Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Bit of a Scare

Last night, we were sitting in the living room, watching TV and eating orange sections. Suddenly, Pokemon Boy turned to me, eyes wide with panic, making the classic hand movements around his mouth and neck. He was choking.

In an attempt to not drip orange juice on the carpet, he had popped a whole section into his mouth, gave it a couple chomps and swallowed it. It had broken into two sections still connected by some of the surrounding skin-type stuff (I don't know the right word for it). So one section had gone down and one had gotten caught in the back of his throat.

He made some really big gagging motions and I thought he had cleared it. "Did you get it? Can you breathe?" He frantically shook his head "no!". GAH! He kept trying to gag and I could tell he was trying to cough it out. But he couldn't take air IN. After a few more tries, he was still not getting air. I started to stand up to get behind him for the Heimlich. And I tell you, I have never had to perform that on anyone. Let alone on a kid. And my OWN kid.

As I stood, Pokemon Boy started reaching into his mouth. I thought, "Duh! I'm supposed to try a finger sweep first!" He reached in a couple of times and actually pulled out the top-most piece. I think doing that pulled the lower piece up to where his gag reflex could push it out. He got it into his mouth and I said, "Spit it out! Don't worry about the mess. Just spit it out." He coughed it out and then broke down crying.

I was numb. I've taken CPR and Basic Lifesaving so many times. And when other people have needed help, I just go into that "Let's do this thing" mode. But I tell you, when this happened, I just kind of jumbled everything in my head. Denial being the strongest emotion I had to overcome. This can't possibly be happening - a real choking situation with my 9 yr old. It happens to babies and old people.

Pokemon Boy cried for a good while. He told me that he really had thought he might die and had never been that terrified in his life. The whole event probably lasted a minute - possibly two. Probably not even that long. But if you've ever not been able to breathe - for whatever reason - you know that 30 seconds feels like 3 hours! And when it's your baby standing there dealing with something like that, it feels longer, too.

I held him a lot. He cried off and on for a while. We prayed and thanked God for keeping Pokemon Boy safe. For keeping him calm enough to have the sense to reach in to his own mouth and clear the obstacle. We just sat there going, "Thank you God! Thank you God!!!!"

After a while, Pokemon Boy asked me, "What if I couldn't have pulled it out of my throat?" I said, "Well, I would have done the Heimlich." I had to show him what that was (not fully). "Well, what if THAT hadn't done it? Then what would you have done?" I told him I would have called 911. He was very stoic and realistic as he flatly declared, "They wouldn't have made it in time." I told him, "They would have saved you. I can tell you that!" I didn't get into details. It's not a place my mind easily goes.

After sitting there together for a while, he calmed down. We were quiet for a time - just holding him against me, silently thanking God. "Mom? Are you going to put this on Facebook?" The question really cracked me up. "Well, I guess that's up to you, buddy." Usually when something happens that makes him this upset, he doesn't want anyone to know. But he said, "You can if you want to." I said, "Well, I would probably blog about it because there's more to it than a status update." He nodded. "Well, you can put it wherever you want to." I smiled to myself. What a funny world where my kid knows that all of our family stories go onto a blog.

So that was our very short-lived moment of terror. Once again, God rockin' the rescue.

Thank you, God. Thank you for my kids.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Nice Boring Post

Well, the first week of school is done for my boys. And the fact that I have nothing substantial to report is awesome. Because that means that Tourette's hasn't factored into anything this week. YAY!

Things that happened this week:

