Quote ~ from the movie Parenthood

Grandma: "You know, when I was 19, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick so excited and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out if it."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Ring Circus

Most of my family (minus the Middle Child) was sick from the Friday before Thanksgiving through now (a couple are still sick).  In hopes that we would still have our annual Thanksgiving celebration at our house, I trudged through my head cold.  I did all the activities that I normally would, to get ready, less the food buying and preparing.  I figured if we miraculously recovered I would shop and prepare the day before our celebration, scheduled for the Saturday evening after Thanksgiving, because of work schedules.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I had a 12:30 doctors appointment.  I awoke to the Middle Child complaining of a stomach ache and headache.  “GREAT!”  I thought we all had colds, not stomach stuff.  I figured we would all get that next.  In hopes of keeping my appointment, and so that I wouldn’t have to pay the cancellation fee, I urged the Middle Child to go back to bed and rest.

Here’s the thing about the Middle Child when she’s sick:
A:  whenever she is sick she insists on being out in the family room on our ginormous Corda Roy's King Size Corduroy Foam Bean Bag, infecting the rest of us and telling all of us to be quiet because she doesn’t feel well.

B:  when she has a stomach thing that involves vomiting, she usually ends up getting an IV  because she dehydrates.

And C:  when she vomits she insists on using our very large, Blockbuster, plastic, popcorn bowl.  When she begins to vomit she gets up, vomits into the bowl, as she’s walking through the house looking for me.  This makes me crazy, because I can’t help her as well holding the bowl, as I could  if she would just vomit in the toilet.  I have to hold her hair, make sure the bowl doesn’t tip or fall, and try to hold her stomach and head.  It doesn’t work that well and then I have to empty the bowl and rinse it out.  Gross!

(I’m sure you’re wondering why I don’t insist that she stay in bed and use the toilet to vomit.  To be honest she is pitiful when she is sick, especially with stomach stuff.  And, she has had so many IV’s with stomach flu’s that I really would rather have her out where I can keep an eye on her.  I become a softy when she is like that.)

OK, so now that you understand the situation, here is how the morning played out, as I got ready for my appointment.  “Middle Child, just rest, don’t eat or drink anything, let your stomach calm down.”  “Nobody go near or bother Middle Child, she is sick!”  I continued to do things around the house; she vomits twice over a two hour period.  I begin to re-think the doctor appointment, but she seems to improve a bit.  I think to myself “I’ll only be gone an hour and a half, if she gets worse the older kids (who are babysitting) can call me and I’ll come home, get her and take her to the doctors.”

I get ready to get in the shower, the water is running and I am naked.  Middle Child bursts through my bedroom door as she is vomiting, into her yellow bowl.  My bedroom door is adjacent to the bathroom door where I am standing naked with the water running.  Across from both doors on the wall, hangs a full length mirror.  So, if you are walking down the hall, and my bedroom door is open, you can see in the mirror, that I am naked! 

As she stands before me vomiting into the bowl, oblivious to the fact that I am naked, I notice that her hair as fallen out of her scrunchy.  I hurriedly try to tie it back so that she doesn’t vomit on her hair.  I am yelling at the top of my lungs for the Organized Child to come help me.  I’m thinking hold her hair while I try to hold her head or stomach and the bowl.  The Organized Child tells the Oldest that I am yelling for him.  How she got that is beyond me, their names sound nothing alike!  About the time Oldest is running down the hall to help me, the phone rings.  The Organized Child, who wouldn’t answer the phone if her life depended on it, decides that this is an appropriate time to take a call.

As Oldest approaches my room he sees in the mirror that I am completely naked and the Middle Child is vomiting in her bowl.  He begins to shudder and gag at the site of both of us.  I yell at him to hold her hair, so I can help her.  He grabs her hair and squeezes his eyes shut as tightly as he possibly can!  As the Middle Child starts to slow her heaving, I swiftly grab a towel, to at least hold up in front of me, so that I don’t warp my 17 year old son for life.

The Middle Child continues to vomit, at this time, the Organized Child makes an appearance at the door talking on the phone.  She looks to me with that “do you want to talk to whoever is on the phone” look.  I hiss at her “WHO IS IT?!” while trying to hold up my towel and help the Middle Child.  She sweetly looks at me and replies to the person on the other end of the phone “sure do you want to talk to her?”  “Are you KIDDING me?!”  I think.  I take the phone and manage a seething hello!  My father, on the other end of the phone, senses my frustration, stress and anger and very bluntly says “I’ll talk to you later.”  All that for I’ll talk to you later?  My head is going to explode.

