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I Cannot Make This Stuff Up

September 22, 2014

We are all busy. We all seem to have several directions in which we are pulled. Today was one of those classic several-things-to-do and not-a-lot-of-time to do them in days.

It started last week. After driving the MomMobile somewhere, I noticed a stinky burning plastic-like smell coming from under the car. I tried to ignore it. Then it happened again on Friday and Saturday. So on Saturday afternoon, I pointed it out to The Husband, who basically shrugged his shoulders and blew it off. Then on Saturday evening we went to dinner, upon returning home, I pointed out the smell again. This time The Husband acknowledged that it smelled a bit funky.

Then on Sunday we went to the Padres games. We had tickets to hang out with The Boo Hoo Crew, a kids rock band that the girls love! Once we arrived at Petco Park,  The Husband and girls all noticed the stinky smell. We popped the hood on the MomMobile but couldn’t see anything obvious – there was no smoke, no fires, nothing that looked like it was melting. So we closed the hood, went the game and that was that.

When we got home from the game, the smell had gotten worse. So The Husband says that I should really take it in to get it checked out. Monday is my day off, so it’s the “easiest” to be without a vehicle. Just to be safe, we asked my dad if we could borrow his truck. The Husband would take the truck to work and I would take the MomMobile in for service and could drive The Husband’s car to get the girls to gymnastics after school if need be.

So I called at 7 a.m. to make an appointment. The earliest I could bring the MomMobile in was noon. After reiterating that my car smelled like burning plastic to the service person, I made the appointment. I am fairly certain the gal I made the appointment with thought I was a little crazy. So noon, rolls around and I approach the service entrance. The greeter guy welcomes me and asks what the problem is. I explained to him that my car smelled funny – like burning plastic. He literally laughed at me and said, “Lady there is a joke there, but I’m not going to say it.” I laughed and agreed, it sounded odd to say my car had a funk, but I wanted it checked out.

So one of the service managers came out. She walked in front of my car to get to the driver’s side. As she walked by my car, she made a funny face. Then said to me, “your car stinks.” I was grateful for the acknowledgement that I was not insane. The MomMobile did in fact stink. So she did a quick check to see if the plastic fender liner things were rubbing on the tires (a common occurrence apparently in lowered vehicle –of which the MomMobile is NOT!). I jokingly said, it’s probably just a plastic bag stuck somewhere. She smiled and said maybe, but she couldn’t see anything on quick glance.

So they would charge me $55 for the diagnosis and then deduct that from any necessary repairs. I waited for the shuttle to take me back home and left the MomMobile. Got the shuttle home, ate some lunch. My fabulous niece delivered my Scentsy order to me (YAY! – if you need some yummy smelling stuff). The day was going pretty well.

I picked up the girls from school. We worked on a little homework and since the dealership had not called about the MomMobile, we took The Husband’s car to gymnastics. While at gymnastics, the dealership called and left a message saying the problem had been discovered, taken care of and the MomMobile was ready for pick up.

Now at gymnastics, the Big One took a pretty good fall off of a bar, landing square on her face. So when she began complaining on the way home of a headache, I was not surprised. My head would hurt too if I had taken the fall she did. Since I forgot to grab my Bluetooth out of the MomMobile and I am not smart enough to synch my phone to The Husband’s car. I gave the Big One my phone and asked her to call grandpa to see if he could meet us at home and shuttle us to the dealership to pick-up the MomMobile. We would just have enough time to get my car, run through a drive thru for dinner and get to a 6 p.m. training for Girl Scout nut sales. It would be close, but I figured we could do it – despite the Big One’s headache!

So we got home, grandpa enroute to our house and the Big One says, “My tummy hurts.” The Little One grabbed a bucket and the Big One sat on the couch. Trying not to freak out at a faceplant, followed by nausea, I offered for the girls to stay home alone while I picked up my car. The dealership is about a mile from home, so it’s a quick trip. The Big One really didn’t want to stay home. So we gathered their booster seats and a bucket and piled into grandma’s Jeep. We were not three blocks from home when the Big One started puking.

Now just an aside, grandpa is a retired medical examiner investigator. The man dealt with all forms of dead bodies over a 20+ career, but he does not do puke. As the Big One is puking, I am trying to calmly reassure here that all is good. Meanwhile the Little One is excitedly providing a play-by-play. “MOM! Allison is puking! EWWWWWWW!   It’s bright red!   UGGGGHHHH! I think it’s strawberries.” My poor dad is driving and beginning to look a little urpy. I unrolled the window and calmly asked the Little One to just be quiet. I figure if we just get the dealership, we will all survive.