  • I had a 2nd phone interview with an awesome local company I'm really hoping to work for. But I'm leaving it to God. I figure, if I get it? He knows it's the right place for me. If I don't get it? He knows something I don't and is protecting me from a not so great situation.
  • I had a cool casual meeting with an IT recruiter that a friend referred me to. She asked me to add a few things to my resume. So hopefully she can help.
  • I wrestled with anger issues each time I drove to the school and had to deal with other parents driving in ways that just defied my understanding. I really am at a loss when people block the bus driveway or park on both sides of a narrow street so it becomes a one-way situation or don't follow very strict instructions that were sent home on the first day. It brings out the bouncer in me. I want to get out of my car and start barking like a marine drill sergeant. GAH!
  • We had two nights of severe thunderstorms. Only one amounted to any rain so we're still in a drought. But I enjoyed laying in my bed watching the lightening storm from a relative safe spot. One night, I had Pokemon Boy in there. Last night, it was Lil'Bro. Usually they sleep through anything. But each one had a night where they were woken by the storm. If they both wake at the same time, I may have to get a king sized bed! HA!
  • Got to have lunch with one of my favorite moms of Lil'Bro's classmate. She's actually the mom of two boys - right around the same ages as my two. All four of our boys really like each other. It's awesome.
  • Am wondering how to teach Lil'Bro some assertiveness. Where Pokemon Boy inherited my vocal projection talents, Lil'Bro is whisper quiet when he tries to talk in the classroom. Where PB is an extrovert, LB is shy. Where PB is tenacious, LB will only try once. LB has an awesome teacher. But he's intimidated in trying to make sure she knows his concerns. And his teeny quiet voice doesn't help. I'm sure it will work out. But I've had to send an email to her just so she'd understand one of the little things that was bothering him. Fortunately, she's a doll.
That's about it. Nice and uneventful. Tonight, I got to sit on the couch with my boys and a big bowl of popcorn. We watched the computer animated version (2008, I think?) of Horton Hears A Who. It had slapstick, pratfalls and just enough silly to keep them laughing out loud. I had more fun listening to them than watching the movie. Now we're watching PowerPuff Girls and then it's to bed.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

I've been having fun watching all of the first days of school being published on my friends' blogs or Facebook pages. I just put my pix out on Facebook. So now to share HERE.

Last night, it was hard to go to sleep. Pokemon Boy came down only three times. "Did you call me?" "I thought I heard you leaving." "I was just filling my water cup." When I went to bed, I grudgingly set my alarm for 6am. I've had the luxury of sleeping in all summer. And even while looking for work, I've had my alarm set for 7:30. Yah, my life is soooo hard, right? HA!

This morning, I was woken at 5:52am by Lil'Bro. He had just had a bad dream and wanted to climb in bed with me. Really? Eight minutes before the alarm goes off??? But it was sweet cuddling with him.

Both boys got up on time. Lil'Bro is like me and can't eat much in the early morning. Pokemon Boy had a good breakfast. We picked out clothes, brushed teeth, made sure water bottles were in the backpacks and were ready about 10 minutes early. I can tell you, that probably won't be a regular occurrence! I snapped a few pictures out front and then we were off to the school. Early. Because it was gonna be mayhem.
The Boys: Ready for school!
Lil'Bro: The big man starts kindergarten today.
Pokemon Boy: Ready for 4th grade and to guide his little brother.

I'm pretty sure every single parent of every single kid was there today. There were cars parked EVERYwhere. The residential streets surrounding the school had people parked on both sides. Which effectively turned all the streets into one lane roads. So you can imagine how fun it was to try to get OUT of there. I feel sorry for any parent that needed to be at work at a certain time today. Because I can promise you, they were late. Fortunately, we know a crossing guard that lives across from the school. She let us park in her driveway. So we were totally stoked.

We walked into the school and dropped off Lil'Bro first. Pokemon Boy is taking his responsibility of watching out for Lil'Bro very seriously. After today, I will just drop them off and he will walk Lil'Bro to his class. He's ready.

Lil'Bro's teacher, Ms.S is so sweet. We brought a bunch of extra supplies for her and she was thrilled. Lil'Bro's buddy was already there. He hung up his back pack, put up his lunch box and sat down to color. No nerves. No worries. No tears. I got my pictures, said goodbye and left with Pokemon Boy. I must be heartless or something. All the other kinder parents (even experienced ones like me) asked, "Did you cry?!" It never occurred to me to cry. Maybe if Lil'Bro had freaked out, I might have. Nah. I'm totally ok with the school, his teacher, I know the dismissal process. I'm good. I was joking with one parent that, with the first one, yah, I didn't want to leave him that first time. I just kept thinking about all the crazy "what if" scenarios. They'll lose him! They'll be mean to him! Some crazed gunman will take the whole school hostage. But with the second one, I drive up, slow down, pop the car door open and tell them to tuck & roll!!! HA! Ok, maybe not THAT bad. But it's funny, none the less.
Lil'Bro and Ms.S

