No Tooth, No Money

Last Friday afternoon the boys bounded off the school bus, all limbs and backpacks and sweaty buzz cuts.  It was the start of a four-day weekend, and everybody was bursting with excitement.

“AbunchofmyfriendsaregoingtoplayfootballrightnowintheHall’syardCanIgotooCanIplayCanIgonow HuhCanImomCanImomplease?” Kid D asked before we even reached the house.

“We are going to movie night on the lawn at your aunt’s house right after dinner, but you can go play for a while.  Promise me you’ll call when you get there.  And be home by 5:45.”  I guarantee he didn’t hear anything after “go play,” but he is eight and I’m learning that’s just how eight-year-old boys work/ don’t work.

About and hour or so later, there was a knock-knock-knock at my side door.  In came Kid D, along with Football House Mom II (not to be confused with FHM I – If You Have to Poop, Go Home), and her son.  She led with, “Um, the boys had a little accident…”

I stayed very calm.  Kid D was being brave, but as soon as he saw me the dam broke and the tears started flowing.  FHM II explained that Kid D had collided with another friend and he had apparently lost a tooth as a result.  The blood was flowing generously from his mouth, so I really couldn’t see much of anything.  I asked if they knew where the missing tooth went.  Did it jam up into his gums?  Was it somewhere on the lawn?  Did he swallow it?

“We’re not sure.  It might very well be in the other kid’s head.”  Awesome.

FHM II and her son left to check on the status of the other kid.  I gave Kid D some salt water and told him to start swishing and spitting.  After he cleared away some of the bloody mess, I was able to determine that most if not all of the tooth was indeed gone from his mouth.  The rest should fall out on its own because, luckily, it was a baby tooth.  His permanent front tooth next to the new hole was a slight bit wiggly, but I wasn’t too worried.  And conveniently, we had dentist appointments scheduled for first thing Monday morning so I would have the experts confirm that he was fine in a few days.

I texted with the other kid’s mom and she confirmed that he was hard-headed and doing just fine.  He was worried that he might have a “discussion” from the bump on his head, but there was just a red mark.  No broken skin and no “discussion.”  Whew.

So I had Kid D swish and spit a little while longer so the blood would stop spewing forth.  Then I Motrinned him up and he felt much better.  We even brought FHM II’s kid with us to watch Hotel Transylvania outside at my sister’s house.  It was a beautiful night and the movie was funny and the kids (as well as the grown ups) had a good time.  It was late when we finally got home and put the boys to bed.

The next morning, Kid D was very disappointed.  Apparently, the tooth fairy had failed to make an appearance and he felt gypped.  And surprisingly, he found no solace in my explanation: “I believe the rule is – no tooth, no money.  Sorry, big guy.”

Kid D was having none of that nonsense, so he set out writing a letter to the tooth fairy.  And when I asked how the tooth fairy would know if he was telling the truth or not, he insisted that I sign off on his note as a witness.

Kid D tooth fairy letter

The very next night, the note went on his nightstand, front and center.

And he found this waiting for him in the morning:

Well, I believe that the tooth fairy needs to have more change on hand.

I guess it is “no tooth, no money,” unless you leave a polite, semi-notorized note.

Over the years, our tooth fairy seems to have taken a whole lot of liberties.  Is it just me, or does the tooth fairy seem like she/ he really makes up most stuff up as they go along?  And she/ he really should be better prepared  in the future by having change on hand.  I’m just saying.

P.S.  I also believe that my kids need some more work on spelling.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Oops… I Did it Again

No, I didn’t get a speeding ticket on the drive home.

No, Sheepdog didn’t knock me up.

And no, I didn’t get in trouble for saying anything ornery or inappropriate (well, no more than usual).

th

Oops, I Did it Again

But yes, I did go to the eye doctor yesterday and have another follow up exam to my PRK last November.  My vision has improved incredibly… I don’t have to wear glasses or contacts anymore because I can see everything almost perfectly.  Except not.  My distance vision is still a little blurry.  I used to be a negative 6.5 in both eyes.  Now I’m less than minus one.  But this is me we are talking about and when I do something, I do it all the way.  So guess what.  I opted to have him tweak my dominant eye.  That way I get perfect close-up vision in my left eye and perfect distance vision in my right eye.  Like the Terminator.

