Day Forty -five (part 3) – Waaaaay Behind and Worries

July 28, 2008 at 2:00 am (daily life)

OK.  When you scroll down you will see several empty posts.  I have obviously fallen  behind in my posting but I wanted to  keep the Day by day format going.  So, I’m  ‘reserving’ space for myself to write about each day as I have time.  It should be with  in the next day or so,  so, please keep checking in!

Now,  more importantly.   Emily is sick.  Any of my fellow CF moms who are reading  this know the magnitude of those three words.  THere’s  been a cough brewing for  a few days.  Yesterday it became clear that she was getting  something fairly serious.  Then, at 2:00 am, she woke up with the  seal-bark cough.  You moms know  the one.  I am fairly confident that this is just croup, except, with CF, nothing is ever “just” anything.  There is no such thing as “just” a sore throat, “just” a fever, “just a cough.”  Everything COULD be the start of something really big and  bad.

It is hard to be up for several hours in the middle of  the night with a sick kid.  But, CF really does add layers that make it a horrendous experience every. single. time. 

It  took us a while to get the coughing under control and to  get  cleaned  up.  Emily coughed up a TON of  mucus, and, unfortunatley, a lot of her overnight feeding came with  it.  We were  both coated – sticky and  smelly.  Worst of all, her favorite blanket was covered, too.  Watching  her cough was heart breaking.  Each spasm of coughing wracked her entire body.  This little girl who has looked SO healthy to me lately, so  robust and “normal” suddenly looked frail and thin.  I had my hand on her back to keep her steady as the  seal barks exploded from her chest.  I realized I  could  feel every bump in her spine.  Why didn’ t  I notice  that in the swimming pool a few days earlier?  What is it about the  middle of the night that brings  out every fear, and twists reality so you see it in its brightest light?

Daddy and I  tried to coax her back into her bedroom  to snuggle on the rocking chair after her improptu bath.   But, Emily insisted on going downstairs to watch television.  OK, fine.  THat’s why Noggin is on all night, now, right?  Actually, we ended  up with Sprout.  Daddy realized that  there  were 2 straight hours of Barney on.  Neither of  us thought that Emily would  stay awake to  watch it all!

As  I  lay on the living room floor wavering  between super-alert-and- listening -from -a- cough and, well , asleep, I had time  to think.  And worry.  Even though I pretty much knew that we were  looking at croup, I still spent time  formulating my “hospital” plan.  Where  would Isabelle go if Emily had to  go  in?  What would  we do  about Monday’s zoo class?  Who would  I  need to call, what would  I pack?

I kicked myself for all the times I’ve said lately that Emily is  having a great summer, health wise.   How dare  I tempt fate that  way?

Finally, Em fell asleep and we  made our way back to our beds.  In the morning  I called the pulmonologist at Children’s  hospital, and an oral steroid was persribed.  She’s acting as if she feels  great, and  there is only a cough every so  often.   I think she’s over  the worst of it,  but, stil I worry. 

Soon those  empty spaces below will  be full.  I promise.


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Day Forty-five (part 2) – County Fair

July 28, 2008 at 12:10 am (daily life)

Growing up,  the county fair was a HUGE part of my summer.  From age 9 on, the fair meant exhibiting projects that I had worked hard on, then getting to play at the fair for a week. As a teenager, I worked at the  fair, sometimes spending an entire day on the fair grounds.  Even as a  young adult, I maintained my fair connections.  So, it’s hard for me to resist when the fair that’s held just a few miles from home sets up each summer.

I had hoped that we’d make a family day of it, but with Em and  Daddy not feeling  well, Isabelle and I set out  on  our own.  Ten minutes in, I realized what a good move that was.

OK, so my memories of the County Fair are apparently romanticized just a bit.  I don’t remember there being SO many smokers and just generallly scary people at the fair.  I never  really looked at how filthy and dust EVERYTHING is at the fair grounds.  And,  I  certainly never thought about how appealing the big kid rides would be to a two year old who going to ride them over mom’s  dead body.

Being on our own gae Isabelle and I a chance to do what ever SHE wanted to do.  She doesn’t get to do that all too often.  We ask her quite often to “compromise” with her siser.  And, frankly, it was just easy having one kid along.