For Pokemon Boy, this is 4th grade. Last year he tested for the talented & gifted program and was accepted. So this year, he is in a class with a talented & gifted certified teacher. Ms.H is awesome. She's very sweet but I sense that she will only put up with so much silliness. I think that will be the perfect combination for Pokemon Boy. Last night we prayed that God would give Pokemon Boy control over his body and his emotions. And that God would help Pokemon Boy see when someone needed a friend or kind word - to be that friend or give that kind word. So hopefully, that's still on his mind. He seemed happy to be in his class and meet all the kids.
Pokemon Boy & Ms.H

After I dropped them both off, I ran over to say hi to Pokemon Boy's 3rd grade teacher. I tried to find his old 1st grade teacher but the bell rang and I knew they would have some trouble clearing all the parents out of the building. So I skedaddled.

I'm so thankful to live in a peaceful country. To have such a great safe school for my kids. To have friends that staff that school so I know, in a pinch, my boys would have people to turn to.

God rockin' a wonderful community for us. Woo hoo!

Monday, August 24, 2009

And The Answer Is...

So apparently, the answer to my rhetorical tongue-in-cheek wise-ass question from Saturday's post [Is It Wrong...?] is, "It depends."

Having a blog is a very weird thing. Some blogs have a target audience. Some are just open to all comers. Some don't know what they're really shooting for. When I started mine in 2006, I was going to chronicle my battle with weight. I was derailed by Pokemon Boy's diagnosis with Tourette's. And that is when this became Tourette's Mom. I didn't know what I was going to write but it was going to be a place where people could come, read, and see one picture of what life with Tourette's can look like.

In 2007, my original purpose was derailed again. But it wasn't too strange because - thankfully - God has given Pokemon Boy control over his body. So there really wasn't all that much about dealing with Tourette's that I could say. Not on an almost-daily basis. So when The Ex shredded our little family, I used this as one of my lifelines. My regular blogger chick friends came to my rescue. Here and offline. It was pretty shocking to find how big my blogger family was. And how real. It still amazes me.

A few months ago, I linked my Facebook account to this blogger account. That's where the weird began. Well, in my head, anyway. I figured most of my acquaintances on Facebook wouldn't bother reading my blog posts. I was wrong. So once I knew they were reading, I started second guessing what I wrote here. I'm very much a stream of consciousness writer. And then once they started commenting...well, that was a whole other bag of noodles.

Many Facebookers use the online social networking site as a way to share pictures and update their friends and family with what's going on. Look, Bobby took his first step. Oh dear, Suzie has H1N1. Oh cool, I have a job interview. And that's how my account started. I had been a MySpace addict. I hadn't even known there were other social networking sites. My blogger chick pal Jane invited me to Facebook. And I was hooked. More and more of my friends, family, and acquaintances were joining Facebook. So it was fun. I now have regular interaction with both sides of my birth-family where it had been sporadic at best. My extended family (both sides) keep in regular touch which we had previously only done with a Yahoo group email. So now we got to have pictures and jokes. I'm reconnected with childhood friends, high school classmates, college classmates. It's a hoot and lots of fun.

But the majority of Facebookers are like me. They will connect with all sorts of people that were peripherally in their lives. If I can recall any interaction with a person, I usually accept a friend request. If I can't recall, I'll see if we have mutual friends and ask one of mine, "Who is John Smith and why would I know him?" Once a month, I go through my friend list. If I haven't had any contact with that person and/or can't recall any significant interaction with them in my lifetime, I usually disconnect. And most people never say, "Hey, why'd you defriend me?" If they do, I realize they were a lurker (they read but don't leave comments) and add them back in.

For those of the more private ilk, this seems like one of the inner circles of hell. Just ask my BigSis. She'd rather be skinned alive than join anything like Facebook, MySpace, Classmates, Plaxo, [insert any of the myriad of social sites here]. But I'm a social junkie. I love contact of any kind. If you're not outright abusive on my pages, I'm usually lovin' it.

For a while, I hesitated putting anything on my page about my feelings for God/Jesus, my church, etc. I didn't want to be misconstrued as one of those agenda-pushing "religious" types. Because if you know me, I am SO not that person. But after a while, I realized this just falls back into my old habit of putting God behind the curtain, in a closet, in my back pocket. Why should I have to hide any part of my life from anyone? If I'm happy how I am, why can't I just put that out there?

