Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunshine Holiday: CAMP GUIDE



Yes, CAMP.  As in real camping.

I know this is hard to believe folks.  Me, the person who hates pretty much roughing it in any way shape and form - went camping.  At the risk of sounding pretentious and high maintenance - I will clarify by saying I'm adaptable and flexible in pretty much every way  - except when you throw me outside to be one with nature.

Like, I can adapt to outside as long as I have wi-fi, bug spray and drinks.

My best friend's family camps every year at a nearby beach.  They have a camper - and a camp spot right near the water.  They invited me and my kids up for 2 nights.

Normally, I'd run for the hills after this type of invite.  But my friend assured me that the camper had air conditioning, a shower and a bed.  BOOM.  Done.  I was sold.  Although I didn't promise 2 nights - I promised one night because I have commitment issues with camping.

I've always been one of those mothers that wanted to give my children that nature experience.  I think camping is great for kids - the experience of being unplugged and close to nature is good for any soul - young or old.  But our generation of kids are especially at risk for "Nature Deficit Disorder."

"Studies show when kids play in a natural play-scape they are far more likely to invent their own games, says Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.  I mean this is what our i-everything obsessed kids are missing folks.  Good 'ol fashioned OUTSIDE PLAY.

I give my children nature experiences- but usually in much smaller doses.  A day at the zoo, a few hours at the park or a 2 hour stint at the local nature center.  Do those count??!!

Dammit, if I am going to be engaging in nature activities every day for several days in a row- I prefer to lay my head in a pimped out place at the end of the day - ya hurrrrddd me?! Not a fucking tent.

And I think I share the same view of my fellow non-campers around the world - why would someone want to spend their hard earned money and energy - to live like a homeless person???

Either way, I had a great attitude going into the camping trip because I wasn't in the middle of the woods, in a tent - exposed to all of nature's elements - namely - animals, bugs and weather.

CAMP PREP:

In the days leading up to the camping trip - I was prepping.  Operation - KEEP BOREDOM AT BAY.  Not to say that camping is boring - but you know how kids are.  Always bitching about being bored.

I like staying on theme - so check out these awesome nature kits -here.  This is a low-tech way for kids to play in nature.


We also had to make sure my daughters were on trend with the camp style - so we bought a safari hat.  This is like the Peg Bundy camping hat.  Gotta love animal print.


The whole goal was to make them feel like Dora the Fucking Explorer so if they acted a fool when we were camping - and were ungrateful, annoying assholes - I'd have all of these wonderful activities to distract them. 

Other preparations included, buying bubbles, organic bug spray, a ring toss, a puzzle and their favorite easy foods.

CAMP DAY 1

Load up the car, and hit the road!  We pulled into the Ta-Ga-Soke Campgrounds on a perfectly sunny day.




 My friend pointed out the bathrooms, shower, playgrounds, and lastly her parent's camp.

If I were to choose a camp spot - I would've picked this exact one.  A nice plot of rolling green grass that backs right up to a creek that flows out to Oneida Lake.  The campgrounds were beautifully decorated with great yard accessories, picnic tables, flowers and a swing facing the water.  I mean, if you're going to go camping, this IS how you do it.  Hardly the homeless way of life.

After getting acquainted with the campgrounds - we took a dip!  The girls loved swimming in the creek.


They also picked up a pet worm and put him in a nature cage of sorts.  They named him Squirmy.  And while Squirmy did indeed die of being baked in the hot sun with no air - he will be remembered.  RIP Squirmy.  The kids also picked up flower specimens, chased butterflies and tried to catch fish in a net.  Which is like - camp nirvana for a parent.  Ahhhh, go me, kids are now one with nature.  Mission Accomplished.

After swimming, we went for ice cream in the nearby beach town, played arcade games and took a bunch of pics in a 1970's photo booth.  Literally - I think the photo booths were made in 1970.  We headed back to camp around dinner time.

Before stuffing our faces - we went swimming again.  That's the beauty of camp - you can take a dip while dinner is cooking on a nearby fire.