I loved the one  on one  time.  We had a really good time.  And, I  learned a valuable lesson: I’m not as good at the twirly rides as I used to be.

Here are some pics.

This was taken while we were spinning around in a teacup.  Sorry, I can’t figure out  how to rotate the  picture.  Anyone?

In the Ferris Wheel car, ready to go.  She’s been talking about riding the Ferris Wheel again for a whole year!  I was surprised how nervous  I got when the  car stopped.  I was fine when we were moving, but when we stopped at the  top I could hardly keep from grabbing her to  keep her from falling.

The view  from the  top


I love this picture.

And, what’s a visit to the fair without a strawberry sundae the size of your head??

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Day Forty-five (part 1) – Lemonade Girl

July 28, 2008 at 12:08 am (daily life)

For two summers, now, Isabelle has been  asking to have a Lemonade stand. 

I remember,  as a child, wanting to do  the same thing.  I  grew up on a farm.  The driveway was a quarter mile long, the  nearest neighbor  was almost  a  mile away, and  the only traffic that ever  went by consisted  of milk trucks and tractors. 

Isabelle stands a little bit better chance getting  some  customers, but  not much.  We are on  a quiet cul desac.  But, on Sunday morning she came to me with a Tupperware pitcher that is just her size (and, quite possibly the only good thing to come of the blasted Tupperware party that I hosted…) and said she thought that  it would be a perfect day for a lemonade stand.

I madeher list the things she would  need.  Cups, lemonade, ice, table, sign…I added quarters for making change and she  was off and running.  Her sign was so  cute.  She did  it  in crayon first and I let her go over it with a Sharpie,  “Really, mom?  A PERMANENT marker?  I thought those were for grown ups!”  We  also practiced making change from a dollar.  I didn’t think she’d get this.  It’s pretty abstract for a five  year old.  But, when I asked her, “If someone buys one glass of lemonade and pays with a dollar, how many quarters do you give back to them.”  She thought, held up four fingers put one down and said, “That  finger is for the one they paid me, so I guess I give them three back.”  OK, she’ll do ok.

So, off we went.  I helped her set up shop, told her not to feel bad  if  she didn’t get any customers, and  came back inside to  do Emily’s PT.  Before I even loaded the nebulizer, I glanced out the window to see my little business woman serving her first customer.  A pick up truck was pulled over to the curb and  Isabelle was pouring a cup.

That customer was followed by two neighbors, a workman who was repairing a stove next door and Daddy, returning home from a trip to the store. 

Isabelle was joined by three neighbor girls who could not resist the allure of a curbside lemonade  stand.  At one point  one of them came in the house and said, “Isabelle sent me in.  I’m her assistant.  She said we will need more lemonade.  Can  you make some?” 

When I went out with a new pitcher, Isabelle was  beaming.  She said (and this just KILLS me, LOL) “Mom!  We’re taking care of business!  We’ve already had 5 customers!”

The girls did a pretty good  job marketing their business, too.  I heard them all  calling “Lemonade!  Cold Lemonade here!”  And, they went door to door (to their own houses) to sell to their parents, too.

It was just too cute, and I was glad that I let her do it.  She has plans to expand her business next weekend.

On a side note, one of the  neighbors who stopped by for a cup told me today that she asked Isabelle what she was gong to do with  the money she earned.  She was a little taked aback when Isabelle said “It’s all going to  the Cystic  Fibrosis Foundation to  find a cure for my sister.”  We had not discussed that, and she hasn’t yet told me that that’s what she plans to do.  It’s either automatic by now for  her to raise money for  CF (she’s seen plenty of that happening over the last 2 1/2 years).  Or, she’s figured out early how to tug at people’s heart strings.

Either way, this is one of those times that I am reallly glad  I tookten minutes to stir up some lemonade and drag a table to the curb.  She’ll probably  never forget her first business venture.

She  really was  more excited than she  looks  in this picture.  The  sun was  in  her eyes!  It just  doesn’t  get more “Summer” than this!!!

