Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Child’s School Does Not Need to Know What Medications I’m Taking

Yesterday my 7-year-old brought home an assignment that was to be completed with the students’ families and returned to school the next day. We’ve had many of these over the years. We’ve decorated turkeys, created timelines, and made family trees. I know the assignments are just to encourage families to do something together. For some kids, I’m sure it offers some much-needed interaction with their parents. However, we do things together as a family continually, and searching for feathers, buttons, felt, and markers to decorate a turkey isn’t a fun activity; it’s a pain in the butt. Nevertheless, we participate anyway. Yesterday’s assignment was a little different. When I read the instructions I was left a bit dumbfounded. And by ‘dumbfounded’, I mean I was saying, “What the crap? This can’t be real!” See for yourselves:

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Before I was a Mom (27 Things I Remember from my Pre-Mom Days)

29702_395039105115_7736738_nI love being a mom and wouldn't trade it for the world. I honestly have a hard time remembering what life was like before I had kids. My oldest child will be 19 this week, and considering I can't even remember what I had for breakfast, it's not surprising I can't remember those pre-mom days from nearly 2 decades ago.  

Before I was a mom…

my jeans fit.

I drove a Mustang, not a church van.

there weren’t any fruit snacks smashed into the seatbelts in my car.

there weren’t any drawings on the furniture in my house.

I had never tried the delicacy of a chicken nugget.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Beauty is Pain (the things we women do in the name of glamour)

A couple days ago I posted the following status on Facebook. Lunging around the house to loosen up my jeans. In a matter of minutes, I had 195 likes and many comments saying, "Been there, done that." All by women. One man said, "Or, you could just do what guys do... we buy pants that actually fit us." Clearly, he doesn't understand how this works. We can't just buy a bigger pair. That's like giving up. We're not quitters! We will do what it takes to fit into that pair of jeans or die trying. And that's not all. Here are some of the things we do on a regular basis to look bee-you-tee-ful. 

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Friday, October 4, 2013

I Can do Home Maintenance! (Sort of. Mostly.)

image: WikiCommonsAfter my amazing job of fixing my washing machine (you can read all about it here), I’ve come to the conclusion that I can fix anything. I’m awesome. I’m amazing. Home Maintenance is my middle name! I’m like Bob Vila! Or Ty Pennington! Or some other astonishing home improvement guy! Or Ty Pennington (he deserves to be mentioned twice because he’s Ty Pennington!)

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image: wiki commons

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

For the Love of the Sport - Part Two

I just wrote about how I’ll let my son play football despite the possibility of injuries. I mean, I just wrote it! Literally one day after I wrote that blog post, my child was injured. It wasn’t my football-playing son who was injured, however. It was my cheerleading daughter. Last night, while at practice, she fell doing a basic stunt. Her team does some really crazy stunts that scare me, but last night it was just a very basic lift that went wrong. From a height of about 5-6 feet in the air, Lexi fell backwards. It happens so fast when a flyer falls. About all they can do is trust their bases and spotters to catch them. Last night, Lexi’s bases and back spotter failed to catch her or even cushion her blow. She hit the ground, landing on her shoulder which jammed into her neck with nothing but an inch of foam to help soften the impact.

She lay there, crying, struggling to breathe, moaning about the pain in her shoulder and her neck, then taking great gulps of air and crying that her neck hurt to breathe. Immediately her coaches held her head still and kept her stationary while trying to ascertain where her injury was, and how serious it was. Her right shoulder appeared a little deformed and swollen, but even more concerning was the pain in her neck.

I left the bleachers and made my way onto the field, not aware of how badly she was hurt at first. I mean, I’ve seen her fall dozens of times. In fact, she’d fallen several times earlier that night and each time, she stood up and got right back up in the stunt. When I reached her, I knew immediately how badly she was hurt.

After a few minutes that seemed like forever, the coaches (one of whom is a nurse), called the ambulance. Lexi’s neck pain was scary. Seriously scary. So scary, in fact, that I didn’t even notice the paramedics! Right away they put a collar around her neck to stabilize her head, and strapped her to a board before lifting her to the stretcher.

As the paramedics wheeled her across the field to the ambulance, Brooklyn and Clayton who were practicing right there ran over to see Lexi. That’s when I lost it. I’d been holding it together, keeping my head up for Lex, and silently praying, “Please don’t let her neck be broken. Please don’t let her neck be broken”, but when Brooklyn came over bawling her eyes out, I lost it. It was a heartbreaking scene, Brooklyn’s coach lifting her up so she could clutch at Lexi while crying frightened tears for her big sister.

In the end, after a CT of her neck and x-rays of her shoulder and clavicle, it was determined that Lexi’s spine is fine and her shoulder is a little separated, but it wasn’t a bad enough tear to show up on the x-ray. Her arm is in a sling, she has medicine for the pain, has a lot of neck pain, and will be out of cheer while she heals. The good news is that her injuries aren’t bad at all. The other good news is that this incident really made me feel like Florida is finally home. Friends gathered around the football field offering to take my younger kids home, offering to get my car for me, offering to do anything I needed at the moment. Texts poured in with messages of support, offers of help, and requests to be updated on Lexi’s status. In that instant, it felt like we had a network of family and friends. 

And for those of you wondering if I’ll allow Lexi to cheer again, the answer is yes. I’m not sure if she’ll want to go back to it, or if she’ll ever trust her bases and spotters to fly with them again, but if she does, I’ll support her. Consider this - in the end, Lexi wasn’t badly hurt. My friend’s 7-year-old daughter, however, was accidentally kicked in the head at school yesterday. She seemed fine and went about her day and went to cheer last night. In the middle of the night, she woke up vomiting. After a visit to the hospital, it was determined that she had a concussion. This is her second concussion. The first one was worse and it happened while playing on the playground during summer camp. Two major head injuries, both the result of non-sports related accidents. In the end, you just never know.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

For the Love of the Game: an interview with my son about the dangers of football

Last week I read an article about a 16-year-old boy who died after sustaining injuries that resulted from a helmet to helmet collision during a football game. Of course I felt horrible for the boy’s family. And as the mom of sons who play football, I feel scared for my own boys’ safety. I mean, I know that injuries can occur in any sport. Heck, injuries can occur outside of sports too. But catastrophic head injuries are much more prevalent in football than in any other sport. Oftentimes, head injuries that don’t seem serious at the time cause problems down the line when repeated head trauma has a cumulative affect on the player. I asked my 15-year-old freshman what he thought about football and the risks involved with playing.

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