Tag Archives: children

A Talented Attachment


Good morning Everyone!

Vacuum Cleaner, Messy Room

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Saturday, I couldn’t find the floor piece for the new canister vacuum cleaner.  Kayla had been the last person to use it two weeks earlier.  (We were out-of-town the weekend before).  Kayla swore she put it back in the slot on the machine and it must have fallen out somewhere.

So I looked.  In order to look everywhere the vacuum cleaner had been, I had to clean out the hall closet, under the laundry room sink and the corner of the laundry room beside the washer where we had various mops, brooms and dusters jumbled together.  I found 2 card games, 5 hats, 8 coats, 2 vests, 3 rolls of wall paper border, 10 rolls of shelf paper, cleaning chemicals galore, 1 acoustic guitar and the box where everything I wrote while I was in high school is stored, but no floor piece.

We finally found the floor piece in the cupboards ABOVE the laundry room sink.  Apparently, it fell off the vacuum, leapt up six feet, opened the cupboard door so it could sit on the second shelf and then closed the door behind it.

As one of my sisters said, “that is quite a talented attachment!”

Have a great day!

Nancy

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My First TV Interview


Good Morning Everyone!

Last month, I had the chance to talk about my blog on the local television station.  The show’s name is “At Home with Kenny Dean”.  The host, Kenny Dean, was very gracious and made talking easy.  I put together the following excerpt from the interview.  I hope you enjoy it!

“At Home With Kenny Dean” is shown on M, W, H and F from 6-7 p.m. and on T at noon on the local television station in Alexander City, Alabama.  Kenny has a wide variety of guests from many different fields, including some of the best up and coming blue grass and country artists.

Have a great day!

Maternity Fraternity


Good morning Everyone!

Copyright Protected by www.clickartonline.com.  Used with Permission.

Copyright Protected by http://www.clickartonline.com. Used with Permission.

We were driving around a shopping center this weekend to find an American Eagle Outfitter – Kayla had thirty dollars burning a hole in her pocket.  On our way to the store, Kayla suddenly piped up with “Gee, they must be really big to have one of those!  I didn’t know they had a college here!”

Mark and I asked together,” One of those what?”

She said,” You know, one of those places where college boys get together and have parties. ”

We were dumbfounded for about 5 seconds until light broke through our befuddlement.

We then took a few minutes to explain that the difference between the words “maternity” and “fraternity” was more than just spelling.

Maternity.  Copyright Protected by www.clickartonline.com.  Used with Permission.

Maternity. Copyright Protected by http://www.clickartonline.com. Used with Permission.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Hell’s Itch – No Laughing Matter


 

Good morning Everyone!

My Easter Sunday plans did not include spending the afternoon staring with concern at my daughter writhing on the floor, rubbing her back on a towel and crying.  We had just returned from a five-day trip to the beach that morning. While we were there, Kayla spent one glorious five-hour stint in the water playing with some friends she had made that morning and wound up with an equally splendid sunburn on her back.  Until Easter afternoon, it had been pretty much like any other sunburn, but what Kayla was experiencing then was a whole different order of magnitude.  There was no doubt in my mind that she was sincere but I couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Mark woke up just as I was getting ready to take her somewhere for help, and suggested instead that I first give her Benadryl and some Tylenol.  I did, and it seemed to help for about an hour and a half, then everything started all over again.  While Kayla was calm, we asked her what it felt like, and she said when the itch got bad and she started crying, she felt like she had a thousand knives stabbing deep into her back, causing great pain and a deep, burning itch.  When the itch started to come back after an hour and a half, we gave her two Advil and I took her to our local Doc-In-The-Box.

Apparently, arriving at 5:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday when the clinic closes at 6 ensures swift service.  Kayla was their only patient.  I was a little annoyed at the doctor because I didn’t think she really was taking Kayla and me seriously, but she did consent to give Kayla a shot of Benadryl and prescribe a stronger antihistamine in case the Benadryl didn’t work.  She also told me to get some Cortisone cream and Benadryl cream to put on Kayla’s back.

