Friday, December 28, 2007

What it's worth to be a mom

There are days when being a mom is easy. Then there are the other 364 days per year. So, today, I've decided it would be a great idea to "charge" the kids for my mom duties. Don't you think it'd be a good idea?

Here's just a few of the items they owe me for (just in the past 12 hours)....

$3 - Getting up at midnight last night to give Lauren Tylenol for a headache (medication administration fee is $1, plus the $2 after-hours charge).
$10 - Cleaning up a very poopy diaper and pajamas from Mason this morning (he's on a round of antibiotics) and giving him a bath at 7am (bath fee of $1, plus the $9 grossness factor fee)
$1 - Giving Mason his antibiotics (in addition to his regular medication)
$5 - Transporting kids to/from swimming
$1 - Giving Mason another bath at 11am (see next note)
$15 - Stripping the car seat down to wash it since Mason had a potty accident in the car today (this would include cleaning the seat of the car, the booster seat itself, and the material).
$3 - Laundry

I think that our day would be much brighter as moms if we itemized our duties and put a price tag on our day. It's only 11:55am and I have already earned enough for a manicure and pedicure!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Why I don't like Winter break

Why I don't like "Winter vacation" (i.e. Christmas break). Hmmm. Where to start?

1. It means 24 hours a day; 7 days a week of children. Well, we're only 3 days into the "break", Lauren has been downright disobedient and rude for approximately 76% of the time. Let me take you to day 1 of "the break". Wednesday. While getting ready to change Lauren's earrings (at her request), I asked her to finish one of her chores. She disobeyed. Hence, the consequence was that I would not change her earrings to the "dangly pair" she wanted. Apparantly that was just the sin of all sins. In other words, I was called (by the 6 year old), a liar. That just doesn't sit well with me. After calmly and repeatedly explaining there are consequences for disobeying, the term of "liar" kept sailing thru the air. At that point, many many priviledeges were taken away. Fast forward another hour. After Mason had swimming lessons, I decided we'd take a quick trip to Whole Foods to get sandwiches for lunch. The only "rule" was that Lauren's must have meat in it. And, if she wanted PB&J, I'd fix it at home. I mean, I'm not paying $4 for a PB&J. Turkey or ham yes. PB&J no!. That caused another ruckus. So, the consequence for the tantrum regarding sandwich options, was, for her to eat at home. For this next sin of all sins, I was kicked in the leg in the checkout line. Again, I maintained my composure and simlply reached down & removed the "offending shoe". Shoe number 2 then decided to kick me too. So, the last "offending shoe" was removed. I might add, that this was a rainy, nasty day. So, we're in checkout and Lauren has no shoes. She then has to walk to the car barefoot. Fast forward a few more hours, and the hideous attitude did leave Lauren's body, and was replaced with a much nicer, kinder, gentler Lauren.

2. No "adult" only respite. No time at home alone without kids. Unless you count the 2 hours Meghan babysat for me yesterday while I was at the doctor (and now I'm on 21 days of antibiotics, steroids, and a steroid nasal spray). And, during the time the kids were at Meghan's, Lauren was bossy and Thornley didn't want to play with her. Suits her right. The only redeeming adult time was last night when Jen, Meghan, & I went to dinner at Newcastle pub for happy hour. The appletini's were $2.95 as were the appetizers.

3. See #1 again. Only, today's issue with Lauren was in regards to clothing options. She didn't like the options SHE chose for herself and threw a fit. Mark was at Starbucks picking up drinks (we were out of coffee). When he returned, I explained that there was no way in h--- that Lauren was having hot chocolate...and could have the alternate non-chocolate beverage. Apparantly that was another major sin. She sulked in her room for another hour. Oh well.

4. Snoring. Mark came home from a business trip. This is all good news....with the exception that he arrived home at 1am; came home with a cold; and snored ALL night.

Monday, December 10, 2007


For those of you who know me well, 'Stupid' is not a word we say in our house. For obvious reasons. Kind of like retarded. It's another one we just don't say. Anyway, we consider 'stupid' a 'bad word'. Lauren knows that we don't say 'stupid'. In fact, when watching a movie, and 'Stupid' is said, she'll look at me in the "I know we don't say that" kind of look.
Well, guess what? We caught Mason saying 'Stupid'. I thought I heard him say it yesterday, but wasn't sure. Well, today I was sure. He was playing with his cars & I heard him say 'stupid'. Mark asked him what he said & Mason repeated it. I sat him down and said "we don't say that".
Today after our 1st of three appointments at Children's this week, the word emerged again. Only this time it was directed towards me. Here is how the conversation unfolded:
Me: Mason, you need to use your walking feet.