Of course there was nowhere to park in the service area. So I told my dad to drop me off and then circle back around to where we had seen the MomMobile parked. I walked in and Kristen, the service manager, just had this look on her face. Before she said anything, I asked, “It was a freaking plastic bag wasn’t it?” She just started laughing and apologizing. All I could do was laugh. I certainly didn’t want to cry. I was close, but managed to laugh and told her about the kid puke in the car, etc. Turns out she was having a similar day. So we laughed and decided we’d each have a drink for the other tonight!

plastic bag02

So that there is $55 Vons bag. I am trying to keep things in perspective. A $55 bag is way better than a huge repair for something really broken. And since I am not at my nut training now there isn’t much to do other than open a Smirnoff Peach Bellini. Cheers!

{The Big One seems fine after the puke in grandma’s car. The pupils are tracking. She ate some toast. So I don’t know what caused it!}

Part 2 of the arm saga – Recovery and Karma

June 26, 2014

blog007So we got sent home from the hospital on March 6, surgery day! Sarah was in a lot of pain. We struggled to keep ahead of it, so there was lots of tears and sadness the first few days. They gave her Tylenol with Codeine for pain. The problem is whenever she took it, she became a hot, sweaty, cranky and uncomfortable mess with arm pain. It just made her miserable, so we opted to stick with plain old Motrin for pain and she was much happier.

She got to spend a week on the couch, literally. She would get up to go to the bathroom, but that was about it. She ate, slept, played, read, everything on the couch. She became fairly adept at using her left hand to eat, drink, pop the bubble thing on the game Trouble, and do her homework.

She was eight days post-op when we went to Dr. Sadeghi’s office for the first real cast and X-rays since surgery. Fortunately they took the X-rays with the soft cast still on, so the drama was minimized. They took X-rays. Doctor said everything looked good and was where it was supposed to be. Then we got introduced to the cast room. They cut off the soft cast, giving us the first sort of glimpse at the broken arm. It was still extremely swollen. The pins stuck out of her skin, but were covered with gauze so it wasn’t too gory. Sarah was in a lot of pain as they re-casted with a hard cast. One of the techs held her arm straight up, while the other wrapped. I was in her face trying to keep her calm while The Husband took it all in. It was the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day (which would be her first day back at school) so she opted for a green cast.

blog008We were told to make a follow-up appointment for two weeks later to check X-rays and change casts. So on March 28, we returned to Dr. Sadeghi’s office. This time the cast came off for X-rays. I will say that I was more than happy to get that green cast off of her arm. That thing was disgustingly ripe. It was filthy dirty and smelled like something crawled up in there and died. Sarah was a bit freaked out by how her skin looked. This was the first time it had seen daylight in three weeks.

Those of you who’ve had a cast removed know that it can be a bit intimidating when they come at you with a saw, so Sarah was already on edge. Then add in the fact that her arm had not moved for three weeks and she had FOUR pins sticking out of her skin – she was not happy. I got volunteered to go in the X-ray room with her while The Husband got to stay outside. The screaming that occurred while they tried to get clear pictures was almost as bad as the day she broke it originally. I know it hurt and I also know there was a lot of fear, so I did my best to calm her down and not cry myself. It was tough.blog009

Dr. Sadeghi, upon looking at the X-rays asked Sarah if she wanted the wrist pin to be removed. She enthusiastically said “YES!” through her tears. So the cast room tech grabbed a pair of what looked like pliers (I don’t know the technical term) and asked her if she was ready. Dude should have asked me if I was ready. I could NOT watch that grossness. Sarah and The Husband watched that thing get pulled out of her wrist. I saw it for a split second and was ready to barf. It was gross. He just twisted and pulled until that thing finally came out all the way. Sarah felt much better once it was out. I was dizzy and sweating! Once it was out, they re-casted her in a pink cast with red stripes. Since the wrist pin was out, the cast was much shorter and most of her fingers were free! She was thrilled that she could hold a pencil if she really wanted to.

We were getting closer and closer to cruise time. And Dr. Sadeghi knew it. The Husband kept reminding him. So we made the next appointment for April 7, about 10 days after the wrist pin came out. And FOUR days before we were leaving for the Disney cruise. It was also Sarah’s 7th birthday. I tried to prepare both Sarah and The Husband of the possibility of getting a whole new cast or maybe a removable cast or maybe no cast at all. Dr. Sadeghi wouldn’t commit to what would happen. We had to wait and see.