And what camp night would be complete without the all important, campfire treat of s'mores?  My kids were s'mores first timers - so I was waiting to see how they'd react to the gooey-goodness.  Older one loved it - as seen here.  Little one only like the graham crackers.



The bugs ate me and the kids alive - so the whole s'mores experience lasted maybe 30 minutes.

Before bed, I insisted the kids rinse off the lake water, sunscreen and bug spray they accumulated on their skin.  If you are new to camper shower etiquette, let me school you.  It's similar to military showers.  Only run the water when you gotta rinse.

Our hostesses gave us the master bedroom - which included a large king bed, and privacy.  Extremely nice.  And a good move - because if my kids woke up at 6AM with the rest of the crew - they'd be monsters for the WHOLE day.  My kids are sleepers- they wake up around 9AM.

CAMP DAY 2:

We had a wonderful hot breakfast - with BACON and fresh coffee.  Like seriously, camping in a camper must be the Ritz Carlton version of camping.  Certainly, a far cry from oatmeal over a campfire - or whatever people do when they camp in tents.  I prefer to remain ignorant to that type of camping.

We did a little swimming - then it was time to go - we had some other obligations.  And although an overall awesome experience - turns out - I can't sleep at camp.  No one knows this - except maybe my hostesses now and my husband  - but small spaces do indeed freak me out.  Like - they terrify me.  I am a nervous wreck - filled with anxiety.  Not to mention - I had an elbow or a leg slap me in the face every other hour throughout the night.  My little one is a wiggle worm.  So basically, I got zero sleep.  And me with sleep - bitchy.  Me without sleep - MONSTER BITCH.  If I coulda slept - I coulda camped.

It was bittersweet pulling out of the campgrounds to return to "normal" life.  Camp life - although only for 24 hours - suited us.  The closeness to nature is soothing, and truly good for the soul.

And lastly, I want to leave some safety tips to keep in mind if you're planning a camping trip this summer - because I am slightly obsessed with safety - to the point of it being an unhealthy obsession.

So here are tips from Real Simple Magazine.

- Pack a good first aid kit—you can buy one or assemble your own, along with any medications you or your family may need.

-As soon as you drop your gear, have everyone walk around the site together. Establish strict rules and safety boundaries. Use easily identifiable landmarks, such as fallen trees, to mark any areas that are out of bounds.

-Point out possible dangers like poison ivy and remind kids not to feed or touch wild animals and to watch where they put their feet and hands.

-Review proper fire safety: Children should keep a good distance from the pit to avoid tripping into it, and they should never put anything into the fire without adult supervision.

-Give every child a whistle to wear around his or her neck. If kids get separated they should find the nearest tree, sit down, and blow the whistle three times. Adults should return the call with one whistle to let the child know they are on their way.

-Wear long pants tucked into socks during tick season.

And lastly - review fire safety inside the camper.  This is just my own fear of fire speaking - but you may find it useful.  Make sure you know where every fire extinguisher in the camper is located.  Make sure you know how to open every door and window in the camper.  Every camper is different - and you have to know how each latch works - so if there is gawd forbid a fire, and you're panicking - you'll know what to do.

Share with all your camp bound folks - and for fucks sakes - camp in fucking camper!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Excuse, "I Forgot" is Fucking Old

I try not to comment on too many current events.

But this - I cannot ignore.

Children being left in sweltering, hot cars - dying.

It's disgusting.  It's sick.  Despicable.  Inexcusable, horrifying, downright FUCKED UP.

According to the LA Times, Cooper Harris, (the Georgia 22-month old boy that died after being left in a hot car) was the 13th child this year to die in a hot car. (July 2014)

If you'd like to read a comprehensive article, with all the disgusting details - like oh yeah, the parents were researching on the internet how long it takes for a child to die in a hot car, and like - the father was SEXTING while his child was dying in a hot car, you can read it here.

