Monday, March 28, 2011

Ships Ahoy!

The Lads enjoying some quiet time.

Yes.  We have a whiteboard in our playroom.  The younger Lass specifically requested a large whiteboard for Christmas so that she could pretend to teach school.  It gets lots of use from all the kids.

Unfortunately, the youngest Lad does not realize the difference between a whiteboard and a white kitchen cabinet.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gym Class, A Broken Arm & Surgery, Oh My! Part TWO

To read Part ONE of Gym Class, A Broken Arm & Surgery, Oh My! click here.

After the Lass had a steady dose of morphine in her system she was able to semi-recline on the bed and watch some TV while I attempted to read a book in between her requests to put the bed up, down, up again, scratch her forehead, wipe her nose, cover her feet, etc.  I didn't mind though, it was so much better to be able to help her with mundane requests than it was to watch her in constant pain.

She was not allowed to eat or drink so they started giving her fluids through her IV.  But this didn't help the hunger.  She had a scrambled egg for breakfast around 7AM.  Nothing else.  She was getting hungry.  Yet in spite of this, the only thing she wanted to watch on TV were cooking shows:  Buddy, Rachael, Ina, Paula and few others I had never seen.  But she knew them all.  She was salivating over salmon that Barefoot Contessa had baked.  She doesn't even like salmon!  I pointed this out to her and she said she was so hungry that she'd eat it if she could.  I wanted to switch the channel but she was sure she wanted to keep watching cooking shows.  For hours, literally.

On my way out the door that morning (after the nurse called, when I figured I'd be in for a few hours at the hospital) I grabbed the books that were on the top of her reading pile and on the top of mine.  Her book was Soul Surfer, a book about the 13 year old surfer whose arm got bitten off by a shark.  (Movie coming to a theater near you in April.)  I thought this was a great read and perfect considering the girl in the book also had surgery on her arm, although of a different sort.  I tried to reading to the Lass but she wasn't able to concentrate on what I was saying.  So she went back to her TV and I started reading my book, One Thousand Gifts.  It's a book about living life fully, with grace, thanksgiving and joy, regardless of the circumstance.  It was an excellent book to take to the ER and really helped me to count my blessings in spite of the chaos of the situation.

Finally around 4PM they took us upstairs for surgery.  The surgeon explained that she had broken both bones in her forearm and that surgery was required to put the bones back together.  Not because she needed plates or pins but because it would be too difficult and too painful to do unless she was sedated.  He explained that she would need to wear a hand-to-shoulder cast for 7-8 weeks.  After that, they would replace it with a smaller hand-to-elbow cast for another 3-4 weeks.  He said she could not go back to school until Monday (this was Wednesday) and said no PE class "indefinitely".

They wheeled her off to surgery and I went to the Family Lounge.  I had planned to sit and read but there was a delightful family there waiting for their loved one who was in surgery and they kept me entertained with constant chatter, jokes, family stories.  They had me talking and laughing and I started wondering if they did stand-up in their spare time.  Such a breath of fresh air in a stuffy hospital waiting room!

Surgery lasted about 20 minutes and they let me go to recovery to be with the Lass since she's a minor.  (Normally recovery is for patients only.)  Immediately following the surgery she looked so much better than she had all day.  The color was returning to her face and she looked more relaxed.  (I'm sure anesthesia had something to with that!)  Prior to the surgery she had requested a pink or green cast.  The surgeon explained that they only had white casts in the OR and that we could come to his office the following day to get a color added to the cast.  Sure enough, she had a white cast on post-surgery.  But just a few minutes later, the Physicians Assistant arrived with pink tape for the cast!  He made a special trip to the office to get the pink tape and returned to add it to her cast just after the surgery.  So nice!  Once they were sure her vitals were stable, they sent us upstairs to fully recover in the pediatric unit.

Up in the peds unit, they gave her ginger ale and crackers to eat and finally, around 7PM, said we could go home.

The end of a long day but just the beginning of a New Normal for our Lass.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Thought I'd lighten the mood in-between postings about the oldest Lass breaking her arm.