So I got bold. I started putting things like, "My church so totally rocks!" in my status. Or I'd say I was prepping the fruit for church. Or that worship rocked that Sunday. Or whatever. Don't get me wrong. My stupid slapstick humor was still out there. So my "God Rocks!" updates were interspersed with updates like "Men + beer + boob-themed restaurants = stoopid." The point is, I just tended to be my usual self. But my PUBLIC self.

And there is a difference. I will bare my soul here because, most regular readers here are invested somehow. They are a family member, a friend, interested in Tourette's, have a child with special needs, stumbled here and stayed, or were sent here from another blogger friend. My regulars are supportive, funny and kind. Those that come here - for whatever reason - if they stay, they have chosen to. On Facebook, it's kind of an opportunistic captive audience. Most of the people who read my blog posts over there are people that don't know my back story. The context is jumbled. Or, there IS no context.

So, that last post from Saturday - it was a mix of humor & snark. My friend that was the subject has a good sense of humor. His wife is a regular reader here. So I posted that fully knowing she'd read it and probably poke him with it. And here, that is exactly the response I got (see C.Beth's reply to that post).

But in Facebook land, people need to take a stand, make a point, be clever or whatever. So some people laughed along with me. But the other responses to the post made it clear that, no matter how benign I meant that post, in the jumbled context over there, it came across like I'm bitter or don't understand the different roles of moms and dads or was paying into the bumbling-dad stereotype. None of which are true.

So I have decided that I like the separation of Blog and Facebook. I have unlinked my online private me from my online public me. The few friends that found this and are interested can still come here. The lurkers and soap boxers can stay in the public forum.

So, is it wrong to be snarky about a socially charged issue - even when it's tongue in cheek? Well, no. But you have to take what follows.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is It Wrong...?

Is it wrong that I'm secretly amused when I witness a dad forced to deal with his kids alone in a social setting? Granted he did swimmingly. But he's used to just going about what ever he's doing while his wife deals with the kids. So this just gave me a secret little thrill.

I know. I won't even get a hand basket.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Teachers: Two Thumbs Up

Well, we met both teachers today. My mom got to go with me to the kinder meet & greet. It was very cool. My heart goes out to the first time school parents. For most, it is just such a hard time. It was for me. I faked it well for Pokemon Boy's sake back in 2005. But man, it can be such a hugely paranoid time.

Lil'Bro's teacher is in for quite a ride. There are at least 6 kids in her class from his preschool. Which is odd since there are 10 kinder classes (all full - so like 20 per class!!!). But somehow, he and two of his best pals were placed in the same class. Three others we saw were in different classes. But his teacher seems very sweet. Very attentive. I think he'll have a great year.

Pokemon Boy is in the talented & gifted program. So his class is mostly those kids. His teacher seems like a doll, too. One kid from his summer daycare is in his class. They are both crazy for Pokemon. At one point, his teacher mentioned she needed to be schooled on Pokemon. Both boys offered to educate her. HA! Boy she's in for it now!

I chatted with Pokemon Boy's teacher - just letting her briefly know that his Tourette's isn't physical at the moment. That I'm her partner and will back up what she does and continue it at home. She seemed to know him from the prior year. He is a very outgoing and friendly kid. So almost every staff member we passed called him by name. So I imagine she already has some idea of the kind of kid he is.

We all left feeling very comfortable with the assigned teachers and excited for next week. Once again, God's rockin' the answer to prayer. So yay!!!

Oh, and while we were at kinder meet & greet, I got a phone message about a 2nd phone interview with a company I really want to work for. WOOT! I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Teachers

Tomorrow, we have the meet & greet at the elementary school. I'm not worried about Lil'Bro's teacher. He's pretty flexible. I've seen him flourish with different teachers at his preschool. He'll do fine. I'm always curious to see Pokemon Boy's teacher. Even though his Tourette's is very mild, he can still have emotional outbursts that seem to come from nowhere. Teachers that aren't ready to handle this (from any child, actually) worry me.