So the big day arrived. We went to the cast room first, got the pink cast removed and then headed to X-ray. Moment of truth. There was some fear and trepidation, but no tears this time. She struggled to get her elbow in the correct positon so it took several attempts, but finally they got the X-rays they needed.

Then we waited to see the verdict. Would the three elbow pins come out? Was there enough new bone growth to go cast-less? Would he opt for a removable cast? Dr. Sadeghi came over, greeted each of us and asked Sarah if she was ready for the pins to come out. She again said “YES!”

blog0019Now when the wrist pin came out she was sitting up in a regular chair, watching it all. This time they had her sitting on a bed. They asked her to lie back, which she was not too happy about. But she finally obliged. Dr. Sadeghi was taking these pins out. He gloved up, grabbed his plier thingies and went to work. I was again at Sarah’s face, while The Husband watched. The first pin came out easily, she didn’t even notice. Then came the next two. They were a bit trickier. I am glad that I couldn’t see what was actually happening. I could see the grip that the doctor had on her upper arm as he twisted, turned and yanked those things out. It was pretty intense the amount of force used to get them out. Sarah flinched a little but not too bad. Again, I think it bothered me the most! Sarah asked if she could keep the pins, but he wouldn’t let her. He said they were too sharp and he didn’t want her to hurt herself. So she was disappointed, but she got over it when he told her she was free to go! No more cast. No removable cast! No nothing, just a naked arm (well besides the gauze that was catching the residual blood from having three long pins pulled out of your bone!)


Sarah and The Husband showing off their muscles. :-)

It was indeed a happy birthday! She got the cast off. He did stipulate that on the cruise there was to be no swimming with the dolphins and no waterslide. He said that she could “swim” in the pool or ocean but explained that by swim he really meant wade in the water. The arm was still weak and she needed to be careful.

The cruise post will come later, let’s just finish this saga first!

So we went on the cruise, had a fabulous time, yada, yada, yada. Of course Sarah went on the waterslide. She also swam with the dolphin. She also went snorkeling and fed a stingray. This may or may not be the reason she got sick and threw up for the last several days of the cruise. But at least she had fun before karma bit us in the butt!

Dr. Sadeghi wanted to see us three weeks after the cast came off to X-ray and make sure all was good. We prepped Sarah before the appointment that we were not going to lie to the good doctor, but we were not going to offer any information on her cruise activities to him.

We had her appointment and everything was good. We were good to go. Sarah made him a Mickey Mouse doctor out of Perler beads. I made a little card with a couple pictures of her and we gave it to him as a thank you. One of the pictures I used was of Sarah holding a baby sea turtle, something she could not have done had she still had a cast on. We were so close. We were good. The appointment was done. We were given the all clear. We were almost out the door when it happened.  We were literally walking out the exam room door when this happened:


Sarah with her surgeon, Dr. Cameron Sadeghi, this was before Sarah ratted us out (so he still liked us at this point!)

DR. SADEGHI: “You didn’t get to swim with a dolphin but you got to hold a turtle. That’s cool!”

SARAH: “NO! I swam with the dolphins! And I went on the AquaDuck! Lots of times!”

{ insert – Uncomfortable silence and giggles from The Husband and I.}

DR. SADEGHI: “I did not need to hear that.”

{ insert death stare from me to Sarah }

SARAH: “WHAT? It’s true I did do all of that.”

OY VEY! We were so close.

The Longest Blog Ever – A Broken Arm

June 26, 2014

This is truly the longest blog ever. This is not so much to make you laugh at my life like normal. This is just for posterity so that some day when the Little One asks about the day she broke her arm, we can remember.

So the last time the school called to say they had a kiddo of mine in the Nurse’s Office, I confessed to being the worst parent ever.

Now when the school calls you during the day, as a mom, I typically know that it’s not a good thing. When the phone rang at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 5, I was at work and I had a weird feeling in my tummy. The moment the school phone number popped up on my cell phone, I felt like something bad had happened. I answered and it went like this:

ME: “Hellloo”

SCHOOL: “Hey Joyce, its Bernie. (now Ms. Bernie’s tone is usually very jovial and fun, but this time it wasn’t) She went on, “Ummmmmm, we’ve got Sarah here with us. She took a bit of a tumble off of the monkey bars.”

ME: “Oooookkkkkaay, do we have a bone exposed?”   (I don’t know why I asked that, I just had a feeling something was broken)

SCHOOL:Weeellll, nothing exposed but I am pretty sure you need to head to Kaiser.

