Monday, March 31, 2014

Whopper of a Week

In between taking care of Brody and a few other things--and frustrations--last week, I just never had time to get on the computer and blog. Now that I'm thinking of it, I really don't remember much of what happened last week....?????

This mommy brain syndrome, as I like to call it, is getting worse. It just doesn't go away. Seriously! The day I pushed this kid out, I lost brain cells. And every day since, I continue to lose more. I honestly don't know how I function.

So how can I post about a week I don't remember? Oh, I documented it--with pictures.

You're welcome.


life on cass laneI was a train wreck Monday. I was frustrated with life and stressing out about everything, as usual. Brody had been a little bit of a rugrat that day spilling things, putting some stuff of mine in cups of water (don't ask!), not listening, falling down while I attempted to mop the floor (after I told him not to come in the kitchen)...

The entire day was a constant repeat of:
"Brody, NO!"
"Brody what did you do?"
"Brody, STOP!"
"Brody, I said don't do that!"
"UGH! Brody!"

SO, your girl was a total HOT MESS mentally, emotionally, physically Monday.

I did manage to snap these pics. Paying a bill on the computer lead to this mommy frustration. I walked into the living room and noticed some clothes were missing from his overnight bag which was open and empty. Apparently, someone (ahem, Brody) opened the door to let the dogs inside the house.

I walked outside and saw this... he even threw out a few shoes, including his SPERRY's. #whereareyourclothes #outsidemama #mondaymeltdown

toddler outside

(Don't worry our backyard is pad-locked so B can't get out if he hangs out outside.)


grocery shopping with a toddlerI went grocery shopping at Kroger with the kid (I normally wait to go when I don't have him, but we desperately needed food).

This small, kid-sized cart helped keep him involved. My child screams bloody murder if you put him in the cart, as he wants to walk everywhere. But having him as a "helper" (notice the quotes) slowed me down.

It took me about 2 hours to shop. HOLY BALLS!

About 20 minutes before we were finished, he stopped pushing his buggy.

Mom + 2 buggies + toddler = STARES

Super awkward.

The hardest part of the day wasn't grocery shopping though... it was unloading the groceries at home.

Getting the groceries from the car to the house, while trying to keep two dogs and a kid from escaping the house, was a challenge. Brody cried, the dogs barked and yapped and this mama almost cried. It took me 20 minutes to unload the groceries and then another 20 to put them up. And, I hadn't eaten lunch so I was extra moody. Despite him doing pretty well at the store (I tried to get him to participate and help mama shop since he won't ride in a cart any more), I won't take him to the store alone again for a while... #feedme #dontgotothestoreonanemptystomach #boughtthewholestore


mommy versus career blog
Wednesday was pretty calm. I cleaned most of the day and met one of my girlfriends for lunch. It was nice to get out of the house for a little while.

I checked my blog since Brody was at my mom's house for the day.

I was truly amazed at the amount of response I'd received from Tuesday's post "The Mommy-Job Struggle." I was inspired by everyone's words and even had a few people share my blog to encourage others to read. That made this mommy feel pretty good. That was really tough post for me to write because I don't like admitting weaknesses. I've always felt there are people out there who would like to see me fail. It's a competitive world. However, despite my doubts, I was overwhelmed with the amount of words and support from my readers. Thank you to those who read, shared, commented and messaged me. Your words and thoughts were helpful and made me feel not so alone when it comes to my mommy/career situation. I hope some of you will share my blog with your friends. I'd love to continue this discussion as my situation may change in the future! #thankfulblogger #cleanhouse #wifeystatus


how to remove gum from clothes
Then there was that day of the week. The day that raised my blood pressure and caused me to have the emotional frustration/breakdown post Monday's meltdown. It wasn't as dramatic as Monday. I didn't really expand much on that Monday meltdown issue. I was just frustrated, tired, sad, mad, disappointed. You name it, I felt it.

But Thursday had been OK. Despite when I was about to finish that last load of laundry. Enter high BP.

I'd spent the entire day doing laundry and cleaning. Guess what happened? It was the LAST load of the day, so I tossed in my favorite yoga pants and clothes (I wear them all the time) in just in case my friend had her baby.

When it was time to toss them in the dryer I saw something odd.

FIRST, I pulled out headphones.
THEN, I pulled out a peppermint.
THEN, I noticed some tiny yellow pieces scattered everywhere and shredded pieces of red and white paper all throughout my washing machine.

YEP! It was gum. I really really F-ing hate gum. So much so, I totes used the F-bomb.

There wasn't one piece of clothing that managed to make it out without some gum on it. I called Klay and he got the brunt of my frustrations. I don't chew gum--like ever, ever, ever chew gum so I knew it was his. I spent the next two hours scrubbing clothes--#doublethefunmyass--with hot vinegar (heated to almost a boil via microwave) and a toothbrush. It worked folks!! Except on fuzzy fabric inside Klay's jacket. #sorryboutchabadluck

By the end of the two hours my frustration had caused my blood pressure to rise and I got a massive headache. To make up for his conundrum, the hubs did make dinner for me. He was trying to cook his way back on my good graces. Lucky for him, it worked.

Later that night, Brody (who is probably going to be a track star) was running around the house. Nothing out of the norm, but he was running back and forth from the living room to the kitchen and back again. This kid loves to run. He manage to run into the corner of the wall because he looks back at mom and dad to see if we are watching. He fell down crying. Instant purple knot surfaces on his head.

Two minutes later, he hops down from Klay's lap and heads toward the kitchen "Look where in front of you," Klay hollers at B, who is smiling at us while he runs to the kitchen.



The kid ran into the side of the refrigerator. Sigh. 

#bprising #wrigleysyousuck #thisblowsbigtoes #Iknowthathurt #countingtheconcussions

life on cass lane

I'd finally got the text I was waiting for all week about 4 a.m. Friday morning. The friend I had lunch with Wednesday was having her baby. She'd asked me to take pictures of the birth for her. So I'd been on alert since Wednesday (she had her doctor appointment after our lunch).

The doctor wasn't going to come in and check her until 7, so I had time to figure out what I was going to do with Brody. Her water hadn't broken yet, but she was having contractions and dilated to a 5.

life on cass laneOnce I found someone to watch Bro, I got ready and left the house (I dropped Brody off on the way). On the way to the hospital, I received a text saying she was now dilated at a 8. So I stepped on the gas.

Once I got there, I was a nervous wreck. My friend, Brittany, was in good spirits. And we still had another hour or so til the baby arrived.

This experience was incredible to witness. The birth of a child is an amazing experience, and watching someone else go through the joy (and pain) of it reminded me of my birth with Brody. I can't believe it was two years ago. I'm not going to post the pics I took, as my friend hasn't seen them yet. But I'm crossing my fingers I'll be able to post a couple of shots (that I think are pretty amazing) of that beautiful day.

Miss Bradie Jay made her arrival at 12:43 p.m. This was the highlight of my week!

My sister even offered to keep Brody overnight. SCORE! So, Klay and I went to Kroger to get some BEER and came home to chill. I know we are lame. BUT! We were super tired. So we played "The Walking Dead" video game together and drank beer.

#beerfriday #babybirthfun #birthphotogstatus

Klay and I went to pick up Bro from my sister's house. I saw some crazy lady waving at my husband and my husband waving back while we were on the highway. I thought it was some crazy girl trying to hit on the hubs. But it was my crazy friend, Calli! #hollaatchagirl

Once we got to my sister's house, we played with Bro and Swayze and Presley (our nieces). We offered for them to come stay at our house. But the plan didn't pan out because Presley decided to go to her friend's house instead. She's only five and she already likes her friends more than us! LOL. I'm kidding. She loves me, but I don't blame her... Klay and I were tired and hungry #feedme... therefore kind of moody, so she essentially chose right.