Last night was the Father/Son Cake Bake at Cub Scouts.  The cake was baked at home but assembled and decorated at Scouts.

I think the cake turned out pretty well and I can't believe they didn't place at all.  (Of course they insist that they should have won but said they were gipped.)

I'm including this next picture because it shows LanganLad2 enjoying some frosting and it cracks me up every time I look at it.  (Far left side of the pic.)

They are already planning next year's cake.  Watch out Scouts, revenge is sweet!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gym Class, A Broken Arm & Surgery, Oh My!

I sent the oldest LanganLass off to school on Wednesday with a sore throat and instructions to go to the nurse if she felt like she was developing a fever.  (She had strep a few weeks prior and felt like maybe it was returning.)  When the phone rang at 9:43 and the caller ID was the middle school, I assumed it would be the nurse calling me to tell me that LanganLass had strep.  I was half right.  It was the nurse but she was calling to tell me that LanganLass fell during gym class and that she (the nurse) was pretty sure that she (LanganLass) had broken her arm.  We agreed that I would pick up my Lass at school and drive her to the ER.

I immediately put down my coffee (I had literally taken one sip) and then called my husband to ask him to meet me at the ER.  I couldn't reach him.  So I started calling the desks of his coworkers, trying to reach one of them.  No luck.  I spent about 10 minutes trying to reach a human being at his company before finally speaking with him.  (My cell phone is broken so I thought I should call him while I had access to our home phone because I didn't know if I'd have to beg a stranger for use of their cell phone in the ER.)  Had I known how badly the Lass had broken her arm, I would have waited until I got to the ER to call him.

As I was driving to her school, I was thinking that she had most likely injured her arm during the rock climbing unit in gym class.  The nurse said she was "pretty sure" the arm was broken so I was thinking maybe there was a chance it wasn't broken.  Maybe just fractured?

Imagine my surprise when I get to school and find out that she broke it playing basketball.  She gets through the rock climbing unit without incident and breaks her arm playing basketball?  Apparently she went after the ball, tripped over someone's foot, hit the floor and broke her arm.

The principal took me to the nurse's office where the Lass was reclined on a table, still dressed in her gym clothes, her arm wrapped in a make-shift sling that consisted of ace bandages and an ice pack.  We (me, principal, nurse) took her to the car and then proceeded to the ER.

When we arrived at the ER (around 10AM), I had to drop her off to wait by herself while I went to park the car.  By the time I got inside, her principal was waiting with her.  (He ended up spending nearly 3 hours in the ER, only going back to school once we got a diagnosis.  The poor guy just sat and sat while we met with nurses, doctors, xray techs, PAs, etc.  He didn't have a laptop or work with him to help pass the time.  So nice of him to come with.)  Anyway, shortly thereafter my husband arrived and he took the two LanganLads home while I waited with the Lass.  (Such a gift to spend the day in the ER with only one child and not have to chase around after a 22 month old!)

The took us into Triage, took off the make-shift sling and my heart sank.  Her arm was caved in on itself and I have never seen anything like it.  I was mentally scolding myself for staying at home to call my husband and wasting precious time in getting her to the hospital.  (Little did I know that we would be there for over 9 hours.)  I was wondering how on earth she was sitting still and not shrieking in pain.  The nurse looked at her arm and asked 3 questions:
1.  How did this happen?
2.  When is the last time you had anything to eat or drink?
3.  Did the school nurse give you Tyelnol or Motrin?

Uh oh.  This was my first clue that we were headed for surgery.  Knowing that she was in pain, I asked if she could have Tylenol or Motrin.  The nurse said, "No.  Not yet.  We have to find out what kind of break it is before we administer pain medication."  Yep, we're gonna end up in surgery.  Then the Lass asked how long it would be before she could get xrays and a cast?  The nurse said a cast might not be the best thing for her.  Another indication that surgery was likely.