Oh yes, I had laser eye surgery again yesterday.  Sitting in the doctor’s office, signing away rights to life and limb, I started to have deja vu and I got all sweaty and I almost backed out because I remembered all too clearly how bad it was before.  And let me tell you that it hurts just as much as when I had it done the first time.  It feels like somebody took tiny shards of glass or grains of sand and sprinkled them on my eyeball, then closed my eyelid and rubbed it all around for a bit.  Water is leaking out of my eye so much that I slept in a pool of my own tears last night.  Sunlight is intolerable, so I picked up an eye patch to keep as much light out as possible (I couldn’t use a patch last go-round because I had both eyes done at once).  Combined with my peeling face from the idiot sunburn I earned over the weekend, I am quite a sight to behold today.

Are you ready kids?  Aye, aye, Cap'n!

Are you ready kids? Aye, aye, Cap’n!

Sheepdog is being awesome and working from home so that he can do whatever driving needs to be done over the next couple of days.  Pain makes me short on patience and short of temper, so the kids are having a grand, old time with me around.  But, hopefully, this will be a fast recovery and the very last time I have to get lazed in the eyeball.

I am hanging in there and tolerating the pain because I know it will get better soon, and the results will be worthwhile.  But I really hope that this one takes because I really do not want to have this surgery ever, ever again.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Summer Update – One Down…

… two to go.  Months, that is.  Seriously.  This is insane!  Have you looked at the calendar?  It is June 24th already!!!

Today we are officially one full month into our summer vacation.  And we have been doing lots of summery things… staying up too late to catch lightning bugs or looking for the super moon, grilling everything we get our hands on, enjoying the summer brews, spending our afternoons running through the sprinkler and swimming at the pool.  But, at the same time, we have also been adhering to quite a full schedule, which does not seem the least bit summery to me.

Kid A just left yesterday for four weeks in the Governor’s Honors Program.  She already traveled to the beach and New York City with friends for a week.  Kid B just returned from five days at goalkeeper camp, and she is in the final week of a three-week-long summer bridge program (so she can get her driver’s permit this Fall).  Oh, and she is signed up for another soccer camp at the high school during the evenings this week.  And remember that we drove to Alabama for that regional soccer tournament as well.  Kid C earned a promotion to dancing en pointe, so she hasn’t stopped her twice weekly classes.  And last week she attended a summer intensive dance program from 10AM – 4PM every single day.  That’s nuts, right?  How did this become our relaxed, summer schedule?

In the past, I would put my foot down and we didn’t do camps or activities or much of anything in the summertime.  We just watched movies, read books and hung out at the neighborhood pool.  Then we would spend a glorious week at the beach.  I soaked it up like the summer sun, because doing nothing can be quite fabulous.  And I truly believe it is therapeutic and necessary, especially because it seems as if we do all of the things during the regular school year.  But, as the kids have gotten older, things have changed and we don’t seem to get as much down time, even throughout the months of June, July, and August.  Sports and school and their social lives have all gotten so much more intense.  Out of necessity and albeit grudgingly, I have adjusted.

But the boys are a different story.  They are still young and I can get away with keeping their summer schedules blankety-blank, just as I like it.  While the older three are off practicing for college and soccering and dancing, the boys and I are doing a whole lot of summertime nada.  Kid D has been playing real and virtual ball (all of the kinds) outside and inside and Kid E learned/ is still learning how to swim on his own.  It has been really fun, even the “I’m bored!” parts.  But then they both got super complain-y all of a sudden.  It took me a while before I realized they might be sick.  In the summertime.  Who does that?

So then I had to add a doctor’s visit to the calendar, but fortunately the doctor figured out that both of them were being so whiny because they had sinus infections.  Or maybe allergies.  Whatever… please just fix them.  So the doctor sent us to the pharmacy to treat both possibilities simultaneously.

We had to wait for our order, so I made my way to the foot care section (I needed toe spacers for Kid C’s newly acquired foot pain obsession due to dancing atop her toes… that’s crazy difficult, y’all!), and the boys followed me there.  This year Kid E also learned/ is still learning how to read.  Conveniently, the feminine products share real estate in the foot care aisle (I was not aware that the vagina bone’s connected to the foot bone.  Mental note to discuss a more logical store organization with CVS.)  While I was determining which gel product would best keep my baby from getting bunions, I hear Kid E yelling to me from just a yard away.

“Mom, what are max pads?”

I completely and blatantly ignore him.

“Mom!  I mean, what are MAX-eye pads?  What are they, Mom, huh?  What are they for?  Max-EYE pads.”  He started getting louder.

“Nothing.  They are for nothing you need to know about, ” I whisper.  I’m so not in the mood for this.  I would so much rather be feet in the sand, face toward the sun right now.

