Friday, March 31, 2006

not otherwise specified

no, you don't say.

tell me something i didn't a.l.r.e.a.d.y know.

i'm talking sleep study results for my daughter.



so. no sleep apnea. i knew this. i am am her mother - of COURSE i knew this. a mother knows if her kids stops breathing - even for a second and the mother is at the complete opposite end of the house. a mother KNOWS this...

diagnosis: "sleep disturbance, not otherwise specified"

no. really?

"the multiple awakenings and arousals seen during the study significantly decrease the patient's sleep efficiency."

is that so? i'd have never guessed. the cranky irritable child i have lived with for seven years gives me no indication whatsoever she has a significantly decreased sleep efficiency.


i know medicine is not an exact science. i KNOW this. better than most. but at some point - somewhere, someone has GOT to know what' s going on with my child.
and how to make it better.
for her
and for her family.

Note: yes, i tattled on the sleep technician. no. i don't think it mattered to anyone but me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

what do you do when you (almost) forget your favorite sister in-law's birthday?

you tell the whole world (at least the part of the world that reads your blog) what a HUGE LOSER you are while at the same time extolling the endless virtues of aforementioned sister in law.

meet K - my favorite sister in law. she is educated, intelligent, beautiful, funny, loving, thoughtful (much more so than i) and she has a special place reserved for her in heaven for marrying my brother! I LOVE HER!!!!!

so sucking up...

yep. that's exactly what you (I) do.

and Monday was her birthday. i (almost) forgot - save that my brother called my dad and my dad called me and i sheepishly called her. and she gave it to me with both barrels. and i'd do the same if i were her. cause if i were married to my brother and the in-laws forgot to worship me on my birthday, well, let's just say it would not be pretty the next time the family got together for tea and crumpets. (it's a joke, brother)

K is the sister in law living and teaching (for now, at least) in south mississippi. pre-katrina, she was a second grade teacher in a cozy little elementary school in pass christian. that school no longer exists. katrina gutted it. the bulldozers finished it. she now teaches middle school art in delisle, MS. the district combined the two school districts into temporary trailers. this will probably be much more than temporary.

on friday, as a late birthday present (or not), she finds out if she still has a job.

the biloxi school district - right down the beach from delisle laid off 60 teachers last month. biloxi is one of the richest school districts in the state of mississippi. they do not have enough students to warrant the current staffing levels. families have left. children are gone - leaving teachers with no one to teach.
katrina is still washing away lives in south mississippi.

but again, i digress, back to my FABULOUS sister in law. she is amazing! my brother (her hubby) works off-shore so she is a single mom half the year. and does a great job of it. i am often in awe of her as she skillfully manages a full time job, two small kids and household on her own (half of the time).

K - i love you. i miss you. and i hope you had a wonderful birthday. i am a complete loser and will do better next year. (maybe)

Monday, March 27, 2006

so i've always had vivid dreams

and last night is no exception

i dreamt i was pregnant.
for a fourth time.
rubbing-my-belly-feeling-the-baby-move pregnant.
in addition to the three i already have.

so i am telling hubby about my dream this morning...

i tell him the last thing i remember is how i was going to call my OB in mississippi. the one that delivered my son and did my tubal ligation.

he asks "why?"

i said, "to give her a piece of my mind."

he says, "yeah, that's something you'd do."

damn skippy

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

is you is or is you ain't

i am not singing this time.
but i do want to talk about singing.

i have the latest faith hill cd, fireflies. (non-country fans stay with me)

there's a song on this cd entitled Mississippi Girl. i am a Mississippi Girl (born, raised and educated in south mississippi) and have adopted this as my official theme song. so needless to say i LOVE THIS SONG! my two girls LOVE THIS SONG!

when it gets ugly riding in the the van - fussing, fighting, whining, yelling, swearing - i pop in fireflies, fast forward to track #2. when they hear the opening melody - a magical transformation takes place. these little monsters i gave birth to become pop stars - they know every single word and we sing this song over and over at the TOP OF OUR LUNGS! works every single time.