Before we left though my kid managed to say hello to the concrete a few times. He was running (again); this time it was up and down the driveway at my sister's place. He skidded across the concrete injuring his adorable face for the UM-teenth time this week. #concretewon #thiskidhitshisheaddaily #doctoronspeeddial

On Sunday, Klay and I took Brody for brunch at Denny's. We went to Lowe's and then ran out to my parents to "borrow" some of their dirt and use it to fill around our house. Mom and I took Brody for a ride on the Ranger, which he loved.

And it was honestly just a beautiful day here in Texas. We finally got some great weather this weekend.

Klay and I spread the dirt, showered, cooked and sat down to watch one of our favorite shows, "The Walking Dead." If you aren't watching that show, you're crazy. It's the bee's knees, man. Netflix it, if you're not watching. It friggin' rocks my socks!

And, I love Andrew Lincoln. #rickgrimes #terminus #nospoilersfromme

It was the season four finale! I can't believe I have to wait seven months before season five airs.

Luckily, "Game of Thrones" starts this weekend! Eeek!!!!

So if I start randomly asking "Where are my dragons?" in my blog, or talking old English, it's because I think I'm from Winterfell! #donthate #dragons #starksforever

How was your week, last week? What hashtags could describe it?

Let's hope this week brings more time to blog!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Mommy-Job Struggle

Being a stay-at-home mom doesn't involve a life of eating Bonbons and watching soaps on TV. I wish I could say it was, but it's hard work and there are many days I go a little batshit crazy.
Career or Stay at Home Mom

Don't get me wrong... I love my boy and I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to stay at home with him in the first few years of his life.

BUT, now I need some time for me. Whether it's working or blogging, I need time alone too. I spend most of my days in the house cleaning, washing clothes and taking care of my baby boy.

Between the tantrums, the laughter and the "mama, mama, mama's" that replay like a broken record, by day's end I'm tired, frustrated and ready for a break and a beer. I never treat myself to one these days... And that's probably what I need: a night to let loose and relax. #girlsnightout

The thing is... I miss Brody when he's gone. I sometimes can't enjoy my time because I'm thinking about him. I mean who wouldn't miss this sweet face?
Mommy or Career

But I am ready for a change. I need to work (snap!) or do something else. It's good for me to exercise this brain of mine because I feel like I'm losing brain cells. With a few of my recent posts ("Locked Out" or "Not So Happy Friday"), I'm sure some of you would probably agree.

I'm desperate for some time AWAY from the house, so I'm on the job hunt.

The thing that stresses me out though is applying to jobs and then thinking about what follows--putting Brody in daycare. I know... Cass, people do it everyday. I get it. I know Brody could definitely use some 2-year-old-peer interaction. But I feel like I'm NEVER going to get a J-O-B. To be honest, I'm probably not going about the job search the right way. Let's just say it's due to....ehhhh multiple things.

Let me back track a bit to explain what life has been like since we came back from Alaska.

After our amazing 17-day-cross-country road trip from Alaska to Texas, we realized how much we want to travel and see the world.

One of our biggest regrets is Klay getting out of the Air Force. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a "regret" but in hindsight we would have tried to hang on another few years. The benefits, especially longterm, don't compare to anything else and we're really trying to look at the big picture, instead of just five years down the road.

So we got serious. We developed a plan, a good plan... or so we thought.

Klay was going to join the Air Force again. Yes, it can be done if the timing is right post-service (meaning you can only be out of Active Duty so many years to be reenlisted). BUT things went south after the government shutdown caused the 'prior service' program to be put on hold last year.

Around the same time, I turned down a job opportunity to go back to Alaska and work permanently. It would have been nice and we were really going to do it, but when it came down to the cost of moving and crunching the numbers, it just wasn't the right time.

Now I'm stuck in a limbo between mommy-life and having a career. And, I'm not sure if I'll ever find a job.

I'm trying to stay positive. I really really am, but it's hard.

I'm normally a positive, giddy gal radiating with confidence, but these days I find myself being more of a Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer, especially when it comes to the job sitch.

I need to figure out something to do. I love to write. I love to blog. I love making things. There are a lot of things I love to do...

I'm just not where I thought I would be (career-wise) in my life.

And I hate admitting that.

I just want to feel like I'm doing something... anything. I've even thought about getting a part-time job somewhere, just be doing something or to get me out of the house a few days a week.

That's why this blog is good for me. I have some dedicated readers out there that are interested in the the chaos that I call 'my life'! And thank you to those who are reading. This is really what I look forward to doing and it makes me happy people are reading.

I'm going to try to focus on the blog and staying consistent for now, which is like a job. It takes a lot of work and time, but I enjoy it. Hopefully you guys do too!

I just stress about everything. And, I mean everything--the house, my kid, our future, my career, the chipped paint on the walls... everything.

In fact, it'd be a lot shorter list to name the things I don't stress about... ... ... ... ... ... wait, is there anything?

I've just been a real basket case lately... I need a vacay ASAP.
Inspiring Quote
Posted by Mama Laughlin's IG

Hopefully, I'll find something soon (keeping my fingers crossed).

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a long, long time. I've debated on posting because I don't like admitting things that make me insecure.

But I saw something Mama Laughlin posted on Instagram today today that encouraged me to talk about the things I know aren't perfect in my life...and lay it all out there. (Mama Laughlin is amazing, hilarious blogger I follow, and you should follow her too.)

So, instead of posting a BS-story that doesn't get down to the biscuits and gravy of my life (I totally just made that up), I figured I'd post how I really feel about the job situation.

It sucks.

I am losing confidence in myself and my ability to do a job.

I know I can, but the jobs I want, I can't seem to get my foot in the door.

I feel discouraged a lot lately, but I AM going to continue to try and push myself to figure out what's right for my future.

Whether it's a job at a company, writing this blog (and hopefully grow my audience), or start my own business... I don't know. Only time will tell.

But something has to change soon--that I know.

Wishing all of you great success in all endeavors that lie ahead of you,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Part 5: The night we could've lost Brody

Click here to read parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

When we got home things stayed pretty calm. We were all tired and in desperate need of a shower or two, but we tried to keep things as relaxed as possible. I fielded some phone calls from family to assure everyone that things were alright. We didn't make it home till about 5 or 6 that evening.

Moo Moo and Papa!
Primarily I needed to talk to my grandma, Moo Moo, because we were supposed to go to her house the next day. This woman is a top-notch cook, so every year we look forward to eating her homemade (all from scratch, ya'll) dressing.

Delicious is an understatement when it comes to her food, especially her Thanksgiving spread. It's the hovering-around-the-kitchen-waiting-for-her-to-give-us-the-green-light-so-we-can-pounce-on-it-like-a-bunch-of-hyenas kind of good. Needless to say, it takes a lot of preparation.

I helped her make the dressing about eight years ago and then made it in Alaska a few times too (or attempted to). Every year I tried, it seemed to get better and better. I even made it the year before last for Klay. Making it at home helps Klay and I not get into a pushing match with my cousins and the rest of the fam who are literally fighting for leftovers. OK, we don't literally fight, but we joke about it. When we are waiting for the "green light", we have our elbows out attempting to block others from the yummy spread that lays before us and our utensils and plates in-hand ready to chow down like crazed animals.

Anyway, no one else in my family knows how to make it or has attempted to, so I know how tough it really is. She makes like 12-15 pans of homemade cornbread for the dressing to feed our whole family, and of course, she makes a few extra for my grandpa, Papa, who likes to eat some plain with some good ole buttermilk. YUCK! I'll never understand the strange combinations of things that man eats. 

The reason I'm telling you this is because I talked her into passing a few things on me this year--which she's never done before--so it was a really big deal. She normally cooks two turkeys. I offered to cook one to try to take some of the stress off her.

