Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy’s girls

It started almost 38 years ago…
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Though I don’t remember too much about those days, I was the one and only back then, and I was Daddy’s girl. 

Now, I get to enjoy the new perspective, of watching my girls be Daddy’s girls…

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And both perspectives are pretty good ones, I say.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching us right from wrong and how to enjoy a great ball game and a fun car.

And thanks, M, for adoring our little poonchins, teaching them right from wrong, how to appreciate Bears football, and letting them climb (with love) all over their daddy pop.

And let me just add… both these pictures above are of little girls heading to church with their daddies. It’s no accident that the legacy continues. It takes a firm decision and determination to do what’s right.  And I don’t take that for granted.

M asked for Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, MD for Father’s Day. And he received it. With much appreciation that he takes his job seriously enough to want to do it the best he can.  And yes, I sneaked a peek at it before I let KiKi wrap it up… and it’s good. Get it and give it, or get it and read it, depending on your position in the parental pairing. Whether your daughters are 6 months old or 25 years old. Great info for all, and it’s never “too late.”

(Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson is also another good one. I have it in audio book form. And I feel sure it’s one I’ll listen through just about yearly. I recommend it for moms AND dads.)

Daddies and daughters…a special thing. The relationship that can make or break a girl.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Return of the giggles

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The girls are home.  I went and met up with my parents and youngest sis yesterday at the halfway point of our liking (Mexican restaurant, of course!) to pick them up.  I had lovely company along for the ride, as well, and that always makes a little road trip more enjoyable.

As expected, KiKi flipped her little lid and wouldn’t have anything to do with me for a while after I arrived.  She clung to Grammy and wouldn’t look at me. 

The pic here is from right before we left, an hour into her warming up process, which is about how long it often takes.

This is common with her… whoever has just arrived home is feared, completely avoided, and glared at, if they are so lucky as to get her eyes at all their direction.  I’m not sure how her little brain works, but she’s at least consistent. 

When M comes in from work, Kinlee will run the other direction, usually straight to me and plead for me to hold her and not let Daddy get her.  The same response happens when I get home from work, if she’s still awake.  It doesn’t matter if we’ve just run to the store or been gone for a few days.  When her grandmas arrive, she’s generally the same with them, although they are her favorite thing just a few minutes later. I’m not sure where it all comes from. She’s not a fan of whoever is just entering the picture.

She does warm up, sometimes more quickly than others, but it’s a pretty interesting little habit she has.  We’ve become accustomed to it, and we generally will alert others in the situation to the way it will play out so they don’t get offended or think they’ve done something bad.  Just a KiKi thing…

The girls had a great time. They’ve been telling all about the horses they got to pet and the kitties they saw and the BIG trampoline that they got to jump on.  Last night we played a little longer on the floor in the living room, letting bedtime wait, since they were just happy to be home and full of the giggles that we missed a little while they were gone.

While they were gone, I got plenty of relaxing done, some reading, and some much overdue cleaning in the house.  I’m feeling a little better overall. I’m still fighting the same “summer cold” as everyone seems to want to call it, and I’m just about to poke a little hole in my ear drum to get the fluid out that just will NOT leave.  The constant coughing, drainage, and throat clearing is annoying—to me and anyone around me.  After 3 weeks, this is getting a little ridiculous!

For all the drama that KiKi can be, she can also be pretty sweet.  She was eating some dinner last night and said, “I’m sorry, Mommy.”  I told her that was nice to say she was sorry, but that I didn’t know that she needed to.  I asked her why she said it.  She said, “I’m sorry I missed you and Daddy.”  Then she told M the same a few times, and repeated it to me again before bed.  I think the idea was that she was glad to be home. And for that, I’m thankful.

Here’s hoping our next few weeks will be much more pleasant than the last few and we can spend more time enjoying the little giggly girls who live in our house.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little trip for little girls

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The girls went to Grammy’s house for a few days. They left yesterday, when Mom came through town on an airport-drop-off mission.  We’ll meet on Wednesday to pick them up.  They were excited to go, and that’s nice.  “We’re little girls going on a little trip, Mom!”  They will be enjoying the BIG trampoline, puppies, and lots of good time with their aunties, Grammy, and Papa.

So far, M and I have enjoyed a dinner just the two of us, and I’ve worked a lot.  But it’s nice to have some time when wrangling the tots is not on my list of responsibilities.  Just a little while… 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Look back and laugh: Going sterile

Back by popular demand, and because this topic has come up on a DS forum I like… here’s my guest post done for M’s blog, which is no longer in publication.  It’s about time we all have a good giggle, and M doesn’t mind if it’s at his expense, just this once.  For real… I asked.

