Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's all in your head

I have suffered from migraines since I was 15. If you've never had one, consider yourself a very lucky person. Migraines are horribly debilitating. My doctor, at the time, did an adjustment on my back and neck to see if I had a pinched nerve (no, and also OMG my back was out of whack). He also sent me for a CT scan of my sinuses, which showed a cyst in the left cavity, just below my eye. My left eye is where I feel the most intense pain from my migraines. For a few years, I took beta blockers to help deal with the issue, but after awhile, they became ineffective. I distinctly remember attempting to take a college final when I had a migraine. It was not pleasant. You don't "live" with migraines. You try to survive them.

(On a side note, I had one of these yesterday and it freaked me the hell out and I thought I was dying)

Meg has been complaining for several months about headaches. I took her to the eye doctor after a routine school check showed her right eye to be "off". She is nearsighted, like her Mama, and we got her the cutest glasses.

The glasses, however, did not help with the headaches. So, today at her well-child checkup, I spoke to our doctor (the SAME doctor I had when I was 15!) about the headaches. They don't appear to be migraines (thank goodness) but they may be stress related. Considering I live with a child who worries about whether it might rain five days from now, stress related makes sense. Then I got to see him do the same back adjustment to her that he did to me many years ago (22 if you're keeping track of my old age). It was so bizarre. It brought back that first time that that he made my back go snap-crackle-pop. I was also insanely jealous because he can no longer adjust my neck because of the herniated discs and the arthritis (boohiss).

I hope that she never has to experience the awful pain of a migraine. I would give anything to protect her from that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sick Days

Something wicked this way comes (Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I)

It started a couple of weeks ago, with Megan complaining almost incessantly of a headache and an achy stomach. She is kind of a drama queen (oh what a bad, bad mother I am for saying that), and went about her daily life of school, piano practice, etc. The day after the Daddy-Daughter dance she was so beside herself that her head hurt that we forced her to take a nap. The next day she seemed better so we didn't come up with anything more than her being overtired.
Of course that next day was the day that Isabelle woke up feverish and couldn't manage to keep down her breakfast or a snack. She too complained of a headache, but a long nap cured her of what ailed her and she was back on her feet the same afternoon.

Oblivious that what ailed Isabelle was the same thing that ailed Meg, we went about our week last week. Until Thursday afternoon, when Drew started complaining of a headache. We went for a ride to the nursery to get ideas for our gardens, and on our way home he vomited all over the inside of my van. He spent ALL day Friday sleeping on my couch and limped his way through Saturday and most of Sunday. Then we realized that what Meg had had spread to the others.

Last night, we couldn't find Isabelle; we thought she was with the big kids playing, but no. She was in her bed, asleep. At 6:15. By 10:15 she was up, vomiting, again. She has spent today in and out of sleep on the couch. Annabelle, not to bed left out, has joined the ranks of the fallen with the fever, a headache and as AndreAnna calls it, "flowers".

My poor kids. I sat all day Friday with Drew on the couch while he burned up and slept. I sat all day today with Izzie while she burned up and slept. I made countless trips to the bathroom with Annie and tried to console her. I feel AWFUL for giving Meg such a hard time about all her complaining. I hate when my kids are sick and there isn't a damn thing I can do for them.

I think I'll take to wearing Lysol in a holster on my hip, garlic around my neck (who knows, it may work on more than just vampires) and giving alms to whoever we pissed off so that my kids can get healthy again. In the meantime, I need rest, coffee, rest and a vacation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Next Big Thing

I am not sad that Drew is going to kindergarten in September. I am not sad that Annie and Izzie will be attending preschool for 6 hours a week in September.

I'm pretty sure this makes me kind of a freak in the parenting world. Don't get me wrong. I'll cry when he gets on the bus that first day, but I know he'll be with Meg and she'll make sure he gets off the bus at his school before she heads on to hers. Annie and Izzie will be going to the same school and will be with each other, so while I'll shed a tiny tear, I'll be happy they're together to start their journey.

The reason that I'm not sad that my house will be a bit quieter in September isn't because I don't love my kids. It's not because I really want to clean my house without little hands and feet messing it up right behind me. And it's not because I just want to drink my coffee while it's hot and watch a little Today show (ok, well maybe a little of all of that because I'm only human!)

It's because the school experience is the next Big Thing. It's what I've been preparing them for since they could walk and talk. Not in overt ways like flash cards and workbooks, but in more subtle ways like reading to them and practicing letters and spelling word after word after word for them. Ways like counting rocks and and using fridge magnets to spell A-N-D-R-E-W.  Ways like giving them a hug at the door to the bus or in the doorway of school and saying "have a great day!"

I think what makes all of it easier for me is that I've been there and done that with Megan. I've put a child on the bus for the first time (and yes, I met that bus at the school and watched her walk in the door that first day). But, I've seen how she thrives in school. I know that I cannot give her what she gets from going to school every day. I feel that same way for Drew, Annie and Izzie. I believe I've given them the tools they need to start the next Big Thing. Of course I'll be here to help them if they stumble along the way, just as I've been with Meg. I'll support and encourage them, cheer their successes and wipe away their tears.

