How did that get there. And asthma.

On our run this morning I noticed that Ben was weazing. I asked if he was okay and he said he thought so but his upper back really hurt and his body felt really tired.  He’d complained about this stuff before but he always continued to run so I just thought it was typical kid complaining.

But the loud weazing…

That was a warning sign.  He didn’t want to stop running and we were less than a half mile from home at this point so we slowed down to barely a trot but by the time we got home I was regretting not making him stop earlier. I was thinking about taking him to the ER but he was breathing easier as soon as we walked into the house so I called the pediatrician instead and she had me bring him right in and holy cow the amount of paperwork (tabletwork?) we have to do now at check-in is more than what we have to do at the ER. It’s getting really annoying and I’m actually considering switching pediatricians because of it.

Doctor’s immediate assessment – at the least, he has activity induced asthma.

So we got him a puffer and went home to find a toilet in my front yard.

It’s still sitting there.

When Ben took a dose of his Albuterol his eyes got really big and he said, I can breath! I didn’t realize that I couldn’t breath before!

I am hoping that we don’t end up needing a pulmonary function test or anything because ain’t nobody got time for that. The inhaler seems to be doing its job so for right now I think we’re good.

We’ll see how it goes.

 

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Filed under: Ben

Home again

The trip was really amazing.  My mom and my sister refused to accept any help with the food and they were feeding 26 people all weekend long. The food was seriously amazing and we all got to catch up while the cousins ran around playing together and having the best time ever.

We left for home this morning. The long 9-hour drive ahead of us seemed like it would take 9 days but it really wasn’t all that bad. The kids were good. Maggie was good!?!

I was bad though.

We stopped at an Arby’s for some breakfast and because the little girls gotta go bafroom and, wouldn’t ya know it, I left my wallet and my phone there and didn’t realize it until we were a half hour down the road.  I was so frustrated with myself but it turned out alright. We got home an hour later than we had hoped but I got my phone and wallet back in tact because of the great employees who kept them safe.

We stopped at a rest area so Jesse, Lucy, and Maggie could make a bird’s nest for what reason I don’t know.

And then they ran some energy out while I fed Lanie some fruit.

Really, the trip home was so uneventful that I don’t have much to say about it other than leaving my stuff at the Arby’s.  When we got home we had to run and I was sure it would be slow and tired but I we were wrong. Sitting in the car caused us to store up energy or something because we all felt great during our runs and finished strong.

The visit was wonderful but I would be lying if I said I’m not glad to be home sitting on my bed. I think we’ll all be sleeping well tonight.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilySometimes we do stuff

Chasing the sun. And the moon.

I wasn’t all that interested in the eclipse, to be honest. I was born with a defective awe gene and most things that make others stand beside themselves in wonder won’t even get me on my feet.  I felt this way all these months leading up to our planned eclipse trip to Moncks Corner, SC.  I was excited to see my family but it was my children and husband who were all about the eclipse.

But that all changed in the span of about 3 minutes this afternoon.

My mom came over to my sister’s house. She had bought cookies and called them different names like moon cookies and sun cakes. She had done an eclipse project last night with all the kids to prepare them for what to expect and then today before the eclipse she did a viewing tutorial with them teaching them how to use their glasses and keep their eyes safe. She handed out the spectacles and the kids ran around with them like it was the apocalypse and then we collected them back up because that wasn’t the greatest idea we have ever had.

We still had more than an hour before the eclipse so my brother said I should have his car.

The people in the background, Aunt Naomi, Mom, and my sister, all thought I should have his car too and, as you can see, they are very happy about it but alas, we were all mistaken because Matt said I should drive his car, not have it so there was a little disappointment.

Anyway, no matter how hard Rabbit tried to keep it from happening, I got to drive this gorgeous blue Tesla and it was a most remarkable experience and, people, I really, really feel like there could be an X in my future. Just look how good this S and I look together.

When we got back it had become so cloudy and stormy and Matt and Joe were freaking out like Chicken Little because the eclipse was coming, THE ECLIPSE WAS COMING, and we wouldn’t be able to see it while it was pouring rain. I felt a twinge of disappointment for Joe because he was so excited but what can you do?

Well, apparently you can drive all over Moncks Corner looking for blue sky like storm chasers (or what’s the opposite of storm chasers?) and it was one of the most entertaining experiences.  All 24 of us jumped in our vehicles and set off in a caravan chasing the sun. My brother and Joe were leading the way in the Tesla and they were hilariously intense about the whole thing, calling everybody in the group with updates and suggestions about where to turn and what direction to go and we only have 11 minutes will we even make it in time and I think I see blue sky over that way!

And we did make it, thanks to the efforts of my brother and my son, who both really, really, really, really, really wanted to see the moon blot out the sun for 3 minutes.

So we got out of our cars on the side of the road and put on our glasses and I hovered over my younger children so much, certain that everybody was going to go blind, that I accidentally looked at the eclipse without my glasses. It was brief and apparently not long enough to cause me to lose my vision but I spent the rest of today waiting for my sight to suddenly vanish.

