Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fun with Lauren

I've been here with sick kid(s) since Sunday. Husband has been out of town since Sunday at 6am (before Mason's illness was evident). Today I sent Mason to school. Sure he was wheezing, but hey, they have his albuterol at school too! He hasn't had a fever in over 48 hours and technically, he could have gone to school yesterday.

Lauren on the other hand had a fever of 101 this morning. So, she and I hung out today. We went to the doctor. She was diagnosed as "viral". After the doctor and the orthodontist, we came back home and she wanted to watch T.V. She chose 'on demand'. No problem. So, I snuggled with her on the couch and took control of the remote. Pretty much I held her hostage while I turned on various 'on demand kids' shows for her enjoyment. Here's what we watched:

1. Kids Karaoke - The Ants go Marching (sang Karaoke)
2. Blue's Clues (of course I was answering Steve when he asked his questions)
3. Barney (sang along with him)
4. Baby Boost Hebrew with your infant (practiced my Hebrew)
5. Baby Boost Italian with your infant (practiced my Italian)
6. Hip Hop with Nikki (laughed at her)

Lauren was in hysterics, rolling on the ground in laughter, as I was enthusiastically chiming in with each show. After just 1-3 minutes on each show, I gave the remote back to her and let her watch her own program. Aren't I kind? She was able to watch her on-demand show for only a few moments. The school nurse called and we had to pick up Mason early from school.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lethargy can be a blessing

Sometimes lethargy can be a blessing. Take yesterday and today for example. Yesterday Mason was LETHARGIC. Probably the "best" lethargic I've seen him. Didn't eat until dinner time (yogurt & a nutrigrain bar) and I had to push fluids all day. He watched 6 straight hours of movies. Today he perked up a bit (temperature of 103.1 this morning & 102.7 this evening). We took a field trip to the doctor, Home Depot (I needed a landscaping item), Bartells (for Mason's drugs). So, in the midst of all this, I decided to take advantage of the weather and get to work outside. It was time to get my vegetable garden going. Yesterday I worked on just the veggie garden. I pulled weeds, raked, filled it with more dirt, then planted! Then I put up landscaping edging (cedar things). We started most the vegetables from seeds - walla walla onions, lettuce, chives, cucumbers, peas. My tomato plants died, so I had to buy some 4-inch tomatoes. I was a gardening fool! All the while, Mason was on the couch watching T.V. I'd check in on him every so often and make him drink fluids, take his temperature, or give him albuterol. Lauren went to a baseball game for most of the afternoon.
This afternoon Lauren came home from school sick too. UGH! Fever of 102.4, etc. So, the duo laid down on the couch and watched a movie together. Mason went to sleep at 6:10. He actually ASKED to go to bed (a rarity around here). Lauren went to bed early too. So, after they were in bed, I headed to the front yard to start weeding and raking. Then I put new labels on the plants (that hopefully won't fade this year). I also had to dig up plants that didn't make it through our cold winter! I only got a small portion done since it got dark. Anyway, even though we don't want to be stuck with sick kids...sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

T-ball Rules

I try to plan my schedule around important kid events. I go to almost every field trip. I even went on one last Wednesday. I've missed (I think), 3 field trips since Lauren was in preschool. 2 were because Mason was in the hospital (surgery, illness, or something). For those two field trips, my Dad went on one and Mark went on the other. The other one was because there was a drawing to pick the parents and I lost.

About a week and a half ago we got the t-ball schedule for games. The first one was today. And, I was scheduled to work. Which meant, I couldn't go! So, I explained to Mason why I couldn't go, and of course he was fine. We practiced t-ball yesterday after school with throwing, hitting, and catching. For a while he wanted me to pitch for him (and I'm not the best pitcher)and he actually hit the ball twice!

Anyway, today was the first t-ball game. They are the Giants - hilarious for the shortest kid on the team. They wear bright orange baseball caps and shirts.
Here are t-ball rules, as I understand them:

1. There are 2 innings
2. Every batter hits at each inning - and they bat until they hit the ball.
3. Each batter runs one base after they hit - except when the last batter is up, everyone runs around the bases to home plate.
4. There are no outs (even if you're out)!
5. No one loses (it's always a tie).
6. It doesn't matter if you miss the ball or run to the wrong base...everyone cheers for you.
Mason loved it. He told me all about it and can't wait for the next game. I wonder if he'll notice the difference between t-ball rules and "real" baseball when we go to the Mariners game tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mason antics

On Wednesday night, I'd had it with Mason.

