Signs I’m Becoming a Grumpy Old Man

Lately, I think I am noticing the signs of being a grumpy old man.

You know, passing a group of teenagers on the street and then calling them hooligans to my husband later. Or maybe it’s the fact that it can be 6:30 in the morning and I’ve already finished breakfast and read the paper. Or how about the fact that I think dinner at 6:00 pm is practically midnight.

But here’s my most recent sign-

Am I the only one bothered by nurses dressed in scrubs walking through the food court?

This can’t be sanitary on so many levels.

Do they change into different scrubs once they get back to work?

Or did they change into new scrubs when they were leaving the hospital to eat, removing all of the sick patient germs?

If you follow this logic they must be changing at a minimum of three times a day.

I know hand washing is the most important thing but the fact that I’ve seen them in the bathroom gives me a full body shiver.

This can’t be clean.

I’m thinking of writing a letter to the editor to share my disgust and have this changed.

Oh great, now I’m writing letters to the editor.

It’s another sign.

My Son Said It

What I thought was just being tired from visiting with a friend turned out to be pneumonia today for my 9 year old.

One trip to the doctor’s office, one trip to the lab for blood work, one trip to the hospital for x-rays, one drive thru trip to McDonald’s, a second trip back to the doctor, and finally a trip to the pharmacist resulted in two very cranky children.

Just like them, I was tired and a bit frustrated while trying to get dinner made.

Little did I know that right after dinner we would all be laughing uncontrollably.

My nine year old was recalling for my husband how he had blood taken from his finger earlier in the day. “I even had the finger prick. That’s the most painful way to give blood.”

My husband said, “Well, I think giving blood intravenously would be more painful.”

With a scrunched up face my son said, “Intrapenisly?”

We all started to chuckle.

“No, intravenously is usually through your arm.”

“Oh, because I was thinking intrapenisly would really hurt.”

We all lost it at that point.

Of course, things quickly went downhill when our six year old had to stand up and demonstrate what giving blood intrapenisly might look like (with his clothes still on, thank goodness).

What’s the worst part of this?

For the next twenty years we will never be able to go to the emergency room with each other for fear that we will burst out laughing while the doctor is giving orders.

It’s a Blogiversary!

Exactly one year ago today I published my first post.

This is my 239th post.

I never thought I would be a blogger in a million years. What do I have to say? Turns out I have a lot to say. Sometimes the words were kind, sometimes painful, sometimes humorous, sometimes judgmental, and sometimes sarcastic.

When I started pondering a blog,  I assumed my blog would focus primarily on crafting projects. Along the way I discovered I enjoyed writing about life and it’s ups and downs. There have been many wonderful moments and a few sad. I never imagined opening up as much as I did in the spring but I don’t regret it. This blog gave me an outlet for my feelings and I thank you for encouraging me along the way.

When you write a blog there’s really no way of knowing if anyone else really benefits. Sure, people are nice and leave comments but did my post really add anything to their day?

I received this email last week and felt it was the perfect exclamation on my first year.

Thank you so much for the Lego bingo game!!! I printed it out; then laminated it all so that we could play it over and over again using dry erase markers. We had to come up with a super fun birthday party for my son, for obvious reasons, but also because he had a bone marrow transplant and isn’t allowed to be around other people (only close family). This is one of the components that made his birthday so special and so much fun that I don’t think he even realized there weren’t any other kids there… Anyhow, THANK YOU so much, I am very grateful! –  Jenica

Jenica – Thank you so much for your message – it made my day, in fact, it made my whole year – sometimes I wonder if anyone really benefits from my blog besides myself so this was great to hear. Best of luck to your little guy and your whole family. I’m glad he loved his birthday – let me know what you decide to do next year for his birthday – I’d be glad to make another game for him.Jennifer

Jennifer, I just wanted to let you know that the benefit of your blogging is going to extend greater than my family. I am planning on printing more copies of Lego Bingo & laminating them to bring to the Seattle Children’s Hospital cancer floor. This children’s hospital does not have a play room, so children are hoping for things like this to fall into their hands. I know, because we were there… for way too long. We would have LOVED to have played this for hours. It is great because it doesn’t require much thinking- a major bonus for a child going through cancer treatment! The lamination will make the games easy to sanitize, which is huge! And I plan on making smaller versions of the game (by setting aside some characters & playing mats) so it would be easier to have a two or three player game (often times a child is alone with one parent). This might be more information than you wanted… sorry. But I do want you to know that you are going to make a lot of little kids very happy. Seems like such a small thing right? I guarantee, it is not 🙂 Again, thank you.Jenica.

