Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Believe it or not, this is Noah, not Ethan. He's 5-years old, and in a booster seat. Below is Ethan. He's almost three and LOVES Thomas the Train.
Today I watched a video that was taken in 2003. That means Ethan was one and Noah was three. They were beyond cute. They were so little and innocent. They fought over mommy's lap, as opposed to the playstation, as they do now. Only Sam and Max fight over my lap. Ethan was barely walking and could say anything, and Noah was still saying, "Dramma Taro's tooties are dood!!" As much as his speech impediment frustrated me at the time, I have to admit I miss it. They were so sweet. Then the video showed me. I was younger, thinner and TIRED. I looked like death warmed over!! Keep in mind my children didn't sleep through the night until they were well over two and a half, so I was going on three years of no sleep. I remember one Mother's day I didn't want flowers or a gift, I wanted a nap. I would have killed for two hours of sleeping in the bed alone with the bedroom door closed and not having to be responsible for what was happening outside of it. I remember, about that same time, during Ethan's three years of terrible two's (yes- THREE years), when he would come to my room every night pitching a fit about something just in case I had forgotten what his whining was like. But now that I look back, he was whining for me. I was the ONLY one who could make whatever was wrong (believe me, it was ANY number of things) better. I remember saying, "these kids are sucking the life outta me", and it wasn't my last year's students. With my students, I can send them in the hall and close the door at the end of the day. Your own children always find a way back in. Even though, these memories are in the recent past, I have to admit my kids are growing up too fast, and watching them on video makes me long for the times they were toddlers. I fear someday I won't be the most important person to them, because they will always be to me. When I look at them I see them as they were the day they were born. They look at me as the one who knows everything. As the one who will always protect them, and take care of them. I am not a person. I am MOM. I was reminded of this one day when Noah saw me crying and was scared. I stopped and thought of it in his point of view. I didn't see my mom cry until I was 18 and it scared the crap out of me. Last Friday I tricked Ethan into holding my hand in a parking lot without him fighting me. I cherished it the whole time. Noah slipped today and called me "mommy". I secretly wonder if that's the last time I will hear him call me that. They still crawl in bed with me in the morning for a chapter in the book I am reading to them and a snuggle. Will they do that next year, or will Noah be too big? I wish I could freeze time and keep them this age. Last night Noah's Babe Ruth coaches surprised the team with trophies with their names on them. Noah was so excited, you would think he was handed a million dollars. Would he be that excited in three years? The coaches mentioned how Noah was the kid who always helped carry the gear to and from coaches truck. I was proud because he is such a genuinely good kid. When he was one month old, my cousin told me, "he is so good. They aren't all this easy." Not knowing anything different, I thought "whatever"... Now after teaching nine more years and having baby number two, I know he really is easy. Ethan is a good kid too. After he got over the whole terrible two's era, he has really shaped up! I wouldn't trade either of them for the world!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nick Newman

My friend went to Vegas this weekend and she met Nick Newman from Young and the Restless. This summer I have become a Y&R mega fan. This week while I worked I had to DVR my "stories", as my aunt Harriett calls them, to be sure I didn't miss anything even though I can go nine whole months without watching and I don't miss a thing. Anyway, my friend was at the Wynn, and saw Nick gambling. She took out her cell phone to take his picture and his friend saw her. She asked the friend, "Is that Nick Newman?"- not knowing his real name. The friend said "yes" and Nick came over and said "hi", and gave her a hug! I would have SO said, "OMG! You are Nick Newman!! Does Victor know you are here? I really think you should leave Phylis because she is a whoring wench! You belong with Sharon, and by the way, Sharon told you the baby she is carrying is Jack's and not yours, but it IS yours! Also Phylis told you your daughter is yours, but she's not, she's Jack's! ALSO Sharon's baby -and yours- is in danger because Adam will steel it and give it to Victor and Ashley which will make you think your actual daughter (not Jack's) is your baby SISTER!!" I wonder if he knows all of this already? I wonder how many people see him and treat him like he really is Nick Newman, because I know I would. I'd also ask him how long the flight was from Genoa City, Iowa and if they had any layovers in Fargo. I am so jealous! I wish Nick Newman would hug ME...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Something I Thought I'd Never Do...

