Monday, February 26, 2007

Will We Throw Up In Heaven?

At 1:45am this morning, I was awakened by The Boy at the side of my bed telling me he needed to go to the bathroom. For some reason, he feels the need to tell us - maybe getting permission? Not sure. So, as usual, I said, "Go ahead, hon," wondering why he needs to wake me from my sound sleep to do this. He called me in and I arose from my way-comfy bed, feeling a bit annoyed. He told me his throat feels funny - he thought he might throw up. Now, you might think me a callous mom here. But The Boy gets this feeling quite frequently because he works himself up and gets upset over a real or imagined problem. So sometimes, when he wakes up and is really tired, he can get all worked up and is convinced he's going to throw up. In my mind, I assumed that's what was happening. I was helping him off the toilet and kneeling down to pull up his PJ bottoms. My ears - right at his chest level - pick up the tell-tale gurgling. He was about to blow. Before I could get him turned around, face pointing to the toilet, he just erupted. If I hadn't been so tired and grossed out, I would have totally laughed at the absolute comedy of his projectile vomiting as I turned him around (thus, getting a nice arching spray all over our toilet room). It's the type of thing you'd see in a National Lampoon movie and laugh your butt off. Not quite so when you are partially in the line of fire.

So hubby jumped to our rescue, getting new clothes (and he needed new EVERYthing), the mop, the bucket, the cleaning supplies, latex gloves, etc.

As I was helping The Boy finish puking in the right direction and then helping clean him up, I noticed he hadn't cried. I told him he was very brave and I was so proud of how he handled it without crying. He said, "Yah, I didn't cry. I just wish there was no such thing as throwing up." I agreed. Then he asked, "Will we throw up in heaven?" I assured him that there would be no throwing up in heaven. He said asked, "How do you know?" And in true tired motherly fashion, I answered in my most reassuring voice, "I promise you, there is NO throwing up in heaven." He accepted that.

We got The Boy off to bed, cleaned up the bathroom (I wiped down everything with bleach & water), got me changed (yick), put everything in the wash and got back to bed somewhere a bit closer to 3am. The Boy is feeling better today. No one else has tossed any cookies.

I look forward to not cleaning up any puke in heaven.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Boy's Poem for Saundra

Tomorrow is the last sermon by our current pastor, Barry. They move back to California next week. It's pretty darned sad for us. I mean, we love love LOVE the new incoming pastor, Kenny, and his family. But it's so hard to say goodbye.

Barry's wife, Saundra, is one of The Boy's Sunday school teachers. He always wants to get to church early to help Saundra set up. When I have to teach, The Boy sits with Saundra in service until children's church starts. The Boy LOVES Saundra. And it's mutual. Saundra has always appreciated The Boy on so many levels. And when we discovered he had TS, she and all of The Boy's other Sunday school teachers were fantastically supportive.

Tomorrow, after service, we're having a luncheon to honor Barry & Saundra. Yesterday, I told The Boy he might want to make a card for Saundra. He went and got a large piece of red card-stock paper, folded it in half and here is what he did:

Front cover (in multi-colored pencil): A good bye poem By me

Inside poem (in regular pencil - and this is exactly how he wrote it):
I thank you for being
my teacher so long.
Here's a poem
without a song.
Saundra, you are No. 1
I have to admit
you're very fun.
If there's a flat tire
a tow truck will tow it
And youre going to move.
C'mon, let's show it!
Why did the chicken
cross the street?
To get a donut
she wants to eat.
Why did the Frog
cross the road?
I know why.
So why did the toad?

That was his first draft, my friends. I cannot WAIT for Saundra to get this. She just gets The Boy and loves his creativity. This poem just kills me! It made me laugh and The Boy just giggled so hard when I got to the funny parts and laughed out loud. I think this will help Saundra get through all of her goodbyes tomorrow.

