Friday, January 16, 2015

Victims

Under normal circumstances I would not want to see my child strapped onto a medical emergency board, having her vitals taken.

Except for yesterday.

A plea went out on my homeschool facebook page for volunteers to help with the local EMT training class. It sounded like fun and so I signed up my girls. (I wish I would have taken my older two out of school for this). That was before I looked more closely at the time of the training class. 8:30 am. That meant I would have to leave the house by 8:00, with a 4 year old. For some families that might not seem like a big deal. For my children, it is a near miracle to get out the door by 9 am intact. And this after a late night Wednesday. I almost went back on my word.

And now I am so glad I didn't!

The older girls got up and got moving without problem. Little K took some work on my part.

We got to the class and sat and waited, eventually the trainees started coming around and talking to the kids, asking to take their vitals. Little K hid her face in my shoulder. But the older two rolled with it, no problem.
Eventually - an hour later - I was able to get Little K to look around and agree that she would like to be strapped to the board. A trainee came up, one who has little girls himself, and was able to talk to K on her level. With the promise of fruit snacks (!) and a ride on the board, she opened up to him and let him take her pulse, blood pressure and listen to her heart.

The EMTs needed people to practice with and they usually don't get to work with kids. Many of them are young enough that they don't have kids, or aren't around children - something I can't imagine, since that has never been my world. So, they were appreciative to have a chance to interact with the little darlings; and the kids had fun too. They got to use the stethoscopes, and eat snacks.

Eventually my girl Squiggles started her own assessment form and began taking her sisters' pulses and listening to heartbeats. The time came for us to go home, and the girls said goodbye. On the ride home the girls agreed that it was fun and they would love to do it again.

I'm just hoping that this might spark a desire for one of them to go in the medical field.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fame

My girls want to be in the movies. They take turns making up scripts and filming themselves and friends with the video camera. Well, the quest for fame, for being noticed, is not a new concept. Doesn't everyone want to be Where everybody knows your name?
You know the phrase "15 minutes of fame" that Andy Warhol coined about our yearning for notoriety? I think that's what it is. 
(Back in my day, we used to pretend to be radio announcers. I had a cassette tape filled with my own announcing, and then music from the actual radio. *cringe* It has since been destroyed.)

So my girl got a brief glimpse of it this past weekend. She was in her school play, "Annie" as an orphan, and plenty of people she knows, and plenty of strangers, came to watch. It wasn't until after the show that the 'fame' came to her. A little girl she didn't know actually asked for her autograph! It still makes me smile when I think of it. (And I am pretty sure it made my girl smile inside too.)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lately (Part 2)

Where have we been lately?
House repairs don't stop for basketball and drama.
At one time this past fall we had 3 working showers. And then we were down to two because of what happened over the summer. We got that patched up, and all was well. Until my husband looked at fixing the tiles in the bath - not just the temporary fix we had done for that earlier problem. And one popped out into his hand. And then he dug deeper and discovered this:

About a week later, if not less, the showerhead in our master bath broke off. We knew it would need to be replaced at some point, we just didn't know it would be now. So we went from 3 down to 1 shower. At least it is the nice new upstairs shower that works!
 And it hasn't been all work and no play...
There was one day this week when I actually didn't have to be anywhere until evening time. It felt like a luxury. I was in such a good mood I actually decided to paint my nails. I haven't painted my fingernails in years probably, partly because of time, and partly because most of my time is spent with my hands in something - bread dough, dish soap, laundry, hair, etc. I even felt relaxed enough to indulge the 4 year old and paint hers too. We opted for Christmas-y green and sparkles, along with some Christmas-y read for her.


Lately

Where have I been?
Lately life has  picked up the pace and I have been working to keep up with it. There was one week where we had 9 basketball games within 6 days. This week held 5 games within 6 days, along with a drama performance (which meant extra practices each night).
My girl Stripes, was one of the orphans in her school play "Annie". And what a great orphan she was! She had the opening lines, calling out "momma, momma" and the first night I heard it I nearly cried! Good thing I didn't rush the stage.
All the kids in the play did a wonderful job! For a middle school production, there was great stage presence and line delivery. I was very impressed. It brought back memories of my days on the stage, as few as they were, in high school. And the foggy memory of a play in college too. (I need to go hunt down that memory book and look it up.)
My middle girl, Dots, had her first game today with the church league. Upward Basketball is such a good program for kids to get their feet into athletics. Yes, there is some competition, but the focus is more on helping the kids grow in their abilities and their faith. This will be Dots last year for the league. And she is looking good.
There are times when I think back to the days when they were all little, and I would wonder, When does life slow down? When will I find a break? When does it get less busy?
It doesn't.
It just becomes a different kind of busy. I drive more now than I used to - making sure kids get to the places they need to be, or get food before they need to be at those places, along with getting the rest of the family there to watch the meet/game/performance. And I love it. I really do. I wouldn't trade it for anything. On those drives I get to spend time talking and listening to the kids. Sometimes they talk with me, sometimes with each other. And that's what makes it precious.
In 2.5 years my oldest could potentially be out of the house. That sentence right there sends shivers through me. I know I will deal with the tragedy, er, event when it occurs, but I don't think I will be trying to rush it along. And I will be saving up the special times in my memory, in our camera, and probably here on the blog.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Quiet