Well, the day all of this went down I made a turkey (meant to be for Klay and I). It was my practice turkey; I planned to cook another turkey early Sunday morning or Saturday night to take to Moo Moo's.

I didn't want to send a few days old turkey to our family Thanksgiving. We weren't too sure if we'd go or not, but the doctors said it would be fine. So I stayed up late Saturday to cook a second turkey hopeful this one would be fresh and juicy for the trip! The turkey turned out incredible. YAY ME! But I was exhausted.

After all of that, Klay and I decided Brody was going to sleep in our bed--we didn't have a talk but it was obvious he wasn't going to leave our sight anytime soon.

Let me take you back to Part 1 for a sec...

In it, I talked about how I contemplated putting Brody in his bed that night. It runs through my mind all of the time... and haunts me. What the HELL was I thinking? He was running fever for a few hours, but it hadn't really went much higher than 100, so I'd hoped this sickness would be a fluke thing. I just can't imagine how things may have turned out had we put Brody in his bed. I know we probably would have let him sleep with us (had the seizure not happened yet) anyway, but it's hard for me to think about how I contemplated the other option. If he'd have seized in his bed, we may not have heard him... and he choked and stopped breathing when he had the seizure. Thinking about him in his bed seizing is unbearable... That's something that will stay with me forever and therefore change my decisions from here on out when it comes to him having a fever and how I will handle it.

I know allowing him to sleep with us is an overall bad parenting choice. Trust me, we faced the consequences the weeks after (and it wasn't pretty). But we'd had the most traumatic experience of OUR lives and Brody wasn't completely over his illness. 

He didn't run a high fever since we'd been home from the hospital, but it did go up to 99.8 or so an hour or two after we were home. We gave him Motrin/Tylenol and it stayed down the rest of the night.

Klay and I woke periodically through the night feeling Brody's head and checking his temperature with the thermometer. Brody stayed asleep, his body finally at rest from this crazy, emotional weekend. His poor, little body had been through so much.

The next day I called Moo Moo again and told her I was sending the turkey and juice from the turkey (used for the dressing) with my sister. They were bummed because they thought we weren't coming; at that point we were still deciding. 

After some talking with Klay, rehashing what the doctors said, we decided we couldn't be afraid to go beyond our house in fear of something happening again. We could tell Brody was feeling better and he hadn't run fever since the day before. So we had to move forward with our lives and try not to live life around these possible seizures.

My grandparents live about an hour away from us--in the country--(don't worry they have a nearby hospital or as Brody would say "HA-STI-PULL") so it was a little bit of a drive.

We made it there, all in tact, with no car-seizures. I was really happy we decided to go. I started helping Moo with the rest of the food. Everyone started to eat, but I continued making the second batch of dressing (which required the turkey juice I sent). I let Moo Moo eat, asking her questions along the way, making sure I was doing everything right.

I was still cooking about 45 minutes or so after everyone had made it back for round 2, piling their plates again.

Klay checked on me several times, trying to make me a plate, but I had to keep moving to get my mind off of all that happened. It was replaying over and over in my head and I was still on edge afraid Brody would run more fever. My heart just wouldn't relax. I was still so tense from it all. I needed to get those images out of my mind, so I cooked and cleaned, cooked and cleaned.

I answered questions from family members about how he was doing and how it all went down. I could talk about it, I just couldn't let my brain visualize what he looked like during and post-seizure. But if I sat there thinking, not doing anything, those images would flash in my head like it was happening again before my eyes.

I was the last one to eat that day, which has never happened on Thanksgiving--ever! This fatty fat likes her food mmmkay. The hubs made me sit down and finally eat. The food was incredible but I just wasn't hungry.

Afterward, I sat for a bit and watched my son play and act his normal self. I was happy to be watching him do the simple things. Whether it was eat, cry, talk, walk, or point, I was admiring the little things he did and had some hope we were finally getting back to normal.

The roads were supposed to get pretty slick that evening so a few people left early. I stayed and helped clean the kitchen and made my grandparents leftovers, shoving them in the fridge, before all of the food was gone. They won't do it till everyone has leftovers, letting everyone take all the food and THEN save any that may be left for themselves. But the past few years, the leftovers have dwindled down to almost nothing. Maybe the older everyone gets, the more we want to pack on the pounds so we take as much as we can! LOL. Or maybe it's because our family is growing, adding more kids every few years and then they get older and want to pack on the pounds too!

After cooking for four days, we all knew Moo Moo deserved to kick her feet up, relax and enjoy her hard labor. So along with a few others, we cleaned the kitchen so there wasn't anything left for Moo Moo and Papa to do. (Yes, Papa helps. He's her dishwasher, seriously. They don't have one of the "fancy" machines at their house. Papa does it all the old fashioned way! But his hands are as soft as a baby's bottom y'all!)

It was after 7 or so when we finally left and past 8 when we got home.

We gave Brody a bath and Klay put his--Brody's--diaper and PJ's on.

Because of this life-changing weekend we had, we thought we'd give Brody an early Christmas present. I'd been shopping for presents already for the 349839 kids I have on my list for Christmas. It's not that many, but it's around 20, which is still a lot.

I'd been buying them at Walgreens (cheap, ya'll!). While I'd peruse the aisles, Brody would carry on about this $20 dinosaur that roared and walked (though you couldn't see it walk, cause it was in a box... DUH!).

"DIN-A-TOR" he'd say and laugh. He loved that thing. After the third trip to Walgreens scoping out the toys, I finally caved and bought it for him.

I handed the box to Klay and asked him to open it.

While I'm in the office doing something I hear "SHIT!" Yes, we cuss a lot. We're not proud.

"Oh My God, WHAT!?" I said to Klay walking back to the living room.

MY HUSBAND was hunched over (head to the floor) holding the towel Brody had just been dried off with. He sat there for several seconds, not saying anything.

"What happened?" I asked again, knowing he'd hurt himself.

When he looked up, his face was white. It had lost all its color. 

I'd seen that face before. This can't be good. I knew he was hurt. I had a flashback to the time he came in from playing basketball with some buddies when we lived in Alaska; his face was ghost white. Immediately noticing his face when he walked in the house, I asked him what was wrong and he told me he thought he broke his wrist. He tripped over his own feet and landed on it wrong. Then we sat in an ER for four hours, and about three hours in, I was hoping it was broken. I didn't want to have wasted four hours in an ER for a sprained wrist. It was broken, but don't feel sorry for him, he used it to his advantage later. Then another flash of the time he hit himself in the head with a 20 MIL can at work. How'd that happen? He bent down to pick something up while pulling the heavy metal box off the table, not thinking about physics and the pull of gravity aka how the box would swing and hit him the head as he PULLED it off the table. He had a golf ball-looking lump on his forehead for a while. Good times. Or the time a garbage disposal fell on his head when he was installing my new sink. I saw the same ghost white face every time. He's sort of like the real-life version of Tim Taylor from "Home Improvement." He's not that bad, but I wasn't surprised when I saw that same colorless face again.

"Oh My God, what happened!?" I yelled.

"I cut myself," he moaned. "It's deep. I need to go the hospital."

"Well come over to the sink so I can look at it," I said helping him stand and move to the kitchen. I was worried, but I just told you this wasn't the first time this guy had been injured like this. I scurried to get him to the sink and off my pretty light gray and white rug--which already endured some throw up from Bro Friday. Thank God my Dad has a carpet cleaning biz! Shout out to the company Amazing Results, ya'll!

Leaning over the sink, he took the towel off, dark red blood seeped from the deep wound. It was bleeding quite a bit and he was definitely going to need stitches. We were both worried he may have hit a bone.

I quickly put Brody's jacket on, grabbed his diaper bag, my purse, a few blankets, Klay's jacket and opened the door to instructing the troops to the car. I got all the bags in, Brody in his carseat buckled, Klay in the front (buckling him too) myself in and buckled, and off we went to the ER--again. This time, we went to a nearby ER only ten minutes away.

