A couple of days ago a lady here in town ran a red light at an intersection and hit another car. The lady at fault had her 6yo son in the front seat--with an airbag. The impact of the airbag broke the boys' neck. The mother, in what I assume was an effort to hide her stupid decision to put him up front, took the boy out of the front seat and buckled him into the backseat. He was taken to the hospital by Life Flight and died either yesterday or today. If he had been in the backseat, the paramedics said he would have been fine.
Although I guess I shouldn't judge her since I don't know what the circumstances were, she obviously could have put him in the backseat to begin with since she certainly put him back there after the wreck! No matter what the situation, that child did not belong in the front seat. Period.
Please, please, please remind everyone you know that children do not belong in the front seat when there is an airbag! Even for a short trip. Our town is small and I'm sure the mother felt safe since they probably weren't going very far. A minor accident can have a major impact on small bodies. It's too bad she had to learn this the hard way.
5:07 PM ~
Now I remember why I hated the year that Karate Kid was in 3rd grade. I'm living the nightmare all over again with Drama Queen. We're into the second full week of classes, and the homework is already killing me. Yes, I said "me" not "her." The work, at this point, isn't hard. Although there was a concept on a science paper that Drama Queen just could not understand. She had to read a paragraph about living vs. non-living things and then compare and contrast them. The last question on the page said: "Organisms are made up of cells. Every organism has different types of cells. Why do you suppose this is so? Explain." Yeah, right. No matter how I tried to explain it, the poor child just could not grasp the concept. I tried telling her that cats have cat cells and dogs have dog cells. If a cat has dog cells, it would be a dog and not a cat. *whoosh* Right over her head.
So besides the problem question above, the work is not hard yet. Getting Drama Queen to do her homework is another matter entirely. She started at 4:30 this afternoon. She finished at 7:00. It should have only taken 30-45 minutes, an hour tops. Her bedtime routine and her homework time look suspiciously similar--lots of gymnastics, off-topic conversations, dog chasing, etc. I am very seriously starting to worry that the child has ADD. I know she can concentrate because she does it at school. Home, though, is a horse of a very different color.
In the midst of this, I'm watching Karate Kid closely. This is his first year out of elementary school. He hasn't had any problems, but he has 3 honors classes that I am paying close attention to (look at that--I ended my sentence with a preposition. The shame is overwhelming me.). One teacher told us that 6th grade students that are in honors classes are working out of 7th grade books in those classes. I just want to make sure that he isn't in over his head.
So tonight after I finally got Drama Queen to finish her homework, I had a whopping 30 minutes before I had to get her started on her bedtime routine. She was in bed only 6 minutes past her bedtime tonight. And then, did I enjoy some quiet time while the kids were in bed and The Hubster was gone to work? Yeah, if you consider spending 45 minutes checking both kids' homework, then I guess I did. Heh.
How long is it until school is out for summer break?
8:58 PM ~
I have a wonderful, wonderful husband. I love him dearly. Sometimes, though, he does things that make no sense to me. Case in point:
Yesterday afternoon I asked him to shampoo the living room carpet while I went to buy groceries. It wasn't done when I got home, but for good reason: the belt broke so the brushes weren't turning. He went and bought a belt this morning and fixed the shampooer. He then proceeded to shampoo half of the living room carpet--while 5 (all age 3 or younger) of the kiddos that I watch were here, running around the room. That was fun! Especially since they couldn't get to the kitchen without stepping on the wet area. BUT -- he also shampooed the hallway, our room and Karate Kid's room, so I just quit trying to figure out why he did the whole livingroomwithchildrenpresent thing. Oh, and he did the other half of the living room this evening after everyone left.
He also has a crazy schedule at work right now since they have to go in at night to do some things that can't be done while anyone is working in the building. He works Monday through Thursday nights. He usually gets home around 8:00 in the morning, I see his bleary-eyed countenance long enough for him to chug a glass of chocolate milk and eat a honeybun, and then he hits the sheets. I feel so sorry for him trying to sleep in a house full of children--especially when 2 of them take their naps in our room!
