Friday, November 30, 2007


Egads! I can't believe I haven't had a few moments to sit and recount this tale until now. It happened on Wednesday...

The kids were all upstairs playing together. I usually shut the bathroom door and the door to our bedroom so I don't have to worry about Tate trying to brush his teeth with everyones' toothbrush, then dipping them one by one into the toilet. The girls are good about making sure those two doors stay closed. However, they also like to open and close/slam their bedroom doors while they're up there. I just know one of these days I'm going to hear an ear piercing scream and run upstairs to find someones' pinky lying on the carpet.

Anyway, all was going well until I heard Tate start to cry. It wasn't a "you took the ball I was playing with" type of cry so I headed up to investigate.

Problem #1: I found Tate in the hallway cradling his left hand against his little body. Uh oh. I quickly ascertained that it did, in fact, have all five fingers safely attached then scooped him up and demanded to know what happened from the girls.

Reese looked honestly clueless. Drue, on the other hand, looked a bit suspicious. "I think he hit his hand", they said. Hit his hand? I wasn't quite buying it as the tears continued to stream down his face. We headed downstairs and I held him close and grabbed his blanket.

Problem #2: He couldn't even bring his little hand up to his face so he could suck his thumb. I knew it must be bad.

I held him for awhile and, again, tried to get the real story from the girls.

Problem #3: Turns out, Reese wasn't in the room with him when it happened so the only word I had to go on was a 3 year olds!

I vaguely remembered hearing some doors opening and closing so I asked Drue if she had shut his hand in the door and she said yes she had. I still wasn't quite convinced.

Problem #4: When David got home a little while later, Tate didn't even lift his arms up to be picked up by his Daddy, aka "hanger of the moon".

That was it. We were off to the ER. I am the Mommy. I want to be with my kids when they are sick or hurt, especially when they have to go to the ER or hospital. However, I am not the one who should be going. I panicked all the way there. What was it going to look like when I carried in my screaming 18 month old but wasn't able to give a clear answer about where he got hurt or what happened? Not good.

Let me interject here that Tate is TERRIFIED of doctors, nurses, hospitals, exam rooms, the whole 9 yards. This amazes me, because I know he is remembering back to the summer when he was in the hospital and it makes me sad that he has been traumatized by that. As soon as he sees the white paper over the exam table or a white sheet draped across it, he goes crazy.

The nurse weighed him then plopped him down on a gurney. He was crying, I was crying, it was awful. She finally let me pick him up and gave our blubbering selves some tissues.

I had to recount my story to numerous people, whom, I'm sure, were trying to scope me out to see if I needed to be carted off to jail and I teared up everytime.

Finally the PA came in and was so sweet to us. I told the story again and said I wasn't even sure if it was his hand he had hurt, or his arm. She grabbed his arm tenderly, said, "Let me try something", then flipped it around and bent it back at the elbow. He yowled, I cried some more, then it was over.

She said, "Yep, I felt it pop back in. He'll be fine."


Apparently his little elbow had been popped out of place!!! She reassured me this was a very common injury among small children. Poor little fella.

I texted David the diagnosis and told him to try and get the real story from Drue. Within a few seconds he texted back, "She said she was trying to pull him up onto our bed and he started crying."

All the pieces fit together. I just felt plain horrible. I felt horrible he had gotten hurt and couldn't tell us what was wrong and that I hadn't been up there to prevent it or help him.

A few minutes after the popping back in fiasco, he was fine. A nurse came in with some stickers and he reached for them with his left hand like nothing had happened. Of course, he was still giving her the evil eye and furrowing his eyebrows at her, but at least he could move his little arm.

As we were gathering our things to leave the nurse looked him right in the eye and said, "Don't worry, in a few years you'll get your revenge on those sissies of yours....".

Oh great...I can't wait.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dinner Conversation with a 3 year old

Drue: "U".

Me: Crunching my taco, not quite sure how to respond to that

Drue: "Is U a number?".

Me: "No". (Crunch, crunch, crunch.)