Kid D is all of a sudden interested in this conversation too.  “No!  They are not max-eye pads, they are maxi pads!  See, it says ‘maxi pads,’ not ‘max-eye’ pads.  Mom, what are maxi pads?  Look at how big the package is!  What are they, Mom?  This box is huge!”

I hear all of the people in the pharmacy snickering as I navigate this minefield.  Thanks for the solidarity, sisters.  I guess I’m on my own.

“They are grown up lady woman things that you do not need to know about today.  Put them back on the shelf now and stop yelling, please.”

Kid E becomes incredulous.  “I just want to know what they are for!  Just tell me what the max-eye pads are for, Mom!  I just want to know!  Tell me!  Tell me, please!”  More blatant laughter from the traitors in the pharmacy.

Simpler summer times… no schedules, no camps and no boys asking questions about girls getting their periods

I quickly calculate that I have two choices here.  I can go for shock and awe, or I can distract.  And although I consider myself one of the hardcore members of the fan club for the former, I have not yet gotten my full summer recharge and I am not up for speeches and questions about tampons versus pads.  So, I opt for the lazy choice – the latter.  I chose a complete and utter cop-out.

“Hey, didn’t I see water guns at the front near the gum?  Why don’t you boys go pick out some squirters and we can play with them once you feel better.”

Fortunately, they run off without any more questions and I am spared continued awkwardness for the moment.

I do, however, plan to look into summer camps for these boys as soon as possible.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Rock Star

I took Dr. Sheepdog’s advice on the life affirmation, and shortly thereafter began exhibiting signs of too much of a good thing.  So I quickly called the office of Hot Doc to see if he could analyze my urine and write me a script that would lessen my urge to pee every three to five minutes.

I knew that I was traveling on a rocky road when counsel with Hot Doc didn’t provide me even a sliver of pain relief.  His killer smile and collaboration on a prank yielded no respite (He told me to tell Sheepdog no sex for four weeks. I chose to tell Sheepdog I was pregnant.  Sheepdog found neither to be funny).

Controlled substances gave me little lull in my torture, so I reverted to witchcraft, sorcery, and tricks of old.  I practiced meditation, controlled breathing and visions of my happy place to manage the diabolical torture my body was going through.  Oh, and I had signed up to deliver dinner to not one but two friends that day, so I had that to distract me.  By the end of the day I was convinced that I was dying.  I tried to pee one more time.

Sweet relief of Jesus.  Afterwards, I dialed Sister C’s phone number and waited.  When I finally heard an adult female voice at the other end of the line I screamed, “I just peed out a rock!”

“Um… this is Mary, the babysitter.  Sister C and House Captain went to a Braves game, so you can try them on their cell phones.  But it sounds like you just passed a kidney stone.”

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

Later, I reached Sister C and she (being the kidney stone expert in our family) confirmed.  But apparently I’m supposed to save the little bastard for lab tests and whatnot (I didn’t).  And I now need to make adjustments to my diet and whatnot (less calcium, lower sodium, fewer animal proteins… basically get rid of all the fun stuff).

Hot Doc sent me a message via secure client portal this morning.  My urine culture returned negative for evidence of urinary tract infection.  Duh.

So I responded with this:

I’m not too surprised, because later that day I peed out a rock… my very first kidney stone! I just figured I was dying because it hurt like a mother all day. After it passed, I felt so much better but it took my body a day or two to completely recover. I did finish the course of antibiotics you gave me.
I guess I’ll just know for next time (fingers crossed there will be no next time) when I have acute lower back pain or throbs in my flank and groin and waves of debilitating agony that make me throw up, that another stone is rolling its way down the chute.
At least I remembered my Lamaze breathing. That really helped! Plus, I’m kind of a badass. That helps too.
I will follow up with my urologist.
Giddyup (that’s a stirrup joke because you are my gynecologist),
Stacy Swiger

Sheepdog says I’m going to get fired as his client.  I’m still on pain meds.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Put ‘Em On the Glass

I like Monday mornings.  I’m not being sarcastic.  Mondays are my “get it done/ bang it out” days… laundry, grocery shopping, a fast workout, appointments.  I figure I’ll have one long, crappy day that is filled with as many of the sucky chores as I can cram in.  Then, later in the week I can do the fun stuff… bake, visit with a friend, watch a Kevin Smith movie marathon, nap, maybe post a blog or two.

Sheepdog always calls me to chat on Mondays and I’m all like, “Why do you keep calling me… I’m BUSY!”  Plus, we just spent the whole weekend together.  What the hell else could we have to talk about?  I like doing stuff together on the weekends, with the kids or without, but the OCD in me really likes it when Monday morning rolls around and Sheepdog has pedaled his way down the street and the kids are all out the door and I can get down to brass tacks with my To-Do list.  I’m always slow to start on Mondays, but once I get going, I am a machine.