Mondays are a little different. He usually sleeps at night on the weekend and then takes an afternoon nap on Monday to help him stay up all night. And once again he chose to do something today that I don't understand. *drumroll* He took his nap on the couch. That wasn't a problem until all of the kiddos woke up. I have no idea how he did it, but he managed to sleep with all 5 of the kids playing, screaming and fighting in the same room with him. Plus our 2 came home from school in the midst of it all. Not only was he sleeping, he was snoring! That's some good sleeping. Can any mother out there imagine being able to sleep this soundly in a room full of children? (It scares me to even think about it!) Why don't dads inherit the I-can-hear-my-child-breathe,-sneeze,-cough,-and-open his eyes-even-from-across-the-house-in-the-dead-of-night syndrome that mothers gain the very day their first child is born?
Because they have us to do it for them.
8:02 PM ~
I still am not feeling very chipper, so my brain is not cooperating very well. Since I can't think of anything to blog about, let's play a little game. Please go to my sidebar and choose one of the blogs under "Drama, Drama, Drama." Read at least one entry on their site, but several if possible. Leave them a comment to let them know you stopped by, tell them I sent you, and then leave a comment on my blog to let me know who you visited. And while you are telling me who you visited, please leave me the name of one of your favorite blogs to read that isn't already listed on my blogroll.
Unfortunately, I haven't updated my blogroll in a while, so if I comment on your blog often, please know that you'll be added soon.
If this doesn't make sense, we'll blame the Nyquil, m'kay?
10:05 AM ~
Drama Queen doesn't understand why she has to start getting ready for bed so early. "All of my friends don't have to go to bed until 9:00! Why do I have to go to bed so early?" *whine, whine, pout* She has the same bedtime as her friends--9:00, although I try to get her in bed a little earlier without her knowing it. I try. It hasn't happened yet.
Her bedtime routine is fairly simple and straightforward: pick up her stuff in the living room and kitchen, take a bath, pick out clothes for the next day, eat a bedtime snack, read with Mom (about 15-20 minutes, depending on time), and 15 minutes of reading by herself in bed. Karate Kid has the same basic routine, although he usually showers in the morning. His whole goal is to speed through it as quickly as possible so he has more time to read. Drama Queen, on the other hand, can drag that routine out to last all evening. I started her at 7:30 last night. At 9:05 she still had not made it into bed to read by herself.
Her routine, although outlined above, tends to look more like this:
*Go into her room to find something to wear but immediately come out to complain that she has NOTHING to wear. *Go sit on the couch and pet the dog. *Pick up one thing in the living room, carry it into the kitchen, and set it down on the counter. *Turn 3 cartwheels through the room and one handstand against the couch. *Go back into her room and return with a shirt and shorts that even a color-blind person wouldn't choose. *See how far she can walk on her hands. *Pick up one more item and put it where it belongs. *Show me a new cheer she learned from her friends at school. *Pick up the item in the kitchen and take it to her room, thereby discovering her Polly Pockets that are in her floor. *Play with the Polly Pockets until reminded of what she is supposed to be doing. *Pick up one more item but stop to tell me something on the way by. *Put the item in some obscure place where it doesn't belong, ensuring a frantic search for it the next day. *Do another handstand, a bridge, and a round-off. *Take a bath. *One more round of "I have nothing to wear! You buy ugly clothes for me!" *Go into the kitchen to find a snack. *Come find me to complain that "there is nothing to eat." *Stop to pet and kiss any and all dogs she can corner. *Fix a huge plate of whatever snack she chooses, eat a tiny bit, and then leave it in the sink. *Go into the bathroom to brush her teeth but reappear instantly to tell me she dropped her toothbrush in the toilet. *Disappear into her room for more playing. *Finally find an outfit to wear but only after at least 5 minutes of complaining and/or crying. *Show me another new cheer "right now before I forget it." *Snuggle up with me to read, stopping every two paragraphs to tell me something that happened during the day or to ask a question completely unrelated to the story. *Beg for one more page when I tell her I'm stopping at that page. *Ask me a question about boobs/getting boobs/shrinking boobs that are too large/etc. *Go get in bed to read. *Interrupt her brother's reading time with me for no apparent reason other than she isn't in there with us. *Drag one of the dogs to bed with her. *Read a page of her book. *Chase the dog who escaped from her bed. *Read half of a page. *Remember she needs her medicine. *Two more round-offs and a handstand against the loveseat. *Complain that she didn't get any time to read when I tell her "lights out." *Get out of bed to tell her brother good night, resulting in a screaming match because "She's in my room"/"She choked me when she hugged me"/"That is NOT hers!"/or any other valid reason for starting a fight. *Back to bed. *Call out to me each and every time I pass her room no matter how quickly or quietly I pass by. *Finally, finally, FINALLY fall asleep!