Something I created made a difference for a little boy. That’s it. I’m completely satisfied with my first blogging year now.

I truly don’t know how long I will write for but thank each and every one of you who have taken a seat on this crazy ride I like to call Big D & Me.

Halloween Giving

As a parent, I am always trying to find ways to help instill “giving” and “thinking of others” in my children. My kids are very blessed and I would like them to view themselves that way one day, even now. I think it can be a delicate balance to try and keep kids innocent while at the same time allowing them to be informed people.  I try and choose opportunities which allow them to make some choices and feel ownership in their giving.

I was reading the paper a week ago when I came across this brief news item.

Kids Hospital Seeks Halloween Costumes

I instantly felt this was a project my kids could be involved in. This was the same hospital we had visited only a month earlier. Honestly, I hadn’t thought once about the kids at the hospital in October. I always thought about families celebrating Christmas at the hospital but never Halloween.

The costumes needed to be new and in a bag to limit germ exposure. They were looking for costumes in size 10 and up and 2 and under.

I showed the kids the article and asked them if they wanted to participate. The catch was that I asked them to donate $1 of their money to help cover the costs, I would pay the difference. My six year old immediately said yes while my nine year old was hesitant. After a little pressure from his brother he agreed.

After school one day I took them to the Halloween store and let them choose a costume to donate. They examined the costumes for fifteen minutes, discussing each one in detail.

They finally settled on a Clone Trooper costume from Star Wars. Caroline and I settled on a ladybug costume as our choice.

We paid for the costumes and left.

I was extremely proud of my children. Not once did the boys ask for a costume or an accessory and not once did they complain that their costumes were made from Goodwill clothing.

The kids went with my husband to the hospital to drop off the costumes. They left them at the front desk for the child life specialist to pick up and bring back to some deserving child.

Hopefully two ill children or their siblings will enjoy dressing up and being a kid in those costumes. More importantly, I hope this is a giving tradition our family will continue for many years.



A few days ago we took my two youngest to the children’s hospital in our city. We were there to find out more information about their recently discovered blood disorder and how it will impact their lives. In the days leading up to the appointment I was having a bit of a pity party for myself, silently saying  “Why us again?”

When I was in my twenties I had a warped sense of protection. I felt that if I knew someone who went through something my family would not go through it. I know someone who lost a child therefore we will not. I know someone who got a divorce therefore we will not. I know someone who lost their home therefore we won’t.

Now that I am in my thirties, I realize life doesn’t work that way.

I knew someone who had heart surgery. Well my husband needed it too.

I know someone who had a miscarriage. Well I had one too.

I knew someone who had a stroke. Well my husband had one too.

Our children’s appointment was on a Wednesday at noon. After parking our car, we found our way to the patient waiting room.

We found ourselves sitting in the Blood Disorders and Cancer waiting room.

It was there where I decided to stop sulking and just be thankful.

I saw kids of all ages and races who were ill. Some were wearing masks, some were in the isolation room, some were crying, and some were listless while being craddled by their parents.

These parents had surely asked “Why us? Why my child?”

As I watched my two smiling kids play in the room I felt incredibly blessed and ridiculously lucky.

We will be back to see more doctors and we will continue to worry for a long time.

But for now, my kids are happy, healthy, and home with me.

And that’s all that matters.

Just Say No

Never say yes to your children. Whatever it may be. Just say no.

I should have followed my own advice on Monday night.

Typically Mondays are crazy nights for us. We usually have several activities going on at the same time. Because of rain on Sunday night, our field activities were cancelled leaving about an hour of playtime we typically don’t have. The boys begged to go outside and ride bikes.

I looked at my watch, calculated there would be 45 minutes of bike time, 15 minutes for dinner, and then we would be off  to Andrew’s music class.

