Cora's Ear Tube Surgery, a Prayer Request, and a Super Geek-Out

Two weeks ago, we met with an otolaryngologist (I totally know why they go by ENT) to discuss Cora's ears and the possibility of her having ear tubes. This whole saga began about a year ago when we put Cora into speech therapy. After four months of speech, I didn't feel like things were coming along the way I thought they should, so I had her pediatrician take a look at her ears. He saw that there was fluid, so we pulled out the tympanogram and tested her ears. Neither of her eardrums were moving because of the fluid. After we tried a steroid nasal spray for 6 weeks, and her ears weren't 100% clear, though much better, we went to an audiologist for a formal hearing screening. At the exam, one of her ears was infected, and there was no movement on the tympanogram in that ear, and less than average movement in the other ear. She was experiencing hearing loss because of the fluid present, though her permanent hearing was unaffected.

When we went back to her regular pediatrician, he wanted to do four more weeks on the nasal spray, and if her ears weren't perfect we'd go to the ENT. They looked good the day we went, but with all of the ear infections (4-6 per year), we decided to go ahead and go to the ENT. It took FOREVER to finally get into one, with an ear infection in-between. She had a hearing test two weeks ago, her hearing looking normal, her ears were clear, and the ENT was initially wanting to see us back in 3 months. I almost laughed out loud. After we went over her history with him and discussed the number of infections she gets, plus the speech issues, we scheduled ear tube surgery for the 28th. This morning I got the call with information about arrival time and what she can and can't eat/drink for how long before the procedure. Her arrival time is 11:30 AM with surgery about 2 hours after that, and she can't have any food starting at midnight.

Here's where the prayer request comes in: she's getting sick. No fever yet, but she's getting some nasal congestion and has a little cough, and any time she gets even the tiniest bit of extra mucus, she gets an ear infection. Please pray that she won't get a fever, and that if this is trying to turn into an ear infection, that it won't make it that far before she gets her tubes. I'm ready for us to be moving on from the ear issues and back into her speech therapy. Her speech really has improved in the last year, and I know that it will get better by leaps and bounds when she can hear in a normal range consistently while working on getting rid of the modifications she's made along way to compensate.

And the Super Geek-Out....

My visiting teachers were over today. [In the Mormon church, every woman has a few other women she visits, shares a monthly message with, checks up on, makes sure they're doing well, etc. I was being visited by my "visiting teachers" and I am a "visiting teacher" to other women.] I can't remember the exact point of conversation we were at when it happened, but it happened in a big way.

Barry walked by. I have a crush on our mailman. Today was extra special because he was wearing his woven hat and sunglasses. What I really love about him are his sweet bow legs, which I couldn't see from where I was sitting.

Anyway, when Barry walked by, I totally interrupted the conversation to watch, and share my crush with the other very married women in my living room. And then I was slightly embarrassed for making a big deal about Barry. There was blushing, and turning red, and even sweat involved. But my day stops every time he walks by.

It's an innocent crush, really. I crush on him the way I crush on cute kids. He reminds me of what that  little kid in all of the old "real" Disney movies [think Swiss Family Robinson] would look like all grown up, but without the super weird voice - Kevin Corcoran. Barry even neatly parts his clean cut hair on one side, and he has dimples. If there were a letter carrier appreciation day, I would leave out milk and cookies rather than Red Hots or a Big Hunk.

Don't worry, Jake knows about this. And about my crush on Brian Williams. My crush on Brian has to do with his eyebrows. More specifically, the sharp downward angle they take when he's making a serious face. I cried when Tom Brokaw left Nightly News and spent the next few months wary of Brian. He grew on me. When my girls hear Nightly News's theme music, they stop and yell from wherever they are, "Brian's on!"

Who do you have super Geek-tastic crushes on?

The vein in my forehead is about to burst: a tale of the worst pay schedule ever. EVER.

It's not like the universe will implode. It's not like my life will fall off into this great dark void. My lungs will not suddenly gasp for air as I try to make the most of my last breath. No.