Link to Mississippi Girl on AOL Music

and that's how i often solve conflict in our world. we sing along with Mississippi Girl. (a big thank you to ms. hill on this one!)

although my girls were not born in Mississippi (but in downtown Dallas, Texas - to be exact) they feel a very strong connection to my home state. they each first traveled to mississippi when only four weeks old. we visit as a family several times a year and they individually spend a couple weeks with my parents during the summer. we lived there a year for Sam to go to school at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Communication and Development. so they have a valid and very real connection to my birth home.

write this down - if you'd ever like to cause conflict, angst and down right unadulterated anger in a four (almost five) and a seven year old girl, i can tell you how. i learned this little 'trick' on our recent road trip to pick up Sam after her visit with the Grandparents.

you can call them mean, ugly, stubborn, prissy, sassy, hateful, stupid ( i don't actually use this word, but you could), dog-butt face, poopy breath, cat-food-eating stinky rug rats and they wouldn't bat an eye. go ahead. try it. i promise you - wouldn't phase their world.

but if you really want to insult them - to their core - cut them to the quick - just tell them - and stand back when you do - tell them they are NOT Mississippi Girls.

go ahead, i dare ya.
i won't be doing it

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

now i lay me down to sleep

two words
sleep study

ever done one of these?
we are adding it to the growing list of test and procedures performed on my 7 year old daughter.
so we can say we did, let's review...

jaundiced at one week old - to the hospital three times for blood tests.

skull x-rays at 10 months - hairline fracture

first set of tubes and adnoidectomy at 2 years.
did i forget to mention that she stopped breathing when the extabated her and had to be reintubated??? visual - FREAKED OUT FIRST TIME MOTHER levitating in waiting room chair when dr explains this little experience. me looking at him -barely breathing - in a whisper "ARE YOU TELLING ME - in front of all these people - THAT MY TWO YEAR DAUGHTER JUST STOPPED BREATHING IN THE NEXT ROOM??!!!"

"yes, mam. apparently she has reactive airway disease. would you like to see her now?"
i was already in recovery when he hit the second 'mam.'

second set of tubes and tonsillectomy at 3 years.

scottish rite hospital exam and diagnosis of benign hypermobility joint syndrome at 3 1/2 years. in plain english, she's double jointed - so much so she can almost touch her toes to her belt buckle which in turn caused her pain every day at bedtime...

THIRD set of tubes at 4 years.

diagnosed chronic sinusitis at 4 1/2 years. ENT wanted to place a broviac catheter for antibiotic delivery. that's a direct line into the main artery of the heart (or something like that). it stays in place for a month. can you say
this is the same child that ripped her IV out in less than 10 minutes when i left her with her father in her hospital room (tubes and tonsillectomy). I ran to get a quick bite and when i returned it looked like someone had sacrificed a goat in her hospital room. so no, i don't think we are going to put a direct line into her heart. call me crazy. sometimes you just go with your gut...

so instead, we paid an astronomical amount for an antibiotic compounded with adhesant for her nebulizer which my insurance company deemed as experimental. what does that mean - yep, you guessed it, OUT OF POCKET EXPEN$E. they were going to pay three times as much for the broviac procedure but balked at non-invasive antibiotic treatment. splain that to me...

so that worked. for about 8 months.

then it was off to the OR to have tiny parts of her sinus tissue removed. there's a big long fancy-smancy name for the procedure. i can even spell it. i will spare you. the procedure was a snap. post op was the absolute worst experience of my life - and prolly hers.
take a deep breath and relax your body before reading this => we had to use a water pic with a nasal attachment and warm saline water and irrigate her sinuses twice a day. it took three grown adults to accomplish this. two to hold her, one to irrigate. yes, i am saying we held her down and SPRAYED warm saline water up her nose with a water pic after it had been operated on. i called her dr. no less than 10 times asking if there was some other way to accomplish this. she said no every time. we endured.

then may of 2005. on my way to the airport. business trip to orlando. departing three days early for a few days of R&R at cocoa beach. cell phone rings. hubby. Admitting daughter to hospital with inflamed airways. turn car around. do not pass go. do not collect suntan and tropical fruity drinks by pool. (i love my daughter deeply and am ashamed to admit it - but i am still a little pissy about this one.)

in between the aforementioned tests hospitalizations and surgical procedures, there have been countless speech evaluations, hearing tests, ER visits, allergy shots and she is currently enrolled in our 5th specialized speech program.

