do is point at the moon in the sky and she says “moooo”. So. Cute.

She’s helping us dress her. She hands us the socks when it’s time for socks. She puts her arm out when she sees I’ve grabbed her jacket. She lifts her legs up for the pants. Again, So. Cute.

Oh- she knows the word “GO”. I think sometimes, when she’s bored in the house, she’ll try to give us hints by saying “Goooooo” and walking and standing by the door.

She totally memorizes books! Especially this one book, my favorite so far, called “Tiptoe”. There is a page where Tiptoe is beating on his drum, “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!” and, I swear to goodness, every single time, on the page BEFORE the “Boom” page, she starts going “Boom, Boom, Boom”! I love it! She’s been doing this one for a while now, it never gets old.

Now, if she’d only stop taking half-eaten food out of her mouth just to play with it for a few seconds just so she can put it right back in to finish….. And if she’d just stop throwing food and poking strangers in restaurants…… we’d be all set! And, also, it’d be really great if she’d stop giving herself meatloaf facials.

Seriously- Craig and I are having so much freakin fun! The time of our lives!


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wow, hello, posting hiatus!  I guess life has gotten in the way.  Things have been so crazy- it seems like each week is crazier than the last!

I thought I’d do a quick post to profess my thanks for the incredible life I live!

I am soooooo thankful for:

  • My awesome husband, who can name a record just from the sound of the scratches before the 1st song even starts (!) and who loves his girls and takes the BEST care of us.
  • My beautiful sister, who is so smart and funny and caring.  And, my amazing brother-n-law who has such a wonderful and caring heart and spirit.  And, for my incredibly cute, incredibly smart nephew Theo, who just amazes me.
  • My amazing in-laws who are so kind and who are just incredible with their little Luci.
  • Aunt Linda and Uncle Terry and Cousin Heather- who are such an important part of my life.  And, Uncle Ed and Aunt Carol, and Aunt Ellen and Uncle Tom.  And all my other amazing relatives.  I really miss my family.
  • My grannie goo goo, or should i say great granny goo goo  I think Luci got some of her fiesty-ness from you!
  • All my friends whose love and support I literally could not live without.
  • My job- although it does drive me insane sometimes.
  • All the rights and privileges that come with living in the freest, richest, and most amazing country on the planet.  And,  the responsibility and duty that goes along with it (go health care reform).  As Luci would say:  “GO AMERICA”!!!!
  • All of the memories I have of my parents and my Gram.
  • My crazy busy but crazy fun life
  • Finally, I’m thankful for my Luci.  Equally parts feisty and oh-so sensitive and sweet.  She gives new meaning to my life.  I can’t even remember what life was without her, nor do I want to.  It’s ALL about the Luc.  She is my everything.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Broken Basso

Carlos Basso Dos Fincas- 2008 Cab/Sav-Malbec.
Broken English.
Perfect combo for a loney Sunday night.


Oh, my sweet Parker Posey.  The gal never disappoints.

What’s up, Speezle?

Interviewer= Shannon= “S”
Interviewee= Shannon= “Self”

S:  So, how’s life since the marathon?

Self:  Well, it’s good.  I miss running though.  I haven’t done a lick of running since the race and I feel fat and lethargic and just plain disgusting- my regular jeans feel like skinny jeans etc, etc….  I really didn’t do any running 3 weeks before the race because of my foot and then afterward, I was letting my foot and knee heal a bit then I got sick this week (ugg).

S:  Were you satisfied with your race?

Self:  Hell yeah, I was.  My time sucked, but I honestly am not dwelling on that -at all.  I’m honestly just glad I finished.  And, I had SUCH a great time.  It was a truly amazing experience and I can’t wait until the next race!  I will never forget the feeling I had after crossing that finish line.

S:  When will your next race be?

Self:  The spring, I hope!

S:  Are you crazy?

Self:  Yes.

S:  So, do you think the “post race blues” is a real phenomenon?

Self:  Well, it makes sense cheapest cialis online uk.  Sorta like the post-baby blues, post-wedding blues.  I spent a long time preparing for this race and now that it’s over, it’s really sad.  Plus, I miss my sister, bro-n-law and my Theo.  And, sweet, sweet Oregon.

S:  Are you going to change anything about your training routine for the next race?

Self:  Yep, gonna do hill and speed work and actually have a time goal for this one.

S:  Who do you want to thank for help with the PDX race?

