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.

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).

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:)

Holiday Stress Made Less

This is the time of year we all tend to rush more, spend more and generally stress more. Worries about clean houses, appropriate gifts and party invites can make this a time for blood pressure to rise and bank account balances to fall.

I am no exception to the rule. We traveled across country for Thanksgiving again this year. I worried about what to pack, what to eat, what to entertain the kids with and everything in between. As our departure approached, I started a new meditation routine. I began meditating every time I worried about something outside of my control.

It didn’t make all my worries disappear or magically solve my concerns but it did allow me time to take a step back and look at the situation from another perspective…and it worked. for example: I didn’t scream out loud when I forgot the food I packed for the trip and I barely winced when I returned from dinner with a friend to find my daughter had vomited and refused to allow my mother in law to care for her while I was out.

The payoff for this mindful exercise; a week of being mothered and spoiled by my Mother-in-law. Late night talks followed by early morning fun with the kids were topped off with amazing food and warm cups of tea.

Thanks to a little meditation and preparation, I am thankful for a great holiday and hope to continue this through the coming weeks of more holiday fun and stress. I wish the same for you.

Worst Before Picture EVER!!

Its just so bad and so embarrassing but here it is:

This is my master closet. Messy, dirty, disorganized and a MAJOR point of stress for both me and my husband. About a month ago, I decided to get this closet in order and since then, I have chipped away at this “closet chaos.”

I had a plan in mind for months (that is how long it has been this way) and all the plan got me was, well, a plan. So I gave my husband (Scott) free reign and said ” do what you want to do,” and he did.

He extracted most of the items on the floor and I started on the extra items (boxes and bags of “stuff” thrown in the closet over the 10 years we have lived in the house).  Today the closet is not done by any means but it is much better.

I have faith that I will complete the project before the holidays. There is a lesson here and I’d like to say it is “make a plan and stick to it” or “this miracle change can happen overnight” but the truth is when you load up on crap, it takes a lot of time and work to get it out…and sometimes that means you have to just start work and hope for the best.

You can look at this closet story as a metaphor for life – clearing out the bad stuff and whatnot but the real life takeaway is this. Sometimes you just have to fish or cut bait.

You Can Do It In A Box…


This is me meditating…in the living room…on a Thursday morning…before school and work…while the kids pack their lunches…and the puppy chews my fingers. Yes, really.

I asked my daughter to take a picture of me meditating to demonstrate that it can be done anywhere, at any time. You don’t see a woman perched atop a boulder surrounded by lush trees, next to a babbling brook. There is no mountain in the background with the sun dipping gently below the crest.

It’s just me in my jammies, sitting on a meditation pillow with my hands raised in what looks like a pose but is actually me keeping my (apparently tasty) fingers away from the puppy. There is talking, walking by, and even questions unanswered (oops, I forgot you were meditating, mommy).

Of course, I prefer to meditate after they go to school but some days the choice has to be made to do it right then or skip it. Many times I will meditate in the shower or in the car (while in park – safety first). It’s like Green Eggs and Ham: “You can do it in a box, you can do it with a fox…”

No matter how or where you meditate, I have found this to be true: Taking time to clear your mind every day whether it is for 5 or 25 minutes will save your sanity. Period.

Does This Muffin Top Make Me Look Fat?

Since I started working on my eating habits a mere 4 days ago, I have not taken a baseline or tried to mark where I am now to show progress. Instead of taking a picture of myself in a bunch of spandex (no one wants to see that…no one), I hit the mall. The plan: To pick out my goal jeans – well realistic goal jeans – (not the size 0 I will never rationally wear) and try them on. I figured this would be a good gauge (and an excuse to go to the mall) whenever I need a motivator.  Also, I have to lose the weight before they are out of season and get sent to a discount strip-mall store.

The big awesome: The jeans buttoned!! (woot woot). The bigger awesome: (and by this I mean awesome like grand canyon huge awesome) My gargantuan muffin top. It was as if all the fat in my belly and upper thighs was squeezed like a tube of toothpaste and landed in a bulbous swim ring at my waist.

It took a lot of perfume samples to get that picture out of my head.




The Bubble of Protection

Every night I have a bedtime routine for my kids. Each of them has a different routine they have established. Its a way for them to tell their mind to “turn off” and go to bed. Though the beginning of the routine starts differently, then end is the same for all three. I say a prayer and draw a “bubble” around them with my hands. The bubble is the boundary that cannot be broken by anything bad. It establishes God’s protection around my babies and gives them a visual of what they imagine in their heads is the layer of protection provided by the Almighty.

The prayer we say is one I found in a very old children’s book of prayers my Aunt Mary gave to me. All my kids have memorized it through repetition and I thought I would share it with you.

Loving Father, put away,
All the wrong I’ve done today,
Make me sorry, true, and good,
Make me love Thee, as I should,
Help me feel by day and night,
I am ever in Thy sight,
Heavenly Father, hear my prayer,
Take Thy child into Thy care,
Lets Thy angels, pure and bright,
Watch around me, through the night,

Sweet dreams and good night.

Summer Dreams

As a working mom, I’ve always looked at mom’s who get to spend the summer with their children with a tinge of jealousy. The thought of taking off in a minivan with the kids to visit all the relatives across the country, stopping frequently to visit national treasures like the world’s largest ball of string is just plain dreamy.

I love my kids and miss them all day, every day. My kids don’t have a lazy summer, of hitting the pool after rolling out of bed mid-morning. They are up by 7 and out the door to day camp by 8. Most summer mornings they have to make a lunch and pack a backpack. During the day, I worry they aren’t having fun and rush to see them every evening. We rush to evening activities where other teammates are fresh and ready to participate after resting the previous 8 hours.

In reality I know my kids are getting a lot more out of their summer than many other kids. They will not have a shock the first week of school at the early wake up. They have spent their summer in athletic conditioning, riding horses, tubing, swimming, sailing, boating, hiking, learning archery and martial arts, acting in a children’s’ production of “Puss in Boots,” taking trips to amusement parks and water parks and completing their summer reading. We also spent a week on a beach vacation.

The first day of school, I will not have a huge sense of relief that my kids are “finally out of my hair” or feel thrilled to be able to get things done around the house. I will still miss them every day and rush to see them every evening. I have a great appreciation for my time with them and some days (mostly rainy weekends when they are at each other’s throats) I have a great appreciation for my time at work.