my pediatrician and i are on a first name basis. i have her home phone number. she has my cell number memorized. and if you need a referral in dallas - let me know. there is no better pediatrician on the planet. bar none.

so anyway, in comparison, a sleep study sounds pretty tame compared to what Sam has already endured. and let me be very clear - she has endured and conquered. she is a first class trooper. brave and strong. i admire the hell out of her.

and the sleep study was, pretty easy. for her. 'cept for the fact that she had to sleep with more wires hooked up to her than my tv/vcr/dvd player/home theater - it was a cake walk.

why did we do a sleep study you ask. here's the long and short of it. sam has never slept well. won't go to sleep. won't stay asleep. wakes too early. flails, kicks, cries, nightmares, talks, yells - throughout the night. on the few rare occasions i have tried to let her sleep in bed with me, i have had to erect a barrier - akin to the great wall of china - between her and me so as to not wake up black and blue. and even that seldom prevents her from still beating the crap out of me.

last year, she was diagnosed with ADHD. sleep problems go with ADHD. we tried a very low dose ADHD med with almost no effect on her. so instead of going to the next level of meds, her dr. pointed out a child with sleep problems can exhibit ADHD symptoms. hmmmmm. well that's interesting.

so he suggested we go back to square one and rule out sleep problems - that could be causing the adhd behaviors. i'm willing to do just about anything to avoid adhd meds - when possible. so we were off to the sleep lab

get all that? good. 'cause i have had little to no sleep and do not have the wherewithal to splain it again.

it was pretty cool - the sleep technician (that's actually what they call them) hooks up all these wires. elastic velcro bands around her chest and tummy to measure breathing. oxygen thingie under nose. stickers and probes in her hair, on her face, chest and legs. (don'tcha think it's cool how i use all the proper terminology?) then he wrapped up her entire head in gauze so she couldn't rip it out while sleeping - as i was certain she was going to do.

they had a microphone hanging down over her bed and an infrared camera to videotape her.

i got the recliner that folds out to a makeshift sleep-on-a-crack-break-your-mother's-back twin bed substitute.

we (she) finally got to sleep around 9PM - and of course - unlike at home, she goes right to sleep in less than 15 minutes. little smartypants.

and of course, she wakes up at midnight to go to the bathroom. unlike at home - where the pull-up works just fine. little show off.

Me - i lie there and fear that i am going to snore. and it will be recorded.

or i am going to talk in my sleep. and it is going to be recorded.

or, heaven forbid - i pass gas (we ate broccoli and cabbage the night before - stupid t_cole. really stupid) and it will be recorded.

i finally fall asleep. and for the record - i don't know if i snored, talked in my sleep or passed gas as i was too afraid to ask the technician this morning...

so at three am, she is doing that flailing thing she does. talking, slinging arms. so the tech comes in to check on her. he tells me "We've got enough data now if you'd like to leave."

do what?!

me, "i don't think so." [dripping with shock and sarcasm]

is he mad? he wants me to get up at three am and drive an hour to get home. i must be dreaming. as i said out loud - i don't think so...

so let me tell you - at 5:00 AM ON THE DOT, he was in there unplugging my daughter. the paperwork said the study would be completed by 7 - 8 AM. we were out the door at 5:23 AM. no joke. as I was buckling my seat belt, i saw our sleep technician entering the garage to go home.

ahhhhhhh. now i get it. if we leave at three am - HE can go home early.

am i going to tattle? you bet. does it matter we were shorted 2 - 3 hours of data? i don't know. yet. but i can tell you this, my daughter has been through too much in her brief seven years to get the short end of anyone's stick.

allow me to introduce you to the mother bear in me. don't mess with my cubs.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho - it's in the van we go

not sure why it is that i feel like singing to you before a road trip...
wonder if that indicates anything.
surely it does...

in any event, we are off shortly to pick up daughter #1. her week-long adventure with the mississippi grandparents is drawing to an end. i am certain they are doing the happy dance in mississippi.

we will meet them halfway in the morning. truthfully, we go a bit farther than halfway. it's the decent thing to do for grandparents after 10 days with their granddaughter. so to cut up the trip a bit, we are driving over tonight. staying in a hotel and then driving back tomorrow. that beats a 10 hour drive in one day - no matter how uncomfortable the hotel bed is...