So if this makes me a freak in the parenting world, so be it. I know it's right for them, for all of us. And I can't wait to see how they spread their wings and fly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Things

It's school vacation week. Again. If you're keeping track, here in the Northeast the kids have vacation at Christmas, again in February, and one last time in April. I would love to say that I enjoy school vacations, but I simply do not. I enjoy not having to rush out the door every morning to either drive Meg and Drew to school or get Meg on the bus, but that is where the enjoyment ends. Meg hates school vacations. She'd rather be at school. So she is miserable for days on end and drags the rest of us down. It's really hard to be cheerful when your child is screaming how much she hates being home with you.

Today on this Patriot's Day (a holiday only for people in Maine and Massachusetts), here are happy things that make me cheerful:

My cell phone

Sharpies (and yes, I have almost every color imaginable)
My camera (Canon Rebel xsi DSLR)
Clean laundry
Smiling kids
Big hugs
This blog
Scrapbooking (this is all I use)
Did I mention coffee?

Do you have a list of happy things? I'd love to read about them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let's Dance!

Saturday night was the 4th Annual Daddy-Daughter dance for our school district. Meg and I had a very difficult time picking out a dress that wasn't too babyish or too slutty (my kid wears a size 16, which nearly pushes her to the Juniors department, which is so NOT appropriate for a 9 year old, ahem). We finally found the PERFECT dress at Target. It's a Liberty of London dress and just screamed Megan. I had to do a little tailoring (thank goodness for Home Ec class in 7th grade) to make the straps stay put and the bodice a little tighter, but it was exactly what we wanted.

She has grown up so much since the first Daddy-Daughter dance when she was a kindergartener.

She's such a grown up girl. I am already dreading the teenage years! (Oh, and Meg is totally standing on the top of the porch and Doug is one step down in that last picture, but I'm pretty sure that's what she's going to look like in another 5 years).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party!

It's that time again! 5MinutesforMom's Ultimate Blog Party is here!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Welcome! I'm Kristin and I'm the relatively sane Mama of four kids~Meg, Drew, Annie and Izzie. I love a good book, hot coffee and peace and quiet (so, two out of three isn't bad!).  I've been married to my husband Doug for almost 12 years, but we've been together for 19 years.We live in Maine, surrounded by trees and not much else, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Meg is 9 years old, a 3rd grader with a love of books, music, hockey and softball.  She's pretty well-rounded for such a young thing.

Drew is 5 years old and will be entering kindergarten in the fall. He loves hockey, dogs, cars, dinosaurs and dirt, like any good boy should.

Annie is 3 and loves giving hugs, snuggling her stuffed cow Mooie and coloring.

Izzie is Annie's twin sister. She loves lambs. I mean, really, really loves lambs.

It's a crazy life, but it's my life. Won't you stay awhile and visit?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


It's been awhile since I've done some Open Letters. This should be fun.

Dear Annie:

I love your hugs. They are truly the loveliest hugs in the world. What I do not love though, is your insistence that you are the boss of this house. It's dinnertime when I tell you to get in your seat, not when you feel like it.  When I tell you to put on your shoes so that we can get Meg to the bus on time, it's not a negotiation. As you've seen, Mama will just throw you in your seat shoeless and go about her business. Let's get on the same page here and make everyone happy, ok?

Love, your tired, overworked and very underpaid Mama

Dear Izzie:

You are a great snuggler. I love it when you curl up in my arms and coo. What I do not love is your insistence on breaking things~your bed, toys, books, crayons. You will end up with nowhere to sleep, nothing to play with and nothing to read or color. Do you really want to challenge me on that? Where are your blocks? Oh yes, in the garage, taken away due to your inability to treat them nicely. Let's get on the same page here and make everyone happy, ok?

Love, your tired, overworked and very underpaid Mama

Dear Drew:

You can be the sweetest, most loving little boy a Mama has ever known. I love that Drew with all my heart. What I do not love is the Drew who throws toys at me and his sisters, who hits, who screams "I hate you Mama" at the drop of a hat and who is generally irritable from sun up until sundown. That Drew can find a short pier and take a long walk. Bring back the good boy that I love, ok?

Love, your tired, overworked and very underpaid Mama

Dear Meg:

You will always be my little girl even if you are getting closer every day to being as tall as me. I love you to the moon and back. But for the love of coffee (and Mama loves her coffee), could you please please please stop acting like a baby every time I ask you to do something or you don't get exactly what you want the veryminuteyouaskforit? Your crying and carrying on is enough to make me go postal and quite honestly, that takes too much energy. You are such a smart kid, so let's get on the same page and make everyone happy, ok?

Love, your tired, overworked and very underpaid Mama

Dear Sheldon:

No more nights away from the house ok? Your big kids were so worried about you and I can't deal with all the crying and carrying on because you've disappeared into the woods where the coyotes live. So remember not to piss off the hands that feed you and come in at night.

Love, yo Mama