Drue: "Oh", contemplating it some more, "What's U?".

Me: "A letter".

Drue: "Oh...I love U!".

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Boy

99% of the time, if Tate wanders away from us in the house and doesn't reappear within a minute or two, something is awry. He can either be found tumping all my makeup out of their containers, emptying the contents of his sisters' sock and underwear drawer, or pulling every last diaper out of the package and scattering them across his floor. Needless to say, we usually keep a tight reign on the boy. A familiar shout of despair around our household is...."WHERE'S TATE?!?!".

The other 1% of the time he disappears, he is just desperate to find a quiet moment for himself. The other day, after a short frantic search, this is where I found him....
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Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

I must admit, I wrinkled my nose up at our local radio station that began playing CHRISTMAS music on Halloween. HALLOWEEN! And I wrinkled it yet again when another radio station began playing their non-stop Christmas tunes the very next day.

With that said, if you went out to my van right now, take one guess what music would blare out at you when you turned the ignition...."Here Comes Santa Claus". I caved. And I'm loving it.

We put together our "Operation Christmas Child" boxes again this year. I took Reese with me to help pick out the goodies. She had me explain to her no less than 12 times why we were buying gifts for other children. "Tell me again Mommy...." she'd implore.

So I patiently went over the reasons again and again, how some children wouldn't be getting any gifts for Christmas this year. I thought it had almost sunk in, when she asked. "So, do they live in a place where Santa can't go?".

Uh oh.

Of course I managed to stammer out something about how we were being his helpers and sending the gifts through the mail and Jesus is the real reason for the season. Yikes! Close one.

We had a fun time gathering our items then headed home to get them wrapped (which we still haven't done but the deadline is Wednesday).

Immediately Drue was drawn to our tempting stash as Reese separated out each and every gift to the appropriate box. Drue snatched up a little baby doll and cradled it to her chest saying, "I wanted this!". I started my explanation about how these things were for children who didn't have any Christmas presents. To which she quickly protested, "But I don't have any Christmas presents." True statement, hard to argue with, she didn't get to keep the doll.

David surprised me and took me out on a date Saturday night. We went to dinner, then headed to the movies, discovering there was nothing out we wanted to see. So...much to his chagrin, we started our Christmas shopping! I am the biggest procrastinator so it felt a little foreign to begin this process before December 23rd. Our plan is to get a little bit each week, and hopefully wrap and label along the way.

We got most of the stocking stuffers that night. The bright side is the kids haven't found our hiding spot yet. The not so bright side is...the dogs did. I was feeling a bit Scroogish when I discovered an empty chocolate Santa package and empty bag of mini candy bars strewn about our back lawn this afternoon.

So much for planning ahead...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My baby is on steroids

Tate and I spent a fun-filled Saturday morning at the urgent care clinic down the street. I personally propose a name change to "we'll get to you when we get to you whether the people in front of you are as sick as your kid or not" clinic, but that name probably wouldn't have fit as well on the check I wrote for our copay.

Poor little fella. It was breathing problems again...the third time since July. Our medical visits have gotten progressively less extreme each time.

First visit: hospitalized for 2 nights.

Second visit: middle of the night visit to the E.R.

Third visit: Saturday morning walk-in clinic.

By the time our fourth visit comes around, I will probably just take him down to the corner and bum some narcotics from a drug dealer.

Same old story. Croupy cough, shortness of breath, etc. Gasping for breath is more like it. David stayed up with him until 2am this morning on the couch, then decided to try the steam shower. I sat with Tate in the darkened bathroom for a bit, then headed back downstairs. I changed his diaper and he just laid still on the floor. Which was another telltale sign he wasn't feeling well. After I got him changed, I grabbed a cozy blanket, covered us both up, and laid down facing him, prepared to catch a few winks, even if it meant snoozing on the living room floor. That stinker looked over at me, squeezed his eyes shut and grinned from ear to ear. That is his new way to smile. I must get it on camera one of these days.