and for the record - not that it matters - i wrote a brilliant, witty and highly entertaining entry today complete with photos. and then blogger lost it. was so pissed, i could not find the energy to re-write. forgive me.

see you guys on monday.
i'll try not to sing then...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

the scars of childhood are forever scars

i don't want this to be a downer entry.
but it will be a truthful one.
and the truth is this - scars you acquire in your childhood are yours till the day you die.
as with most scars, they fade and are seldom painful.
and thankfully, this is my reality - small faded painless scars.

i have shared with you the wonder i have experienced in reconnecting with my childhood sweetheart. what i have not told you is how unbelievably overwhelming it has been emotionally. the first week - every time i spoke with him, IM'd or even wrote him emails, i sobbed. one night i cried for an hour after we signed off. the deep emotions and strong feelings i found myself awash in rocked my world in a way i had not anticipated.

and i told him this. and i told him i wasn't sure of the WHY of these emotions.

thus began the self exploration.
Why? Why? Why?
Where in the blue blazes did this come from?
i entertained the thought that maybe, subliminally, i did want to reconnect with him in a romantic way.
could that be it? t'would be the obvious explanation. unrealistic - but obvious. and i am an admitted hopeless romantic so i won't lie to you, i gave this specific possibility a great deal of thought. parsed it out. did the 'what if's' and finally came to the conclusion that no, somehow, i knew this wasn't driving the tidal wave of emotions i was riding.
which made it all the more perplexing...

so one night last week. couldn't sleep. lying in bed. started down this path again in my mind. the WHY?!
and in a flash, it came to me. the following is an exerpt from an email i wrote to my sweetheart that night...

while the pain of my youth cannot hold a candle to what your stepmonster did to you and your brother, i did have hurt in my growing up. i was not the skinny kid. i was outspoken. loud. obnoxious even. i did my part in making myself a target. and some of the names we ran through tonight - 'butthole', 'creep-o-la"- they did their part in making
my teens a living hell - as well they could anyway. i had (have) a very low self esteem (that i try very hard to hide) and it stems from those years when i was made to feel completely unworthy. i felt like no one (no boys/men anyway) liked me. or could like me. or ever would like me.

in any event, when you and i first talked this time and you told me that in your 11 year old mind - you thought this is what love must be. and you told me that i was part of the good you remembered. and you tell me that you remember so much of the same wonderful things i do. well, for the first time in my adult life, i feel like i was loved and was worthy as a young girl. to a young boy. as i remind you that your childhood wasn't all bad - you prove to me the same. in as far as my relationships go.

i wondered for years if i had imagined the things that happened with you and me. wondered if it was a one-sided infatuation on my part.
you didn't write when you left - and while i know why - it was so painful to be left behind like that. and while these emotions i have are relevant to us - as friends - they are more important to me - as a woman - trying to piece together my heart. you have validated me in a way i didn't even know i needed. you have reached in and healed a place in my soul i wasn't even aware was still hurting.
but it was - and deeply.

so i think this is a big part of why i so overwhelmed by my feelings for you.

validation and acceptance are so powerful. and you have given these to me.

~audible sigh when he agreed completely with my assessment~

so now, i aspire to give to him as much as he has given me - emotionally.
and he says i have. that i do.

and for you to understand, you have to know something about his childhood scars.
like mine they are his for the rest of his life.
unlike mine, his are not near as faded and painless.

my sweetheart was severely abused as a child.

i saw the effects of this abuse first hand.
i clearly remember the fear and hurt and anger in his face.
i now see the effects of that abuse as a adult.
i don't know which is worse -being helpless as a child to stop it or feeling helpless as an adult to fix it.

and while i know that i cannot do anything to mend this for him - i would walk on broken glass if it would help him reconcile his spirit. to make peace with the past. to find acceptance of himself.

i tell him - often - how wonderful he is. how kind. gentle. loving. caring. generous. genuine. WORTHY. capable. brilliant. awesome. et al. and while i know only he can facilitate his healing - i still plan to do everything i can to be louder and more believable than the voice in his head telling him just the opposite. the voice that often sounds like his stepmonster.

and one day, i wish for him . . .
for his scars to fade away to nothing and never, EVER bring him pain again.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

it's not original material but....