Before going out I placed frozen meatballs on a cookie sheet and some marinara sauce in a pot. Quick and easy meatball subs for dinner was the plan.

All 3 kids rode bikes up and down our street for 30 minutes.

Caroline and I were in the garage when Alex rode in.

“Mom, I need a styrofoam ball for school tomorrow.”

“What? Why?”

“We’re making the sun and I need to bring in the ball for my group.”

“How long have you known about this?” my voice getting loud

“Just today.”

“I don’t think so. A teacher’s not going to ask you to bring in a styrofoam ball with 1 days notice.”

“My group just decided today that we were going to make the sun.”

“What’s everyone else in the group bringing?” my voice getting louder

“Lucy is bringing paint pens and Hoyt is bringing a picture of the sun.”

“Why are you bringing the styrofoam ball? When did you plan on getting this? Why didn’t you tell me about this when you first came home from school.” my voice getting even louder

“I don’t know.”

I grab the phone and call my husband. In an extremely irritated voice I say, “Your son needs a styrofoam ball for school tomorrow. Can you go by the craft store on your way home? Here talk to him. I am so annoyed.”

They discuss the situation while I calm down.

I decided to start dinner so I gathered the kids and tell them to stay in the garage. “Get off your bikes and stand here. I just need to go in and put the tray of meatballs into the oven. I’ll be right back.”

“Okay mom.” Also known as,  “We haven’t heard a thing you’ve said. Nor do we care.”

I walked into the house, into the kitchen, grabbed the tray of meatballs, and put them in the oven. I was turning around to walk back outside, when Andrew came in running, “Mom, Caroline is crying and her chin is bleeding.”

In disbelief I say, “What? How did she get hurt?”

Alex (walking in calmly while his sister can be heard screaming in the background), “I was pushing her on her bike and she turned the handle bar quickly and fell off.”

I quickly think to myself – 1. she’s not supposed to be on a bike, and 2. you are not supposed to be pushing her!

I grab Caroline and inspect her chin. There is quit a bit of blood and I can see she’s got a gash. I quickly way the pros and cons of taking her to the hospital – on one hand the hospital visit will be expensive but on the other hand I don’t think she will especially enjoy looking like a turkey when she’s older.

I grab a bag of ice, throw everyone in the car,  and call Derek. “We’re on our way to the hospital, meet us there.”

After arriving at the hospital I must retell the story of how Caroline hurt her chin probably fifteen times. Each time I try to emphasize certain parts of the story to lessen the chances that CPS will make a visit to my house – I was inside the house when she fell off her bike BUT SHE HAD A HELMET ON. I don’t know if she hit her head on the concrete BUT SHE HAD A HELMET ON.

I think I managed to evade a home visit but just barely.

Turns out Caroline only needed a band aid on her chin. I can’t wait to get the bill for that band aid.

While waiting to be discharged Derek mentions he got a styrofoam ball. With his hands, he   demonstrates it’s about the size of a baseball.

I look at Alex. Alex looks at me then turns to Derek, “But it has to be bigger. It’s supposed to be the sun.”

Now it’s Derek’s turn for his voice to get louder. “You didn’t tell me it had to be big.”

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaad, it’s for the sun. The sun is huge,” whines Alex.

So after taking a post hospital trip to the craft store for a $15 styrofoam ball, we went home, ate cereal, and put the kids to bed.

Oh, and I threw the bikes in the trash.

At least I wanted to.


Today in the mail I received a letter from the hospital.

While I have many ideas on how a situation like mine could be handled better in my doctor’s office, I’ll save that for another time. (I know, I know, another upbeat post from me).

Here’s the letter:

Thank you for choosing The Medical Center of Plano. We hope you were very satisfied and are having a smooth recovery. If there is anything we can help you with during this time, please call us.

In addition to the above statement, there were 3 handwritten messages.  I truly appreciate the nurses’ notes which were added by 2 of the 3 nurses who helped me. Apparently protocol states you must have 3 signatures per card since I had an additional note from someone named Darlene. A nurse? A patient? A janitor? Who knows.

I understand the thought behind the card but maybe they should think about investing in a couple of different cards, each with their own message. Can you really walk away from this experience “very satisfied?”