April 11, 2009

Last night, I ran into the nurse who had looked after Olivia last Easter weekend when she landed in the hospital after we brought the Easter eggs out of the attic and took the plastic off.  The egg protein that was released, one year old, gave her a reaction and we had to spend the night in the hospital from Good Friday to Saturday.  I told her (the nurse) that I hoped last night would be the only time I saw her this weekend this year!

Fast forward to tonight.  Sarah went upstairs and fell asleep late afternoon today.  When she woke up at suppertime she had a temperature of 102.5*F.  By 6:30, she was complaining that her neck hurt.  I immediately remembered the meningitis outbreak when I was in university and asked her if she could touch her chin to her chest.  She tried it and started to cry.  I called her doctor, our friend, and explained what I was worried about.  He replied that she is not a complainer, and that he hated to ruin my evening, but he thought we should go and get her checked out. 

I called D’Arcy home and he volunteered to take her.  I don’t think he expected to be there this long…  I really *don’t* think it’s meningitis, but in this case, would rather be safe than sorry!  In the meantime, the Easter Bunny can’t come until everyone is asleep, so I’m thinking it’s going to be a LONG night!!


Last night, I decided to go to bed “early” and read for a bit.  It was about 11:30 when I headed upstairs and when I got to the landing, I noticed the distinct smell of vomit.  I peaked in at Olivia and she looked fine, then peered up at Sarah, only to discover that she had thrown up in her sleep.  I called down to D’Arcy for help and it wasn’t until I turned on a light, I realized that she REALLY threw up in her sleep.  

Copious amounts.

In her hair, on her face, all over her pillow, blankets, comforter, baby,  bunk bed, and down onto Olivia’s bed, guard-rail and the carpet below.  Ugh.  Does anyone else have children who vomit in their sleep?  All four of our kids have done this on occasion with Evan & Sarah being the worst offenders.  It worrys me…

We make a good team, D’Arcy & I.  We both started to strip the bed around her and I ran the bathtub.  She was NOT impressed to be woken up when I put her in the tub, but I had no choice.  D’Arcy cleaned the carpet while I tried to get the mess out of her hair, and then all the commotion woke Olivia who started to wail.   I looked at D’Arcy at one point and said, “This is one time I’m actually glad we don’t have any guests!”  

We got Sarah cleaned & dried and curled up on the futon in our room and Olivia settled into our bed.  D’Arcy got the laundry going since we had to wash all of both beds then came to bed himself around 12:30.

We had just gotten settled when we heard thumps from the boys’ room upstairs.  D’Arcy hopped out of bed and went to check – only to discover that Alex had just thrown up all over his bed.  We got him cleaned up and I made Olivia’s bed up for him while D’Arcy stripped Alex’s bed and threw it in the wash.  (Definitely one of those nights when having two washers is justified!!)  

I really can’t recall having two kids throwing up at the same time before, but that could just be “mother’s amnesia”…

It was well after one before we got everyone settled and we got into bed ourselves.  Luckily, no one was sick again and everyone seems fine today. We’re not sure if it was something they ate, or what?  Alex seems to think it was the jelly beans his grandmother gave him at the concert in the afternoon (all 10 of them!).  Hopefully that’s as far as it goes.

Sarah & Olivia did great at their dentist appointments this morning.  Sarah gagged on the x-ray film, and again when they were doing the fluoride, but didn’t throw up.  My parents, bless them, have taken Alex to his eye appointment at the IWK this afternoon for me.

Now to get back to that mountain of laundry…

Growing Pains

April 5, 2009

Poor Alex has been having a real up-and-down week.  

We go to two different churches, so the boys go to Religious Education at the Catholic Church every week at 10 am and then either go to 11:00 Mass with us, or we go to the United Church and they attend Sunday School there.  It’s a lot.

Today was a United Church day since I teach the 3 & 4 year old Sunday School class twice a month and this was my day to teach.  Alex is in a class with his cousin and good friend who shall both remain nameless.  Alex thinks these guys are great and they have a lot of fun together.  But.  They are both a grade ahead of him in school (even though they are all the same age) because we started Alex in school a year late.  Long story short, Alex will show off and try to impress them when they’re all together.

After Sunday School today, it was brought to my attention (by my sister-in-law) that these three boys have been giving their Sunday School teacher (the minister’s husband!!) a hard time  and that he was at his wit’s end and doesn’t know what to do with them anymore.  He actually asked Alex’s friend’s mom to stay during class to see for herself and  – in her words – she was “appalled” by their behaviour.