The Boy rocks.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An Aside: Six Items of Interest (or not)

I wasn't really tagged by Sarakastic because she's nice and doesn't force anyone to do her fun little items. But I'll take the tag anyway. Her friend had tagged her to list 6 strange things about herself. Sarakastic listed 6 things of interest and I thought they were great. I'm trying to think if there are 6 strange things about myself that I'm willing to post where I know family members check. So I'll keep it family-friendly (not to mention, my 6 yr old genius is more computer literate than me, so I'd hate to have him stumble across confessions of the crack house I keep in our back yard). I'll shoot for 6 strange things but not sure if I'll make it.

  1. My thumbs. They're darned strange. If I had the gumption, I'd get up, photograph them and put a picture here. But I don't. Maybe later, I'll add a picture to back this one up. But I have these little hammer thumbs. They're a gift from my birth-mom and her mom. Thanks Ape! I don't mind them. I hated them as a kid because other kids are cruel and will find anything to harp on. So in high school, when the guy you're desperately in love with calls you over to his lunch table just to grab your hands and go, "Check out these THUMBS!" to peels of, you might not be thrilled. Now, the only time they would be an annoyance is if I ever wanted to get fake nails - which, unless hell has frozen over and I didn't get the memo, will never happen. The thumb nails are wider than they are high. So yah, I dare some nail company to make one that will fit my thumbs. And then the question would be, why would I put on fake nails to draw attention to my nubs? The other annoyance might be if I ever decide to go bowling. Not candle-pin or duck-pin bowling in which you basically roll a big shot-put down the lane. No, I'm talking the Fred Flintstone bowling where you have to shove your little Vienna sausages into 3 holes in a 952 lbs stone. Now, the bowling balls with thumb holes big enough for my little pork links are heavy enough for a big ol' manly thumb. Ergo, my dainty flower self can't heft them. Again, I think the possibility of this becoming an issue is just a tiny bit greater than the nail issue.

  2. Speaking of Fred Flintstone, let's talk feet. Again, we can thank my birth-mom. I have these little Fred Flintstone feet. Very short and very wide. Much like my afore mentioned thumbs. The toes are all pretty much the same length (like someone cut Vienna sausages in half and stuck them on the end of my foot). The big toes? They're BIG toes. Not long. Ping pong paddle big. And I get that term from my birth-mom. Actually, come to think of it, I think she said my birth-dad had the same ping pong paddle big toes. So I blame them both. It sure does make buying shoes fun. Yes, do you have a size 6 1/2, quadruple E? No? How odd? And please tell me what sadist decided that all women had bananas for feet? Honestly, I see the beauty in all of Carry Bradshaw's shoes. But who has feet that are shaped like that? I mean, aside from my tall slender sister!

  3. While we're obsessing over body parts, did I ever tell you I used to have hair down to my knees? When I graduated high school, my hair was down to my butt. During 3 years in college, it made it down to my knees. Now, being about the size of a hobbit, you'd think that might mean I only needed about 18 inches of hair to accomplish this. However, I'm a larger than usual hobbit. I'm 5'3". So that was a lot of hair. And it's thick. My pony tail is....I don't know what to compare it to. Those hair bands for extra thick hair? I don't know what they think extra thick hair means but I break them usually after the 3rd time wearing them. My hair dresser used to book 2 time slots to cut my hair. He'd cut, wash it again and cut it again. Good thing we liked each other! Anyway, the long Cousin It hair was fun for a while. But washing it was a horrid ordeal. Pony tails gave me headaches. Some woman sat on my hair on the subway in Boston. I didn't know until my stop came and I tried to head for the door. Yah, that was fun.

  4. Hmmmm....what else? Oh, as a kid I used to pray two things every night - very fervently. It was actually more pleading with God. First, that I would wake up and be a boy. Second, that I'd find my "real" parents (this was before anyone knew the term "birth-parents"). It is fortunate for me that God is wiser than I was at that age and he said No to #1 and Yes to #2. I wanted to be a boy because they seemed to be allowed to be rough and tumble and didn't have to wear the dreaded dress! They also seemed to get away with things that girls (or I) didn't. And then - because of the wonderful "reality" of TV - I was terrified to give birth. I didn't want to be screaming, sweating and biting down on a wooden spoon in a big ol' bed with a gorgeous homemade quilt spread over it. And God led my birth-mother to my college dorm phone 2 days after my 20th birthday in October of 1985. One of the best days of my life. Love you Ape!

