Friday, August 27, 2010

A penny saved....

Before I get to the penny I need to talk a little bit about poop. You read it right - you don't have to go back and re-read the first sentence.

A few weeks ago when we were on vacation we discovered that Spencer had acquired a new ailment. The boy suffers from jabbers - or nervous stomach - or whatever you choose to call the feeling that you have to poop whenever you get a bit agitated. His call from the backseat that he had to go to the bathroom about every other mile got to be a bit frustrating to say the least. I mean c'mon we are on vacation for crying in the bathtub - what in the world do you have to be stressed about?

On day two of our vacation we found a drug store and Trent ran in to buy the boy some Pepto Bismol. I ran into the drug store a few minutes later with Spencer because he felt like he had to poop again. Fun times. We didn't know if the Pepto would help or not. If he really did have some stomach issue going on we figured it might. If it was all in his head (as we imagined) then maybe the medicine would have a placebo effect on him.

At one point during our trip Spencer picked up the Pepto bottle and began reading the label and asked me which one of the ailments that it claimed to help was what he suffered from. Since the label did not say "nervous stomach" or "urge to poop whenever we are nowhere near a bathroom" I didn't quite know what to tell him. It turns out I didn't have to tell him anything because as he continued to read he came to his own conclusion that what he suffered from was "traveler's diarrhea". I didn't have the heart to tell him that traveler's diarrhea was actually something you get by traveling to foreign countries not traveling a few hours north in the state and country you currently reside in.

Traveler's diarrhea has become a phrase heard daily around our house because he is still obsessed with it. He likes to inform me on a daily basis (at least) that he thinks his traveler's diarrhea is gone but he worries that it might come back once he starts school. I reassure him by telling him that I am sure it will be gone by then but if it is not there is a bathroom in his classroom so he really shouldn't worry about it.

OK - on to the penny.

Last night the boys were going to sleepover at the house of a friend in our neighborhood. Trent and I decided that since we only had Hailey to deal with that we would go out to dinner. As the boys loaded up with their overnight gear and sleeping bags I scribbled Trent's cell phone number on a piece of paper and told Spencer to give it to his friend's dad because we were not going to be home for about an hour or so and if he had to reach us, this would be the way. (Someone had a hand in that little move on my part.) The boys ran excitedly down the street and Trent and I packed up Hailey and had a wonderful dinner out with only one child to entertain. Which always causes us to ponder how we ever thought life was tough with one child?

On the way home Trent noticed that he had a message on his phone. A message from friend's house. Trent called back and from what he was saying I noticed no urgency the only thing I caught was that "Spencer was freaked out a bit". I honestly thought that his traveler's diarrhea had made an appearance at friend's house. Trent hung up the phone and told me that Spencer had swallowed a penny.

What the what????

Our nine year old son swallowed a penny.

Apparently he had put the penny into his mouth so that his friend couldn't get it and then in a boyish struggle, the penny went down his throat. He was a bit shaken up, but otherwise seemed fine.

I immediately texted my BFF who is an ER nurse to ask her what is the protocol when someone swallows a penny. She told me that he was big enough that it was most likely in his stomach and that I shouldn't worry too much. Maybe give his pediatrician a call in the morning. In the meantime, get him home from his friend's house and watch his breathing and make sure that he didn't turn blue or his stomach didn't start to hurt or something. What she said made sense and Trent was pretty low key about the whole incident citing the fact that a friend of his once swallowed two quarters. Not helping right now, but thanks honey.

We got Spencer home and assessed the situation. He looked all right, but what worried me was that he said he thought he could still feel the penny in his esophagus. I decided that I would not be able to sleep unless I knew where that coin was in my baby boy's body. And I really wanted to sleep because I am trying to stave off some sort of sinus issue. Spencer was upset because I told him he wouldn't be able to sleep at friend's house because we had to watch him. But if I knew the coin was in his belly, he could probably go back to the sleepover. So off we went to the Immediate Care Facility. It was five minutes to eight o' clock and I was praying that they didn't close at eight. We pull into the parking lot and the hours posted for the ICF are 9-6. Six! Are you kidding me? I get on the highway and am wondering to myself if I am overreacting. Probably. But I am a hypochondriac by nature. There is no way that I can just take him back home. If the unthinkable happened I could not live with my decision. So at 8:15 we walked into the hospital ER and the two girls who were filling out our paperwork to get us to triage didn't know how to spell "penny" and "swallowed". I second guessed my decision for a minute and I never wished so bad that my BFF was working. Spencer was visibly upset while they checked him in. He was afraid they were going to have to stick something down his throat to get the penny out. I told him that the worst thing that would happen to him would be an x-ray. He didn't seem convinced.

