I Called 911 on Tuesday, What Did You Do?

Tuesday morning, my son woke up with an upset stomach. No fever, no vomiting, just a couple of bouts of diarrhea. At 7:20, I dropped his sisters at school and came back to take him to middle school.When I came in he said he REALLY didn’t feel well. The mommy bells in my head were going off so I told him to lay down on the couch and rest with me. I set my alarm and decided we would see how he felt at 8. At 7:53 he started kicking me and I thought he was having a bad dream so I touched his leg lightly and said his name…he didn’t respond. I stood up and saw my son on his back seizing; arms and legs pulled into his body, eyes rolled back in his head and what sounded like gasping. I rolled him on his side and got my phone to call 911. All I could think was “Dear Lord, Please DO NOT take my baby today.”

It is by the grace of God that I was able to recite my name, address and phone number to the 911 operator. I was shaking uncontrollably. It was about that time when he stopped seizing and lay there completely unresponsive – with his eyes open. “OH GOD HE’S NOT RESPONDING!!” I shrieked. The operator calmly asked, “Amy, is he breathing? Is his chest moving?” Yes, he was breathing. She talked me through the worst of it; reassuring me as I locked up the dogs and cleared the way for a stretcher to get through the house to him. he was motionless for about 5-6 minutes when the firefighters arrived.

He wasn’t lucid until they had him loaded on the stretcher. He saw my face and looked very worried. The face quickly changed when they asked him where he was – he looked like he thought they were crazy for asking him if he knew his own living room.

In the ER, all his tests (CAT scan, blood work, etc…) looked good. Wednesday he went to see his pediatrician who referred us to a neurologist for an EEG and ruined his life by telling him he was not allowed to play in his first baseball game of the season that night. She cleared him for all activities by this weekend except television, video games, swimming and baths.

Apparently, it is not unusual for adolescents and children to suffer a first time seizure. “Each year, 120,000 children seek medical attention because of a first or newly diagnosed seizure. Of such children, approximately 37,000 develop recurring seizures or epilepsy. Many first seizures result from an event such as trauma, hypoglycemia, or a high fever. Such provoked seizures might recur whenever the precipitating situation is present, but they generally do not require long-term treatment.” (http://www.gillettechildrens.org/fileUpload/Vol15No2.pdf)

I would have liked to know this, so I am sharing my horrifying experience with you. File this away in the back of your mind, parents: If your child has a seizure, clear the area, turn them on their side, time the seizure, and do not put anything in their mouth (My son bit his tongue). You will FREAK OUT and that is okay.

I will be praying for my babies, your babies and all of you tonight.

Color Me Happy

Can colors really make a difference in our mood? Think about when you wear a sleek red dress, a soft white sweater or those tall black boots. Color can dictate the way we act and react. I truly believe that color has an effect on the mood of a room. I have butter yellow walls in my dining room, bright and light blues and greens in the bedroom and soft neutrals everywhere else. Don’t get me wrong, I love a red dining room as much as the next gal (mine was red before yellow) but I have become hyper-sensitive to anything that can add to the already ever-present kid-on-kid smackdown bouts in our house. I am constantly looking for a way to reduce the stress on my over-scheduled, overachieving children.

For example: My son has had a hard time going to sleep at night. He seems very stressed. I thought it was middle school stress and helped him manage it using essential oils and a soothing routine. Last summer he got a quilt from my mother. This amazing quilt has flaming basketballs stitched on a black background. This weekend when we washed the quilt, I didn’t get it dried in time so he had to use another quilt with soft neutral colors. When I came up stairs to start our calming routine he looked calm and fresh. He said “I really like my room like this. Its just so bright and happy!” He was asleep within minutes.

The color chart above seems to work and I have found that these ring true in most cases. Some say its the intensity of the color, some the vibration. I dont really know what it is for certain but I know that colors really have an effect on our mood and emotions.



Temper Temper

There is a lot to be said for temperance. It’s key in obtaining life balance. Self control is a virtue. A virtue that for me is taking A LOT longer to master than others. I believed that if a little is a good thing then even more would be even better…right?!? Overindulgence would throw me out of balance. My reaction often swings the pendulum in the other direction only touching on balance before I plunged into an over correction.

If I ate too much and felt bloated, I would drastically reduce intake until I became lightheaded. If I drank too much, I would not drink again for months. I would meditate all my time away until my real world duties were neglected then not meditate for weeks. It was always that pendulum; back and forth. Until I stopped overindulging and started tempering my actions.

So, what’s the solution? How do you learn temperance? Enjoying the “now” and understanding abundance is part of it. I don’t need “bigger, better, more” when I can be happy with what I have. Mostly for me it’s like anything else – practicing.

Balance is an effort – a regular day job. I have to work at it, then I get out of whack and I have to work at it some more.

I’d love your comments on temperance – Any tips or tricks (magic buttons would be appreciated).

Abundance – Friend or Foe?

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha

Everywhere I go these days I notice abundance of noisy chatter. On television, in the workplace, at home and definitely online. It seems like millions of sources of information vying for attention all the time. Almost every day though, One (or more if I am fortunate) message gets through that seems genuine. Im not talking about the regular interaction with people you know and love – my friends and family are amazing at “filling my cup” and I hope I am the same for them. I’m talking about the vast amount of messages on social media, television, direct mail and the like.

The quote above has great meaning for me. My daughter says that smiley faces are “kind of like her signature because she really connects with them.” I feel that way about that sigh of relief or unclenching of the teeth I hear when I have helped someone find peace – even if its only briefly.

I know many people see the quotes I post and think “Cheesy McCheeseball is at it again” or “I have heard that a thousand times” but I know that for some it makes the difference between a long hopeless day and an added skip in their step. It could be exactly what they need to post to their own page or blog or the words they needed to share with a friend or loved one.