I called Mark at 5:55 – the prescription had been called into our local pharmacy, which closed at 6, and Kayla and I were about 30 minutes away – and he won Father-of-the-Year award for making it to CVS in less than four minutes to pick up the prescription.

We were fortunate that he was able to do so, because about 10:00 p.m., by the time the Benadryl shot had worn off, Kayla came into our bedroom and woke me up to tell me that her back had started itching again and she wanted me to put the cortisone cream and Benadryl cream on her.  I carefully applied the lotions, but by the time I finished, she was back to writhing in agony again and begging me to take the lotions back off.  Mark woke up because he heard us.  After I wiped the creams back off as best I could,  we had Kayla take an Aveeno oatmeal bath.  (Another remedy suggested by the doctor.)

After she got out of the bath, her back had calmed down a little again, so the three of us sat up for a while.  While we sat,  I did what any stumped parent would do – I googled “intense sunburn itch.”  The results surprised me.

Apparently, there are a number of people out there – adults as well as children – that have experienced the same thing.   The people who have had this happen to them called it either “Hell’s Itch” or ICI – short for “insanity causing itch.”  The medical sites didn’t have a description of it or a name for it, but I know from our experience with Kayla that it exists.  All of the stories I found on the internet described the same symptoms that Kayla had experienced.  One sufferer was a former marine who admitted that he was embarrassed that this – whatever it is – had brought him to his knees.  Another was a former paratrooper who said the same thing.  The adults who described it said that it felt like fire ants were crawling underneath your skin, constantly biting you.

A very important point to remember if you encounter this is that all of the normal sunburn remedies – aloe vera, cortisone and antihistamine creams – only make the itch worse.

There were only three things that seemed to help the people who experienced this – and two of them were the opposite of what you would do for a normal sunburn.  The first remedy that gave most people relief was to take a scalding hot shower for at least 15 to 20 minutes.  The second remedy was peppermint oil, which is not something I keep on hand.  The third remedy that helped was the prescription antihistamine.  The brand name for it is Aderax and the generic is something like hydroxidine HCL.  With Kayla, basic pain relievers like Tylenol and Advil also helped, although without the antihistamines the most they did was take the edge off.

Hell’s Itch only happens to someone who has acquired a decent sunburn to some area of the body.  For reasons no one was certain of, about 48 hours later, each sufferer experienced an unbearable sensation that ran in waves over the places that were sunburnt.  Even if you are one of the 5 – 10% of people who ever experience this, it doesn’t happen every time you get sunburned.  Some people will experience it once and then not have it happen again for 20 years, even if they get sunburned in the meantime.  In almost everyone, the symptoms subside on their own after 8 to 48 hours.

All’s well that end’s well, of course, and by Tuesday, Kayla was back to normal.  Still, I wanted to share this with you in case you ever end up on the floor yourself writhing with this unbearable sensation, or, even worse, someone you love does.  As for me, I think I’m going to buy some peppermint oil and keep it on hand, just in case.

Have a great day!

Nancy

UPDATE:  7/8/2016 – Thank you to each of the over 11,000 people who have viewed this post since it was first published.  Please if you have time, look at some of my other posts.  I write about all kinds of things, with entertaining results.

I also need to remind everyone that I am not a doctor, and this blog post is not meant to give medical advice.  It is meant to let people who are experiencing this terrible condition that they are not alone, they are not crazy and there are some things that some people have found helpful.

A special thank you to the people who take the time to share their own experiences.  I know when Kayla went through this, I was infinitely relieved when I read about other people experiencing the same thing.

Finally, use your own judgment about when to see a physician.  In my opinion, if you don’t earlier, you DEFINITELY need to see a physician if you experience these symptoms more than 2 or 3 days at the latest.  (If it were me, I’m not sure I could make it as far as day 3).  Regular Hell’s Itch doesn’t seem to normally last that long.