First scenario: Lauren exited the house to the garage, to retrieve her backpack from my car. No problem. Problem was that Mason followed her and got INTO the car. When in the car he likes to buckle himself in the driver's seat, turn on lights, pull down the turn signal and turn on the washers (which don't do anything UNTIL you turn on the car). Anyway, Lauren ran inside to tell me that Mason was in the car. I ran out to the garage and couldn't see him. Where was he? HIDING under the dashboard from me. When I retrieved him, he was giggling!

Second scenario: Children were tucked into bed. Mason got out and complained about a tummy ache. Not the kind of tummy ache I had assumed. Do you know why? It was a bruise on his belly (from practicing diving at the pool that day) and he wanted a bandaid for it. So, I band-aided him and sent him back to bed. A few moments later the phone rang. It was Melissa (who was in the hospital for dehydration), so I chatted with her for about 3-4 minutes. As I left my bedroom and passed Mason's room, he was no longer in bed. And, he wasn't in his room. Lauren peeped up and said she thought he went upstairs. I opened the door to upstairs and heard NOTHING. As I walked up the stairs I stated "you have to the count of 3 to get down here or your bedroom door will be shut". 1-2-3. NOTHING. As I reached the top of the stairs I saw him. He had been hiding INSIDE the sliding cabinets in the very back.

Forward to Thursday morning. I was talking with the kids about my tomato plants. We'd started them as seeds and I had just put them outside a few days earlier to prepare them for planting. Unfortunately, the first night, the temperatures dropped to freezing. In April. So, I was explaining that the tomatoes were most likely dead, but I was hoping they might come back to life. Mason's response (without missing a beat) was "Mommy, they can come back to life like Jesus". Then, on the way to school he was singing He Reigns by the Newsboys. Only, he doesn't say hallelujah. He sings the chorus like this: 'Holly-hoo-haw Holly-hoo-haw he reigns'. Adorable.

Control the pet population

There are times when I really feel that almost every family should have some sort of pet. There are other times when I envy those families who do not have a pet...especially a dog. Today would be one of those days. Little Zoe just hit the 6-month mark. That means it's time to be a responsible pet owner, and as Bob Barker says, "have your pet spayed or neutered". So, I took Zoe to the vet yesterday to do just that. Last time I had a pet spayed was 6 years ago. It was fairly straightforward and Maggie recovered in no time. This time was a whole new ballgame.

I did my research into the cost of "fixing" a dog. When Maggie was spayed, the Humane Society had low-cost clinics to control the pet population. Now, however, the low-cost spay/neuter clinics are only for those who qualify. We don't. Anyway, the price ranged from about $160 to well over $200 for the standard procedure. I also learned that there were a few options to the procedure. Did you know that there is more than one way to spay/neuter a pet? I am going to list a few of the standard vs. optional "upgrades" for your viewing pleasure.

Standard "scalpel" spay: $189.50
Upgrade option to a laser surgery: $29.50 (they claim that it's an easier recovery with less bleeding)
I.V. hydration: $79.50 (again, this is optional)
Tooth extraction: Don't remember the price quote, but this was to remove any remaining baby teeth
Microchip: $25.50 (this is now offered at ALL surgical procedures)
Cone: $14.50 (to prevent the pet from licking the incision site)

So, when you drop off your dog, you then "check the boxes" indicating which upgrades you'd like (if any). The things they don't tell you about are the medications for going home. That came to a total of around $16 more. Zoe also had an umbilical hernia (which we knew would be fixed at this time). Total came to only $55 for that. Luckily, the pulse oximeter monitoring was free...or I might have opted out of that too!
Zoe pulled through the surgery just fine. She has quite a few external stitches that will be removed in 2 weeks. I wrote my check and picked her up last evening. She ate dinner and slept through the night. This morning she went out and went potty - but only a small amount. I gave her her morning doses of 2 pain medications as prescribed (and as paid for). Then I offered her food. She refused. A little later, she took some food that I hand-fed her and drank some water. After that I took Mason to school, then Lauren to school. In a 2 hour period of time she vomited, had diarrhea, and was shaking. Back to the vet again. This time the diagnosis was for dehydration.