His eyes popped back open and he scurried out of our coziness, but wasn't quite sure what to do next in the dark living room. His breathing was still very labored, and I remembered the doctor said to take him outside the last time. So there I was, a huge blanket wrapped around me and my boy, standing on our front porch at 3am. We stood there for a bit and his breathing calmed down.

I tiptoed back in, laid him in his crib, and crawled back into bed. David was still awake so I explained to him that the cool night air helps breathing problems. "Ummmm....why didn't you tell me that trick?" he asked groggily.

This morning we headed up to the clinic, which opened at 9am. Apparently. although they don't start seeing patients until 9am, everyone knows to get there earlier and sign in. So we walked into a waiting room with a handful of folks already there! At first he was shy and just sat on my lap and watched cartoons. Then he scrambled down and inspected each and every other person in the room. I'm sure he was a bit confused why all these people with glazed expressions were not in the mood to play peek-a-boo with an 18 month old.

I was actually kind of glad he slid off my lap and started running through the waiting area. When he had been sitting peacefully, his breathing seemed ok. I didn't want to walk into the exam room and have them look at me like I was crazy. But all his activity had him breathing like an 80 year old man chain smoker with emphysema in no time flat. It was kind of like when you take your car to the shop and beg for it to make that same odd noise for them.

Anyway, to wrap up, I really liked the doctor who saw him. She was the easiest doctor we've ever had to talk to. She didn't make me feel dumb for asking all my dumb questions. She said she has a child exactly like Tate at home, with the same chronic symptoms he has. She almost wrote me a script for a breathing machine to keep at the house, but when she listened to his lungs, she said the wheezes weren't coming from them, they were coming more from his airway. She said she still gives her child the breathing treatments from time to time, even though she knows it's not having that big of an effect, she does it simply because it makes her feel better and feel like she's doing something to help his breathing. I thought that was awesome...very motherly of her.

We opted for the oral steroid instead, and after she assured me it wouldn't make him grow baby muscles or facial hair, we were on our way.

I sure hope he doesn't get this ailment when he's a major league baseball player someday...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fashion Show

Twice we've planned to have Reese's little friend come home with us after church and play all afternoon. And twice our plans have been foiled by illness. The first time, we had to cancel because our household was infected with the "crud". This time, her little friend's mom called to cancel because the "crud" had found its' way over to their house.

Poor Reese. We've been anticipating this event for weeks. She picked up her room, the basement, and Tate's room Saturday night. Then we got the call. I felt so bad for her. It breaks my heart to see her ice blue eyes fill with tears of disappointment. So I promised her that she and I would do something fun this afternoon.

She quickly dried her tears and started planning our Fashion Show. Basically it was an entire afternoon of dressing up, doing nails, singing and dancing to Disney Princess songs, refreshments (a snack size Snickers for her and a tiny box of sour lemon nerds for me), and some games made up along the way.

We had to decorate first of course. Reese nominated me to make all the signs--she told me what to write...word for word. And she colored and cut out the other decorations.

Getting beautified. Don't worry...she had to scrub it all off before evening church.

Singing her heart out with her wand/microphone that she would shove in my face every few verses when it was my turn for a solo.

Me modeling the latest style of head adornment. (Thank goodness for Sepia coloring, because it makes it harder to see all my wrinkles up close!).

We had a fun time. Of course, the thing that made it so fun was seeing her get so excited and enjoy her afternoon. I must admit, I was exhausted at the end of our time together. But tonight as I was putting her to bed, I told her I would remember our Fashion Show forever. "Even when I go to college?", she asked.

At that moment, the tears began filling my eyes....
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Daylight "Saves Me" Time

Ahhhhh....Daylight Savings Time. The one Sunday a year where I am not running out the door dragging a resistant toddler behind me with one arm, tugging my panty hose on with the other, and clinching my tube of mascara between my teeth to be messily slathered on as we tear down the highway on the way to church.

We didn't quite know what to do with ourselves when each and every member of the family was dressed and ready to go 25 minutes before we needed to begin the van loading process. We just kind of stared at each other dumbfoundedly.

If only we could have a magical extra hour every Sunday...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

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