Mason: No, I running.
Me: (After catching up to him in the hall) Mason, you can use walking feet or you have to hold my hand.
Mason: (pouts)
Me: I take his hand to hold it
Mason: (takes his hand back)
Me; Mason, you must walk.
Mason: Stupid
Me: Did you just say 'stupid?
Mason; Yes

So, that was our fun outing to the doctor. I'm apparently stupid. And, well, he got a time out.

P.S. I forgot to add that I personally blame Charlie Brown's Christmas for this!!! They use the word stupid quite frequently!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Persistence pays off

A known trick to us "frequent flyers" of Children's hospital clinics is to call back and ask to be put on the cancellation list. The good news, is that quite often, you are able to get into clinic sooner than your original appointment. The bad news is, there is little "prep" time.

This morning I called the immunology clinic to talk to my new BFF, "the scheduler". Will wonders never cease? She answered the phone! So, I asked if there were any cancellations for tomorrow's immunology clinic, or the following week's clinic....knowing very well that immunology clinic is held on Tuesday mornings only. She put me on hold and I waited. She came back on the line. Nope, no openings. So, I asked to be put on the cancellation list.

Low and behold, at 2:15 today, I received a call from another "scheduler". They have a cancellation for Tuesday morning at 9am. Can we make it? YES WE CAN! I spent the last hour with the kids watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, while I typed up a list of Mason's illnesses and antibiotics used for the past 2 years. Anyway I will be dropping Lauren off at Meghan's at 7:45am to play before school. Mason & I will be trekking over to Children's. YIPPEE!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

4 inches

We woke to about 1/2 an inch of snow today. The weather forecasters predicted we'd get some snow this afternoon, but it arrived early. In our household, snow is right up there with Santa and Christmas morning. Before we could even discuss "acceptable attire", the kids were outside on the deck. Lauren was the first one outside - in her pajamas, barefoot - to eat the snow. Mason opted to put his own shoes (on the correct feet, no less) before venturing out to make a snowball.
But alas, it melted quickly.
We went about the day "business as usual". At around 1:15, the snow started again. This time we had "serious snow". So, we all bundled up and walked to Starbucks - as is our ritual when it snows. When we returned, it was time to build the necessary snowman. All the neighbors were outside too, ranging from 5 (Mason) to teens. There was an all-out neighborhood snowball fight. It was quite the site to see, with kids (and Mark) running, hiding, and flinging snowballs at each other. 3 other neighbors built snowmen too. By 4:30 it was time to come in and warm up a bit. When I measured, we had 2 inches of snow!!

As I sit here typing tonight, the snow is still coming down. When I last officially measured at 9:15, we had 4 inches! The roads are covered and it's beautiful.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't like white medicine

Last night I noticed Mason had a little draining from his right ear. I hopefully thought, it might just be my imagination. I'll look again tomorrow. Being that Mason sits to my left at breakfast, it was easy to look at his right ear. Sure enough, more drainage. Yuck. So, I say outloud (to myself), which ear has the tube in it. "The right one" Lauren says. Mark & I chuckle. I pull out one of his medical notebooks to verify. Yep, the right ear. On the way to school, I call & schedule an appointment. By the time Mason gets back into my car after school, more drainage.

Yep-the doctor confirms the ear infection. So, we head to Bartell's to pick up the 2 new prescriptions. Well, at Bartells, they know us by name before we reach the pharmacy counter. "Oh, for Mason"? "Yes, I answer...for Mason". She pulls out the Zithromax (he takes 3 days on, 11 off...but that's another story). "Oh, no not that one today" I say. So, they go back to their little place and mix up the other stuff. So, we leave Bartells with ear drops and Omnicef.

After we return home, I tell him it's time for his medicine. His response (before even seeing it) is "no like white medicine. Like red medicine". I explain that the white medicine is for today & that the red medicine (Zithromax) was for last week. But, not to worry, he's due for the red medicine after he finishes the course of the white medicine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update on scheduling

Well, after I last posted. Guess who called? That's right, Children's Immunology Clinic. The immunologist will "allow" Mason to have an appointment in the clinic. You heard me right. Apparantly, their process is as follows.

