Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Day

This day...well, let' just say I won't be forgetting it anytime soon.

The kids and I got up this morning at my in-laws house, ate breakfast and (they) watched some cartoons. As I was putting a few things into the dishwasher my grandmother-in-law (side note: that is entirely too long of a title for this lovely woman, she's just kind of like my grandma.) tripped over the open dishwasher and fell, scraping the skin on her shin. Ouch. Miss E came over to watch for a minute while I put a paper towel over it to stop the bleeding and then wandered away. We got out the first aid kit and started patching it up.  A few minutes later, I heard a thud coming from the back of the house. I waited for a few seconds to see if I could hear any associated crying but there was nothing. Still, it was a big thud so I headed back to investigate. And then I found Miss E.

Unconcious, in a puddle of pee, neck crooked at a weird angle, hand posturing in the air. My heart stopped. Like completely and literally stopped. I cannot even describe the feeling of finding your child like that. Terrifying is not a strong enough word. As I ran to her, she opened her eyes, looking very dazed and confused and out of it. I called to my mother-in-law to dial 911 and then sat with her as she tried to sit up. At this point I thought she had had a seizure. The pee, the hand posturing, the confusion, it all said seizure to me although, as I'm sure you all know, I am not a medical professional.

As we were waiting for the medics, she sat up and became more alert. I was really really really trying to stay calm and reassuring but there was no way I could keep the fear or the chocked up tears out of my voice as I repeated, "it's ok, you're going to be ok, you're fine Miss E".  right before the medics got there she realized she was lying in pee and asked if we could change her pants so I put a towel under her and quickly took off the wet ones and put on dry ones.

Then the medics arrived and a bit of my fear got channel into annoyance at one of the firefighters who showed up. Now, I know that not all firefighters are medics. Yes, they are all technically trained to be but not all of them - particularly older ones- are good at it or interested in it. Especially something as ambiguous as loss of consciousness in a child. However, the guy running the call was so freaking condescending that I almost told him to step aside and let his partner take over. He smiled the entire time (which really? My kid just loss consciousness for no apparent reason and that's somehow funny to you?) and made a bunch of comments about us being vacationers and wondering if we were having a "girls weekend". He had the younger kid with him take a blood glucose and a blood pressure with a cuff on MIss E in a way that seemed like he was  just appeasing me to do it. The he started telling me it was probably a febrile seizure (umm....she's almost 8 and hasn't had a fever so no) or low blood sugar (also no, glucose reading was fine and she had breakfast 30 minutes before) and really I could tell they were in the middle of a drill by hearing the radio traffic and he just didn't want to be bothered.

By this time, Miss E was more alert and I was mentally thinking through the car/Mr. T/transportation situation if we had to go to the hospital by ambulance so I signed the refusal of transport and said good-riddance to Mr. Jaded-bad attitude-dopey smile-condescending firefighter. After this I texted Peter who was on a 6 hour long bike ride in the other half of the state and got ready to drive Miss E to the hospital myself.

Thankfully, my in-laws have a GPS system with the emergency room pre-programed into that so I grabbed it and headed to the car with Miss E. At this point I still didn't know what had happened and as my mind was racing trying to figure it out on the 20 minute drive to the hospital it hit me - she was in the bathroom. But not going to the bathroom.

"Miss E, why were you in the bathroom?"

"I was getting a drink of water" (this is weird because usually all drinks of water are preceded by a request for me to get it for her.)

"Why were you getting water?"

"Because I was feeling fuzzy headed and I thought it would help"

OK. Bingo. Fainting spell, not a seizure. Immediately I felt better.  At the ER they ran an EKG and confirmed the same thing.

In the best cast scenario, she felt faint at the sight of blood, ran to the bathroom and passed out. When she passed out she peed on accident.

However, it's rare for kids this little to faint, even at the sight of blood and it's rare for kids (or adults) to pee when they faint. So, we don't know.

For now we are preceding on our vacation, she has a huge lump on her head and we will follow up with the doctor at home.

By this afternoon she was running around like normal and it almost felt like it didn't happen but I know that is one of those instances that will be seared into my memory. Remember how I say that all mama's carry a little pocket of fear in their hearts for their children? Well, my memory of that moment of finding her this morning is sealed away in mine. I am so thankful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nice Kitty

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but my sister is a landscaper by trade, and she's pretty good at what she does. Not a mow your lawn, put in a few plants from the Depot, type of landscaper but an organic practices, native perennials type of landscaper. Her yard always looks AMAZING. Fun and durable for kids, edible little niblet of berries mixed in everywhere, interesting plant choices and every thing looks natural and healthy and vibrant and cared for. Pretty much the exact opposite of what I half-jokingly call the "back to nature" look of my yard. I spent the morning kind of peeking around at what was new in her place while she made blueberry muffins and the kids played.