Have you ever done something you would never dream of doing for your child's sake? Today Ethan woke me up saying, "Mom. My arm makes this noise, ckshshshsh (imagine trying to make the ck sound slushy and as if you are coughing up a hairball)" I asked, "Does it hurt?" "No". "OK. go watch TV. I am sleeping." I got up because I couldn't fall back to sleep and am convinced Ethan will soon hear voices in his head. Ethan came to me crying about an hour later, "My arm went ckshshshsh again and it hurt and I think there's something really wrong." I gave him Motrin and juice. He said, "I feel it in my arm when it makes the noise, but it just feels weird." I told him, "I know. When the voices talk to me it's weird too!" Noah and I thought I was hilarious. Ethan did not. Later on we went to school to work. As we were leaving, he was crying again, "Mom! It's still going ckshshsh. I am really scared I am wrecking it." I asked, "Are you moving it?" "no", "we'll ask the doctor tomorrow when you have your appointment." He cries harder, "I think he'll say there's something really wrong." I ended up calling ask-a-nurse. I had to explain the situation to the receptionist. "My six-year old fell and broke the top part of his arm that connects to his elbow, and dislocated his elbow on Saturday. He had surgery to fix it and they put in three pins. He is in a splint which I got wet Tuesday night giving him a bath, but I blow dried it'd it. Now he is saying his arm is making a ckshshsh sound." I had to repeat the story to the phone nurse, the orthopedic receptionist, the orthopedic nurse and the Physician Assistant, who asked me if I hear it as well. I really wonder if they were all making me repeat it five times because I was making the noise, and did it without hesitation or even batting an eye. I wonder how many "My limbs are talking to me..." stories they get a month. My mom used to swear she could pick up radio stations in her teeth. Never in my wildest dreams would I consider I'd ever make weird noises on the phone to strangers, who I will potentially meet. I am probably the laughing stock of Meritcare right now. I swear, when we go in tomorrow if they so much as giggle, I'm going to tell them my arthritic thumb is talking to me and telling me we must leave.

Monday, July 13, 2009

"This is the Worse Summer Ever..."

I really hope the saying "bad things come in threes" holds true. Ethan broke his right arm on May 14th. It broke in two place, but healed well, but a little slower than he or I would like. During the second week of June, Ethan got bit by a cat, which ended up being an infected cat bite so he needed a shot of antibiotics and oral antibiotics for 10 days. Last Saturday Ethan went to the park with Scott and Noah. He rode his scooter since he's scared of "falling and breaking bones" which ended up being ironic. They were there for about a half hour and my phone rang with Scott's ring tone. I thought to myself, "Ethan probably broke something" then quickly smiled because I knew THAT couldn't be true, lightning doesn't strike twice. I answered the phone, and hear Ethan screaming in the background and Scott saying "Ethan broke his arm again." This time these are the thoughts that race through my head, "I KNEW it wasn't healed right the first time", "Does he have brittle bone disease?" "Now Social Services will be knocking on my door." "Good Lord it's going to come to a point where Meritcare won't have to ask me his birthday, they'll all have it memorized!" and finally, "I don't need anything, just my keys, oh and purse, and shoes..." I race to the park, scoop him up and put him in the car. His elbow of his left arm was in the crook of his arm and his bicep was turned at a 45 degree angle. Nothing sickens you like looking at your child's misshapen, once perfect, bone. I've seen broken bones on other people before (including myself), but only looking at Ethan's make me literally want to throw up. Turns out he was on the monkey bars and went for the next wrung, missed and fell on his elbow. The whole way to the hospital he was screaming. The last time he hardly cried. He kept saying "This is the worst summer ever!!" and "That was my favorite arm!!" When we walked into the emergency room, he was ushered right back because he was screaming. He should have tried that last time he broke his arm. Within 15 minutes of arriving, he had a dose of Morphine. Last time we were there two and a half hours before he got a tylonal. By the time he went back to X-Ray, his arm was swollen up as big as a grapefruit. On his way to X-Ray, I asked him who he wants to come with. He said "Well you did last month, so you can again, or give dad a turn." The X-Ray people looked at me weird and I thought, "yeah... your kid probably shouldn't have to say those words." As it turned out, he broke the upper bone where it connects with the elbow and the elbow was shifted away from the forearm bones and was in the crook of his arm. He ended up having surgery to put the elbow back, and put three pins to connect his top bone and forearm bones back to the elbow. The surgery went well. I was too scared to even think about it and cry. I hated the idea of him being put under. He'll have surgery again in nine weeks to remove the pins. When he came out of recovery we asked him who should stay with him overnight at the hospital, and Noah said he wanted to take care of him. It's weird the whole time Ethan was going in and out of morphine/pain fit full sleep, he would wake up and ask in a demanding tone, "Where's Noah?!" or he'd take a deep breath and say in a matter of fact, "I wanna go home!" I really can't say enough good things about Meritcare's children's hospital. During the past few months, I've wondered if I should switch to Inovis because of all the waiting at Meritcare, but the surgeon and Children's hospital proved to me that we can't switch. Ethan's doctor is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. How much more specialized can we get? I completely and fully trust him. Ethan's still in a lot of pain, but it's better than yesterday. This week he has a splint because of the swelling, next week he gets a cast and that will stay on for three weeks, then he gets it off for physical therapy. I slept with him last night and he woke up crying in pain at 2:00. I took him to the bathroom (something he can't do alone anymore), gave him more medicine and got him settled. He was still crying when I climbed in on the other side and he said, "all I want for Christmas is no broken bones. I won't ask for anything else." All I want for Christmas is the ability to instantly heal his broken bone, and be able to promise he won't have anymore bad luck.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sam's Black Eye

