Lanie Archives

What happened when I was forgetting to blog

I failed to write the last few days. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was that I woke up late or had appointments or my coffee isn’t strong enough. I don’t know but I’m going to try to wake up my brain and recap this last week.

Matthew got braces again.  This happened on Tuesday. His mouth hurt pretty bad for a couple of days but he seems to be feeling mostly better. He still has trouble chewing though.

Also happening on Tuesday was Florida completely flipping out. Kait texted that gas stations were running out of gas already and my friend posted a picture of an empty water isle and mostly empty canned section at Walmart because Floridians go cray-cray when a hurricane may or may not be possibly coming close to where we are. Hurricane hitting the keys? PENSACOLA MUST BE NEXT BUY ALL THE THINGS.

Wednesday we went to the library. Turns out we had a late book that I didn’t know we had and when we went to check out we couldn’t so we had to run home, find said book, then come back and return it to check out the books my littles had picked out. After that Matthew and I went to the grocery store for meat and eggs and then went back to the orthodontist to have a wire fixed.
Then we filled our gas tanks and made sure we had oil and wicks for the lamps and made a plan to either evacuation with pets, or ride out the storm here, depending on the severity of Irma’s strike to NW Florida. It doesn’t look like she’ll be visiting us at all now, but I’m glad we’re prepared just in case.
I’ll also add that if you have not stocked up on your water yet, Publix in Pace has a bunch. But they are just about out of sweet tea. Apparently southerners have their priorities.

Thursday Lanie woke up with her right eye stuck shut. Normally we just ride out eye goop but Lanie is different so I called her eye doc and he wanted to see her. We spent the afternoon at the ophthalmologist, then the pharmacist, then the other pharmacist, then at home, then at the pharmacist again. I feel like I could start a whole new blog just on going to the pharmacy.

Yesterday some friends came over and brought the one day a year pumpkin spice doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. She has three little girls who my little girls love and they had so much fun while she and I talked about foster care and doughnuts and…
Pretty much that is what we talked about the whole time.

Those doughnuts were good.
Then I took some of the kids to the book sale at the library. We found some good, cheap books to add to our shelves, the kids checked out some more books, and then we came home and I realized that my house is a disaster because I haven’t cleaned it at all this week.

I know there is stuff I missed in this recap. Probably important stuff but Lanie just woke up and she is coughing and I really need this lingering cold to just go away.

Also, my older boys’ alarm has been going off for 10 minutes now and neither is waking up to it. I wake up to the sound of somebody rolling over on the other side of the house so I’m not sure how they can sleep through that incessant beeping sound.

I guess I better go get them up.

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Anytime my family goes to a friend’s house to swim there are too many kids in the pool for me to feel comfortable. Add in some more friends and their kids and grown men with beer and you suddenly have this perfect storm of chaos that can make any mom’s heart lodge firmly right in her throat.

On Monday we spent the day at a friends house watching the kids swim, eating good food, and trying to keep everybody from drowning.  Taking the kids to a pool is always a somewhat stressful venture for me but I really did have a good time and Kait got some great pictures with her fancy shmancy new camera.

Lanie is doing so much better at wearing her glasses so I was able to leave her contacts at home so she could get into the pool. She absolutely loves the water and smiled the entire time.

Jesse has completely overcome his fear of getting his head wet. He’s well on his way to learn to swim but it’s hard when you have lead for bones. The boy is quite slim but he is incredibly dense and sinks like a rock so learning to swim is a little more difficult for him.

And what’s with all the pool noodles?

There were tiny cans of soda and best good friends and life jackets that saved my sanity.

And sweet love birds who are THISCLOSE to being husband and wife.

And Lucy with her freckles and those incredible eyes that are a milky blue one minute and green the next.

Even though there were 14 minor children running around and almost as many adults, we had a pretty relaxed and safe Labor Day. There are so many more pictures and we had so much more fun but we’re headed out to the library and I’ve gotta go.

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I’m not quite sure about what to write about this morning.  I woke up a half hour early because a cat was staring at me but I am about 45 minutes late on my morning so far and I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe I accidentally made decaf or something.

Hahaha.
No.
That would never happen I was just kidding.

I don’t have anywhere I have to be today and I’m hoping that I can shake the frustrations of the last couple of days off by grocery shopping. I don’t know why I think going to the grocery store will help. It’s not like it’s ever been therapeutic for me.

I have more to say about the orthodontist because I have another kid that is ready for braces. This is in addition to the Wednesday morning debacle.  This is my Thursday afternoon story.
Ben is my 3rd kid to need braces and he’s been in pre-treatment for 2 years waiting for some teeth to come in and some growth spurt and he is now ready for his braces, which apparently must happen RIGHTNOW. But since we just shelled out a surprise $600 for Matthew’s metal on Wednesday, and we have a wedding coming up, I told them that I wanted to wait until after the holidays to get Ben’s treatment plan started. I was subtly accused of putting Ben on the backburner in favor of Matthew’s treatment. We really need to get Benjamin started very soon. I understand that you paid a down payment just yesterday for Matthew’s treatment but we really don’t want to see this guy put on the back burner.