This afternoon, the kids and I drove to Sunriver to spend the night with my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law in their new house. And this may be the best 3 hour drive I ever took with the kids. Previously, for drives of over 2 hours, we have put DVD players in the car for the kids to watch. It works, they are quiet and occupied and we get to talk but it's kind of a pain. There are wires everywhere and the kids never sleep in the car and someone always needs something plugged in or adjusted. This trip I had a flash of brilliance and instead of DVD players we used ipods. Miss E has one of our old ipods that is now "hers" and I grabbed another one for Mr. T and made it his. I loaded both with the kid's music and several kid's audio books. It was awesome. They were both quiet and occupied during the drive but not to the extent that they couldn't/wouldn't talk to me when I said something. The ipods were much easier to work and Miss E helped Mr. T figure his out so I didn't have anything to do except drive. And listen to music. And buy them french fries and chocolate milk and lemonade - you know, road trip food. I cannot stress how much easier it is to do things with a 6 and 7 year old as opposed to younger kids. Plus, I just like going places with them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back to Reality

Home from vacation. It's always such a good and exhausting feeling. We rolled in from a week at Black Butte sun-burned, covered in mosquito bites, chlorine rashes for the kids and exhausted but what a great week it was. Will be catching posts up soon (they will show up below this one).  For now, I leave you with one of my favorite evening pictures from the meadow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oregon Country Fair

So...this post has more than one photo but I figure since my "official" 365 is over, and it's my space, I can break the rules.

This morning Peter left for a three day bike ride with his Dad and sister, leaving the kids and I on our own. Instead of spending three days at home packing for our trip next week, I decided to do a little traveling with them. (Can I add a side note here that this really speaks to how big my kids are getting that I don't mind traveling for three days with them? That in fact I want to? Amazing.)

We headed down to Eugene for Country Fair with my sister and her kids today. Country fair is (or used to be) kind of a hippie festival in the woods outside of Eugene. As it is today, it's a very fun, slightly counter-culture, festival full of colors and music and food and fun people. I love taking the kids there and they love going (if it's not too hot, or there's not too much walking and as long as snacks are provided at will....). It's not a festival exclusively for kids, so I always caution other parents that if they don't want there kids being around naked people or (a few) wasted people, it's probably not for them. My kids haven't seemed to notice, in fact, Mr. T and I bought cookies from a stand where all the women working there were topless and he didn't say a word, despite being the boob obsessed little boy he is. 

Mostly we walked around, ate quesadillas and lemonade, watched the parades, listened to some music and just hung out. Here are a few pictures I took:

 My niece and nephew under the pink tent covering the children's stage.

 Part of the dragon parade. This went around the fair grounds randomly throughout the day and was accompanied by quite a few dancers and musicians.

 Several folks had these huge puppets attached to their bodies that were quiet awesome. The guy in the middle is part of the candy cane folks who all dressed like that, not sure why, and paraded about throughout the day.

 Happy people by the music stage.

 My nephew (face painted like a pirate) and Miss E (did not want her face painted but finally took her shirt off after complaining about "dying" of heat and I pointed out that this was one place where she really could go topless if she wanted to). Side story: While walking around we ended up behind a naked guy (kind of rare here) with leaves taped in front. Despite all our efforts to subtly speed up or slow down to let him pass, we all ended up walking the same speed for a bit. Miss E and my nephew were giggling to each other but were doing it with hands over their mouths and quietly. I was touched that they were being thoughtful in what was arguably, a difficult situation for a 7 year old not to giggle out loud at. Before the fair I didn't talk to them at all about how to act or what they might see, figuring I'd deal with it if it came up and I guess that worked. Plus, who wouldn't giggle a bit at a naked man with no body paint walking around a festival?

 Kids dancing during sound checks.

Mr. T and my niece. She had her face painted like a unicorn, he, like his sister, declined face painting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baby Love

My friend Jen came over today and brought her darling little baby Emma. It's so fun to see new mom's with their first babies. I remember so well, the uncertainness, the delight and just the newness of it all.  Ahh... babies.

