Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Expanding Their Taste Buds

Most weekends, we go out to dinner as a family at least one night.  Usually we choose a family friendly restaurant that has things the girls will eat.  Cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, hot dog, real healthy meals like that. Preferably a non-chain variety, but that gets to be difficult.  This past weekend we decided to change it up a bit and take the girls for sushi.  This was mostly a selfish move on our part.  Andy and I hadn't had sushi in a few weeks and we were both dying for it.  Sometimes we will get take out sushi on Friday nights, but take out sushi is never the best.  Recent events (Vegas, Andy working late) had kept us from getting our Friday sushi as of late.  So we came up with this plan to go out on Saturday night-ALL of us-to a somewhat nice sushi restaurant on Ventura Blvd in Studio City. Ventura Blvd, in case you didn't know, is the mecca of sushi restaurants in the L.A. valley.

Andy and I half expected the worst that night, but at the same time prepared the girls as best we could.  We started on  Saturday morning explaining to them that we were going out to dinner for sushi.   There would be things there that they would like.  HOWEVER-we wanted them to try new things, like actual sushi.  I truly believe in exposing kids to all kinds of food.  This way they don't just eat, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and hot dogs when they become adults.  We have gone out to restaurants with sushi before, but not one like this and not all that often with them. See, sometimes we like to eat our meal without whining and complaining.  This usually means going out without them or getting take out and giving them something else.  But that night, we wanted sushi so badly, we were willing to put up with whatever antics they threw at us.

My other worry about taking them to this particular restaurant, was that it wouldn't be "kid friendly".  I imagined the dirty looks we would get from the staff and patrons as we entered with our brood.  But, that is one of the reasons we make a 5:30 reservation.  The way I see it, if you're going out to eat at 5:30 you have to expect there may be some children around.  I couldn't have been more wrong in my assumptions.  Not only were we not the only people there with kids, but the staff was extremely accommodating and sweet to the girls.  They handed out practice chopsticks to each of them, and gave them the warm towel they give to everyone to wipe their hands with beforehand.  They didn't seem to be bothered by kids there at all.  There was even a family with a set of 16 month old twins behind us.  One problem down!  Now on to how the girls were going to behave.  

As it turns out, preparing them for this restaurant experience all day, helped greatly.  It didn't hurt that I had taken Lana and Georgia to a birthday party late in the afternoon, where they munched on fruit and PB&J sandwiches.  Lana's behavior was what we were most worried about.  Big surprise, I know.  As I've well documented on this blog, getting her to eat chicken and pasta can be a chore, so raw fish would be close to impossible.  Honestly, I didn't really care if she ate much as long as the whining and "can we go yet?" were kept down to a minimum.  Andy feared that having her eat before we went would make her more bored and act out, but it actually worked in our favor.  She wasn't hungry AND bored.  That combination for a four year old can be deadly to anyone around her.   Since she wasn't starving, she was willing to sit peacefully and even munch on some edamame.  She was even willing to try a bite of asparagus and mushroom tempura, although she wasn't a big fan.  Another big surprise.  

The other two were more adventurous.  Sonya and Georgia both ate popcorn shrimp and different pieces of tempura veggies, as well as edamame.  Sonya was willing to taste a piece of raw fish, but wasn't all that excited about it.  Then there is the kids who eats anything.  Every time the waiter brought something else to the table, Georgia would look at it and say,

"What's dat?  Can I have some?" Before we could answer, she was already stabbing her chopstick into whatever kind fish was in front of her.   She tried just about every piece of sushi Andy and I ordered and seemed to enjoy most of it, announcing at one point that, 

"It tastes wike ham."

Sure, ham, why not?  We'll go with that.  