Here's today's actual fees:
Exam: $44.75 (excuse me, but this is all related to yesterday's surgery...shouldn't the exam be complimentary?)
Injection of 50cc of fluids: $25.25 (under the skin in the IS cheaper than an I.V.)
Injection of anti-nausea meds: $25.95
Antibiotic: $14.75 (just in case there is a post-op infection)
Probiotic packets: $19.50 (to help with the stomach issues)
Special food: $4.78

All for a grand total of $93.94. So, I wrote my check (AGAIN), and took Zoe back home after about 45 minutes in the vet. Guess what? About 4 hours later she perked up. She was walking around the house. Ate a little food and water (and kept it where it belonged). She even tried to run (but I had to stop her as she's not supposed to right now). So, to sum up...for a few hundred dollars YOU too can be a responsible pet owner and control the pet population! Or, perhaps it would be a wiser decision to invest that money.
As a side note, Zoe traveled with us to Palm Springs. If you follow the rules, the cost is $100 each way to put your pet under the seat in front of you. Oh, and you also have to have a note from the vet to document they are healthy (again, for a small fee). Now, we followed the rules on the way down. It was our first time traveling on a plane with a pet, and it was close to spring break. I didn't want the chance of them "catching us" and preventing us to travel. Anyway, NO ONE looked at the vet documents. NO ONE touched the dog. The only thing they did was collect $100 from me! So, could someone please explain to me WHY one should pay to put a carry on bag (that happens to have a pet) under the seat in front of you? I couldn't explain it either, so we skipped the official process on the way home. Guess what? NO ONE looked. And, Zoe was quite the entire flight. No whining, whimpering, or barking. No accidents either!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The upstairs is "usable" now. The windows and screens are in, walls are painted, trim work has been painted, lighting is finished, extra heaters are installed, t.v. is on the wall, and "junk" has been moved back upstairs from the garage. The desk might even be ready to install tomorrow (or at least I'm crossing my fingers). The desk will be at the "back" of the room, behind the couch, under the angled ceiling (which was where the old ceiling was). We gained a ton of floor space. It's amazing!

The kids have now been let back upstairs to play. They were ecstatic to play with the things that have been stuck in the garage for 6+ weeks. Lauren even convinced Mason to play dress up with her (and she even dressed him)!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Murder? Some might say it was. Some would say it wasn't. Me...I think it was an honest mistake.
Today was pretty much like all the rest. Take Mason to school. Take Lauren to school (via a quick stop to Starbucks). Come home. Work on Lauren's school auction stuff. Clean a little. Pack a few things for the upcoming trip. Go to Mason's school and pick him up early to go to the doctor (just a cold right now). Stop at Bartell's. Go back home. Go pick up Lauren. Come home. Let the dogs outside.
When I went to let the dogs back in (so that I could then take Lauren to piano...then Mason to t-ball), there was something furry on the deck. And it was moving slowly. I ran to let the dogs inside. But, Zoe (all 3 pounds 15 ounces of her) had IT in her mouth and was shaking it. When I opened the door, Zoe put IT down and I quickly barked instructions. Lauren (and yes she was shrieking) locked Maggie in the crate in the garage, while I locked Zoe in her crate. I went to evaluate IT. IT was a tiny wild bunny. And it was still alive and slowly moving. When it moved, it's back legs looked broken, but it was still breathing. Wanting of course to rescue it, I called the vet who gave me the numbers for a few animal rescue facilities. I grabbed an empty shoebox, put a junk towel in the bottom of it, picked up the bunny with another towel, and placed it in the box.
Now the dilemma was WHEN to take the bunny to the wildlife rehab place. Lauren's piano was in 15 minutes. So, there was no time. Between Lauren's piano and Mason's t-ball is 40 minutes (which is barely enough time to get home, eat dinner, and leave again). After t-ball meant it'd be close to 7pm. So, I took Lauren to piano and Mason and I came back to check on the bunny. I opened the box and it was just as I had left it, but not breathing. It had died. There was no external bleeding, so my unofficial diagnosis was internal injuries and shock. So I had to dispose of it.
Knowing that I had some time consuming tasks, it was McDonalds drivethru for dinner after piano lessons. While the kids ate, I started the decontamination process. First, Maggie. I donned by big boots and a pair of gloves (to keep my hands kind of warm). I tied her up to the deck and gave her a good outdoor bath. Lauren was my go-to girl who kept bringing me warm water from inside. Second, a good toothbrushing. While outside, I also hosed down the deck. Third, Zoe. She's easy and can be washed in the bathtub (since she doesn't leave mounds of hair everywhere). Fourth, brusing Zoe's teeth. Last, but not least, a good mopping of the kitchen floor (lest any bunny germs have been tracked through).
Now, back to the first sentence. Was it murder? The problem is that I don't know HOW the bunny ended up on our deck. It's possible it hopped. It's possible one of the dogs carried it. What I do know, is that Zoe was shaking the bunny just like she plays with her stuffed cat or duck (which are both the exact same size the bunny was). I'm going to vote that it was bunny-slaughter.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The house