Last year, he started with one teacher. When I met her, she was nice. But kind of...I dunno...distant. Or walled off. When I told her his Tourette's was mild and she'd probably never see huge physical tics, she almost fell over with relief. That was not a good sign. I never got the sense that she bonded with any of the kids. Pokemon Boy loved her but then, he's a sweet and loyal kid. If the teacher isn't outright mean, he'll love him/her. But I never saw the connection we'd been lucky enough to have with his first and second grade teachers. Mid-year, that 3rd grade teacher "retired" with less than a week's notice. His new teacher was the bomb! Same caliber as his awesome 1st & 2nd grade teachers. She CARED. You could see it in every way she interacted with each kid. When he had bad days, I could tell it just pained her. I could tell all she wanted to do was find a way to help him. She really helped him ride out the 2nd half of the year and flourish even though he had his anxiety and anger issues.

This year, his former 1st grade teacher transferred into our school - as a 4th grade teacher!!! We hoped and hoped and she actually requested him. But alas, 'tis not to be. I don't know who he has. I just know it's not her. Which is too bad because she had a real knack for dealing with him during his meltdowns.

So tomorrow I go to meet his teacher. I've been asking God to send him the perfect teacher. I've been asking that for both boys. I'm not worried. But I will be watching to see how she interacts with Pokemon Boy. And I have to have the conversation I hate having. Making sure she knows about his Tourette's, making sure she understands how it manifests, etc. I hate the conversation because I feel like it kind of dooms him to it. Or I worry that the teacher thinks I'll just excuse any bad behavior from him, chalking it up to his anxiety disorder. But I have to put it in his files. And I want to assure the new teacher that he's on the mild end of the spectrum. And that I'm her partner. I work with her to understand when a "bad day" might be related to Tourette's. And even if it is, sometimes he gets consequences at home. It just depends. So I want the teacher to understand that I'm not hands-off. I'm not expecting her to deal with it all while I wash my hands of it.

I think too much.

Anyway, I'll let you know what I think after I meet the teachers. So far, every teacher I've met at this school is really awesome. So I'm hopeful.

Monday, August 17, 2009

End Of Summer: Blah

So we're almost at the end of summer. Or, depending on the measuring stick, we're DONE with summer.

I took the summer off to hang with the boys. I doubt I'll ever get a 22 yr severance package again. So I pushed my luck and took the summer off - meaning, I didn't look for work. I also kept the boys home from summer camps or day care. So right there I saved myself a good $1300+ a month. I have never been able to spend a whole summer vacation with my kids. So this has been worth it. Pushing the envelope or not. It was worth it.

I started looking for work two weeks ago. So for me, summer ended two weeks ago. Sadness. But oh well. It's been awesome.

And in one week, my boys will head back to school. Pokemon Boy will start 4th grade. Lil'Bro will start kindergarten. Pretty cool. They'll be in the same school but probably won't run into each other. Kinder is downstairs and 4th is up. Their lunch times and recess will be pretty far apart, too. But the knowledge that big brother is there will no doubt help Lil'Bro.

So, as the school year approaches, a part of me wonders how Pokemon Boy will do with his anxieties during this school year. Since he's been back in day care these past two weeks, he's only had a couple of meltdowns. But each one reminds me that the anxiety is still there. And I've noticed a bit of an increase in his facial tics. Nothing horrid. Just the exaggerated blinking, a few head rolls, some shoulder rolls, some suddenly widened eyes. In the grand scheme of Tourette's, these are minor and I know how lucky we are.

I think the increased tics are just stress. He likes day care generally. But he's in the "school aged" group. So ages 5-11. And those older kids, man, they push the limits for me sometimes. Girls are emotionally brutal and boys are physically so. He generally finds nice kids to hang around. But inevitably, there's a clash. And I can't fight it for him.

Recently, a boy at school really taunted him. I was told by another teacher that this boy has some kind of disability. I don't recall what kind. But apparently, he is not always in control of his language or emotions. This was actually explained to Pokemon Boy. He told me he wasn't really mad at the boy since he knew the boy couldn't help it. But it still embarrassed him. We talked about it for a while. During the conversation, I pointed out how hard it is to be "different" at all. And maybe that boy gets a lot of flack from other kids. Or worse, maybe he's ignored. So Pokemon Boy said, "Yah. I have trouble with my anger sometimes. So I know what it's like." We talked about how maybe that boy just needs someone to keep being nice to him. Pokemon Boy went back to school resolved to be nice to him. To make sure he had someone who didn't ignore him or dismiss him as weird. I was pretty proud that he was able to make the connection - to empathize with a boy who might be treated differently because he can't control his emotions. There may be more conflict. But at least I know Pokemon Boy will try his best to give that kid the benefit of the doubt.

