Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thirty Three Things

My brother, Mark turns 33 today.
He’s a newlywed.
He was married by Elvis. In Vegas.
They live in PA.
I miss them, a lot.
He’s a rock star. No, literally.
He writes his own songs.
He’s the Lead Singer of Absolution.
He can also play drums and guitar.
He took in a very battered dog.
And nursed him back to life. A happy one.
He broke my finger once.
I deserved it for trying to push him down the stairs.
We fought something awful as kids.
I regret that now. I think he does too.
He busted up the basement floor with a hammer.
We worked at 3 different restaurants together.
Mark was Hubs’ friend first.  
He didn’t want us to date.
He was the Best Man in our wedding.
He doesn’t care for his name.
He loves tattoos.
And piercings.
He was too smart for school.
So he’d get bored.
He loved Legos as a kid. And could build and build.
As a kid, he took everything he could apart.
He skis, and snowboards, and loves snow tubing.
He played basketball and soccer as a kid.
My kiddos adore Uncle Mark.
He’ll be a wonderful Dad some day.
He married his soul mate. You can see it. 
I love him more than he knows.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Hunt for Pluto Continues

As our two week (so far) hunt for Poor Poor Pluto continues, we received a wonderful surprise yesterday.

To take you back, JP’s Doctor (PA, actually) suggested we find a new Pluto. So far, JP still carries around the old one. He has had several baths and myself and some Mommy friends have agreed Poor Poor Pluto is probably fine.

In our hunt, in at least a dozen WalMarts to date, no luck on finding him. However, I did get information off the back of Mickey from the same style/family of products (or so we thought) in WalMart’s baby section and I wrote them an email.

To my delight I received a return email from Gail at Just Play Products. She offered to help and asked if I would call her. I did.

Gail and I figured out (mostly Gail) that our Poor Poor Pluto was from a line of toys that were made by another company before Just Play Products even began business a year ago. Just Play Products now makes the Mickey, Minnie, Eyeore, Tigger, Pooh, and Aristocats in the baby section, but no Pluto. Evidently Pluto is being phased out from the WalMart Baby Section (that’s my assumption, not fact yet). We’re not exactly sure why. And by the time I’m through I’m thinking WalMart may have a demand for him from all my Twitter and Facebook friends.

So, back and forth Gail and I went through email trying, with little luck, to find our Poor Poor Pluto. I was so thankful for Gail from the beginning:

“Thank you so much for your help! Being in Customer Service myself, you've made my day for helping and researching our dilemma. I know that you very easily could have said "not ours" and moved on and yet you've been so helpful! Thank you so much for your kindness.”

Gail has been almost as relentless as I have with locating Poor Poor Pluto. She sent pictures to her creative team, searched their files, but alas, they didn’t make our Poor Poor Pluto.

So what did Gail do? She STILL didn’t give up:

“Not a problem at all….we’re a toy company. Bringing smiles to kid’s faces is our job!

And apparently her passion! Determined to make my kiddo smile she over-nighted us a box. It arrived yesterday. 

Thank you, Gail. Thank you for your kindness, your determination, your heartfelt way to my kiddo’s smile. It means the world to me that you would go out of your way to help, just because. There is a special place in Heaven for Givers. And, one day, my Friend, we will meet in person there. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Don't Know

I snapped at my kiddos too much today.

Out of my frustration with my Hubs. I know they have nothing to do with it. And I know as soon as I do that I'm an ass.

Hubs and I barely talk. He doesn't get me. I don't understand him. I am unable to accept the fact that he won't change and I won't budge either.

Not really sure where to go from here.

All I do know is I can't snap at my kiddos for it. :(

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Somewhere around 11 the Pediatrician came in to talk to us. JP had yet to have any food but had managed to keep two popsicles safe at home in his belly. His Pulse Ox was still a little too low while he slept but it was nice and steady when he was awake. We were told to order some breakfast and see how that settled.

The Ped also told me that we were taking this slowly and that I wasn’t to get my hopes up about going home that day. That maybe it just might be better to wait and see.