Self:  Well, myself (:-)), my hubby, my dear Luci for being so damn cute, oh, and for being my inspiration; my Mom and Dad; Jami, Matt, Theo; Trent for helping with the training;  my Dr (s);  The Bad Brains for their support during mi 24-26 (and I hope no one thought I was insane for singing out-loud LOUDLY-I was kinda going nutz at that point; that cute guy who let me wear his warm-up jacket in the long line for the bathroom before the race; and everyone else who believed in me and gave me support along the way.  Oh, and that awesome shadow-boxer dude I blew past on mile 23.   He had me seriously laughing my ass off.

S:  Would you recommend the Portland Marathon as a good 1st marathon?

Self:  Hell YES.  They organized the crap outta that race, it was easy breezy (logistics-wise) with tons of crowd support, perfect weather, great route, just all around awesomeness.  And, my sis makes the best carbs west of the Mississippi, so you really can’t go wrong.

S:  What else is new?

Self:  Well, I’m getting ready to watch some damn South Carolina Gamecock football on the porch.

Haiku for You

Happy happy day.   I am foot-loose and fancy free!  My foot is better!

I had a crappy test run on Sunday- limping afterwords and almost couldn’t even walk back to the car.  Went back to the Dr Monday feelin’ blue with not a lot of hope about the race.  Dr. reexamined me,  said it was a problem with my “cuboid”  bone- said it got all thrown outta wack by my fall and subsequent 12 miles overcompensating for my hurt left knee with my right foot.  Since I wasn’t any better, she sent me to rehab!  2 hour sessions later and I swear, I am SO much better!  Had a fantastic test run today, with only a little pain afterward and no limping!  Went back for more therapy today and feeling even better now.

The Dr. used a special manual therapy called the “Airrosti” method (Applied Integration for the Rapid Recovery of Soft Tissue Injuries).  It’s a new form of therapy for musculoskeltal injuries that concentrates on the fascial tissues that surround nerves, bones, muscles.  When you’re injured, the muscles can heal themselves but the fascial tissues do not- they are a hard/plastic-y type of material that CAN be manipulated and healed through manual therapy only.  So, these Drs get in there- deep- and move all that crap around and can actually feel when the fascia is moved back into the right place.

So, anywho.  It hurts like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.  Think- funny bone nerve pain combined with the hardest/deepest massage ever imaginable- for 30 minutes straight.  On an injured area.  OUCH.  I have bruises all over the treated area.  I think I actually cried a few times.  After that, they do a deep tissue ICE massage that also hurts like a bitch- same nerve-type feeling, for 10 minutes straight.  OUCH II  Then, they do different stretching exercises, etc.

But, holy crap.  It works.  After one treatment, I felt a HUGE difference.  They saved the marathon for me!  It was pricey but SO worth it (at this point, I was ready and willing to do/pay anything).  The Dr was telling me they treat UT sports players and he himself treated a b-ball player with a black and blue sprained ankle and within one week, he was playing games again (I guess badly sprained ankles can take up to 8 weeks to heal on their own).  AMAZING.  I was skeptical, but now I’m a believer.

Here’s a video about it:

If it’s good enough for Sinbad, it’s good enough for me.

And, here’s a haiku for you:

Airrosti rescue
Sinbad and I do agree!
Pain has gone away

And, here’s another haiku for you about my old as shit running shoes I’m wearing during the race (my Mizunos).  Have been running in them since April and have about 500 miles on them.  I officially retired them only to get a pair of Brooks that completely screwed my feet up, then onto another pair of newer Mizunos that haven’t been working out either.  I whipped the old, crappy, smelly ones out for my run today and they just felt “right”.  I’m totally wearing them Sunday.

My Mizuno love
Summer sweetly spent with you!
Never will I stray

Sinbad, out.

What’s Up, Speezle?

I’m sucking at blogging.  Not surprising.  I just can’t get it together with everything going on.  So, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and add a little something new to the mix that should be fairly easy and quick for me to blog about.  Myself.   I’m gonna call it “What’s up, Speezle” and it’ll be a series of interviews OF yours truly BY yours truly.  Just whatever comes to mind.  The key with blogs is new material, keeping people interested and coming back.  I’ve completely sucked it hardcore at adding new material, so maybe this will help.  It’ll be random.  Whatever comes to mind.  (And, it’ll probably be boring as shit).  O well.

Right now, the marathon is on my mind so this one will start out about that and I’ll see where it takes me.

Interviewer= Shannon= “S”
Interviewee= Shannon= “Self”

S:   So, how’s the marathon training going?

