Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anticipation is a bitch

There is something magical about Christmas. Once a child reaches a certain age they totally *get* Christmas. They know its coming, they know what's coming and nearly pee their pants daily with anticipation. It is very exciting to think about a little fat man bringing you toys while you sleep. Its almost too much to handle. It is fun to witness the enthusiasm that children have towards this all too often hectic holiday.

There was a period of time where I didn't much care for the social parts of Christmas. When you are in college or grad school its more about the time off from your studies than anything else. But when you have kids everything changes (duh). The shocking delight on Christmas morning when they don't yet understand. Then the hints of comprehension that come the next year. Then by the time they are three all gloves are off and they start making lists in July.

With the grade school set they are more skeptical of the stories about Santa. They hear rumors that he might not be real and those little wheels start spinning. I can tell that Raph doesn't want to believe Santa isn't real BUT he does have lots of questions. He discusses the logistics of it all ad nauseam. He's so excited that he can barely contain himself but then he worries about leaving out the wrong type of cookies for Santa. He told me the "Santa" we saw at the children's museum was fake and he could always tell which ones were fake. He told me all the reason he felt this man was a fraud...in a very hushed whisper. He has been so very polite that you know he's throwing out an extra "Merry Christmas" to strangers just in case he's teetering on the verge of the naughty list.

Likewise, all this build up makes them slightly more insane than usual. There have been more than a few screaming matches between the boys involving who is and is not on the naughty list. Usually someone ends up coming to me in tears asking if they are on the naughty list. If its between the hours of 3 and 6 pm then I'd usually say yes. I think those arsenic hours are the worst time of day for our house and its best if they just leave the judging out of my hands.

We first noticed a problem with Raph a few years ago. His behavior takes a nose dive right before major holidays or his birthday. He has so much bottled up excitement that he doesn't know how to appropriately channel it. The end result is an overly emotional child that can be happily talking one minute and a puddle of sobbing tears the next. He has little patience for his siblings and does NOT wait for things at all. This year is a mixture of the good excitement and the bad excitement explosiveness. I think he's getting better but not entirely. Colin is just purely explosive and nothing else. I'm not sure if that's just his everyday behavioral train wreck or the usual with some extra Christmas specialness. Its hard to say but if Christmas doesn't happen soon I'm liable to just go postal. My normal resting blood pressure is about 58 over 89. Its crazy low. But most of today I'm fairly certain I've been hypertensive.

OMG I just had an aneurysm... Colin just woke up Heidi. I am on the verge. It wasn't bad enough that he was a maniac at the doctor's office today, in the grocery store and over flowed a toilet in the bathroom causing water to pour into the air vent and Heidi poured a bottle of body wash out in the hallway. My house now smells like said body wash and its giving me a migraine.

Please Santa, I'm trying to be good but these hellions are making me very very naughty. Heidi's next word might start with an f and end with an uck. Oh and the kids been off school for a full week before Christmas is bullshit.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Specialists pick my kid's nose

Nothing for the best for my babies! The absurdity quotient for my life may have reached an all time high. It seems that way anyway. Let me get you up to speed.
I went to pick up Colin from school the Monday before Thanksgiving. As I went into the classroom I was whisked away by his teacher to the nurses office. Seems Colin fell on the playground and was bleeding. What's new right? I went into the nurse's office and saw my blood covered baby with lips so swollen they hung off his face and a nose twice its normal size. The nurse assured me that his pupils were behaving appropriately but he needed medical attention. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of shuffling kids and waiting in the ER. Oh and being thankful that we've met our obscene deductible so our jaunt to the hospital is covered.

Let me interject a moment. I know doctors have to learn some how but I get really annoyed by teaching hospitals sometimes. It just slows down the whole process and in my case the resident makes his/her recommendation only to have an attending come in and say something different. Anyway, to sum up this instance, Colin broke his nose but not terribly and there's nothing to do about it except use an ice pack. Fair enough. He just looks tough with his bruising, swelling and scratches.

Fast forward to the next Tuesday when Raph gets a tooth punched out of his mouth on the school bus. Nothing gets a Principal's attention like a bully attach that results in a lost tooth. He was appropriately alarmed by the incident and was on top of it. After that phone call I talked to Raph about how we would leave a note for the tooth fairy so that she knows his tooth was floating around on the school bus. Not only did Raph get his FIRST tooth punched out but he also lost it and was worried he would get any money from the tooth fairy.

The rest of that evening was fine except Heidi kept waking up, coughing and crying a bit and then going back to bed. I went to check on her before I went to bed with a migraine. Heidi had thrown up EVERYWHERE. That coughing I'd heard? Her projectile vomiting all over the place. Mike came in to take care of the bedding and I had to give Heidi a bath to get it out of her hair. Mike had to wash her sheets, mattress cover, bumpers, dust ruffle, sides and bars of crib and the floor around it. Like I said...everywhere. I spent the rest of the night being thrown up on and sleeping briefly next to a crying, rolling, fitfully sleeping baby. This was not conducive to getting rid of a migraine.

Wednesday morning I got up and Heidi seemed fine but then the explosive diarrhea began. I met with the school principal about the punched out tooth and the boy was sitting in the office looking miserable. In house suspension is a bitch. The principal laid out the plan for the boys on the bus and the punishment for the puncher. Heidi exploded her diaper and we went home. This required a complete clothing change for both of us and the washing of our coats and her car seat cover. The rest of this day was consumed by washing barf and poop laundry and a failed attempt to get rid of a killer 2 day headache. Then an airport run to get my mom who came into town for the weekend.

Thursday the consensus was that Colin's nose was not quite right. He sounded like he had something blocking his nostrils. I wasn't sure what that meant but the ER doctor said to see the ENT if we had any concerns at all because you have a 2 week window with a broken nose to fix anything. I call the ENT and make an appointment for that afternoon.