This Friday, we find out who the teachers are. Then it's back to school. I'm sure God will rock good teachers for both. And an awesome job for ME!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Last night, I received a text around 4:30am saying my "baby" sister was on her way to the hospital. Around 8am, her hubby called and said, "Listen!" I then heard the cries of a new born baby wondering what all that light and sound is doing disturbing her warm quiet comfort. She was only minutes old. It was SOOOOO awesome.

So welcome little baby MJ. I can't wait to meet you in September!!! I'm told she looks exactly like her older sister LilMissS. And she joins a blended family to be the youngest of five of my gorgeous nieces: MissA, MissK, LilMissK, LilMissS and now LilMissMJ!!!

I had to sit down with pen and paper to figure this out. I now have 23 nieces and nephews. That's from 7 of my 10 siblings and one in-law. And once my youngest brother & sister get old enough, I'll have more, I imagine (no rush, N & A!).

God certainly has rocked the awesome ginormous family for me!!!

YAY MJ!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SERIOUSLY Awesome!!!

I am SOOOOOO stoked! Pokemon Boy has decided to get baptized. Last Sunday, pastor Kenny was talking about how our church will be having a baptism in September. So if anyone was interested, to talk to him. Pokemon Boy said he was interested. I think he said something like, "Can I do that?"

So tonight, after small group, I asked Pokemon Boy if he was still interested. He asked me, " long do they hold you under there?" I explained it's just a quick under and up. Having cleared that up, he said yes so I told him he should ask pastor Kenny when they could talk about it. Well, Kenny sat down and chatted with him right there! Pokemon Boy wasn't sure what baptism was all about so Kenny explained that it's an outward sign of what's in your heart. That you've accepted Jesus into your heart. So he showed him (using his arm) how the old you dies (dips the arm down showing how it goes down under water) and the new you rises up (raises his arm). Pokemon Boy goes, "...I have to die?" So I said, well, the old you dies - and the new you is you with Jesus. "So I still have the one life, right?" Yup. But now your life is eternal because you've got Jesus in your heart. "Cool! I want to do it right away!"

He's a little bummed he has to wait until the end of September. But he told me in the car that maybe the anticipation will be fun. Of course, Lil’Bro thinks he wants to get baptized, too. I'm not sure he gets it. But I'll let him talk to Kenny. If we both think he really really gets it, I have no problem with it. But we'll see.

Oh - and Pokemon Boy asked Kenny if he could wear goggles [he's just gotten to where he'll go underwater - but only with goggles]. Kenny said he didn't think Jesus would mind if he wore goggles. Gotta love it!

And I've told a few of you this but, in our church? We get baptized in a big horse trough!!! LOVE IT!

Just thought you all would be totally stoked to hear it. WOO HOO!!!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Various Sad Commentaries On My Love Life

These are things recently said by Lil'Bro. Cute but tragic, too.

When The Ex was here for a recent visit with them, we all went out to lunch. As all four of us sat down, Lil'Bro exclaimed for all to hear, "This is so AWESOME! It's like daddy never divorced you. Except he DID!"

After The Ex left to return to his home 1600 miles away: "I wish daddy never divorced you." To which I replied, "I'm sorry bud. But we're ok, right?" And he agreed.

Just now, Lil'Bro was looking through some cool polished stones I have. One is just a glass heart. He pulled it out:
Lil'Bro: Is this from dad?
Me: I suppose it was.
Lil'Bro (sniffing it): It doesn't smell like love. [pauses] does to YOU.

Nope. It doesn't.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Proud'n' On Pokemon Boy

I am so stinkin' proud of Pokemon Boy. Right now, he's on the phone with the little girl that was, for most of last school year, his "nemesis".

Pokemon Boy and MissM were best pals in 2nd grade. They ended up in the same class for 3rd grade and we were stoked. The two of them ended up being the two smartest kids in their 3rd grade class last year. Unfortunately, a bit of competition paired with entering the age of opposite sex having cooties...well, for Pokemon Boy, it turned bad. I think she always approached it as a healthy rivalry. But Pokemon Boy's anxiety issues and missing the social cues turned it into an all out raging rivalry for him. It got bad enough for some phone calls at times. He also had to write a letter of apology to her once that I made him hand deliver. [Fortunately for him, he had an awesome teacher. MrsP was extremely patient and really worked hard to help him last year.]