My mom passed out eclipse gum because she knows how to make things extra fun for the kids and we all watched as the moon swallowed up the sun until the only evidence that it was daytime was the orange ring of fire that poured out from around the moon.

I got my eclipse selfie, even though it really did not do the event any justice because I am no good at these things but I was there and I saw totality.

And, guess what guys. It was amazing. Seriously amazing. What I thought would be a cool, but somewhat boring event turned out to be one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen.

The entire day was perfect. Driving the Tesla, chasing the sun, seeing the total eclipse with my family – minus Kait and Vince and Nina who all had to work 🙁 …

And then Matt had Joe jump into the driver seat and let him drive the Tesla for a bit before he took off for home.

It was a very good day.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilyGod is.Sometimes we do stuff

My brother has a Tesla. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this but I have wanted an X for as long as they have been out. I watched Elon Musk’s unveiling of the X years ago. The $120,000 price tag, however, has kept that want as just a wish because who has that kind of money to spend?

So Matt has an S and he drove it down from Virginia to Moncks Corner, SC yesterday to enjoy our total solar eclipse family reunion and this thing is pretty awesome except when it needs a charge that takes hours so you shop at the outlet stores and buy amazing kitchen gadgets and then leave to find out that the charging wasn’t really happening because the stations were generic and required a special account and I really feel like swiping a Visa and plugging in a car shouldn’t require a stamp of approval from President Trump.

We never did figure it out but it still has plenty of charge so there is some time to get this done. And he said I could drive it so hopefully that will happen sometime before he leaves after the eclipse tomorrow.

There are better pictures but, of course, they are on Kait’s camera so I’ll get them later but until then, here is one of it being all blurry and stuff.

Also, we got tons of Family pictures that Kait is holding hostage too so that post will have to wait a little longer I guess.

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Filed under: Friends & FamilySometimes we do stuff

Today we tour

I grew up in Goose Creek, SC, right outside of Charleston and, while I spent a fair amount of time downtown, my young self did not appreciate the rich history the city has to offer so when I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to take the kids downtown and do a tour of sorts so I could learn some stuff and teach it to the kids she jumped on it and said she would absolutely love to give them a tour.

My mom is a 3rd grade teacher and is the unofficial but should be actual official downtown Charleston history expert. She does the school’s field trip tours and has such a way with children so I knew my kids were in for a very educational and enjoyable experience.

Here are some quick takeaways from the day.

  • My mother loves this old city. You can hear it in the way she talks about it. It isn’t just mundane history to her, it’s real and living and she truly enjoys sharing what she knows.
  • Charleston in August is incredibly hot. We’re talking 95 degrees and 100% humidity. We live in Pensacola so it should have felt like home but for some reason it was so much worse.
  • Kids are impervious to heat when there is something interesting going on. They never complained and even ran around and played tag when we stopped at the park for a rest.
  • Free snow cone samples are the best.
  • My mom knows more about Charleston’s history than the paid tour guides. There were times when she was explaining something about something that other people who were not a part of our group would stop and listen along.
  • There are graveyards everywhere.
  • And churches…
  • Rainbow Row and Rainbow Road are not the same thing.
  • Stroller wheels do not cooperate on cobblestone streets.
  • The Palm tree may very well have won the Revolutionary War for us.
  • Kait takes good pictures. She likes the camera and it would appear that the camera also likes her.

It was a really thorough and entertaining tour and I learned a lot of the stuff I had ignored as a child. My kids seem to like information more than I did when I was a youngin and talked about some of what they learned on the way back to my sister’s house in Moncks Corner.  I’m so thankful to have a mama who is so willing to pass down all of her knowledge about Charleston and the city’s role in our country’s fight to become independent.

Next time we’ll do another tour and learn about the civil war.

Kait took most of these fabulous pictures with her new camera. The ones that she is in I think were taken by her fiance.

Then my brother surprised us by showing up with his two boys and his Tesla and we were so happy he was able to make the trip to spend the weekend with us. It was a really great day.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

So Gabe got this wild hair that we should print off and laminate some Mad Libs so he can reuse them on our trip. Sounds like a great idea until you remember that we’re in our van. This is a long van with a tall captain’s chair for each person. It is difficult to hear what is going on in the back of the vehicle and communication is passed there and back again like an old game of telephone and you know how well that works.  Matthew starts by asking me to pass back some crackers and what he ends up receiving is a baby wipe and hair pin.

Even though it requires a lot of shouting, we do like Mad Libs for long car rides because it is a great way to teach parts of speech and it keeps everybody laughing and happy. This is something that seems to confuse the younger kids easily and I am so glad that my older kids include them in this because it really does help with understanding.

Gabe (speaking to a younger child): It’s your turn. I need a verb.

Young child: Um… Baby

Me: That doesn’t work. A verb is an action word. It’s what you do.

Young child: OH!  Play with dinosaurs!  

A bunch of us: Playing works.

Young child: Oh. Play with Legos? 

Gabe: Playing. A verb is just a word.

Young child: Ooooh…  Okay. Soda.

I think we might need to do a little more work.