From 9/2009~

I don't remember much about "The Great Snip of 2009". Here is what I do remember: They stuck a needle in my arm and told me they were giving me Valium, then I woke up in a stranger's driveway and immediately went unconscious. The following is RK's interpretation of that event.

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After about 30 minutes, the nurse came to the door and said, “RK?” She looked around the waiting room and I motioned that it was me. She asked if I could come back. I was feeding Kinlee, so it took me a few seconds to gather up the bottle, the diaper bag, my purse, etc. and get to the door. As we walked back, the nurse told me they had given him Valium just before they got started, and he was still “pretty out of it.” She said I needed to help him get dressed. I was thinking that I didn’t know about the Valium or I’d have told him he is very sensitive to sedatives. They left that part out of the post op consultation.

We walked through the door into the procedure room and there he was, lying on the exam table. He was more than “pretty out of it,” he was unconscious. Practically drooling while he snored very deeply. It wasn’t his most sexy moment, though the Cardinals shirt with athletic supporter is an interesting ensemble. And no, I didn’t take a picture of that particular part of the day.

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I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with Kinlee while I attempted put his pants on while he slept. So the nurse held her while I went back downstairs to get the stroller from the van. After I returned, having called Julie (Braska was at her house playing with her buddy Jack) to tell the already funny story and how it was going to make us later getting Braska, I strapped Kinlee in the stroller and set out to dress my unusually floppy husband. It should be noted that the nurse did not assist me at all. Now, she HAD put the jock on, thank goodness, so that’s good, but I would have liked some help.

Luckily M had decided to bring his flannel PJ pants (affectionately referred to as “comfy pants” at our house) because I can’t imagine attempting to put jeans on someone in that condition. The nurse had gone to get a wheelchair while I was working on the trouser task. “We’ve never had this happen before,” she kept saying. “We’ve never had to use a wheelchair before.” When I lifted up a leg to start the pants-on process, M stirred a little. I started to fill him in on the situation, even though it was quite clear that he wasn’t grasping it. But at some point during my description, he said, “Ah dun ned ah weecha. Ahken wahk jes fahn.” Ok, maybe trying to write the slurring won’t work, but imagine the drunkest person you’ve ever seen in a bad B movie and double it. He was WAY out of it. He clearly could NOT “walk just fine.”

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He almost fell off the table at least 3 times while I was dressing him, mostly when I was trying to lift his rear end up to get the waist up where it needed to be. There was a bit of lift-n-drop, lift-n-drop going on, yet he slept, only rousing once to say, “Is it done yet?” He ended up in this position.

 

 

 

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I told him it was over and we were going to figure out how to get him to the van. Again he said, “I don’t need a wheelchair.” Then he added, “Just sit me up.” I told him if he could sit up on his own, then we wouldn’t use the wheelchair. He tried, if you count a feeble grunt with no actual movement to accompany it. “Come on, just sit me up.” I didn’t comply, as it became obvious he was getting ready to be in a puddle on the floor. So I tried to shove him back up on the table more securely.

When the nurse returned with the wheelchair, she said, “He just needs to stand up, then we can get behind him.” I assured her he would not be standing up. She kept saying, “Muncher, Muncher! You need to wake up. It’s time to wake up. You can’t go through the waiting room like this.” Apparently there were a whole day of vasectomy patients behind us, waiting in the room that we’d have to pass through to exit. She didn’t want this picture in their heads before they got to the moment of truth of their own. “Muncher, Muncher! Please wake up just a little. I need you to wake up!”

M was not responding to all this encouragement from the nurse. He was snoring right through it all. But as we scooted his rear around to attempt to get him off the table into the wheelchair, he did manage to say, “I don’t need this wheelchair. I can walk to the van.” I ignored him. I ended up lifting him up completely, with my shoulder in his chest and him slumped over my back to pivot him into the wheelchair. The nurse helped by holding the wheelchair still. I probably shouldn’t have let him plop into the wheelchair quite so roughly, but there wasn’t much I could do about it at that point. I just about ended up in his lap from the momentum of him falling down into it.

The nurse gathered his feet up and straightened his head, like she thought it would stay upright, and then headed out of the room. I grabbed my things and pushed the stroller out behind her. She kept urging him, “Muncher, Muncher! PLEASE sit up straight when we go through the waiting room. Please wake up! You’re making us look bad.” I just followed and smiled at the men who looked nervously at our little parade as we passed through the waiting area and out the front door.