Anyway, toward the end of the year, he had really tried hard to control it and leave her alone. Over the summer, I've also reminded him that they will probably both be in the same class as they're both in the talented & gifted program. So he'd better deal with her being in his academic and social spheres.

About two weeks ago, out of the blue, he told me, "I think this year I'm going to try to make friends with [MissM]." I was shocked, but very psyched.

Last night, the school had a pre-back-to-school picnic. MissM's family lives near the school so I had hoped they'd be there. Pokemon Boy spent the first 30 minutes looking for her. I was so impressed with his resolve. So I called her mom's phone and left a message that we were there and Pokemon Boy had been looking for MissM. I also told her how he had decided to make friends with her.

So today, I got a call and it was MissM asking for Pokemon Boy! How stinkin' cute! I told her he'd call her when he got home. And of course got distracted and just now remembered. I just told him she had called so he called her back. They had a nice conversation (by the sound of it).

I'm just so proud of him that he made this decision. She really is such an awesome kid. The kind of kid you want your kid to be friends with. So this just makes me happy. Plus, I'm friends with her mom.

So stinkin' proud that my boy was able to overcome the whole "Boys Rule, Girls Drool" thing.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

You Know What's Fun?

What's fun is buying something off of Craigslist. And then working out on the phone where to meet. Because I watch enough CSI shows to know how it will end if I go to their house.

SellerDude: "Yah, I live right at the intersection of [iffy] and [questionable]."
Me: "Hmm...I'm not really familiar with that area. Is there somewhere nearby we could meet that might be closer to the highway?" [Unspoken: ...and closer to a populated area where screaming would actually draw attention?]
SellerDude: " you know where [big natural food store] is?"
Me [sighing with relief]: "Oh yah! I know that place!" [Unspoken: It's packed with affluent people that are willing to go into debt in order to eat organic! So they will undoubtedly protect me if you try to kill/rob me there! Yes yes! Let's meet THERE!]

I drove up, met him outside and purchased my item. And no one was killed.

[Confession: He was actually very sweet and helpful. I just like being a drama queen.]

Yes, it's FUN to buy things from Craigslist.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Friday @ The ER

For my friends on Facebook, they already saw the whole thing. But for my bloggy friends, here's how I spent my Friday.

On Friday, we watched my friend McV's five year old son, Lil'McV. He used to be Lil'Bro's classmate in preschool. They're still buds so it's always fun to have him for the day.

On the previous day, we had taken my boys, Lil'McV and a friend of Pokemon Boy to a really cool local indoor play scape - slash - coffee bar. It's awesome. It has tables, couches, TVs, a 3 level play scape, coffee, snacks, you name it. We only stayed there 3 hrs on Thursday but could have stayed the day.
This is the play scape part - a shot I took on Thursday.
And there's the part mom likes!

So on Friday, Lil'Bro woke up asking if we could go back to the play scape. So I grabbed my boys, Lil'McV and Pokemon Boy's neighbor pal, MissO. MissO's mom was going to meet us there later, after her grocery shopping. So with four kids in tow, off we went. We got there, I found a table with a good view of the play scape and the kids were off playing.

Pretty soon, one of MissO's church friends, Mrs.P came over, sat with me and chatted for a while. At one point, Lil'Bro came out to me with a bumped head. I kissed it and sent him on his way. About 5 minutes later, I hear Pokemon Boy sounding pretty upset saying, "Come this way [Lil'Bro]! Mom [Lil'Bro] is hurt!" I figured he bumped his head again and needed another kiss.

Another mom closer to where they were turned to me and said flatly, "There's blood!" Oh boy was there blood! Here comes Pokemon Boy leading his injured little brother. Lil'Bro had his hand to his forehead and was crying bloody murder. Blood was just streaming down from his forehead, over his eye, down his nose, down his chin. I walked over and just scooped him up.

