2 moms. 3 kids. 1 amazing adventure.

Archive for the ‘I’ll laugh about this someday…maybe’ Category

We’ll just call him Fudge

Did you read Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing as a kid?  I remember reading it, but it’s seared into my head mostly because I usually start out the school year reading this book (or one of the other Judy Blume books in the series) to my class.  The theme of a pesky younger sibling is pretty timeless–and good for many laughs.

Well, now I have my own personal Fudge Drexel.  Just like the troublesome toddler, Owen had his two front teeth knocked out at school yesterday.  At least he wasn’t trying to fly!

It’s never a good sign when you get a call from school halfway through the day.  Just as Amelia and I were finishing up lunch, my phone rang.  Owen’s teacher called to report the incident.  Apparently, a kid playing tag tripped and slammed into Owen, whose face was only inches from the wooden rock climbing wall.   After the gore was mopped up and inspection could be done, he gashed his bottom lip, scraped up his chin, and had two VERY loose top teeth.  I picked him up and off to the emergency room we went.

Luckily, we have a fantastic Children’s Hospital and they have a dental clinic right on site.  He was transported there after the other injuries were checked out.  On the x-ray, you could clearly see where his right tooth was broken almost clear across just above the gum line.  The left was broken about halfway.  Out they must come.

We have never had a negative experience with anyone, from reception desks to physicians, at this hospital, but I wasn’t thrilled with the dental resident we had.   She was obviously annoyed with my questions about the laughing gas and the risk of damage to his permanent teeth.  She showed Owen all the tools she would use (calling them goofy names, which irritated me), but NEVER ONCE told him she would have to take his teeth out…or that it would take a year or more for the permanent teeth to descend.  And then she just started working.  I stopped her and insisted that she explain what was about to happen.  She was visibly irritated, but I don’t care.  He’s FIVE for crying out loud, not a little baby.  Even before he told her, Owen was upset and crying.  His mouth hurt from being poked and prodded all afternoon and he hadn’t had any lunch (it was now 4:15).  That boy without food at regular intervals is like a time bomb waiting to blow.  He was crying and screaming while she tried to work.  I was trying to calm him (not to mention hold his hands because he kept trying to rip the tools from her hands).  She turns to me and says, “It’s easier if the parents leave the room.”  To which I replied, “For you or for him?  I’m not about to leave my hysterical kid here alone.”

He was asking for Dawn, who’d just arrived in the waiting area, so we stopped the procedure and switched.  They ended up getting it done, but not before the dentist pissed Dawn off, too.

As soon as got home and ate a dinner of oatmeal, yogurt, and a pudding cup, he was fine.  He wrote a letter to the tooth fairy, tucked it into (his yet undecorated) tooth box, and went to bed.

Needless to say, the tooth fairy (Wendell, in case you were curious) was very good to the newly toothless boy!

A new, toothless smile




Vacation…part deux

Friday:  Epcot

Our day at Epcot started off well enough.  We rode a couple of rides in the front of the park.   Planning on coming back to use Fastpasses for Soarin’ later in the afternoon, we headed  to the back of the park to explore some of the countries.  We started our trip around the world in Mexico.  Dawn and Olivia stood in line to get an autograph from Donald Duck.  I took Owen and Amelia to ride a little boat ride at the back of the area.  They have the area set up as an open air market and I really wanted to explore the wares, but knew better than to get too close to the breakables with four small hands reaching for everything!  The boat ride features the escapades of Donald Duck.  Amelia fell in love.  She is obsessed with noses and Donald’s bill caught her eye.  She kept a running dialogue about his nose the entire ride.  When we were done, she immediately began signing “more” and “duck”.  Over and over and over.  We enjoyed chinese food for lunch and watched the belly dancers in Morocco.  It looked like rain was headed our way, so we took a boat back across the lake to the front of the park.  Dawn, not a lover of heights, took Amelia to explore while Olivia, Owen, and I rode Soarin’.  It was Owen’s first big-kid ride and he loved it!  I texted Dawn when we were finished and she was headed back to meet us when disaster struck.  Owen and Olivia were walking around a little green space area, holding the railing and balancing on the curb.  When Owen ducked under the railing into the mulchy area, I called for him to come back to the pavement (I was about 2o feet away on the other end of the little oval of space).  Instead of ducking back under, he chose the over-the-railing route.  The railing was wet from the rain shower and he slipped off–face first onto the pavement.  A drop of about 3 1/2 feet if you figure where his face started.  I ran over and scooped him up.  He had blood everywhere and was screaming.  I sat down with him to check the damage.