  5. I want a potter's wheel and kiln. I wouldn't be able to make anything beautiful for a long time but man would that be fun! As a kid, potter's wheels fascinated me. They made little toy ones that I was convinced would behave as real ones. I never got one. I was thrilled when our elementary school art teacher announced we'd be doing pottery. FINALLY! I would have my chance at the wheel! Um...not quite. Pinch-pots are NOT as fun. And in 5th grade, they come out looking like you were on crack when you made them.

  6. As a young girl in the mid to late 70's, I convinced myself that Kate Jackson was my birth-mother. This was based solely on the fact that I had the same hair cut as her in her Charlie's Angels days. Because we all know that hair cuts are genetic.

Well, Stacy already tagged Trish. But I want to see her answers. So I'll tag my cousin Kendra because she's probably the only one that will take the tag. Oh, and her hubby Donny, too. He's good for some good answers!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Boy's Letter to Juliana

So here is the letter The Boy typed to Juliana (see my post from yesterday, 'The Boy's Huge Heart'). He typed it in pink curly font - perfect to send to a little girl:

Dear Juliana,

I loved your show I watched yesterday! I hope your face gets better soon. But I still think it looks nice! You are about three years I right? Well, I am six and a half. Bye.

P.S. I love your name too.

Love, [The Boy] (and he put his mailing address)

Could you die? I had told him to let me read it before he printed it. I didn't want him to make an innocent yet hurtful statement. I didn't edit a thing - that was all him - first draft, too! Love that kid!

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Boy's Huge Heart

No, The Boy doesn't have an enlarged heart. He has a huge empathetic emotional heart. I think it must be there to offset the anxiety part of him. But it's been there since day one. It's one of the more incredible things about him and one of the main sources of pride for us.

Anyway, yesterday, The Boy asked us to record a documentary for him on the Discovery Health channel. He had seen a commercial for it during a documentary on identical quadruplets he was watching. We hesitated but we recorded 'Born Without a Face' for him. Today I watched it with him and his 3 yr old brother. And I have to say, I was so impressed with both boys' reactions.

Here's the blurb about the documentary:
Toddler Juliana Wetmore was born with Treacher Collins syndrome. She has no upper jaw, no cheekbones, no eye sockets, and has the corner of her ear missing. Doctors say that it is the worst case ever recorded.

I could write a whole blog on how the Wetmore family is now my new hero group. Juliana won my heart. And the heart of both my boys. I told them that, at any time, if this disturbed them (there were surgical procedures and graphic pictures), we could stop watching. They never stopped and they both watched the whole thing. Lil Bro usually watches for a few minutes and then is playing with cars. They asked lots of intelligent thoughtful questions. The Boy made observations that I wish more adults could have. They showed a picture of the newborn Juliana - and I have to say, it is shocking enough to a stranger - I can't imagine what that moment was like for her parents. As most people were, I was focused on her face and the malformations there. The Boy watched and said, "Hey mom. At least she has all her other parts - they're all perfect!" I have to say, this attitude of noticing what she DID have is how her parents approach things. And it was beautiful to hear that this was his first thought. He kept watching and commenting on things in the half-full kind of way he has. Juliana has no ears so has to use hearing aids that vibrate bones near her ears. I just saw the deafness and The Boy said, "Wow - so she can hear with those things on! That's cool," and "So once they build her a functioning mouth, she'll be able to talk!" He was excited when they showed her taking her first steps. I mean, it was awesome.