Hubs arrived back to the Hosiple around lunch time with Pluto that had gone home for a bath and sent me upstairs to the Ronald McDonald Room for a shower. They even gave me a toiletry kit. After a refreshing shower I hit the cafeteria for some dinner/breakfast/lunch whatever you want to call it since I really hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before (it’s ok, I have some stored up like a bear).

To my surprise when I returned Hubs had been given the ok for discharge and we were now just waiting on paperwork and final preparations. I was not overly thrilled. I was not overly optimistic. And….. I was not happy.

We packed up and got ready for discharge. Don’t forget our Pluto. Our escort, AJ, was the highlight of our Hosiple stay and I wish we had met him sooner.

When we arrived at our car, we began to hear our name being chanted by a volunteer chasing after us. She got to us and joked that when she heard we were with AJ she knew she better hustle. She handed us two gift bags. Inside them were coloring books, crayons, a soft little puppy dog and a get well card. The card was signed by Lisa & Jeff and was a much needed surprise from a very stressful hosiple stay. JP rode home with the puppy in his lap and the card in his hand. I rode home admiring the new friendships we have built in the past few years.   

We arrived home by 5 and JP and I were in bed by 7:30; until 11pm and then again somewhere around 3, having missed our bucket. Nothing like changing sheets, spot cleaning carpets, running laundry and taking a hot steamy shower in the middle of the night to make you wish you were sleeping on a cot in a Hosiple room.

By 10:30 the next morning (or is that considered that morning?), we were back in the Peds Office trying to figure out why we just couldn’t kick this. The Peds Assistant prescribed a steroid for the cough and told us that the fever could last until Sunday. Anything after that would warrant another call to them.

Slowly, but surly, we have moved past the fever and the vomiting and are now left with a residual cough. We are continuously being asked if JP feels better.

Today he told PopPop, while eyeing the cookies on the dining room table “when I was in the Hosiple, all I wanted was a tookie, Pop.”

I think he’s feeling much much better.

Yo Yo AJ

AJ is the Fourth Ranked Yo Yo Champion in the Nation.

He picked us up at our room and saw we already had our wagon packed. He asked if I was going to drive or if he was. I said I would and he broke into his true talent. He began to walk backwards down the hall as he Yo-Yo’ed his way to the elevator. Without missing a beat he talked and Yo-Yo’ed and even hit the elevator buttons all with Mommy & JP’s eyes glued to the Yo-Yo.

I was mesmerized. JP seemed to like it but did want to just get the heck out of there so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the mesmerized.

As we arrived to the first floor, I asked AJ about his experiences, his competitions, and where he learned to Yo-Yo so well. He said he’s been Yo-Yo’ing since he was little and said that JP could even take a lesson on Saturdays at Yo-Yo Joe’s.

“Yo-Yo Joe’s?!” I asked! I follow them on Twitter! I’ve even chatted with Joe a few times back and forth. AJ told me he hangs out there whenever he can and he and the owner are friends. Small Town Delaware at it again!

Once outside I insisted Hubs come around this side of the Mommy Van and get a look at AJ and his Yo-Yo Talent! He too, was mesmerized. This guy was remarkable! Astounding! I could not get over the talent this one man had in the movement of a Yo-Yo.

Besides the fact that AJ had this amazing talent, the guy was the most popular guy in the hallways! I watched him talk to the Valets, the Nurses, the patients. He even grabbed on regular patient’s wheelchair from behind and move him slightly. The kid immediately knew who had done that. It was AJ!

As we climbed into the van, I suddenly felt cheated that he hadn’t come around to the room to entertain us during our hosiple stay. Ok, ok: entertain me.

AJ, thank you, for taking my mind of our (too early in my opinion) discharge from the hosiple. You are the happiest person I have met in a long time!

We Were In the Hosiple

When we pulled in to the parking lot, the Peds Office was calling. The results of the Chest XRay had not shown pneumonia and were no cause for concern. However, the Ped confirmed what the Nurse had suggested: if we felt there was cause for concern, we go. Well, good, cause we’re here.

I love AI DuPont Hospital for Children. They know Children. Like the back of their hand (with a sticker on it).