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Day Forty-four – Birthday Party

July 28, 2008 at 12:05 am (daily life)

Happy 6th birthday, T!!!  T is our very good friend.  His parents are very good friends of Daddy’s and mine.  Isabelle and I were discussing T’s party, and she asked if his school friend would be there.  I explained to her that T. had a party with his school friends earlier in the day and the party we were going to was for family – his cousins and grandparents.  She looked at me quizzically and asked, “We’re family?”  And, in fact, it sometimes feels that way.  At least there are lots of times when I’d like to trade T’s mom and dad  for my own siblings and sib in laws.

The party had all the makings of a great time:  bounce house, slip ‘n slide, pizza, brownies and giant sun glasses and  presents.














So, happy birthday T.  And thanks for  inviting us  to celebrate with you.  It’s hard to belelive that six years  have passed since I held you against my tummy and let Isabelle kick you from the inside!.

  Oh, yeah.  If you  were looking closely, you may have  noticed that all of T’s cousins are girls.  This meant that his second party was him, and  7 girls.  He didnt’ seem to mind, though. T’s daddy and Daddy joked (I think) that he’ll be begging for this kind of party in about 12 years, bounce house and all.  Those boys  never grow up.

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Day Forty-three – Wedding Belles

July 28, 2008 at 12:02 am (daily life)

Friday was the day for a wedding!  Miss Amanda is someone I have known since she was 6 weeks old and I was a teenager.  I was her first (and for a long time, her only) babysitter.  Her parents own the farm next door to my parents, and a good portion of the land on that road belongs to one family or the other.

I spent many, many afternoons and evenings taking care of Miss Amanda and her sister Katie.  By the time her brother and  sister came along I was in college and getting married, so I don’t know them as well, and, in all honestly, except for Christmas cards I haven’t had much contact with them at all for the last several years.

Amanda and Katie were both flower girls in my wedding.  They called me on my wedding anniversary for a few years, and send small gifts for special occasions.  They attended my baby shower.

Now, they have reached the age when they are getting married.  Amanda had a beautiful, country wedding in the small church her family has always attended.  She is hoping to find a teaching job this year or next.  She married a man who is a fourth grade teacher at the elementary school where her dad  has been the head custodian since he sold his cattle several years ago (side note, my dad, too, after selling off the stock became a janitor…must be the thing to do).  They are both athletic, they both coach, both like to  hunt and fish.  THey’ll have beautiful babies, and probably lots of them.

Katie is set to be wed in a mere ten months.

So, Daddy took a vacation day on Friday, and we attended the wedding of a girl who  I used to bottle feed and  diaper.  My own little girls were dressed to the nines (sorry, no pictures of them together in their beautiful dresses…what was I thinking???) and were very well behaved in church and at the dance.  It was a nice day of family togetherness, and I only felt a little bit old.

I wish I had a shot of the full dress, and the hat she wore with it.  She loves being dressed up!

*yawn* After a long night  of dancing and  charming the pants off of everybody, it’s good to have a Daddy with broad shoulders.

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Day Forty-two – Splash, Splash, Splash

July 27, 2008 at 11:58 pm (daily life)

Finally!  No more swimming lessons.  No more scrambling to get the girls fed, dressed and out the door on time only to  wait in line at the  pool.  No more packing the bag and checking three times to make sure I have adequate swim and regular diapers, Isabelle’s underwear, my underwear, everybody’s clothes for afterward…No more  chasing Emily around with the sunscreen bottle with her yelling “NO!   I  don’t want some sun scream!  NOOOOOOOO!”  when we are already about 5  minutes behind schedule.  No more squeezing in to a swimming suit and worrying what I look like…

Ah, but it wasn’t  all bad.   It really was great to see how Isabelle improved this year.  I love  that she loves the water, even if I do not.  And, it was fun to be in the water with Emily everyday, even if she never did do what the teacher told us to  do.  We tested out limits together and  we both got pretty comfortable with things.

By the way, after our last lesson  we stayed for open swim with our neighbors.  I  went to catch Isabelle and the neighbor girl as they came down the slide, and  Em stayed with  my neighbor.  I came back to her to find her floating, blowing bubbles, putting her head in, laying back in the water…all the stuff she wouldn’t do during lessons.  Is it  possible that she picked  up on my discomfort in lessons and  wouldn’t try this stuff?  Maybe, I guess, although  I didn’t hesitate with anything and I  certainly didn’t  feel like I was giving off a vibe.  I think it’s more likely that she  was just being Emily – stubborn with me and compliant  with others.  Oh well.  I  least I know she was paying attention during  lessons.