It was starting to sleet some, so I had to drive slow. I called my mom and Klay's parents on the way, letting them know where we were in case I needed some help with Brody. Their reply? "Are you serious?"

So you thought this post was going to be about Brody going back to the ER? Nope, it's about this accident-prone husband of mine. I really can't talk much. I tend to have bad luck when it comes to medical stuff too. If the docs tell me there is a 5% chance, something will happen... I'll be in the 5%. All I can say about our countless trips to the ER... thankfully we have good insurance, other wise we'd be living in a box on the side of the road.

Klay was in a lot of pain so I knew it was going to be tough when getting stitched up.

Klay trying to be dramatic. Ha. My poor men.

I was afraid Brody would freak out immediately when we entered the hospital thinking we'd be there for him, but surprisingly he wasn't phased. Instead, he kept saying "Dada hurt. Dada boo boo. OUUUCH!" when he'd look at Klay's hand.

Brody kept us entertained and I filmed him talking, playing and straining to fart. I know, we're a classy bunch... (Update: as I reread this draft, I read this part and heard a loud poooooot, from my hubs. Ahhhh... Love my life!)

After being there for close to two hours, we finally got to go home. Since we really spent more than $20 bucks on this dinosaur (because of the recent added expense of an ER visit) we were going to play with Brody's toy, the "DIN-O-TOR" he loved so much.

We turned it on to walk, and guess what? That kid screamed and cried--he was terrified. AHHHHHH!!! Seriously kid? Your daddy just bled over this toy for you. But Brody could care less; we had to put it away.

We were just about to go to bed and were checking to make sure all of the doors were locked, when Klay spotted some blood on the walls. "Cass there's blood all over the walls!" he said.

I thought he was joking because this guy loves to cry wolf all of the time. "Whatever," I replied.

"Come look," he challenged.

I walked over and spotted the sprays of blood on my tan walls. I looked around the room and blood was everywhere. It was in places that were more than four or five feet away from where Klay sat on the floor. It was on my picture frames, my turquoise table, my candles, the TV, the walls behind my bookcases by the TV--it looked like a scene from CSI. It was about to be a scene from "Snapped," if it was on my gray and white rug. If you've never seen that show, it's about women kill their lovers. And I was about to "SNAP" if my pretty rug was ruined.

Klay was lucky. NOTHING on my rug--not one single drop. I don't know what he did to get it everywhere... Our theory: he swung his arm in the air after it happened slinging blood on the walls, and he covered it quick enough with the towel that it didn't land on MY carpet.

After our third trip to the ER in three days, I was just hoping it would be our last for a while. I'm glad all of my boys were OK, but it was too much for one weekend--and my poor rug had had enough! I'm kidding... kind of.

I look back now and think how lucky we are that nothing worse happened. How lucky we are that we didn't put Brody in his bed that night, that Klay was home with me when it happened, that Klay didn't cut a finger off or injure that pretty face of his again. I feel lucky to have these accident-prone men of mine.

So, what have I learned from all this? Hmmm.... to have 911 on speed-dial and a first-aid handy at all times. 

For real though, I learned just how deeply my love for my child goes. Sometimes I question my ability as a parent or how I'm doing as Brody's mother. I've even wondered if this should be the only kid we have. After this incident I was definitely wanting to put the idea of another kid on hold for a bit. I'm not sure I want to have that kind of scare with another child again... BUT the love I feel for Brody, makes me want to have another one--eventually (hold your horses, folks).

If my life is this crazy with one, can you imagine what a second would do? Scary thought...

At the end of the day, I am a mom. Therefore, I will always worry, my heart will not rest when Brody runs a fever, and I hope I will not panic should it happen again. All I can hope for is that it doesn't so I won't ever have to see him like that again. That was the absolute hardest, scariest moment of my life--well, that and skiing.

But that story is for another day...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Locked Out

Focus on the things that matter in life.
The title of this post seems to be the hashtag that is constantly trending in my chaotic life. #lockedout

I know what you're thinking... what did she get locked out of this time? A car? A house?

No and no, thankfully.

It was something that made me feel left out of the mix and completely aloof.

No, I wasn't permanently banned from a group of pals or a party.

It was something that left me with no communication with some friends and even family. Nope, not my phone either... buuuut, you're getting warmer.

It was made clear I waste too much time with this "thing" only after two days of being #lockedout.

OK... I think you have it now. BINGO! I was locked out of Facebook.

My world was over as I knew it.

I didn't even do anything wrong... OK, I must have done something wrong if I got locked out. But I locked myself out... SHOCKER!

So, here's what happened...

I changed my password a while back for no reason... and I remember thinking "you're not going remember this [the new pw] in a few days," but I did it anyway. And since I never needed to login to FB because I was automatically logged in on my phone and computers, I never had to use it. Then Thursday night, I got on Facebook on my phone and it wanted me to login. Go figure.

I tried to guess my password a few times, then said to myself "screw it" and requested a code to be sent to my phone.

After receiving a code and trying it, it didn't work. I couldn't pass LEVEL 1 of what would turn into a Facebook Password Challenge. I was the new pawn in this game. W-T-F.

The screen kept pointing out that a link didn't work correctly. I kept requesting to receive a new code, and trying again and again on my phone only to receive the same reply. I even tried on my computer a few times. ACCESS DENIED.

"You've tried too many codes, please try again later," it repeatedly told me. How long is later!? 

After receiving the same codes again and again, and none of them awarding me to LEVEL 2 of what seemed like an impossible Facebook feat, I decided I'd give it another go in the morning.

The next morning I got on the computer refreshed and crossing my fingers for a new outcome. I was frustrated when I received the same message from Facebook. FYI--YOU SUCK, Facebook. Perhaps it was pissed that I had been enjoying Instagram more...

I decided to poke around their website to figure out how long this crap would keep me locked out from my "social world." It told me, if I tried too many codes, I needed to try back in "a couple of days." OMG! How long is that? How long would I be forced to not know what's going on with the 1000 friends I'm "friends" with? What the EFF was I going to do?

I'm a loser, I know.

I was seriously going APE-SHIT, which is ridiculous. It was more frustrating to me because that's how I communicate with my blog readers--you guys--and now you wouldn't know what I posted or when I posted it--unless you check it daily or follow my blog via email. Hence my absence this weekend...

And, I wouldn't see all the latest posts from people I care to keep up with... And let's be honest, a lot of times, that's where I find out things about those I care about. They share with the world sometimes, rather than shooting you a quick text. You kill more birds that way, but now I was out of the loop. FML.

Needless to say with my newly established ban from Facebook, I was going to be forced to focus more on what was happening right in front of me instead of in the palm of my hands.

Friday and Saturday sucked, ya'll. I'm not going to sugar coat it. Like mega sucked. Klay would talk about something on Facebook... "Did you see so and so? Did you see this? Oh no, I didn't know this happened, did you?"

"Um, no I didn't. Locked out remember?" I'd respond back with a tinge of hostility in my voice and he'd laugh. Glad my mental incapability to remember anything anymore amuses you, hubs. I'm here for your amusement... ARG!!!

But by Sunday, I realized things had turned.

I didn't care to have my phone anymore or even want it really. I wasn't worried about what was going on with everyone else, but focused on enjoying the actual people I interacted with that were in front of my face. I played more with Brody, talked more with Klay, got more stuff done around the house, and even felt more free. I didn't soak up my free time with wasteful scrolling on FB.

I came to a harsh realization--I don't put the phone away like I should; I should leave the online social world behind more. I realized how much it really does interfere with my daily interactions.

And because I wasn't on my phone, Klay was on his less too. And I hardly checked Instagram, which is where I've been spending a lot of time on lately. But without Facebook, I just became disinterested in all of social media. I wanted to enjoy face to face interaction and life beyond a screen.