The entire meal was a very pleasant experience and our girls were very well behaved the entire time.  The good news was that they didn't act up, whine, yell, or have any kind of tantrum the entire meal.  The family behind us, with the set of twins, weren't as lucky, but they were just babies.  Still I was feeling even better about us having the girls there.  However, I don't think anyone in the restaurant would have cared about the behavior of those twins, even if they didn't have kids of their own, considering the twins belonged to a sorta big celebrity.  That's a story within this story that I want to tell you all about, but it's too long to put inside this story.  You will just have to wait until my next entry!  It's kind of like a cliff hanger.  You know, to keep you coming back!   The best part about all of this is that Andy and I got our sushi fix, even if we did almost have to sell one of the girls to pay for it. 

Since that dinner was so successful, we decided that we could indeed take the girls out for sushi again.  We just have to make sure to follow the same formula and we will HOPEFULLY have the same result.  

Talking about and preparing the girls for the meal ALL day +getting to the restaurant by 5:30pm + making sure Lana isn't hungry= a happy meal out to any food they might not otherwise like.  Oh and it didn't hurt that I rewarded them with cupcakes from the birthday party when we got home.  

Feel free to use this formula or a variation of it to take your own grilled cheese eating only children out for sushi, Indian, Thai or any other non kid friendly meal!  Let me know how it goes, and stay tuned for the story of our celebrity encounter....

Friday, February 24, 2012

Car Narcolepsy

Sonya has piano lessons on Tuesday afternoons for thirty minutes.  It's not enough time for me to go back home or to run any errands.  Instead I head to the drive through Starbucks and grab an afternoon coffee.  (Why doesn't every Starbucks have a drive through??)  EVERY Tuesday this is what happens to the little girls somewhere between dropping off Sonya at piano and picking up my latte.

Apparently being in the car for more than twenty minutes at that time of day reminds them that they still could really use a nap.  The problem is, this little cat nap makes them not ready for sleep at night until at least 9pm.  So, you know, good times.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Since it was Andy's turn last weekend to party it up in Vegas, I got to hang out with my girls alone. Now this is a little different for me than it is for Andy, because see, I hang out with them EVERY DAY!  However, I am usually the unfun parent.  You know, the one who does most of the disciplining, the making them do their homework, clean their rooms and eat their veggies.  Daddy gets to step in on weekends and take them bike riding,  roller blading or plant things in the garden.  When I was gone they did all that stuff PLUS out to eat every meal.  So when it was my turn to have them all weekend, I decided I needed to up my game and give myself a fighting chance against "fun Daddy".  Even though I had so much shit to do, I decided to let it all go and have a fun Mommy day on Saturday.

Not to far from us in Glendale, there is this place called the Americana.  I may have mentioned it before.  It is a big outdoor shopping "mall" with some upscale stores (Tiffany's) and some regular stores (H&M).  There is a huge fountain in the middle of a big grassy area and the fountain shoots water in  time to music.  It's a fun place to take the kids.  They love running around on the grass and watching the water shoot up and dance around.  On Saturdays there is a Farmer's Market and a food truck.  I decided that this is where we would go and spend part of our day, because I know how much they all like going there and for some reason, they LOVE the Farmer's Market.  I also found a movie to take them to; The Secret World of Arrietty.  Seeing a movie is not something we have all do together often, because the younger ones are still not quite at sitting through a movie age yet.  I decided that day we would try it out.  They had done okay for the Muppets back in November, so how bad could it be?  Why do I ask myself those questions?

We arrived at the Americana about an hour and a half before the movie started.  This gave us plenty of time to shop the Market, get a bite at the food truck, then take our purchases and stroller back to the car before heading into the movies.  It was working out well, and the girls were having fun.  The food truck that was there was called the Buttermilk truck.  For those of you who don't know about the food truck phenomenon, it is HUGE here in L.A. There are a ton of fantastic trucks.  Each truck specializes in a different type of food, such as the Baby's Bad Ass Burgers truck or the Grilled Cheese Truck (one of my personal favs).  This particular truck specialized in breakfast, mostly pancakes.  That day the special was Red Velvet chocolate chip pancakes and they served them with a dollop of cream cheese frosting.  I was ready to sell one of the girls for another order of those delicious things.  We also got french toast sticks-WAY better than Burger King- and a egg breakfast sandwich.  Everything was so damn good and I was sorry that we had gotten it all to share.  However, we were off to have a ton of popcorn at the movies, so we would accumulate the rest of our afternoon calories there.

