Monday, April 30, 2012

Its Official. She's Broken.

Today pretty much sucked.
When you are a parent, the last thing you want is to see your child hurt or hurting, and know there is nothing you can do to change it.
When your child breaks a limb, there really isn't anything you can do to fix it.  You can hold them.  You can snuggle them.  You can whisper in their ear and tell them it will all be ok, but none of that really makes it better, or takes the break away.
Today, we found out The Biggest One really did break her ankle.  It sucked.
First, I had to deal with Balboa.  Not a happy camper.  An appointment that we were told would take about 30 minutes lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes.  I was overwhelmed by their inefficiency once again.  I got argumentative with the Physician's Assistant who ended up taking me into a room and going over the x-ray with me very slowly to make her case.  If she had only led with the statement that the ankle was broken, versus "we treat it like a break no matter what" I might have been more receptive.  She didn't though.  We were shuffled around for what seemed like forever, between exam rooms, x-ray, back to the lobby, again to exam rooms, back to x-ray again, etc.  When it was all said and done, though, what mattered is that she broke her ankle.
     She was a trooper at first.  She was ok until they sent us for a second set of x-rays, to be sure she hadn't broken her foot, too.  As we sat down, she lost her composure completely.  I got her up, sat down, and pulled her on my lap.  "I'm too big to sit on you, Mom."  She didn't want to hurt me.  "Never", I told her. I pulled her to me, and just hugged her.  I told her that I knew it sucked.  It was terrible, but it was simply part of life.  Things happen.  Balloons pop.  We would just have to get through the sucky part, to get back to the good part.  She was so unhappy.
We got a cast put on, and thankfully, they decided she could have a walking cast.  That was a serious blessing, because not being physically gifted to begin with, the crutches were just another accident waiting to happen.  Seriously.
Walking out made her happy.  She walked funny, but she could walk.
Then, we got home, and she started to worry.  She worried about what people would say to her.  She was honestly worried about people picking on her for having broken her leg.  We talked.  We snuggled some more.
Sometimes, being a parent is just heartbreaking.
I wish I could take it away.  I wish I could make it better. I know that I can't, though.
She will be fine in a few weeks.  It is going to suck.  It is going to be a crappy thing to get through, but she will get through it.  When she comes out, she will be a stronger person for having dealt with it all, too. At least, that is my hope.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hip Hip Hurrah!

Today is a fantastic day.
Forget the fact that I didn't go to bed until about1:30am, got back up at 2:30am to see my husband off to drive hours away to take yet another application exam for a police officer, and didn't get back to bed until 3:30.  Then, I was woken up at 4:30 for milk.  None of that matters.
All that matters today, is that it is The Littlest One's birthday!!  She is one today.  I really can't believe how fast this year has gone by.  With the deployments, and trying to transition our lives, it seems like everything is moving so fast, especially her.  I want her to slow down.  She is my last baby, but she won't be a baby much longer.  She has been walking for months.  She is super strong willed, very curious, and full of so much personality that she amazes me all the time.  She loves to play games with us already.  We don't just play peek a boo, she plays hide and seek.  She chases use around the house in an actual game of chase, and she loves it.
As if today wasn't special enough just being about her, she decided to show us how big she is by saying The Medium One's name.  She says it just beautifully, too.  She has been trying for a while, but she got it today. She loves to stand at the bottom of the stairs and call for her.  It's incredibly cute.  I'm pretty sure it won't be any time before The Medium One is tired of hearing it, but for now, we all love to hear The Littlest One say it over and over again.
She is definitely growing up.  I love her deeply, and can't wait to see what the future holds!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Crutch Files