Is it any wonder that I need a drink by this time? If she keeps it up, one of two things will happen: she will start getting ready for bed as soon as she gets home from school, or the men in white coats will come get me.
11:45 AM ~
Saturday was The Hubster's company float trip. I use the term "float" very loosely. I don't know why they always wait until mid-August to schedule them. Apparently the powers-that-be that schedule the trips are the same ones who skip the floating to supervise the food. If they tried to float just once, they'd realize that the water that used to be deep and moving at a pretty good pace in early June is now ankle deep and barely moving. This is Oklahoma, people. Land of little summer rain. It's hard enough to float in a canoe, but we always get a raft. The raft always slows the whole process, but when the water is so shallow that we have to carry/drag the raft, those 6 miles feel like 20. All-in-all, we were only in the raft for 1 of the 6 miles.
You know how hanging wall paper tests the bonds of matrimony? Well, floating did it for us this year. We've been many times before and never had any problems, so I don't know what it was about this year. If I didn't paddle, I was supposed to. If I paddled, I wasn't supposed to. At one point I suggested that The Hubster get in the back of the raft so he could steer us since I couldn't do it. Remember that. It's important to this story.
After bouts of paddling/not paddling, The Hubster was still sitting on the very front of the raft with his feet hanging into the water in front of him. All of sudden he just fell out of the raft and into the water. I, of course, being the good wife that I am, laughed my head off. Until he came up, that is. He was fighting mad because he had hit a stump under the water that had branches shooting out all over. His foot had snagged in one of the branches and pulled him under. It got him good enough that he tore the top of his aqua socks. Yes, aqua socks. Sexy. *rowr*
That must have been his undoing because even though I was paddling, he began yelling at me to paddle, why couldn't I steer the raft, etc. After I gave him my two cents worth, I bailed. I decided right then and there that I was walking/swimming/whatever-ing the rest of the way. We probably had 2 or 3 miles left. Do you know how hard it is to be dignified when slogging through ankle-deep water, slipping on slime-covered rocks? Or marching on the thousands of shifting rocks on the shore? All while wearing a swimsuit. Gah. I actually had two different sets of floaters offer me a ride with them the rest of the way. I declined. I had a point to prove, dangit!
In the midst of all of this fun, I had forgotten to bring any good river shoes. The only ones I had with me were the flip flops that look like straw on the bottom and thin fabric strips to hold them on. Have you ever put straw in water? Do you know what it does? It doesn't hold it's shoe-shape, that's for sure. I HAD to wear them, though, because walking on those rocks was killing my feet! I tried off and on to do without but always had to put them back on. I found a sturdy flip flop floating down the river at one point and scooped it up in case one of my shoes broke. Once they broke (you didn't doubt they would, did you?), Karate Kid actually offered me his strap-on sandals on two different parts of the journey. I love that boy! Why didn't I wear the shoe I had picked up? Because since I was determined to walk, The Hubster and the raft had already passed me by. I could see him but couldn't get to him.
What seemed like 3 days later, we finally made it to the stopping point! The Hubster, who stays mad all of 5 minutes and was already over it, noticed me limping and pointed out another flip flop on the shore and reminded me I still had one in the raft. Believe it or not, I had a right shoe and a left shoe, both black flip flops. The only problem was that the right shoe was a woman's semi-nice shoe and the left was a man's very casual shoe. And it was about 3 sizes too big.
I promptly forgot all about them being different, so happy was I to have any kind of protection for my sore, sore feet (I ended up with stone bruises, and they still hurt today!). Once on the bus to take us back to the office/vehicles/bathrooms, a woman sitting across the aisle from me asked how I ended up with two different shoes.
Because pride goeth before the fall, baby!
10:18 AM ~
For those of you who don't know, I am a PK--a preacher's kid. Today was my dad's 20th anniversay at the church where he works. That is a long time for someone in his line of work. I lived in 5 different towns before moving to the town where my parents now live, all before I was 16yo.