1. Pediatrician faxes in referral
2. The referral coordinator at Children's reviews the referral.
3. The referral and chart notes are then sent to one of the Immunology doctors.
4. That doctor reviews the information and then will decide if the patient can be seen in the clinic.
5. The doctor then reports back to "the scheduler".
6. The "scheduler" then calls the parent to schedule an appointment.

The first available appointment (which we took), is January!

Scheduling at Children's

Has anyone tried to schedule an appointment at Children's Hospital recently? Clinic scheduling at Children's falls into 3 categories, as far as I'm concerned. And I base my "expertise" in the fact that Mason has been seen in at least 8 DIFFERENT clinical specialties there! Seriously. Some clinics allow you to schedule with ease. Just call and make an appointment. Others are more difficult. Your pediatrician must fax in a referral (even if your insurance doesn't require one). After Children's has received the referral (and any other chart notes they deem necessary), you can then schedule the appointment. Then, there are the really difficult clinics. Immunology clinic would classify as "one of those" clinics.

Mason's pediatrician called us last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) to let us know he'd fax in the referral to the immunology clinic and that we should call to schedule an appointment. He called back on Friday and left us a detailed message with more instructions. He called back again Friday to make sure we received the message and to tell us that the referral process was complete and to call and schedule the appointment.

So, I did. I called immunology clinic, followed the appropriate prompts, and left a message for the patient care coordinator (a fancy name for scheduler, I guess). I tried calling back a few more times in hopes of actually talking to a live person. No such luck. So, I called again Monday. After being transfered to the wrong specialty, by luck, I actually talked to "the scheduler". "The scheduler" informed me that yes, the referral was there. However, she needed to contact the immunologist to discuss when to schedule the appointment. She insisted that he responds promptly and would call back ASAP. Her view of ASAP and my view differ a bit. I called back Tuesday and left another message. I called again today and left another message. Finally, I decided I would follow any prompts and pretend I didn't know which "scheduler" we were supposed to speak with. So, I ended up with another scheduler. She indicated she'd put me thru to "the schedulers" voice mail. I quickly said that I really wasn't interested in leaving yet another unreturned voice mail message. So, she puts me on hold. She talks to "the scheduler". She returns to the phone and tells me, they are still waiting for SOMETHING. Only, she can't clarify what SOMETHING is. Yes, the referral is there. Yes she knows we would like to schedule. But, SOMETHING is not there, and therefore you can't even schedule an appointment. She suggests I call our pediatrician.
So, I do. I talk with the nurse and apologize for bugging them. See, I work very part time at the office, and know that we are VERY short staffed right now. In fact, I'm filling in while Mason is at school for the next 2 weeks (and a day here and there for the past 3 weeks). She kindly asks what he's missing. Apologetically I reply that I have no idea...the referral is there, and that's what I know. Anyway, she'll have our pediatrician contact immunology clinic again. UGH!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


It's not that I have an issue with urine (also known as pee, potty, etc). I'm a nurse, so dealing with it when I work is a norm for me. In fact, last weekend, I had to catheterize an infant for the sole purpose of obtaining urine. I've also been through potty training with both kids. And frankly, everybody pees.

What I don't like is urine where it doesn't belong. In this case, it was the dog. We've had Maggie since she was a puppy. In fact, her 5th birthday is in February. She potty trained quite easily in comparison with the kids. Today, however, she must have forgotten WHERE she should potty. When we're gone, she stays in her crate in the garage. Today I was gone for 3 hours. When I arrived home and let her outside from her crate, I noticed her leg and backside appeared wet. I think to myself, what the heck? So, I go look in her crate. Sure enough, it looked like splattered pee.

So, it was bath time. Now, some of you might think "no big deal...just put her in the bathtub". That's not an option for me. You see, Maggie is big. A big black lab. A big black lab who sheds. A lot. When I've tried the "indoor bath", I spent the next hour wiping off dog hair from all the walls. From that time on, I vowed never to bathe her in the bath again.

Thus, the option was the hose. Good news, is that it was sunny and temperatures were above freezing and I have great boots from Costco (new in October). Some of you may be thinking 'torture'. I'm thinking 'sanity'. I'm also thinking, 'she's a dog - by nature a hunting dog - and hunting dogs swim in cold water'. So, after changing into clothing that is unfit to wear in public, I tie her up, hose her down and wash her with shampoo. I dry her with a towel and let her sit in the sun to dry. All in all, the bath experience took under an hour. And no walls were cleaned in the process. Hooray.

P.S. The picture is not from today - it's from last January.