But, the stupid, sick, Father of the fucking Year, Justin Ross Harris - claims he forgot his kid in his car.

I don't buy it - and neither should you.

Since 2000, more than 500 children have died from heat stroke because they were left in cars on warm days, according to KidsAndCars.org.

The National Safety Council recommends that parents leave something in the back seat of their vehicle - their shoe (fucking dumb), their briefcase, purse or cellphone to serve as a reminder that their child is in the back seat of the car.

But, are safety advocates, officials and everyone else in the world missing the point?  Have they lost their minds?

NO ONE fucking forgets their kid in their car.  I don't buy it for a second.  I don't buy that excuse unless you are clinically insane, have diagnosed dementia or are on serious drugs or alcohol.

"Forgetting" is a worn out excuse for me.  It's tired.  And actually - it's sick.

We, as a society, are excusing parent's bad behavior- and I will not stand for it.

Yes, modern parents are no doubt busy.  Distracted.  Frazzled.  There are lots of things to juggle- family, work life, diaper changes, summer camps, school work, sports practice, dance practice, I could go on forever.  I'm sure you could too.  Not enough hours in the day.  And not for one second would I deny that life is hard with kids.  It's tough shit.  SO many expectations, SO many details of our children's life to keep track of.   And what about our baby booming parents - we're taking care of them too.  I forget my keys, my debit card, my cell phone, etc. on the regular.  These are things.  These are not LIVE HUMAN BEINGS.

We DO NOT FORGET HUMAN BEINGS.  Living, breathing, loves of our lives - we don't forget.

No.  Us humans - are in fact, way more calculatingly careless.  Let me explain.  In one word, intentional.

I've heard of parents/caretakers saying they were running into the post office real quick and didn't want to lug the kids in.  After all, it would be only 30 seconds.  I've heard parents run inside the grocery store, and leave their kids in the car, while they "run" in.  And justify it with, "I had my eye on them the whole time."

You can read about a Rock Hill, NC woman who did that just today here.  How exactly are you keeping an eye on your kid, "the whole time" while you're in aisle 14?

I've heard of parents running inside the gas station - to pay for gas- leaving their kids in the car.  In every single instance you can think of  - the parent is intentionally leaving their kid in the car.  Careless - but calculated.  Weighing the possibility of something bad happening (car getting stolen, kids getting kidnapped, kids dying in a hot car, all of the above), and still deciding to do it anyway.  And that is EXACTLY, what these parents who claim they forgot their kid(s) in the car are doing.  They are weighing their options, calculating, playing with probability, and ultimately DECIDING to make the WRONG decision.  Choosing to do something wrong, over something right - to save time, spare the energy of dragging your kids into the store, or in the GA father's case - to go to work and sext the whole time.

Let's stop the excuses, stop the blatant dumb-assness of these parents.  Authorities, advocates, I beg you to stop wasting your time thinking of ways to 'remind' parents about their kids in the backseat - and start fighting for harsher consequences for these careless, sick parents.  They are murderers.  We should be taking this as serious as trying to get guns out of our schools and drunk drivers off of the road.  We need billboards, we need commercials, we need a slogan, we need threats.

Do me a favor, get the word out that "I forgot" is NO excuse for leaving a kid to bake and die in a hot car.  Tweet this blog post, or post to your facebook page.  Email it to your friends and loved ones.




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm in a Love/Hate Relationship with my New Mommy Friend

Before I knew her, I dubbed her, "Pilates Princess."

She'd show up at the neighborhood pool, all bronzed, and slim and perfectly fit with her two gorgeous blonde daughters.  Her abs and hips are perfectly slim, and chiseled, but not in the gross, body-building way.  Just toned.  Perfectly toned and tight.

In my head, I'm all like....Shiiiitttt, she looks good.  How does she fucking look like that?  Life isn't fair, I'm sooooo not eating a bowl of Cocoa Puffs Cereal tonight or downing that wonderful bottle of Pinot Grigio before dinner.

