Monday, September 29, 2008

What Goes Up Must Come Down!

We've all had those moments when we've looked at one of our children and thought, "What were you possibly thinking?" I had one such moment last week when my three-year-old, Regyn, came home from a friend's house crying and pointing to her nose.

"What's the problem?" I asked, and then I got my answer when she threw her head back and I noticed a lime green bead halfway up her nasal passage. Of course I did what any sensible mother would do--I looked at her father and said, "Great. What are we going to do?" He had all the answers (as fathers usually do).

First, we tried plugging the other nostril and telling her to blow hard. She wasn't super cooperative and I could see this was getting us nowhere, so I decided to offer some assistance. The next time she blew I applied a thrust of pressure on the outside of her nose where I thought the bead was. Unfortunately, right after she blew her nose, she automatically sniffed everything right back up, and as you might have guessed, the sniff--along with the sudden pressure I applied--only served to lodge the bead further up her nasal passage. Now we needed a flashlight to see it at all.

Determined not to panic, we took a deep breath and tried a new approach. We got out a can of pepper, poured some in Regyn's hand and told her to sniff it very closely so she could see how good it smelled. She sniffed and sniffed and sniffed--nothing. So we took her down into our unfinished basement and began sweeping up a storm. Her eyes began burning from all of the dust, Dan and I were sneezing like crazy, but Regyn's nose must have been too plugged from the bead to be affected at all.

We were running out of options. We had tried all logical solutions; now it was time to try some irrational ones. Out came the vaccuum cleaner. By this time, Regyn's level of cooperation was registering in the negative. She just wanted to be left alone, but each new attempt at dislodging that stubborn bead only made Dan and I more determined we were going to win this battle. I gratefully left to play volleyball and when I came back over an hour later, Dan looked dejected adn Regyn was snoring on the couch. I was determined to not let her go to sleep with that bead up her nose. Visions of it making its way down her throat and into her lungs kept creeping into my head, so although two different doctors we called said it was not an emergency and to let her sleep, I had a hard time letting it go.

Dan had researched more options on the Internet while I was gone playing volleyball and said he had one more trick to try--the "kissing method." I was obviously desperate because I laid my sleeping child on my lap, plugged one side of her nose, and blew as hard as I could into her mouth, hoping to blow the obnoxious bead out. Much to my dismay, what came out was not the bead, but a whole lot of snot. I found my entire cheek plastered with the green, gooey stuff. Dan and I both tried this method a few more times, before I gave up, put my poor child to bed, and jumped in the shower to scrub my face.

There is a happy ending to this story--the bead did come out--but it took a doctor's office visit, three catheters, Dan and I holding our sweet child to the table while she screamed bloody murder, and many attempts by the doctor before it finally dislodged and plopped right in her open mouth, nearly choking her. The doctor had to run a catheter up through her nasal passage, blow a balloon up behind the bead, and then try to maneuver it back through, pulling the bead with it. It was traumatic, to say the least, but I can say that we all learned a very important lesson on what not to put where.

So, if you ever have a child decide to see if something will fit somewhere it doesn't belong, call me. I now know what works; more importantly, I know what doesn't. In fact, don't waste a call on me--call your doctor. It will save you hours of worry and stress trying your own techniques. And as for the bead, we kept it. Dan wants to make a necklace out of it as a reminder. I told him I never want to see anything green come out of a nose again, and that includes snot!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Confessions of a Slacker Mom

Okay, so after I read a few blogs about slacker moms, I couldn't help but think of all the ways I could be considered a slacker--it was unbelievable! My mind kept reeling as different scenarious pushed their way forward, begging for attention. So, here they are--a few of my own slacker confessions.

1-Since it is fast approaching, I can't help but say, I love daylight savings! By the time October comes, I anxiously anticipate the clock falling back so it is darker earlier. Why? So I can put my kids to bed earlier! I know that probably sounds a bit ludicrous, but little ones still tend to believe bedtime has arrived when they look outside and see darkness, and with the start of school and soccer and homework, I'm exhausted earlier, too. I need a bigger break so I am fresh and ready to start early the next day, so I gather my children, show them how dark it is outside, snuggle them in bed, and enjoy some extra time before life starts over again the next day.

2-We get treats every time we go to the grocery store, and although I say this practice is because my children beg for them, that's not entirely true. If I'm being perfectly honest, I have to admit that by the time I'm finished shopping and have made it to the check-out, I need/want a treat! Aferall, visiting Wal-Mart with two toddlers, two grade schoolers, and a long list of needed items is no easy chore. I figure if I've made it to the check-out with no major episodes, I deserve a treat!