It's not a secret that I have had *ahhemm* "issues" with Sam. He was fun for about five days then he became a thorn in my side. He is constantly barking, shedding. stealing food, riling up the other dogs, chewing on my stuff, waking me up way too early, bringing me his food dish in the middle of the night and laying it on my pillow just in case I forget to feed him first thing in the morning, etc... I need to remind myself he is barely 8 months old and still a baby. A 24 pound baby. Yesterday Sam brought over a toy that has elastic attached to a rubber ball. The idea of the toy is the dog will chew on the ball and the person plays "tug" with the elastic end. Noah was on the couch with me when Sam brought it over and he started pulling on the ball end with the elastic end in Sam's mouth. I told Noah not to do that because it "will rip Sam's teeth out". Apparently Noah kept doing it after they both left me to go upstairs.
Noah is a drama queen (king?) when it comes to physical damage or pain. I am wondering if this comes from the fact that Ethan has all of the bad physical things happen to him, such as bloody noses that go on for 30 minutes or more, cat bite, biopsied growth, a wart that got scraped off and bled like there's no tomorrow, broken arm, etc... One night at supper Ethan and I were recollecting about our battle wounds when Noah says, "Remember when I broke my ankle?"
Me- "You bruised it."
Noah- "Oh yeah. Remember when I needed stitches on my knee?"
Me- "You never had stitches. You scraped your knee and it stopped bleeding within ten minutes."
Noah- "Oh. Remember when I had staples in my head?"
Me- "You never had stapes in your head!" So I wasn't too excited when Noah told me, as I was reading my book, "Mom, I gave Sam a black eye." I muttered a "mmuhuuhh ok" as I continued to read. Later that day I laid out in the sun to get the back of my legs tan to match the front and Sam licked both of my feet giving them a thorough bath, went in the house and took his afternoon nap, which I have found takes three hours. Even later when I was tucking Noah into bed, Sam jumped up to lay with him and I noticed his eye was swollen shut. "What's with Sam's eye?!" Noah reminded me that he "told me he gave Sam a black eye with the tug toy." Poor Sammy's eye was swollen shut. When I pried it open he cried and it was all red. This of course made me baby him and Sam was thinking, "Mama hasn't been this nice to me since I was three weeks old. I like new mama!" He was attached to my hip (this is different than any other time?) all night. I pet him and talked to him and gave him puppy Tylenol. I was certain he'd go blind, which would really suck because Abby can't see well and the vet says she has to quit driving, Max gets lost easily, so I was counting on Sam to be my seeing eye dog when these new corneas give out. When he woke me up this morning his eye was all better, but just to make sure I have been paying special attention to him all day. He actually is a really smart dog. Bringing me his food dish is actually pretty smart. Whenever I ask him where Abby is, he looks under the bed (where she always hides). When I ask if Ethan's in the well he barks at me, then I tell him to get Ethan out of the well and he'll go find Ethan. When he looks sad I'll say "bring me a toy" and he'll gladly bring me a toy to play fetch. He hasn't destroyed anything yet this week!- However, to be fair it IS only Thursday... I also taught him to "shake" and it only took 10 minutes! I don't think Sam's so bad, once you get past the barking, shedding, riling up of the other dogs and waking me up, Sam is turning into a good dog. Obviously my brain washing of "good dog..." has worked. Maybe it'll work with next year's students...