Category: a day in the crazy life

Kaity update

Originally published on my Facebook, Wednesday 11/4

It’s almost 9:30 pm. Kaity just took her breathing treatment really well – the therapist on the afternoon shift scared her for some reason and those were hard ones. She is now in bed with her juice, her Cinderella baby, and hopefully, a nice 3 hours of sleep before her next treatment. (Ah, except they are already coming back to give her her steroid med. Grr!)

We are still kind of up in the air about things. We arrived at Komer Children’s Hospital at University of Chicago by ambulance around 3 this morning. We were admitted into the PICU, a term that is pretty harrowing, but a place that in Kaity’s case, was very nice. The first set of people who looked at her didn’t seem to think she needed to be there, as she was breathing ‘fabulously.’ But because she is little, they monitored her there until this afternoon and gave her treatments every 2 hours and oxygen as much as she would sit still to receive. She was very well cared for on the floor.. a great facility.

She isn’t eating at all (not even ‘macaroni!!’) but is drinking a ton. She is not lethargic like last night but fiesty. We so want to get her out of here so she can rest and heal at home. What the doctors believe she has is Reactive Airway Disorder, which basically presents itself like asthma, but won’t necessarily turn in to asthma. It looks like going home will happen some time tomorrow if she does well with fewer breathing treatments. They want to wean her to one every 4 hours.

In the mean time, Rod drove all night Tuesday to get home from Louisville, so between the two of us, we are running on fumes. My parents have Miranda, and Josh and Paige are holding down the fort at home, which they are becoming expert at doing. We haven’t yet decided which of us will go home tonight. Though I would love a decent shower, it’s a long way from my little girl to home.. I feel stuck.

I also feel selfish and foolish saying this, but one of the hardest parts of this for me is giving up on our Branson trip for this weekend. It was to be.. kind of a big deal professionally, and kind of a wonderful time personally. We were going to formally introduce the convention to the local media, government, and businesses, meet with some key contacts, and have time with some dear friends we rarely see. Meanwhile, Rod had two singing engagements in new areas. I’m happy and grateful (Rob, Brenda, Ron, and Jonathan) that most of these appointments, including the press conference, will go on without us. I’m also just severely disheartened. Which of course, makes me feel severe mommy guilt because all that really matters is that Kaity is going to be fine.

So yeah… I’m a little lower than I usual would allow myself to get. I’m not even wearing makeup right now!) Sometimes it feels like efforts and plans are just in vain, and I don’t know whether the timing of this is an attack once again on the ministry of the convention or a test to see that Rod and I have our hearts and priorities in the right place (I admit, for both of us it was hard not to think through ever possible option of still being in Branson Friday morning. Stinking type A control freaks). Maybe it’s both.

I am so humbled to have so many keeping Kaity, and us, in your prayers. Thank you so much for taking the time out to call, comment, text, and let us know you are thinking of us.

UPDATE: Before I got the chance to finish this, the staff decided to put Kaity on oxygen through her nose. She is fighting this. Her level periodically drops to about 85, so she needs it. Please pray specifically for Kaity to just rest and stop fighting the procedures so hard. The sooner everything can work together, the sooner we can get her home.

UPDATE AT 11:20: Her monitor was askew (because the squirt keeps pulling at it – her ‘glow toe.’) She is sleeping peacefully at staying around 98-100 with the oxygen cut in half. Praise the Lord! I might even try to sleep.

Rod just went home for awhile, I had a good cry, and hopefully the longest part of this is over.

Happy Hallo-whine

So far today, Kaity has knocked over the coat rack, broken a canister full of sugar, peed all over me, pulled Miranda’s hair, crushed crackers on the couch (but in fairness, she does this every day), and has been put down for an early nap. She is currently rebelling against that last notion with some bellowing.

We were supposed to go play this morning.. I canceled. Too much.

We are supposed to go to a Halloween/Birthday party this afternoon, 45 minutes away. Don’t have gifts for the birthday boys yet. It’s raining. I have made headway on collecting contacts for our press conference – one week from TODAY – but it’s hard to compile distrubution lists and faxes or to call town official and media contacts – with someone screaming in the background for lipstick/pumpkins/necklace/outside/’hold that.’ I also ‘only’ have about 6 more pages of the magazine to complete by Sunday night-ish.. we have a full weekend until then, and Rod leaves to go back to Louisville Sunday night, returning Wednesday, before we leave for Branson Thursday morning (& leave our kids for 4 days, which in spite of how this post sounds, I’m not overly thrilled about).

