Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday

  • Woke up, got Liam to school, called the ortho clinic for a follow up appointment for Jamie.
  • Noticed Jamie’s fingers were turning blue and were very swollen. He also couldn’t feel me touching them. Loaded him into the car to head to Children’s ER.
  • The docs cut his cast in two places to allow for the arm to swell and then wrapped it with an ace bandage to keep it in place. His fingers began to improve almost immediately.
  • Called the pediatrician to see if I could get in to have Jamie’s Rash of Unknown Origin looked at. They had an appointment but I had to get Jamie discharged ASAP.
  • Went straight from the hospital to the pediatrician’a office. He’s diagnosed with Fifths Disease. While it’s One More Thing, it’s also not a big deal. It’s viral, we ignore it, it’ll go away on its own.
  • Finally get home and feed us. Sit still for a little bit. Pick up Liam at the bus stop.
  • Normal afternoon/evening routine from there.

Today

  • Woke up late, rushed to get Liam ready for school and out the door. Then got dressed, got Jamie dressed, and headed out to do the grocery shopping that didn’t get done yesterday because of the unexpected doctor’s visits.
  • Get home, unload groceries, put away cold stuff, and make myself presentable because we have to go BACK to Children’s for Jamie’s follow up appointment.
  • Go to appointment. Wait a lot. Finally see doc for 10 min. Jamie looks good, recheck in a week, casted for 6 weeks total. I make the recheck appointment and hightail it outta there.
  • Take Jamie to lunch because he asked nicely.
  • Go to Scot’s surgeon office to pick up a prescription for him, drop it off at the pharmacy, and FINALLY go back home.
  • I have a little over an hour to squander by lounging around with Jamie before heading back out to pick up Liam at the bus stop. We go from there to the pharmacy to pick up the meds. Head home after getting them and sit DOWN. I should do chores. I don’t.
  • Feed kids, sew a patch on Liam’s do bak, go to TKD. Come home, put Jamie to bed, have Liam to homework. Normal nightly routine from there.

Tomorrow 

  • Jamie has his screening appointment for kindergarten in the morning.
  • I absolutely MUST do some house chores – finish the kids laundry, clean the kitchen, maybe work on MY laundry, pay some bills. The list is endless.
  • In the evening, Liam and I have an informational meeting about band for next year.
  • Collapse into a heap and pray I make it through the week.

Achievement Unlocked: Broken Bone

After 9 years of parenting boys, we have our first broken bones in the house. It was bound to happen sooner or later, I suppose, but I would haven gladly taken ‘later.’ Especially since it was Jamie and what 5 year old is going to deal with that well?

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, Jamie came in from being outside and said that he hurt his arm. Scot got him ice and Motrin and let him sit on his lap to calm down. By the time I got a chance to check in on the situation, Jamie had fallen asleep in Scot’s lap.

Awwwww

Awwwww

Seeing as he was asleep, I left him alone. I did some cleaning in the kitchen and made some dinner for Liam. I heated up some leftovers for me. As I was heading into the family room to eat my food, Jamie was starting to wake up. That’s when I finally got a closer look at his arm.

It was bent in a place no arm should ever bend.

Off to the hospital we went. I left my food uneaten on the counter and Scot at home with Liam. Jamie was crying and scared at this point and I was just desperate to get him seen ASAP. This led to me go to the hospital just 5 minutes from my house (the one Scot and been in and out of a lot lately).

They got him in right away but it’s an adult hospital and they weren’t all that sure what to do with a little kid other than start and IV and get X-rays.  It took them three tries to get the IV in and Jamie sat still through all of it. He was scared but so brave.

Ultimately, the X-rays showed a break. And what a break it was; he broke the right radius and ulna at the mid shaft of the bones.

Ewwww. That explains the bend in his arm.

Ewwww. That explains the bend in his arm.

The problem was it was a holiday weekend at an adult hospital and no ortho wanted to come into reduce the fracture and cast the arm. They said we could be sent home with a splint and have the reduction done in the ortho’s office on Tuesday or we could be transferred to Children’s hospital.

We chose Children’s.