There is an abundance of sour people who care little for others and just want to shout above the crowd to get noticed. My challenge for myself and for you is to add worth to your interactions on social media, add value to your blog in the form of helping others.

Abundance can be a very, very good thing (please be listening lottery elfs) or a challenge (the abundance of dirty laundry in this house comes to mind here) either way – cutting through the excess blather can be the best thing we do as entrepreneurs, small business owners, bloggers or copy writers. Connecting genuinely taps into another abundant commodity – love. (not the kissy kissy stuff – ewe)

It Could Happen To You – Or Already Has!!

– noun – a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

So, I have this thing I do when someone tells me about some horrible event in their life. I tear up. At first I thought it was middle age but realize I’ve had this problem since I had my first kid. Then obviously, it must be hormones, right?? Nope, I had them checked and all levels are normal. I talked to a psychologist friend and her unofficial diagnosis – compassion.

I must have hit a point in life where I felt for others as much as I do myself. Crazy as it sounds this phenomena can happen after a “phase of growth” or life-altering experience. Some people are ever stricken with it FROM BIRTH! (I picture Jesus, Mother Theresa, Quan Yin and the Dalai Llama here – is that right?? Llama like the cattle??)

Whatever the cause, I’m stuck with it and now every sad movie, sob story and lost kitten can be the impetus for sobs or a call to action. Sometimes I like to help people without being asked (gasp).

I shudder to think what might happen if we all become stricken – like a plague of do-gooders!!! If you have been infected with this plague, please post a comment and let me know the effects on you. It would be great (I mean horrible) to have a nice list of good deeds:)

No Fear New Year

2012 saw a lot of fear for me personally. From some family health issues and friends losing parents to the very public massacres this month, a seed of fear was planted with each new occurrence. Today I am shedding that fear to start new this year.

I don’t have a fear of death myself. I mean, think about it, when I die…I’m dead. It’s the better end of the deal no matter what your belief about the hereafter. It’s the poor saps left behind who suffer. This is where my fear lies…in the left behind. I like my family, friends, kids, husband, neighbors (even the annoying ones), soccer moms and coworkers (the annoying thing fits here too). It would be devastating to lose any one of them.

My plan beginning in 2013 is to live without fear of losing those around me…spend the time enjoying the people I spend time with every day. Here is the “to-do” list (you knew it was coming):

1. Call everybody more. Pick up the phone and call rather than text. Just to hear everyone’s voice. (I may have to up my minutes but its worth it)
2. Go to stuff. I’m pretty good at this but it’s worth mentioning. If someone is thoughtful enough to invite me to something, I’m going.
3. Make “play dates” with my adult friends. Get together with other women once a month. Nothing wild and crazy – just tea, or lunch or a movie.
4. Play with my kids. (This one is kind of a freebie because I already love doing it)
5. Be nice. Consider others. (Even to that idiot I get when I call the cell phone company)

So flush the fears of 2012 (if you even have any) and get a plan of action in place to make the most of 2013…Happy New Year!

A 19th Century Prayer for the 21st Century

I came across this prayer this morning and found it comforting. I hope you will find comfort in it too.

Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest
And in our hearts take up Thy rest:
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts, which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry,
Thou heavenly gift of God most high:
Thou font of life and fire and love,
And sweet anointing from above.

Praise be to Thee, Father and Son,
And Holy Spirit, with them one;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow.

Louis Lambillotte

Give Peace a Chance

Today was the day, the United States woke with an answer to the question: “Who will be our leader for the next four years?” and the answer is Barack Obama. Prior to today, I have been able to avoid most of the negative campaigns, Facebook rants and water cooler discussions. I was shocked to see the sheer hatred spewed on social media and actually had to unfriend one or two who posted some inexcusable comments. I have been praying (after a hot minute of plotting their misfortune followed by a good long meditation session) for the people who were so saddened by the choice this nation has made and our leaders who are the perpetual targets of their hate.

This opened up an opportunity for thankfulness. I am thankful that I have such wonderful friends that todays activity was shocking to me. Thankful that I have a support system (husband and family) to “vent” my own frustrations. Thankful that I have a system of wellness to handle stress (big love for Bergamot today). Thankful to be part of a community eager for wellness options, actively sharing healthy choices and natural coping mechanisms.

I give thanks for you, for reading this blog and commenting. For sharing your knowledge and enlightening me. Thank you for liking my Facebook page and for following me on twitter. Your support means the world to me and I pray that I will be able to make a difference for you.

The Secret To Holiday Balance

Last night, I walked along with my children as they begged for sugary treats. If nothing else, this tradition gives us an opportunity to talk to the neighbors we rarely see.

On a few occasions, perfect moms answered the door with a baby on their hip, candy dish in hand, and commented sweetly on the costumes. The majority of houses had candy dishes left out on the front step or dads sitting in a chair passing out candy by the handful so they could more quickly return to their easy chair and the nightly news.

Holidays are one variable that can tip you off balance faster than anything else. The unspoken expectation of your child, partner or friends lends an “unsolvable x” to the equation.

Rewind the night back to the 30 minutes prior to our fun candy walk and you would see me scowling at my husband as I throw candy into bowls and corral my children out the door. I was seriously bent that my son and husband weren’t following my plan. (How dare they think for themselves!!!)

It was during the walk that I un-clenched and realized my folly. This was my opportunity to stop hovering and worrying and just enjoy a walk. (While monitoring my children running crazy at night dressed in all-black costumes)

Here is the secret…Acknowledge your own imperfection. Give yourself a break. You can plan and prepare but when it comes to including other people, it’s like predicting the weather with a pinwheel.

If you keep a gauge on your reactions (emotional and physical), actions and environment any situation is manageable.