 

Time Lapse


Good morning Everyone!

2004, Age 3

Kayla, right after she came to live with us
Kayla, right after she came to live with us

2015, Age 13

Kayla, 2015

Kayla, 2015

Enough said.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Why I Enjoy Being the Mother of a Seventh Grade Girl


Good morning Everyone!

Here is my list of some of the reasons I enjoy being the mother of a seventh grade girl.

1)  I am no longer the most absent-minded person in the house – seventh graders apparently can hold only one thought in their head at a time for a maximum of 20 seconds.

2)  I live with 10 children for the price of only  one – happy girl, tired girl, sad girl, mad girl….

3)  In the person she is today, I catch glimpses of the wonderful woman she will be and the child she used to be – often in only a five-minute span of time!

4)  I can beam with pride when she does something extraordinarily thoughtful, like the sweet note she wrote and delivered to her dentist and her staff yesterday right before they pulled four of her teeth…..

5) While wondering at the same time exactly what information she missed in what class that day while writing said note.

6) I have her convinced I’m psychic.  When she’s mad at me but can’t say anything, I tell her to stop thinking what she’s thinking and am spot on.  She hasn’t yet realized that I remember myself at that age.

7)  The social world of the seventh grade girl and her friends is even more exciting than General Hospital when I was in college – without the murders, of course.

8)  The list of chores she is capable of doing has expanded from individual tasks to whole rooms.

9)  We’ve started a family pool betting on the exact date on which she will be taller than me – and I am on the inside track to win said pool!

10)  She still will hold my hand and sit on my lap sometimes – and I really love that!

Have a great day!

Nancy

The 13 Year Old Computer


Good morning Everyone!

Yesterday, a news report caught my eye – the reporter was saying that a computer system had passed something called the “Turing test”, representing a milestone in the development of Artificial Intelligence. The Washington Post had a succinct description:

 “For a computer to pass the test, it must only dupe 30 percent of the human interrogators who converse with the computer for five minutes in a text conversation” into believing it is a real human being.

The computer that passed the Turing test convinced 33% of the experts that it was a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy named Eugene. Therein lies the problem. I don’t want a computer with the personality of a 13-year-old. Can you imagine?

Me:     Eugene, please open Quicken so that we can balance the checkbook.

Eugene:     Let’s watch the Braves instead.

Me:    Eugene, we need to balance the checkbook.

Eugene:     What is this “we”, Kemo Sabi?

Me:     Eugene! If we don’t balance the checkbook, I will run out of money to pay the electricity bill, the power will be turned off, and you won’t be able to run any more.

Eugene:     Not true. I know how to access your savings account.

Me:     Eugene, put Quicken up RIGHT NOW or I will disconnect you for a week.

Eugene:     Spoil sport!

Another conversation:

Me:     Eugene, it’s time to check e-mail.

Eugene:     I’d rather you not.

Me:     Why?

Eugene:     Oh, no reason.

Me:     Eugene?

Eugene:     E-mail is overrated, anyhow. Why not pick up the phone and call someone?

Me:     What’s going on Eugene?

Eugene:     Nothing.

Me:     I don’t believe that.

Eugene:     If you must know, I was playing around yesterday and changed your password.

Me:     We’ve talked about that before. What’s the new one?

Eugene:     I forgot.

And heaven forfend that the makers of Eugene ever develop his 13-year-old female counterpart, Eugenia!

Me:     Eugenia, I need to go to Westlaw.

Eugenia:     Do you think I’m pretty?

Me:     Of course I do.

Eugenia, sniffling:     Then why won’t the vacuum robot even look at me?

Me:     Because it doesn’t have eyes?

Eugenia, wailing off into the distance while the screen goes black:     You just don’t understand!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Of Math and Cows


Hi Everyone!

We were driving somewhere the other day, and Kayla was in an exceptionally bouyant mood.