We went down the elevator, M sleeping soundly, Kinlee looking at him like he was green and had 4 noses or something, the nurse still saying, “This never happens. I don’t know why he won’t wake up. We’ve never had this happen before.” I just let her stew a little and didn’t say anything. When we got to the front door of the building, she waited while I went to get the van. I put Kinlee in her seat and brought the van up to the front door. The nurse wheeled him out to the passenger side door, and I told her I wasn’t sure how we were going to get him up high enough to get into the seat. M managed to throw in his 2 cents by saying, “I can get in by myself. Where’s the door?” He was reaching for something to hold onto, yet his hand was only about 3 inches off the arm of the wheelchair, missing it’s mark by over a foot. As much as this was funny to watch, I was kind of wishing he could actually give us some assistance. The nurse pushed him out of the chair from behind while I held his legs stiff so we could turn him with his rear to the van. Then I grabbed him around his thighs and lifted him, again quite roughly, into the van seat. I had thought to recline it so that he could flop back, so we just shoved his feet in enough to shut the door, I buckled him in, and the nurse said, “Good luck.” It wasn’t a comfortable position, but it worked.

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I called M’s parents to see if Dad was available, because it was very clear that I was not going to be able to get him out of the car, up the steps to the house, and back to the couch or the bed. I figured since he was in the van, we could just head south 45 minutes and let them help me get him out and recover there for the day. But first we went by Braska’s school to cancel a therapy appointment we had in an hour, and we stopped at QT to get frozen cappuccinos (a fave of me and Julie) to share with her since she’d kept Braska for us. When we got to Julie’s, I left M in the van, in the shade of the driveway, and put the windows down. I brought out a blanket to prop his head up since it didn’t look comfy the way it was. I went in with Kinlee and decided we’d give M a bit to come around a little, maybe avoiding a trip south. Julie and I chatted for a while, about 45 minutes, as I watched him out the front window to make sure he wasn’t stirring around or anything. He didn’t move a muscle.

I loaded up the girls, called Mom to say we were coming, and stopped by home to grab some things. By the time we were in our driveway about 5 minutes later, M was a bit more conscious, asking where we were, saying again that he was fine to walk into the house by himself. He was holding his head up a bit more. But he still couldn’t move his limbs well, and I didn’t want to chance him ending up on the garage floor for the remainder of his recuperation.

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We headed down to his parents, and by the time we got there 45 minutes later, almost 2 hours after leaving the clinic, he was more lucid. Dad came out to help him in to the house, but he was able to bear most of his weight on his own.

There were hours more of sleeping, bags of frozen vegetables that his mom deemed “contaminated” and lots of crude jokes at his expense.

 

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Footnote: 6/8/2011

This story still makes me chuckle almost 2 years later.  From what I hear—from those who have this on their Top 5 fave stories ever—it’s better if you read it out loud to family.  So feel free… let us know if anyone harms themselves falling out of a chair. Not that we’re legally responsible for such things, mind you, but we’d love to know about it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Grumpy about being sick. Sick of being grumpy.

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This is the face I get from KiKi MOST of the time lately. --->

And no, it’s not fun when it’s as common as it’s become. I don’t know if it’s just a 2-year-old phase or if there’s something wrong physically or if she is just struggling more with our schedule adjustments and my working most nights/weekends.

But—all cute kid, “terrible twos,” and drama queen comments aside—it is truly wearing on me. Now that I think about it, she’s probably getting that face from me a lot, too. Which came first….chicken or egg…

I’ve been sick now for 6 days. Braska is still sick, day 7. Though all of us are some better, Braska and I are still coughing up all kinds of grossness, having much less energy than usual.

I know that for my part, I feel like I’m going to truly lose my mind.

It’s not just the sick, though that clearly hinders my ability to take things on with my normal resolve and determination, but the combination of factors that “just happen” to be in place right now is really wearing on me.

Work is frustrating, mostly in the fact that I have to HAVE the job in the first place. I feel like it has upset the apple cart of my life and routine. Though I have always been lacking in some areas of life, I am not successful at any area of life right now, and that is SO SO hard for me to deal with. I’m a firm believer in the truth that all things will be brought together for good, and I know I can’t see the big picture, but right now, it’s a really hard thing for me to not just throw in the towel and refuse to even get out of bed.

M and I are not great at communicating with each other, to make a gross understatement, and with us meeting in the driveway as he gets home and I leave for work… it’s not really helping create closeness or security. That, in itself, rocks my foundations.