The girls ran around chasing bubbles for a few minutes, after our little picnic on the grass.  Then we went to the car to drop off what we didn't want to bring into the movies.  On the way to the movie, and for about the fourth time that day, Lana mentioned how she didn't want to go to the movies.  I brushed her off, told her it was going to be good and reminded her that I brought  blankie with us.  Yes, I brought her blankie.  Don't judge!  Lana tends to be scared when it comes to watching anything that isn't Imagination Movers or Dinosaur Train.  Sonya used to be the same.  If we put something on at home that Lana isn't sure of, she will stand between the living room and the hallway in case something scary appears and she needs to run out.  So I figured bringing her security blankie-which she usually only gets at night-was a good idea.  Sometimes I do know what I'm doing.  The movie we were going to see was a Japanese Animation film.  I'm not typically a fan of Japanese Animation, despite my living in Japan as a kid for 3 years.  However, the reviews on this film were favorable, and it sounded like the least scariest movie of all time.  Plus it was the only Rated G movie out, so that's what we got.  

We went to the theater, bought our popcorn, and the girls picked out drinks.  We were a couple minutes late getting into the theater, so as we were walking down the hallway to our movie, we could see and hear the Trailers already playing.  Now, let's stop here and remember that creating Trailers- this is what my husband does for a living.  Lana, however, could not like them any less.  When we went to see The Muppets we got to the theater well before the movie started.  When the Trailers played is when Lana started to lose it. Maybe  it's because some of them were advertising scarier kids movies, or that they seem louder.  I don't know, but she freaks out.  Back to that day....As we rounded the corner and she caught a glimpse of the moving images on the screen and the speakers booming, she immediately broke in to tears and RAN in the opposite direction.  Screaming "Noooo!"


There I was holding two huge sodas, and Georgia's hand, trying to run after Lana before she made it to the lobby.  Sonya was already steps ahead of me and headed into the theater.  My mind was racing.  What do I do now?  When Lana gets like this, it's hard to reason with her.  It wouldn't be fair to the other two to just leave, but I couldn't have her screaming in the movie.  I managed to grab her and bring her back to the hallway, but she was as stubborn as a mule and wouldn't move from the corner.  I briefly left her there and took Sonya and Georgia to the entrance of the actual theater.  I straddled between the hallway and the theater entrance so I could see Lana.  I pointed to some seats, (it was a fairly empty movie) and told Sonya to take her little sister and go sit down.  Then I went back to the corner where Lana was crying and people were walking by staring.  I managed to pick her up, while holding the huge drinks, and carry her into the theater.  The whole time she was crying and yelling,

"I don't want to go!  I don't want to go!!"  She shut her eyes and covered her ears.  

I whispered to her that she was safe,  I still had blankie and it would all be okay.  We got to our seats and I got her calmed down with some deep breaths and good ol' blankie.  Then she sat jammed up against my side for the remainder of our movie going experience.  She barely moved at all until the Trailers were over. It took her about 20 minutes into the movie for her to even chance eating popcorn and candy.  She had to make sure nothing scary was going to happen first.  Nothing did.  I couldn't have picked a more calm, peaceful, beautiful looking animated film to take them to.  She wasn't scared or upset the rest of the time, thank goodness.  The other two, happily ate their snacks and enjoyed the movie, unfazed the entire time.    

As we were making our way out of the theater after it was over, the girls were all talking about how much they enjoyed the movie and what their favorite parts were.  Lana piped up with,

"I want to see it AGAIN!!"

Yeah, she got over her "it's going to be scary" fear.  At least for that moment in time.  Not sure I'll be taking them to a movie alone again anytime soon.  I'm lucky this wasn't a popular one with a ton of people.  This time it was only mildly embarrassing with her flipping out in front of 40 people as opposed to 240 people.  

