Thursday, 24 November 2016

Sick Days


This week, the boys have been sick.  Daily fevers and a cough.

Shawn and I have been trading taking days off work.  By Thursday, we decide to take them to the doctor, mostly because we are worried about burning through all our "vacation" days.  At least that is my motivation; I am sure Shawn was concerned about their well-being.

So I take the boys to the ER since our family doctor is away until Monday.  I apologize to the registration desk and the triage nurse, and explain that I know it isn't an emergency but we have no other care.  Honestly, I feel really guilty and silly accessing urgent care for a cold.

Also, it is the second time in a week because Malcolm had croup on the weekend, so I mostly just don't like the place.

My first clue that I may be unsuitable for motherhood is in triage.  The nurse takes Malcolm's blood oxygen levels three times.  She seems to consider him sicker than I thought.  But I don't have much time to think about it because inconveniently, this is also when Nevin starts thinking about where he is and gets a little nervous.  I do not notice, because I'm too busy trying to send telepathic electrosignals to the oxygen tester thing.  When he says, "Mommy, I feel like I'm going to faint," I realize that he isn't so much standing beside me as he is melting onto my shoulder.  I look at him: he is a cartoonish shade of gray and swaying.  Of course, I have three winter jackets, a diaper bag and toddler hooked up to a (lying?) finger machine thingy on my lap, so I am a little slow moving.  The triage nurse guides him over to a chair just in time for his head to loll back.  "I swear we only came because my regular doctor office is closed."  And that sweet little nurse didn't judge me at all for being so clueless.

Here is the play-by-play for the subsequent hour:
Nevin is healthy, at least physically.
Malcom needs chest X-rays.
25 min into waiting for X-rays, I ask for a tissue.
5 minutes later the lady at the desk asks, "Ma'am are you here for an appt or...?"  Who just hangs out in hospital waiting rooms with sick kids?
More waiting.
They find the paperwork and call in Nevin.  I correct the X-ray technician with a very polite "Remember... its for, umm, Malcolm...?"  He disappears.
More waiting.
Malcolm gets called in.  He gets the x-rays with me holding his hands above his head.  He is breathing deep, bottom lip out, trusting me, eyes moist, holding my gaze, trying to be brave.  Basically, heart break in a look.

And here comes the mom guilt: we go back to the doctor and find out he has pneumonia.  Somehow I missed that while he was clinging to me the last few days.

And the real guilt?  We've been there for a couple hours, the boys are tired and I am itching to get out.  With the diagnosis, I start suiting up the kids while the doctor goes to write the prescriptions.  The doctor comes back in, looked at the semi-suited up boys and says, "Umm, I'm sorry but I can't let him leave like this."  He wasn't writing a prescription, he was giving the nurses instructions on how to open up his clogged airway.  It was a very polite way of saying your son is really sick crazy lady.  Where's your head?

So they helped him out and got his blood oxygen levels up.  And we all went home and I forgot to feed Malcolm lunch and we had a nap because I was tired.  Good news though: he survived.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Minivan Politics


On Tuesday night, Donald Trump was elected president of the US.  We didn't mention it to the kids, mostly because we didn't think they cared.  They are 7- and 5-years old.  They have bigger things to worry about like missing Lego pieces and whether or not their friends will want to play soccer at recess.  That was a false assumption.

I picked them up from school on Wednesday afternoon, and I had one of those mom-driving-the-minivan moments.  You know the moment: when a conversation starts, mom looks in the rearview mirror and she doesn't dare interrupt because she needs to hear where the conversation is going.  Its been played out in many a minivan commercial and these rare moments exist.  This exchange started with a "Do you know who won the election?" and it went exactly like this:

Nevin: Scarlett, do you know who won the election?
Scarlett (annoyed):  No.  I don't even know what that is.
Nevin (in his big brother teachable moment tone): Okay.  Ummm... You know that silly guy in the United States?
Scarlett:  I think so.
Nevin:  Well, he got elected to be President of the United States.
Scarlett:  Oh, no!  You mean now they are going to build a big wall?!?  That's SO sad!

Who needs political pundits when you've got school kids and a minivan?

Monday, 24 October 2016

Stuff Scarlett Says


Scenario #1
Scarlett: I don't think I know whose gonna be my husband yet.  I mean, you didn't meet Daddy 'til you were 12... or maybe 21?

Scenario #2
Sasha: Do you guys like that rug?
Shawn: No.
Nevin: No.
Scarlett: That makes me cry.

Scenario #3
Shawn: What'd you think of that video?
Nevin: Awesome!
Scarlett: It was stylin'.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Hedley with 400 of my favourite people


Pictured above: That time a big time band came to our school gym and played in front of a classic bubble-lettered hand painted sign that proudly proclaimed "Homecoming with Hedley."  They were there to recognize and inspire our students.  Our school has been organizing a Relay for Life for the past 15 years and they have raised close to $700,000.  Its an incredible feat for such a tiny community and they deserve a little recognition.

Whomever says teenagers are disengaged, unhelpful and self-absorbed is hanging out with the wrong ones.  Teenagers are amazing.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Other Pictures from The Five-Year Project

After we re-created the four pictures that were needed for the Five-Year Project, we tested our luck a little.  It was bedtime, but the kids were in fancy matching clothes and it was a beautiful night, so we stuck around the park to take a few extra shots.  It was mostly a disaster (thanks, Malcolm).  Nonetheless, there were a few cute ones where Malcolm wasn't furiously staring into the camera and you can't tell Scarlett's eyes are blood shot.

Turns out, since they were tired their personalities really came through.  These might be my favourite set of photos of the kids, just because they are raw and genuine.



Sunday, 18 September 2016

Scarlett in the Newspaper


I have so many layers of love for this newspaper clipping.

One.  Its Scarlett.  What's not to love?

Two. Only in a small town would the End of Summer children's party at the library get full coverage.

Three.  The reporter covered it like it was the society pages of a New York daily.  "To compliment her blue and white dress, she wore..."  It was like the Oscars, only better because instead of taffeta it was cotton and instead of Cartier it was Edmonton Oilers.

Four.  He nailed it.  In two sentences, the reporter captured my daughter.  Loves the party (grabs cake), but a little conservative (eats it in the shade); her ridiculous fashion choices that she is so proud of, and pulls off -- to my shock -- really well.  I've got hoards of photos and blog posts, yet he created the most perfect snapshot of my daughter in 9 square inches.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Scarlett's new best friend


Nevin finally, finally, had a lovely first day of school.  Change is so hard, and this year he seems to be reaching the level of confidence and maturity required to handle it.  He went to school with the self-assuredness of a sweet second grader.

Scarlett had a much rockier start.  She missed the first day of senior kindergarten because she had a high fever.  The routine was already off and she was not well rested.  Consequently, her first day was hard and teary.

But she is in good hands.  On her second day, her teachers gave her a little project: they gave her a Helper title and introduced her to a brand new junior kindergartener.  It was just what she needed to turn her day around.  They spent the day holding hands and guiding each other from centre to centre.  When Scarlett got home she told me, smitten, "I met a new friend today and she is SUCH a little munchkin!"
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