crash landing

Olivia spotted Dawn coming down the path and went running for her.  She immediately asked an employee where the first aid area was, but they took one look at Owen and told us not to move.  They were calling the paramedics to come to us.  Yikes!  The two Disney employees were obviously well-trained.  One ( a manager type person) stayed with us the entire ordeal.  The other acted as a runner–going to the main path to direct the paramedics and later, getting Owen a wheelchair.  I was panicking a bit because Owen kept going limp and quiet in my arms.  We finally figured out he was just so tired that he kept falling asleep due to being so still.  I had to kep him awake, though, because we were concerned about a possible concussion.  The lump on his head was HUGE!  The paramedics eventually got there, gave him a good once-over, and pronounced him okay.  No warning signs of concussion were present, so we opted not to be transported to the closest emergency room.  He got a wheelchair to use for the rest of the night.  As Greg, the manager-guy said, “Hopefully, a wheelchair will help make this memory at least a little happier!”  I’m guessing it worked because he asked for a wheelchair every day after that!

Saturday:  Hollywood Studios

We have a running joke in our family that everywhere we go, Olivia runs into someone she knows.  It happens all the time.   At Hollywood Studios, though, it was my turn.  We had been in the park for a while already when it happened.  We were about to split up–Dawn and the big kids to the Star Wars store and Amelia and I to see a Disney Jr. stage show.  We were right near a Disney photographer, so decided to get in the line to have a family picture taken in front of the big sorcerer’s hat.  I turned around and practically ran smack into a teacher from my school.  I immediately laughed and told Olivia, “Ha.  For once I ran into someone I know!”  We chatted for a few minutes (just long enough to remind me that he’s a real jerk :)) and headed on our separate ways.  Splitting up seemed to be the theme for our day.  Later, Amelia finally fell asleep in her stroller.  We were on day 4 of no napping, so it was really needed…and I really wanted to keep her asleep as long as possible.  Dawn took Olivia and Owen on a couple of rides and to watch a street performer while I walked and walked with Amelia to keep her lulled to sleep.  Later, I surprised the big kids by taking them back to Magic Kingdom to finish up what we’d missed out on due to the rain on our original visit.   When we’d arrived at the park earlier Saturday morning, I’d snuck over to the ticket window to have a park hopper option added to our tickets.  Dawn and I had talked about how badly we felt that we’d missed out on so many things the kids had really been looking forward to at Magic Kingdom, so we decided to fork over the extra bucks and add the park hopper so I could take them back.  It was so worth it!  We grabbed separate buses at the end of the day and, while Amelia (and Dawn!) headed to dreamland, the rest of us headed to Frontierland and rode the big-kid roller coaster and a few other rides and watched the night-time parade.  Where I had another chance meeting.  We were rushing a bit to get back to the parade route after our roller coaster ride, so the route was getting a bit crowded with people.  I noticed a spot only one row of people deep and snagged it.  I asked the family if they minded us setting up camp behind them and we began to chat.  They, like us, are a transracial family–adopted African-American daughter (also aged 8) and a biological child (also aged 5).  The mom commented on Olivia’s locs and mentioned that she was considering putting her daughter’s hair in locs.  The one thing that was holding her back was that he daughter hadn’t seen a child with locs and was not sure what kind of styles she could put into her hair.  Olivia chatted with K for a while and showed her and told her about why she loves her locs and all the fun ways she styles them.  I mentioned to the mom that I am on an online hair care group for transracial families.  The group has  a few loced kiddos and tons of valuable information about all sorts of things.   She started laughing and said that she was a part of the same group!  It’s large–several hundred active members–so our names hadn’t clicked until that moment!  It was fun to talk hair for a while–and to see the kids enjoying the parade together.  Olivia, my social butterfly, gave K a hug at the end of the parade and told her to have her mom put a picture of K in locs on the group site so she could see them.  The three of us headed back to the resort, exhausted but happy.  And I was even happier because I knew Sunday was our “off day” and we could sleep in!


