Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Happiest Place To Get A Migraine (And It's Not Who You Think)

Last Wednesday we took our yearly holiday trip to Disneyland.  I know, I know.  It’s not quite the holidays yet.  Or at least it wasn’t then.  Usually we go the week after Thanksgiving, but this year Melinda needed us to go the week before because she is going home early for Christmas.  Since she is our free way in the park (Thanks Mel!) we decided to go when she wanted to.  It really didn’t matter to us, as long as we got to go.  Although we prefer to go when it wasn’t going to be wall to wall people. Hence the week before.  

As it turned out, the week before Thanksgiving might be even better than the week after.  We didn’t wait more than ten minutes for any ride.  It might have helped that it was a cloudy day and there was a threat of rain, but it was perfect for us. 

I realized during this trip that every time we go to Disney it is always a completely different experience.  It used to be that when we went we only rode a couple of the more tame rides like Small World, Dumbo or the carousal.  Then we spent the better part of the day tracking down and taking pictures with Mickey and the gang.  As the girls get older and taller, however, things are starting to turn in a new direction. 

From the moment we entered the park, maybe even the tram, all Sonya could talk about was wanting to ride Indiana Jones.  She was tall enough and had heard from a couple of her friends how much fun it was, so she was all for it.  It is farther into the park so I kept telling her we would get there eventually, but let’s ride Star Tours and Space Mountain and a few things in Fantasy Land before we head over in that direction.  She would settle down about it for a bit, but after riding another ride or two she would start asking about Indiana Jones again.  Finally around 2:30 in the afternoon we decided to head toward the ride she was so anxious to get on.  Indiana Jones is right next to the Jungle Cruise and we though we should all ride that one first since it was for everyone.  After we got off Andy took the little girls to walk around while Melinda and I took Sonya next door to Indiana Jones.  The wait wasn’t more than fifteen minutes, but Sonya was nervous the whole time.  I’m not sure what she was expecting.  

If you’ve never been on Indiana Jones the best way I can describe it is that it’s a wild off roading ride.  You are in an big jeep kind of car and it twists and turns and is a bit fast.  If you are the type to  get carsick, this would probably put you over the edge.  I love it though.  Of course it has all the elements of the Indiana Jones movies with fake snakes and a big boulder that comes oh so close to crushing your car.  It's all very Disney, but possibly scary to little kids.  Especially if they are my kids.  

We got on the ride, got buckled and I turned to Sonya who was now close to a panic. The ride she was so excited for was now making her extremely anxious.  I kept telling her "it’s a ride, it’s all pretend and it’ll be fun."  That didn’t stop her from clinging to me with her head down and her eyes closed almost the entire time.  That’s where the problem started. About  20 seconds into the ride she yelled,

“I’m gonna be sick!”

“No you’re not!” I said.  “Pick your head up and look around.”  

She did for about five seconds, but got scared again so she squeezed her eyes shut and put her head back down.  I was petrified of being puked on for the next 45 seconds.  When we finally got to the end of the ride she looked shell shocked.  We started walking out the exit and she said to me, 

“Mom, my eyes feel small and weird.”


“You’re okay, just keep walking.” I told her.

But as soon as we walked all the way out and back into the park she started freaking out,

“I don’t feel good!!! I feel like I’m going to be sick!!!”

I tried to calm her down while I frantically searched for Andy.  We found him and the little girls across from Pirates of the Caribbean.  I quickly told him the situation then left with Sonya in search of a bathroom.  She continued to yell out that she was going to be sick.  God only know what kind of looks I was getting from other park goers.  I had no time to worry about that.  I needed a bathroom before she puked in front of Big Thunder Mountain.  

We finally found a bathroom.  She did get sick a bit, but it wasn’t enough to make her feel better, so we found an empty bench where she laid down with her head on my lap.  I texted Andy where we were (how did people find each other in parks before cell phones?) and they came to find us.  