I was floored.  It never occurred to me that he would misbehave in Sunday School.   Alex is a kid who got a student-of-the-month award for setting such a great example for the rest of his classmates!  He was singing in the Music Festival Concert this afternoon, so had gone home to have lunch with my parents while we got the other three ready.  When he was at our house to pick up his costume,  D’Arcy & I told him in front of his grandmother that he needed to think about his actions; that we were embarrassed and disappointed to be told he was acting like this so he had better think about what he was going to do to rectify the situation.  We also told him that if we ever heard that he was misbehaving in Sunday School again, he would not be allowed to go anymore and would have to sit through the whole church service with his father each week instead.

After the concert was over, we came home and he & D’Arcy sat down at the kitchen table together to write an apology letter to his teacher.  This is what he came up with:

“Dear M,

I am sorry for fooling around during Sunday School.  It was rude of me to talk when I wasn’t supposed to.  I’m also sorry for not listening to you when you asked me to stop talking.  You can expect my behaviour to change.  I will not be disrespectful in class anymore.  I like your Sunday School class. Thank you for being my Sunday School teacher.

from, Alex”

Then D’Arcy drove him to his teacher’s house and Alex read him the letter before giving it to him.  He accepted Alex’s apology and D’Arcy made it clear that should this ever happen again, we want to know immediately.  

Next Sunday, Easter, is a Catholic week for us, so it will be two weeks before we’re back there again.  Hopefully this lesson will still be fresh in his mind!

This parenting thing just doesn’t seem to be getting any easier…


April 2, 2009

What an 8-year-old who is grounded from television & the computer until the weekend does for fun:



Evan & I are now “Friends”

February 19, 2009

…on Facebook that is.  He has wanted a Facebook account for some time now, so that he can play Scrabble on line.  He pleaded his case to me the other night, and we discussed it with his father yesterday.  D’Arcy is fairly anti-facebook, but has recently re-activated his account. 

Evan was given permission to open his account with the following conditions:

  • He had to befriend both of us and allow us unlimited access to his account.
  • We have his security settings set as high as we can (I think)!
  • He has shared his password with us.
  • He has no identifying information on his account.
  • He is only allowed to be-friend people with approval from us.
  • He is only allowed to check his account from home.
  • When he be-friended his uncle & some older cousins, he asked to make sure (as per his parents’ instructions) that he had no access to any “adult” content.

So he & D’Arcy & I are now in a three-way game of Scrabble and he has challenged Uncle Jon to a game as well.  He has entered his first “Status Update” which reads:  “Evan is hoping for a snow day tomorrow so he can sleep in.”

I hope he is always our “friend” and willing to communicate with us in this way!

My Friends are Hurting

November 16, 2008

I have a group of friends that are so special to me.  We connected about five years ago after we had all had miscarriages and then were all pregnant at the same time.  We helped each other through the terror of being pregnant after a miscarriage, when every twitch or pain is a sign that things may be over.  Nobody really understands that fear, unless they’ve been through it.  Not even a husband, totally.  We all had babies within a few months of one another and realized that more than just going through a common experience, we actually liked & respected one another.  We live on both coasts of Canada & the US.  The eight-ish of us keep in touch through the computer, every day.  Even if we don’t say hello, I think most of us check in at least daily. 

In those five years, we’ve been through a lot:  transplants, secondary infertility, tubal pregnancy, husband problems, serious illness, surguries, Cancer, financial crisis, eye problems, hearing problems, family problems, in-law problems, learning difficulties, depression, in-laws with issues, loss of pets,  job loss, learning to live with anaphylaxis…  I could go on.  However we celebrate the celebrations in one another’s lives as well:  we’ve added five more babies, job successes, awards, traveled vicariously through one another and some of us have had the pleasure of getting together in the flesh. 

We have become like sisters over the years.

Right now, though, we’re going through a rough patch – lost jobs, rocky marriages, ramifications of a botched surgery, disappointment with reactions over the US Election Results, loneliness because of a husband working away for long periods, etc.  I feel helpless.  Geography prevents me from delivering a meal, babysitting, or sharing an ear & a bottle of wine…  I just hope that they know that despite the distance, I am thinking about them and I wish I could somehow make it all go away!