The Happiest Place on Earth…except when it’s not*…part 1

*Alternate Title:  Vacation is taking every meltdown trigger known to humankind, throwing it all in one big pot (or small hotel room), and letting it stew for days upon days

taken while waiting to be seated for a character lunch

We are back from the “Happiest Place on Earth”.  Truly, for the most part, we had a really wonderful time.  It definitely had its moments, though.  This was our first big vacation being outnumbered.  We have taken several weekend trips with all three kids, but never something on this scale.  Oh, and most of those weekend trips involved meeting up with friends or travelling with friends, which translates to more hands on deck.  I am seriously considering making our family vacations include extended family (well, friends–actually vacationing with my family might send me right over the edge) from now until the kids are all MUCH more independent.  🙂

Wednesday, the 17th:

We got to the airport in plenty of time and appeared to be breezing through security…until the very brusque TSA Agent asked me if the backpack we were using as a diaper bag belonged to me.  Uh-oh.  He proceeded to pull me to the side and search the bag.  I always keep our sunscreen in the outer pocket of the bag and had forgotten to transfer it to our checked luggage.  Because it was larger than the allowed 3 oz and not in my quart sized bag, he had to toss it.  😦

We were on a full flight and they couldn’t assign us seats in the same row, but it all worked out.  Dawn sat with the big kids and I sat with Amelia a few rows up.  Everyone was happy and the flight was uneventful.

We used Disney’s Magical Express, which is wonderful.  They collect your checked baggage and deliver it to your room within a few hours of the flight arrival.  Lovely.  We’ve done this twice before and it was always in our room by the time the Disney charter bus dropped us off at our resort.  Not so this time, however.  It was well within the time frame they give you, so we decided to go ahead and grab dinner at our resort.  The plan was that I would take Amelia back to the room, nurse her, and put her to bed.  Dawn and the big kids would take a stroll around the resort and check out the scenery before returning to the room to get ready for bed themselves.  Except there was no luggage (or pack and play) in the room when I returned with Amelia.  I called housekeeping for the pack and play.  I called the luggage department to ask about our bags.  They pulled up our information on the computer and had no record of our two bags.  Shit.  They initiated a lost luggage claim, which triggers all the resorts in our vicinity to check for our bags.  They also suggested I call the airline to see if the bags were indeed claimed.  Well, I called the airline and got a voicemail for baggage claim, stating their hours were M-F 8am-4pm.  Yeah, helpful.  Apparently, you’re only allowed to lose luggage during normal business hours.  I was not happy…and beginning to panic a little.  Texted Dawn the scoop, changed Amelia (at least we packed the kids jammies in their carry-on bags), and nursed her.  The pack and play was delivered during this time, so at least she was able to get to sleep.  About an hour after my initial call to the hotel baggage department, I called again to see if they had any news.  While I was waiting to be transferred to the proper person, a knock came at my door.  BAGGAGE!!   Apparently, the bags were mistakenly delivered to a different resort site by mistake.  I was so flippin’ glad I wasn’t going to have to deal with the airline the next day while at Magic Kingdom.  And speaking of…