A few months ago, Dad told Mark and I and Alli and Jay that we could each "have" some money from his mother's estate. The purpose was to use this money to do something to the house. In other words, it was not to pay bills or buy new clothes. But to use it towards something permanent.

The bummer is that there are SO many things we could do, so it was hard to decide. We finally decided on having our upstairs playroom ceiling raised. We literally had 4 feet in the center of "walkable" space. The sides came down abruptly. One side had sliding doors filled with storage (our only storage in the house). The other side we just lined up toys and TV against the ceiling. Here are two before picture (yes it was a mess). To make the space more interesting, I painted the entire room sky-blue and stenciled sunflowers and a picket fence (on the sliding doors) before Lauren turned 1. My sister helped do the clouds to finish off the room.

The bid for adding a dormer came in within the budget we were given on a Wednesday. The following Monday the construction started.

First, the ceiling was essentially removed. Next, new beams were added on the inside. The frame was built inside the house so when the side wall was removed, the frame could go up quickly. Unfortunately, during some of this process we had snow!
Next the outside siding was put on and then the window was added. Next came the drywall and "mud". Tomorrow starts the texturing of the wall and the priming.

The last things to finish are the lights; the paint; and the desk. Paint has been a pain in the rear. So far, the patchwork of colors I've tried upstairs. Color, to be determined!

That time of year

It's that time of year. Baseball season! First, let me start by saying, I am angry at Ken Griffey. Not just irked. Really, quite mad! Why? Well, to start with, I brought my computer all the way down to Palm Springs for the sole purpose of purchasing tickets to opening day (April 14th) for the Mariners. Tickets went on sale at 10am. At 10:02 (literally), Meghan was on-line seeking our tickets. We were trying not to be too picky, but wanted to avoid last year's opening day fiasco of sitting by the fireworks (too loud for the kids) and being hailed, rained, and snowed on. So, the search began. Meghan kept getting "bounced" out on the computer. So, I tried too. Then I called Ticketmaster. The first time once I had a live body to talk to, I was disconnected. Next time, I was told there were NO seats available for 2 people to sit together (let alone both families). There were literally ONLY single seats available. While we did joke about just buying the seats and keeping eyes on the kids (wherever they were sitting), we figured we probably couldn't get away with that. And, frankly, how could I in good conscience ask them to make sure Mason didn't run away or choke. So, quite discouraged, we accepted the fact that neither of us would be going to opening day. And, it's all Ken's fault!

Now, on to people I do like today. Mason. It was his first day of t-ball!

I expected the worst. I envisioned him running to and fro and quitting when he was bored. Well, apparantly he had his listening ears on. He did GREAT! His little group of 4 kids rotated through catching/throwing; fielding; and hitting (while the other little groups rotated through the other positions too). He loved it. He thanked me over and over again for letting him go to t-ball. He listened to each coach and followed their instruction. It was adorable. His team is called the Giants (how appropriate for these little preschool and kindergartners). He goes to practice again on Saturday and hopefully it won't rain and he'll still like it. Watch out Ken Griffey Jr!