The doctor came in and told Spence that he was the oldest kid that he had ever seen that swallowed a penny. Fabulous! He listened to his breathing and talked to Spence a bit while Spencer got more and more upset. The doctor sat next to him and put his arm around him and asked him what he was so scared of - all the while looking at me like I had forced the penny down his throat or something - ER docs always seem super suspicious of parents to me. Probably because they see such horrible things or something. He finally told the doctor he was scared because he thought the penny was still stuck. The doctor told him he didn't think that was the case and that he would be fine but they were going to do an x-ray just to be sure.

The nurse came in to take us down to the x-ray room. I had a flashback of Spencer screaming his head off in the same room when he was four and dislocated his elbow. He was fine this time though - hopped up like a champ and stayed as still as could be. I stayed behind the glass wall with the technician and watched as the picture of my baby's rib cage appeared on the computer screen with one solid white dot in it. And me being the science idiot that I am had to ask "so it's in his stomach then?" To which she replied, "That's his stomach - you can't miss it."

As we walked back to the room to wait for the doc the first words out of Spencer's mouth were, "Since it is in my stomach can I go back to friend's house to sleep?" He was extremely relieved and back to his old self.
The doctor came in a few minutes later and told us that the penny was in his stomach and will most likely be appearing in his poop in the next few days. He then asked me if Spencer pooped at least once a day. I chuckled a little and told him "at least once -usually more". Then Spencer looked at the doctor and told him " I have traveler's diarrhea." I laughed out loud. I am sure the doctor thought we were nuts or something.

At nine PM we were out the door. Forty five minute ER visit? Not so bad after all.

So now we are waiting for the penny to make its reappearance. Where is that darn traveler's diarrhea when you need it?

Update: We told him he had to wear his hospital bracelet until we "recovered" the penny. He wore it for a long time because we never did find that darn penny. We think it most likely came out two days after the swallowing when he was playing at a friend's house and pooped over there despite me telling him to run home if he felt the urge! After a week of checking poop and finding nothing, we had to take him back in for another xray and this time there was no little white circle anywhere on the screen. He was penny free!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sitting in the sun flare

Can you believe it? Two weeks in a row that I have submitted a photo to {I heart faces}. I don't even know who I am anymore!

The theme this week was beach fun and what is more fun than a little girl sitting on the beach filling up buckets with sand.

If you have time to spare, head over to the {I heart faces} site and check out some fabulous beach pictures.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

I realized this morning that this little blog of mine is three years old today. It started back in 2007 with a post about a lost binky and my three babies who were 7 months, three and six years old.

Today they are 3, 6 and 9. Unbelievable.

Along the way I have learned a little bit about html, recorded the memories and history of my family and found the blogs of some amazing women who make me laugh and cry with their stories on a daily basis.

My blog is not a blockbuster. I can count my "followers" on one hand. But this is what it was intended to be. It was never meant to entertain or to teach or to inspire - it was meant to be the story of us. And that is exactly what it is and I have the books to prove it.

I have had them for a while now but I still get giddy every time I look at them. These are books. Actual books - filled with my photos and more importantly, my words. My thoughts and feelings and anecdotes that my kids will be able to read in the years to come. The story of our life.

There are plenty of gaps. I don't blog everything. Most major events get condensed into a couple of photos. I don't think I have even posted one picture from any of the trips we have taken this summer. But the little stuff is in there. The little things that would be forgotten in the months and years to come. I have hundreds of vacation pictures that can tell their own story. But more often than not it is the little, seemingly insignificant things that really show me day to day who my children are.

And that is what is in these books.

The blog may not be a prize winner, but the books are worthy of a Pulitzer - at least in this Mommy's eyes.

Happy Birthday Blog!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dog ears

Hailey doesn't let me comb, let alone style, her hair very often. When she saw me with a comb in my hand and a ponytail holder in the other, she freaked out until I told her that I wasn't going to put it in a pony - I was going to give her "dog ears".

She was intrigued by what I said and let me twist her hair into pigtails and only screamed a fraction of the decibel level that she usually screams.

She loved the "dog ears" and she looked so cute I could hardly stand it.

While I was taking pictures of her latest look, I reminded her of the night before when we were playing with her castle and she was showing me the evil queen who had escaped. She told me that she had to "keep an eye on her" and then made the cutest face. I told her that I wanted her to "keep an eye" on me and she did.

Can you look at that picture without smiling? Because I can't.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Painting projects? Check!

This is the summer that we painted the main living areas in our house. It was far less painful than I imagined it would be. My husband is turning into a painting pro. The whole project took way less time than I thought it would - actually picking the colors was the hardest and most time consuming part. The finished rooms look so awesome. Seriously, I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out.

The only problem is that once your walls look all fresh and clean and you feel like you are living in a new house, your old furniture and decor tend to seem extremely dated and worn out.

An example of that would be this table and its twin brother that are nearly thirteen years old and showing every day of those years.

Load yourself up with some sandpaper, an old can of glossy black paint and a couple of cans of spray paint for an even finish and you go from Goodwill.... Pottery Barn. I didn't know how these tables would turn out. I didn't have extremely high hopes, but my hopes were blown away. They turned out great!

