Friday, April 25, 2008

What do you do when...

Your child develops an irrational and debilitating fear of something? Recently Emma has developed a fear of BUGS of any kind... even the tiniest bugs like gnats and ants. One day about 1 1/2 weeks ago she just freaked out while in the car and screamed like a victim in a horror movie. John almost wrecked the car it scared him so badly.

Four days ago she refused to do one of her favorite activities, side walk chalk, and shook violently at the sight of an ant. Later, she refused to move from a spot in the middle of the back yard because I made the mistake of telling her that she didn't need to be afraid, bugs were every where in the back yard (above ground and below) and the didn't and wouldn't hurt her. Later (after about 2 hours of her standing in one spot screaming) we convinced her to get in the sand box, into the nice NEW , clean sand. I was a few feet away when she shrieked and sobbed because of one ant in the sand box.

I don't know what happened, the only thing I can think of is that she had a bad dream or something but I can't seem to get a clear answer about it. I know I need/ we need to comfort her but I don't want to over do it (as in John and I have told her we will give her hugs but we refuse to carry her around in the back yard or hold her off the ground)... and I know that if I ignore her behavior it could foster feelings of abandonment and make things worse.

I have been wracking my brain to come up with things to make her feel like she is in control, and to show her that bugs are good and that it's OK to not like them but she doesn't have to be afraid of them.

Soooo, this is what I have come up with, I hope it works! Emma got some toy lizards for her birthday from Anna from Target, and they had some matching buggies on sale. My idea is to have her get used to bugs by playing with these, they basically are from David Kirk's Miss Spider/Sunny Patch.

Also, we bought her a magic pair of sunglasses in the right side of the picture below that have butterflies on them, and the lenses flip out to the sides. They are magic because bugs will see that she is friendly since the glasses have butterflies, and the bugs will decide to be very nice to Em and not hurt her. If they do fly on her, they are just there to give her a buggy kiss to say thank you for showing that she is ok with bugs.

If THAT doesn't work, we have also bought her a spray bottle that I will fill with "bug spray" (thanks for the idea Ash!) that will have water with a dash of febreeze for scent. She can spray the bugs if she gets scared while we are out, not to "kill" them but to remind them to be nice. ;)

I hope something works because I hate to see my baby shaking in terror because of an ant :(

Did you go through this ( irrational fears) with your child? How did you get them through this phase? Any help would be appreciated!

*photos are borrowed from Bug Safari*

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bruce Lee (and Chuck Norris) would be so proud

We have been trying to get Anna interested in activities, hopefully a sport of some kind. We want our kids to NOT be couch potatoes like us, and we are trying to be good examples by increasing physical activity...

but it's not working. :P

Me a few days ago: Hey Anna, what about karate? You like to do high kicks and karate chops...

Anna (in a less than enthusiastic tone): Mmmmm... OK... But only if you bribe me.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On a more serious note

Emma complained of chest pain today. I called and made an appointment with our doctor, and was told we had to bring her in 2 hours later because" it's statistically unlikely that she is having a heart attack". Harumphhhhh.

I wondered to myself if I remembered how to do child CPR... "follow the rib cage uo , place 2 fingers on the tip of the sternum, then place the heel of one hand after those fingers...", and pictured myself trying to keep it together while doing compressions with one hand and talking to 911 with the other.

then I asked her if she wanted some medicine for her chest while we waited and she said, "No, I want to see the doctor NOW."

Um, dudes? When your 3 year old asks to see a doctor? Scary stuff. I called John and told him to forget the doctor, to pick us up to bring us to the ER. Being the responsible adult that I am I called the doctor's office back and explained that since Emma is now asking to see the doc, I wanted to cancel the appointment, and that we were going to the ER. What does this lady say?

"Ummm, well you can just bring her here, instead of bringing her to the ER..."

Me- "Yes, well, 3 year olds don't normally ASK to see the doctor so I feel more comfortable bringing-"

"But, you could just bring her here, and we could see if the doctor could see her right away..."

Me biting my tongue, cus really receptionist lady? You're going to try to talk me into bringing my kid to a clinic equipped with an EKG versus a fully equipped hospital.... because you want my freaking money? WOW. *clearing my throat angrily*- "Basically I am calling you to TELL YOU that I wont be bringing Emma there, we are going to the ER."