Miss E was equally enamored and got to hold little Emma for a bit. After that she promptly went and got out all her baby doll stuff and started dressing and feeding her little babies that have been sitting forgotten in her closet for almost a year now. Such is the sweetness of childhood.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


We have officially hit summer here. Every year it's pretty chilly until the 4th of July and then it gets fairly consistently warm. Peter and I just returned from two days in Sunriver helping his parents move into their new house and it was pretty hot there too. As a generally non-weather complainer, I reserve the first week or so of hot weather to bitch and moan because EVERY single year, the first week it's in the upper 80's, I have a week-long migraine. It pretty much sucks. I end up having to take a lot of meds and laying awake at night with my head hurting. No fun at all. Especially because in Oregon, everyone is celebrating the heat, and it's pretty much mandatory that you get outside and enjoy it since every person you encounter from gas station attendants to grocery store clerks will ask you if you've "been getting out and enjoying the weather". Sometimes I want to reply that maybe, just MAYBE not everyone is a rain-hater and is thrilled with the 90 degrees. That MAYBE those of us who grew up in Oregon and still live here (a rare breed indeed) actually like the rain and prefer that it not be really hot. And MAYBE if you are so desperate for super hot weather you should move back to California or Arizona or wherever the heck you came from.


I don't however, because, you know, that would be kind of mean and snotty and I'm really not mean and snotty so I smile and say "oh, some..." and move along.

One of the very nicest things about our house is that the backyard is almost completely shady during the afternoon. We have so many trees that it typically is a few degrees cooler which means that the kids can usually play outside in the shade all afternoon. This afternoon I put our sprinkler on low and Mr. T spent about an hour running back and forth through it, dipping his hair in it and generally just having a great time. That makes me happy. Plus, it's going to cool off tonight and only be 84 tomorrow AND I'm going to work so there will be air conditioning! Look on the bright side - right?

*yes, I know that most of the country is sweltering through triple digit weather and would kill for upper 80's and yes, I know that is not unreasonably hot. I think it's just the shock to my body that causes the migraines but I would be curious to know if anyone else gets there headaches during the first real temperature bump of the year. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Morning Ride

This morning I went for a quick bike ride through the resort by myself before we left. I ended up riding by this lovely body of water feeding into a lake. Or maybe it's part of the lake. It wasn't moving - as you can see. It was so refreshing to be out in the cooler morning air with few other people about. Since there was almost no one else on the bike paths, I could ride really fast for the first little bit which is always kind of fun. On the way back I had to slow down and enjoy the scenery a bit more. And the scenery isn't bad! I can't wait to bring the kids back here next weekend.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New House - Exterior

Exterior of the new house. I love the landscaping out front. Because it's a resort community, the HOA has some pretty strict guidelines about how the outside can look and I just love this low care, natural berm that has been put in front of the house.

Today was more unpacking, a bike ride with Peter and then dinner, shopping and a movie in Bend. We  love to see movies and it's pretty rare that we have someone to watch the kids so we take advantage whenever we can. This has been such a relaxing trip (yes, even despite the moving) but I miss the kiddos. I just really like having those little munchkins around. Except when they are fighting or sassing or disobeying. Otherwise, yes.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Moving Day

This morning I got up bright and early at my parents and drove to meet Peter at our house. There we ate a quick breakfast, loaded up the car and headed for Sunriver to help his parents and Grandma move into their new house. New house! That's always exciting. Plus it's in Sunriver, which for those of you who don't live here, is a resort with miles and miles of bike paths, fancy swimming pools, a marina and horse-back riding. It's basically an outdoor-lovers paradise and we have vacationed here many times as a family.

You know what's also exciting? No kids! I mean, I love those little munchkins like there's no tomorrow but with no school this summer and no day care, I'm ready for a little break. They are going to be having a blast at my parents for a few days while Peter and I work.

Well, let's say "work" is a relative term. Today we helped unload half the u-haul and put away kitchen stuff and broke down boxes and piled more boxes in other places. It's so gorgeous here though that I think tomorrow will involve a bike ride and maybe a little date night.

The picture above is part of the view from their deck -their new back yard.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sparklers all around (well almost...)

This 4th of July, Peter was working (it seems like that happens every year although it's pretty much statistically impossible) so the kids and I ended up at my parents house for a BBQ and some fireworks. After playing at the park with friends until well after 5, dinner was late, the game we played after dinner was later and dessert wasn't served until about 10. At this point I kind of rushed everyone outside to do the fireworks because dang it, it was 10 pm! My munchkins are 8 o'clockers. Of course, they were fine and Miss E loved doing a ton of sparklers, one after another. My dad lit off a bunch of (legal) fireworks and the neighborhood around us exploded with all kinds of legal and illegal fireworks. It was kind of awesome because I immediately let go of any guily feeling about not taking my kids to see the BIG fireworks because here they were -in our neighborhood!

Mr. T, true to form, did not want to touch anything to do with fireworks but he stayed outside and watched and when he got scared let me hold him. Maybe next year when he's 7 he'll like them? Who knows.