Really?
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too sensitive here but I really don’t think so. I would also like to add that the billing gal talked in very hushed tones about our not being able to afford it and mentioned that she wasn’t supposed to talk to Dr. Brooks about it but she would just for us even though I never implied that we needed help, I just said that we were going to wait. It was all very patronizing. And weird.

I normally really like the kids’ orthodontist. He was great with Kait’s wonky mouth and has been pretty good with Matthew’s up until recently. I’m going to call a different ortho today and get Ben in for a consult because I’m really irritated right now and why are all these little flies all over my house? We’ve completely cleaned out the pantry and all the cupboards and the boys’ rooms and where the heck are they coming from?

It’s been a hard week.

On a brighter note, literally and figuratively, our main bathroom has been changed from a brownish yellow color to a soft white (thanks, Matthew!) and scrubbed clean (thanks, Rabbit!), and has new knobs and it looks great.  We are going to refinish the cabinets eventually too but we have a gazillion other projects in line ahead of that one. Like the never ending kitchen redo.

And Lanie has turned a bit of a corner mentally and physically. At physical therapy yesterday she showed increased muscle strength and then in occupational therapy she was making an effort to interact and tried to mimic what her therapist was doing. It was the first time that it didn’t seem like Lanie was just in the room with the therapist, but actually participating with her. It is a really big step.

Here’s a blurry picture.

This is how Lanie reacted to me explaining my week.
This girl just gets me.

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You know how you start your day out early, in a good mood, after a decent night’s sleep, and then everything falls apart about 3 hours in when your kid’s orthodontists surprises you with a $600 down payment for a set of braces he has already had but needs again? Yeah that happened.

Here’s a rundown of my day. It’s a little ranty. I’m sorry.

  • Matthew’s mouth was somewhat complex to sort out and he’s had an expander, braces, a holding arch thing, a couple different kind of retainers that weren’t doing their job. With all the things he has needed to have done I think I was just confused about all those layers and when I took him in because the holding arch had broken and to ask for a better retainer they said, New molars! Looks like he’s ready for his phase 2! Braces again to straighten things out! We’ll need $600 to start this phase! Thanks!
    I took a couple of deep breaths and went about the rest of my day.
  • Lanie had two appointments together at the same place. They called a few hours before hand and asked if I could come in an hour early. I said sure. What I didn’t know was that they wanted me to come in an hour early for the first appointment, and then sit for an hour and a half and wait for the second one. Lanie became restless, I didn’t bring a stroller because I didn’t think I’d need one, and I couldn’t reschedule because it took 3 months to get this appointment. I became what you might call very put out.
  • They want to put tubes in Lanie’s ears. Recent studies have suggested that in most cases tubes are not really all that helpful. I’m going to do some research and see if we can reduce the fluid in her ears here at home before we resort to cutting into her eardrum.
  • She most definitely needs surgery to remove her adenoids and tonsils. This was not what I wanted to hear but Doc did say we could wait on the surgery for a few months and try two meds to try to shrink her oversized adenoids and tonsils. I said yes please.
  • Went to get her prescriptions. Turns out, Tricare won’t cover one of them or its generic. Great. We had to pay for that sucker. But that was okay because if we could keep her from needing surgery I was willing to try it but I was still not thrilled with another surprise payment in one day.
  • At home later I was reading through the pamphlet for Lanie’s meds. The expensive one, a nasal spray, says not to use if you have had cataracts or glaucoma. I’m not even kidding. If you want to know why this is an issue read here.

Now that I’ve done all the complaining. I should add that there were a great many positives that really did drown out the frustrations.

  • Rabbit has been on leave and has a nice salt and pepper beard that I find quite attractive.
  • Sam made me a crown with Rubies on it.
  • Deep fried peanuts. What will the south come up with next? Also, this is why I love the south. Also, DEEP FRIED PEANUTS, PEOPLE!
  • Ben kept me company at Lanie’s forever appointment yesterday and Lanie was incredibly cute.
  • My table looks fabulous. Rabbit had to sand it again because of a problem with the stain and we loved the look so much that we’re going with it. It’s so unique and really gorgeous.  I’ll get a picture and blog more about that later. but for now I’ve gotta go because I’m already an hour later than I like to be starting my day. We have therapy and more ortho and groceries and I need to run and Tropical Storm Harvey is still making the rounds.

It’s going to be another fun day.