With new found confidence in spray paint and my ability to turn "trash to treasure", I tackled a few more little projects that I had stored in the basement and garage with intentions of getting to them "someday". That day was upon us.

My old doll crib made for me by my Grandfather. The wood was in excellent shape but needed a bit of girl-i-fying in my taste. On a side note, I am desperately trying to get Hailey into playing with dolls and thought that having her help paint the crib would make her a bit more excited about it. The jury is still out about whether my plot worked or not, but that is a post for another day.

The finished crib. I am thinking I might look for a decal or a rub on to fanci-fy the "bump" part of the crib. Are you totally loving the words I am making up for this post?

Victim number three. The set of shelves that I purchased at a garage sale last summer for one American dollar. These little squares full of potential have been residing in my garage since I brought them in from the car the day I bought them.

A couple cans of black spray paint = instant shelf makeover.

Last but not least was the shelving unit that I got from my Grandmother. It is not my usual style at all. It is very antique-y (there I go again) and ornate. There is just something about it that I love. And trust me when I tell you that something is not the lime green color that it was painted. It has been residing in the finished part of my basement in all its lime green glory since Spencer was a toddler. It has waited for its close-up long enough.

The two holes are for amazing beveled glass mirrors that fit into them. The mirrors have seen better days but since they are completely custom to that shelf, I don't know how we would ever replace them or if it would even be worth it financially since I will probably have pictures or some other sort of tchotchke that can cover the less than stellar parts.

After about four cans of Kona she is in all her finest.

We managed to get a ton of projects done this summer and as you can see the majority of them involved us inhaling a lot of paint fumes.

I am hoping this fall to get back into my de-cluttering and organization mode. I am thinking that with Hailey in school two mornings a week, I really have no excuse to not make considerable headway.

Famous last words.....

Monday, August 16, 2010


I haven't entered a photo on the {i heart faces }website in a long time. When I saw the theme for this week was "got to wear shades", I couldn't resist posting this photo.

Head over to the {i heart faces} site and check out some other awesome "shades" photos!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I finally took the time to look up and order some books on my camera from Amazon. Some instruction "manuals". Nobody around here offers any kind of class that exclusively covers Canon cameras, so I figured the books were my best option.

I don't like the manual that comes with the camera. I find it incredibly boring and hard to understand. I need someone to tell me what I need to know. I hope the authors of the books I bought will help me. I am in the second chapter of book one and already I have learned some things I didn't know how to do with the camera. Yea!

I was sitting outside with Hailey the other day and was messing with the manual setting on the camera. The books haven't gotten that far yet, but I know that if I ever really want to do something with this hobby of mine, eventually I will have to get it off of program mode. At least I am in program mode and have some control (that is what I tell myself anyway), I never shoot in Auto anymore and haven't since I had my Olympus.

So here are the images that I got with my manual experimenting. I haven't edited these in any way. What you see is what I got.

Not too bad huh? I think I have some sort of mental block when it comes to shutter speed and aperture. While I was shooting these, I totally had it down. I knew when to increase and decrease one or the other - now, poof! Totally gone. I couldn't even tell you what aperture and shutter speed I shot these at. I am blaming it on math. How they relate is mathematical and I am not mathematical AT ALL!

When your model gets tired and wants to go in the house what do you do?

You take pictures of your feet.

Time to get the kids ready for bed so I can read some more. And watch Modern Family in peace and quiet. This show has taken the place in my heart that was once reserved for The Office. I was extremely disappointed in the last season of The Office. Aside from the wedding episode (which I LOVED), I can't remember one thing I liked about it. Modern Family has become my can't miss TV.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer lists

One of the first few days of summer vacation, I told the boys to write out a list of some of the things that were their hopes and dreams to accomplish this summer. It was interesting to me to see what their expectations were and it was also a way to get them to actually write something even when school was over. Win/Win.

Evan's summer list:

Beach, sparklers, fireworks, zoo, ice cream, go to the yacht club pool, go to the cabin.

He didn't really understand the concept of "checking off things as they are done" he just checked them all off as he wrote them.

In reviewing his list, I see that aside from the zoo, his summer list is complete.

Spencer's summer list:

Get another slip n' slide, go to the Meijer Garden, go to Max's house for a sleep over, Robby comes over here for a sleepover, we go to the museum, we go to the Double JJ water ranch, we go to the Great Wolf Lodge, we go to the Wisconsin to the Dells, go to Brendan's house for a sleepover, spend time with my family at home, play flashlight tag, go to the Fisher's pool, go to Barothy Lodge.

I told them to go crazy. Hold nothing back. List what is your hearts greatest desire for this summer. As you can see, Spencer went a little more crazy and specific than Evan did. Or maybe Evan just didn't feel like writing anymore.

Spencer only has five things crossed off of his list. There are only four more weeks of summer vacation. We had better get crackin'.