The rest of the day was fun as well, with  more bubble chasing on the grassy area outside.  Then we made a trip to Petco to check out the doggies and kitties up for adoption.  No we didn't get one, although the girls wanted to.  I couldn't be THAT fun.  We didn't eat out again, but I made homemade mac and cheese with turkey bacon for dinner.  Something they all loved.  

So see, even though I have to be the more utilitarian parent most of the time, I can have fun too!  The girls were more responsive and better behaved for me the rest of the weekend because of it.  It was a good reminder, that even though someone has to be the one who keeps this family on track with the healthy eating, the homework, and cleaning of the rooms, it is also important to stop and smell the movie theater popcorn from time to time.  Except, maybe next time, we skip the trailers.  (Sorry, Andy!) 

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Day Off

Friday morning, before Andy left on his trip to Vegas, we were all talking about how he would be gone for two days and on Monday he would be home and off work.  I also told them that Sonya and Lana had the day off school for the holiday.  So everyone had the day off.  YAY!   Lana looked up at me in between bites of cereal and said,

"Mommy, do you have the day off too?"

I thought about that question for a minute then said, 

"No.  No, Lana I don't. In fact, I will be doing MORE work on Monday."

We stay at home moms only get the day off when we're in Vegas.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

You Had A Bad Day

You know how you have those days when you don't feel like being at your job?  Those days when even though, you really love what you do, that particular day you hate it.  The kind of day where you wonder what made you choose to do this stupid job.  Then you try and think if there is anyway to change your career path.  I had one of those days on Monday.  Only, when your job  is being a mom, changing you career path is not really a possibility.

I came back from Vegas on Sunday night exhausted.  This is to be expected when you come back from Las Vegas.  Not just because you drink and eat too much and sleep too little.  No, for some reason Las Vegas has this energy sucking source located in every casino.  Perhaps they steal the energy of tourists to dole out to any underworld creatures that live in that city.  Who knows?  All I do know is that whenever I leave that place, I feel like I'm going to pass out on the floor of the airport while  boarding my plane.  I thought that getting a good night's sleep on Sunday night would cure me, but turns out this time it took me an extra day to get back to normal.  This made Monday even less enjoyable a day than usual.

Orignally, I thought Monday wouldn't be too bad, because the girls all had the day off of school.  That meant no running around on my part.  However, I forgot that it meant being holed up all day with them in the house.  Depending on their moods, this can work out great or be a total disaster.  I'll give you a guess which one I got on Monday.  Part of the reason for this was because they were, in Andy's words, "extremely good" all weekend long.  I mistakenly thought this meant they would be good for me on Monday.  Silly, silly Mommy!  Don't you know better by now that they wait for YOU to let out all their crazy on??

And that is just what they did.  They fought, they didn't listen to me, I got eye rolls and back talk, ALL DAY LONG.  Now, it didn't help that I was tired, cranky and slightly PMSy myself.  Not to mention the fact that I came back to a house that was "clean" in husband terms.  You all know what I'm talking about.  Even you husbands.  This meant the dishwasher had been run and unloaded once, and the toys were mostly cleaned up.  However, those piles of laundry that needed putting away, the ones that I busted my ass to get washed before I left?  Yeeeeaaaaahhhh.... those were still there waiting for me upon my return.  So I had some work to do.  Fun times.

By Monday night I was ready to drive myself back to Burbank Airport and take whatever the soonest flight was leaving to wherever it was leaving to.  Hopefully to Australia.  It's VERY far and I've always wanted to go.   I just did not feel like being mom anymore right then.    The girls could have cared less at what I was asking them to do, or that I was getting mad about them not doing it.  They just continued their decent into acting as terribly as they possibly could.  At one point I was talking to my sister, Megan, and broke down on the phone with her.  Why on earth did I want to do this?  What was I thinking having THREE?  There is no way out!!  She totally empathized and reminded me that she gave me a similar phone call not three weeks before.  Still, I was losing it a bit.  I did feel better after ranting and crying for a minute, but 8pm could not come soon enough.