Then I thought, how could this be affecting my kid!?

It's one thing to need my phone at my fingertips to capture those moments I catch Brody doing the cutest or most frustrating things so I can watch it later... but the issue, for me though, was using it as a time-filler at probably every opportunity available. If I'm waiting at the doctor's office, what do I do? I don't read a magazine anymore, I check Facebook or Instagram. If Brody takes a bath, and he's playing with his toys by himself, I'll sit next to the tub and get on my phone; not all the time, but sometimes. If I had a spare moment, even for a second, I'd be on my phone submersed in a world elsewhere--a world that really doesn't matter. It's almost as if I'm living not in the present... not with those you care about like I wanted to escape reality.

But I don't want to escape my reality; OK sometimes I do. I love being Brody's mommy and Klay's wifey, but I'll be honest I'm tired of staying at home. I'm surrounded by a house full of stuff--junk--that keeps piling up and I don't have motivation to do anything about it. Maybe my use of Facebook and Instagram keeps me busy and distracted from the reality that is this house.

No, I'm not a hoarder; OK, maybe a little. I keep things for sentimental value. I'm just sick of crap being all over the place--toys, paper, mail, cups, cleaning supplies, you name it--nothing has a place.

This whole house needs to be reorganized and when I focus on cleaning one area, it just reminds me I need to clean another closet or organize another room, so I can get things out of that particular space and into a space it should be. It never-ending.

It was never this hard without a kid. I could manage it. My house in Alaska stayed really clean, and everything had its place. I was O-C-D.

Excuse time--I know I'm a mom of a two-year-old, so toys and random items get pulled from one room and into another, where they shouldn't be. I know I should deal with it and don't worry about having a messy house. Just focus on having a happy child, I say to myself. BUT IT'S HARD!

I'm a very organized person, so clutter literally drives me nuts. If you live in an unclean messy environment, I believe your life becomes its environment--crazy and chaotic. And I actually enjoy organizing things, but I feel like I need a professional organizer to come in and do it for me.

So where am I going with all of this? Well without my phone distraction, I got into work mode and talked Klay in going to IKEA in search of a desk for our office (which is by far the worst space in the house). The office was like a hoarders dream come true. It was full of junk, plastic sacks left over from Christmas (where I stored all the Christmas gifts until they were wrapped), and it became the place to put things I didn't know what to do with. We needed an office strategy to get our shit together--literally. Before and after office makeover post to come soon!

OK, SO... this post went somewhere I expected it not to, so let me take it back to the phone sitch...

I hate when people share those things about parents missing out on their kids lives (and it accompanies a photo of a mom who is pushing her daughter on a swing but staring at her phone). I understand the message, but my reaction was, I'm a stay-at-home mom and I'm with my child 24 hours a day. I don't like this stigma of not being able to have some time to do something other than play with my child all day.

I don't like when people assume you're not spending quality time with your child because you're preoccupied with technology. But I know in my case, they are partially right. It's just since I'm with my son all day, I'm due for some interaction beyond my two-year-old companion, even if it's just online. I talk to him and play with him daily for hours, and let's face it, those 24 hours aren't always amazing mommy-son moments; some involve discipline and arguing with a kid who is too smart for his own good. Some days are better than others and some are challenging. So those people don't know what all I do for my child or how much we laugh or play.

But I do think about how my parents didn't have that sort of technology at their fingertips to distract them from us. How many times have I been talking to someone in person and they are texting someone, playing a game, or checking Facebook that they miss out on half of the convo. I've been guilty of it and I don't want to be that person. Have you been one of those people?

So! I'm going to make it more of a point to use technology, mostly when I'm alone... or at least I'm going to try. I will say I haven't checked Facebook much today or Instagram. Pat on the back!

Although I was pissed that I was locked out initially, I'm sort of grateful. I'll remember to focus on the things that truly matter, not the things that fill my time.

Now, lets hope I don't forget my password again... Next to do--brain games! I need to exercise this machine of mine or I'm gonna lose it!

PS. This reminds me--follow me via email, in case this happens again! If you're looking at this from a phone, chances are you're seeing a mobile version (not my whole blogging website). So get on a computer or use Safari or Chrome (some sort of internet browser) to view the entire webpage).


Thursday, March 13, 2014

5 things we can learn from Nia and Sam's "Love is an Open Door"

Some high school friends of ours are becoming a YouTube sensation. With almost three million views, they're gaining lots of attention for their adorable lip sync of "Love is an Open Door" from the hit animation film "Frozen." If you haven't seen this adorable video, watch it here so you can better understand what I'm talking about.

With rising fame, views and even news stories (they made the Huffington Post, PerezHilton and a few other sites), comes a ton of scrutiny.

I mean I get it, everyone has an opinion. But I don't understand why people say horrible things about them as parents. These people know nothing about them; they saw two minutes of their actual lives.

Their daughter sits in the backseat playing with a book, not paying them much attention (she is singing the words some though, if you watch carefully).

Nia and Sam do a flawless job impersonating Disney characters. They even look like a real-life fairy princess and prince charming. Yes, they are good looking parents, and yes, she's wearing her seatbelt. It's moved behind her a bit, anyone can see that. They are being safe and would never put their children in danger.

The reason I wanted to talk about this is because people think they have some sort of power to sit and judge behind a computer screen. Well, look at you Cass, what are you doing now? Yes, I'm looking at a computer screen typing away how I feel about said-subject. I'm sure I've judged people on what they post or what they do (especially celebs in pop culture)... but I've never bashed anyone just to be purposefully malicious or mean.

My husband and I aren't personally close to Sam and Nia, but this is what I know about them. They are good people and are two parents who are completely in love. Nia is a stay-at-home mom and makes wreaths as a side business (she's quite possibly one of the sweetest people I've ever met), and Sam is a photographer and nurse.

I catch myself scrolling through my Facebook feed stopping at their posts, looking at pictures of their adorable children.

The photos that strike me most are the ones Sam snaps of his family in their everyday environment. Some look as if he's sneakily walking around his house capturing real moments without anyone knowing he's there.

There is really such beauty in that--admiring people when they aren't looking and knowing what greatness you have in front of you when it's there. A lot of people take things for granted in this world, but Sam and Nia don't seem like those people.

Sam talks often of Nia (on social media) and shares how much he loves his beautiful wife and kids, and she speaks with the same affinity for him.

He's posted the most incredible photos of his daughter this year in a self-declared 52-week challenge. His goal is to take her out to different places "feed [his] daughter's appetite for exploration and adventure while simultaneously satisfying [his] hunger to craft beautiful images of her." When I see him post another image, I'm immediately taken aback by the beauty of the landscape and how he sees life when he's with his daughter. How lucky is she to look back years from now and see how much her father loves her and how they spend their time together?

So you can understand why reading some of the negative comments has made me sick to my stomach... I don't understand why people have to nitpick every little thing to rain on someone's unique way of making memories and having some fun.