ME: “I’m on my way!”

So during the conversation, I had begun shutting down my computer. My co-worker and I had been chatting so she heard the whole conversation as well. She didn’t even need to ask. She just said, “GO! We’re fine here!”

I texted The Husband and told him what I knew. Fortunately the school is about a mile from work and just around the corner from home. I parked in front of the school and our principal met me outside. Her daughter is in my Girl Scout troop and I consider her a friend as well as the principal. Her eyes were a bit teary and she said, “Joyce, I am so sorry she got hurt.” I could tell she was hurting for my child, which is very comforting to know. Of course you want to believe that everyone at school loves your kid, but there was no doubt that our principal cares for and was hurting for Sarah. In my fabulously sarcastic tone I said, “As long as you didn’t make her fall off the monkey bars you don’t need to apologize!” By that point we were in the office door and I heard this pathetic, gut wrenching, “MOOOOMMMMMYYYYY, AHHHHHHHHHH! It huuuurrttttsss!”

My heart dropped and now I teared up but I knew that I couldn’t cry or Sarah would have lost it. So I took a deep breath and made my way back to where she was sitting, surrounded by several school staff members. I could see that her wrist was swollen and bruised. I got the rundown that she was on the monkey bars, her one hand slipped and down she went. When she fell she, of course, put her right arm down to break the fall. She was all alone when it happened. She managed to get herself up and to a teacher who sent her to the nurse’s office.

It was very obvious that she was not going to move that arm for anyone. She had it resting across her torso with the left arm on top of it protecting it. I signed the papers to get her out of school and asked if she could walk to the car. She said no. So the principal got a wheelchair, I lifted Sarah into the wheel chair and off we went to my car. I pulled out the car seat, knowing full well that despite my car seat mentality there was no way I was getting this child into her 5-point harness. I lifted her in to the car, buckled the regular seatbelt around her and called The Husband to tell him we were headed to the Emergency Room. He questioned if it was truly necessary and I said yes and away we went.

Kaiser is also very close, just one mile down the hill and they have valet parking. We pulled up to valet and I asked the young man for a wheelchair. He got me one and helped me get Sarah out of the car. Then he parked my car for me (What a fabulous service!).

By the grace of God, the ED was not that crowded. There was a fabulous triage nurse right there in the waiting room waiting for us it seemed. Frank was very kind and patient. He began taking Sarah’s vitals while I got her checked in. He didn’t touch her arm, just looked her over and mouthed to me, “Pretty sure it’s broken.” I agreed and we were wheeled back to the “fast track” area of the ED. They got Sarah in a bed and offered her some Motrin for pain. They wanted to give the Motrin and few minutes to kick in before we went to X-ray.

After about 20 minutes, we were taken to X-ray. Now Sarah has a huge pain tolerance. We often joke that when she falls, she bounces. It takes an awful lot to get this kid down. She can be gushing blood and still wants to keep on playing. So I tried to remain optimistic that X-ray would not be so bad.

It was awful. Gut-wrenching, heart-breaking misery. As the poor tech tried to manipulate Sarah’s arm to get pictures, Sarah was literally screaming at the top of her lungs. Huge crocodile tears streamed down her cheeks, snot poured from her poor little nose. It was the worst several minutes ever. She was in excruciating pain and everyone knew it. I tried my best to not look at the shape of Sarah’s arm as it was being manipulated. One time I got a glimpse and it was enough to make me weak in the knees and sweating. It took everything I had to not throw up. The tech was very fast and commented once it was done that Sarah had done much better than she would have done. The tech said she probably would have passed out from the pain. She gave Sarah a wad of stickers and sent us back to the ED.blog001

It wasn’t too long before an Ortho PA came and showed us the X-rays. There was no doubt about the pain. The bone had broken and rotated. This was not going to be an easy fix. The official terminology was a right humerus simple supracondylar fracture without intracondylar extension. Basically the big bone in her arm, was broken at the elbow. The PA told us the folks from the cast room would be over shortly to put a soft cast on Sarah to ease some of her pain until surgery could be scheduled. Oy vey! Surgery???

So we were told that they would either do the surgery late that night or send us home and have us come in super early to be the first case of the day on Thursday. While we were waiting for the operating room scheduled to be updated. The cast room folks were very gentle and kind while wrapping Sarah’s arm in a soft cast. This eased her pain tremendously.