I finally got them in the bath that night, after a dinner of leftovers, which nobody was happy about.  Well, of course not, they'd been eating out for two days straight and now here was mommy to, once again, ruin all the fun.  I left them in the tub for a while, because I just couldn't deal, and they were actually having fun and not killing each other for the first time all day.  Who cares if they looked like prunes when I went to get them out?

I went to wash them  and  was met with protests saying they wanted more time to play.  I denied them and they continued to whine and not follow my instructions.  I started to lose it with them.  Then I finally looked at Sonya and said, 

"I don't get it! Daddy said you were good for him ALL weekend, then I get home and you act like this all day!  What is it that Mommy is doing wrong?  What is it that Daddy does that makes you guys act better?  Please tell me and I'LL DO IT!"

Sonya stared at me with a pained expression and said, "Well, it is something, but I don't want to tell you."

"What do you mean you don't want to tell me?  Why?" I asked, now curious for this magic solution.

"Well, I don't want to make you sad if I tell you," she said to me.

"It's fine Sonya, I don't mind," I told her.  "Please," I begged, "just tell me what it is.  I won't get sad."

"Ooookkaayy," she said, not quite convinced.  She paused for a minute.

"It's okay, just tell me," I encouraged her.

"Well," she said worried.  "It's just that, well, we get BORED of you."

Huh.  I thought about what she meant for a minute and then she tried to clear it up for me.

"Because you know,  you are here all the time, and we don't get to see Daddy that much, so..."

"I understand," I told her.  "So when you see Daddy you want to behave as good as you can, since he's not around much, but since I'm here all the time, you feel like you can act like you want."

"Yeah!" She told me, happy that I understood what she was saying.

"Actually, Sonya," I said.  "That makes me feel better and not sad at all."

And it did.  They weren't behaving badly all day because they hated me or wanted to be mean to me.  They were behaving badly because they had held in the bad behavior they might have displayed all weekend long.  They didn't want to disappoint their Daddy who they didn't get to hang out with often.  Another day or two and they might have unleashed on him, but I came home at just the right time apparently.  

So on the one hand it blows that all the crap rolls downhill to me.  The frustration that they hold in for hours, a day or even a weekend.  However, on the other hand, I am the one they are most comfortable with to let it all go.  This also makes me the first person they want when they are happy about something or have good news to share.  And the first person they want when they are sad, hurt, or upset.   I am the one that is first for all the good, I am the first for all the bad.  Some days it sucks.  But mostly, it's the reason I took this job.  Even though I do need a break from it sometimes, I would never change this particular career path.  It really is the most important job anyone can do, and most days I love it.  Monday was just a bad day, and some days are like that.  For everyone.  Even in Australia.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Valentine

Yesterday Sonya gave me this card from her and her sisters for Valentine's Day:

Now before you see the inside, keep in mind Andy was the one who took them to pick out a card for me.  The same loving husband who gave me a Spanish Valentine's Day card yesterday.  Even though I don't read a word of Spanish.   See, he thinks he's funny, but I went to google translator and now I know exactly what it says.  Okay, it was pretty funny, and the card was sweet.  Although, not as funny as the birthday card he bought me from the "Ebony" line one year, that read "Girl, you know I love you!"  I'm so not kidding.  ANYWAY- Sonya loved this card for me and thought it was so funny so he let her get it.  It IS quite amusing coming from your seven year old daughter:

It says: "Look I got you a Valentine with a pair of "Boo-Bees" on it! Happy Valentine's Day!"

She thought this was hysterical and kept shouting "See!  Boobies!" and pointing to her own chest.  Let's be honest, that word is hysterical to kids her age.  And, just for the record, I could use a new set of boobies myself anyway, so it was kind of an appropriate card.  

The best part of the card is on the right though.  In case you can't read it, Sonya wrote:

"You are as sweet as cake as pretty as a perl, and as kind as a dolphin."