I was able to pull his hand aside to see a nice 1 inch long gash just in his hairline, above his left eye. So I knew it was a clean gash, not all the way to the bone, not life threatening. Scalps bleed like crazy. So it looked WAY more dramatic than it really was. Since I knew he'd be ok and was just hurt and scared, I just went into mommy coping mode.

[A side note: if I thought I could have done it without being lynched by the other moms as cold and heartless, I totally would have taken a picture of his blood soaked face. Because - to be honest - it was SO cool! Go ahead. Judge me.]

Napkins. I need napkins or paper towels to press against this. The first napkin dispenser I hit is empty. The ladies room is right there so in I go. It only has a blowing hand drier. Muttering under my breath, I head back out. I meet a mom who very calmly asks, "Do you need help?" Yes. Find me something to stop this bleeding. She goes into mommy assisting a mommy coping mode. Which rocks. Because you're completely detached.

She told someone to get paper towels. She told someone else to get a first aid kit. She asked if I needed a phone. She was on the ball.

We got Lil'Bro sitting on a table. He's still crying - understandably. I get paper towels pressed to his forehead. I send Lil'McV to get my phone. I assure Pokemon Boy that Lil'Bro will live and send him off to play (ie - out of the way). Assistant Mommy is using paper towels and baby wipes to clean off Lil'Bro. [And mind you, everything we needed kept magically appearing because that is what happens when you have an injury in a room full of 20 or so moms.] Mrs.P stays close by to see if she's needed. I get my phone and call MissO's mom and ask her to abort her grocery shopping and come immediately.

An employee asks if I want to call 911. No. That'll freak Lil'Bro too much. I can drive him. He's just scared. MissO's mom says she'll be there right away. I call McV and leave a message that I'm leaving Pokemon Boy and MissO with Mrs.P until MissO's mom can get there. I will take Lil'McV with me to the ER. Lil'Bro will want the friend and Lil'McV didn't know any of these people.

So Assistant Mommy has Lil'Bro all cleaned up and is putting butterfly bandages on the wound (which are really just sticking to his hair but hey, it was a good idea). Then she turns to me as I'm on my multiple phone calls and hands me a wipe. I hang up and say, "Oh no, I'm good." She and another lady say, "Um...not really." As I look down, I realize I have blood all over my chest, neck and left upper arm. I really would have liked to have left it so I could walk into the ER and say, "You should see the OTHER mom!" But Family Fight Club jokes probably don't go over well in the ER. So I cleaned up.

This is what it looked like after that awesome Assistant Mom did her cleanup job.

I grabbed Lil'Bro and Lil'McV and head to the car. Pokemon Boy and MissO were left with Mrs.P. I didn't even have time to get Assistant Mom's name. She totally ROCKED and I would love to make her dinner. Ah well.

And because God was orchestrating the whole rescue, it "just so happened" that Lil'Bro's favorite comfort toy, Buddy, was in the car. Lil'McV handed it to him and Lil'Bro calmed down. So the crying turned to the occasional sniffle.

We went to the ER near my house. They rock there. Love them. Have seen them too frequently between my dad's health and Lil'Bro's nursemaid's elbow back in January.

They check him immediately and allow both me and Lil'McV to accompany him to his ER triage room. Lil'Bro was feeling better. I could tell because I kept having to tell Lil'McV and Lil'Bro to settle down so A) they wouldn't get hurt in the ER and B) so Lil'Bro wouldn't start bleeding again.
Lil'McV and Lil'Bro in the ER triage room, waiting to be seen.

After some numbing medicine and cleaning up, the doctor applied some derma-bond (basically Crazy Glue) to the injury and we were good to go.

A bandage with numbing gel:
Nurse G cleaned it up:
All clean and ready for some glue:
Buddy on board for moral support:
Get'n' glued:
All glued and good to go:
The buds still goofy and ready to get outta there!

He hasn't had head pain. He hasn't had bruising. He's been pretty much 100% since it happened. Today, he even had his swimming lesson. His hair in the front is a bit whacked because the glue has made some of it stick up. But all in all, it just looks like he has a cut in his hair line. The only thing that would tell of how bad it was are our bloody clothes that have been soaking in a vat of OxyClean for about a day.

So Lil'Bro has a good story to tell. Pokemon Boy totally did the awesome big brother helping little brother thing. Our friends and some total strangers rallied to our side. God made sure everything was in the right place to rock the rescuing!!!