A bit later the ED doctor came back over to make sure someone from ortho had talked to us. He offered Sarah more pain meds which she took. Then a few minutes later an orthopedic surgeon came to us and talked a little bit more about the elbow surgery required and asked if anyone had told us yet that Sarah’s wrist also appeared broken. Ummm, nope we hadn’t been told that news. Then he went on to tell us we needed to go back to X-ray to get better pictures of the wrist. Let’s just say Sarah was none too happy with this news. We tried to reassure her that now that she had the cast on, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad. And that it was only the wrist, not the elbow they needed pictures of. Off we went back to X-ray. It was fairly painless and again she was given a wad of stickers.

Then we went back to the ED to await our fate. By this point it was about 1:30 p.m.. We had been in the ED only 2.5 hours so we were doing well. Sarah was super hungry and thirsty but they wouldn’t let her have anything to eat or drink because they weren’t sure when the surgery would be scheduled. The Ortho PA came back and said they were going to admit Sarah for the night and she would be the first case of the day on Thursday. They wanted to be able to control her pain and get her in first thing. She told us the surgeon would be an orthopedic trauma surgeon named Cameron Sadeghi. We asked more questions about the procedure and who he was. Since it’s her elbow and wrist, we were all very concerned about range of motion and long-term effects. We wanted to know if we would be better served at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego with a pediatric ortho surgeon. The ortho PA and ED physician reassured us that she would be just fine. That Dr. Sadeghi was a great trauma surgeon and that he fixes several pediatric arms each week.

At this point The Husband and Grandma made it to the ED. The Big One was with a friend and we were coming up with a plan. Since we were just waiting to be admitted, I went home to change clothes, get my phone charger and some home comforts for Sarah (her bear-bear, a blanket and some Doritos!) It was nearing 4 p.m. and we were both super hungry. The cereal we had for breakfast had long worn-off. The kid wanted Doritos and since she was cleared to eat whatever she wanted up until midnight, she got Doritos.

While I was gone our friend, Pastor Steve, stopped by the ED to check on things. He had a nice visit and prayed for Sarah with my mom and The Husband. I got what I needed at home and headed back down to the hospital. Finally there was a room available and we were headed upstairs for the night.

As they were getting Sarah settled in the room, I noticed it was dinner time and the gentleman delivering meals was the father of a kiddo is Sarah’s class. So he and I chatted for a minute and he gave me a menu for Sarah to choose from. He told her she could have whatever she wanted. Not one to pass on some food, the kid ordered just about one of everything. Her friend’s dad happily obliged and even brought her two brownies.

We were in for the night. I’d rather not re-live getting the IV started because that was a nightmare! I think it’s part genetics and part severe dehydration, but it took FIVE nurses FORTY-FIVE minutes and I think it was EIGHT pokes to get the IV started. At one point I felt like I was going to pass out and had to go outside. It was awful. But a testament to Sarah’s toughness, the kid never flinched, never complained, never fussed. God bless Grammy who had arrived just in time to read countless books to Sarah during the entire ordeal.

It was a long night of trying to keep her pain under control, while keeping her comfortable and reassuring her that the surgery would be just fine. At the same time I was on my phone putting my mad Internet stalking skills to work to determine that this surgeon was someone really worthy of entrusting my child’s life to. I discovered he is a fairly young surgeon. I think he’s been a Kaiser about three years, was recently married, beautiful wife and wedding and fabulous honeymoon!   (Man, the things you can find on the Internet!). He seemed alright so now all we could do was wait until morning.

At about 6:30 a.m. they came for us and wheeled Sarah to the OR. The Husband, had tried to sleep at home, but ended up joining us at about 5 a.m. in the room. So now the three of us were just hanging out in Bed 1 of the pre-op area waiting for paperwork and to meet the anesthesiologist and surgeon.

Anesthesiologist came first. He seemed like a typical anesthesiologist, a little older, a little crankier, all business. He was ticked because all that work on the IV and it was positional, so Sarah was still really dehydrated. The nurse tried to jerry-rig a board and lots of tape to Sarah’s hand to try and keep the darn IV flowing. It was a challenge. Then we met Dr. Sadeghi. It took all that I had to not ask him old he is. He looks very young. But he seemed nice. He was confident. He was forthcoming with what we should expect.

He told us that he fixes these type of fractures all the time. If it’s a simple break it could be re-set in 10 minutes. If it’s a more complicated break it could take up to two hours to re-set. It could require pins. It could require opening up her arm. It could require stitches. He wouldn’t know for sure until he got to work. He did tell us that from looking at the X-rays, the break was pretty bad and would more than likely require at least one pin. Then the time came to say I love You and send her off with these strangers. That part was very difficult. These people were literally going to have my child’s life in their hands. I know it was a broken elbow and wrist, but with anesthesia and the unknown involved it was hard to let her go.