This meant transfer by ambulance. Scot had his Dad watch Liam and met us at Children’s while Jamie and I got a ride with 3 very nice EMT’s in an ambulance. Jamie thought that part was pretty cool at least.

Children’s took amazing care of him. Things were s-l-o-w because it was a holiday weekend and they were swamped. But in due course they sedated Jamie, reduced the fracture, and gave him a spiffy bright green cast from his hand to his shoulder.

 

This morning after only a few hours sleep. Green cast; exhausted kiddo.

This morning after only a few hours sleep. Green cast; exhausted kiddo.

He’s doing about as well as he can be expected to be, given the circumstances. He is still pretty cranky, though.  I have to call the ortho tomorrow and get him an appt this week for  follow up.  At this point we don’t know how  long he will be casted. I hope not for the whole summer.

I hope he’s learned not to stand on benches and fall over into the grass! Yes, it was a freak accident.

He's never sucked his thumb before now. Poor kid.

He’s never sucked his thumb before now. Poor kid.

 

 

Vignettes

A lot of little things have gone on with the boys over the last several weeks and with the craziness of Scot’s repeated surgeries and hospitalizations, I haven’t blogged about them. So here’s a post full of them.

Liam had Wacky Hair Day at school last week. Initially, I had planned to shave his hair into a fauxhawk and send him to school that way. Then shave the rest of it down afterwards – his summer buzz cut. Then, I ran across a crazy wig at Target for a measly $5.

Nevermind the tshirt that's too small and he insisted on wearing.

Nevermind the tshirt that’s too small and he insisted on wearing.

Crazy Hair Day WIN.

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That same day was Jamie’s end of the year picnic for preschool. It was also his last day of preschool ever. I wish they’d had a wee graduation ceremony for the kids going to kindergarten. I’m a little sad that I have pictures of Liam in cap and gown but not Jamie.

The class met at one of the shelters in North Park, had some food, ran around, had fun, and got their end of the year booklet that had art pages they’d worked on all year.

I just love this. When he grows up he wants to be himself. GOOD ANSWER.

I just love this. When he grows up he wants to be himself. GOOD ANSWER.

Me and my boy!

Me and my boy!

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Jamie also received his summer buzz cut (at his request). He looks a little shocked about it all.

Who, me?

Who, me?

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The children had fun with rubber gloves while visiting Daddy at the hospital one day.

Two by two; hands of purple

Two by two; hands of purple

I also pulled the classic rubber glove balloon trick. Which they thought was hilarious.

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Jamie tried out Tae Kwon Do this week. I was sort of expecting it to go the same way it had with Liam – which is to say, swimmingly. He certainly looked the part.

Image

Alas, he didn’t take to it the same way Liam did. He was frustrated with not being able to make his body do what they were asking of him (though the teachers were, as always, very patient with him) and he was very nervous and shy. He said he doesn’t want to go back right now though he is not ruling out trying again at another time. I think it’s largely a maturity issue and I sometimes forget that Liam was 5 going on 15 when he started. Jamie is a different kid. So, we’ll wait and try again some other time.

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In other news, Scot was released from the hospital on Sunday and coming along apace. We are hoping to have survived the worst of it. However, I can swear to nothing because just when I think things are getting better, they have a habit of taking a dive into the crapper so….we’ll just wait and see.

Stress Level: Do Numbers Go That High?

To recap: Scot had an emergency cholecystectomy in early April. Two weeks later he was hospitalized for dehydration issues. Two weeks after that, he had an emergency appendectomy. That was just one week ago.

And last night? Last night Scot was readmitted to the hospital. For the fourth time in six weeks.

I’m going to keep the details to a minimum because they’re gross and because this whole situation is unbelievable anyway. So, after his shower last night Scot’s belly button incision started to leak nasty gross stuff. Stuff that said “you have a raging infection.” I took him to the ER, they ran tests, they started him on high power IV antibiotics and they admitted him.

This morning his surgeon saw him on rounds. They planned to clean out the infection as much as they could, repack the wound, and keep him on the IV antibiotics. They went ahead with this plan. They did not sedate him for this. It was less than pleasant for Scot. It was downright torturous, in fact.