As you would've guessed it, I was too intimidated by this woman's flawless figure to really make friends. And here's the crazy part - she introduced herself to me when I took a five-second dip in the neighborhood pool.  She asked me about my kids and where I was from.  Innocent enough.  But she was so nice, I went home and complained about it to my husband like an asshole.  Like a jealous, I'm too cool for pool, asshole slut.

I'm cool cuz I'm witty, and she sucks because she's fucking gorgeous.

Fast forward to family day at said neighborhood pool 3 weeks after initial Pilates Princess spotting.  My husband, me and my 2 girls chillin' at the pool for the afternoon.  In enters, Pilates Princess, her husband and her 2 gorgeous daughters.

I whisper to my husband, "Oh Fuck, Pilates is Princess is here. Please try to keep your eyes in your head and your drool in your mouth if you ever want to get laid again in this century. Got it fucker."

My husband rolls his eyes - and gets in the pool to splash around with our girls.  Except the way he gets in the pool - clearly- was for attention.  Cannonball in 4 feet of water.  Need I say more.

Next thing you know - the girls are playing together - and the husband's are chatting it up about sports, poker and booze.  I am now face to face with Pilates Princess.  We are kind of forced to laugh and make follow up comments to each other about our husband's conversation.

At the end of the pool sesh - in which I am utterly mortified (because of my bulging, PMS belly in a bikini), we all decide to meet up at a local pub to watch the World Cup game.  Italy vs. England.

I don't know if you've huurrrdddddd...but I'm a bit of a soccer fan.  Especially Italy.

So, I show up at the Irish pub with my hair in braids like a milk maid, an Italian soccer jersey and a flag draped around my neck.  A little much?  Probably.  We are in the suburbs after all.

Turns out -I was the most "dressed" for the party.

The men showed up in polos.  Pilates Princess showed up in Suburban Mom gear- capris and sandals. Sidenote - why does every white woman over 30 wear capris and sandals?  (ok, I'm turning 30 this year, but I'll never fucking wear capris and sandals).  The other mom - was in a sun dress. Great.  So now, not only am I fucking weirded about by Pilates Princess in the first place, I look like a teenager attending a soccer-themed keg party.

Thankfully, I had a Jager Bomb and a beer before they all showed up - so I was feeling more confident as the BAC level rose to buzzed level.

The night went well with lots of soccer, drunk merriment.  I think I made an okay impression with Pilates Princess and the other mom.  Pilates Princess invited me to like 3 other events this week - for which I feel eternally grateful.

But, what is it, about a perfectly figured, flawless woman that makes me feel so uncomfortable in my own skin?

She is much less interesting than me.  She's slightly boring (although nice), and overall, seemingly less intelligent.

I say these things, I admit these observations.  But yet, I'd rather have the body of Pilates Princess instead of my wit and brains any day of the week.

This isn't the first time a woman has said this.  I am not the only sick woman out there.

There have been many "studies."

Women would rather lose $1,000 than gain 20 lbs.

Women would rather forgo a higher paycheck, than be fat.

I just said I'd rather be thin - than have my brains.  That's gotta be sick.  On many levels.

And even more sick, why am I sizing up a woman that wanted to befriend me?  What's wrong with me?  What kind of asshole friend am I?

This woman I've nicknamed Pilates Princess- is probably the most nice, down to earth mom I've met thus far in the burbs. (Excluding my foreign transplant mommies - they are always more down to earth culturally speaking).

So why am I hatin' on her and her bod?

It's only because I hate myself for mine.

Do you think she hates me for my brain?  Here's hoping.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Stay at Home Dad, is Just as Stupid as Stay at Home Mom



Well, Happy Dad Day, that's first.

But, I have a bone to pick with society.  Parenthood, parent bloggers, the media, pretty much everyone that reports about "Stay at Home Dads."

Let's get one thing straight - I looooaaatthhhee the title, "Stay at Home Mom."  It's the shittiest, non-descriptive, un-empowering title in the world.  So is, "Stay at Home Dad."