Thursday:  Magic Kingdom

We slept in a bit since we were up later than anticipated the night before.   Because we didn’t have park hopper passes allowing us to move from park to park in the same day and since Magic Kingdom has so much to do, I would normally have considered switching to another park with less to do for the day.   We had reservations for a character lunch, however, so we just dealt with it.  As you can see in the picture above, the day was just gorgeous.  We had so much fun.  We headed to Fantasyland first and did several of the rides the whole family could enjoy.  Amelia tends to be my tentative child, so I was really curious how she’d do on rides.  Turns out, she loves them…once she’s halfway through! 🙂  I was sure that Olivia, in all of her 8-year old maturity, would complain about having to ride the “tame” rides.  Not so, though. Perhaps it helped that we gave her the “job” of being the ride tour guide for Amelia, explaining and comforting her.  Worked like a charm!  Owen just kept insisting that he remembered every single part from when he was here before–when he was 14 months old!  He even remembered all the details from a few rides we never got to when we were here last!  We had a late lunch/early dinner reservation to meet the Winnie The Pooh characters, so we headed on over there and got to watch bits of the parade from the steps until our table was ready.  Dawn’s favorite character is Eeyore…and he was just getting to our table as we sat down.  Great for her!  Not so great for Amelia.  She really needed more time to settle into a new setting before a large, furry, donkey came to visit.  The waiter explained to us AFTER we got photos and an autograph (Olivia’s quest for the trip was to collect character autographs) that the characters work through the restaurant in a continuous circle and that Eeyore would be around again in about an hour.  I think Amelia would have enjoyed lunch more if we had known that.  The poor thing was pretty traumatized.  By the end of lunch, she would point to a character when it was a few tables away, but that’s about it.  When he came to our table, she’d sit in Dawn’s lap and mostly hide her face.  😦  It ended up raining on and off for the next couple of hours after our meal.  Eventually, a hardy storm rolled in and stayed.  We were happy to wait it out in our rain gear, but it just never went away.  The nighttime lights parade we planned to see was cancelled.  The roller coaster (Owen’s first big-kid roller coaster!!) was shut down due to lightning.  We ended up riding the Haunted Mansion three times because it’s inside and doesn’t close for lightening.  We also saw a little animated bear show that the kids thought was cute.  Amelia was MAD when it was over–mostly because she was nursing during the show and I needed to stop long enough to leave the theater and find a new place to sit.  Much to our surprise, we learned there would still be fireworks.  I decided to take Amelia back to the hotel for bed.  Dawn stayed with Olivia and Owen.  They reported that it was really fun.  Apparently, they project photos of park guests taken throughout the day onto the castle.  The kids were sure we would be up there, but alas we were not.

Coming Soon:  Part 2–Friday’s Epcot Disaster and Saturday’s Chance Meeting at Hollywood Studios


Warning:  Shameful whining ahead!  There is a legitimate question at the end, though.  🙂

It’s official.  I am in a funk.  And I cannot seem to shake it.  Normally, I am a glass-half-full kind of person, but not lately.  Work stinks.  The boss (my principal) is still pulling antics with me about nursing.  I am still getting  no support from him in regards to a couple of my students who are unsafe and violent.  He sent the child who punched me in the stomach back to my room within 20 minutes…with no consequence.  The bureaucracy of a large, academically failing district is frustrating.   At home, my own kids are struggling with behavior.  There are a myriad of factors at work with that, some controllable and some outside of my control.   At least in this situation, we are working on a plan to change things.  My mission is to turn this funk around before Family Visit: Part 1 begins this Saturday.  I dyed my hair in an attempt to create change.  I plan to stick ear buds in, turn up the volume on my iPod, and scrub the floors tonight.  If nothing else, my house will look nice for visitors.

In other funk news, Amelia’s cloth diapers have developed an icky smell.  We are using pocket diapers–a combination of Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz.  I don’t love the pockets like I thought I would, but they have been perfectly utilitarian until now.   The diapers smell fine out of the washer…like nothing at all.  As soon as she pees in them…BAM!  BLECH!  I have tried everything I can think of to no avail.  They’ve been stripped.  A few times.  We’ve adjusted detergent (Crunchy Clean Hard Water or Rockin’ Green Hard Water) and amounts.  Oh, how I pine for the ease of the prefolds she wore as a wee one.  But there is no way we could get her to stay still long enough to fuss with them now.  So–here’s that question I promised :)–any cloth diaper advice out there you’re willing to share?  What’s your wash routine?  Do you have any recommendations for another type of diaper (natural fibers, maybe?) to try?  Recommendations for ventilation systems to install in the bathroom with the pail 😛 ?

Going Viral

I hate being sick.  Hate it. I am so lucky that I am rarely ill…all that exposure to germs at school really helps, I guess.  With the exception of Amelia, everyone in our family came down with a stomach virus two evenings ago.  We all fell like dominioes within an hour of each other.  Fun times, I tell you.  Fun times.  First Dawn got sick.  Then me.  Just as I was headed to bed for some sleep, Owen hollers from his room that he threw up in his bed.  While getting him cleaned up, Olivia hollers that she threw up on the floor while trying to get to the bathroom.  The rest of the night was spent shuttling between bedrooms and bathrooms trying to keep everyone clean, comforted, and medicated.  We were terribly ineffective at all three.    On the plus side, though, I got a day at home with my wonderful wife and two snuggly kids… and a newfound appreciation for being sick without my whole family along for the ride!

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