I thought for sure she would get better shortly.  Usually when people get motion sickness they feel better after the motion stops and/or they get sick.  She napped on the bench next to Andy for about 20 minutes while I took the little girls to pick out a prize.  When I came back out she used one of the plastic bags we had just gotten with Georgia’s prize, for a barf bag.  She looked better after that episode, so I thought we were in the clear.  Phew!  It was time for our dinner reservation at the Big Thunder BBQ-best place to eat in Disney.  Glad that was over!  Yeeeaaahhhhexcept for the part that it wasn’t.

I spent all of dinner running back and forth with her to the bathroom to get sick.  She didn’t really have anything left to throw up after a while, but every twenty minutes or so she would feel the need to puke.  

After dinner we walked around a bit, which seemed to be better for her than sitting because she wanted to pass out when she sat, which then led to more puking.  We kept thinking she was going to get better.  I mean how could motion sickness last this long?  It seemed weird that she kept feeling sick every 20 minutes or so.  The funny thing was she was acting just like Georgia does when she gets her migraines...yup.  That’s when it hit me.

“Sonya-when you said earlier that your eyes were small and weird, what did you mean?” I asked.

“Everything just kept getting bigger and smaller in front of me,” she said.  

Then I remembered something Georgia’s neurologist had told me about migraines.  Some kids will see things very big or very small right before an impending migraine.  That was when I came to the conclusion that what she had wasn’t motion sickness but a migraine which was most likely triggered by the motion sickness.  Fan-freaking-tastic.

It was at that point that I thought perhaps she needed to leave.  Yeah look at me being mother of the year and forcing my daughter to walk around Disneyland for two hours with a migraine.  You know you’re kid isn’t doing well when you ask if they want to leave Disney and they tell you yes.  

Unfortunately, the fireworks were less than an hour away, but she had no interest.  I didn’t want to ruin the little girls’ time, so I decided to take Sonya back to the car and they could stay and watch the fireworks.  This way at least she could rest in the car and we wouln’t be there more than an hour before they came.  So she and I walked back to the car while she puked every few hundred feet.  Good thing it gets dark early!  And that Disney has lots of shrubbery.  And that she wasn’t really throwing up more than just foam.  Sorry.  Gross, I know.   She could have cared less that she missed out on getting ice cream or that we left before fireworks.  All she wanted was to lay down.  I felt so badly for her.  

The good news was, where our car was parked was right near a set of stairs and we could see the fireworks perfectly, between her puking.  No we didn’t get the holiday ambiance like the music and “snow” that happens in the park, but it was better than nothing.  

Once she was in the car with her PJs on and teeth brushed, she started feeling much better.  Thankfully, there was no more vomiting.  We weren’t back at the car for very long before the others got there and we were on our way home.  

So it appears that Georgia is not the only one who suffers from migraines in our family.  What wonderful news right?  Well at least we can pinpoint the cause of Sonya’s.  Suffice it to say she will not be riding on Indiana Jones anytime soon...or ever.  We can just add it to the list next to the tea cups. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I Am A Peace Builder

I recorded Georgia last week when she started reciting the "peace builder" mantra one night at dinner.  They have this whole "peace builder" thing at school.  I'm assuming it's a way to keep the bullying to a minimum.  My kids have all learned this and recited it since kindergarten, but Georgia remembers it flawlessly.  That child has an incredible memory.  After going to parent teacher conferences this week, I am even more proud of how great my girls are.  Their teachers had nothing but amazing things to say about them both academically and personality wise.  They are the type of kids who are peace builders at school and are helpful, kind, and friendly to everyone.  This however begs the question, what the HELL happens when they get  home??  All that peace builder crap goes right out the window when one of them takes the other one's American Girl doll,  and then I hear- she's breathing my air, and she touched my arm then tried to pinch me, while sticking her tongue out at me, and she said I was stupid!!  I think I'm going to start making them recite this every day at home too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Birds and the Bees and Turning Three TImes Three (which means nine for those mathematically challenged)

Yesterday was Sonya's ninth birthday.  NINE.  Why?  How?  When did we get here?  But yes, that is what she is, nine.  She is no longer a chubby faced little girl, but a very lean and, amazing, long legged big girl.  One who is starting to get quite the attitude with me from time to time.  I hate to say it, but I think the hormones are brewing.  She has always been sassy with me sometimes, but this is different.  This is teenish.  This is scary.