We don’t know at this point how long he will be hospitalized. At least long enough for the cellulitis to clear up and his white count to steadily trend downward. The surgeon said this happens in about 30% of appendectomy cases and because Scot had had two surgeries through his belly button in a month’s time his risk was increased.

I’m starting to really crack under the strain. I’ve been solo parenting and nursemaiding for over a month now. I can’t seem to get on top of my chores and my life – and no wonder because I spend all these hours at the hospital. I feel like Sisyphus; I start to climb the mountain of backlogged chores only to fall back to the bottom to start again.

I haven’t been able to properly hug my husband in almost 8 weeks.

I’m tired and I’m cranky and worried and I’m stressed. I just want to crawl under a rock and not come out until this is over.

Scot’s parents have been amazing. They’ve helped with the kids, sat at the hospital, sat at my house until the wee hours of the morning. Anything and everything we’ve asked them to do, they’ve done. I don’t know what I would do without their help. I know my parents would do the same were they not 6 hours away.

I know we will get through this and he will be fine. But, for now, I’m in the depths of managing all this and all I can do is follow the tiny trail of breadcrumbs that (I hope) lead to normality.

A Day In The Life

I decided that for one day I would like to chronicle all that I do. So, today I did. Here’s a slice of life in our nuthouse.

6:50 am: I groggily turn over and check the time. 10 min until the alarm. Roll back over. Dog whines to go out. Sigh. Haul self out of bed and head downstairs. Let dogs out. Discover children already awake and in the family room. Stumble into kitchen and make coffee.

7:00 am – 7:30 am: Turn off alarm that I forgot to switch off 10 min ago. Sip coffee, catch up on Twitter, feed children as they make breakfast demands. Make sure Liam is awake enough to start thinking about getting ready for school. Work on brushing out Ellie, who got a bath last night and is shedding like mad, as well as cut out any mats I find.

7:30-8:00: Tell Liam to go upstairs and get dressed and brush his teeth. Rewarm my coffee for the first time. Pack Liam’s lunch. Find a sweater to throw over to my nightgown and tell Liam to pack his bag for school. Jamie is hanging out playing Angry Birds Go and Bad Piggies on my phone.

8:00: Run Liam to school. Scot is home recovering from his appendectomy so I leave Jamie behind. I am wearing my nightgown, a sweater, and flip flops. I do not get out of the car at school.

8:05: Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

8:06-8:20: Rewarm my coffee for the second time. Sit down and continue reading twitter. Sip coffee. Feed Jamie his third breakfast.

8:20: Head upstairs to get dressed, brush my teeth, tame my hair, and find clothes for Jamie. Wake Scot to make sure he takes morning meds and calls his surgeon’s office because he’s in pain and has no meds for that.

8:35: Head back downstairs. Jamie spies his clothes in my hand and whines, right on cue, “do I have to get dressed NOW?” I tell him he has 5 more minutes. I retrieve clean shorts for him from the basement and then make sure to find the form I have to turn into his speech therapist today.

8:40: Dress Jamie.

8:45: Leave for preschool

8:50-9:00: Wait for his classroom to open while the children all run feral and act like puppies in the hallway outside. Clearly, Pet Day is going to be a big hit.

9:00: Finally, the door opens and I can hustle Jamie into his classroom, shove the form for the speech therapist in the appropriate place, and head back home.

9:02: Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

9:03-9:15: Clean out my car. Yesterday it began to reek of old milk or something else disgusting. The trash heap needed to be dealt with. Cleaned out trash, found a partial hard-as-a-rock Smiley Cookie, and a bill. Unpaid. Also, late. WINNING. Sprayed some fabric refresher on the seats for good measure.

9:15-9:45: Rewarm my coffee for the third and final time. Make my own breakfast. Sit down, sip coffee, play on twitter, read the news online, and eat breakfast. In general, take 5 minutes to myself that do not entail locking myself in the bathroom.

9:45: Finally force myself out of the gravity well and go get in the shower. I have to be back at preschool by 11 am with Ellie in tow.