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Today we are busy. We have three appointments because Matthew’s metal mouth spacer thing broke in half the other day so we’ll need to run in to the orthodontist and have that repaired this morning. His plastic retainer broke too and I don’t know why they just won’t give him a metal one.  This is the second time it has broken and it’s getting really irritating and I’m thinking of switching orthodontists because his teeth are moving back into their previous positions. He needs a real retainer.

I’ve been waiting for three months for Lanie’s otolaryngology appointment after her sleep study in May showed she has severe apnea. She also has an audiology appointment before the ENT appointment and it’s going to be a long afternoon at Nemours and Lanie is sure not to be happy about it.

And it’s raining.  We have tropical storm Harvey visiting us today and I’m not sure when we’ll get our run in. I may just have to go out there anyway and hope for the best.

There are other things I need to get done today too, like mop the floor and brush my hair.

I’ll be requesting a few more hours today.

But at least I got rid of my microwave yesterday and that feels really good because there is a new level of clearness on my counters. And Rabbit bought me a cast iron pan because I complained that I am tired of having to buy entire sets of new pans every other year after we’ve eaten all the non-stick materials that have come off into our food.

And my table is stained and looking fly. I am not sure if I used that slang correctly but it felt right so I am going with it.

Things are pretty good around here.

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No picture but lots of words.

After the last few days of feeling a little on the grumpy side, I think things around here have taken a turn for the better.

Lanie was almost back to her normal self last night without any ibuprofen at all.  This is a huge deal because I had almost forgotten what adorable bedtime-Lanie was like but when she started crawling all over her Dad and trying to mash all the computer’s keyboard buttons it was so enjoyable. She’s still not super smiley but she didn’t cry at all last night, not even as she fell asleep and it’s probably been a month since she’s been like this. Normal.

She is still a little congested and is snoring right good even as I write this but she slept through the night and there is just a lot to be thankful for.

Like our homestudy today. I am so thankful that they’ve let us get to this point. I know at any time they could deny our family the chance to foster simply because of the number of minors we already have in the home. We only have two more steps. The homestudy and the health inspection. I’m not nervous at all and I think it has helped that I’ve been well aware that this is not a guarantee for us until the license is issued and even after that I think we’re supposed to be a standby foster family and will not be top of the list.

We leave tomorrow to go visit my mom and my sister and her family and we haven’t seen them in 4 years and I am much more excited than I usually am for a trip.  Motophobia is a real thing and it seems to be worse for me every time we go anywhere. I have even considered going to the doctor to get something for anxiety for longer car trips but as of right now I think a bottle of whiskey will work.
Of course I’m kidding.
I prefer vodka.
I really am excited to see my family. My brother is driving down with his boys too and we’ll have all the cousins together for the first time ever because there have been a couple of new kids born in the last 4 years.  It’s going to be fun.

I should probably get off the computer. I’ve been typing this out for almost an hour between hugging Maggie and drinking coffee and texting my sister and having non-descript conversations with my younger kids but I still have hairs to cut, the Walmart to shop, a post office to visit, bathrooms to clean, laundry to wash, bedrooms to straighten, and snacks to prepare for the trip and it’s going to be a busy day for sure.

But first, we run.

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I’m a bit fussy about things at the moment.

Today has largely been spent taking care of a still sick Lanie. She wouldn’t eat without first downing ibuprofen and I have given her so much of the sticky, orange medicine over the last three weeks for high fever and pain that I was questioning whether it was okay to continue doing this even though on Monday her pediatrician advised it. I decided to give her a medicine break but after about 15 hours without anything, no food or liquids at all, I decided to call the doctor again to get some clarification.

They didn’t answer my question about ibuprofen on the phone. Instead, her doc decided to test her for strep so we went back in and the whole time I was there they were acting like I was just an unreasonable mom going nuts over her child’s standard cold virus.  They even apologized when the strep test came back negative and she couldn’t give Lanie antibiotics and why do doctors always assume I want antibiotics when my kids are sick? I don’t even take my kids to the doctor until they have been ill for an extended period of time. Like at least 3 weeks. Even with Lanie’s Down syndrome, I am still a wait-it-out type of mom in most cases.

I wasn’t being crazy. She’s been sick for 3 and 1/2 weeks.  She refuses to eat – won’t even nurse – unless she’s been dosed with ibuprofen. She’s lost a half a pound and weighs less than she did 2 months ago. This would be concerning for any child but is especially concerning for a child who is only 18 lbs at 17-months-old with a history of failure to thrive.

And I didn’t even call for an appointment anyway. I called to get clarification on the safety of continued use of ibuprofen in a baby. They asked me to bring her in.

She doesn’t have strep throat according to the rapid test. She may have hand foot and mouth disease based on a couple of spots on her left palm and a bunch of spots on her the left side of her face and left shoulder. Not sure I’m buying that one but whatever because I just wanted to know if I should be concerned about continually dosing her with ibuprofen.