Excuse me, but when is the last time you saw Stay at Home Mom or Stay at Home Dad on a resume?  No one respects it.  Not in the professional sense.  What does it even mean?  It's not even respected in the personal sense.  SAHM or SAHD is not fucking cool.  It's not flattering, Stay at Home anything sucks balls.  Ya hurd me?

Who wants to really Stay at home anyway?  Like stay inside the home they live in for most of the day.  I had to stay inside my 900-square foot condo for 6 weeks while I nursed a low-birth weight baby.  My first born.  And it was boring as hell, I craved diaper runs to Target and I was an overall, sad human being.

Just to be clear, I never want to be labeled as a Housewife (even though I have a passionate devotion to my husband), a Homemaker (cuz I order take out like 3 days a week, and may hire a cleaning crew from time to time) and definitely not a Stay at Home Mom.  Can you imagine us calling a man, a Househusband or referring to a man as a Homemaker?  I think not.  So why are we taking these already stupid stereotypes - ie Stay at Home Mom, and expanding it to Stay at Home Dads.  The term fucking sucks in the first place.

Just like everyone else in the world, you automatically think of this "Stay at Home" stereotype.  A mom or dad, who does the child-rearing, playdates, makes the PB & J sandwiches, reads stories for nap time and makes dinner....does the laundry, the cooking and the grocery shopping, the school selecting, projects, I could go on forever.

What if I told you, I get to spend most of the day - like 75% of my kid's waking hours with them.  We go to some playdates, crafts, run some errands, do nap time.   And I work.  What does this make me?  A "Work at Home Mom"?  Not really, I can do some of my work from home, but not all.  I do most of my work while my kids are sleeping (nap or night time).  And no, this blog is not my career.  This is my hobby.

Well, maybe, I am an ENTER PROFESSIONAL TITLE HERE who happens to be a mom.

Same goes for "Stay at Home Dads."  Have you heard the news?  "Stay at Home Dads" are on the rise.

Check out The Onion's take on that here.  Yes, "Stay at Home Dads" are emasculating themselves - and stooping down to demeaning tasks like grocery shopping.  If you are a woman, and consider yourself a Stay at Home Mom - take a look at that.  Saying, you are a Stay at Home mom, really puts you in a shitty category.

In the parent circuit, I haven't met a dad yet who has ever introduced themselves to me, as a "Stay at Home Dad."  Even if that dad doesn't have a paid job, and their primary responsibilities are centered around caring for their children, they don't use that term.

You Daddies are smart.  You aren't trapping yourselves in some ridiculous, clunky title.  Like so many women and mothers have been doing for years - you, daddies, are making a difference.

This Dad Day, I want to say thank you, first to the great dads out there.  The daddies that are engaged and involved in their kids' lives.  The daddies that support and love their kids  Whatever way, shape or form that may take.  And a thank you to the Dads that are breaking stereotypes, stepping into non-traditional roles - and denouncing the traditional titles that once trapped us muthas.  Cuz we're over that shit.

And in the spirit of trumping stereotypes - don't buy the dads in your life grilling utensils, tools, Home Depot gift cards or beer-related gifts. Fucking lame. Okay, maybe the beer-related.

Happy Dad Day.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Suburbs Playdate: To Helicopter or to NOT Helicopter?



We're about one week into said summer vacation.

My older child has already expressed her boredom and disgust at my attempts to entertain.

She's 4 years old, and asked me 3 days into summer vacation, "when are we going back to school mom???"

Me: "ughh."  "Fuuuuccckkkk."

So clearly, I'm brainstorming.  I didn't schedule enough summer activities.  I didn't enroll in enough camps.  I didn't plan enough vacations.

I'm experiencing post-summer stress disorder.

And now, it's just turned into panic.

This week, I was asked on a playdate by the moms who's kids go to school with my kids.  Thank gaawwwdd.