So.. biding a little time. Going to get them in their princess best soon, go through McD’s for fries and birthday gift cards (#mommyfail), and make our way to Crown Point in hopes the Hallo-whines will end. I think Rod is meeting us out there. I hope he’s on his way home.

Single parents on your own.. I salute you once again. What. A. Week.

Meditate on the Simple

It’s hard for me to blog right now..not just because of the ever-present time constraints, but because life is so full of all these simple yet monumental events that I don’t know how to write about them in a simple, blog-gy way.

My little girl is about to turn 3. She is about to start dance class. She is helpful and sure of herself and is learning her first Bible stories. She is absolutely beautiful, which she knows, but is no more beautiful than when she is sitting still and unaware that her adoring mommy is staring at her.

Sometimes I still can’t believe she is mine!

Her baby sister is zooming along like the firecracker we predicted she would be. She talks a mile a minute..sometimes we even understand her. She is in her Cling To Mommy stage and her Pre-Terrible-2 stage. She throws hilarious tantrums and has a perfect cartoon swagger. She has the sweetest blue eyes I have ever seen.

Cannot believe she is mine either.

Life is rolling along after these two. There are such whirlwinds around me most of the time that I too often have to stop and remind myself that for this season, everything will come back to these little kids who still need me for almost everything.. and pretty much everything else I touch or manage or plan will go on just fine without me.

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about simplicity, hearth & home, common goals. It seems many of the people in ‘my world’ feel a similar longing to pare down, slow down, choose quality over quanitity. I find this message flashing like a big ol’ neon sign most days, and yet just a few weeks ago I said “Yes” to 2 more projects, in the midst of KK going to the ER and other life signals that seemed to blare, ‘Just say no!’

I am working on sacrifice of Extra Things. Some of it is easy.. a magazine here, a TV show there, an outing here, a thing-I-just-have-to-read/create/attend there. Some of it, not so much. Last week I was battling a cold.. sore throat, sinus pressure, eventually a cough. I didn’t change any plans. I kept going.

Friday afternoon I had the Big Plan that before a (very important) kiddo birthday party and a (n equally important) adult dinner date, I was going to Work while the babies napped. To make a long story short, my laptop, as I pulled it from my bag, was Wet. WET! And then it wouldn’t turn on. I took it upstairs and waited for Rod to look at it. I told him if it was fried, I was going to ‘fall on my sword,’ which is our phrase for kick it, throw in the towel, quit, accept failure, run screaming from the building.

It wasn’t fried. He got it to power back up almost immediately. (He is my hero, still and again).  And yet, I just wanted to cry. (Maybe I did.. I don’t remember). And then I said, almost in apology, “I’m not going to work. I’m not working again until Monday. I need a few days off. I need to rest. I need not to get sick.”

I said it so much like a question that he laughed at me. Then he talked to me in that Husband Voice – you know the one. . like he is dealing with a very pretty mental patient. Why is this even a question? Lay down. Take a nap. Don’t work until Monday. Call Haylee, see if you can help out next week.

Done. And done. Of course I didn’t take the weekend ‘off.’ I still drove to various places, did laundry, fed people, wiped small booties, dried big tears, and ok, posted a few things on Scoops and maybe answered a few emails. And I did also forget that Rod is going to be gone 3 nights this week & 3 more next week before we leave for Branson and the Big Press Conference and.. you know. All that stuff.

But I have called in some extra help this week (thanks Haylee!). I feel much better physically. And today was, in many ways, a perfect day. In fact, the weekend was filled with pretty darn good times with a mixture of friends and family and downtime with the kids and a even a stolen moment or 2 with Rod that didn’t involve him rescuing my hardware.

A theme in many of those conversations with good company: Simplify. Simplify. Calm and peace and stability and contentment starts in our homes, and we all know that that mood starts with The Woman. If I am freaking out over deadlines all the time, what does that say to my kids? If I am afraid to ask for help or take a break when I need one, what does that teach them?

I am meditating on the Simple. And so begins what looks to be a crazy 2 weeks for us. I am meditating on the Simple.

Super KK

Something happened yesterday that rarely happens anymore. Our KK – usually the human equivalent of a superball – was lethargic. When Josh took Miranda on a movie date, Kaity fell asleep on me.

This was a treat, as I am having serious I-miss-having-a-little-snuggly-infant-why-do-they-grow-up-so-quickly-please-can-we-have-just-one-more issues right now. However, by the time she was on her 3rd or 4th snooze, I noticed she was breathing way more rapidly than usual. Also, she wasn’t drinking, and she usually drinks a lot. So, though my children are not allowed to get sick on Tuesdays (when Dr. C is out of the office), I waited until Paige got home from school and off we went to see Dr. K.