Can I count this as a school day?

 

 

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Filed under: reasons to homeschoolSometimes we do stuff

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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Filed under: Down syndromefoster careLanie

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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Filed under: Down syndromeLanie

The odd requirements to become foster parents.

We’re familiar with homestudies – we’re already approved to adopt through foster care – but to be foster parents the study of our home and family is much more in depth and there are a few more required tasks we must take care of in our home in order to pass the final homestudy and health inspection.

  • put lock on laundry room chemical cupboard
  • put lock on kitchen cabinet under sink
  • put lock on bathroom cabinet
  • put locks on everything everywhere
  • get fire extinguisher charged and tagged
  • clean all the things

There are some requirements I find interesting.  Homestudy requirements are state specific but from what I’ve read and the videos made by other foster parents that I have watched, there are a lot of similarities.  Below are the ones I take issue with, but not enough issue that it stops us from pursuing being foster parents – just enough issue to write a post about it.

  • Refrigerators must have a thermometer.  I am not really sure why this is so important. I guess you wouldn’t want a foster child to get really sick from eating bad food but how often does that really happen anyway? Most of us have been successfully using refrigerators our entire lives and when they stop working we immediately notice.  (note: our refrigerator has a thermometer built in with a display on the front so it’s not irritating to have to do this. I just think the requirement is odd.)
  • Water heaters have to be set at or below 120 degrees. I get this. I really do. But I still think it’s ridiculous. We have always kept our water heater temperature much higher than that and we have never had a problem in all 22 years of being parents. The 5000 tap water scaldings (rarely, almost never, resulting in death) that happen to children every year are almost always kids under the age of 4 who have been left unattended in the bath. I feel the issue here is that people are leaving toddlers alone in the tub long enough for them to turn on the water and get burned and the answer is to stop leaving toddlers alone in the tub because more than 90 kids drown in a bathtub every year. Even my 6 and almost 4 years old kids who can technically safely bathe without me hovering are never out of my earshot while in the bath because I don’t trust them to always make the right decisions. Of course, having to set our water temperature at 120 is not a reason to deny a child a home and a family but it’s still annoying.
  • Create and display a floor plan of the home labeling all the rooms, the size of each room, who is in each room, where the beds are in each room, and all windows and exits.  This kind of makes sense except it really doesn’t at all and seems like an asinine waste of time and now there is a map of my house cluttering my once-clear refrigerator door.  If there is a fire I don’t think any child is going to be so confused that they have to come into the kitchen and look at this map in order to create an exit strategy. Our house is just not so large as to require a diagram to figure out the exit points, even for a child new to our home.  And a child too young to understand exits and how to use them certainly won’t be aided by the clever map on my refrigerator. Perhaps the bed room sizing and bed placements could be helpful to firefighters. But if we had an actual fire I hardly think I’m going to advise the firemen to please just look at the map on the refrigerator door. I just don’t get this.

    Drawing this was a bigger tax on my time and sanity than it seems like it would be. First, I had to search out a ruler. We have 7 or 8 rulers but they are never anywhere to be found when I need one. Then I had to use different colored markers to label everything and why are all the markers dried out all the time? I had to fend off tiny people who saw paper and colors spread out everywhere and thought it would be helpful to assist me in my efforts.  And I had to hunt down our home’s floor plan to get the exact measurements of each room and thank goodness we have those plans because I couldn’t imagine having to actually measure each room with a tape measure.

  • Keep all medications in a locked box.
    Just kidding. This one makes absolute sense.

For the most part, the requirements to become foster parents seem genuinely helpful to both us and any potential foster child. Having a charged and tagged fire extinguisher – good idea.  Having plenty of food – yep. Having updated shot records for any pets – makes total sense.

But fire map? I just don’t get it.

 

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Filed under: foster careUm...

Will wonders never cease. And other stuff.

I finally slept an entire night without anybody waking me up.  Maggie didn’t have an accident. Lanie didn’t wake up to eat. The cats didn’t meow to go outside. And my boys remembered to turn off their notification sounds on their phones before plugging them into the charging center in our room.

I did wake up this morning with a sore throat and the constant tickle of a potential cough because of the long stretch of laying down but I’ll take it because when I woke up this morning I felt awake.

Is this how sleep works for normal people?

It’s good timing, too.  We have our first homestudy to become foster parents on Thursday and I feel the sudden urge to clean all the things. It’s kind of like nesting but without the frequent nap breaks, cereal cravings, and the huge belly getting in the way.

Onto other things.

Matthew and Ben shared Cokes with each other yesterday. They were side-by-side in the grocery store’s drink cooler so they couldn’t resist.

They are holding each other’s sodas in case you’re suddenly confused about who is who.

And these…

They are the devil.
I found these salted caramel peanuts sitting on the shelf at the store looking all innocent. There are supposed to be 6 servings in this little can but apparently, my brain doesn’t understand servings because I ate almost the entire thing at one time.

I guess I’d better go. The kids are bored, the baby is sleeping, and there is much to do.

 

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Filed under: Benfoster careMatthewSometimes we do stuff

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