Day of FIRST SUMMER PLAYDATE.  It's hot as balls outside.  Humid as hell.  The last thing I want to do is sit on some park bench, shriveling like a prune, burning like a hot dog in 100 degrees.

Before I step out of the car and into the park area - I'm always trying to guage the moms' behaviors.  Are they chatting on the actual playground- holding their kids' hands?  Are they starting a conversation, and then stopping it because their little ones have split up on the playground?  Or are they all chatting on the park benches and letting the kids run free and wild?

And it's the last one for these ladies.

They're chatting it up on the park benches - letting the kids roam free.

So I shall follow suit for this playdate.  I don't want to be the mom with the stick up my ass.  I don't want to be the mom that misses out on playdate gossip because I'm being a helicopter parent. Oh wait, what? You don't know what that is?  Read it here.

My mom is still a helicopter parent -and I live like 3,000 miles away from her.

That was not a jab.  She can't help the helicopter in her.  And because of that, I may, or may not be part helicopter.

Back to playdate.

We were all having fun, until my older child decided to go potty by herself, without telling anyone - namely me.  And basically, I've never been more scared in my entire life.  I thought I lost my kid.

I saw her playing, and in a split second - I didn't see her.  Famous last lines of every mother, father, caretaker that's ever lost their kid.

It played out like this...
I looked up from mommy convo on the park benches to do a playground scan and check for my kids.
Little one - check.
Big one.
Big one....?
Big one??!!
Holy fuck where the fuck is my kid?!!!!!!!!!!

I looked on the big kids playground - didn't see her.
My eyes darted to the little kids playground. Scan. Nothing

She wasn't playing ball with the other kids.

Now I'm freaking out. 

I'm calling her name, walking through the playground. I can feel the panic in my steps and hear it in my voice.

I'm calling up slides, in favorite hiding places...........Nothing.

Now, my breath is fast, panic- has turned to terror.  Sheer terror.  I'm starting to do everything fast, fast, fast.  My heart is pumping, and I'm thinking holy fuck I just lost my kid.  I just lost my kid.  Is she ran over in the parking lot? Did some sick fuck just take my kid away?  How couldn't I see it?  Why was I talking to everyone and not paying attention?

I tell the ladies, "I'm going to check the bathroom."

I'm calling her name in the bathroom -the mother currently in the bathroom gives me a look like - how do you not know where your kid is?

I look under the last stall - and there are my daughter's white, pink and blue Puma light up sneakers.

I bust in that stall like the PO-LEEESE.  I'm like, "Mommy was so scared - I thought you were lost! Why didn't you tell me you needed to go potty?! I love you - you scared me so much.." 

She tells me, flatly and plainly, "I had to go potty mom."

I tell my daughter how terrified I was that I  lost her forever.  I think I said that same line like 20 times.
Again, she tells me she's sorry, it's okay, she just had to go to the bathroom.

We walk out of the bathroom together, and one of the other moms looks at me, and grabs her chest, and mouths, "Thank God."

Relief.

Why did my 4-year old think it was okay to go to the bathroom by herself?  Did she tell me, and maybe I just didn't hear her?

I am always feeling the push-pull of being or not being a helicopter mom.  My personality - truly lends most people to think I'd let my kids babysit themselves by age 5, walk around with flower crowns and cook their own dinners.  It's no secret I'm a little laid back - pretty hippi-ish in the whole child-rearing department.  Like, the kids will be just fine.  Everybody should be free as a bird.  Open and free to discover fun and disappointments without much parental influence.

But then - there is another side of my personality that can be slightly controlling.  Like I sometimes want to hover, hand hold and helicopter to really unhealthy levels.

I sometimes see a fall coming - and reach out to save.  Sometimes, I see a fall coming - and let my kids fall - because I know in falling, they will rise smarter and better for it.  And sometimes, I don't see a fall coming, because my attention is elsewhere, on purpose, so my kids know what it feels like to be un-watched.  To be a little responsible for themselves.