"Well, we can run tests... Oh I guess all we can do is an EKG."


"OH. OK, good luck then."

I said thank you and hung up before I could utter the words, "Good luck with me not coming down there to kick your @ss."

Then I repented and prayed for my child who was slumped back on the couch, my sweet little 3 year old, whom this idiot wanted so badly to make money off of. Sheesh.

Statistics, schmatitistics. Lets say 100 out of 20,000 kids ever experience cardiac problems at Emma's age... For the 100 kids, and the parents of those 100 kids, statistics don't mean a mother blogging thing. Yes, I get it. The chances are rare, but I'm not going to sit idly by while Emma actually goes from saying "Mommy, I don't feel good, my chest hurts" while pointing to her sternum area to "I want to see the doctor NOW." (in lieu of the tasty purple medicine that she begs for for no reason at all).

And frankly, I have been a statistic all my life for one reason or another -my childhood, tubal pregnancy, endometriosis, infertility,emergency c-section with Anna, miscarriage, having a large mass on my thyroid, various allergic reactions... I could go on but you get my point. Sheesh, no wonder I am such a pessimist. I have seen the numbers and the numbers usually include me, so I'm going to do what I need to do to make sure my kids are safe. End of story.

OK, rant over, back to the important stuff like Emma. ;)

My concern is that John has a heart murmur, and at birth we were told Em had one too. Later before we left the hospital after she was born the doc said he could no longer hear it. A year ago when Emma had pneumonia, our doc said he could hear one again, but couldn't hear it with a follow up appointment. He said that there are some kids who will develop a murmur during illness but it will go away...

Also, when Emma was sick last year with pneumonia , we rushed her to the ER because her lips were bluish. Since then, she has had a few episodes where I will notice that her lips are slightly purple, but check her again in a few minutes and she is fine. Of course this never happens while actually at the doctors (why is it that kids are always fine when they get there?), but when the ER doc asked today if that had ever happened I said yes. Apparently he is a little concerned too that Emma is so small that people often mistake her for a 2 year old.

But honestly, today scared me. John has a cousin who's son needed heart surgery at the age of 8, after discovering he had a problem when he was 6 or 7.

Anyway, an xray showed nothing and I was surprised that they didn't do an ekg... but the ER doc wants to see an actual pediatrician instead of a family practice doc to have Emma looked at more closely.

She did better than I expected and was even able to identify her pain level by looking at a facial expression chart, as seen here.
She pointed to #4. When told to hold her breath for the chest xray, she forgot to stay still and covered her mouth with her hand... which all the xray techs thought was adorable. She followed directions very well otherwise and was ooooh'd and ahhhh'd over for being so cute, petite and for her curly hair... basically she was treated like a little princess.

The extra bonus for her was that her nana (the infamous MIL) works at the hospital so she came over to the ER to see her Peanut.

My little princess didn't cry once.

I did, but not my girl. ;)

Hopefully her tests will come out normal (when we get in to see the pediatrician), and her chest pain will have been nothing more than indigestion for the bagel and cream cheese she had for breakfast... but prayers would be appreciated.

I know all I seem to be doing is asking for prayers, but surely you parents and grandparents understand.

Thank you so much, from Emma, John and me. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

That's life - OR- I need a vacation

Sooooo..... Long time no see huh? I bet the 4 people that still read my blog might be wondering what I have been up to lately, and to those 4 lovely people (who I am very very grateful for!!!) I would like to say this: My life is complete chaos right now.

Which I suppose for some people is normal, but for me that hasn't been true for a very long time. Since I was a kid actually, but compared to that my life is a song.

Emma's birthday was on the 30th, and we had a very small party for her. If you remember, I was able to talk the little booger into having a princess party:

I feel bad because I didn't actually make her cake, but I had to work the 2 days before her birthday.... my MIL bought the cake and I decorated it at least :) She didn't have a nap that day since her party fell on her nap time, but later she crashed out on the couch while sitting with Anna and me. I thought back and realized that 3 years to the day, she was sleeping just like that I am sure.