Today we had a follow up appointment with The Biggest One for her ankle injury.  I had sincerely hoped that  it would be over and done with today, and that she would walk out on two feet.  No such luck.
Instead, the Dr looked at her still swollen, ugly, painful ankle, and decided that she needed to see an orthopaedic specialist.  She has to continue to wear the air cast, and stay off her foot until she gets in.  The Dr advised me to call back to the children's hospital, and try to get her an appointment.  Hopefully we can get her there within another week.
I really hope this is just a "better safe than sorry" kind of appointment.  The Dr just couldn't tell what was going on, and I hope she just wants to be sure.  I don't want anything else to be wrong.  This isn't easy for anyone, but its really hard for a child, especially one that can't use crutches well, at all.  She is terrible at them.  I think they are almost more of a hazard to her than a help.  As a result, she has used them very, very little this far and we haven't gone anywhere for a week.
So, keep your fingers crossed for us.  We want this to be an easy turn over, and be all done in a week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

And This Is Why

I have said it many times before, and I will say it many more times, I love all of my children.  They are all special in their own ways.  As such, we treat each of our children differently, according to their own needs, abilities, and demeanours.  The Big One is very intelligent, but not so gifted in the common sense and physical prowess areas.  As such we tend to put things of a physical or sporty nature on the back burner for her.  In fact, we often forget about them all together.  Hence the reason she didn't learn to ride a bike without training wheels until just about a week or so ago.  My Husband had tried.  Honestly he had.  I had tried.  We worked at it.  The Big One was terrified, though, and it just wasn't happening.  So, we never pushed it.  We would try for a while, see how banged up she got, realize that she wasn't ready, and wait a while.
     A few weeks ago, not long after he came home this time, My Husband decided it was finally time for sure.  He was ready for her to be ready.  She is, after all, nearing nine years old.  So, he started working with her again.  She did better.  She did much better.  They would work at it for a few hours at a time.  I would help out when he couldn't take it anymore.  It became a family thing.  The Medium One (I think I like that better than The Big Little One for a name) hadn't ever ridden on a two wheel bike before.  We just pulled out The Biggest One's old bike, and put her on it.  Off she rode.  That one does have training wheels, but I would venture they aren't long for the bike.  So, she would ride while The Biggest One would ride.  The Littlest one would sit in a wagon, a stroller, or even on a little tricycle and get a ride, too.

     It took a few weeks, or weekends at least, but finally, this past Saturday, it all clicked.  She could not only ride, but she could turn, and she was doing it all pretty well.  We were all out there watching the kids ride, until it was time for The Littlest One to get some milk and nap.  The two of us came in, and were inside for about 30 minutes, when the back door came open, and I instantly heard crying.  My husband walked in, carrying something over his shoulder.  It was The Biggest One.  Not a good sign.  He sat her down, and as she is trying to describe her wreck to me, though tear filled sobs, he is standing over her, making gestures and facial expressions  to indicate that it was a nasty spill.  She finished her story, and basically said that she had hurt her ankle, and couldn't walk on it.  I am particularly sensitive to injuries like this, having a lost a year to of my life to an ankle injury with 5 surgeries when I was younger.  So, I checked her carefully.  She really couldn't move it.  It hadn't started to swell, yet, but I feared it would soon.  I decided we would give her 30 minutes, and then recheck.  My husband ran out to get gas, just in case, and came back just in time.  The recheck was worse.  It was still extremely painful, but had started to swell, even with ice on it.  I called our insurance to let them know we were headed to the ER, and we all got ready.  The Biggest One was so upset, she couldn't even think about hopping.  So, her father fireman carried her over his shoulder again all the way out to the truck.  We all loaded up, and off we went the Rady Children's Hospital, which is thankfully only a mile from our house.
     When we got there, My Husband dropped the two of us off at the ER.  I helped her hobble inside, and sat her just in the door while I went to check in.  After waiting in line a bit behind people who think the ER is where you go when your kids have a cold, we got called up.  I told the Triage Nurse what had happened, and pointed out The biggest One, still sitting near the door.  Thanks to the head injury that resulted in an ambulance ride there, she was already in the system, and it only took a minute to get her all registered.
     Actually, I have to say that this was one of the fastest visits to an ER ever.  We only sat in the lobby for about 10 minutes at most before we were called back.  I put her in a wheel chair, and took her back.  They did a quick exam, and sent us straight to x-ray, then back out to the lobby.  After about another 10 minutes, they came to take us to a room.  The nurse put us in the room, closed the door, and it opened right back up by the Dr.  So fast that I said comment about it out load.  The Dr did another exam, and by this point her ankle was nearly the size of a grape fruit and was extremely painful.  The news wasn't great.  Not terrible either, though.  There was no break on the x-ray, but at this age, their growth plates are still open, and there could be one in there.  Those breaks don't show up on x-rays.  So, we have to go back in a week and take a second x-ray.  If there is a break, it will form a calcification as it heals, and that will show up.  That is the only way to tell if she has a break or not right now.  She also has a really bad sprain for sure.  She has to use crutches and wear an air cast.  Not fun stuff.
     All of that is a total bummer.  She was upset.  I'm worried.  A lot.  Like I said, I'm very sensitive to this king of thing since my was changed forever by having an ankle injury.
    The only upside is that for now she is still out of school, since she is on a year round track.  We have a week to get better before we have to worry about going back and dealing with crutches and school, which I think do not mix.
     I'm hoping for the best.  It could be just a sprain and were done. Fingers and toes crossed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Promised No Pictures