Both boys were fascinated. The Boy wants to write her a letter. And I found her mailing address which I will tell him about tomorrow. But tonight, as I was getting Lil Bro in bed, The Boy called to me from his room and said, "Hey mom, can you remember to pray about Juliana tonight?" I told him he could go ahead and talk to God about it - he didn't have to wait for me. Well, I wish I had an instant recorder to capture impromptu moments like this. Because I can't recall his whole prayer. But it was so poignant and sensitive and honest - it almost made me cry. I heard him say something to the effect of "God, please help Juliana. Make all the surgeries go OK and help her face to look the way they want it to." There was more but that was the point of it. During the documentary, they said several times that their goal was to get Juliana a functional face. And that she faced a life full of surgeries. At the age of two, she had already had 14 surgeries. The Boy remembers his 3 (relatively minor) surgeries vaguely. He knows they're scary and hard. So this was very close to his heart.

I just love that my boys watched that and didn't giggle, point, make fun of it in any way. They were totally engrossed and thoughtful. And they love Juliana. I can't wait to read The Boy's letter to her.

I love my sweet loving boys.

Real or No Real?

Sorry for the bad game-show pun. But I'm trying to figure out if my kid is just too smart for me or if he's really telling the truth. Or, if it's more gray like, it might not be the truth but he believes it is. Dunno.

The Boy has this habit of absent-mindedly whistling. It's almost constant. While he's on the computer, while he's drawing, while he's doing his homework, while he's walking around, no real pattern. I don't really notice it most times. It gets your attention when you're trying to hear the TV or if it comes to conflict with his younger brother (usually in the form of spittle-inducing shushing sessions). And while it tends not to bug me, it bugs his father a bit more.

Recently, hubby asked The Boy to try to be aware of when he's whistling and to try not to whistle while people are nearby trying to do something like talk, read, watch TV, whatever. The Boy's answer was that it's one of his tics. Hubby told me about this and I thought about it for a while. On another day, I asked him to stop whistling as his brother was trying to sing and they were arguing about it. The Boy then informed me that it was a tic. The way he said it rather implied, yah, it's a tic so I can't control is so pardon me while I continue whistling.

So that's what lead me to ponder this thought. We talked about how he doesn't whistle at church or at school. So obviously he can control it. However, he reminded me that he's able to control other tics at school or church, too. This is just one reason we call him the litigator. But I digress.

Right now, I don't think his whistling is a tic. I think it's a habit. And I think The Boy doesn't really know the difference between the two. That's my gut feeling. However, if someone were able to come prove to me that it was a tic, I would very quickly eat those words and not have a problem with it. So it really is a "dunno" at this point.

Seeing as how it's a very benign habit/tic, I'm not too worried about it. But it really does raise the question: Will my little genius learn to use his TS as a tool with which to manipulate people? If that sounds like a horrible thought from a mother who should always be her son's biggest cheerleader, let me just say that I speak from experience. I am adopted. And I was raised in and out of hospitals for the first 10 or so years of my life. I remember once, when I was in big trouble with my mom, I accused her of punishing me because I was adopted. Fortunately for me, God gave me the right mom and she basically gave me some answer (but not as flip as in my mind) to the effect of, uh-huh, right...that must be it...NOT! Ha ha ha! The other issue with my kidney/bladder health? Well, when I was in school, my urologist gave all of my schools a note that said I had to be allowed to go to the bathroom whenever I said I did, and then later, added that I couldn't do any contact sports. At first, I never abused that. But please find me a Jr high or high school kid that won't learn to abuse the power to leave any class at any time and I'll find you a kid that probably lives under a rock. Or...a kid that's probably just got a much higher moral fiber than me. HA! Anyway, yah, I abused the crap out of that stuff. I mean, I tried to use that note to get out of SWIMMING. Didn't really work as I couldn't prove the risk to my kidney from swimming. But the point is, I tried.

So I will try to stop projecting my own moral limitations onto my beautiful 6 yr old. However, the kid is a near personality clone of his mom. So I do wonder if he will use the TS at some point. Like now.

We'll see.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

An Aside - Past Loves That Would Never Be

So I was reading a favorite blog by Sarakastic and saw her post today was about past "loves" - ie celebrity crushes from her past. Her list totally cracked me up. So I will jump on her band wagon and share with you some of the crushes I had as a young girl.