Hubs dropped us off at the door and I carried JP in, still a little groggy from the ride. We were greeted immediately and after only giving our names and “what seems to be the problem,” were issued wrist bands and sent to the Triage Nurse. JP was given a pulse ox monitor on his finger and our Nurse listened to his chest (“do you know he has a Heart Murmur?”).

We were sent back to the waiting room and waited patiently with our ziplock bag (no traveling bucket) for an open bed. Within 20 minutes (TOPS) we were walked back to a private room in the ER. Nurse Heather got us set up in the room with blankets and the pulse ox and even some oxygen through the mask eventually. She asked so many questions. So did the other 7-8 people throughout the 8 hours.

Somewhere around 8pm our Auntie Trinity came to sit with us. She talked to us, brought us snacks, laughed a little, held my hand, and lent herself to us for support. She was there for us. And it was so much appreciated.

Battling with Oxygen masks, vomit, sleepiness, sadness, impatience, and pure exhaustion we were playing a waiting game. Wait to see if JP’s Oxygen numbers go up. Wait to see if his popsicle and pedialyte stay down. Wait to see if we should have another chest XRay. Wait to see if he improves. Wait, wait, wait.

By 11pm Nurse Heather was telling us JP would be staying the night. She sent the Doctor in to talk with us. They never really said what he would be admitted for, specifically. Just that we were being admitted. They did tell us that he would have to be tested for RSV to decide which floor his room would be on. Nurse Heather explained the test, listened to his chest again (“do you know he has a Heart Murmur?”) and then went to get the syringe.

That. Was. Awful. Nurse Heather had me hold JP down at the belly while her coworker (a technician, I guess) held his head still. Daddy held JP’s feet. OH MY GAWD! Turns our JP’s entire right nostril and sinus cavity were packed solid and he was getting no air through there. That was part of his breathing problem.

Vomiting blood, JP tears, Mommy tears, lots of hugs and kisses and 40 minutes later, we were told the other problem. The Doctor from upstairs came to meet us and explain to us the RSV floor. He would be going to the RSV floor and would be considered “safe contact.” Meaning, all the nurses and doctors handling him would be wearing gowns and gloves and for us not to be alarmed. I stared at her with a puzzled blank stare. She noticed. She stopped and asked if anyone had come in with the results from JP’s RSV test. Um, nope. She also asked if anyone had said anything about an IV. Um, nope.

He did, in fact, have RSV. And he did, in fact, need an IV. Immediately.

That. Was. Awful. Nurse Heather again had me hold down my baby but this time me at his head, Daddy at his feet, the technician on one side and Nurse Heather on the IV side. She diligently searched for the best place to stick my baby. She searched for probably almost 10 minutes. She wanted to be sure. I was very appreciative of that. The Technician held JPs arm so taught I thought JP was going to rip it out off. The rest of his body was flailing in anger and yet his arm never moved. It was a terrible sight for Mommy and Daddy to see. Terrible. I hated it. We had been given the option to wait in the hallway and I refused. No way was I not going to be there for my babe.

Each time I was forced to comfort JP I would break into a round of our new favorite thinking game. A month or so ago, JP, Madi and I began this game of “Name Five Things.” Name five things that smell, name five things that are green, name five things that we wash, name five things that are made of water, etc. We all love to get the conversations going with this game. Most of the times I tried, it seemed to work with JP. If it didn’t I’d switch to a story about his upcoming birthday or a story about his baby days. It was hard to comfort through my own tears. But we all managed.

We arrived in our room just before 3am and got settled in, as much as you can in a hospital. Daddy drove home to check on the doggies and get some rest while I stayed with JP. I slept from 4-6am and then napped again from 10-11am. I was so worried JP would wake up and not know where he was.

After all, we were in the Hosiple.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It Began Slowly

It began last Monday. Well, really it began a little earlier but it got bad on Monday.

We were on our way to Basketball practice and JP wasn’t feeling well. Last minute I decided to call Pop Pop and ask if JP could relax there instead of going to the germ incubator, also known as the gym.