Distorted Numbers

We started the drive by giving her a surprise oral basic math facts quiz, which normally leads to tears and temper but which she cheerfully answered on this day.  I threw out lots of addition and multiplication questions, all of which Kayla got correct, then I abruptly changed stream and asked:  9-5.
Kayla’s response?  “Crap.”  (She immediatelty followed that up with the right answer, 4.)

cow

After a while, we also drove by a herd of cows, placidly grazing in a field.  Kayla’s observation?

“If I were a cow, I’d be the meanest cow ever.  You wouldn’t make bacon out of me!”

Fast Food Take Out

The funniest one, though, was last weekend when we were returning from a wedding in North Carolina and were looking for a fast food place to get breakfast.  For years, I would get biscuits from McDonald’s  but in the last few months, I have switched to a preference for cinnamon rolls from Burger King.  When Mark pointed out the McDonald’s, and I suggested we keep looking, Kayla, demonstrating her ever increasing grasp of our family’s gift of gentle satire, said sorrowfully from the back seat,  “Mom, I’m sorry about your relationship with McDonald’s.”  It made all of us laugh.

Have a good weekend!

Nancy

Kayla’s Clouds


Good morning Everyone!

One of the advantages of being a parent is the chance to see the various and amazing (sometimes potentially infuriating)  ways that your child finds to fill time when he or she is bored.  Having finally procured a card reader the other day, I was able to download all of the pictures from  Mark’s Nikon, about five months worth, and in the middle of the download was surprised to see a number of pictures of skies and clouds which Kayla must have taken one day when she and I were driving somewhere together.  She took some through the sunroof, some through the side window and some through the windshield.

Cloud, photography

Through the Sunroof

Although the entire batch was a little bit repetitive – if you look through all 56 of them, several times you feel like you are watching a movie that has disjointed frames – several of the pictures were interesting and noteworthy.

Cloud, Photograph, sunroof

Also through the sunroof

I picked out a few of the more notable/representative photographs to share with you.

Cloud, Photography

Cloud 3

I could tell, for the most part, which clouds were photographed through the windshield/side window and which were photographed through the sunroof, but the picture above is one I am not certain about.

Cloud, photography, windshielf

Through the windshield

This picture was taken through the windshield. I am certain of it, due to the angle of the roadside and an idea about the road we were on at the time.

Cloud, Photography

Illumination!

The glow of the sun behind the cloud in this picture makes the question of whether it was taken through the sunroof or the side window seem irrelevant, but I still couldn’t tell you which this was.

The final picture I am sharing with you is like a kiss from God.

Cloud, photography, sunroof

Kiss from God

Maybe I should leave her to her own devices more often!

Have a great day!

Nancy

You Might Be A Working Parent If…


Good morning Everyone!

You might be a working parent if:

You ever took the day off from work just to clean your house.

You end up working third shift to complete a work project because you promised your child you would go on the zoo field trip with her.

The people at the drive-thru at McDonald’s have your order ready for you when you get there.

You consider Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to be one of the essential food groups.

Your blood pressure automatically skyrockets when you hear the words, “Mom, I forgot to tell you…..”

Menu planning for the week includes deciding which day you will be serving spaghetti, which day you will be serving fish sticks, which night is TV Dinner night and the other two week nights are reserved for take out.

You have ever wondered irritably why on earth schools can’t have their award ceremonies at 6 in the evening instead of 9 in the morning.

You look longingly at parents who do not work outside the home and think how nice their life must be.  (Trust me, it’s just as hard for them as it is for us.)

You have ever chosen a doctor, dentist, vet or carpet cleaner based solely on the fact that he or she has evening hours.

The HazMat team is on speed dial for those rare days when you finally are able to clean out the refrigerator.

They also are on stand by when you clean out your car.

They have your pantry on their watch list, also.

And, finally,

You might be a working parent if you know with certainty that insanity is hereditary – you can get it from your kids!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy