Thursday, January 29, 2009

Running out of gas...literally

I should probably post something because I haven't done so in awhile. OK, how's this: I ran out of gas tonight with 7 kids in the car. We were coming home from dinner and my car wouldn't accelerate up Michillinda Ave. I'm confused by this because my "low fuel level" light had not come on although my fuel gauge indicator was low. I thought I had easily 10 miles before I ran out. I've never run out of gas before. I pulled to the side of the road and tried to start the car again but it wouldn't go. So, I get out and tell the kids to stay in the car and I lock it and I charge uphill towards home. I made good time and ran in the house to tell Tim we had to leave right away to get the kids. I thought there was something wrong with the engine. So, we get to the kids and the car and I get all the kids out and put them into Tim's car. Tim gets into the Suburban and determines that it was out of gas. We take two trips to shuttle all the kids back home. We finally arrive home and then I go out and get gas and Tim and I fill up my car and we both head home.
Sigh....I guess there's a first time for everything. Everyone was ok and I learned my lesson. Always fill up before I think I need gas. I actually was going to get gas at Costco the day before but some rude old guy rushed me and I nudged Daisy into the car where she got her fingers smashed in the door. I rushed home and bypassed the fill up I was intending to get. So, always some measure of drama sorrounds me. Why is that? Why does my life always have an element of drama? Huh? I want to know why. Perhaps because I get bored and have a rather mischievous, I mean adventurous spirit to keep me satisfied about life. Why do you think I had six kids? Never a dull moment! I like it that way - most of the time. Except when I'm tired. And not early in the morning. And not when I have important things to do. And not when I have PMS. And not when - well you get the idea.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Typical Tuesday Evening at 7:52 pm

"Tim, Daisy got hold of Leanne's lunch for tomorrow and is eating it in her bedroom. Could you go get it from her?" Tim is perched over a map of the San Gabriel mountains with a highlighter on our bedroom floor plotting his next big 18-mile hike."OK," he says absentmindedly as I walk off towards Julia's room to see if she's still crying in her crib. At this point I encounter Chloe wrapped up in her comforter on the couch. "Please go brush your teeth and take your fluoride, Chloe. It's tme for bed. We've just finished your stories." "But I'm sleepy," she whines. "OK, well go to the bathroom and brush you teeth and then go to bed." "Ohhh..."she whines as I pick her off the couch and set her on her feet.

"I can't find my folder for co-op tomorrow," Elena complains.

"Well you leave your stuff all over the floor all the time. It's not my responsibility to help you look," replies Camille.

"But then we can't go to Madeline and Olivia's to watch American Idol tonight."

"Well I've looked for it and I can't find it. I've already helped you."

"Girls," I interject, "if you don't stop complaining neither of you will go."


"No whining!"

"Mom, I haven't had my dessert yet," Leanne informs me.

"OK," I say, "get your dessert."

"But I need help scooping my ice cream into the bowl."

"Where is my folder!? I left it here on this desk yesterday - I think..."

"Why do you always lose your things, Elena?!"

Daisy is crying at this point because I've just gone into her bedroom and noticed that Leanne's gummy things from her lunch are all over the floor. I've reprimanded her for getting into her sister's lunch and have taken most of the gummy things away from her and thrown them out. Didn't we just eat dinner like an hour ago? I don't see Tim anywhere at this point. I think he took the lunchbox to the kitchen already but this package of sticky things escaped his notice, perhaps because Daisy was hiding them from him!
Julia seems to have settled down, however. Chloe is brushing her teeth. Elena and Camille continue to bicker about the lost writing folder.
I'm looking at the clock thinking about the craziness that bedtime is at our house sometimes. I'm dreaming of the hour of quiet that I hope I have after all the kids are in bed or off to their friend's house. It can't come soon enough!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Quiet Monday Evening

Well, here I am sitting at my computer and it's a relatively quiet Monday night. Tim is out with Elena and Camille working on math and science, Leanne is eating ice cream, and our other littlest girls are all asleep. Camille was admitted to Children's Hospital last Wednesday night and was released on Friday morning. The MRI showed signs of a bone infection, but the docs at CHLA didn't see that. She got a full workup, though, and different antibiotics than before and they finally diagnosed her with a Group A strep infection. Her leg is back to normal with very little tenderness. Her gloomy mood has dissipated, although she feels sorry for herself because I've restricted her diet to less processed foods and sweets because of all the antibiotics she received.I'm trying to avoid an overgrowth of super yeast in her body. This newer diet has been the hardest part for her but I believe it's for her good. Being a Mom makes me very unpopular at times.

