2018 Goals

It’s that time of year for resolutions, those things you decide you want to change or improve about yourself over the coming year.

1. Run more and farther.

I ran a good amount in 2017, about 750 km (give or take) over the year.  I had a few minor over-use injuries which isn’t new to me.  I ran a half marathon and had a 10km PB (personal best) race.  I joined a running team (more about that in a future post) and met a lot of extraordinary people, many of whom are survivors in one way or another and who run to stay mentally strong. They are an incredibly inclusive group of people from all walks of life who all love to run.  I feel lucky to have found them.

2. Yell less at my kids.

Being a parent is hard.  Being a parent who doesn’t raise her voice is exhausting.  I found myself in a cycle of yelling and saw its impact on my kids, my eldest in particular. Over the past 6 weeks both my husband and I have made a huge effort to lower our voices and I know with myself in particular, not yelling is hard to do. After asking my child to do something 3 times and not having it done, the only recourse I had, it seemed, was to raise my voice. It got their attention, but in a negative way. When I started hearing how they related to each other I realized they were emulating my behavior.  We sat down with all the kids one day and acknowledged the tension in the house and told them that their mommy and daddy were going to do better.  We asked them for help and it seems to be working.  Oh, I still find myself  yelling – I’m not a saint – but it is less than it was before.  I’m a work in progress.

3.  Read more books, particularly non-fiction.

I surf the net less when I’m reading a novel.

4. Complete another half marathon, or two.

I’m a glutton for punishment. What can I say?

5. Write more.

 

 

 

2017 – with a vengeance.

2017 came in with a vengeance, for me at least. New Years Eve day started out with my three-year-old up chucking his applesauce then spiking a fever for most of the afternoon. While the older two kids were on their way to my in-laws, it was touch and go whether the baby would be staying home and changing our NYE plans or going to my mom’s for the night. Thankfully with some Advil and Gravol, he perked up enough to be sent there for the night.

As my husband and I prepared to go to our friend’s place for the evening, I had a fleeting thought of “What if I’m the next one to get hit with the stomach flu?”  I forgot to mention that my eldest got hit with the stomach bug two days before.

The evening started out great. We brought all the fixings for a cheese fondue and it turned out great but shortly after starting to eat I felt the distinct uncomfortable rumblings in my lower stomach that signaled something wasn’t right.  Sure enough, an hour before midnight I was hugging the porcelain god and wishing I were dead.  The stomach virus that gently hit my children assaulted me with a vengeance.  Minutes after midnight I was lying in an upstairs spare bedroom shivering with chills. So much for my new year’s eve plans.

Why is it that the holidays bring on such horrible illnesses? This is the second year in a row that my family has been plagued with a stomach virus over the holidays. I myself have had more of these bouts of illness in the last 5 years than I can remember for most of my life. Is it the kids?  Are they the germ factories?

It’s downright awful.

Even after spending almost the entire day in bed yesterday and sleeping close to 14 hours I am still not 100% today and feel like I could be on the verge of intimacy with the porcelain gods again.  As I write this I’m lying in bed with three children arguing for my attention.

Time to sign off …

The Toddler

“Mommy, what’s that?”

“That’s a Death Star cookie jar.”

“I want that! Mommy, what’s that?”

“That’s a Chewbacca pillow.”

“I want that!”

“What’s that?  What’s that? MOMMY!  What’s that?”

“That’s a Boba Fett bobble-head doll.”

“Mommy, I want that! Mommy what’s that?”

“That’s a phone booth toy.”

We were at HMV this morning.  Husband was off looking for some Criterion Collection DVDs and I was on toddler duty. The store was pretty empty as it had just opened so we had the run of the store.  The toddler high-tailed it to the “toy section” and spent the next 10 agonizing minutes of my life with a game of 20 questions.

All this after a half-hour car ride which sounded like this:

“What’s that? Ooooh, treetcar! I want one. Daddy!  Look! A bus! Mommy!!  Mommy!!!!!!!  My boot fell ground! I want muffin! Daddy!! Bird, Daddy, look! What’s that, Mommy? Look, Mommy, a truck! I want one!”

Aren’t toddlers adorable?

I need a Tylenol.

 

 

 

 

Seventh Kid

This past week my older son has been unwell with a fever but no other symptoms.  Maybe he had a mild cough but otherwise seemed okay.  A few nights found him coming into our room and the heat raging of him indicated to me he’d had a fever.  The inevitable phone call from the school telling us that he was sick came and he ended up staying home just one day and actually seemed pretty good that day except for not having much of an appetite.

So imagine my surprise when I go to pick him up from school the other day and his teacher (who knows that I am a physician) tells me that six children are away with strep throat.  Six!  I thank her for the information and immediately turn to my son, take out my phone, turn the flashlight on and look in his throat.

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The white spots on his tonsils are pus, or exudate. Probably from a strep infection.  He hadn’t had much of a fever in 24 hours so I decided to wait to get him tested.  This morning he woke up with no fever, but complained of his tummy hurting every time he tried to eat something.  Husband and I wondered if it was his throat that was actually causing him pain.  Kids are kind of dumb when it comes to being able to tell you where it hurts, I find.