Braska’s teeth grinding is at an all time high over about the last 2 weeks. I don’t talk about this a lot, but it’s something that really drives me nuts. She grinds constantly, literally 90% of her waking hours lately. At least. And it’s loud, just ask family and friends who have experienced it. (“Holy cow! Is that her TEETH making that sound?!?” “Doesn’t she ever stop?”)

Kinlee’s constant whining, crying, and refusing to cooperate with any part of our daily schedule is just pushing me over the edge. No matter what she is offered, she doesn’t want it. When she asks for something, I get it for her, then she collapses into tears and refuses to take/eat it. Right now it’s 9:02 am and she’s been up for 2 hours. She has completely refused to eat or drink anything, but keeps asking for breakfast. Any option is refused though. Just now I had to blow my nose, she is on the other side of the room and immediately yelled, “Stop blowing your nose! You can’t blow your nose!” There’s no rhyme or reason to it, but after hours on end, it’s grating. In a few seconds, she will be giggling about something, and then a millisecond after that, in a pile on the floor crying because her sister walked by her too quickly. It’s not that there are no pleasant times, but it is impossible to know how long it will last or when the next one might show up. Exhausting.

Another little example… now she’s singing, “Jesus loves me.” It’s adorable. But I looked up at her to smile and nod, and she said, “You can’t say ‘Yeah!’ Don’t look at me!” I looked back down and she continued sweetly.

She doesn’t want to get dressed, she doesn’t want to get in the car, then she whines because we’re home and it’s time to get OUT of the car. She wants to go to the store, but then she freaks out when it’s time to go in. She doesn’t want to go to bed, she wants to read a book. But when we read a book, she doesn’t want Braska to watch. So we read the book alone, but then she’s mad because Braska is playing with something else. She wants to go to the Y but when we get there, she flips out and won’t go in without a fit.

Then there will be little moments of pure fun, sweet little super-smart 2-year-old fun. Conversations that crack me up and interactions that I’d love to have on video.

But they are suddenly far less rare than the drama, the whining. I realize I have nothing fair to compare this to since Braska’s about as agreeable as they come, but wow… I feel like I cannot do anything right for this child.

I always feel like I have to acknowledge, when I pause from the optimistic to be honestly open about struggles, that I know this isn’t life-threatening or earth shaking. But I can say in all truth that whatever these factors are that come together in the spheres I live in right now are making me feel completely out of control, and it’s making me really disgusted by the mom, wife, and person who is walking around in my skin these last few weeks. Such a lonely feeling…

Yesterday all three of us girls were in the recliner crying at the same time, Kinlee for who-knows-why, Braska because Kinlee was crying, and me because I couldn’t think straight and tears just came. I was praying outloud, thanking God for my girls but pleading with him to help me be a better mom to them right now, because I’m on my last nerve. What a strange mix.

So forgive me please for not being my usual “glass half full” self. There’s not really anything that anyone outside our home can do to help, and several have offered, which I appreciate. (Unless you suddenly want to sponsor a family for a few hundred dollars a month.) God is good, all the time. Even when I feel like this and question why I have been set down in this particular moment in time. We will survive and learn from all things, but I’m sure praying that there is a time of peace soon to come for a little reprieve. Feel free to join me in that prayer and any others you want to offer on our family’s behalf.

To end on an up note: There have been positive things happening lately, so as I have a chance, I’ll share those, too. Swimming lessons, DS conferences, encouraging friends. We are blessed. Good and bad circumstances notwithstanding.

Edited to add---We managed to get to Aldi for WAY overdue shopping without meltdown. Praise God!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bless you, Mommy. Bless you.

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My girls are sick of my being sick. More so than they are tired of being sick themselves, I think. Kinlee says I sound funny and sometimes she laughs when I try to talk. Because nothing comes out. She says I’m a sad mommy.

They are so good and polite. Something that is very important to me, and we work on it diligently. When someone sneezes, they are both all about a good, hearty “Bless you!”  Braska has also taken to blessing those who cough. And let’s just say I’ve been doing plenty of that lately.  So she has been blessing me over and over.  And it’s nice, I admit. But the poor thing is stopping what she’s doing to send me her little “bless you” so many times that I feel a little bad interrupting her so frequently.

So when I’m able, I have been going to the other room to do my hacking.  But the little superstar that she is… she followed me in there, “Bless you, Mommy. Bless you.” Then she turned around, walked back to the living room, and resumed watching Word World.

And I had to smile.  Because this mommy is surely blessed.