Early this morning Kid D and Kid E had crawled into bed with me to cuddle.  We still had a half an hour before we needed to start the day so I was still trying to actually sleep, but the boys were having none of that.  Kid E was perfecting his explosion sound effects (his latest hobby) and Kid D was having a full-on, all-parties-have-to-participate conversation.

“How was your sleep, Mom?”

“Mmmmmm.”

“What does that even mean?  Are you hungry, or still sleeping?  It is supposed to rain today.  80 percent chance, according to The Weather Channel.  My game will probably be canceled.  We are supposed to play the Nationals again.  They are really, really good.  We have had, like, 5 games with the Nationals get rescheduled because of bad weather already this season.  I don’t know how we’re going to make them all up.  Dad and I had a really great practice yesterday.  I was working on my hitting and he kept yelling at me and throwing things at me so I would be distracted.  But I did a good job staying focused.  Did you hear that new song by Muse yet?  I heard it on the radio and I really like it.  Are you going to buy it on iTunes?  You should and then I can download it.  Can you do that for me?  Can you do it today, so you don’t forget?  What else are you doing today?”

“Shhhhblammm!” goes Kid E.

I slowly and reluctantly began to wake up.  And I remembered that it was “bang it out” day and I had an appointment on my schedule first thing this morning.  So, without much thought, I answered the chatty kid.

“I have a doctor’s appointment early this morning.”

“What for?”  Of course.

“Well, it is just an annual exam.”

“Exam of what?”  Nosy bastard.  I’m still tired and I have a lot to do today and I’m not in the mood to play 20 Questions.  I’m just going to give it to him straight.

“Technically, it is of my boobies.”  That’ll shut him up, if only because he’ll be giggling for the next ten minutes.

“Shhhblammm!  Shhhblammm!  Shhhblammm!” goes Kid E again, and then he chimes in, “What about your boobies?”  He joins his brother in fits of laughter.

“All right, gentlemen.  That’s enough.  I am going to the doctor to have them make sure that my boobies are healthy.  It is something that every woman should do every year.  Eat right, exercise and get your girl parts and boobies checked.”

“Are they checking your boobies for milk?”  Smartass.

“No, Mr. Smartypants.  These boobies no longer make milk.”

Kid E goes back to sound effect production, but Kid D is contemplative.  I can tell his mind is back to working overtime.  And then he cracks a smile as he turns to inform his little brother.

“Oh, I get it.  They’re checking to make sure that her milk hasn’t turned into cheese!”

Shhhblammm, indeed.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

images

The Holiday Wrench

I did all of the laundry so everybody would have clean clothes to pack.  I charged the pump so we could blow up the air mattress for somebody to sleep on when we got there.  I filled the gas tank in the truck so we could get up this morning at 3 A.M. and just drive.  I did a little early Christmas shopping for some bigger items so we could drive them up instead of shipping them.  I’m not even gonna start on the preparations that Grandma and Grandpa made in anticipation of our Thanksgiving visit… the shopping, the cleaning, the cooking, the “little” projects around the house.

Turns out they were all for naught, though, because we have kids.  And kids come with a cornucopia of wrenches that they will throw into the gears of our lives at any given moment.  And because of a sick wrench, the seven of us are all milling around our house in Georgia instead of driving somewhere along I-77 watching (or just listening to, if you sit in the front seat and can’t view the screen) a Disney-Pixar movie right now.

Exactly what we were trying to avoid
*photo courtesy of Google Images*

On Monday, Kid A came home from school in tears.  She was extremely nauseous and on top of that another girl in her lit class had written an essay about her (a very flattering one, not a mean one) that made her extremely emotional.  Since naps are my go-to cure-all, I immediately sent her to bed.  She felt a little better after that, but ended up not going to school on Tuesday because she got worse through the night.  She had a fever and didn’t have the energy to get off of the couch.  She was shaky and dizzy and icky, but I figured whatever it was would run its course and be gone after 24 hours.  So I kept on packing.

But by Tuesday at 5 P.M., while standing amidst 6 fully packed duffel bags (Sheepdog, of course, waits until the very last minute to pack.  He also feels the need to run every article of clothing past me as he does it, despite my insistence that I DO NOT CARE which damn shirt he wears to drive home), 7 winter coats, 7 sets of hats and gloves, 7 pairs of sneakers, 7 backpacks filled with charged electronics and books, a soccer ball, a football, a few baseball gloves and balls, the travel pillows and blankets, the sleeve of DVDs, the camera bag, the snack bag and the drink cooler, Sheepdog and I made the decision to cancel our trip.

