April 14, 2014

An in-depth look at dramatic parenting

So, I feel like maybe I let you guys off a little easy the other day when I shared about my families recent bout of sickness, and maybe I need to give you some of the details. Ok, wait, I lie that's not the reason . I'm really going to put it here more for myself. I find that when I go back to blog posts that I wrote when Ransom was a baby I  often marvel at some of our truly horrific days. Its nice to remember. Mostly because of the lovely fact that I'd first forgotten . When we are in the worst of it we can hardly imagine that there will be a day where the awfulness will have worn off, but its true.

It fades.

So, in the glory of the fact that this story will fade, let me set the stage.

It was Saturday night. We'd had a busy day, a day that had started with us at the Urgent Care clinic finally getting Tabitha's health issues sorted out. We had then rushed to take my friend Adelaide to a hair appointment ( she's in town for an army course and she's currently stationed in Germany which means she doesnt have her car with her. bummer for her...which you'll soon see...), and then I had made the smart decision to take my kids home instead of going to a Ministry training event.

I must insert here that its SO crazy how different my attitude is with two kids instead of one. Poor Tabitha has had to suck it up soooo much more than Ransom. There is NO way that if Ransom had been sick for weeks and weeks and I'd just taken him to a last resort doctors appointment, that I would then leave said appointment and even CONSIDER lugging him to some event. Bless my little girls heart. She is SUCH a trooper. I admit a lot of my attitude change has not just been that I'm now a mom of two...but also the fact that Tabitha really is so incredibly easy.

But as we drove and Tabitha started to whimper from the backseat, I shot up our white flag for the day and we headed home.

The day continued....I went back and got Adelaide from her hair appointment and she came home to our house where I put the kids down for naps and I made pizza dough for future dinners, and gave the master bedroom a deep clean. Adelaide insisted that sitting around and watching me do house chores was more fun than going home. I seriously doubted it. ;-)

So skip to the evening.....I'd made snacks, herded post-nap children, I'd made dinner, and was starting to clean up from the dinner process when Ransom yelled that his ear hurt. I told him it would be ok. ( yeah, I guess my overall attitude as a parent has relaxed considerably.) I figured he was just complaining because I'd asked him to clean up his toys. But, by the time we'd sat down to watch a little movie I could tell he was not himself. At. All. He was weirdly worried by parts of the movie he'd never been worried about before. And started to complain about his ear hurting. And then he started to cry. Uncontrollably. Nothing I did could make it better. He was beyond consolling.

Brett was getting ready to go into a night shift....oh yeah, did I mention Brett was on night shifts? And thus, making me a "single mom" for pretty much 20 hours of the day. More like 22 hours of the day. But, hey, I know some rockstars who are 24 hours of the day ALWAYS. So no complaint here. I'm just sayin'. Brett was getting ready to head off to work, and Tabitha was making it known that she needed to go to bed. right then.

So in the midst of this craziness, I decided to take Ransom to the ER.  eh. not my best decision. And I can now tell  you at least 20 reasons why, but at the TIME? At the time it seemed like a good idea. Story of my life.

Oh, and my Adelaide. What a long suffering friend! She just thought that Brett was going to take her home on his way to work! Nope. Instead she headed with me and a screaming Ransom to the hospital. And by screaming I mean that ear piercing scream. The out of control animalistic scream. It was pretty intense....luckily we only live about 3 minutes from the hospital and there was a super long train parked along the road so there was some minor distracting for my screaming son...but oooooopppppppsssss.....I left my wallet in the other bag. You know, the wallet that has my all important military ID. 
Back home we go, and the screaming gets MUCH LOUDER when Ransom realizes he does NOT get to go to his bed as he is so strongly suggesting.  And then...and then the worst thing ever.
That train?
That SUPER LONG train? Parked beside the road?!  It is no longer parked. It is moving....slowly, ever so slowly across our road. Leaving us at a standstill. No closer to the hospital. A hyperventilating 3 year old in the back seat, a husband who's getting closer and closer to being really REALLY late to work waiting at home with our sick 1 year old.
This is where I may have said something I am not proud of under my breath.

But then I pulled it together and talked in my most chipper voice about how exciting and fantastic it was that we were going to get to sit and watch this train go by.....Its in these moments that I realize how important it is to not let my own emotions mirror my childs, no matter how distressed and awful they might be making life for themselves and everyone else. Someone must be uber calm. And basically that person has to be Mom. Not always easy, and sometimes not even possible. But I put my whole focus into it and sat there watching that SLOOOOOW train go by and discussed the cars and their different colors with Adelaide.
Bless her.