This morning is a big morning around our house.  It is actually the first of two big mornings in a row.  Right now, as I type, My Husband is off taking the written test to apply for the San Diego Sheriff's Department.  Yikes!  It is a little scary and very nerve wracking.  We have been leading up to this for a while.  He has applied to seven different agencies in three different states, all in the hopes of landing a law enforcement job somewhere.  This is the first test he will take out of all of them.
Even though yesterday was tax day, and I spent a great deal of time working on three sets of taxes for other family members, we also spent a good portion of the day getting him ready for today, mostly by buying him clothes.  He had none.  The proper dress for this test is business casual.  When you have been in the military for 20 years, you don't necessarily have business casual clothes. The clothes he did have, he likes to wear baggy, and they wouldn't be appropriate for this.  When we started thinking about it, we probably haven't bought him any nice clothes since his sister got married years ago.  In fact, he may have even had the clothes before that.  I think it has been 10 years since we last bought him nice dress shoes, slacks, or anything like that.  I know that sounds crazy, but when you wear a uniform of some sort every single day, you just don't have to deal with other business attire, and you only want super casual clothes for your days off.
So, last night, we went out in search of the right look.  As I don't buy men's clothes on a regular basis, either, I wasn't totally on the ball with everything either.  Thankfully, I had a life line.  I have a fabulous friend that I simply texted "Fashion help!" to, and she came to the rescue with clothing advice and business casual rules.  I love her.   I should have just taken her shopping with us.  My Husband would have come out looking hella fabulous.  As it is, I think we did pretty good.  I tired to take a picture to post of him, but he "politely" request that I nowt.  I think he looked great when he walked out the door this morning.   Good enough that I was trying to get some extra kisses in.  He wasn't having it, though.  His nerves were getting the better of him.  The test was at 8:00am.  The place is 3 miles from our house.  He was told to be there thirty minutes before the start.  He left at 6:50am.  Can you feel the nervous energy?
This test may determine the rest of our lives.   We will seriously take the first place that accepts him, and offers him a job.  So, where we live, or don't live, may in part be determined this morning.  I
am hoping for the best.  I have faith in him.  I know he can do well on this test, and every other step of the process.  Now, I'm going to go get dressed for the day, and find something to do to calm my nerves while we wait a little more.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Best Day

Today was a good day.  I would even dare say today was a great day.
It was, of course, Easter Sunday, but that is only part of what made it a great day.
Last Easter, I was very pregnant, and The Littlest One was born 4 days later.  My husband was just barely in from yet another deployment.  There was just too much going on.
This year, we were able to plan better.  I had help getting everything together and done.
We did all of the standard Easter stuff.  There were baskets filled with goodies by the back door.  Eggs had mysteriously appeared outside to hunt.  There were some pretty fantastic things found in them, including a little money.  We had a gloriously huge breakfast, something we love to do on Easter and Christmas.  All of the things you need for a good Easter were there.