A lot of people don't realize how often a preacher is gone. I can't tell you how many times he missed trips or other fun things planned because someone in the church died and he had to stay to do a funeral. There were many late nights attending committee meetings or doing counseling sessions. I went through a time, right before I got married, where I was very resentful of the time he had to spend away from us because of his duties at the church. Not only that, but for a long time he wasn't paid very much money. I wanted to take gymnastics when I was young, but my parents just didn't have the money to pay for it. If there had been any way they could have made it work, they would have because my parents are just those kind of people. Lots and lots of times they did without things they wanted so my brother, sister and I could go do fun stuff or have things we wanted.
All of that to say that the church really came through for my parents today. They received commendations from the mayor, the Oklahoma Senate, and the Governor. The city where they live declared this Reverend "My Daddy" day. People gave them many, many cards expressing their thanks and love. My mom's Sunday School class gave her a $100 gift card to a store she likes and the choir (my Mom is the church pianist) gave her a $100 gift card to another store. My dad loves to go fishing and takes a trip to Canada with some guys from the church every year. To help honor him, they had a fish fry at church tonight.
They had, apparently, saved the best gifts for last because at the fish fry they gave them a cruise to Alaska. And THEN they had taken up a love offering and presented them with the amount that all of the people had given to show their love and appreciation--$12,580!!!
I cried and cried because my parents deserve it so very much. They are such wonderful people. I only wish I could be half as good as they are. I have only see my dad cry twice in my life--when his mom died and when his brother died. Tonight my Daddy was so overwhelmed by the church's generosity that he had tears rolling down his face. I came completely undone then.
So I know lots of people think churches are full of hypocrites. Others have left the church because of the way they were treated. There are a multitude of things that can and do go wrong at churches all over the country. But today was just a wonderful example of how loving and caring a church can be. For that I am very grateful.
9:07 PM ~
Yep, summer's over. Or at least summer vacation's over. Today was the first day back at school. The adrenaline and stress has worn off, and now I'm sad. Despite all the moaning and groaning and griping I do on here, I really do prefer having my children home with me. Don't get me wrong--I really like when they go play at a friend's house or have a sleepover. Getting them out of the house gives me a much needed break. Those are pretty short-term though. School, not so much.
As I went to bed last night, I realized that Karate Kid needed to get up at the same time that I usually do since he has to be at school an hour earlier than all the years before. I set the alarm to wake myself up an extra 30 minutes earlier so that I could have a few minutes of quiet and get a jump-start on the day before I had to get him up. That would have been great if it hadn't taken me until 2:00 to get to sleep. Thank goodness I actually looked at the clock that last time before I hit snooze because it was my normal wake up time. I had slept through that extra 30 minutes.
Normally a friend will be taking K.K. to school, but he wanted me to take him on his first day. I was so proud of myself for thinking ahead and going the way that would allow me to turn right into the school instead of sitting in traffic to turn left. Until I realized that I had forgotten lunch money. Grrr. A trip to the bank down the street so I could pay a fee to get money since I didn't have time to go to my bank, and then back in line to turn left into the school. What fun!
About 5 cars back from the turn-in, I got a call from a parent of two of the girls that I watch. I totally forgot to tell everybody that I would be taking K.K. this morning. So then I added the stress of knowing that there were parents waiting for me at home. All-in-all it took me 30 minutes to make a 10 minute trip.
Poor K.K. was so nervous! He's been at the same school since kindergarten, but this year he goes to the 6th Grade Center. Every 6th grader in our district goes to that school--about 640 kids so far. This is the year of 7 different teachers, changing classes, and having a locker.
Even though he was in bed at 9:15 last night, it took him until 1:00 this morning to fall asleep. After he had been in bed for about 45 minutes, he asked me to give him some Benadryl. When I asked him why, he said, "So I can go to sleep!" Oops. Guess he has that one figured out. And to show what a great mother I am, I told him at 12:45 this morning that adrenaline would get him through today and then he would crash tonight. 'Cause I'm so caring that way.
Drama Queen, on the other hand, sailed through the morning. She's still at the same school, has a very good friend in her class, and has the teacher she wanted. Add to that the fact that one of her friends will be coming over every day about an hour before we have to leave so we can take her school with us (more social time, dontcha know) and that I walked her to her class, it was the smoothest morning we've ever, ever had with her.