By now, the Informer and the Little Man have made their way into my room to find out just what’s going on.  They are underfoot and both rambling a mile a minute, “Mom, Mom, Mom!”  The Middle Child has finished this round, hands me the bowl full of stinky bile, heads off to wash up and plop back into the bean bag.  Oldest has bolted in order to recover from the trauma of seeing his mother naked.  The Organized Child quickly realizes I was not a happy camper and makes a fast get away.  I send the little ones packing and I got into the shower.

After getting dressed, I called my Dad back to apologize.  He said, that he told the Organized Child, not to bother me if I was busy.  I wonder what she thinks BUSY is?!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Letters to Your Children Or Anyone Else For That Matter

My dear friend Susan has a blog.  Two years ago she posted a wonderful suggestion, as Thanksgiving approaches, write a letter of thanksgiving to your children.  She is very specific on what to write, I love that, as it makes it much easier to take on the task.  I took her advice two years ago.  Oldest was attending the National Catholic Youth Conference, we were asked to write a letter to our child, that they would read on the plane.  I used Susan's model for my letter.

Two years have gone by and I had forgotten about the letter and the model until again Oldest and now the Organized Child and the Director are attending the National Catholic Youth Conference.  This time we were not asked to write letters but I remembered what I had done in 2009 and wanted to do it again.  I revisited Susan's blog and again used her model.  As I re-read over it I felt it was important to share her post with everyone, with her permission I have reposted it below.

I challenge you to take some time in the near future to write your children a letter of Thanksgiving, use her suggestions, expand upon them or just write what you want.  Write from your heart and let them know just how thankful you are for them, how truly blessed you are because they are in your life.  Don't just stop with your kids, or if you don't have kids, write to your spouse, your parents, your siblings, aunts, uncles, anyone in your life that you are thankful for.  As one of the commenters on Susan's post said, a note of thanks is so much better than the usual annual cards (birthdays, Christmas etc.), taking the time to write what is truly in your heart lets them know your deepest feelings for them.  How much taller do we stand when someone compliments us, or acknowledges a job well done?  Don't you want to try harder, work better, and continue to impress the person who has complimented you?  Take the time, our days on this earth are numbered, no one is guaranteed tomorrow, let your loved ones know what they mean to you and how thankful you are to have them in your life!

Thanksgiving Letters to Your Children

Thanksgiving Letters to Your Children
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So before the busy time begins, add one more thing to your To Do list:  write a thank you card to your children this year.
Why? To tell them that you are honored, blessed, lucky, and happy to have them as your child. It doesn’t have to be on a card from the store – notebook paper is fine. Even email would work, but a note in your own handwriting makes it more valuable. Almost 18 years after my father’s death, whenever I see his handwriting, it brings back sweet memories of him.

You may think your children know you love them, and that you’re too busy to write the obvious. You may think the card won’t matter. But it may surprise you how your note will impact them.

Everyone enjoys praise. A simple “nice job” or “wow” can improve one’s frame of mind.

In my opinion, power of written affirmation is largely untapped. But don’t take my word for it – give it a try yourself. This year, write a Thanksgiving note to your children to show them how much you love them.

Include at least five things in your note:
1. Tell them you are blessed because they are yours. This will show they belong.
2. Tell them how joining your family changed it for the better. This shows they are one of a kind.
3. Tell them how they thrill you. This shows them you think they are successful.
4. Tell them a dream you have for them. This shows you believe in them.
5. Tell them they will always have your love. This gives them security.

In no way should the letter reprimand, scold, or express disappointment.

When you do this don’t be disappointed if not much is said to you as a thank you. I wrote a Mother’s Day card to my children after they went to great lengths to plan a surprise gift for me. I was touched by their efforts to honor me and I quickly jotted a note to each one.

Unfortunately, my notes didn’t incite the enthusiasm I hoped they would. I thought it would be like receiving a gift card to Manny’s Chophouse, but that wasn’t the case. They read them, but said very little. However, I wrote it as much for myself as for them. I wrote the cards to my children because I wanted the record to show that having them in my life is the one of the best things to ever happen to me. If they choose to save their card, it will be written proof that they are very loved. Even as a grown child and a parent myself I treasure the special notes from my parents.

Remember when I said you may be surprised how it will impact them? I just discovered my oldest daughter carries her Mother’s Day thank you from me in her wallet.

Take the time to write your love note to your children. Do it now before you are too rushed to add it into your holiday season.