So, now the New Year has begun with medical drama that seems to have settled down. What's next? I'm almost waiting for the other shoe to drop and I hate to think that way. I keep telling myself that all these various issues with my kids is part of having a large family. I'm in the midst of everything right now, but I'll look back and rememeber these times fondly, right? "Enjoy them when they're little" old ladies have always told me. Yes, I do, but sometimes I'm just a little weary. Julia has begun solids, slowly. She seems ready for them, but not overly enthusiastic. So, I'm going slowly. Her bright, sweet, adoring smile melts my heart. I'm so glad I'm all done having kids and that I ended with her. What a perfect baby to have as my last. She's generally happy, although teething has been hard on her lately. She's got the prettiest smile and the chubbiest body. She's snuggly and lovable and so happy most of the time. God has been good to our family.

I don't have much else to write at this time, perhaps because I've got the gloomies currently. The perfect remedy for that is to do some gardening! The weather has been so beautiful here lately and the skies so blue. I found my little shovel and am aiming to dig some holes for pansies and cyclamen. I will buy the flowers once I've got the holes dug so I can stick them right in the ground. I can't tell you how many times I've bought flowers and have not planted them because I had not dug the holes first. So, a couple of holes a day should allow me to plant maybe a dozen or so flowers by the end of the week. I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sitting in the ER...on New Year's Day...500 miles from home

Need I say more? Well, of course I should. It started with severe pain in Camille's left leg on Monday, December 30th. I ran her in to my pediatrician's partner, the very capable and professional Dr. Martinez. He saw nothing but a tiny bug bite and a small red rash, but prescribed Bactrum just in case because that will treat a staph infection. The next day we're about to set sail on our 500-mile drive to Grass Valley (1 hour east of Sacramento) to spend New Year's with Tim's mom. Camille's leg has this angry red rash right up to her knee and she feels feverish. I take a "wait-and-see" approach and by the time we arrive at Joan's I tell Tim that we'll call first thing in the morning to Dr. Martinez if the rash hasn't subsided. The next morning the rash, obviously, hadn't subsided. So off to the ER every day for four days to see four different doctors and get two different kinds of IV antibiotics mixed in with concern and confusion on the looks of the doctors' faces. Her ankle had swelled considerably after the first round of antibiotics and there was talk of admitting her if the swelling didn't come down. It did come down, thank God.

I must say that getting care at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley was a very good experience. Every nurse, doctor, and administrator was wonderful, professional, and very kind. I was amazed that with how busy it was most days I always felt like they made Camille a priority and were very sympathetic to her and responsive to all of my questions. Camille was very patient with the whole ordeal and didn't complain at all. She was pleasant and calm throughout every situation she was in. There were some interesting occurrences, however....

So, I'm getting old and jaded. On day 2 we got "Newbie Doc" whose last name rhymes with "goon." This was literally his first day in the ER having just finished his residency like, last week. I could swear I saw his lunchbox that his Mommy packed him in his "DOCTOR LOCKER." (This is the jaded part.) Now, when all was said and done and after many conversations and consults with my sister and dad (medical people), it turned out that Newbie Doc's antibiotic was the preferred choice for Camille's symptoms. It was his zealous confidence, though, that made me question him more than the seasoned ER docs who looked more puzzled and pensive. I did note some serious misinformation he gave me that I felt was from his inexperience. He was nice, though, and every doctor has to have that first day with patients to "cut their teeth" on. The bite marks don't hurt too badly, though because I went to my Dad the following day and had him re-examine Camille's ankle, refute Newbie Doc's assessment, and talk to Dr.Martinez about his recommendation for an MRI. Hopefully, Camille won't have an infection in her ankle joint which could give her arthritis in her ankle for the rest of her life. Ouch! I'm praying this isn't so. Tomorrow we'll find out.

And then there were the barfers....While waiting in the ER in the far corner near the door as far away from all the sick people as we could be, I saw barfing people. It sounded and looked horrible, but I did have compassion on them. On both days I brought each barfer a box of Kleenex. On the last day we were there every bed was full so Camille got her IV out in the hall in front of the nurses station and right next to the doors that opened to 37 degree weather bringing in ambulance patients. Our nurse, Patrick, who kind of pranced around, commented that the barfer in one of the exam rooms "made his (twinkle) toes curl" at the sound of wretching. We laughed and agreed. What is it about that sound of barfing, I mean, full-on puking, that is so "unsettling?" I'm just glad it wasn't me or Camille. Anyway, Patrick was also a traveling nurse who was very competent at his job and well-respected at the hospital. I was glad to hear that there are some traveling nurses who give that kind of nursing job a good name.
So, off to the MRI place we go. I'll keep you posted on her results. I must comment, though, that Anthem Blue Cross and Facey Medical Foundation have been amazingly competent and extremely helpful so far. I'm grateful for incredible insurance that is due to the fact that Tim works for LAUSD. There is a lot of grief associated with working for LAUSD to be sure, but their medical benefits aren't part of it. Thank you Lord!