Here's what I think this video teaches people, or at least taught me:
  1. Turning your kid's obsession into enjoyment for you. When you have kids, you understand they develop obsessions. Whether it's with movies, music, food or toys, they get stuck on something which usually is just a phase. If it's music or movies, we as parents listen to that over and over. Eventually you catch yourself singing along or repeating movie lines to make yourself enjoy it more, but most of us don't record it. In reality, this video will be a story and a memory their child can look back on. She may laugh with their parents, or get embarrassed, watching them reenact a scene from one of her favorite childhood movies. But it will remind her of how silly her parents are, and how lucky she is to have them as her parents, and I think kids enjoy that, no matter the age.
  2. Try to be in more videos with your kids. Their daughter sits in the backseat, quiet and well-behaved, not at all surprised her parents are jamming out to the Disney song that plays loudly through the car speakers. But this got me thinking... how many videos am I in with my kid? I'm normally the one recording and, honestly, I don't like to see myself in videos. The more I think about it, the more I think it's important for your kids to have an understanding of what life was like when they were kids and how involved their parents were; and videos can do that. As a stay-at-home mom, I spend the most time with Brody but don't have many photographs of me and Brody, much less videos. I need to make an effort to make more memories of me and him for him. Plus chances when we look back at them in ten years from 2014, we will probably be laughing or cringing at our hair and wardrobe choices. That should be fun!
  3. Be yourself. I think it shows parents and their kids to let go, have some fun and enjoy life a bit more. Who cares what other people think? Nia and Sam were with their kids having some good, clean fun. They're making memories and involved in her life so much so they made a video using a song from a movie she loves. That makes them pretty cool parents, if you ask me.
  4. Example of how marriage a great marriage looks. I don't mean we should break into song or bust out musical numbers on the daily, but it shows two people in love and so comfortable with the other person they can act, play and be silly without a second thought. When their kids look back on this, they can see what a marriage is supposed to look like or how marriage looked with their parents. Every marriage isn't perfect nor should we act like it is. But if you truly love the person your with, the world takes notice. And Sam and Nia, the world is taking notice. There aren't many people who would do something like this (and share it with the world), but I think it just proves these two are a match made in heaven. They're open, carefree and free-spirited and really know who they married. They're in love, you can see it when you watch the video, that's why it's been such a sensation. Plus it's entertaining!
  5. Celebrate others and their relationships. There have been several moments I've almost hit the "share" button, but decided not to post something in fear of people thinking I'm stupid or look like an idiot. But watching several of my Facebook friends share this video, proved to me that people can enjoy other families and their humor while celebrating their success. Of course there will be moments people ask you, "WTF did so and so post on FB?", but I hope after reading this more people will take things a little less seriously, lighten up and be happy for everyone. If you're happy in your life, you should radiate with positivity and gain joy from others who succeed. 

Thank you Nia and Sam for posting such an amazing video. I think those who saw it the way most of us did would say you brought a smile to our faces. 

Cheers to you guys and keep bringing us the fun!

And for the Negative Nancy's out there, take a look in the mirror. As one commenter said, "Love is an Open Door" so leave your "FROZEN" heart behind and "Let It Go."


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Part 4: The night we could've lost Brody

Read part 1, 2 & 3 first.

I scrambled up to the hospital's ambulance entrance only to be stopped by a door that requires a code to get in.

Remember when I said I'm directionally challenged? I banged on the door knowing my husband got through there, but the people in white coats pointed and motioned for me to go around. Seriously people, I was just here! 

Mind you, it's freezing outside and I look like a mess. I'm wearing sweats and a t-shirt, no makeup and my eyes are red and swollen from crying for what seemed like a few hours now. I'm sure the hospital folks who denied my entry thought I looked similar to a criminal or a crazy person, so I can't say I really blame them.

I walked around finally finding another entrance. I come up on a waiting room overflowing with sick kids and parents. A lady with a computer granting entry to the ER sat at the desk looking alarmed when she saw my nutty-as-a-fruitcake (are fruitcakes nutty?) ass walk in.
Our first night back home.
I was so overwrought, I'm surprised I managed to get anything out.

In between tears and gasping for air, I told her my son was discharged minutes ago, and my husband carried my son back to the ER after another seizure episode in the car. She walked me back asking a few folks about Brody and where he might be. We bumped into the doctor who dismissed us, eyes widened as she saw me distraught once again. She followed us to where they probably were--in the critical rooms.

I saw my husband standing outside of a door, staring into a room. His arms where crossed. He was distressed.

"What's going on?" I said looking into the door.

"He's twitching like he did after the first one at home," Klay said. He grabs me and hugs me.

I look into the room and see a flurry of people surrounding him moving things and putting things on Brody. They talked back in forth quickly to make sure his vitals were OK. At least 7-8 people swarmed our son lying on the stretcher in the room. His body shuttering and twitching.

The doctor who dismissed comes out of the room to tell us the twitching is a sign that he's in his post-seizure state.

Before we were discharged, she informed us that there are two categories for febrile seizures--simple and complex. Brody was in the simple category prior to our discharge, but because he's had two seizures in a short timeframe, he was now in the complex category.

They gave him Motrin, again, to try to lower his fever, but now they wanted to figure out what is causing the fever. If it's treatable, they want to treat it. Obvi.

Standing there watching all of the motion around him didn't seem real. I've seen TV shows or movies where people watch a loved one swarmed by doctors and nurses trying to save their life or figure out what's wrong. But actually having it happen to your kid was difficult and physically painful.

Eventually Brody was moved from a critical room back to a standard ER room. His temperature went down, but now he had an IV and was going to go through a series of tests done to rule out illnesses.

They tested for strep and the flu first. If you've never had a flu test before and you're sick, it's pretty painful, at least it was when I had the flu. It requires sticking a long Q-tip straight back into your nose and sinuses. I don't recommend it; it's not pleasant.

The nurses had trouble getting his IV in. It was a pain in the ass, and as if Brody wasn't tired enough, he was scared and this was making it worse. It took about an hour for them to do, changing places from his arm to his hand. They called several people to help or give it a go before it actually worked. Once they finally got it in, the machine wasn't working right; they had to call in more people for that.

By this time it past 3 a.m., we hadn't slept and my mom had arrived witnessing all of the IV-difficulty. Brody was really tired, whining and couldn't get comfortable.

Next, they had to get a urine sample from him to make sure it wasn't a UTI. To do this, he had to have a catheter. This was hard for all of us to watch, but harder on Klay than anyone. He started to tear up. He held Brody's hand, but he couldn't bear to watch.

I know for any parent watching your child go through sickness or injuries, or any type of pain for that matter, is heart-wrenching. Klay and I would have happily stepped in his place if we could.

I can't imagine the fear Brody felt. All of these people coming in and holding him down to poke him, swab him and take his vitals; this kid was terrified. He had probably cried for four hours straight, calming down when the nurses left only to be poked again or bothered minutes later, reactivating his fear and tears.

That was the most exhausting part--trying to make him feel safe and secure. Looking into Brody's eyes as he's reaching for me and screaming for us to save him from the strangers who are doing things to hurt him brought me physical pain. I just wanted this night to be over. I wanted him to fall asleep so his poor body would relax. He strained so much during his seizures and when people were holding him down to get the things they needed from him. I wanted to explain it to him, to take away his fear, and his pain, but there was nothing I could do.

By the time things calmed down, it was 4:30 in the morning and we finally got in a room to stay overnight. Mom left and headed back to our place to check on the dogs and let them out to potty. She also had to wrap up the turkey I'd left out in a hurry (remember I cooked that earlier that day, seems like forever ago now, huh!?). She also cleaned up the house for us too (which we were surprised and grateful for when we got home the next day). Thanks, Mom!

When we got back to the overnight room, they moved Brody into his bed/crib. There was a futon-like couch that pulled out for Klay and I to sleep on. Brody was passed out, and it didn't look like he was going to wake any time soon.

I stared at him for most of the night. I did fall asleep, here and there, but I got up to check on him several times, especially when the nurses came in every couple of hours. They checked his temperature and talked to us, which kept us from getting actual rest. It looked like his fever broke, because he was sweaty around 6 a.m.

Every time someone would walk in to talk to us, I'd wake up all blurry-eyed trying to focus on where they were in the room and what they were saying. I could feel my eyes going around and around, up and then down, trying to get a clear image of who they were. I know I must of looked delirious. Hell, I was.