Of course the MISU didn't bother to tell me he was taking a pic of me too, so I was doing the "let me smoosh myself way back so I'm not in the pic, while unfortunately making my double chin look ginourmous" thing. *SNORT*
And then :D

Since her birthday, I have been working A LOT. I only wanted to work 3 days a week but I have been working a lot more, and I just worked 5 days in a row at The T. Just when I started to get used to working in retail, and getting used to the rhythms of the sales floor, I go and do something stupid like asking to be cross trained in the "Food Avenue"... which came at a very bad time as 2 regular kitchen employees have quit to move to another state. So, I trained last weekend and have a total of 4 food area shifts already this week. When I asked to be trained there, several supervisors (including the HR) pounced on me, saying, "So you wanna work at Food Ave, huh? Do ya? Do ya? Huh? Huh? Huh?"

I should have known right then- as I stood there gagging at the stench of sheer desperation coming down the hall at me- to run in the other direction pleading temporary insanity.


I thought I'd train so that I could get an extra shift here and there... not to replace a Food Ave employee. Clearly I need to talk to HR about this if they continue to schedule me more than once a week, though they told me I had a lot of shifts because someone was on vacation. We shall see.

Actually, I have 2 more food shifts this week, then one next week... so I called yesterday for them to make a notation to NOT schedule any more food shifts for me until I figure out whether or not I like it.

Anyway, other than that I have contemplated giving up blogging. I have little time to write, and no time to read my favorite blogs, AND given that I am so miserably behind in both seems overwhelming to me... which kills any desire to blog at all.

I am sure that you, dear reader, have been here at this very cross road. My readership is way down because I haven't been posting, and as much as I hate to admit it, readership relies almost completely on "popularity" and reader reciprocation- meaning that there seems to be a certain algebraic equation to popularity, and I am horrible at math now. Also, if you don't have the said algebraic components and digits, then fail to reciprocate comments... yer done.

I just don't have the energy to prostitute myself for comments/readership right now. What I mean by THAT is I have begged, pleaded and apologized in the past for not reading/reciprocating, and I have tried to "fix" things by spending hours reading other blogs to play catch up or to try to save face. This has no bearing on those blogs I read, and they (the blog owners) are not to blame, and they are not to blame for the guilt that I used to feel.

This is just how I feel about it all.

But honestly? That's life. Often times we find ourselves in situations where we have to choose and sacrifice, and sometimes we have to scrape away the extraneous and unproductive parts of our lives to really discover what we are made of. I don't feel guilty, just sad. I don't want to lose touch with friends that I have made blogging, but again that's life. Just like in real life, sometimes you lose friends despite your best efforts. Sometimes people outgrow relationships.

For me, right now at this moment, I am not sure where blogging fits into my life. So much so that I forgot my 2 year bloggiversary on February 6th. And on a side note, since starting [to] work [my @ss off], I have lost more weight. I'm down 20 lbs, y'all!

This part of my post is in no way meant to offend, and I hope it doesn't. Like I said, this is about me. At the end of the day, I have to decide what is more important; blogging or spending what little time I have with my kids on the days I work now, since I go to work about 45 minutes after Anna gets home from school and come home after their bedtimes. But also it has a lot to do with me not wanting to put those pressures on myself anymore, life is too short.

I do know this though... there are a few of you peeps who have stuck with me through thick and thin, crazy outburst and tyrannical/maniacal rants. Thank you so much for your love and support! Don't worry, I will make time for you, I promise (sorry I haven't emailed you back Factor 10 Jen, Ash and Michelle). It may not happen for a while until I have a decent stretch of days off, but know I am thinking about you.

Finally, trying to start a sewing business then getting a job was a really bad idea. I have no energy left for my basic housework let alone sewing. I have nothing so far for my web site: there is no design yet, and I have little product to show for the last 4 months. I'm not sure if I should even venture or risk it since I thought that maybe I could get business by posting pictures of my wares here on my blog, but as you can see I don't even have time for regular posts.

I hope to update here and there, but if I have no activity... well I guess ASP will have to close up shop.

Like I said, my life is chaos right now...We'll see how it goes.

I know you understand.