And sometimes, I catch them at the wrong times, and let them fall at the wrong times.  And really, I haven't figured out what's better - to helicopter parent or not.  Like everything in life, I imagine, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.  But whether it's fly by the seat of my pants parenting I choose, or helicopter hovering I will never be that close again, to losing my kid.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Schooooollll'ssss Out for SUMMER!


Which means I'm horrified.

Which means I am savoring these last seconds of freedom.

I am downright soaking up the silence.

My kids are done this week with pre-school.  And WTF - I paid for the whole month of May, but I'm only getting half - what gives???

But the real issue, is SUMMERTIME.

I've created 2 lists - things I love about summer with my kids, and things I hate.

I HATE:

1. Endless hours that I am now expected to entertain my children. I meeaaannn, this goes without saying.

2. The heat, unless I'm in a pool.

3. Wearing a bathing suit.  So self-conscious, even at the kiddie pool, surrounded by those moms that "bounced" right back miraculously to their high school figure after popping out 4 monsters.

4. My kid's soggy, wet bathing suits and towels laying all over the house.  They smell like mold after 1 day.

5. How the sun stays out so long - cuz my kids are all like, the line from FROZEN.  "The sky is awake, so I'm awake, and it's time to play!" Rude.

6. The playdates I'll have to arrange with the kids and parents I don't like, all because it's better than me trying to stand on my head.

7. The inflated prices of summer camp

8. Sticky hands constantly because of the enormous amounts of ice cream consumed.

9. Sand in little girl crevices.  You know what I mean.

10. My period. In the Summer. Exponentially more disgusting feeling. In the Summer.

I LOVE:

1. Pool time on a hot day.  I get a tan, and it wears those kiddos out. BOOM.

2. My tanned fat, is so much better looking than my white, pasty fat.  And what the sun doesn't bronze, my can of self-tanner will.

3. The beach.  Everything about the beach.  I love sand (except for in said crevices), I love the ocean breeze, I love the smell of the salty air, I love the relaxation, I love sand castles, I pretty much love everything about the beach.  Ohhhh, except for annoying beach house-mates, that sucks.  With possible annoying children - that reeeeaaalllllyyyy sucks.  Thankfully there is a lot of alcohol on beach vacations.

4. Seeing friends and family.

5. The food - Hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, grilled veggies....well, anything grilled really.

6. The flexible schedule.

7. Fro-Yo, all day, everyday.

8. Staying up late with the kids watching movies in my bed.

9. Waking up late.

10. An excuse to get pedicures on the regular.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ya Hurd me? Doctor Mix up on Surgery Day

My 4 year old is no stranger to ear infections.  She had tympanostomy tubes put in when she was 14 months old.  They apparently fell out somewhere between 2 yrs old and 4 yrs old.  The doctors said I'd see it-  but I didn't notice anything fall out.  I mean, tending to a newborn while entertaining a 16 month old, did make watching for falling tubes a pretty low priority for me.

Fast forward to now.  We're in preschool - aka germ cesspool.  Once the sniffles, sneezes, pink eyes and coughs of winter started - so did the ears.  Ear infection after ear infection.  Antibiotic after antibiotic.  A freakin' hospital visit. Then the dreaded antibiotic shots - Rocephin.  THREE DAYS OF DOUBLE SHOTS IN LEGS.  I mean, how do you talk your kid into going back to the doctor after that?

So, here we are Spring time - stuck with the same damn ear infection.

We go to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and they perform a hearing test - ya hurd me?
Yeaahhh,, she couldn't hear shit.

The doctor promptly scheduled my daughter's ear surgery a couple of weeks later.

I was notified during surgery scheduling - that if I brought my younger daughter to the hospital - I would not be allowed to sit with my older daughter during recovery.

Say what??!!

Right.  I have zero family in my new city.  My husband is miles away on business.

Can you imagine not being the first face your child sees when they wake up from surgery?  I couldn't.