And being the great mother that I am, I left the camera at home.
9:31 AM ~
Do you ever feel like you have a little devil sitting one shoulder and an angel on the other? Like in the Saturday morning cartoons? I had a situation like that tonight.
Tomorrow is the first day of school (that's a whole other post!), so we ran a few errands to finish getting ready. We were standing in line at Target and The Hubster noticed another lane with no one in it. Right as he got to the counter, another lady from a different lane came up behind him. He didn't even notice her until she was right behind him. He turned to her and said, 'Oh, I'm sorry." Normally we would have told her to go in front of us, but we had only had 15 minutes to get back home and get The Hubster's food packed so he could get to work (he's on the night shift for a couple of weeks). She replied, in a very nasty tone of voice, "That's all right. That's the way my whole day has gone."
I kind of raised my eyebrows and looked at him to see if he had noticed, and then turned back to checking out. We only had four small items, so it wasn't going to take very long. The lady then started tossing and dropping her items onto the conveyor belt to create a lot of noise, just to make sure everyone knew she was mad. When a roll of paper towels almost hit The Hubster, I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Is she going to hit us with her stuff?" The two checkers smiled at me, so I figured they had seen what happened too. The throwing and dropping continued with a vengeance, so I was making little comments like, "Oh, my gosh. What is the deal?" As we were walking away, I turned and said, "Have a nice day, lady."
The devil won that round. And then the angel, in the form of my children's comments, started to speak. "Mom, what was wrong with her? Why was she throwing her stuff?" "If she had hit you, I would have punched her." "You'd have to hit her if she hit you." The violence of their comments began to increase little by little. I finally had to stop and tell them that we shouldn't be talking like that and that I had not handled the situation very well. I never should have said the things that I did. I felt so guilty for the example I had just given my children.
My natural instincts seem to take over when things like that happen. My parents, on the other hand, have the patience of Job. When things like that happen, they say things like, "She must be having a bad day." Something hit me tonight, though. I wonder if they really feel on the inside like I do but say what they do to set a good example. If so, maybe there's hope for me after all.
8:23 PM ~
I'm posting this rather late to be included in the Pass the Torchmeme Kelly has going on for Tuesdays over at her blog, but I thought it was a great idea. Head on over there and check out her super idea of celebrating kids doing things right. In the meantime, here's my example.
Several years ago we had a very bouncy, energetic Golden Retriever that was huge even though she was still technically a puppy. I went out in the backyard to clean up after her before we all headed out to play. After removing all of the "debris," I headed out the gate to the trash dumpster. I pushed the gate almost shut but not quite, but something happened and the gate ended up shutting and locking. No problem. I headed to the front door to get Karate Kid, who was probably 5 or 6 at the time, to let me in.
I knocked on the door and yelled through it, telling him only, "It's me. Open the door." I heard him fumbling with the lock, but he wasn't strong enough to open the deadbolt. The garage door opener in my vehicle was dead, so that presented a problem. Just as I was standing there debating what to do, I heard a blood-curdling scream from inside the house. I took off at a dead run to the back gate, which was still locked. The only thing I could think of to do was to climb the fence. The cross beams were on the outside of the neighbor's fence, so I used those to get up to the top, but then was presented with a little situation. Privacy fences are very pointy at the top. There's no real good way to get over them unless you can step over those pointy tops and put your foot on the cross beam on the other side. Problem was, there were no crossbeams on the other side because The Hubster didn't want us having to look at them and had faced them on the opposite side of the fence.
I could still hear terrified screams from inside the house, so I debated all of 1 second before somehow standing on top of the points with my flip flops on (ouch) and jumping. I took off running into the house expecting the worse--a severed limb, a huge gash in someone's head, or something of equal magnitude to cause such horrendous screams.