10:10: Having showered and redressed myself, I head to the basement to finish folding the laundry from yesterday. I then load it up into a bin and take it up one floor and leave it in the kitchen. The plan is to take it all the way upstairs tonight and put it away while the kids are prepping for bed. I’ll give you 3 guesses how often I make this little plan and it actually happens. You probably only need one of those guesses.

10:53: Load up the dog and head back to preschool.

11:00-11:30: It’s Pet Day at preschool. All parents who wanted to bring the family pet did so and the kids got to show off their pet and meet other animals. We had dogs, cats, a turtle, and a snake. Ellie was very well behaved. Get a call from Scot saying that his surgeon has a prescription for him that I need to pick up. Promise to do that. After pet day was over, I stopped up at my father-in-law’s office to ask if he would meet me at the car repair place later in the afternoon so I could drop off Scot’s car.

11:30: Home agin, home again, jiggety jig.

11:35: Warm up lunch for Jamie, settle him in front of the TV, let the dogs out, and warn Scot that I’m headed out to get his meds.

11:40: Pick up meds; head to pharmacy.

11:45-12:15 pm: drop off prescription then wait. And wait. And wait some more. Finally, after jumping through hoops, the meds are dispensed and I speed home because Scot has been without meds now for many, many hours.

12:25: Home again, home again jiggety jig.

12:30: Give Scot his meds then head downstairs to eat my lunch. Warm up some leftover Mac n Cheese because stress = carbs.

12:30-1:15: Eat my lunch, play on twitter some more, and in general avoid the housework that I know is looming. Check my bullet journal and see that I’m behind for the day and really need to get my ass in gear. Procure snacks for Jamie.

1:15-2:00: Dive into house chores. Pick up the library, throw a load of laundry in, clean up the pee spots Molly left me, vacuum the library, pick up and sweep the front hall, clean the powder room. Dole out hugs to Jamie upon request.

2:00 – 3:10 pm: Sit down again. Check off a bunch of items in my bullet journal. Start looking ahead and writing tomorrow’s task list. Decide I want to write this post and start writing it in Notes on my iPad because WordPress likes to be a pain in my ass when I’m working on the iPad. Fart around on Twitter. Talk with Jamie about how excited he is to watch shows on PBS. “Mommy! Dinosaur Train is on!”

3:10: Gather up Jamie, put on our shoes, and walk up to the bus stop to meet Liam’s bus. Liam gets off the bus, hands me his backpack, and goes pelting for the house because he has to pee. Jamie and I walk down at a more sedate pace.

3:20: Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

3:20-3:30: spend 10 minutes manually reinflating one of the rear tires on Scot’s car, make sure I have all the appropriate documents, then leave the kids with Scot and head to the car repair shop. Praying the entire way that the tire stays inflated. Within sight of the shop, the low tire pressure light comes on. Once parked, I check the tire. It’s fine. No idea what the light was about. Hand off the keys and a list of issues to deal with on the car.

3:45: Head out to sit on a bench outside to wait for my father-in-law to pick me up. It’s raining outside but there’s a bench under an awning so only my toes are getting rained on. I can handle this.

3:50: My ride is here! Huzzah! I scamper out into the rain and hustle my butt into the car.

4:05: Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

4:05: I am greeted by Liam asking plaintively if he HAS to go to TKD tonight. I tell him yes; he missed all last week. Pouting ensues as he heads back to watch TV with his brother.

4:15: Start cooking my dinner. Scot probably won’t eat (yay, recovery!) and the kids are the pickiest eaters that ever picked and won’t eat what I’m making for me. Chicken Fries all around for them. I know they will give me grief about this.

4:45 pm: Dinner time. We eat early on TKD nights so that Liam gets a meal before class. As predicted the kids are whiny and bitchy about tonight’s dinner selection. I serve myself and sit down with them. Scot is upstairs asleep. Liam is moaning and groaning about not wanting to eat and not wanting to go to TKD and his brother making him feel cruddy (this is a ploy). It’s clear that my presence is making him play up the drama so I excuse myself to another room.

5:15: The children are done eating and I only had to yell at them to leave each other alone about 10 times. Jamie has cleaned his plate and earns dessert. He chooses ice cream. Liam has barely eaten. However, he has worked himself out of his funk so I let it go. I save his dinner so he can eat it later. I send him off to get changed into his do bak for TKD.