None of these things will happen. It's that time of year where I start holding my breath. Jake's last full paycheck was at the end of May, and he won't be getting another one until the end of September.

$1,453.47. That's the amount left in our checking account. Our savings is down from thousands to a little less than $200.

I used to feel really bad about my budgeting skills around this time of year. Where could I have shaved off a little or a lot? What did I buy that we didn't really need? Something has changed this year. Jake called our mortgage company today to see if we could delay our September payment. Jake Johnson who is who he is, and works the way that he does, and is as awesome as he is at what he does, and who wore the same pair of shoes everyday for two years in a row should NOT be calling the mortgage company to negotiate payment dates.

Our mortgage is really another blog post entirely. In May, you know, the month we descend into this madness of four months without a paycheck, we received a letter from our lender that the taxes had been miscalculated when we closed, so our escrow account was empty (our home's value magically doubled when we bought it - double value equals double taxes). Our payment was going up a little over three hundred dollars a month for a year to make up for it. So right off the bat this summer, we had about $1,500 in unexpected expenses.

Let me cut to the chase: every September, we are a rags to riches story. We go from barely being able to breathe because things are so tight to having more than we need to cover everything. We usually go out to eat to celebrate because we've been eating mostly lentils or beans or some other legume way more than anyone should. The real core of this problem, I've just discovered today, is not my ability to budget, nor is it the amount of money we make, it is the most absurd pay schedule in the history of the world. (Maybe.)

I get the waiting a pay period to get paid. It's happened at every job I've ever worked, except that the pay period is usually two weeks. Jake's pay period is once a month. So WHY does he start working mid August and not get paid until the end of September? That's 6 weeks! And then! In winter, he starts working the first week-ish of January and doesn't get paid until the end of February! That's 7 weeks! I would be so peeved if I had to work that long without getting paid. And you know what?!? I'm going to go ahead and say that my budgeting skills are pretty rock solid for making it this far with having to put up with such a stinky pay system.

If Jake got paid like most people do, even if he went the summer without a paycheck and started getting paid within a reasonable amount of time after the school year started, this would be a non-issue.

We got a credit card in 2006 when we went to Hawaii and needed to rent a car. I used it then to rent a car and once at Ross like four years ago when the card machine wasn't reading debit cards. The original one actually expired, and I have the new one in my wallet with the activation sticker still on it. I think I'm going to have to activate it and use it to make it through September. And then so ridiculously pay it off on the last day of the month when he gets paid because we will magically have a surplus. Just like that.


OCU: the pay schedule some of your employees are on puts them in really hard positions, and it's a SHAME! Especially when they work so hard for you.

School Lunches

I packed a school lunch as a mother for the first time today. Tomorrow is Cora's first full day at school. That means she needs a lunch. She loved the Pad Thai we had for dinner, and she excitedly accepted the leftovers. In addition to that, she has a whole carrot peeled and cut in two, cubed mango, and some roasted seaweed. It's all in the fridge waiting to go in her lunchbox tomorrow morning.

I was going to let her pick out a new lunchbox for the school year, but she wanted to use one that was given to her by a friend a few years ago. It's pink and it has a white cat wearing a crown with purple glittery bursts around it, and it reads "Princess." The only thing that would make it more up her alley would be if it had a unicorn or mermaid on it. 

The girls have enjoyed their first two days of school. When I went to get them on the first day, Magnolia wasn't ready. I pulled forward in the carpool line and their PE teacher came and told me they were changing her clothes. Bless her little heart, she had an accident right before school was over. We went through some major potty training regression when we were in Alabama. I think she's still getting over it. She hasn't had an accident since the one at school, and she's been telling me to go outside the bathroom every time she goes so she can do everything "by myself."

I cried for 30 minutes after we dropped them off the first day. I did great today. I'm sure Goo will be upset tomorrow when we drop Cora off and not her (she only goes Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). She and I might both cry a little, but I have some fun things planned. I know when I pick Cora up tomorrow afternoon, all will be well, but thinking about her being gone for twice as long as I'm used to...not eating every meal with her... This is the part that keeps getting me choked up.