The doctors came in around 12 or so that day to check on him. They reiterated it was febrile seizures and what to do in the situation. Here are the ways we are supposed to react:
  • Lay him on the floor and place him on his side
  • Make sure no objects are around that he can choke on
  • Make sure he has no objects in his mouth he can choke on
  • Do not stick our fingers or anything in his mouth
  • Call 911 if it lasts longer than 5 minutes (if it lasts longer than 5 minutes, it can cause brain damage). If it happens again, I'm calling if he has one regardless.
There is nothing we can do to prevent Brody from having more seizures. The only thing we can do is monitor his fever, and if he's running fever, alternate between Tylenol and Motrin. They warned us not give him Tylenol or Motrin every night to try to prevent him from running a fever because it can cause liver damage and other medical problems. And, like they say, he will grow out of it by age 5-6. Another 3-4 years of this? Greeaaaat... (that's sarcasm, yall!)

When Brody woke up that morning I was so happy to see him in a better mood. He was smiling and no longer afraid. He talked to the nurses and the doctors when they came in and even made a group of doctors laugh pointing and showing them who we were "mama" or "dada" or other things in the room. 

His eyes were extremely swollen and puffy from all the tears shed the night before, but he was happy and that made my heart and body relax. Here is a video right when he woke up. I had to send this to our parents and family who needed to see that he was OK!

Later that day, my BFF Cami and her sis Sarah came up and brought us some lunch and goodies, which included toothbrushes and toothpaste. I LOVE THOSE TWO! They wanted to take Brody down to watch the big train display in the main entry of the hospital. After clearing it with the nurses, we headed to watch the "choo choo train." Brody was definitely the most excited. He loved watching it go around and around and it definitely cheered him up, but lifted Klay and I's spirits too. Seeing Brody so happy and back to his usual self we were ecstatic.

Cami and Sarah left and we were discharged an hour or so later.

Ya'll, this kid couldn't of been happier to get out of that place. He didn't want us to carry him; he was going to walk himself out there.

We went to see the train one last time before leaving and then headed toward the parking garage. Brody waved to everyone and said "bye". We soon taught him to say "bye hospital" which sounded more like "bye HA-STI-PULL". Um, my favorite word by far that he says; this kids' cuteness is unreal.

I sat in the back of the car with him, again hoping this time to make it back home without any issues. Klay was waiting to back out and for cars to pass in the parking garage when Brody shouted "GO GO GO!!" He's never said that before. We laughed and we knew this kid high-tail it out of there.

Our bodies were finally relaxed. Brody hadn't run fever in several hours. It seemed like things were on the right track.

Little did we know, we'd make one more trip to the hospital before the weekend was over...

Click here for FINAL PART of this story.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Not So Happy Friday

My life in a nutshell. Dogs and Kids galore!
Sooooooo. I decided to break up these deeply sad and scary stories about Brody with a little recap of my day today. Get pumped, folks. It's a good one. I'm sure I will have you LOLing and wondering where the F my mind went. I'll tell you this, after this kid was born, I definitely lost brain cells.

So here it goes...

Today was an incredibly awesome day.

Cough, cough.

OK, OK I lied.... but since you can't hear me talk through these beautifully-written words on your screen, I have to tell you, that was sarcasm.

This glorious adventure started last night before bed. I noticed my fella with bad breath who always begs and whines at my feet had a swollen eye. To clear things up, I'm talking about one of my hairy wieners (I call them my weens), and by wieners I mean my dogs.

Ya, they're dachshund mixes. Well one of 'em is, the other is up for debate, according to the hubs.

Anyway, back to my weens...
His swollen eye before bed last night.

So Stretch was the one with the swollen eye. Klay and I investigated it, and he passed it off as possibly an insect bite or allergic reaction, but I wasn't convinced. It literally popped up out of no where.

It swelled quickly, probably in an hour or two. I knew it hadn't been swollen all day because this dog is always on me. I mean he is like a parrot and a leach. He's either sitting on your shoulder like a damn bird or slithering over to you to sit on top of you, clinging to your body as if his life depends on it. So, if something were to happen to his face, I'd see it because he's always up in my grill.

After some late night, googling "dog with swollen eye," I found an image that looked just like his eye situation. And BINGO! I knew what it was.

I had my "ah-ha!" moment not just from Google, but also because this dog has some foul breath, yall. He's needed his teeth cleaned for a long time, but we've never gotten around to it. Needless to say we'd guessed some time ago this dog may lose a couple teeth once we got him to the vet to get them cleaned.

The diagnosis: He has an abscess tooth; that's why his eye swelled up like he'd been punched in the face. So, basically he will need the tooth extracted or can get a root canal, if the tooth can be saved.

All up in my grill.
Been there, Stretch. I feel ya, bud. Had a root canal that went awry last year and it was not fun. I suffered from a series of unfortunate events that week. Face swelled up like a balloon, had an emergency oral surgery and Klay was gone for two weeks working. It was an especially unlucky week for me.

Seriously though, there is no pain like dental pain.

So, I scheduled a vet appointment early this A-M for Stretchie Man Jones. Yes, that's what I call him. I'm slightly obsessed with my pooches.

I hopped out of bed, put my war paint on (aka makeup), got dressed, ate a banana, popped Brody's microwavable pancakes in, put them in a bowl, fixed B a cup o' juice for the road, and then searched for the dog collars and leashes which were MIA. Apparently they have an invisible power of some kind because they were no where. Or! Maybe they walked away haha, get it!?I know, I'm lame, but whatevs.

So amidst the search, I realized I was running behind and I needed to get Brody up and dressed or we were going to be late.

Brody's up, dressed and voila! found the leashes in a plastic sack in the garage (they hadn't walked away), and I was on my way out the door with Brody and Stretch on the leash (he was the only one on a leash) locking the door on the way out.

Sounds pretty successful right?

If you're a dedicated reader of my blog, you should know better. Especially if I mention the word LOCK.

As soon as I shut the front door and walked out to my car, a lightbulb went off. KEYS!? 

WTF. Hand to the forehead. 

Seriously, yall, that just happened.

I don't know what it is with blogging and getting locked out of places, but when I blog this tends to happen A LOT. As many of you know, I locked my four-month-old-son in a car in Walmart parking lot almost two years ago. That was the first and only time I locked my keys in a car. Of course it was while my newborn babe was in it. Go freakin' figure.

One thing I didn't report via this blog was the time I locked Brody in the house in his carseat after the Walmart incident. Yep, that happened too.

How, you ask?

Mini-story time:
Um, Klay was away for the weekend working and I'm scaredy cat when it comes to being at home alone, especially with my kid. I play out scenarios in my head as to what I would do to make sure no one takes my kid or my dogs hostage and use them as leverage to get me to cooperate. I'm a complete basket case.

So being the chicken I am, I locked the door going out to the garage before bed, just in case someone smashes into the garage and comes through that door in the house. Well when I left the house with B and the dogs the next day, I went out the front door. When I came home (I was at my mom's for a family day), I unloaded Brody and the dogs entering through the garage forgetting I'd locked it the night before. I unlock the door with my key, go into the house and put B's carseat on the living room floor.

I lay my keys down on the table near my entry to go back out and grab the bags shutting the door so the dogs won't run back out. Then, I come back to the door and it's locked. I must've turned the key one too many times and relocked it while it was opening it, trying to get the key out. Luckily, my sister left mom's after me, and had a spare key. She stopped by and unlocked the house for me. But I was already a wreck, feeling like an idiot for doing this twice in a matter of months. I cried about it for a week.

So, back to today...

Luckily, Klay was down the street working so it only took him 10 minutes to get back home after I called to tell him what happened.

I called the vet office, told them the story (I got an "oh no!") and they told me to come when I could. I think they felt sorry for me.

Klay arrived opening the garage so I could get in. I grabbed my keys and came back outside to a laughing husband.

Hey, at least this time, I had the kid with me instead of on the other side of whatever I locked myself out of. And Brody was happy because being the awesome mom I am I didn't forget to grab the pancakes! That's the most important part of the story. 
Who needs keys!? We got pancakes!
Locked out. Waiting on Dad...