Yup, this is the kind of thing that help to make the talking back, huffing and eye rolling at me worth putting up with. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vegas, Baby, Vegas

This past weekend I got some time away from being a mom, a housekeeper, a cook, a snot wiper, the whole thing.  My good friend Sooz is getting married this April and she decided to make Las Vegas the party place for her bachelorette.  It's what most people who live in Los Angeles do.  I hadn't been to Vegas, since my best friend Melissa's bachelorette almost four years ago.  I was eight months pregnant then.  Let me tell you how much fun Vegas is pregnant.  Almost none.  Since Andy has been working late and weekends the past couple weeks, making me somewhat of a single mom, I was more than ready to hop on that plane Friday night and start to party it up Vegas style.  This time with no babies in my belly or children by my side.  I planned to do some damage.

I prepped the girls for a week beforehand talking about my absence.  I haven't been away from them since I went to visit my sister in Virginia a year and a half ago.  Lana wasn't too keen on me being away, but I kept reminding her that I always come back.  I reminded her that she would also get to have a fun weekend with Daddy and wouldn't that be special?  Apparently not for her. However, by the end of the week she seemed fine with it.  I was feeling a little guilty because I was going to miss her preschool Valentine's Day party.  Plus I was going to be gone by the time she got home from school.  Our awesome babysitter, Julianna, was going to be there though.  The girls love her, so I knew she'd be fine.  The other two I got to say goodbye to before I left.  Still, it's hard to not have some guilt when you leave your kids behind whether you need it or not.  I kinda got over it once we landed in Sin City.

Between my busy schedule of drinking, sleeping, gambling, and eating WAY to much,  I would check in by phone a couple times a day to see how it was all going.  Every time I called they all seemed happy and not missing me to much.  This was good, because when I was gone last time and called, Lana or Georgia cried every time they heard me.  I guess they are older and more okay with me being away for a small amount of time.  Well, that and Daddy was feeding them every one of their favorite foods all weekend.  Almost all of them from a restaurant, but hey, at least he was feeding them.

There were times when Andy would text me to let me know what they were up to, or I would check in myself.  At one point, on Saturday afternoon, the party girls and I were walking around our hotel going from gambling to shopping to drinking.  We had just stopped to take a couple jello shots in the middle of the day, because you know, we could, when I realized I had a few texts from Andy.  My immediate thought was something was wrong.  (Remember-worst case scenario) Not a great thing right after you've just had a jello shot.  Fortunately, it wasn't anything serious, just a lack of judgement on Andy's part.  Here were the texts I received:

"We just watched Mr. Mom!"

 Followed by...

"I forgot there was a male strip club scene in it."

"And some infidelity..."

"There were questions..."

Did he not realize that he just handed me material to write about?

All I could do was laugh.   I was half tipsy anyway, so how could I not?  I remember seeing Mr. Mom when I wasn't much older than Sonya, and it's a pretty tame movie compared to what's out there now.  He told me later he fielded the questions okay.  I'm not sure if this is something that will come up again later, but for now it seems to be dropped.  They continued to have as much fun as I did over the weekend, but in a much, MUCH different way.  I came home completely exhausted last night, but happy to see the girls, who technically SHOULD have been in bed.   ANDY...

As for MY weekend in Vegas, well it's safe to say that it was one of the most fun weekends I've had.  I would give you more details, but you know what they say about Vegas.  So I guess all those details will have to stay there, since everything happened there.  Although, if you've ever heard of the Olympic Gardens you will have a better idea of the fun time we had.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Migraines-They're Not Just For Middle Aged Hormonal Women Anymore

I've posted on here before about Georgia's ongoing problem with migraines.  Well, in the past year, they have changed a bit and I became concerned that it was something more.  Because you know, well maybe you don't, but I tend to be a tiny bit of a hypochondriac.  I am WAY better than I used to be, but I am one of those people who always goes to worse case scenario.  Pain in my head=tumor.  Pain in my chest=heart attack.  Never mind that I work out six days a week, eat fairly well, and have low cholesterol.  It's a heart attack.  Pain in my upper back=breast cancer. I was a lot worse in my late 20s.  I've gotten over it for the most part, but I still tend to think doom and gloom when something seems off.  So, when Georgia's migraines started to change, I worried a bit that perhaps they weren't migraines at all, but something far worse.  Before I knew it, in my head, I had us checking into L.A.'s Children's Hospital.  Since I didn't want to go to far down crazy road, I decided to be rational and go back to the neurologist who diagnosed her a year and a half ago.