Here's Magnolia looking out the window while we were in the carpool line this morning. 

Tapping My Foot

I'm a big ball of nervous energy tonight. My girls start school tomorrow.

After we put them to bed, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself [I could have done dishes] so I went outside and washed our Outback. I decided I feel better about washing my car in my driveway because I use natural cleaning products to do so. Look, I'm trying to go on a tangent. After towel drying her, Olive is our Outback's name, I took her for a spin around the 'hood. Mostly because she's sleeping in our driveway tonight rather than our garage, and I just know she's going to have bird poo on her in the morning.

When I got home, I heard my girls call out for me. Jake had come outside for a bit at the end of the wash and went back in right before I took a little drive. During the time he came out, our girls had come out of their room looking for us(they never looked outside). Cora, through eyes that had been crying, told Jake she was about to be brave and go out on the front porch and yell, "HELP! HELP! SOMEBODY HELP US!" Instead, they just laid in our bed waiting for us, likely crying intermittently. They are so tender and sweet. Cora asked why I didn't leave a note.

They are snug in their beds, well, bed. Cora has been scared since we saw a crab in the pool in Alabama. A few nights ago, she wanted Magnolia to sleep with her. Magnolia agreed. The next night, Magnolia wanted to sleep in her own bed, so we pushed their beds together. I love walking in to check on them and seeing how they've managed to wrap themselves around each other.

They are both so excited for school. We had an open house last night, and they were on complete overload. So much to do and see! Cora will travel between 5 different areas depending on the color of the ticket waiting in her box each day (practical life and geography - yellow,writing and animals - orange, language and reading - red, sensorial and botany - green, and math - blue). She'll travel between three rooms with a little work group of about 12. She'll return to her "circle" everyday for calendar work, a time of conversation and to decompress, lunch, and chapter time (an adult reads from a chapter book then they play music while the children rest for a while before their afternoon work begins.

See what I mean? Cora will be gone all day. The all day part doesn't start until Friday, but wow. I'm giving myself pep-talks. Magnolia will be at school Tu, W, Th for about 2.5 hours each day. I won't find myself with all kinds of time on my hands, but I will feel weird picking up one and not the other. Magnolia still naps, so I hope I can bring her home, eat lunch, and let her have her downtime before we go get Cora. Maybe she won't miss her as much that way.

Their school is so sweet, and their teachers are fantastic, and I love Montessori, but I sort of wish I was there doing it all with them. It's amazing. They're amazing. I'm going to go try not to cry.

Running with Alice

I really want to try to be in bed by 10 and get up before I'm brought out of those amazing early morning dreams by calls from my girls' room that they need to go potty or they're hungry or, "IT'S MORNING!" It's currently 11:22. I will try with all my might to make it to bed by 10 tomorrow night.

After my girls were in bed, I went for my first run with Alice.
1. Alice is mostly a pretty slow runner.
2. When she's startled, she's a really fast, all over the place runner.
3. Alice stops a lot to sniff this and that.
4. She is an abrupt stopper.
5. I only almost tripped once. Make that twice.
6. Alice was a nice distraction from running.

I ran about two miles tonight because I didn't want to take Alice out for too long. When I got home, I contemplated going back out for a moonlight bike ride because the weather was perfect. Is this turning into another running post? It might be.

I gained 6-8 pounds in Arizona. No joke. My parents had a never ending supply of Peanut Butter M&M's on their kitchen counter, and those were just one of the many things I indulged in while there. I eat my way through familiar places. So now I have the weight of an average newborn human being residing on me. Mostly in my midsection. Orange Beach and a swimsuit were a slice of humble pie. I'm short, and short people know that every pound counts.

So I'm running. Here's the deal about running: I've run three races since April. [10k on a relay team for the Memorial Marathon, 5k Downtown Dash, 5k Equality Run.] Do you know how many times I've gone running since February besides tonight?

Go on and take a guess....

Three. Besides tonight I have gone running three times since February. Did you add that up? Let me help if you still have your fingers out: The only running I've done in the last six months have been during my three races. I don't get it either. I'm about to get philosophical. I think.