Now here's where I get teary-eyed still when I tell this story. When I came in, Karate Kid was standing behind a little, petite 2-year-old girl that I watched with his arms wrapped around her, bending over and shielding her. At this point I still wasn't sure what had happened and, I'm ashamed to say, burst out with "Karate Kid, what is going on?!" in a not-so-very patient tone of voice. He told me that the dog had run in through the dog door (the smallest one made and intended for use for our Dachshund) and scared that poor little girl to death since the dog was bigger than she was. Karate Kid (who hated wearing shirts at the time) had run over and wrapped himself around this little girl and turned his little bare back to the dog to protect her from the dog getting to her. He told me, "Momma, I tried to get her up on top of the table so Abby couldn't reach her, but I wasn't strong enough to lift her up there." And then he burst out with, "And Aunt Meggie's at the front door" and started bawling (My sister and I sound alike and he thought that it was her calling to him through the door instead of me.). My sweet, brave little boy!
I love books. Love, love, looooOOOooove them. That is the one area that I will spend money foolishly, although I still try to limit myself. But if I win the contest over at A Mama's Rant, I'll get a free book! She's giving away three copies of Flirting with Forty. Head on over there and check it out. You better hurry, though, 'cause you only have until the 16th.
6:56 PM ~
When I think of fun states to visit, Oklahoma is not one of them. California has the beach, Hollywood and Disney. Ditto for Florida, minus Hollywood. Arizona has the Grand Canyon. New York has NYC. Oklahoma has...nothing.
Texans are full of pride. Oklahomans? Not so much. There's not much here to brag about. The panhandle of our fine state has miles and miles of nothing. And you can see every bit of it no matter where you stand since there are no trees, no bushes, not even tumbleweeds to break up the landscape. At least in this part of the state we have some trees, hills and usually water in the creeks.
Let's see...we also have toll roads. Gotta love paying money to drive on a road. And the bathrooms on those toll roads are oh, so fancy. Picture a port-a-potty with a wooden shack built around it. We have bumper stickers here that say, "Welcome to Oklahoma. Piss on a tree." It's not far from the truth, my friends.
We don't have any professional teams for our state to root to victory. Football is the mother of all sports here, but it is limited to high school and college games. Not many people want to rush over from neighboring states to see Podunk vs. Hicksville.
One thing we do have, though, is the National Home of the Rodgers and Hammerstein production of Oklahoma. Apparently people will come from all over to see it because last year they had people from every state plus 57 countries. The guys were gone on a Boy Scout camping trip, so Drama Queen, my sister and I went with some friends to the performance last night. For free too! DQ has talked of nothing else but the musical. She wants to be in the production when she "grows up." Does she want the lead? No. She either wants to be Ado Annie, the boy-crazy girl who "can't say no" and is in love with whatever boy she is with at the moment (a scary prediction for her future, I might add) or "the girl in the dark pink dress."
Drama Queen had her picture taken with a few of the cast members when it was over. She refused to be photographed with any of the men. Apparently I tried too hard to get her to have her picture taken with the guy who played the pedler (who was gooooood looking) because she told The Hubster that I thought he was cute and that I was cheating on my husband.
So for all of you planning trips to the middle of nowhere next summer, stop by and see this. It is wonderful!
Drama Queen and Laurie.
This is the one Drama Queen wants to be if she can't be Ado Annie.
Ado Annie and Drama Queen.
Drama Queen and the dancing girls.
5:55 PM ~
My daughter is a worrier. She got it from me. I was so proud of myself for learning not to worry so much anymore. However I just traded one bad habit for another. I figured out in the last month that's how I gained all this weight. I've been eating so I don't have to think about things that I don't want to face. Once I'm done, I focus on how stuffed I am, again avoiding the issue at hand. But enough about me.
We had all kinds of problems last year when school started. I had requested a certain teacher for Drama Queen. DQ was put in her class, but the teacher left to teach at a different school about a month before school started. The new teacher was completely new to our school and not a good match for Drama Queen at all. It took a month of fear, tears and phone calls to the counselor, principal and the teacher before everything was somewhat smoothed out.
Drama Queen's stomach started bothering her during that time. No surprise there. The power of suggestion is very strong for her, so I put lavendar in her bath, gave her chamomile tea and peppermints to suck on before school, all in an effort to calm her down. The stomach aches reappeared during the year whenever something out of the norm happened or DQ got upset. Again, no surprise. I don't do change well, either.
School was over at the end of May and everything was great. No stress, no change, no problem. About 6 weeks into the summer, the stomach aches reappeared. Drama Queen came into our room almost every single night complaining about her stomach and begging to sleep in our floor. I at first thought it was a way to get to stay in our room. Then they started happening during the day. I was really stumped because I couldn't figure out what could be happening that would upset her enough to give her a stomach ache.