I wish I had choices.  I wish there was a Down syndrome clinic here.  I wish my daughter’s doctor knew more than I did about Down syndrome. It would be nice if there was a note on the front of her chart that said something like, this child has down syndrome – please review history – Google is your friend. 

I have more to say but I’m getting more frustrated the more I write so I’m going to stop writing and go be awesome.

The picture is of Lanie at the doctor’s office. She didn’t stop fussing until she realized the paper crinkled. That worked to keep her calm for a good 2 minutes.

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We have some sort of plague here people and it is my strong recommendation that you do not come over to my house right now because it’s been 3 weeks and we’re still dealing with coughing and congestion and fevers. Lanie’s pediatrician looked her over and said she looks great and it’s just a long cold and to give her a little more time.

I say boo to that. Not because she looks great but because I really, really don’t want to wait any longer for her to feel better. Does somebody have a magic potion cure for annoyingly long summer colds?

She seemed to be in decent spirits most the day. This was the only non-blurry picture I got.

It’s the nighttime hours that find her crying non-stop and fighting me because she doesn’t want to be held but hollering to be held when I put her down.

For now, I think we’ll be sticking to saline spray and eucalyptus rub.

And steamy showers.

Because I love it when she presses her little hands against the shower glass.

Isn’t she just the cutest thing?

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While I have committed myself to blogging every day for right now to try to bring back the habit of posting something here regularly, I normally wouldn’t feel compelled to blog on a Sunday. I did miss yesterday, however, because yesterday was just so…

This.

Yesterday was a blurry, sticky hair day covered in tomato sauce and prune juice. All day long.

So I am going to go ahead and write something today since Rabbit is out of town and many of us are home from church again with this crummy cold we’ve had for 3 weeks and just when I started to feel human again Lanie, who is only slightly congested, decided to stay up almost all night fussing and I feel hungover but without the fun party memories. Unless you count the Fixer Upper binge I had while I held Lanie as she slept because that was the only thing that I could do that seemed to help her. Thanks for the good times, Chip and Jo.

Lanie being up at night is very unusual. She has always slept well – too well at times – so when she is up in the night for more than just the occasional sleep-eating episode, it means something is really bothering her. I gave her some ibuprofen a the early hours in hopes of getting at-least an hour or two of sleep and it really did help so my best guess is all the teeth she seems to be cutting at once are causing her some mouth pain.

And why does my life look so blurry in pictures? We really aren’t that blurry of a family in real life.

I may have mentioned this before but my dad is a photographer. A pretty good one. He owned a 1 hour photo service lab and studio when I was a kid and even though I am a lot like him in a whole lot of ways, I absolutely did not get his talent in this area. Kait did, however, so I guess photography skills skip a generation.

I did read that if a bad photographer points and shoots a Nikon D810 they can, in fact, suddenly become a good photographer. Anybody have $2500 I can “borrow”?

I’m going to go drink coffee now.

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Yesterday Rabbit, Joe, and I took a trip to the Families First Network to get our fingerprinting done for background checks because we’re becoming spies or something. We’re perfect for this because nobody would suspect a family of 12.

For real, though, this is the next step to becoming foster parents and was so much easier than the mountain of paperwork that we had to fill out and get approved through some magical chain of case workers and we only have the home study part to complete now.

While we are familiar with the process because we’ve already completed our home study for adoption through the foster care system, it’s a little different when the children aren’t being placed with you permanently and the home study will have to be slightly more involved.

Anyway, this post wasn’t supposed to be about fostering. It was supposed to be about Lanie but apparently, I can get sidetracked before I even start something.

We took Lanie to the office with us and I was so surprised when it didn’t seem to register with anybody that she had Down syndrome.  I wondered if it was because she was more friendly and curious than usual, or because she had her thumb in her mouth…

Maybe these were just unusual people. I don’t know. It really did appear that nobody saw it.

Either way, I was so relieved. Relieved that I didn’t have to wonder what they were thinking when they looked at her. Relieved that I didn’t have to concern myself with the inevitable moment that I would have to say Down syndrome. Relieved that I didn’t need to steel my heart for when this light hearted interaction would change after those words were said. Because that’s what happens. Whether intentional or not, that’s what people do when they suddenly realize what is different about her.

And then I felt so guilty because why do I care? We love her. We love her as she is. We love her because of who she is. I wouldn’t change anything about her except maybe that her natural lenses would magically grow back perfectly without cataracts because putting contact lenses in a baby’s eyes does not get more fun as they age.

But I do care. Does that say something bad about me? Or is this normal because the more I think about it, the more I think that wanting others to value our children the way we do is normal for any parent of any child ever. Unrealistic? Sure. But true nonetheless.

While it would be great if everybody’s reactions were as perfect and normal feeling as they were yesterday, I am reminded that people have more growing to do. That I have more growing to do. And we all need to extend each other a little more patience.  A little more understanding. And a lot more grace.

 

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