I really want to love running. And sometimes I really do. Like when I ran the Downtown Dash. And when I ran tonight. And I used to love running all the time. Like when I was young (even before my cross-country days in high school), and I would run around the track for fun while my mom walked with a friend. And the first time I ran two miles in 7th grade. 8 laps around the dirt track at Kino Jr. High during gym class. I was naturally a "good" runner. I didn't have to work hard at it. That was also a stumbling block....

Sometimes the things you're naturally good at aren't the things you love. And sometimes you never do things you [would] really love because of the work they require.

I know that my body would do whatever I wanted it to in the running arena if I put in the effort. But my mind is always like, "Ugh! Why all the repetitive motion?" And I almost always let my mind win. So what does this really mean? Something I wish wasn't a part of me. I'm naturally good at many things, but I find ways out when it comes to putting the work in at things that could be super rewarding. I stay at the baseline of my ability. I think this is why 1/2 marathon/marathon remain on my list of things to do. Because doing them will mean overcoming this mental block I have when it comes to running. But it's not just running. This mental block that extends to many parts of my life. I'm just about over it.

Swimming and Clams [and jelly fish]

Today was lovely and fun. I got to see more of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, but most of our time was spent playing at the beach. The girls love going through the waves and making sand castles.

While we were in the pool, Cora put on a "mask" pair of goggles, and a miracle happened - she could swim! She always attempts to swim at the weirdest angle because she doesn't want her head to go under. With the goggles on, she puts her head low to the water and her feet come up behind her, and she's off. I was really proud of her.

We spent time finding clams and watching them dig back down into the sand. We've found so many pieces of sand dollars - one of these times we'll find a whole one, I just know it. ;) We've loved watching dolphins swim by. There are so many fish and little creatures. I've been a little nervous over talk of a hammer head shark, but it's all good. 

Not long after we got to the beach this morning, Jake took Cora out on the boogie board. They hadn't been out for too long when there was lots of screaming. Screaming Cora that is. I met them out in the water and carried her in. She was stung by a jelly fish. I've never seen a jelly fish sting before. It took a while to show itself entirely, but Cora was awesome. After the initial screaming and shock and terror that something had "bit" her in the water, it didn't take long for her to get her mind off of it. It got the back of both legs. I'm hoping that since we got jelly fish stings out of the way right off the bat, we won't have to deal with anymore such things.


For the first time today, I saw:

Paris. Paris Texas, that is.
A swamp (several).
An airboat.
More boats than I've ever seen on the road before being pulled through Louisiana - I'm pretty sure they win for having the most. 
The Gulf of Mexico.
Magnolia seeing the beach for the first time, and Cora seeing it for the first time she can remember. They laughed and played and laid in the water. 
Magic - them exploring everything was truly that.

I can't wait for tomorrow!! I love the beach! It's right outside my window! If I wasn't so tired, I don't know how I'd sleep! [more exclamation points!!]

Tales from the Homeland: cleaning out closets

While helping my parents get settled into their new home, I found three sweet dresses I wore when I was a little girl. I wore one when I was 3. It's a little black velvet dress with a lace collar that I wore to my great-grandfather's funeral. When peering down into his grave, one of my older cousins told me to be careful not to fall in because they would never get me out. I still keep my distance. The dress is perfect for Magnolia right now.

The second dress was one I got specifically to wear to my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. It's white with red polka-dots and I wore a really full slip under it. I can't wait to see it on Cora. 

And last but not least, I found the outfit I wore when I was baptized. (Baptisms in the Mormon tradition happen when a child is 8.) I remember spending a long time at the JCPenney at  Tri-City mall picking it out. Generally girls wear white dresses to their baptism. I opted for a peachy pink. And because I couldn't help myself...
The shirt.
I think if I wasn't wearing my fabulously padded bra, it might just button. Does that mean my chest is the same size it was when I was 8? Almost. Nursing did a number. But I don't mind one single bit. Most of the time.

The whole ensemble. Sort of. I would totally still wear it, you know, if it really fit.

What's the real lesson in all of this? I've always loved pleats.


Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top