KK slept in the waiting room rather than made me chase her. She was given an immediate breathing treatment and rather than outrage her, it put her to sleep. Soon, the doctor returned and gave me That Look, which I was already expecting. She suggested I take Kaity to the ER. Her oxygen level was down and her heart rate was up.

Now seriously, this was the part when I should have wigged. Rod is out of town, for one. Miranda was almost to the week this exact age when she had to go into the hospital for dehydration. And, seriously? (Selfishness alert): I had a fun Wednesday planned.. a day ALONE in the house, BY MYSELF, to work. ALONE in the house.. followed by my BFF’s sister’s (got that?) bachelorette party in the city.. nothing wild, but at the Signature Room. The girls were going to stay the night with Mom & Dad. It was going to be so grand. Especially.. being ALONE in my house.

Anyway, I didn’t wig. I was the picture of calm as I twittered & FB’s to let the world at large know what was happening (AFTER I called Rod & the kids). My phone was so flooded with responses that my battery started to die (fail). By the time I got to the hospital, Mom & Dad were on their way to join me and my brother Jerry & sis-in-law Gina were on their way to the house.

KK was tended to pretty speedily. She felt good enough to totally flirt with Dr. O. (It took me awhile to place him, but he’s the same handsome doc who tended to me during my post-Bahamas throat infection nearly 4 years ago. It required a shot in my then skinny rear and he prescribed Vicodin. I am a fan of Dr. O). ANYway, after he looked her over, she was given a chest X-ray (we pretended it was a photo shoot, complete with the smile-inducing, “Saaaaay, ‘Mickey Mouse!'”). Then she was given a throat culture and two nose cultures (this is when she started to get pi$$ed). Then she started another 45 minute breathing treatment, which was interrupted several times so it probably took 2 hours instead.

Some time in there Dr. B told me that the X-ray showed pneumonia. What?! That is something great-grandmas get, not babies.. They still wanted to test for flu, RSV, UTI, and such and such.

THEN, she had to have an IV put it to administer something-or-other. UGH. I stayed with her for that (when Miranda had to have one last year, they ‘encouraged’ me to let her go with them. Never again. I am a Slayer. I will always stay with them when they need me and deal with whatever fallout occurs).

She recovered from that pretty quickly and started demanding things. She ate part of some crackers before smashing them. She ate part of a sandwich before flinging the mayo package all about. She finally started drinking, but not quickly enough for Nurse Rock (’twas his real name). They wanted to collect urine, and I kept telling them she had not drunk ALL DAY nor had she had a wet diaper – totally alarming for the Princess of the Pee. Right after she FINALLY had a wet diaper, naturally, they fit her with a U-bag, which is basically a baggy that gets taped to her nether parts. Very mean. She hated that, but as with the previous procedures, said a teary and queenly ” ‘HAANK YOU” when it was over.

At this point, Mom and Dad had gone to get Miranda and take her to their house. Jerry & Gina, who bless-her-heart had a migraine, joined me. So unfortunately, they were there when Dr. B (who was great except for this) sent Nurse Rock with the unfortunate news that they needed to catheterize her in order to get a urine test.

I think this picture was before :) That procedure was the worst, absolutely, compounded by the tape having to be removed from her nethers to remove the bag AND it took 2 or 3 tries. Poor, poor baby. Auntie & Uncle took it almost as hard as she did. She still, though  her tears of protest, agreed to accept a coloring book as at least a partial token of reconciliation from Nurse Rock and Other Nurse Guy.

She spent the next 30 minutes coloring, jumping on the bed, and mouthing off. We were then told it was ‘just’ the pneumonia, all the other tests were clear, and she was given a perscription, told to drink and rest, and sent home.

She charmed everyone in the ER she hadn’t yet met on the way out.

Upon arrival at home, she played with a toy she and Miranda had been fighting over earlier in the day. AND, she asked for a movie (denied).

She went to bed and slept all night, in spite of noisy wind.

Today, she is rambunctious, temperamental, recounting her various ‘owies,’ (the IV spot is saaaad), and more amazing to me than ever.

My dad and I took her and Miranda in to see Dr. C, follow up for KK and preventative for Miranda, who has been coughing.

**Dr. C, I must add, is the best ped in the whole wide world. He even cleaned up the floor after the great Capri Sun Explosion of 2009. (see below: they threw themselves a picnic in the exam room..)