When I picked JP up after practice he was burning up and had not gotten off Pop’s couch the entire time. He was definitely sick. I got him home and onto the futon so I could unpack the car, let the dogs out, get Madi going on homework, let the dogs in, find the thermometer, get a bucket, get a blanket… oh, I digress.

His temperature was 103.2. I called Hubs at work. He had already told me if would be a late night so I wanted to let him know that I would need him soon for some decision making. We agreed on Motrin and to call the Doc. Well, ok, he said that. I wanted to go to AI right then, no questions asked, do not pass go, blah, blah, blah.

I called into our Peds Office and left a message for the Doc on Call. He called back within 15 minutes. He agreed with the Motrin and keep an eye on him and we could call in the morning if we wanted but it sounded pretty much like the regular cold of the week. He said he had even seen some 104s and 105s.

I put JP to bed soon after and throughout the night had the luxury of getting up with him for some bucket holding. Once that night he actually made it to the potty and I was so proud of my future Frat boy for being such a trooper hunched over the bowl.

In the morning, he was warm but seemed to be a little better and played with some toys and games with Daddy when Mommy went to work.

That night, high fever again and the determination that we were going to the Peds one way or another the following morning. No bucket issues but the fever was still present, even with the Motrin and the cough was getting worse.

After calling the Peds and waiting around for a call back I finally caved and dragged my butt to work. As soon as I arrived Hubs was calling telling me we had an appointment and JP was insisting I take him. Duh, of course. I hurried back home (so much so I was still logged on and my office unlocked when I finally returned almost a week later).

Our Peds office listened to his chest (“do you know he has a Heart Murmur?”) and did a throat culture for Strep. Our Nurse brought the results back in as a prescription for a Chest XRay: Strep Negative, possible pneumonia.

That was ALL I needed to hear. Mommy went into silent panic.

JP was again a little trooper, this time for the XRays, a first for him. And with only one trip to the potty, thinking he was getting sick, we did good.

We returned home but not after getting a cheeseburger for an insistent JP. Of course it came up. And then again. And again.

By 4:15 my impatience was getting the best of me so I called the Peds for the results of the XRay. I told them I was actually ready to take JP to the Emergency Room and the Nurse interrupted and said that may be best. In hindisight, I realize she probably said that because they never try to talk a parent out of the hospital if that’s what the parent wants to do. Insurance and safety and malpractice reasons and all. However, then, that made me want to go even more. If a Nurse was agreeing with me, that was all I needed. Plus she said the XRay wouldn’t show dehydration and if that was a concern then we should go.

Hubs immediately called PopPop. While I ran upstairs, threw some clothes and a toothbrush in a bag and grabbed Pluto. Can’t get to the Hospital wthout Pluto, now can we? I threw a bag together for Madi, too, knowing that even if we weren’t admitted an ER visit could last hours and we could just let Madi sleep comfortably at PopPop’s until the next day.

I ran next door to the neighbors and cried in their foyer as I asked them to take care fo my dogs. We have THE best neighbors.

Pop arrived not long after and packed Madi in the car. He gave me hugs and kisses and promised everything would be ok. Off we went, too.

JP slept the entire ride.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Has a Sad

Before I was a Mom, I would have slapped you if you told me I'd be upset over throwing away a chair.

That it would be the chair I nursed both my babies in. The chair I brought one baby home from the NICU to and another baby home from Peds to.

That I would sit for hours night after night in said chair just listening to my babies breath. For no other reason than to listen.

That I'd beg these babies' Daddy over and over to fix it one more time before giving up on it.

That it would be the chair full of such great memories and also trying times through two infancies.

That it would hold so many tears, both of joy and frustration and even sometimes of pain.

That I would be so attached to a chair that I would be crying just taking a picture of that chair by the curb, covered in this winter's first dusting of snow.

I would have never believed you.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Poor Poor Pluto

Mommy is on the hunt again. Poor Pluto survived his face to face with Daisy but alas, he may not survive being admitted to the Hospital this week.

It has been suggested to us that Poor Poor Pluto may need to be replaced. We have given Poor Poor Pluto several washing machine baths this week but Poor Poor Pluto can and should only survive being vomitted on so many times. I mean, really, how many times can you?