They sent us to an exam room while we waited for the xray tech.  (The principal stayed in the waiting room.)  The exam room had a TV and a phone but the Lass was in too much pain to focus on anything but the pain.  I tried all my pain management techniques that served me well through five labors and deliveries but nothing was helping.  (And really, at least with contractions the pain comes and goes.  Her pain was constant.)  She did come to the realization that it was easier to manage the pain if she walked around so they allowed her to do that even though normal protocol is to stay in bed.  FINALLY they took her for xrays, which was horrible because they had to move her arm a few times and I could tell she was having a hard time managing the pain.  And then it was back to the room to wait.

A long time passed before someone came to tell us that her arm was broken.  Yeah, we know!  And that she'd need surgery to repair the break.  At this point the Lass begins to cry for the first time.  The doctor and nurse talked to her about what would happen and assured her that she would not feel anything during the surgery and that she'd feel much better after the surgery than has felt since she broke her arm.  Then the nurse tells her that she's going to insert an IV that will allow them to give her pain medication right away and will also give her medication during surgery.  The Lass is "terrified" (her words) of the IV insertion and I keep trying to tell her that it will be easy compared to what she has already endured.

Around 1PM the IV is inserted and they start giving her morphine.  Which didn't really help.  I asked for more but they refused, saying they had to administer it in small doses to make sure it wouldn't stop her breathing.  About 30 minutes later they give her more morphine.  Still lots of pain.  I ask for more.  Same story:  wait.  Another 30 minutes passes and they administer a third dose and finally she is able to sit, no longer needing to pace to deal with the pain.

Check back for PART TWO, coming soon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lost & Found

So the kids were trying to figure out how to solve the case of the missing iPod.  It was actually interesting to watch them work together to try and figure out a solution.

Should they buy me a new one?  After googling it, they determined that this most definitely would not be their approach.  A new one retails for about $185 and they calculated how many hours of Langan Family Clean-up they'd be doing to earn that much money and they decided they did not want to spend the next 6 months putting all their chore money towards an iPod.

So they moved on.

Ebay!  Yes!  Ebay!  Oh look!  You can get one for $10.15!  Show it to mom!  I pointed out that it was $10.15 because it was BROKEN.  Ok, forget it.

WAIT!!!  Craigslist!!  It's even better than Ebay!  Oh wait, no.  Nope, not better than ebay.

Hey wait.  I know!  We can sell the old iPod on Ebay or Craigslist.  Yes!  Then we can use that money to buy a new one.  (LanganLass2 has a really great iPod that would fetch over $100 if on Ebay or Craigslist.  She was willing to give it up.  Very sweet.  Or desperate.)

They had stumbled upon a workable plan.  So when my husband came home, they asked for  help in listing LanganLasss' iPod on ebay.  But before jumping into this project, my wise husband decided to clean out the car.  As in, take it apart, move seats and carseats and find that iPod.  And lo and behold, the iPod!!!  The kids were cheering and relieved, I was thrilled and my car is clean, a nice bonus!

So I need to retract my previous post because although the kids lost the iPod, it's back, unharmed and thus my post is invalid.

The little buggars tried to tell me that I was in the wrong for blaming them for losing the iPod because it wasn't lost afterall.  I tried to tell them that they did indeed lose it because they failed to put it back where it belongs and they failed to locate it for a whole six days.  Let's just say we're going to agree to disagree on this one.

But it doesn't really matter now, does it?

And you know what?  I had kind of gotten over the lost iPod.  What finally did it for me was thinking about the snazzy iPod belonging to LanganLass2.  She found that iPod a few months ago.  We were walking through town and there it was, just sitting on a bench outside of the bus station.  We called the police to report it missing and they told us to keep it.  Really?  They said no one would bother to call for a lost iPod and if they did, well, finders keepers.

So it seemed fitting to me that we found a fabulous iPod (although not an iPod Touch) and then we lost one.  You know, "what goes around, comes around."  And once I realized that, I was ok with losing my iPod and was starting to develop my case for replacing it with an iPhone.

Yay for the iPod, nay for the iPhone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why Some Animals Eat Their Young

Today I discovered the reason why some species eat their own offspring.

Because said offspring do something really stupid, like lose the most valuable object their mother owns that she let them play with out of the kindness of her heart and then they go and "forget" where they left it and now it's gone.