A break from the life

1. Pick a weekend when to pawn the kids on the husbands or grandparents. CHECK!
2. Get time off from work. CHECK!
3. Pack a few clothes. CHECK!
4. Coordinate travel, transportation, and lodging. CHECK!

By last Wednesday, Erin Buehler, Meghan Anderson, and I had finished our check-lists and were on the way to the airport. Even though I do not "do" 4am wakings, I was more than ready to leave the house by 4:45. We were able to get on the 7am non-stop to Palm Springs on standby. As soon as the plane landed and we had our luggage, we took the taxi to my parent's condo. As soon as we were settled, it was to the store for necessities - beer, yogurt, and snacks. Next it was lunch and time for the pool and the sun. Our typical days consisted of a trip to Starbucks for morning coffee (we walked once - but drove the golf cart the remainder); Sun and pool time from around 10-3; Frozen yogurt in the evenings.

On Thursday, we "begged" our way into Splashtopia at the hotel. Miraculously, we got in for free. They had a moving river (with innertubes) and waterslides. Not to mention lunch and beverages by the pool. Ahhhhh. It was wonderful. On Saturday we walked around the street fair and found a few items we couldn't live without. We also drove to In-n-out for Erin to have her very first In-n-out burger (seriously)!

I must brag for a bit. It was pure Heaven to sit at a pool, read a book, listen to music, and talk with friends....all the while without being interrupted by our own children. I actually read (and finished) an entire book and about 7 smut magazines! Sadly, we had to go back to real life on Saturday night and woke to snow on Sunday morning.

So, to all the husbands we may badmouth from time to time - THANK YOU for our respite! And, we plan on doing it again next year!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Palooza

I love birthdays! Seriously. I look forward to them. I count down the days. I just love birthdays. However, the older I get and the less "exciting" the celebration tends to be.

This year was no exception. Mark & I planned to go out to dinner and a movie on Friday night. My parents were scheduled to babysit. However, Mom got sick on Thursday on the way home from a business trip. Sick sick. Fever, vomiting, etc. In fact, the plane had to stop while taxiing to the runway so she could run to the lavatory and puke. Serioulsy. So, needless to say, she wasn't able to babysit on Friday. Saturday I worked. Sunday (the actual birthday), mom was better (no fever, etc), but was weak. So, we went over there for dinner. Dad BBQ'd and Mom made a banana cream pie (my request).

Now back to the story. I received "the usual" calls. Got quite a few facebook Happy Birthday messages. But, I have a few "favorite" memories to discuss.

1. Grandpa's call. He's my last living Grandpa and lives in the boonies in Wyoming. He called and wished me a happy birthday, etc. We chatted a bit and joked around a bit. Then he said (with a chuckle)...."just think of how it feels to have a granddaughter who is middle age"!

2. The kids. Lauren has been taking piano lessons for a few weeks now. She's finally able to play the "white notes" too. So, she, Mark, & Mason composed a song for me while I was at work. Lauren accompanied Mark & Mason's singing, to the tune of "Old McDonald". Here's how it went:

Old McMommy had a birthday,
Boy was she getting old.
She had a birthday by the fire.
Boy was she getting old.
With a grey hair here and a grey hair there
Here a gray, there a grey, everywere a gray hair.
Old McMommy had a birthday.
Boy was she getting old!

3. Jackie's card. The card itself was cute. On the inside, Jackie drew her own illustration. She drew a picture of a hill. At one end was a person. At the other was a grave marker that said "RIP". At the top peak there was a line pointing to it, which said "how is it at the top"?

I may be mistaken, but the average life expectancy (according to the CDC) is 77.8 (and a little higher for women). Just for the record, I am not 38.4 yet! But, nonetheless you funny people....I still don't mind how old I am! But you might want to check back when I hit 40.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Please, no........

For those who don't read Mason's caringbridge updates, I'm going to fill you in a bit.
Friday: Approximately 50 children are absent from Mason's school due to a stomach bug. And, through the grapevine I heard that the Public Health Department was called.

Monday: 77 children + 14 staff are absent from Mason's school due to a stomach bug.