We headed to the waiting room, where Aunt Tami had already camped out and saved us some seats. She and I immediately left The Husband with the gear and headed down to the coffee cart. And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. Now when the surgeon tells you it could take up to two hours, you really don’t want it to. But it did. It was actually two hours and 10 minutes before we saw him emerge. He told us everything went fine. She was in recovery. Her break was one of the worst he had ever had to fix. He ended up putting three pins in her elbow and one in her wrist.

We asked about recovery time. We asked about range of motion. We asked about swimming with the dolphins. We asked about water slides. WAIT! Did I forget to mention that we were leaving for a Disney cruise FIVE weeks from the week it happened? Yes for 18 months we had been planning a Disney cruise for my sister’s 25th wedding anniversary. And now we were facing the possibility of a cast on the cruise.

Dr. Sadeghi told us to expect the cast to be on for four-to-six weeks. And even if she did get the cast off, there would be no swimming with the dolphins or waterslide. OY!

We hung out in the recovery room for about 90 minutes before they moved us back up to Sarah’s room. We didn’t know for sure if we were staying another night or if we’d get to go home. Dr. Sadeghi told ublog004s it depended on Sarah’s pain tolerance.

We had a fun day in the hospital. It was Sarah’s roommate’s birthday so we got to have a birthday party complete with Dr. Dog and a magician who performed several magic tricks for the girls. Then at about 4 p.m. Dr. Sadeghi came by, checked Sarah’s arm asked about what meds she had taken and was surprised that she had only asked for one dose, so he said we could go home. We’d follow up with him in a week to get the real cast on. She had to stay home from school for that week.

So Papa came to help me load up all the gear we had managed to accumulate over the last 30 hours or so and off we went back home.

I can’t believe that any of you would hang on so long to read this! This is the longest blog post in the history of blog posts. I’ll finish the recovery next time!


Here’s where we started and after, just for fun:

blog 5

Her Mother’s Child

February 27, 2014

So The Husband and I often joke when the girls are being difficult that they got those annoying traits form the other one. For example, the Big One is very black and white. She is not flexible and doesn’t allow wiggle room on most things. I find this to be terribly annoying, so it’s most definitely something she got from The Husband.


The Husband, the Big One and I are all fighting a cold or something. I am the mom, obviously, so I cannot get sick. It’s not an option. So I am fighting with all that I’ve got to stay well. The Husband started with a sniffle and is now, of course on his death bed because of a stuffy nose. The Big One is like me. That kid is a fighter.Image


This morning, I heard her alarm go off, but didn’t see movement from her room. So I opened to door and noticed that her ceiling fan was on. I said, “huh, why is your fan on?” To which she replied, “I was really hot last night so I turned it on.” Mind you it’s probably about 68° in that part of the house – far from hot.  “Uh-oh, sounds like you’ve got what Daddy has,” I said. “NO! I am NOT sick!” she replied.


So I told her it was time to get ready for school and left the room. I went in to my bathroom to dry my hair. She came in to use the potty. She sneezed, followed by a few seconds of a hacking cough.I just looked at her.


Exasperated, she says, “My throat hurts just a little when I cough or sneeze.  And my chest sort of tickles every time I breathe…. But  I AM NOT SICK!” With that she stomped out of the bathroom and got ready for school. So there you have it, complete denial about being sick. Yep, she is my child.  And yes, again I am the worst mom ever and let her go to school.




This one is just too funny!


Worst Parent Ever

February 7, 2014

Today, I confess to being the worst parent ever!  I’m sure it’s not the first time, I’ve said that and it won’t be the last! So here’s what happened.


The carpets at church are being cleaned today so I didn’t have to go into the office. I was so looking forward to getting some much needed errands run. First thing on the agenda was mailing the church newsletter. Gotta love that bulk mail is only accepted between 10 a.m. and noon. So I figured the Post Office would be my first stop, then I would bust out the rest of my errands.


The Husband has class tomorrow and we have booth sales for Girl Scout cookies, so today was THE day to get stuff done. No sooner had I walked out of the bulk mail office when my phone rang. It was the girls’ school. I muttered a few choice words before cheerfully answering:


ME:  Hellllloooo!

SCHOOL: Hi Joyce! This is Bernie.

ME:  UH-OH! What’s going on?