We did make it to the vet, only five minutes late or so. Stretch is scheduled to have the tooth extracted next week. I'll be dreading that day. Let's hope I make it out the door that morning with my kid and the dog in the car with the keys in hand.

All in all, guess who needs a bottle of wine!?!

Well, I hope everyone has a better Friday than mine. I'm officially flipping this day off, kicking my feet up and toasting to a weekend of relaxation. Well that's what I plan, but we'll see how it plays out.


Part 3: The night we could've lost Brody

Read part 1 & part 2 first.

"Da da," Brody said looking at Klay who is standing in front of him.

A few gasps of relief fell out of Klay and I, along with the strangers in the room. Everyone stopped talking; all focus was on Brody.

"Hey, buddy," Klay said immediately moving down on the floor to be close to Brody.

Brody looks around examining everyone, rolls over and sits my lap. I can't imagine his confusion. Last thing he knew, it was the three of us. Now there's a room of at least 10 people.

Everyone is talking to him. "Look at all of these people who came to see you Bro. Can you say hi?" I say trying to see if he would talk.

He responded by smiling; that was a good sign.

The paramedics explain that it was most likely a febrile seizure caused by an illness and a sudden spike in fever. "I just don't get it. He wasn't shaking like a seizure," I said to them.

The police officer advises us to take him to Children's Hospital in Dallas to get checked out. Klay and I scramble to get our things together as they place Brody on the stretcher. Now, he brings out the water works. He doesn't like being strapped down and taken away from the house with these strange people.

Since they only allow one person in the ambulance, Klay said he'll follow in my car and make the calls to our parents.

The ride in the ambulance was loud, bumpy and cold. There was a chance of sleet that night, and it was sprinkling while we were en route.

Brody became a little restless and anxious, but fell asleep just before we arrived. In the meantime, I answered all of the paramedic's questions and called our parents and my sister to update them and ensure he was OK. They ask if they should to come out to Children's but I told them to hold off because of the bad weather and I'd keep them posted once we talked to the doctor.

By the time we got there it was probably 11:30 p.m. or so. We were exhausted and Brody's diaper needing changing. His pants were soiled and it seemed he suffered from loose bowels during the seizure.

The doctor agreed it was a febrile seizure. Even though he didn't shake, he was rigid which is less common, but that's what they diagnosed.

Apparently, febrile seizures are hereditary. What I didn't know then is that it runs in my family on my mom's side. Febrile seizures is mostly common among kids, and there is a chance he may have more until the age of 5-6. It normally phases off then. They also said this may be his only one; he may never have another.

I've always heard from people through the years that high fever can cause seizures. I think this is misleading to those who don't know much about febrile seizures. They are much more common than you'd think, according to doctors. Take a look at these facts from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes:

  • Approximately one in every 25 children will have at least one febrile seizure, and more than one-third of these children will have additional febrile seizures before they outgrow the tendency to have them. 
  • Febrile seizures usually occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years and are particularly common in toddlers.
  • Children rarely develop their first febrile seizure before the age of 6 months or after 3 years of age. 
  • The older a child is when the first febrile seizure occurs, the less likely that child is to have more.

If you take away anything from this story, let it be this: It is not how high the temperature gets, but the sudden spike in fever that causes them. I'm not saying high fever won't cause them to convulse but what I've been told, the sudden spike is the primary cause. The fever is accompanied with illness, obviously; it's the illness though that lowers their threshold for seizures. And a sudden spike either up or down can cause someone to seize. That's why doctors say never put them in a cold bath, don't keep them covered if they're warm, etc.

OK, back to that night:

The nurses and doctors had been in and out checking Brody's fever with a temporal scanner (aka head thermometer). I have a beef with these devices. In my experiences with these devices they are more than a few points away from an accurate reading. Remember when I talked about Bro being sick two weeks prior to this incident? Well, while I was at the doctor's office with Brody, he was running fever and we could tell from touching his forehead. The nurse used a temporal scanner to check it and it came out normal. She voiced that he felt feverish to her, so she wanted to double check. She went to grab an ear thermometer and it read 102.1. That is a ridiculous difference, people! He had woke up running fever the night prior to that, and it read 101.5, but he felt really hot to Klay and I. We used a temporal scanner, which probably meant it was much much higher than that. Later that day I went and purchased an ear thermometer for better accuracy.

Because most doctor's offices and hospitals use these thermometers, we carry our ear thermometer wherever we go.

When I asked Children's to take it another way, they said they didn't have anything else (except for rectal). That was either BS or laziness; I think both.

We had ours on hand and checked it, I mentioned this to the doctor and nurses, who disregarded it. Brody still had a fever, but it wasn't quite as high (around 100ish). But by their records it was 98, so he was in the clear.

They discharged us at 1-ish a.m. and Klay brought the car around front so B and I didn't have to walk far in the cold.

Leave it to me to get lost on my way out of the hospital (while still inside, mind you), calling Klay on his cell to come and find me. I'm directionally challenged.

Once the hubs rescues us, we walk out to the car, covering Brody with Klay's jacket and strapping him into his carseat. He is awake. I sat in the back with Brody just in case something were to happen on the way home. I wasn't letting this kid out of sight anytime soon.

Unfortunately, I'm wedged between two carseats. I watched my niece that week and needed the extra seat in the car.

I call my mom to let her know we were on the highway headed home. She asked all of the questions and I explained to her the docs said.

We're about to go under Klyde Warren Park (which is on a bridge for those who aren't from Dallas) when I see Brody convulsing.

"Oh my god. He's doing it again! No, no, he's doing it agaaaain," I sob.

Mom: "Get him back to the hospital. I am on my way." Click.

Klay turned on the light speeding to get off at the next exit.

This time Brody's hands are balled in fists in front of him like he's ready to box. His head has fallen on his right shoulder. His teeth grinding against each other. A small groan and hum comes from his tiny mouth.

"Whyyyyyy is this happening?" I bellowed while Klay tries to find his way back to the hospital.

"His lips are turning blue! I need to take him out!" I say trying to undo his buckles. It was too bumpy and too crazy to actually pull him out in all this chaotic driving. We were stopping abruptly, and picking up speed quickly downtown.

"I can't while you're driving!"

Klay pulls over swung open the door rushing to the passenger side back door where Brody is. I've got him out of the carseat, Klay grabs him turns him on his side and pats him on his back.

The icy, wet air is making me shiver. I'm watching Klay pat Brody in horror. I look at the clock to check the time 1:19 a.m.

Brody's lip is no longer as blue, but he's still shaking. His teeth still grinding. The slightest groan sneaking out between his clenched jaw. I'll never forget that sound, that moan.

"I'll have to hold him the rest of the way," I say to Klay who handed him to me.

Hauling ass back to the hospital, unsure of where to go, Klay managed to make it back in less than 3-4 minutes. Thank God, he was driving and not me.

I cradled Brody talking to him in his ear, still sobbing. We arrived back at the ambulance entrance, I instruct Klay to run him in. I'm wedged between the two carseats, my fat rear will have trouble enough getting out alone.

I pass Brody over my console back to Klay who parked the car in the entrance. Carrying Brody, Klay jets back into the hospital.

I crawl into the front seat to park the car, but I can't move. I'm alone now, and I can't control the crying. I've never felt pain or fear like this before.

I sit there for a few minutes weeping unable to function from fear that something else might be wrong with Brody.

I just cried and cried.

I muddled up the last bit of strength I had to park the car and run into the hospital to be there for my son. I had to stay strong for him. I needed to know what was happening to him. Was this febrile seizures or was it something else? And why had he had two in less than 4 hours?

These were the questions I needed answered.

I knew one thing though--I could not watch him go through that again.

Click here for Part 4...