Here are some pool pics.  Some are during  lessons, but most are  from our “open swim” times.

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Day Forty-one – Ten Words for Wednesday

July 24, 2008 at 12:33 am (daily life)








                                                                After dinner entertainment








Summer Legs                                                                                         Owie                                           







                                                                                                    Pedicure needed


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Day Forty – K.I.S.S.I.N.G

July 24, 2008 at 12:02 am (daily life)

So, we were at our weekly coffee party on Tuesday.  Pretty much right off the bat, Jack’s mom says, “So, what do you  guys think about all this kissing?”  Huh?  What kissing?

It seems that Jack and Mikey were caught taking turns kissing Isabelle on the cheek.  Jack’s dad caught them and put a stop to it.

I”m sure it was all innocent enough.  Pecks on the cheek, nothing to get all in a tither about, most likely.

Here’s what I  want to know, though.  How does this start?  Five year old  boys just want to kiss five year old girls?  Five year old girls orders five year old boys to kiss her?  Is it part of some role-playing game, like they are pretending to be husband and wife? 

Perhaps what bothers me most is that at least a few days had passed between the incident and me learning  about it.  And I only learned about it because another mom told me.   When asked why SHE didn’t tell me, Isabelle shrugged and said, “Jack’s Dad  already knew and  told us to stop.  I didn’t think you needed to know if another grown up already took care of it.”

I’ve told her that playing  any game that involves kissing  is not to be played until she is older.  I’ve told her that if someone tries to kiss her she just says, “Please don’t  do that.”  Or, “My mom will get really, really mad at you if you do that again.”  Or, “My dad has a shotgun and knows how to use it.”  Well, maybe that’s a bit strong.  I did talk to her about it, though, trying to keep it low key but direct.  I made sure she knows that moms talk.  Especially about kissing.  So, she better be telling me these things herself.

Jack’s dad, of course, told Jack’s mom that he had to give Jack the “thumb’s up” for his choice.  “If he has to be kissing some little girl, it might as well be the cute, smart, polite one.  If he can pull that  off  in high school he’ll be set!”  Yeah, not what a  mom wants to hear. 

But at the same time, “Yaaaaaay!”  (That outburst was from the awkward, sweater wearing, big-haired geek that stares at me from the picture on my parents living room wall…the  one of me in high school.

And, really, how are those little boys supposed to help themselves?  Who’s going to NOT kiss this:

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Day Thirty-nine – Call It

July 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm (daily life)

Call it “Writer’s Block.”

Call it “boredom.”

Call it “I am spending far too much time on the computer reading random blogs and getting totally s ucked into things I don’t need to read.  I HAVE to keep the laptop closed and out of sight so that  my children get fed and my house does not become a total heap.”

Call it “Why the hell did I agree to have a Tupperware Party?  Now I have to clean (REALLY CLEAN) the house and make food and feel guilty that I’m asking people to buy stuff so I  get free stuff….


Call it what you will.  It all boils down to THREE DAYS without blogging.  *SIGH*

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Day Thirty-Eight – I think

July 21, 2008 at 12:30 am (daily life)

For the entire day, Emily has been putting the words “I think” into pretty much every sentence she utters.  She has used them to  start sentences, end sentences and tossed them into the middle.  She has used different expressions to convey  different meanings.  She’s fixated on these two words.

Some examples:

I’d like to  go in the  pool now, I think.


Dad,  I think I’d like to watch Barney.


Mom:  Emily, we are eating.  Please come to the  table.

Emily:  Ummm.  I think not.


I think you should  ride on the train to  grandma’s house with me.


I suppose she just picked them up somewhere and is trying them out.  Or, maybe she’s been studying philosophy behind my  back and is delving deep into the world of existential being.  I’ll have to check under her mattress for a copy of “Descartes for Preschoolers.”

I won\’t worry until she starts chatting about Cartesian planes.

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