SCHOOL:  Well, I’ve got your Little One here in the office. She’s got a headache and is very teary-eyed. I didn’t even bother to take her temperature.

ME: Well, she gets migraines and then throws up, so don’t get too close!

SCHOOL:  Okay , good to know. I’ll just have her lay down until you get here.

ME:  I’m in Santee right now, but I’ll head the direction. Be there in about 15 minutes.

SCHOOL: No problem we’ll see you then.


I know you are thinking what’s the problem? You’ve done nothing wrong. And you would be correct. I truly was in Santee, in the Post Office parking lot to be correct. And I did immediately head back towards home to pick-up the Little One.


The problem is that I made a slight detour before heading to the school.


YES! I admit I went to Starbucks first. Don’t judge me. I have several errands that needed to get done today. Now I have a sick kids on my hands. I desperately needed the caffeine fix in order to prevent my own migraine.  So I went to Starbucks. As soon as I got my iced white mocha, I headed for the school.



It had been about 20 minutes since I got the call. I was starting to feel a little guilty. Side note:  What are the odds that the lady in front of me ordered TWO drinks and the guy in front of her ordered FOUR drinks? C’mon people! I’ve got a sick kid to rescue from school!


So I park in front of the school, walk in the office door and hear a pathetic, “Mommy, uhhhhhhhhh” coming from the far back corner where the nurse’s office is. I see the Little One slowly trying to sit up. I started back towards her, when one of the nice ladies in the office says, “she just let it go.”  I tried to ignore her. The she said, “Joyce did you hear me? She just let it go.”  I admit I giggled a little and muttered an “I’m so sorry.”  She laughed and said, “Don’t worry about it.”


I mean certainly she is not the first kid to puke in the nurse’s office. That’s why they have a nurse’s office, right?


At that point I felt a little more guilty for going to Starbucks. I convince the Little One to lay back down while I took the slip back to her teacher to let her know that the Little One was coming home with me. I went to Ms. Bernie to get the magic release form and couldn’t make eye contact. I again said, “I’m sorry” as I took the slip and headed out the door. She also said, “don’t worry about it.”


I might have giggled a little more as I walked to the classroom. After all, I escaped one round of puke and I had Starbucks waiting in the car for me!  Yes, I am horrible. I know it. You don’t need to judge me. And yes, karma will get me in the end. But for just one moment all was good.


Round two of puke has come and gone. Now we wait and see how long this joy lasts.  {And if anyone from school is reading this, don’t you dare tell Ms. Bernie that I stopped at Starbucks first!  ;-)  }

Fitting In

January 28, 2014

braverWhy is it so hard to be a kid? It’s funny as adults, we tend to think how easy it is to be 8 years old. No bills to pay, no responsibilities, no stress, just do some math homework, read a couple chapters in a book, run around at recess after lunch. Piece of cake, right?  I admit I thought that until The Big One came to me in tears tonight and asked, “Why do the other kids say I am bossy and mean?”  My sarcastic, cynical side immediately thought, well you can be a bit bossy. Fortunately my mommy side kicked in first and I asked about who said it and the context in which it was said.


One of the boys in her class, apparently announced that she was bossy and another chimed in that she was mean. The instigator, then apparently went through a few other kids and took a poll on who was bossy and who wasn’t.  She says everyone agreed that she is bossy and mean. I held onto her as she cried and then tried to talk to her.


I did my best to try to help her understand that not all kids like to follow the rules, like she does. Not all kids have parents who try hard to teach them to be respectful, like she does. Not all kids care so much about doing well in school, like she does. And not all kids think about the things they say to one another, like she does.


I don’t know that I made anything better. I’m not sure I know what to say to make her feel any better about herself. She is 8 years old. She shouldn’t have to worry about who likes her and who doesn’t like her. She shouldn’t have to worry that nobody will play with her at recess. She shouldn’t have to worry that some kid will single her out as “mean” when in reality she is one of the nicest kids I know (and I am not just saying that because she is mine!).  She is a nice kid, now the Little One I can see getting called out for being “mean” because she doesn’t take anything from anyone. She has no problem putting another kid in their place if they are picking on someone or not following the rules. But the Big One she is pretty non-confrontational.


Yes, she will tell you to be quiet if you are talking in class. Yes, she will tell you to sit down if you are standing when you shouldn’t be. Yes, she will tell you that farting and belching without saying “excuse me” is rude. I guess to other 8 year olds that constitutes being “bossy.” But poor kid can’t help that. I am a rule follower. She in turn is also a rule follower. I do allow for some gray areas, but The Big One doesn’t. She lives in a pretty black and white world (she gets that from The Husband).  I wish I could help teach her that gray is okay.