Anyway, husband worried that our son had already had the infection for a few days and would be more susceptible to complications (post-streptococcus auto-immune diseases) so I took him to my office in the hopes of getting a rapid strep culture done.

Now, it’s hard enough to take a throat swab for a 4.5 year-old patient in the office, imagine trying to do it on your own son? I had to bribe him with a cookie his grandmother made.  When he saw the how long the “Q-tip” swab was he panicked and covered his mouth.  I told him it would be really fast and that we had to do it or he wouldn’t get the cookie.  “Oh fine,” he said.  So he opened his mouth and I was able to get a really, really, really quick swab of that tonsil.  After lots of crying and “Ow! Mommy, that hurt!” there was no way he was going to comply again.  Looking at the swab, I could see I had gotten a bit of that junk off, so I proceeded with the test.

The rapid strep kit really helpful in the office.  Normally a throat swab takes 48 hours to get results.  With these rapid kits I can have an answer in 5 minutes. I also really like doing them because it’s like a little science experiment I can do right in the office!  It definitely makes a typical day more interesting.

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Very much like a pregnancy test, one line is negative for strep and two lines is positive.

My son’s test had a very faint second line.  Given the history of six other children in his class with strep infections, his on and off again fever, lethargy and lack of appetite, not to mention the tonsils looking the way they did, I elected to treat him.  Yes, I should have taken him to his own pediatrician but I didn’t.  After a couple of doses of Amoxicillin, he is already looking better.

Sometimes it’s really convenient being a doctor mom.

Demands.

Day 7 – National Blog Posting Month

exhausted-tired-mom-kids

Kid 1 – “Mommy, we have to read my French book.”

Kid 2 – “Mommy, can you make pancakes?”

Kid 3 – “Mammma, mak pacake?”

Kid 2 – “Actually, mommy can I have eggs instead?”

Kid 3 – “Mammma, ook car!”

Kid 1 – “Mom come on! We have to read my book.”

Kid 2 – “Mommy, I’m hungry. Eggs please!”

Kid 1 – “Mom, can I watch TV?”

Kid 2 – “Mommy, I’m thirsty!”

Kid 3 – “Mama! Mama! Poo poo bum.”

Time  – 7:48am.

Vice Grip.

The piercing pain on the right side of my head woke me up.

Here we go again, I thought.

“Maaaaama! Poo-poo bum! I hugry. Want bekfast”

“Ugh ….”, I moaned.

I got out of bed, stumbled on a toy which made my head feel like it was going to explode. As I walked by his room, he held out his sippy cup and I took it. I made it down the stairs, to the kitchen, where I filled his cup with milk.  Giving it back to him at the gate of his door, I patted him on the head and turned on his light just a little bit.

“Mommy going to take a shower, you stay here and play quietly.”

I fumbled in the dark for the shower curtain and pulled it aside as I took off my clothes. The water’s coolness on my hand caused me to shiver and as turned the shower heads on, I stepped in to the cold rain on my head.  I started shivering immediately and sat down under the stream of water.  I hugged my knees and rocked back and forth waiting for the pain to subside.  Eventually I felt it lift a bit and turned the temperature of the water up.  The shivers stopped.  My head felt better. I could hear squealing and laughing coming from the hallway.  Everyone was up.

I lay back down in the bathtub.

Five more minutes, kids.

Mommy needs just five more minutes.

A Midnight Battle of Will

“The Force is strong in this one.”

Two years old in a few weeks and he’s giving me more hassle than the other two before him combined.

Seriously, kid?

He expertly climbed out of his crib a month ago.  Happy as a pig in shit to do so. Ready for a big boy bed, it would seem.  So a big boy bed he got. Trouble is now he won’t stay in it.  Oh, eventually he’ll just tire at the gate and shuffle back to bed but when this happens at 1 am in the morning, it comes down to a battle of will.

“Maaaaama, I whan warhm miiiiilk.”

Me, softly, from my bedroom. “Go back to bed.”

“No. Miiiiiilk.”

Whining ensues. Tired whining.

Me: “Go back to bed.”

“No. Maaaaama.  I hugry.”

A few more minutes of whining.

“Daaaaady. I whan warhm miiiilk.”

Sternly, “Go back to bed. Night night.”

“Maaaaama.  Miiiiilk.”

This went on for over an hour. Eventually, his will broke and he found his way back to bed. Hmpfh. Hungry indeed.  Just stay the fuck in bed, kid.

Solo. 

I sit at a bar in a lovely restaurant downtown enjoying an Aperol Spiritz. I am alone. It’s my birthday today. 

  
Having been away on vacation for the past two weeks and the insanity that was work for weeks before that, it was impossible to think ahead and plan anything for today. 

Husband suggested I take the afternoon to be alone and do whatever I wanted. He would make whatever I wanted for dinner and told me to come home whenever I wanted. I took him up on it and booked a late afternoon/early evening massage and facial at a spa I have been dying to go to for a while now. 

I feel a little guilty. He told me not to. He hadn’t time either to plan anything so he said it was my day and wanted me to enjoy it. 

I plan to. 

Here’s to 41!