5:30: Leave for TKD. Arrive at destination and parking lot is the usual clusterfuck. Drop Liam off and bug out until the previous class leaves and I can get a parking place.

6:00-6:45: Sit in relative quiet and read a book while Liam is in class.

7:00 pm: Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

7:00-7:20: FINALLY remove my bra and change into jammy pants and a t-shirt. Then head downstairs, tell Liam to start his homework, grab the basket of laundry in the kitchen, and tell Jamie it’s time to head upstairs. Put Liam’s clean clothes in his room for him to deal with; put Jamie’s away. It’s a miracle! I managed to follow the plan! Get Jamie ready for bed, read to him, tuck him in. Lights out; door shut. He’s in bed 10 mins early but he’s not complaining so I’m going for it.

7:20: Return downstairs. Liam decided to eat some of his dinner and make himself an armful of glowstick bracelets instead of start his homework. He’s finished with eating so I prod him to get to his homework. I work on updating this post. Pause to run to the basement and put that load of laundry I started hours ago into the dryer. On my way back through the kitchen, I put away the now cool leftovers of my dinner. Wonder if another storm front is coming in because my eyes are starting to bug out of my head. Check radar; yes, more storms incoming. This means Molly is going to freak out the second she hears the first rumble of thunder.

7:30-8:30: I sit quietly in the library while Liam watches TV after finishing his homework. I watch an episode of Law & Order on Netflix.

8:30 pm: Liam goes to bed.

8:30-9:30 pm: I fire up an episode of This American Life on my phone and clean the kitchen, right down to wiping counters and sweeping the floor.

9:30 until bedtime: Well, first of all, bedtime could be anywhere from 10:30 to midnight. I never know. Second, I’ll finish writing up this post and then probably spend time watching more Netflix and enjoying the one truly QUIET portion of my day.

Things I did not do today: eat well, get a workout in. Fudge. Try again tomorrow.

 

Say What, Now?!

I feel like I’m living in an episode of Vetrinarian’s Hosptial – “the ongoing tale of a quack who’s gone to the dogs.”

(If you don’t understand that reference, get off my lawn.)

Scot finally went back to work AT work yesterday – the first time since his gall bladder surgery. He’s been working since the surgery but it’s all been at home because of various complications and issues he’s had during recovery. With him finally going to work, I thought we were out of the woods.

I was apparently being cocky by thinking this and the universe decided we needed a beat down.

When Scot came home from work yesterday I could tell he was in a lot of pain. He said he thought he’d hurt himself the day before while hauling laundry or taking out the trash. He’d even called his surgeon’s office and spoken with them just to be sure he wasn’t screwing up his recovery. Everyone thought it was a muscular thing.

As the evening wore on, however, he wasn’t getting any better and any movement made it much worse. He vacillated about whether or not he should go to the ER and be checked out or if he should tough it out until morning and call his doctor. Ultimately, he decided to head into the ER.

So, off he toddled. They gave him pain meds, drew some blood work, and sent him for a CT scan. I was home with the kids and I was starting to drift off to sleep when my phone rang.

“You’re never going to believe this,” Scot said.

“What?”

“I have APPENDICITIS.”

Yes, indeed he did. Just four short weeks after his cholecystectomy, he was now going to need an appendectomy.

The ER called his surgeon to discuss the course of action and Dr. Garrett decided to come in and check Scot and then decide. It was 11:15 pm. I got out of bed and got myself dressed and presentable while Scot called his Dad and asked him to watch the kids for us.

When my father-in-law got to the house, I headed into the hospital having no idea whether he was going to have surgery that night or in the morning. When I got there, Dr. Garrett had arrived, examined him, said “Yup, appendicitis,” and was planning to get him up to surgery pronto.

Scot was in a fair bit of pain at this point even through all the pain meds they had given him. Both he and I were glad he decided to be seen because we were both worried he might have ruptured his appendix if he’d waited.

So, around 2 am this morning, Scot said goodbye to that most vestigial of organs, his appendix. He did fine in surgery, I spent time with him in recovery, and then he got settled in a room. I finally got to go home around 5 this morning. I had been up for 22 straight hours and I had time for a quick 2 hour nap before the boys would be awake.