What I think made it the best day of all those of late, though, is that we quite worrying, and just enjoyed being together today.  Things have gotten so stressful, with My Husband's impending transition to civilian life and trying to get a job, that we spend most of our time worrying, and planning, and planning to worry.  Not today.
Today, we played.  We spent hours outside trying to teach The Big One to ride her bike with no training wheels.   I know she is behind on that, but we are working on it.  She did pretty well.  We put The Little Big One on The Big One's old bike, and she took off like a champ.  My Husband, always the more adventurous one, put The Littlest One  on the push along tricycle, an even in the power wheels Barbie Jeep.  She loved them both, and decided she was just as cool as the big kids.
WE must have spent hours in the back alley way, just hanging out.  It was seriously great.
We need more days like this in our lives, where we don't have to worry about everything going on.  I think everyone needs more days like this.  They are far and few between.  So we should enjoy them, and truly relish in them when you can.  Today, we did.
I hope all of you find some fantastic days like that with your family soon, too.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

Being a military spouse, I would say that I have spent a great deal of time playing the waiting game.  In between trying to get orders, deployments, moving, and everything else we do, it seems like waiting is what we do most.  I really thought that when we started to transition over to civilian life, that would change, but in fact, it seems to be at its worst.
My husband has decided to go into law enforcement.  He wants to be a police officer.  I totally support him in this.  I think this is a great career move for him.  He is totally dedicated to the idea, and having spent the last decade as a military family, I think the lifestyle will be more like what we already know.
Since he was deployed until close to the end of February, we have been working on getting him a job since he came home.  The problem is, everything from here on out is a waiting game.  There are a lot of steps that you much go through to get a law enforcement job, much more than a normal job.  We do one little piece, then wait.  Something else, then wait.  You get it. First, we built his resume.  Then we needed references.  Pretty much all the people he works with were on leave.  So, we waited until everyone came back to work to ask to use them as references, or at least until we could actually get in touch with them since so many were traveling.  We submitted his application, and then found out we needed his diploma and things like that.  We waited for it to come in the mail.  We sent that off, and waited for an email confirmation from each city.  After that, we did some secondary tests.  Some cities we are still waiting for that step on, more than a month later.  We are finally onto the written in house tests for a few places that he must go to each location for, and in one city past that, but the wait after those is excruciating.  It takes weeks to get your test results back, and find out if you passed with a high enough score to move on.  Each an every step has a wait in between and the waits can be a week, a month, or more.

We have very little time left.  He has just under one month before we go on what is called terminal leave.  That basically means he saved up a lot of vacation days and gets to use them all at the end of his final enlistment to give us time to move and get settled in.  Of course, when you don't know where you are going, that time doesn't do you much good.  We have only three and a half months total before he is totally out of the military.  That's it.   All done.  Three and a half months is nothing when it takes up to a year to get a law enforcement job.  WE would have started earlier, but its nearly impossible when deployed.
Then, on top of all that, we have one of the largest bureaucratic oversights ever made to deal with.  When you want to apply for any job, and that job gives veterans preference, the job requires a copy of your DD214, the form military members are given when they get out.  Problem is, you don't get it until you get out.  That actually changed recently, and you can get the form, for the purposes of getting  job, a little bit before you get out.  My Husband will get his in May.  Again, we need it before May.  Each time he applies somewhere, we have to explain he is military, but active duty.  So, he doesn't have the form.  Then, he may or may not be eligible to claim veterans preference, based on the sole discretion and understanding of whomever answers that phone.  Some places have accepted a letter from the command stating that he will retire with an honorable discharge.  Some have not.  So, we wait.  Longer and longer, making it harder an harder to find a job, let alone the right job.
This all blows my mind.  You would think that being in the military, already having his government clearance, and being exactly the kind of person that any law enforcement agency would want with all the training he already has, that this would go fast, but that simply isn't true.  So, I sit here this morning, waiting, to see what we can do next.  I'm tired of waiting.  I'm over it.   I want to be able to tell my children where we are going to live in a couple of month.  I want to start looking for a house, and not just dreaming about a house.  I want to move on with my life.  Hopefully soon, because seriously, I can't wait.