After seeming hours had past we finally arrived at the ER. An ER that was filled with the young and old all reduced to waiting together in the hopes of getting some medical care. And there we were. Two women and a screaming 3 year old. And by screaming I mean SCREAMING. Really really loud screaming.

I'm pretty sure Adelaide and I  were mistaken as a couple by an actual lesbian couple and their tween son who were sitting in front of us, but they were SO nice and friendly and incredibly patient with the amount of weeping and nashing of teeth that was going on behind them. Seriously, I do not know why the ER didn't call us back sooner, just for the sake of the 40 other people having to suffer through listening to us...  But they didn't and instead we waited for FOUR HOURS. Ransom eventually fell asleep 

And we watched the time tick away. With each passing minute I regretted my
Decision to come to the ER. After further observation it was clear that only Ranaom's ear hurt. Nothing else. Classic ear infection. And sure, he kept waking up in pain, but at home at least the two of us would be the only ones suffering. Here in the ER Adelaide was stuck with is, and by now, my Dear Friend Deb was watching over Tabitha at home and Brett was at work, so Deb was ALSO holding an unasked for night vigil. I had clearly jumped the gun. We should not be here....
But now that'd we'd put in all that suffering time, when should we call it quits? At what point was all of this waiting around NOT worth it any more? 

I held Ransom's sweaty head in my lap and played mind games: "if we haven't been called by 11, we'll leave..."

"If we haven't been called by 12:15 we'll leave."

At 12:30 I sent Adelaide on a recon mission to see how far down on the list we were. It was SUPER discouraging to here that there were five patients in front of us.

And then around 1 Ransom woke up again. And so did everyone else within ear shot because the dude began to scream and cry again. In desperation, I picked him up and carried him up to the desk with me to have the people tell ME to my FACE that 5 hours in the ER was not enough... And guess what? They did just that. They told me and my crying son that there were no longer FIVE people in front of us, but SIX. 

This was the last straw.

I turned, went back to our seats and told Adelaide we were leaving... And then, the most annoying thing happened.... They called our name! Sure as I'm impatient they had called my bluff and I was NOT taking it!! And there they were calling is back. Half begging us to stay!

I suppose I should be thankful that the rest of our ER Visit last about 45 minutes, from seeing the doctor to getting our medicine and walking out the door. BUT IM NOT.

Should I have called their bluff sooner? Pretended to leave so my kid would get care? Should we even have to resort to either going to the ER or being sent to a clinic that misdiagnosed Tabitha only a few weeks before? Should I have definitely just waited to go to the ER during the next morning so all my friends could have gotten a decent nights sleep?

All the answers to these questions made for a pretty unsatisfied Mommy.

But such is the way, and as I have said before, these moments so quickly fad
From memory... And for that I am thankful. 

Resurrection Eggs: my new favorite thing

So a week or so ago one of my lovely Instagram friends posted a picture of some "Resurrection Eggs" and I was immediately curious! She gave me the details and a few days later I headed out to buy our own set! 
I am SO glad I did! 

You can find these Easter eggs at any Christian bookstore ( I looked into about three different ones in our area and they all had them)- I got mine at Family Christian Books. And the price ranges from $15 to $20. ( I got mine for $16.50), and hey if you don't live somewhere with a Christian bookstore, you can get them online too!  

The eggs came in a fun "egg carton" but I moved ours into a big bowl on our dinning room table, easier for little hands to get to and also added decoration! Score!  

At first I thought we'd use the eggs like an "advent" calendar of sorts. Open an egg every day, discover the little figurine inside and read the story, but turns out Ransom likes to hear ALL the stories ALL at once! He sat through all 12 eggs about four times on the first day! I was AMAZED at how opening little eggs held his attention and how much of the stories he retained by having these little "visual aids" 

I would tell him which egg to get out, he would find the right egg, open it up and he'd play with whatever was inside while I read him the story. 

There is a donkey ( Palm Sunday), 3 silver coins ( judas betrayal), a little cup ( last supper), praying hands ( prayers in the garden) , a rooster ( peter's denial), a crown of thorns ( he was mocked), a whip ( beaten and tortured for us), nails ( nailed to the cross), a spear ( pierced for our transgressions), a linen cloth ( buried) *, a stone ( covering the grave), and an empty egg ( He has risen !) 