This morning was not pleasant.

Anyway, in trying to piece together the progression of events, his surgeon went back to a CT scan that Scot had about 2 weeks ago. On that scan, his appendix was A-OK. By last night it was clearly infected and unhappy. Basically, his appendix said, “Fuck it. I’m outta here. I miss my good buddy Greg Gall Bladder.” (Yeah, I just named his gall bladder. What of it? I’ve had four hours sleep.)

Scot will probably be in the hospital through tonight and be released tomorrow. They want to keep an eye on him for at least 24 hours. Then it’s back home for round two of Abdominal Surgery Recovery.

Thus ends the tale of his 5th surgery since we’ve been married. He’s running out of superfluous organs to remove. About all he has left is T&A – tonsils and adenoids.

Holy Crap, It’s May

Blogging is this thing I used to do a lot more often and now it is May and I’m all “crap!” Seriously, there’s these things in my life that are happening and I’m just not getting around to saying anything about it in this space. I am a little irritated with myself, to be honest.

So, Easter! That was a thing that happened! Easter is always low key for us and the same was true this year. This kids got their Easter baskets, we spent the afternoon with Scot’s parents, the kids had an easter egg hunt there, and my mother-in-law made us all a lovely dinner.

The kids, as usual, looked adorable in their sweater vests. I am such a sucker for a little boy in a sweater vest.

Baskets on the stove so the dogs won't get to them.

Baskets on the stove so the dogs won’t get to them.

Easter is always better with a stuffed mantis shrimp wearing bunny ears.

Easter is always better with a stuffed mantis shrimp wearing bunny ears.

My little men.

My little men.

Moving on, I took my finals in the last full week of April and got A’s on all of them leading to straight A’s for the courses I took. The week of finals was full of stress that had nothing to do with school and I kept thinking to myself “Why did I think college was stressful?” All the responsibility I had was to go to class, do my schoolwork, and hang out with my friends – all on my parents dime. Now, I have a husband, two kids, two dogs, a house, and a million other things I’m responsible for aside from my schooling. I admit, 19 year old me did not have any idea how good I had it.

So, for now, I am on a bit of a break from school. I’ll start up again toward the end of this month but I want a chance to catch my breath before diving back in. Hopefully I can complete the next cluster before the end of the summer.

Speaking of age – my birthday! That was also a thing that happened! I am now the ripe old age of 38 – quite firmly middle aged. Honestly, I don’t really give a crap. I mean, I enjoy celebrating my birthday but the number? Meh. Whatever. Anyhow, my in-laws took us out to dinner, my mother-in-law made an absolutely sinful chocolate cake for me, and my loved ones spoiled me with gifts. It was very laid back and I kinda loved it. Since my birthday was right after I finished my finals, I basically spent some time vegging out watching Netflix and taking the occasional nap. It was awesome.

The birthday girl mugging for the camera

The birthday girl mugging for the camera

One of the things I got for my birthday was a SodaStream. We drink a lot of plain seltzer in this house – it’s a favorite drink of Liam’s and since it’s just water plus carbonation I see nothing wrong with it. We go through so much of it that I buy it by the case at Costco; 4 cases lasts us approximately 1 month. The SodaStream is just more economical even if seltzer is cheap at Costco. Well, apparently, everyone likes freshly carbonated water better because we are ripping through bottles faster than I can make them. In the last 24 hours, I’ve made SIX bottles. Last night, I made 2 bottles before dinner and by the time dinner was over, I had to make two more. Crazy.

While talking on Twitter last week, I got on the subject of accents and dialects with a couple of my twitter friends. Slate published this piece on the linguistic oddities of Pennsylvania which is what sparked the conversation. In the process of talking about it and about how my accent and dialect changed after moving from Michigan to PA, I made a short video to demonstrate what I sound like. For the curious, here it is:

To say the least, I’m a bit of an interesting case given that I’ve moved from one accent area to another and was raised by a parent who grew up in New Jersey (my mother).

That’s about all the news that’s fit to print around these parts. I’ll try to make more of an effort to post here. I miss it.