Today: Approximately 30 children are absent from Mason's school due to a stomach bug. A letter is sent home from the principal informing the parents that "there has been an increase in student absences due to norovirus-like illness). Or, the stomach flu. The letter goes on to warn us that if your child has symptoms, to keep them home for 48 hours after symptoms have ended. The other side of the letter is information about Norovirus from the Public Health Department. It explains that the "symptoms often begin suddenly within 12 to 48 hours after exposure". The next section discusses how it is spread (contiminated objects or inhaling the virus when someone vomits); diagnosis; and prevention (wash hands.....).

Tonight we were at Pump-it-up for a birthday party. This was the first birthday party (from a classmate) that Mason has been able to attend. Mason has been talking non-stop about going since yesterday. When we pulled up to the building, the birthday girl and about 4 other classmates came LITERALLY running out of the door to our car to hug Mason (all the while screaming his name). The bouncing was terrific. I think I could've skipped my walk today, as I'm sure I burned more calories just jumping, sliding, and climbing the inflatables.

After bouncing, it was pizza time. There were two tables filled with classmates and their siblings eating pizza and drinking pop. One of Mason's good friends complained of a stomach ache and went to the bathroom with his mom. He came back a few minutes later, looking a little pale, but seeming fine. That is until about 3 minutes later when he vomited!!! AAAAHHHHHH.

When the kids and I got home I made them strip down in the laundry room (since I had to run around the house, I just took off the sweats and coat). Their clothes were immediately put in the washing machine and each was given a thorough bath/shower. Once they were in bed I scrubbed their shoes with Lysol (yes, even the soles). I tossed my clothes into the wash and took a shower too. Now, I'm just praying we all survive and do not end up with this awful bug. I've told Meghan, if Mason gets it, he'll probably end up at Children's needing IV hydration, so she'd have to watch Lauren. :-)


Apparantly Mason has a girlfriend. Or, at least that's what he told me yesterday and again today.

He was invited to another classmate's birthday party at an inflatable bounce place. The whole class was invited (as has been the case all year - but we haven't been able to attend any yet due to scheduling conflicts, illness, etc). When I picked him up from school yesterday, he informed me that he was going to Mika's birthday party and was going to bounce all over. He was quite excited. Next, he told me Mika was his girlfriend. I chuckled and asked him if a few other girls in his class were his girlfriend. He said 'no, Mika is my girlfriend'. I kept chuckling and let him know that yes, he was going to her party.

Yesterday afternoon Lauren, Mason, & I went shopping for the gift. We went to Michael's since I had a coupon and knew they had some good craft-type gifts. As we're walking through, Mason is explaining to Lauren that he has to get a gift for his girlfriend's birthday party. He finds a few things and says, "oh, my girlfriend would like that". We settled on a wooden paint-your-own little jewelry box/vanity thing. It's cute.

As we're walking to the front of the store passing the fake flowers, Mason grabs my arm. "Mom, stop. My girlfriend would love a beautiful flower. See...". Both Lauren and I continue to wink at each other and just go along with Mason. "Mom, my girlfriend would love a rose". It was hilarious. But, we settled on the box/vanity thing.

This morning I wasn't greeted with a hello or good morning, like usual. I was greeted with "Oh, mom, it's my girlfriend's birthday party today after school". He was literally bouncing around the house ecstatic for the party.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Words from a 6 year old

Today was another day of Mason on steroids. Nothing too bad to report. Same old side effects as usual. We had to run by the pharmacy to pick up the remainder of his antibiotic (they didn't have enough in stock on Monday). To put it in perspective, today at work, I called in an antibiotic for a 16 year old. It was Amoxicillin 500mg twice daily. Mason is currently taking 500mg THREE times a day.

Anyway, I bribed him to behave with a snack. If he was a good listener and didn't run off, he'd get a "bar" (Special K snack bar). As we walked up to the pharmacy counter, I asked if he wanted to tell them his name, so we could get his prescription (mind you, everyone in the pharmacy knows our first and last names). His response was, "no Mom, that's your job".