Self:  Pretty crappy.  On my last long run, I fell.  I screwed up a tendon in my right foot and I’m still in pain.  It hurt so bad earlier this week that I thought I had a stress fracture so I went to the Dr.  X-ray showed no fracture but Dr. said my tendon was messed up.  Said no running and gave me stretches/exercises to do.  That was Monday, today is Saturday and it feels a good bit better, but still hurts.  I have a 3 mi run to do tomorrow, Drs orders, then I go back and see her on Monday.  She’ll give me the official word on if she thinks I should run the race or not then.  GEEZ!  It’s been HORRIBLE not being able to run.  Add to that, I’ve been sick for most of this week, so no “training” going on at all.  Although, this was my 1st real taper week so I wasn’t really supposed to run much anyway.

S:  So, are you nervous for the race?

Self:  Heck yeah!  I already have butterflies-they started yesterday.  I’ve already started packing.  Which, if you know me at all, you know I’m WAY too unorganized to start packing for ANY trip like 5 days early-what is that all about?  I’ve washed and rewashed my race-day outfit 3 times.  I’ve spent hours fine-tuning my marathon mix for my ipod.  I’ve soaked my ipod-holder-thingie all day to try to get the darn B.O. smell out of it so I don’t have to deal with that stench on race day (and if you’ve read my stinky gym dude post, you know I hate stinky BO-type smells).  I’ve already started carbo loadin’.  (Ok, so I’ve pretty much lived my entire life carb loadin so nothing different there).

S:  So why the heck did you ever decide to run a marathon?

Self:  Well, I needed a challenge.  I never ever in a million years thought I’d ever attempt a marathon (but it’s always been a dream).  But, ya know what?  I never in a million years thought I’d have a baby.   I see life as a series of new challenges and the marathon just happened to be next on my list.  Not sure what’s going to be next after this…….  but I gotta think of something.  I’ve realized that if I don’t have a challenge or a “project” in my life, I get very very bored.  TBD.

S:  Do you have a time goal?

Self:  NO!  And, if I did, I wouldn’t share it with you!  :-)  Really, I have a very very sad time goal that’s really too embarrassing to share with anybody.  I just want to finish.  Especially with this bum foot- I just want to be able to finish.  It’ll be my worst nightmare if I get out there and can’t finish the race.  I don’t even want to think about it.

S:  So, what training plan have you used?

Self:  I’ve used Jeff Galloway’s plan.  It’s all about allowing yourself walk breaks in order to save energy for the end of the race  It’s also a way to prevent injury and to help enable your body to last for a lifetime of running.  I’ve done a modified version, I walk 60 sec at every mile (so about every water stop during the actual race).  And, I run really really slow.

S:  What’s been the hardest thing about training?

Self:  Hands-down, the early morning runs.  Running in the middle of a record-breaking Texas summer has not been easy.   The only way to beat the heat is to get up early for the long runs.  I do not operate to my fullest potential at damn 5:30 in the morning.  I just don’t.  That’s really sucked.

S:  What are you looking forward to most about the run?

Self:  FINISHING!  The feeling of accomplishment that comes along with doing something I never thought I’d do.  And, seeing my family at the finish line.   Craig and Luci will be there as will my dear sister, adorable nephew and awesome brother-n-law.  I can’t wait to see their smiling faces.

S:  What’s the best song to get you pumped up?

Self:  Freakin’ “MICHA” by Integrity.  You can’t go wrong with a lil’ old skool Cleveland hardcore.  Add some Bad Brains to the mix and I’m golden.

S:  What’s the most surprising thing so far about training?

Self:  1)  The fact that I have not lost ONE pound.  I don’t know why.  I think it’s because I’m hungry all the damn time and have not changed my diet AT ALL.  And, I like wine and beer.  And queso.  And, I’ve just had a baby and am getting older- I simply cannot lose weight like I used to (it used to be so much easier for me).  2)  The crazy need for obscene amounts of Vaseline for long runs.  If you forget it, you’re in trouble.  Think:  Andy on “The Office” during the hilarious run for rabies episode.  Everything rubs together, and it hurts.  3)  Toe craziness.  I’ve lost multiple toenails from my toes rubbing the tips of my shoes.  I have a black toenail right now.  I’ve gone up a size for my race-day shoes so hopefully that’ll help.

S:  Foam or liquid hand soap?

Self:  No contest- foam, all the way.

Peace out!  I’ll post about the race when I get back!  Wish me luck!  :-)