I currently alternate between reading the little stories and just telling them. But honestly, it was all surprisingly well written and each story pointed to the Truth of Easter.  Tabitha's little baby hands in the picture above also prove that even little ones like to sit and play with the eggs. I definitely think these eggs will be a part
of our Easter Tradition from now on! Ransom just keeps on asking for us to do the Egg Stories and we just keep saying yes! 

*I was super bummed when I found that my Eggs came without a linen cloth! Looks like they just left it out! Boo! But as far as easy to replace or come up with my own it was probably the best of the options. Still. Bummed. 

April 08, 2014

We haven't died yet.....

Hey, see that white line that almost looks like a hair on my cheek? and then that little drip on my chin. THAT'S SNOT! Snot from my adorable-yet-also-affectionate daughter who decided to give me a kiss after sneezing. 

The month of March was the month of sickness. From what I can tell sickness entered our household almost as soon as my sister's family left our home after they visited for spring break at the beginning of March. That may sound like I'm blaming it on them but I'm not, if anything,  the fact that the sickness did not hit earlier was directly related to how hard I prayed and pleaded with God to "not ruin their visit with sickness"....clearly I should have been much more specific, because as I said, the sickness hit after they left and it DID NOT LEAVE.

If I was savvy with charts and grafts. I'd show you the ebb and flow of the sickness as it surged through our family, but since I am not. I'll just tell you the highlights. I wished for death around the 27th of March.  Tabitha got EVEN SICKER ( even though I didn't think that was possible) on the 29th and Ransom went to the ER on 5th of April.
And then you might also think, oh hey, noticed Brett wasn't mentioned there! He must have been saved from the misery. Well, you'd only be partly right. He spent two of those weeks working EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. without any sign of a weekend or anything. Just night after night, then he'd come home, parent a little bit, sleep for a few hours, get up, parent again and then head off to work. He didn't see the Real World until this past Sunday.

Several people have been like, "Hey, are you guys doing better?" and I basically attack the nearest piece of wood with some sever knocking when I say, " I think so!"  because I had proclaimed with all sorts of vigor and false optimism that we were "better" last week and I spent Saturday and Sunday at various medical facilities, so pardon me if I don't get excited about the use of only half a box of kleenex today as opposed to a full box yesterday.

In the midst of all this horridness I have been thinking a lot though and one thing I know for sure. We are SO blessed. Both of my kids have been sick with common illnesses. Things that can be easily explained ( even though Tabitha was misdiagnosed twice. thanks for that). I was sick with a common illness mixed with a ( un)healthy dose of lack of sleep- things that were also eventually cured.

 We have "free" healthy care. Thanks to the military all the horrible doctor visits and potentially dangerous diagnosis and misperscribing was at the very least all free. No doctors bills for us! And that may sound tongue and cheek ( as in, we definitely got what we paid for) but I know plenty of my readers can identify with bad medical care and yet they've also spent months paying it off!

Sometimes it really is important to count your blessings in the midst of minor suffering and so today I salute the single moms, the deployment-single parents, the parents of kids suffering from life threatening illness, those buried under a mountain of medical bills and those fighting hard to stay afloat due to sickness of any kind. I acknowledge that while you may be able to find little blessings and silver linings in your days ( which, by the way, rock on for that attitude!) I also know that things are TOUGH and please know that you are not alone.

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains....

April 04, 2014

Consultation on entertainment

When I was little, like maybe 12ish, I said that I wanted to be a consultant when I grew up. Because I had an opinion on everything and someone should really pay me for that. My parents thought this was a really kicker and told strangers on the street what I'd said, and then they'd all laugh....

But, I'm 30 now and I'm still pretty sure I'd be an excellent consultant. HOW DO YOU GET THAT GIG?  Luckily I don't have to think hard about it because there is all this free internet space just asking for my opinion so here today I will share with you my favorite entertainment: BOOM.  ( still not being paid though....that's a real downer! haha!)

I was listening to NPR on my way somewhere and I heard about this book and then received it for Christmas and then finally got to read it a month or so ago. Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL team six now besides the fact that the title is kind of stupidly long the book was a total page turner. These are my faaaavorite type of books, real stories that have almost fiction-like plots. I was also really moved and surprised by the added element of spirituality that was shared by her previously agnostic husband during their ordeal. And you can NOT HELP but get excited during the Seal team six rescue. Seriously I love that we've got heroes out there like this.  I definitely recommend this book.