I'm sure this happens in the animal kingdom all the time.  Like a mother lion kills the best hyena out there and leaves her little ones to feast while she walks the perimeter to ensure their safety.  And by the time she gets back to the hyena, the little cubs have eaten their fill and have wandered off and now the carcass is being devoured by a different family of lions and the mother lion is too late to feast and decides she must eat one of her own cubs for compensation.

Kinda like when you let your children borrow your iPod Touch.  NEW iPod Touch.  Given to you by your dear friend who so graciously handed it down to you when she got an iPhone.  Yes, I finally entered the world of iThis and iThat, finally!  And it's pretty great.  Music, maps, grocery lists, plus a ton of kid games!  And more!  All on one little handheld device.  And being the lioness of the family, I let the cubs play with it to keep them entertained during a long lunch at a nice restaurant in Philly.  Because we were meeting up with my cousin from Texas whom I hadn't seen in a decade.  And those cubs left the iPod in the restaurant.

But do they tell me this?  Oh no.  It's not until FIVE DAYS later that I discover that the iPod is missing.  I mean, I knew it wasn't around and I questioned the cubs.  They told me that it got left in the car.  Ok, no problem.  It wasn't until THIS MORNING when I'm driving the cubs to school (because one of the cubs had a Leprechaun Trap that involved a vat of honey and I figured he'd end up covered in honey if I let him take it on the bus) that I had them search the car.  And guess what?  No iPod.

I suppose I can't actually eat them as punishment.  Even the Tiger Mother wouldn't go to that extreme.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Tuesday, March 8, 2011


What started out as cute and endearing has turned into an obsession.  This kid has almost every appliance we own on the floor.  I can hardly walk in the kitchen.  It looks like this all day long.

Yesterday he was asking "Please, please" and pointing towards one of the kitchen cabinets.  I opened it and pointed to every single food item in the cabinet.  He answered NO to every one.  I couldn't understand what he wanted so I lifted him up.  And he immediately lunged for the coffee maker on the counter beneath the cabinet.  He hadn't wanted food at all.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

I must say the above phrase to my children more than any other repetitive phrase.  I swear, 85 percent of the disputes in this house would not occur if everyone would just keep their hands to themselves.  And when I start to ponder this thought, the next thought I have is that most of the conflict in the world could be prevented if we all lived by this phrase.  (And then that leads me to Do Unto Others but that's a topic for another day.)

This topic was illustrated beautifully (or not!) this week as LanganLad2 brought home this piece of artwork:

It says Peace is helping the earth.  Actually it says Peace is helpin zurf.  (Yeah, I thought it would be helpful to provide a translation.  And what IS it anyway?  A thought bubble?  A cloud?  Not really sure.)  Anyway, when he showed it to me I said, "What??  Peace!  I'll tell you what peace is!  Peace is not hurting your brother!"  To which the LanganLad responded, "But he starts it!"

Which brings us back to, "Keep your hands to yourself!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's All In A Day's Play

I really wasn't kidding when I said this kid doesn't play with toys.  One of his favorite things to do is to play with our kitchen appliances.

Here he is making coffee for his older brother.

And in this pic he's making a green smoothie for himself.  He played with the blender for over 30 minutes. I thought this was so cute and clever UNTIL I realized that he had gotten into the pantry (because someone, who shall remain nameless, left the door open) and got a hold of my container of flax seeds.  (He watches me put the flax seeds into smoothies so he was just imitating what he sees.)  He dumped the WHOLE container.  Approximately 10 percent of the seeds went into the blender and the rest ended up on the floor.  Despite earnest vacuuming, some of those seeds are STILL stuck between the 100 year old floorboards in my kitchen.

And then, the other day, I came downstairs to discover that he had found his sister's stash of American Girl doll items.  He got out the mini violin and was using his voice to give music to his violin.

Then he went and got her music stand and was started to "play" his violin.

And now, when she practices her viola, he gets out the mini violin and plays along with her.  It's adorable.

Sometimes I feel badly that he doesn't play like most other kids his age.  But he doesn't seem to know the difference.