I wish that I could teach her that life is hard. Even in third grade it is hard. I remember struggling to fit in at that age. I was a Navy brat, I had the advantage of moving ever couple years, so I knew that when I really struggled with making friends it didn’t really matter because we’d move again soon. The Big One doesn’t have that luxury. We are not moving. The kids at her school are it for now.


So, we talked a bit about trying to be less of the rule enforcer and more of the fun, silly kid she is at home. We talked about how friends shouldn’t be saying things about you or calling you names. We talked about trying to find other kids to hang out with.  We talked about just being yourself. We talked about how hard it is to find true friends.  We talked about prayer and how God can help us when we feel like we don’t have any other friends.


What do I do now? I want to give the kid who started it all the stink eye tomorrow at school, but I know that staring down an 8- year-old boy will not help the situation. I want to put The Big One in a bubble so other kids can’t crush her spirit, but I know that’s not possible. I want to hand-pick her friends, but I know that I can’t do that for her.  So I will do my best to love her through it and pray that she finds her place in her little third grade world without suffering too much heartache.

Cobwebs – virtual and real-live actual ones

January 24, 2014

I’ve been neglecting this here blog long enough. It’s time to get back to it. I never made baby books for the girls, this was supposed to be it. You’d think nothing’s been happening in our lives with the cobwebs growing around here in this virtual little world.


Spider+web_e98ce9_3395976Speaking of cobwebs, boy howdy yesterday a spider attacked me, and yes, I think I really did pull something trying to karate chop it. Don’t laugh too hard, you know that you too become a ninja when you walk through a spider web. This was so much worse than merely walking through a web.


So we got home from Youth Group and I was pestering (ok, maybe nagging) the girls to get ready for bed. This is not unlike most Wednesday evenings in our house. The Husband was on the couch watching TV, and the girls were supposed to be brushing their teeth. At this particular moment, I think the Big One actually was doing what she was supposed to be doing. The Little One was not. Had she been in the bathroom doing what she was supposed to be doing, she may have been the spider’s victim. {We have two bathrooms, but for whatever reason the Little One uses the master bath to brush her teeth.}


Since she wasn’t in there doing what she had been told numerous times to go do, I went in to wash my face. I walked in, flipped the light on and got about halfway to the sink when I noticed something black hanging down from my bangs. At first I just sort of flipped my hair thinking it was fuzz or something harmless. Then it dawned on me that it was not vacating my hair. Rather it had legs that were flailing trying to reattach themselves to something, anything at that moment. I let out an odd sounding, “WHAAAAAAA” noise and start jumping around like I had actual fire ants in my pants. My arms were flapping, my hair was flying, my feet were jumping (you’ve been there, don’t judge me!) Finally I manage to make contact with the black, hairy beast.


Unfortunately, the contact I made resulted in the spider landing on my face, actually touching my face – right between the eyes. Perspective is a crazy thing. The thing seemed larger than normal when it was hanging in my hair, but now that it was literally between my eyes, the thing looked gargantuan.  It looked like a dang tarantula. So I smacked myself across the face to get the thing off me, while letting out another exasperated, “WHHHAAAAA!” kind of noise. This time the spider hit the floor. Fortunately I had shoes on still, so I squashed it while yelling, “I’m OKAY! THANKS for the concern!!!”


Sensing I was in distress, the Little One came racing in to the bathroom, spotted the squashed spider on the floor and let out a blood curdling scream.  At which point, the Husband finally gets off the couch to see what the commotion is all about. Instead of being concerned for me and the near heart attack I just about had, he shares his own distress about being so afraid that someone lie dying in the bathroom because of all the noise.


This brought the Big One in the bathroom because she too was curious about all the commotion. She sees the dead spider on the floor and decides that she is never going into the master bathroom again. Poor kid, if she looked close enough she’d see that there are cobwebs all over the house. Those spiders are lurking everywhere. (Again don’t judge me, I am short and spiders know this. They purposely build those web way up high so I can’t get them!)


Best I can tell, this poor, now dead, spider had created a web and was lowering itself down from the fan vent in the ceiling. I will say that it is very unusual to find a spider dangling in the middle of my house. Find one in the corner in a nice cozy cobweb, well that’s a lot more common.


I’m going to do my best to keep the cobwebs out of this little space and share some more about our daily adventures and antics. Hope you will stick around, there aren’t too many dull moments around here.


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