That's why I called by BESTIE.  That's right, my best friend from high school.  I need to quickly detour to just say how grateful I am to have a best friend as genuine, loyal and understanding as her.  It's pretty rare to have a best friend like that - and I don't know what I'd do without her.

That being said-  she answered my MAYDAY call for help.

The day of the surgery, my daughter is taking the whole thing pretty well.  We woke up at 6AM, so we could spend an hour and a half prepping before the damn surgery.  Thankfully, it was in a children's hospital - with lots of toys and TVs.

After we've been prepped and talked to by like the  fiftieth nurse, in walks a man I've never seen - telling me he's the doctor.

I'm listening to him, nodding my head, but definitely confused - cuz my child's doc is a WOMAN.

He's telling me that he's going to go in through my child's sinuses, balloon it out, and clear the passages.  She may experience bleeding through the eyes.

I'm like, "Dude, what the fuck are you talking about - she's having ear tube surgery?  She's had this surgery before- and she didn't bleed through her eyes."

I don't even think he heard me.

He's like, " Yea, the surgery will like 97% work - and she'll get tubes if it doesn't.  I like to tell parents ahead of time, because it creates alarm when kids bleed through their eyes.  Sign here, sign here and sign here and we'll get her back there shortly."

So I sign...whatevs.  I am going back to that damn surgery room and chatting with fucking everyone up in that bitch about what the effe is going on with my kid.

I immediately start googling "ear tube surgery" - and watching youtube videos of the surgery.  All of the doctors are going through the ear - not the sinuses.  This guy is whack.

Right before we get called back - the nurse asks if I've been exposed to Tuberculosis, something, something and Shingles.

Me, "Yes, I got diagnosed with Shingles 2 weeks ago - and I may or may not still have it."

The nurse says, "Do you have any rashes still?"

Me, "No."

Nurse, "Okay, I have to ask the Operatating Room Manager if you can go back with your daughter.  We appreciate your honesty."

I'm thinking - if I figured for one second that honesty would've prevented me from being with my daughter in the operating room - I would've lied!!

Sigh of relief comes when we get called back - and I'm told I can come too.

The second we get to the operating room - it freaks my kid out.  Rightfully so - Bright lights, everything is stark white, nurses and doctors are wearing masks and it's freezing in the room.

Not exactly inviting to a 4-year old.

I find my WOMAN doctor -and verify the details of the ear tube surgery as I understand them.

She admits, the male douchebag doctor went to the wrong patient's room (mine), and meant to go visit another patient to tell them about sinus surgery.

So I say, "Awesome, so we're clear, you are in fact doing ear tube surgery - not some surgery that's going make my kid bleed through her eyes."

Doctor, "Yes."

The nurse instructs me to lay my daughter on the operating table, and hold down her legs.  My daughter promptly starts kicking.  No shocker there- the nurses are putting a mask on her face for gawd sakes.

And the water works start.

I start bawling like a baby.  My own baby is wailing in fear, covering her ears and kicking and all I can do is bawl too.  I suck.  The second nurse has to then comfort me.  Thankfully, the gas works in 15 seconds flat -and my kid is fast asleep.  I am of course, weeping on my way out of the operating room.

I wait in the recovery room for maybe 10 minutes, and my little darling is rolled into the room.  She's hysterical.  Disoriented.  Crying.  Inconsolable.  It feels awful.  I guess the anesthesia can do that to some kids - make them hysterical.  I try to just hold her and comfort her.  After like 10 more minutes go by- and my daughter is still crying - the nurse suggests I turn on the TV so she can watch cartoons. Genius lady - why didn't you say something?!

Doc McStuffins saves the day - calms my kid, and we go home 30 minutes later.

We laid low for the rest of the day - and by the next day - my daughter is feeling 100% better.

Ear tube surgery is pretty mild.  I don't remember kids getting it like candy when I was a kid - but whatever, I guess times change.

My big mommy tip - is know your doctor, know what you are getting done, and if any part of surgery prep sounds wrong SPEAK UP.  Chances are, someone with some good ears will hear you.