Clearly, they are both fine. Other than the excessiveness of the cath, the doctor whom I know and trust was pleased with KK’s treatment and agreed with the diagnosis. Says I should just keep an eye on Miranda.

Sigh. That means I have to keep my eyes open. I’m starting to feel a little weary.

Rod will be back tomorrow and though we have a few engagements this weekend, we’re home.

Yay for home. (And health insurance).

Frustrated in the Flying J at midnight sense…

We’re on the way home from another whirlwind 2 days. We stopped at the Flying J in Somewhere, Indiana – you know the place, and I think it was Indiana, and for those of you who don’t ride around in diesel-sucking vehicles, Flying J is a place to gas up, empty, fill, and if you are so inclined, buy DVDs from 1983, bananas, and/or Chinese food. Caught up?

Anyway, I wanted some coffee and frankly, after 48 hours or so of nonstop crazy, didn’t feel like making it, and didn’t want to risk waking my sweet little minions, who tend to sleep like the concussed to the roar of the engines and the general highway noise, but will stir and scream if they hear, say, a drawer closing.

I was a wee nervous about going inside by myself at midnightish, but mostly because I was without lipstick and, God help us, wearing sports sandals and socks (In the bus, no one can see your feet). There was hardly anyone in there so my nerves were wasted. Well, except I couldn’t get the lid on the coffee cup and the guy in front of me in line had a SCREAMING & SWEARING fit about filling out the refund paperwork for a cup of coffee he didn’t actually buy (the poor cashier saw his travel mug on the counter & assumed it was full).

My nerves are really quite all over the place and… nervy.. right now. And now I am sitting on the bus in the quiet at 1am, reading blogs and filling in the gaps of my newest project and wondering what my problem is.

Definitely, Miranda is going through a behavioral… trial right now. It happened at almost this same time last year. She tests every boundary. She flat out ignores instruction. She screams and hits when ‘provoked’ in her mind. She is demanding and controlling and impatient and has to have everything a certain way and reminds me of someone.

Kaity is at a challenging age. She is a typical 18 month old. She is smart and happy and wants to explore everything. She climbs and runs and looks at you with a golden halo and big smile no matter what she gets caught doing.

The last two days on the bus with them, with 2 concerts and lots of driving, was Challenging. There was ink on the church pew and popcorn on the theatre floor (concert hall, not a movie), spilled things on the bus – many spilled things, tantrums, a lack of fresh air.

We have a big week next week with NQC and the first issue of SGN Scoops coming out. Even though we said we were going to relax and chill and refresh after Branson, I feel almost as tense now as I did then.

But tonight I was chatting with a friend of mine and she said something really simple like, “We need to have FUN [next week in Louisville].”

Well, duh? What is my problem?

Is this a symptom of being self-employed? Generation X? Mother of young children? Artistic? Former Catholic (except I was, you know, 4 when we left that church)? WHAT is it? Why am I always so worried about Getting Things Done?

The other day, we were getting ready to go somewhere, and Miranda said, “I have to get my things together.” REALLY? She’s not even three. And yet, I have taught her that a playdate requires three bags worth of junk… snacks that need to be prepared and not just pulled out of a Nabisco box, an iTunes playlist for a 20 minute car ride, extra milk.For crying out loud, the kid hasn’t had an accident since her first 2 weeks of being potty trained and I’m still carrying around 2 extra pairs of underpants in my purse.

What the heck?

I asked God tonight as I was crying into the bus closet, trying to jam the broom back in after fleeing the 2nd half of the concert, sweeping up Doritos and Little Debbies, and making my children spend time without Elmo on, ‘WHAT do you WANT me to DO?’

I bet He laughed.

Isn’t it obvious? Take care of the kids. Take care of the family. Take care of the ministry.

And take care being open to interpretation, maybe somewhere in there is also a ‘Calm the heck down.’

I don’t know if Scoops is going to get 20k downloads in its first month.

I don’t know if Miranda will get into the dance class since I’ve waited so long to register.

I don’t know if Branson GMC will sell out in its second year.

I don’t know what kind of medical insurance we will have in June, or where we’ll be living a year from now.

I don’t know how the first Moms and More meeting will go if I don’t have the photo directory finished.

I don’t know how else to gain Twitter followers or why I care.

I know that today, a lot of people I know were mourning a lot of stuff that is more sad and more serious than any of the poop taking residence in my head and making me crazy.

Rod just pulled over. Were an hour from home, still, but we’re done for the night. I know that I have two little people to snuggle with and a tired driver who is trying to give moral support to his Flying J nutso wife. God bless him.