I have this thing about only posting my material here. but every now and again, i feel the need to break my own rules. i get tons of email jokes and such every day - and enjoy most all of them. once in a while i get something that makes me laugh till i cry and pee in my pants - the following is such an email. i hope you enjoy as much as i did (go to the bathroom before continuing) ~tcole

NOTE: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili cook-off about the time the rodeo comes to town It takes up a major portion of the parking lot at the Astrodome. The notes are from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who was visiting Texas from the East Coast:

Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking directions to the Budweiser truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting. So I accepted. I don't really remember much after chili No. 3. Man, that is some hot food! I can't believe I was writing what you see here"

Here are the scorecards from the event:

Chili # 1 Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild
Judge # 3 -- (Frank) Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Chili # 2 Arthur's after burner Chili
Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chili # 3 Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs beans.
Judge # 2 -- A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced from all of the beer.

Chili # 4 Bubba's Black Magic
Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out tastebuds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-LB. bitch is starting to look HOT -- just like this nuclear waste I'm eating. Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Chili # 5 Linda's Legal Lip Remover
Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks...

Chili # 6 Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I shit myself when I farted and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. She must be kinkier than I thought. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone.

Chili # 7 Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili
Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava like shit to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, its too painful. Screw it, I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Chili #8 Tommy's Toenail Curling Chili
Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balance chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge # 3 passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor dude, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili.

Friday, March 10, 2006

things to come...

i am still not back to work and still without a baby sitter and still have two very active children underfoot. but i have much to tell you so i will give you a brief teaser of things to come...

this is not a teaser and will be the only time i write about this. and if you are in MISSISSIPPI - DO NOT SPEAK OF THIS TO MY DAUGHTER.
our sweet puppy was in an accident yesterday and was killed. she was with hubby in oklahoma. we are heart broken. we will tell our oldest daughter when she comes home from my parent's home next week as to not mar her time spent with her grandparents.

next, i plan to blog about the recovery and rebuilding in mississippi post katrina. it is monumental and on-going. am waiting on pictures from my brother in law - the photographer.

finally the BIG news. hold onto your pants for this one...
my childhood sweetheart and his wife have booked flights and are coming to visit in june. can you say Holy Cow!?! they are going to spend their time in Mississippi and i will drive over to meet them there.
more details and pictures to follow.

today, i am cleaning and organizing my out of control house.
read a few books with the kids.
swing on the swing set
mourn the loss of our baby
keep going...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

can you say....

beat down dog dead so tired your eyelashes hurt after you went to the chiropractor twice in two days because you get free care in mississippi to fix your back and neck but made them sore and then rode nine hours home in the dark with the worst headache of your life - so bad you asked your spouse to stop at the next hospital and he didn't think you were serious and was waiting for blood to come out of your ears so he didn't stop till he got to the texas welcome center and then it was only so he could sleep for an hour where the kids had to pee with the dog whining and she needed a bath and smelt like dirty wet dog but she wasn't wet but the diaper on your son was so you changed him but don't really remember it because your headache was so blinding you were seeing willie nelson then finally got home at 6:21 am and you slept till 11am when your four year old daughter climbed in bed on top of you and inadvertently ripped some hair out of your head - the very same head that just stopped hurting 3 minutes and 26 seconds ago - the same head that was sore all day from the agonizing headache you suffered through the night before and now won't let you go to sleep...

can you say that?

i can...

OMG, i missed you guys!

Friday, March 03, 2006

i'm leaving in a minivan

i'm leaving in a minivan
don't know when i'll be sane again
oh babe, i hate to go

our bags are packed
they're by the door
the kids are hyper
who could ask for more
i hate to think of what fun lies ahead

10 hours cramped
in our minivan
three little kids
two puppies on hand
i going to be a basket case by dawn

cause we're leaving in a minivan
don't know when i'll be sane again
oh babe, i hate to go

if you don't know the tune to sing this little ditty too, you are too young to be reading this blog. go now.

i miss you already. loading up in a few to trek to Mississippi for a long weekend to see the folks.

wish me luck. will check in as time allows. miss me terribly.