When Brett is working day shifts and we have evenings together, after we put the kids down we will often "celebrate" making it through yet another day by watching a little TV. Now, we don't have "real" TV, but we do have the internet. Which is basically the same thing. There are about 3 shows that Brett and I watch together. And now that I look at my little list, I'm happy to say its fairly well rounded. 

First, this is our newest favorite show ( Thanks sister and bro-in-law for telling us about it): Brooklyn Nine-Nine on FOX.  I didn't think I'd like this show because I never really cared for anything Adam Samberg did when he was on SNL ( It was always kinda... ew).  HOWEVER, this show is actually incredibly clean. Besides some allusions to some things, its without a lot of the off-color comedy that seems so common on sitcoms these days. This show is also incredibly funny.  As in we laugh out loud every SINGLE episode. I also think its a mark of a good show when basically every single character is both likable and hilarious. Nice work. Oh, and when you watch it, and you get to the season finale and Gina starts talking in Emojis....just imagine me laughing till I cried. 

Second, this show is in its second season and Brett and I are still really liking it a lot. Elementry on CBS.  Now, after watching Sherlock on BBC ( which we also loved, but isn't worth mentioning because they only do THREE EPISODES A SEASON AND THEN LEAVE YOU HANGING FOREVER), I was skeptical about ANOTHER modern day Sherlock Holmes. And then the whole "female Watson thing" ? Yeah, call me doubtful. But! I was presently surprised! We enjoy the little mysteries, the dialogue is fun, and the relationship and growth in the characters is actually quite touching at times. I'm always down with well rounded characters and I feel like the creators of this show are really making it happen.

And lastly, we watch MARVELS: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on ABC.  I know, I know, nerdy. But since I haven't seen a movie other than a comic book movie in the movie theatre in years. Seriously. I've just given into the fact that I'm married to a huge nerd and I actually am a huge nerd too. But this show? Another Joss Wheaton show failure?! I was incredulous that it was going to be any good. But, like I said, being married to Brett meant that I was going to be watching it whether I had my doubts or not, so you can go ahead and thank me now: I did the dirty work for you and can now say, after viewing the first 16 episodes that it's a good show. As in really good. Well written, good cast, and pretty fantastic story line development. We've gotten increasingly excited about this show and get pretty sad when it misses a week. So, if you've got a little nerd streak in you, ease your fears and give this show a shot. You won't regret it. 

So there you go, one book and three tv shows. Just show's how totally cultured we are around here. 
Need something to go along with your entertainment? May I recommend  my favorite cheap wine? Its Mirassou Winery's Pinot Noir.  Super dry red, always reliable, about 8 dollars. What's not to love? 

So, what has been entertaining you recently? I'd love to hear your recommendations! 

April 03, 2014

It's like riding a bike.

Did you know that I never officially learned how to ride a bike? I'm sure I've mentioned this embarrassing fact on my blog before but its worth repeating.

It's even more embarrassing because, thanks to the awesome invention of the "balance bike"  my 3 year old has been riding a bike better than I ever could for almost 2 years now.

That being said, the whole phrase "it's like riding a bike" has always been more theoretical than actual known scientific fact for me. Basically I'm just going to have to take all your bike-riding people's word for it- But writing blog posts is definitely one instance that it is NOT like riding a bike, you can NOT just jump back on.

Turns out that good writing takes practice. And my own writing has dwindled down into one word sentences that look like this:
 "Help."  written in the margins of my Bible.

I'm coming off of a three week bought of sickness. My kids are still sick, but luckily I  seem to becoming to the end of it. I say luckily because Mama really has to be well. There are no sick days for Mommies.

Unless you're Gwyneth Paltrow.

Anyway, I'm coming up for air. And I'm letting you know that after finally getting my computer fixed ( it's been under the weather for a bit), I'm hoping to get back into serious book writing. However.  As I just mentioned writing just doesn't come all natural like. It takes work, and some greasing of some wheels. Therefore I've decide that I'm going to kick start my writing juices by writing some badly written blog posts here.... Lucky you!

And since all my creative juices are focused on things like, "What will we eat for dinner this week?" ( because its one of life's greatest unfairnesses that we must come up with things to eat EVERY DAY, THREE TIMES A DAY)- I'm going to ask you, dear people-who-use-to-read-this-blog-back-when-I-wrote-things. What would you like to see a blog post about?
Maybe I'll pick one and write it this week!