Now mind you, I was always one for the under dog. I always felt horrible for the celebrity that lived in the shadow of another (usually less deserving) celebrity. If you keep that in mind, my list will make a bit more sense to you.

Bobby Sherman
Poor Bobby lived in the shadow of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond. He outrocked them both. And he appeared on the Partridge Family once, I believe. I had a poster of him in my room (thanks to my brothers, I think) that I kissed goodnight almost every night. I had this album cover hanging in my band's rehearsal space in Boston in the 90's (much to the dismay of the boys in the band). He's an EMT now, I believe. Honorable in retirement. That's my boy.

Lee Majors (circa Big Valley)
When I was little, I had this big idea that my dad looked like Elvis Presley and Lee Majors. To me, my dad was infinitely more handsome. But I did have a big crush on Heath Barkley on Big Valley. He was the most handsome of the brothers. He was quiet and brooding. And Lee Majors had that way of squinting with one eyebrow raised that reminded me of young Clint Eastwood.

Parker Stevenson

Parker had to play second fiddle to the vapid Shawn Cassidy on the Hardy Boys. Parker totally had it goin' ON! My junior high room was covered with pictures of him pulled from such lofty publishing as 'Tiger Beat' and 'Teen Beat'. He didn't make the cover as often as Leif Garret (whose name I can't spell and don't care enough to research) but I didn't care. I loved parker even until after his divorce from Kirsty Alley. Still think he's adorable.

Sam Elliot
Now I have to admit that my love for Parker lead to this crush. Parker and Sam were in this awful movie called 'Lifeguard'. I think that was my first time seeing Sam Elliot. He was an older man with a sexy mustache (and might I add, I can't stand mustaches). I was smitten. But I generally have always liked him because he's a great character actor and has a sexy voice. And I'm a dork. I couldn't find a good shot from the movie but this is a great shot of the man and his 'stache.

Steve McQueen
Not quite the underdog you say? Well, he wasn't quite as huge a heart throb as many others in his day. He was another one that was way under rated compared to some in his day. He was amazing. Quiet and smoldering characters that were hard but usually had heart. He was amazing in everything from 'The Magnificent Seven' to 'The Great Escape' to 'Papillon'.

Johnny Depp
Yes, I've left the world of the underdog here. But let me say, I jumped on this bandwagon back when Johnny was almost nerdly in 'Platoon'. It was solidified in the schlocky but wonderful '21 Jump Street'. And I nearly puked up my heart when I saw him teaching that girl to kiss in 'Cry Baby'! This shot was from 'Cry Baby' and just proves why anyone in their right mind would fall for Johnny! I dare you not to think that's absolutely freaking dreamy.

Billy Zane
I like the Billy Zane from the movie 'Orlando' - before he was pulled into attempts at making him an action hero (like the horrid 'Sniper'). He's usually sans hair these days - like in 'Titanic', he had some hair piece glued to his head. Honestly, with a budget like that, they couldn't have made the wig look a bit less like a wig? I do have to say he's pretty hot bald - but I liked him best in his long-haired Orlando snippet.

Christian Bale
Another one not quite in the underdog category. However, I feel Christian is sadly underated. Not only is he wonderfully easy on the eyes but he's a great actor. I first saw him in 'Newsies', 'Swing Kids' and 'Little Women' - he was rather too young for me to crush on then. But he has grown up and has earned a place in my "if [insert name here] is in the movie, I'll watch it no matter how bad" category. He single-handedly redeemed the Batman movie genre in my mind. So he was the American Psycho. So what? I'll take two, please.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Is There a Healthy Kid Anywhere in America?

Honestly, I would like to meet a kid in elementary school that is healthy. All the kids in my neighborhood are taking turns coming down with something that just knocks their socks off. The Boy's 1st grade teacher has told us that she's been missing 3, 5 or 8 kids on any given day. Monday, when I called my local doctor's office (and it's a big medical building with like 8 pediatricians and an urgent care unit) , they were BOOKED SOLID. So I had to go 2 towns over to have The Boy seen.