Lockdown part two

Keep in mind when reading this that he is currently on oral steroids. Steroids make him impulsive, defiant, agitated, and more. He tends to also make up stories, and to put it bluntly, lie. Sometimes it's little and I consider it more confusion. For example, "I had library today" when library was really yesterday. Or, "I went to recess today" when he really didn't, but wanted to (he couldn't as his pulmonologist wanted him inside to rest instead of recess this week).
So, yesterday I picked up Mason after school. He left his lunch bag ( did about 5 other K/1's) in the classroom. So, we turned around, walked in the building, and headed for the classroom. As per the usual, I asked about his day - what he did, who he played with, etc. The conversation went like this:
Cori - How was your day today?
Mason - Good Mommy. I went to the resource room.
C- Oh, and what did you do?
M- I played Starfall on the computer.
C-That's great. Was it fun?
M- Yes. We had a lockdown today.
C- No, sweetie. That was Lauren's school last week. You had a fire alarm on the same day.
M- Yeah. But, we have a lockdown today.
C- Well, Mason, it was a fire alarm and that was last week.

As we're walking down the hall, a K/1 teacher walks by. So, I ask her 'did you guys have a lockdown today'? Her response was "as a matter of fact, we did. It was a drill".

Needless to say, I apologized to Mason, and he proceeded to tell me it was "just practice" and he stayed in the resource room while it occurred.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not a good sign

It's never a good sign to drive into your child's school neighborhood and find 10 police cars (with lights flashing)blocking off the entrance to the school. It's even worse to hear that your child's school has been in lockdown. Hence was the scene today. But before I get to that....let me talk about picking up the first child from his school just 40 minutes earlier.

Today I arrived at Mason's school to pick him up. As I always do, I stood waiting outside near the exit for his class to appear. Shortly before the end-of-school bell rung, the fire alarm went off. There were flashing fire alarms, and the alarm sounding. Lovely. The principal came out with the bullhorn to announce that it was indeed a false alarm. Apparantly a student pulled the fire alarm. As the kids came streaming out to the front of the school, one class was missing. Mason's! There were a few of us parents waiting for our kids to come. They still didn't. At that point, it seemed like the rest of the school had left. Even the buses had left. Mason's class still hadn't appeared. Within a few seconds his class started streaming out the doors. The reason for the delay was that no one was allowed to enter the building until the fire department cleared the scene. Unfortunately, Mason's class exited the class for the fire alarm without their coats and backpacks. So, they had to wait for the doors to unlock to get their belongings. The kids who ride the bus had to wait in the office for their parents to come and pick them up.

After that excitement, we headed to Lauren's school to get her. It's located at the end of a neighborhood. I drove in behind a few see the flashing police lights. A car in the front of the line turned around and told us the school was in lockdown. She was told the kids were to be picked up at a different elementary school. I decided to wait to see for myself. The school district representative was turning cars around. He informed me there was a lockdown and kids would be picked up at a different high school. I pulled into a cul-de-sac to wait for a moment. Luckily Meghan and Jack were waiting with us too. Deanne was at the school, but didn't have her cell on. At that time the KIRO 7 helicopter was circling overhead. I called Mark, who checked on-line to see if there was a status update. The update was that they were in lockdown. I was then able to get through to the school and they verified all the students were safe, but they were in lockdown. A few minutes later the lockdown was over and police cars started to move. The parents and buses were allowed in. When we pulled into the pick up zone, there were still officers roaming the campus (with LARGE guns). Many officers with guns. Within the next few minutes, they headed up the hill and back to their cars. The kids were dismissed when the bell rang.

So, here's the rest of the story as we currently know it: The school had TWO lockdowns. The first occurred when a local community college had a lockdown drill. The loudspeaker could be heard for miles. The school (and a few other nearby elementary schools) locked down very briefly as the source was located. Then, as the 5th graders had recess, a few reported that they saw a man with a gun in the woods behind the school. That's when the lockdown started. Blinds were closed and all doors were locked. According to Lauren, they kids had to lay under their desks without talking for two hours. They could communicate by passing notes to each other. Here's the news link I found:

Suprisingly, Lauren didn't seem too fazed by the whole ordeal. She said she was scared, but prayed not to be nervous. She explained the whole ordeal and how and why the kids were under the desks, etc.

All in all, it's time for a drink!