When JP brought back his red hospital Popsicle before we were admitted, Poor Poor Pluto was in the line of fire.
Then he had a bath.

When JP brought back pancakes two mornings later, Poor Poor Pluto was in the line of fire.
Another bath.

When JP brought back graham crackers & juice that same day, Poor Poor Pluto was again in the line of fire.
I think you get the idea.

Yesterday evening we took a much needed ride away from our isolation at home and got some fresh air. In the process we hit two Wally Worlds in search of a new baby Pluto. To no avail.

In fact, at the first stop all of the wonderful friends in the same category with Poor Poor Pluto that used to be for sale like this...

were now tossed aside 
in bins like this...

Poor Poor Pluto. 

Would you be so kind as to check your local WallyWorld for Baby Pluto?

Santa: What Were You Thinking?

Dear Santa,

You really didn't think this one through. An Easy Bake Oven? Ugh. My kiddos have baked with me using the real oven. They know how to use a mixer (with my assistance), they can crack an egg (look the other way when I grab that piece of shell), and they can read a recipe. 

They also require a little more cookie dough than this EBO supplies. Well, ok, that's totally my complaint.  We waited 20 minutes to warm up the EBO, 9 minutes for the baking, and 5 minutes for the cooling. Seriously, how long do you think a 7yo girl and a 3.5yo BOY will stand by "patiently?"

The cookies were yummy, according to the kiddos. I would have tried one of my own if there had been more than 11 nickel sized chocolate chip cookies made. I honestly didn't have the heart to take one away from them. They were gone in three chews, 15 seconds flat.

What in the world were you thinking (with all due respect)?

Kicking Herself Repeatedly,


Saturday, January 7, 2012

#FansForTrinity Page

Thanks to an amazingly genius friend we now have a centralized location for information related to Trinity and her Moyamoya brain surgeries. 

Please help.


Friday, January 6, 2012

He Loves Me, He Really Loves Me

This week has been HELL. I want a do over. But...

In the mix of it all, when Hubs left JP and I at the Hospital Wednesday night (I think it was Wednesday, what's today?), he tweeted this:

you are the worlds best mother and wife. Our kids are so lucky to have you as their mother. I am so proud of the way you take care of our children! ❤

I BALLED. Like, get out of warm blankets, find my way quietly across the room, don't wake JP or the roomie, hopefully see where I am going, just to get the tissues, BALLED. 

I love you too, Babe.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mush for Brains

Last week I was texting back and forth with a good friend about her sick 2nd grader. Fever, rash, all of it. I talked her down, or like to think maybe I helped, from a worry ledge. She was ready to believe the poor thing had Scarlett Fever. (Never Google symptoms, Mommies! Never!!)

This week, I'm mush. My kiddo is sick. 103.2 fever, severe coughing and Miserable, with a capital M. And what do I do? Start texting and tweeting everyone I know for answers and decisions I'm at a loss for as his Mommy.

Why is that? Why do we know exactly what to do when it's not our own kiddo? How come it's so much worse, so much more extreme and panicky and emergencyish (I know that's not a word) when it comes to our own? I practically had the mommy van warming up for a trip to AI Dupont when I was searching for all the answers.

I gave in and called our on call doctor. That's what they're there for, right? I mean, they know going through medical school that they will no longer belong to their own family and they become 24/7/365 on call, right? Well, we give them a day off now and then but they get no advanced warning of when that day is. They'll find out the next day when they realize "oh, wow! No calls yesterday!"

Anyway, I called him. Left my panicked message and then rambled out phone numbers as fast as I could. They have practice at Mommy translation. He called back within ten minutes and made me feel better. Continue the Ibuprofen every 6 hours, plenty of fluids, rest, and if any trouble breathing between coughing fits call him back immediately.

JP is now resting on the futon behind me and has had a few sips of water each time he moves around. Six hours from when he had his last dose will be about 1am. Hopefully, I can check his temp before then.

Shut up! I know that's what all of my fellow Mommies on Twitter and texting told me. BUT, he's a DOC-TOR!