We visit with my mom in the morning and I put Heidi down for a nap and take Colin to the doctor. The doctor comes in with an intern but she's just observing, not practicing. Phew! She looks at Colin's bruised face and he says, "My nose is broke-ing." The doctor nearly dies from cuteness and looks up Colin's nose. Yeah he's got something up there...giant boogers. Sigh. After some saline up his nose and a professional nose picking the doctor was laughing hysterically. She said, "THIS is what your co-pay is for." I told her we'd met our deductible so it was free. She laughed and said, "Well in that case, come back next week and I'll do it again!" In all seriousness she said it was good we came in and she would have done the same thing. the problem was that when the swelling came down everything got completely lodged in there. And for all we knew it could have been a blood clot, so there! I had a specialist pick my kid's nose, so what of it? I drove home from the hospital feeling sick but better that my son's broken nose was nothing to worry about.

At home I started fading fast and by the time Raph got home from school I was throwing up too. My mom took the boys to the store and I stayed at home with Heidi. Nothing like having a 15 month old look over your shoulder as you violent barf into the toilet. I think at one point she even clapped for me. As the evening progressed I couldn't feel my arms. You know because that's totally normal. My whole body hurt and I couldn't keep anything down and my arms were numb. After projectile vomiting all over the hallway...yes I'm an adult who can't make it to the bathroom in time...we decided to go to the ER. Remember the deductible? Score one for us!
The first hospital we went to was gone. Like GONE gone. It was a construction site and the whole thing was leveled. Shows how often we go to hospitals that aren't made for children. At the next hospital the guy registering me entered my information and then said, "Hey, happy birthday!" That's right, my birthday was in a few hours. My mom had come in town for a visit and to be here so Mike and I could have a free night out. Not really what I had in mind but it was good she was here so we didn't have to worry about the kids while I was at the hospital.

After some anti-nausea meds, a couple bags of fluids and some pain meds I felt better. The ER doctor told me that the numb arms was a totally normal reaction and it was caused by dehydration and a lack of electrolytes. How about that? Learn something new everyday. I still think its beyond crazy that I couldn't feel my arms but whatever. Mike told me happy birthday at 12:01 and I got a script for vicodin. Happy pharmaceutical birthday to me! We came home and I went to the bathroom before bed...toilet back up and no amount of effort on Mike or I's part could make the water go down. I passed out in my pharmaceutical haze and Mike slept on the couch to be away from the disease and petulance.

Friday morning my mom took Colin to school and I wallowed on the couch in full body and head pain. I was no longer throwing up but my whole everything was killing me. I called roto-rooter first thing and had someone fix the toilet. This day was a daze of trying to drink enough and nursing Heidi who was in danger of dehydration herself. She was back to non-eating and multiple night wakings and would only nurse. I went to bed shortly after the kids. I'd been woken up by Heidi's need to nurse and Colin's nightmares and my own illness for days so I was exhausted. Mike hung out with my mom watching movies and then she went to bed...and started throwing up.

Saturday I was much improved and my mom was miserable. Changing of the guards and now I was taking care of her and trying to put my house back into some sort of order. It looked like a bomb went off in my house. Our night out plans were cancelled because I was still iffy and my mom was completely sick. The gift certificate we planned on using expired so that night couldn't be rescheduled. Boo.

Sunday was much the same except for we decorated our Christmas tree and had Christmas shit all over the house. Colin asked to leave a note for the broken nose fairy so he could get some money under his pillow (genius that boy is!) Mike also got a truck load of furniture from one of his dad's display houses so we had two sets of dining room and office furniture in the mix. My head nearly exploded because of the chaos and laundry.

Monday Heidi got a cold and was a teething, snotty, whiny mess. I continued my feeble attempt at cleaning my house and visiting with my mom on her last day. After taking her to the airport and apologizing profusely I came home and feel asleep on the couch at 5pm with all three kids climbing on me. Did I mention the multiple night wakings from Heidi, the refusal to sleep past 4:30am or eat food and Colin's nightmares?

This is what happens to a spool of floss after it goes through the dryer.
Tuesday morning I got up and took a shower. Made an appointment for Heidi to see the doctor because her angry diaper rash was back full force and the prescription cream was gone. Plus she needed another flu shot anyway. I was going to do a load of laundry. My poor washing machine was whimpering in the corner at the thought of MORE laundry. I walk down the basement stairs and it smells funny...and there is water everywhere. F#*% me. I tried to keep the kids out of the nastiness, called Mike and roto rooter...again. I have to leave to take Heidi to the doctor and Mike comes home to start the clean up and wait for the plumber. Heidi gets a new prescription, a shot and then they make her wait for an extra 20 minutes because of her egg allergy. My head nearly explodes again. The upside of this overly long appointment was that Mike cleaned up all the water mess by the time I got home. I spend the rest of the day doing laundry after the drain is cleared and stop myself from falling on a sword. I was nearing being caught up on laundry until every towel in our house was soaking wet and stinking.
Wednesday the clean up continues, I fight with Heidi to get her back on food and not nurse and sort through soggy boxes in the basement.

Thursday I wake up with Heidi at 4:30am once again and she's croupy. Colin wakes up and he's croupy. Just kill me now. It is now Saturday morning. My house is a shit pile. We have no food, I have snot on my shirt and have 2 raspy voiced kids and a 6 year old who seems to be flirting with something. Miraculously none of the boys (big or small) got the barfy plague but the past two weeks have been a disaster. Oh and one more thing...remember the deductible? Heidi's hideous diaper rash is still bad so I'm using the "last resort cream". The print out from the pharmacy said, "Your insurance saved you $289." At least there's that! And really, why should butt cream cost almost $300...that's just stupid.