A day without children.
This is not a sentence I can attest to in my household very often. For 16 years I have had a child at home, most of the time. There were the rare occasions when I had a couple of hours alone, but they are far and few between. And I am not complaining! I love being Mom to my five minions. As the oldest gets closer to leaving home, I am cherishing time spent with my kids even more.
But today, I was alone in the house for hours without children and the Mr.
And I didn't know what to do with the freedom.
Because who wants to clean at these times?!
All this to say, I started thinking about what is going to happen when, say, in 10 years, my children are gone all day? My youngest will be in high school, and most likely at 'away-school' by then. (Even 5 years from now, the kids will be 9, 14, 16, 19, and 21, and I will have Time.To.Do.Things.)
The Mr. and I even got to go out for a dinner date tonight, and I brought up this question. He nodded and encouraged me to think about it. I figure I can try and get a job with UPS, that sounds fun to me.
Or maybe by then I will have my fingers in different areas of helping out at the church or school.
Maybe I will be running miles and miles by then, training for marathons throughout the year; or at least half-marathons.
Or maybe I should learn to knit.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Now and Then

December is running by me way too quickly. I have some of the Christmas cards addressed; I have a tree up in a stand, but no decorations on it; the cards we received are strung up at least. We might even do some baking tomorrow. And maybe two gifts have been attained. But time is racing away.
Maybe partly due to the fact that I have been a little busy these days. In the past 6 days two of the children have had 9 basketball games between them, along with practices for their sister. Which means a lot of driving and scheduling on my part. There was one day I literally had to write down the times of games and practices (and, oh, throw in drama presentation too,) so that I would not miss someone's time for drop off or pick up. And guess what ... a child was missed.
It had to happen at some point. *Flashback* When I was little, my family left me behind at a football game. The sister thought I was with the parents. The parents thought I was with the sister. I decided to just walk my little self on down the road to the sister's apartment. Thankfully a kind teacher saw me, realized something wasn't right, and drove me to where I needed to be.
But back to my child. She was accidentally left at a practice; we all came home, looked at each other and said, "Do you have her?!" And then the Mr. raced back outside to get her while I phoned her coach. oops.
Speaking of racing, I walked/ran a 5k tonight with my aunt. It's the first 5k in months, maybe a year or more. It poured rain on us; there were plenty of puddles to navigate; but we had a great time doing it together and talking our way through it. I am hoping it is going to kickstart my running again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankfulness

This time of year there is a lot of talk about turkeys, and oh, yeah being thankful for all we have. I have read numerous articles on how to help your children, or yourself, be thankful! But it really hit home for me this week.

But first, a little of the back-story: two weeks ago I went in to the doctor for my first ever exam-for-women-who-are-over-40. You who are over 40 know what I'm talking about! That lovely machine that tries to squish parts of you into pancakes. The lady running the machine - mammographer I believe is her title - was super nice and relaxed, and just made it comfortable as possible. I left thinking, phew, done for a year.

My week was cruising along nicely; I had vague plans as to what we would eat for Thanksgiving, along with thoughts about my son's upcoming birthday, crowding around the daily feed-them, get-them-where-they-need-to-be routine that fills my life. A week after I had my exam, the clinic called and asked to schedule another exam. My thoughts came to a screeching halt for just a sec until they started galloping all over the "what if" scale.

I'm thankful my husband was working from our home office that day.

He is always able to hear me out and calm me down. It's a good skill for the spouse of someone who can lead herself into anxiety attacks. So I was doing okay, and then the kids started getting sick. It began with a full blown puke-fest at the dinner table on Saturday night from my youngest one, and then continued on Monday with another girl losing her cake that evening. (Weird thought, but slushies and birthday cake make pretty, artistic colors of vomit.) And so I had something else occupying my 'worry' brain as the exam day loomed.

And in a way, I am thankful for that.
Today I was anxious almost all day. It wasn't fun. But now. Now I am so thankful for the good people who work at the clinic. They were very kind and explained things so well; (I must have looked worried.) The doctor came in later and explained that 1 out of 5 women are called back. He explained what was happening with me, and that is was no big deal. And it wasn't.

And I'm so thankful for that.