3-Naptime is my favorite time of the day. Lunchtime is my least favorite time of the day (not knowing what to fix, messing up the kitchen I barely got cleaned up from breakfast, whiny children, etc), so I am very thankful that naps follow lunch. By this time of the day, I need a little breather (and some time to write, of course!).

4-I'm sure it's probably starting to sound like I don't like my children around, but that really isn't true; it's just that, as you all know, motherhood demands the best that's in us, and I can't be at my best 24/7. Hence, I also rejoice when my children make it to first grade! I am not the mother sobbing outside of the school because my child will be gone all day; instead, I'm doing cartwheels in my living room as soon as I kiss them goodbye. It's just that I'm totally thrilled at the experiences that await them in first grade. I know they will love it, they will learn to read (yea!!!), and they will be anxiously engaged in a good cause that I don't have to be in charge of. What's to be sad about? I do have to admit, however, that I may not feel the same when my youngest heads out the door, knowing that I will be alone and I've hit a new phase in life. I guess we'll just have to see; for now, I truly love first grade!

5-I plan dates with my kids because I love them (the dates, that is--and the kids). I absolutely treasure one-on-one time with each of my children, and as I know they will always ask to go out for ice cream, so it's a win-win situation. I love my kids and I love ice cream. We agreed to start personal dates with our children for their sakes, but I go more for my own sake.

6-This confession has more to do with being a homemaker than a mother, but it's all part of a stay-at-home mother's life, so I figure it counts. I only scrub the kitchen floor if I know someone is coming. I used to scrub it nearly every day ( back in my perfectionist days); now, the kitchen floor is the least of my worries. My father-in-law recently visited and I caught him cleaning the crevices of our kitchen chairs with a q-tip, amazed at how dirty the q-tip came out. I had to chuckle to myself as my husband explained, "Dad, we just have more important things to worry about than cleaning the chairs with a q-tip." I figure the floor is the same.

7-I sometimes run out of groceries on purpose so we have to eat out, sparing me a night of cooking. I have realized after 10 years of married life that I still--and probably always will--hate to cook. I'd rather clean any day than plan, shop for, and prepare meals. It's just not my thing. So, when the fridge and pantry are empty and we make a decision to get pizza or something, I secretly cheer inside--not because I like pizza--but because I get a night off from cooking.

I think I had better stop there. I've revealed too much already about my slacker tendencies, but I just have to end by saying that, despite all my weaknesses, I'm still the best mom for my kids because no one could love them more than I do! And, I've come to realize that some of the biggest slacker moms are raising the best kids, so maybe there's something to be said about allowing ourselves to be less than perfect. After all, motherhood involves making lots of mistakes. Maybe that's why I love it so much!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From the Mouth of Babes

If there is one thing that never ceases to amaze me since I have become a mother it's how often my children teach me something. I think some of the most important lessons I've learned in life have come from my children, and when I take time to humble myself and see the world through their eyes, I find out something new and profound. It's one of the things I love most about motherhood.

The other day I was on my way to drop my son off for soccer practice (yep, I'm a true, blue soccer mom) when my eight-year-old, Hallee, asked me a deep doctrinal question right out of the blue. She looked at me and casually asked, "Mom, if Adam was the only man on earth, how did he get baptized?"

I hate to admit that I was unprepared for such a question and fumbled around trying to come up with the correct answer. I began by stallling, "Well . . . that's a good question, Hallee. What do you think?" We both came up with some ideas until she seemed to find an answer that made sense to her (which was that Christ must have come down and baptized him). We continued to the soccer field in silence, but I was feeling a little uneasy about not knowing if I had given my sweet daughter a doctrinally correct answer. Thankfully, when I told my little brother about the conversation the next day, he reminded me that the answer is in the scriptures (of course!). He found the verses in Moses, chapter 6. I was amazed that I had not remembered reading about it before, but I was also relieved to know the right answer.

When Hallee got home from school that day I took her aside, excitedly explaining that I had found the answer to her important question from the day before. We got out the scriptures and she read the verses aloud, then we discussed them. I truly saw her face light up as she read the answer, and I was reminded of how thankful I am that the Lord did not send us here alone to try to figure everything out by ourselves, that there really are answers, and most of them are found in the scriptures. We talked about Hallee's own baptism and how the proper Priesthood authority was handed down right from John the Baptist to Joseph Smith, and so on down to her. It was a sweet experience to share those few moments with her, and of course I left learning the most of all.

This was not the first time Hallee had suprised me with this type of question. I can't help but think of how these dear children we have truly have more knowledge and understanding about spiritual matters and eternal truths than we could ever guess. I've always heard the phrase, "out of the mouths of babes" we will be taught. It's true.