Wednesday, June 19, 2013

At least he's honest

I think everyone here knows that Roo isn't going to be winning any gold medals for sleep. (He's been doing much better lately, though. Most nights he either sleeps through the night or wakes up only once, and most mornings he sleeps until at least 6:15 or 6:30.) Between his early-riser-ness (yep, it's a word now.) and the fact that my big kids will finally sleep in (you know, until at LEAST 7:10...), he and I are often up before anyone else.

The last two mornings as we have crept past the big kids' rooms, I have whispered to him, "Shhhhhh. We're going to be very quiet. Can you be very quiet?"

And he has smiled, looked me right in the eye, and said, "Nope!"

In the cutest voice you have ever heard.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I have run the full gamut today. During a grocery shopping trip this morning, I was declared to be "the best mommy EVER" when I dropped a box of frozen smiley-face potatoes in the cart.

My reign as Queen Mama was short-lived, however. I received a new title as the kids cleaned their rooms. When I told Monkey that we would not eat lunch until it was done--and then proceeded to pull out all of the things that were stuffed under beds, dressers, etc--I was promptly renamed "the WORST mommy ever."

I had no idea that my position was so precarious.

Just wait until he finds out that we're having waffles for dinner. Maybe if we eat close enough to bedtime I'll be able to reclaim the more desirable title... and hold it all the way until tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Thank you all for your prayers for Monkey (and me!) yesterday... and for putting up with my multiple Facebook posts... and your patience with my lack of an actual update. It was a long day, but overall it went well.

Monkey had a hard time waking up at 3 AM, and really didn't get up until about 4. I picked him up from his bed and carried him to the (finished) basement to watch some TV, but he just curled up on my lap and slept for another 45 minutes or so. Eventually, though, he roused and watched television until everybody else was up and getting ready.

On the ride to the doctor's office, though, he was starting to fade. I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw his eyelids fluttering. I called out, "Let's play a game!" in some sing-song, fake-high-energy voice that was totally not me. Maybe it's because my eyelids were feeling a little heavy too. But we both stayed awake (whew!) and got to the appointment on time... which turned out to be a mistake, because we sat in the waiting room for an HOUR before they were ready for us. Apparently the first appointment had run long, and now they were backed up. Oy vey. Thank God for technology--Monkey and I must have been quite a site, sitting there with an iPad, iPhone, and Kindle Fire between the two of us...!

Anyway, the EEG itself went fine. He took some stuffed animals along to snuggle (I had to cut him off at three--he had 5 with him in the van, but two were forced to stay behind and stand guard.), and was asleep within minutes. In fact, the hardest part was waking him up!

Afterward we had another long wait, as the doctor had gone to the adjoining Children's Hospital for rounds. So we spent another HOUR getting our screen time for the month (seriously, 3 AM to 7 AM, then an hour in the waiting room, and now this? No wonder Monkey thought it was the "greatest day ever!")

Basically, here's what we found out: not much. Monkey had a seizure during the test, but not one that was physically noticeable. The doctor assured me (and previous experience with nieces and nephews has taught me) that this is not uncommon, although he was suprised by the location of the seizure. He said that kids who get migraines (which he suspects Monkey has) usually have seizures in the very front or very back of the brain, but that his was "deep inside" the brain. I have no idea what that may indicate. But the bottom line is, he doesn't feel that we need to do anything more at this time. As I said before, Monkey hasn't had a headache since school let out last week, so I am really thinking that it's an environmental cause (like the fluorescent lights are bothering his sensitive eyes). For the time being, we're just going to keep his headache journal (which we started back in April) close by and monitor. As long as he doesn't have noticeable seizures or major headaches, we're just going to keep an eye on him. The doctor did give us a sheet about an elimination diet we can try, but he said that it is only effective in about 10% of cases--and again, since he's not having headaches right now, it seems like a silly thing to try. How would we know if it's working? So for now we're just going to hold tight.

I have mixed feelings about this, honestly. I'm glad to know that there is nothing majorly concerning going on in his brain... but I'm a girl who likes answers. WHY is he having headaches, and more importantly, WHAT are we going to do about it? The doctor had initially recommended an MRI as the next step, but given the cost of the test (we have a tremendous deductible, so we would end up paying for the whole thing) and the current level of concern, he suggested we wait and see if it becomes necessary. It's a good decision, but a hard one for this mama who just wants results.

So thanks again for your prayers and for the texts and e-mails and all of the follow-up. Y'all are the best.

And now I'm going to try to catch up on some sleep. :-)

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I have titled and retitled this post a thousand times (Is "retitled" a word? Just go with it.), and I've only just begun to even write it! I come to you tonight, humbly asking for a little prayer, but not necessarily for the reason you might expect.

I don't remember if I have shared this on the blog, but for the past 2-3 months, Monkey has been having chronic headaches. He's always gotten headaches easily, and has often gone through periods of a week or so where he'll get them daily. But when he approached the one-month mark in April, the school nurse and I had a chat about what to do next. We had his eyes checked (they are great), we made sure he was drinking lots of water during the day. What next? We went to our pediatrician, and for the sake of maintaining my image as a sweet, polite, genteel lady (That's how you all see me, right?), I'll just say that she wasn't helpful. And leave it at that. And just swallow the pain from biting my tongue.

ANYWAY, I took him to a neurologist, who believes that Monkey is suffering from a combination of tension headaches and migraines, but he wants to take a closer look, just in case. He scheduled us for an EEG, which is tomorrow.

Think I'm nervous about the EEG? I am. But maybe not for the "right" reasons.

I'm really not worried about the results, not much anyway. I am becoming more and more convinced that much of his problem stems from the fluorsecent lights at the school (He hasn't had a headache since Wednesday, the last day that he spent any real time in the school building. Thursday was their last day for the year, but he was on an all-day field trip that day.), and I don't expect there to be any major findings from this test or the MRI that the doctor wants to do next. (Thanks for helping us reach our deductible for the fourth year in a row, doc.)

I'm more worried about the LOGISTICS of the test. You see, they really want him to fall asleep for the EEG, so our pre-test instructions call for us to keep him up until midnight tonight... and then wake him up at 3 AM. For the day. 3 AM. NOTHING good happens at 3 AM. Then I need to keep him up until the test, which is at 10:30 tomorrow morning. It takes approximately 1.5 hours, after which we'll see the doctor. So just to recap, here's our gameplan for our 6-year-old: stay up until midnight, sleep for THREE HOURS, then wake up (and STAY awake), go to a doctor's office, get him back to sleep (ha ha) with electrodes all over his head, then wake him up again after an hour or so, then stay up until bedtime tomorrow night.

Yep, THAT has my stomach in knots a little. Because I'm not very patient with whiny children. Because I have two other kids who don't really care how much sleep anybody else gets or how that might affect their behavior. Because I'm the one getting up at 3 AM. (Mr. Fantastic is staying up with both big kids until midnight. I can hear the Wii as I type.) Because Monkey is already my emotional, (overly)sensitive child.

And maybe because deep down, I might be just a little bit worried about the results, too.

So if you read this tonight, could you pray that this whole staying up until midnight and getting up at 3 AM thing goes smoothly? And if you are reading this on Monday morning, I'd appreciate a prayer or two for Monkey and me as we head to the neurologist's office. Please pray that he will actually sleep during the test, that I will have peace (which I really do mostly have right now) (mostly), and that we will both be functional until we can get a good night's rest (and that I will remember that *I* am the adult and need to act like one, even when he is not acting like the mature, sophisticated 6-year-old that I feel he should be).

Thanks, friends. I'll keep you posted.