The kids’ reactions were similar… all of them were very sad that they wouldn’t be seeing their Grandma and Grandpa, or their aunt and uncle and cousins.  Kid D started to cry inconsolably and he continued through bedtime.  Kid E was mad at me.  But I saw an ever so slight look of relief pass over Kid A’s face when she realized that she wouldn’t have to fake tough for ten hours riding through the ups and downs of the mountain roads while trying not to even think about throwing up even though she would have the Tupperware vomit bowl within her arms’ reach the whole time.  We would also be sitting right next to her the whole time, breathing her sick air and coming into contact with her cooties, pretty much guaranteeing that somebody else would have what she has for the trip home.  It was definitely the right call.

The next call I had to make was to my in-laws, who were vibrating with so much excitement in anticipation of our arrival that I could feel it through the phone lines.  Ironically, our trip to visit them earlier last summer was canceled on their end, as they were all dealing with some sort of plague that we couldn’t take a chance contracting, especially since Kid A’s boyfriend had just had a bone marrow transplant and was extremely immunocompromised.  I was scared that my mother-in-law would be furious or cry or have some sort of extreme reaction that would cause me even more guilt than I was already experiencing, but she was understanding and gracious and so sweet about everything.

So now we are all home.  We have the gift of an unexpected day with nothing much on the schedule.  Kid A is recuperating and we are all keeping our distance.  Kid B went to the movies to see Breaking Dawn Part II (which was AWESOME by the way… best of the series) for the sixteenth time.  Kid C and Kid D are running around in shorts outside playing some sort of bucket, snoochie boochie game.  Kid E is shadowing Sheepdog while he changes the air filters and applies wood putty to a broken door and generally performs a bunch of Sheepdog chores around the house.  I am going to take a much-needed nap.  And tomorrow, as long as everybody has been fever-free for at least 24 hours and nobody shows any signs of being sick, we will join two of my sisters and their families, as well as my mom and dad for Thanksgiving dinner down the street.

I sure hope nobody throws a wrench into that plan.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Put ‘Em Up

I got in a fight and lost.  Against the Sun.

I made an appointment with my dermatologist to have her look at a little thing on my foot back in late February or early March, but when I returned from Cabo I had a tan.  I didn’t want my dermatologist to think that I was some kind of irresponsible sun worshiper, so I canceled the appointment.

Then came the summertime, and I was an irresponsible sun worshipper.  I took the kids to the pool or the beach regularly and, while I sprayed their little backs and fronts and ears and noses and even scalps with hundreds of dollars worth of “the really good stuff,” I will admit that there were some days when I forgot to slather it on my own cheeks.

Summer ended.  My tan faded.  It crossed my mind once or twice to make another appointment with the dermatologist, but other things came up which required my attention.  It was laundry day or dinnertime or someone needed new socks or a new hairbrush or it was someone’s birthday or soccer game or book fair.

That’s weird… “book fair.”  Why did “book fair” just come to the forefront of my consciousness?  Wait a minute.  What day is this?  Oh, crap!  What time is it?  I was supposed to be at the book fair for Kid D ten minutes ago.  See what I mean about the other things taking over?

OK, I’m back.  I barely made it to the media center before his class was shipped out.  When I found him, Kid D was just wandering around with his wish list, looking abandoned and sad.  But it was nothing a few baseball books couldn’t cure.

So I finally got around to making (and going to) an appointment with the dermatologist on Monday.  She told me that my foot thing was nothing and then she did an all over body scan.  While she was staring at my cheek I asked, “Oh, so you like my age spot, do you?”

“Sorry, sweetheart, that’s no age spot…” she responded as she blasted my face with her evil freeze bottle.

Mama said knock you out.

So now I have a nasty cut on my cheek that will take some time to heal.  In the meantime, I am wearing a band-aid over it because it makes me look more like a tough boxer than a dumb sun bunny.  I might even keep the Everlast glove on while I run my errands.  What?  Don’t you judge me.

The doctor confirmed that I am still allowed to go to Cabo in February.  And in the summer I can still go to the pool and the beach too.  I just need to be extra vigilant about anything new or interesting, and I have to remember to put the good stuff on me.  Every single time.

Speaking of time, take some right now and make your own appointment.  Don’t brush me off.

Wait.  “Brush.”  Somebody said something about a brush this morning.  Oh yeah, Kid B broke hers and she needs a new one.  I’ll go to the store right now, I just need to find my boxing glove first.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…