When it got to the point that Drama Queen thought she was eating too much and causing her stomach to hurt, I had lost my patience. I knew that it was all in her head. The child has never eaten too much in her life. As of three weeks ago, she's at the 25th percentile for weight.
I've suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a child, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I figured out that's what it was. Since I had felt like that for as long as I could remember, I thought it was normal. Going on medication helped tremendously. Because of that history, I watch my children carefully. I was convinced that Drama Queen was going through the same things I did as a child. There's no way I want her on medication since it causes suicidal tendencies in kids. (Good grief, could I change verb tense any more in that paragraph?)
I finally called the pediatrician, knowing full well that my child was suffering emotional problems. I expected to hear, "Sounds like she's a worrier" and was hoping to hear some ideas for what to do to help her calm down. Deep breathing, relaxation exercises, that kind of thing (We've tried them all already, but I was desperate). Instead the doctor asked that I bring her in to rule out a few things. An exam, blood work, urine sample and x-ray later, the doctor told us her diagnosis. She thought DQ had acid reflux, but looking at the x-ray showed that she was very backed up. She put her on a softener to clean out the 'ol pipes a little bit easier. She thought that could have contributed to the reflux and that maybe it would stop it. I was to check back and let her know how things were going after two weeks.
The softener did the trick but the stomach aches still persisted. Drama Queen was now having stomach aches every time she ate. I noticed when we were camping that she would pile blankets under her pillow and prop herself up for a while and then go to sleep later. She even commented that she couldn't go to sleep too early at home or her stomach hurt. At mealtimes she would eat some and then announce that she wasn't going to eat any more or her stomach would hurt.
When I called the doctor back this week, she skipped the first med she was going to prescribe and went straight to the strong stuff. She told us that it should really help her feel better if it was reflux and that if she wasn't better in 10-14 days, she'd send us to a GI specialist.
At this point I was still convinced that 90% of the problem was emotional and only 10% really physical. We started the medicine Monday night and everything was the same old same old. Tuesday passed and Wednesday morning it occurred to me that DQ hadn't complained at all about her stomach the day before. It's Thursday now and she hasn't had one complaint since Monday night!
I would think that maybe she's doing better only because she thinks the medicine is helping (placebo effect), but we have been through bottles and bottles of Rolaids and Mylanta that have helped temporarily but never lasted longer than a few hours. This medicine really and truly seems to be helping. It's like it never even crosses Drama Queen's mind anymore at meal time or bed time that her stomach may hurt.
So since I was convinced my child was causing herself pain by getting all worked up emotionally, she has really been suffering for far too long. I'm so glad that I called the doctor!
I humbly accept this award presented to me. Everyone else can breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn't given to them.
(Just so you know, I'm writing this tongue-in-cheek. I'm doing the best I can as a mother. It took me awhile to figure out what to do, but at least we got that poor baby some relief!)
1:17 PM ~
Okay, my peeps, I am trembling as I write this. Because my computer is having so many, many problems, I'm going to have to do major surgery. Surgery in the form of completely reinstalling Windows. You know what that means, don't you? I will lose EVERYTHING on my computer. I'm going to have to back up everything I have on there and then reinstall every program I have.
This is going to take awhile, so it may be late tonight or tomorrow before I can visit you. If you haven't heard from me by Friday, somebody call the geeks to come rescue me.
9:49 AM ~
You know what I think? I think that for the price we pay for admission to amusement parks, there should be people standing at the front gate handing out breath mints and deoderant to every person who enters. Seriously. I sat next to some of the stinkiest people on earth on some of the rides. Since I already suffer from motion sickness, the last thing I need is for some redneck with 3 teeth breathing dragon breath on me and then raising his undeoderized arms as we fly down a huge drop that already makes my stomach churn. Recipe for disaster, folks.
And, please. There is a dress code for a reason. My eyes are still burning from some of the things I saw. It's just not right to subject children to such atrocities. I'm not the smallest person in the world by any means, but I sure know how to cover up any gag-inducing parts of my body. I'm not ruling out the rail-thin sticks we call teenagers either. They had on some of the worst clothing. Oh, and if you are a man turned woman, please do not wear a bikini. I'm just saying. My eyes, people, my eyes.