As I said, the reason I was worried was because the symptoms themselves changed. When she first got them, out of nowhere, she would say she didn't feel good, moved to- she was going to "frow up", followed by- actual "frowing up" for about 5 hours, and ending with- her passing out for the night.  This used to happen about once every 5-6 months.  Over the summer it started to change.  Now she will wake up any given morning and complain of being dizzy.  If she has gotten out of bed, she will lay down halfway down the hall to our room and whine that she is too dizzy to walk.  I will pick her up and she immediately puts her head down on my shoulder, with her eyes closed, clinging to me for dear life, until I lay her down in bed or on the couch.  Within a few minutes the threat of "frowing up" starts.   Sometimes it takes a couple false alarms, but eventually she starts the cycle of ridding anything that may be left in her stomach from the night before.  She is pale, clammy and can't move or really keep her eyes open.  Now, instead of lasting all day, this will end sometime in the early afternoon.  Better, right?  Yeah, except that it happens all over again the next two mornings, although each subsequent day it ends sooner than it did the day before.  Also, instead of getting them every 5-6 months, she now gets them every 6-8 weeks.  Oh yeah, fun times I tell ya!  It takes us out of whatever we were supposed to do for now almost 3 days.  When she gets these I can't go anywhere, besides to pick up or drop off the other girls, and I NEED to make my Target runs every week.   So you can see why this much of a change had me a bit worried.

I do feel so bad for her every time she gets hit with one too.  She is miserable and feels terrible.  So let me take a minute to have a tiny tangent and address two types of people out there.  The true migraine sufferers and the ones who claim to have a migraine.  Those of you who say you have a migraine and are still walking around talking, eating, going about your day, let me re diagnose you.  You have a HEADACHE.  If you had a true migraine, you wouldn't be doing ANY of those things.  Take a couple of Motrin and shut up about it.   I never quite got it before, because I myself have never experienced a migraine.  In fact, I rarely get headaches at all, except when I'm sick.  However, seeing my child go through it so often, I get it now.  So for those of you who truly get migraines and can't leave the house for a day, I am so sorry and I apologize for any doubt you get from those around you, or perhaps even from me in the past.  I can see how horrible an experience it is.  Okay-end of tangent.

So anyway, I had briefly talked to my sister Megan, the nurse, about what was going on and she encouraged me to go get her checked out again.  She mentioned that there was a chance she might need an MRI, but she didn't know for sure, because this was not her area of expertise.  That idea freaked me and Andy out, but we wanted to do what needed to be done.

So last week, off we went to Pasadena to visit Dr. Michelle.  I love this woman.  She is no nonsense, yet sensitive enough to understand a parents worry.  Perhaps it's because she's a parent herself.  I told her everything that was happening and how much had changed.  She asked me a few questions, like if she was sweaty, or complained of head pain.  Yes sweaty, no head pain, just the dizzies.  Then she let me know that they don't usually complain of head pain until seven or eight.  Oh yay!  Something to look forward to in 4 years!  She did a brief exam on Georgia, checked out her eyes, ears, reflexes, made her hop on one foot, that kind of thing.  When all was said and done the diagnosis was... still migraines.  This is apparently how they change as the sufferer gets older.

"Sooo, the way it's changed into how it is now, all that is normal?" I asked.

"Oh yeah.  She is a textbook case of toddler migraines," she assured me.  "I'm not surprised you came back."

"And the fact that she gets them a few days in a row?" I asked.

"Clusters," she said matter of fact.  This I understood, because my mom suffered from cluster headaches in her 30s.