Three weeks ago, The Boy had that lovely runny nose, bad cough and fever thing going around. He ended up getting antibiotics for a respiratory infection - the cough was bad enough to kick off the gag reflex - always a good time. He missed 4 days of school one week. The next week, he was doing well and made it to Friday before spiking another fever. It was on and off over this past weekend. On Monday, it resurfaced so we took him in. The Boy had his first ear infection ever at the ripe old age of six and a half. So more antibiotics only because he'd had fevers for more than 72 hours at this point. Bummer. But I'll take the antibiotics over the bad alternative. The Boy is really good about drinking his milk with acidophilus in it.

The only part of illness for The Boy that reminds me that he has more anxiety than some kids is when the discomfort hits at night. I mean, no one is their best when they're woken from sleep due to discomfort or pain. When his ear woke him up one night, he panicked. So when I got there, he was asking if he was dying and telling me he thought he was going to throw up. I don't think he was nausiated. I think he was panicking - having an anxiety attack. I felt his chest and his heart was pounding out of his chest. It was awful. I got him to calm down and take deep breaths. So that was good. But he was drenched in sweat and I couldn't do a think about his ear pain.

The other part of illness that is hard with The Boy is getting him to take meds. Unless it tastes totally like liquid candy, it will be a battle. Lil' Bro (who is only 3) will pretty much take anything I put in his syringe. He might make a face if it's yucky but he'd probably take Chinese herbs if he had to (which I take and let me tell you, THAT is some nasty stuff!). With The Boy, what should take 30 seconds can be dragged out to more like 20 minutes. He does everything from just freak out crying to refusing to take it to saying wait! and asking a million questions. It's so frustrating because you know he feels bad and you're trying to be patient. But honestly, I just want to scream at him when he gets like that. What I ended up resorting to was threats. I just told him, from now on, every time I say it's time to take his meds, he better walk right over and take them with no delays or protests. Every time he freaks out, throws a fit or tries to delay, something new goes off limits. Surprisingly, it worked. Today, Hubby was able to give The Boy his meds twice with no drama.

But the anxieties that come out during his illness are exhausting. I have no idea how parents of children with serious anxiety disorders do it. I understand and appreciate The Boy's anxiety being mild. But it really does make me think parents of kids with serious problems are my heroes. God bless them all.

Friday, February 02, 2007

An Aside: Trish Tag Fun

I've been tagged by my favorite new author Trish. And after the last few posts here, I think we could all use a break for a little goofball fun.

Okay, here goes:


L.y.n.e.t.t.e (I like to put HRH before this but rarely do people use that)

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first three letters of your name, plus izzle)

Lynizzle. Even my gansta names sounds white-bread.

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three of your last)

L-Man...or Lest, depending on which last name. L-Man seems to work the best but conjurs my testosterone laden side.

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (fav color and fav animal)

Green Cat? Now that's just odd no matter what.

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, Street you live on):

Oh this one doesn't work even for a soap opera. Lou Meadowside. Why do all my names sound male?

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of mom’s maiden name)

Estlyhaw. Or Manlyhaw. I have too many names.

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (favorite color, favorite drink)

Green Dr Pepper? Green Coke? Green Water? Green Scotch Straight Up Make It A Double? I haven't the foggiest.

8. YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, any letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dad’s middle name, 1st letter of a sibling’s first name, last letter of your moms middle name)

Ytuawes. Gads...I don't even think THIS one would be pronouncable in the middle east!

9. YOUR STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/body spray)

CHANEL N°5. Honestly, what would the number 5 conjur for all the clean-minded patrons!

10. YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father’s middle name)

Marie Edward. That would actually work. Rather non descript without trying to sound TOO clandestine.

Ok, I'm tagging Kendra because I want to see her answers. I need the giggle. Thanks Trish. That was fun!