Since she was headed in this direction, Andy and I decided a few months ago that we needed to have "the talk" with her.  You know the one, or maybe you don't since some from our parents' generation didn't have "the talk" with our generation.  Mine did though.  Oh yes, I distinctly remember being nine years old and my parents sitting my sister, Beth, and I down and  telling us all about getting our period and sex.  Ah memories!  How uncomfortable are thee?  Still I believe them sitting us down and talking to us about it, put us on the right track as far as being responsible about sex, who it was with and what protection we used.  None of us got pregnant before we wanted to, and we are all pretty damn fertile so I would say that is a win for my parents.  

Andy and I thought we should talk to Sonya about what would be happening with her own body soon, and why not just go ahead and tell her how babies are made while we're at it.  You know two birds, two bees and one stone.  It was something I had discussed with her before when she was younger, but never gave her the full explanation   Finally, after talking about wanting to talk to her about it for so long, about two weeks ago we finally found the opportunity.

While the little girls were cleaning the disaster area that was their room one Sunday night, Andy and I sat our big girl down and explained a few things.  Or rather I did.  Well, he started to, but he quickly bowed out when he decided to search on his iPad for an app on the reproductive system he thought would explain things better.  So I decided to start the conversation on- "your a girl, you're gonna get your period, it's going to suck until you want to have a baby then it will come in useful".  Okay perhaps I was more technical than that, but you get the idea.  She had a few questions about if it would hurt, but nothing out of the ordinary.  Then, as Andy still searched for this elusive app, I moved the lesson into sex.  I told her it was the way to make babies and yes, exactly how it was done.  We also made it very clear that we were MUCH older when we had babies and they are a very big responsibility, which she already totally gets.  She has always been very aware of how much work having  kids 15 months apart is.  We made it clear that if you don't want to have that responsibility of taking care of a baby then just don't have sex.  The end.  I figured we can have the birth control talk when she's a little older.  Like 28.  Fine-23.

The talk went well.  She had some questions that we addressed very honestly.  We ended up covering artificial insemination and in vitro, due to a teacher at her school who had a baby a couple of years ago with no husband or boyfriend around.  How two mommies had babies was also covered.  Yeah, we did it all.  She seemed to handle it well.  I think Andy and I had a harder time with it.  I feel like we might have talked more than we needed to.  Especially when Andy said something that will live in my memory forever.  As much as I'd like to tell you dear Internet, it's a story that he would kill me if I put in writing.  It has made me laugh over and over again when I think if it though.  Sorry to tease you like this.  The next time I see you in person we can have a glass of wine and I will let you in on the joke.  My husband is a very funny man, I can tell you that much.  Even when he doesn't mean to be.  

She hasn't come to us with any more questions since then.  I did give her two books that she could look at whenever she wanted.  They were books my friend Melinda had given me a while back.  They are from the '70s with cartoon drawings of the mom and the dad doing it and the baby growing inside the mom.  Very amusing and informative.  She read through them that first night and we told her she could look at them anytime she wanted to.  Although, we asked she keep them away from her sisters for now.  No need to start this with them. Even if some experts believe you should tell your kids everything before preschool.  I don't think they know Lana and the big mouth that she has.  That's one phone call I don't need from the principal.  And I know it's different for everyone.  Perhaps some people feel it best to discuss this with their little kids, but for us almost nine was better.  Maybe it will be earlier for the other two.  Who knows?  We just keep playing this parenting gig all by ear.  Is there any other way?

So yes, my first born baby turned nine yesterday and now she knows all about how she and her sisters were made.  I kind of feel like Andy and I got over a hurdle with that one.  Now all that's left is boys, birth control, and STD's.  Like I said though-23 should be good for that.  Fine- I will do it earlier.  She just won't be allowed to leave the house.