Then she told me the plan was to put her on a prescription antihistamine for two months.  Antihistamine!  Who knew?!  It has something in it that helps block the migraines from starting at all.  The only side effect was  that it might make her a little sleepy, so I am to give it to her before bedtime.  Side effect?  Making her fall asleep quicker when I put her to bed so she doesn't get up ten times?  That's not a side effect, that a plus in my book.  So, we go back in two months to meet with her and assess the situation.  If it works, then she takes her off of it and she can go up to a year without having a migraine.  I'm not really sure how taking medication for only two months keeps her from getting a migraine for a year, but if it works, I'll take it!

Before she left the room, I just had to make sure,

"So she still doesn't need an MRI to check anything out?"

"Oh no!" She told me again, "This is a textbook case of how the migraines develop.  No need to put her through an MRI."

That made me breathe a sigh of relief in more than one way.  First of all, no MRI.  I mean who wants their tiny three year old in one of those gigantic loud machines?  Secondly, I LOVE the fact that she used the word "textbook" case.  There was no question of what it could be, or that this sounds weird, or that doesn't look right, just that she fits right into the migraine category.  The way it looks, she probably always will.  Don't get me wrong, it's not awesome that she gets these, but at least a migraine is a thousand times better than where my worst case scenario head goes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It Only Sounded Bad

Last week one morning after breakfast, while Lana was in the bathroom:

Lana- "Urgh! My eyes water every morning when I wake up."

Me- "Oh yeah.  Are you going to be all right?"

Lana- "Yeah.  I think it's because I drink too much at night."

That one and I  have more in common every day.  Even if she was just referring to water.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mastering a New Trait

Georgia is at an age where she doesn't always want to listen to me and can sometimes be difficult to deal with.  However, she's still got just enough of that toddler cuteness to her, that I can't always get mad at her.  Plus her being difficult is still angelic compared to what Lana, and even  Sonya, put me through at this age.  Every once in a while she will get a time out. Which is never compared to Lana's daily (sometimes thrice daily) time outs when she was three.  When she does go to time out, she cries the entire time.  Then when I go to get her, she immediately hugs me and says how sorry she is.  She does NOT like anyone being upset with her, or getting in trouble.  Then there is the latest thing she does, which I hate to admit, gets her immediately out of any trouble she may be brewing.

There are times when she will ask me for things she knows I'm going to say no to, like a treat or a TV show.  A lot of those times her sisters are making her ask.  I guess they think I'm more likely to say yes to her, which I'm really not.  When she asks me she will always give me this hopeful little look with her cute dimpled smile, and a sparkle in her eye.  You know the kind of look that says "look how cute I am!  Don't you want to give me what I want?"  When I've gotten this look from her in the past I always stop and smile at her, tell her how cute she is before declining her request for whatever it is she is asking for.  Although, I will admit I've given in to that look a time or two.   She also uses this look when she's about to get in trouble for something bad she did.  

About two weeks ago, she was doing one of those troublesome things.  I can't remember exactly what it was, but you know, something fun like writing on the floor, or taking all the shoes out of my closet, or maybe it was making the huge mess in Sonya's room.  Who knows?  Anyway, I gave her my mom, "you're going to be in trouble if you don't knock it off" look.  Then she came back at me with her little "look how cute I am with my inherited dimple from you" smile.  I immediately found myself trying not to smile back at her and she could tell I was softening.  Before I could tell her she was cute, but she was in trouble she looked at me and said,

"You cute mommy!"

REALLY??  Oookkkaayyy....here's some more markers to write on the floor and my best shoes are out of reach, so let me just get those down for you.  

That remark took me right out of any anger I might have had at that point.  How could it not?  I only wish there was a way to take those moments, wrap them up and put them away.  That way I could pull it back out again when she starts to roll her eyes at me in a few years, and remember how damn cute she used to be when she did something wrong.

Since last week, she tells me how cute I am every time she gives me that look and I start to smile back at her.  It got her out of trouble for the first few times, but I'm on to her now.  I always thought Sonya had the corner on manipulation.  Turns out Georgia may be the master.  Or at least she's definitely figuring out how to master it.