So in the interest of those around you, please remember this the next time you go to a theme park: Hygiene is your friend.
10:11 AM ~
I don't want to write a detailed post about every little thing we did on vacation. How boring is that? Instead I'll just give a few highlights and then move on to other, more interesting things tomorrow. If I can think of any, that is.
On the way to Branson we passed a l-o-n-g line of military vehicles. They had written on the back of the first few to honk to support them. The Hubster only honked twice and then told me I had to wave instead. I waved for awhile as we passed and got lots of honks from the servicemen. The kids and I loved it. I changed my waving to a thumbs up partway through and then finally started actually looking at the drivers as we passed. Drama Queen started looking too--and noticed that some of the guys were pretty darn cute. Once we had passed the last vehicle, I jokingly commented that I had done my patriotic duty for the day. Drama Queen piped up with, "Me too, looking at cute boys!"
We thought we were going to escape the heat when we left town. Oh, how wrong we were! In all reality, it was a little bit cooler--99 instead of 104. Once it gets that high, though, who can tell the difference? We figured out very early on that the only way to stand it was to ride the water rides first so we could be wet when standing in lines for the other rides. We spent lots of time at theme parks. Lots of time. The majority of our time was split between two amusement parks and a water park. We had a park hopper pass, so we got to go to them as many times as we wanted for 4 days. That's a lot of walking, folks, let me tell you.
We rode tons of rides compliments of Dramamine. I went through almost an entire bottle of it while we were there. Have you ever tried the less drowsy kind? For me it means that I am fine for the first 4 hours but watch out after that. I imagine it's the equivalent of slipping me a mickey. And the bonus is that it lasts for 24 hours. I got up Tuesday morning, ate breakfast by myself since everyone else was asleep, and gratefully crawled back in bed when The Hubster asked to sleep just a little longer. The next thing I heard was him asking the kids if I was ever going to get up. It was 10:30, and they were ready to go have some fun. We went shopping for awhile--rather they shopped and I staggered around in a bleary fog. I begged to go back to the camper because I just couldn't handle it anymore. I dropped back into bed as soon as we got there. I never even knew my family went swimming--for 3 hours. They woke me up at 7:00 that evening, and I finally felt awake. So much so that I had a hard time going to sleep that night.
We didn't buy any souvenirs, but guess what I brought back. You'll never guess in a million years. A real, honest-to-goodness TAN! Woo hoo! Of course tanning on my body is very different from most people, but I have tan lines. I wore a tank top or sleeveless shirt everyday because it was so dang hot. My shoulders are a lovely shade of reddish brown, the red being a little more prominent because I do tend to burn instead of tan. But hey! I'll take whatever I can get! I'm so excited I'm thinking about taking pictures. hee hee
We had a great time while we were gone, but I was ready to come home. I would have been fine if we had packed up and left on Friday instead of Sunday, but staying gave us a chance to have dinner with my parents. They are vacationing in Branson this week, so we left our camper there for them to use. Guess what that meant? Faster travel time home for us! Woo hoo! We got home so early I even got to go to the grocery store. If that isn't a great way to end a vacation, I don't know what is. Heh.
The only downside to our trip was that we brought home an ear infection via Karate Kid. This child should have outgrown these things by now. Every time he goes swimming for a few days, he ends up getting one. My first thought was to put plugs in his ears, but the doctor sent home a paper telling us not to do that and why. Instead she is recommending that he be seen by an ENT because his tonsils are huge. All the time. She thinks that maybe his ears can't drain because his adenoids and tonsils are blocking the way thus causing those wonderful infections. It sure would have been nice to find out about this sometime other than the week before school started. Is it selfish of me to not want to use our Fall Break to take care of it? Cause that means my annual trip to my Grandma's and the arts and crafts festivals and the games with my family and the food and the staying up late talking to my sister and sister-in-law, and, and, and...well, it would all not get to happen. And I would be a very unhappy person. So there.
Yeah, it seems like my vacation did a lot for my attitude, dontcha think?
8:28 AM ~
We're finally home. Whew! It's hot back here--104 without the heat index! I am SO glad to be back, even though we had loads of fun. I'll post more later, and I'll catch up with all of ya'll.
3:42 PM ~