Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

Nap Time? Not Really May 29, 2010

Filed under: Kids,Love — Steph @ 11:27 am
Tags: , ,

Yesterday was a LONG day.  I will write about it tomorrow.  I just wanted to say apparently Mother Nature was reading my post yesterday because she took her meds.  It was a gorgeous day!  I even dare say it was a bit too hot!  No rain as was predicted.  We did have some rain in the middle of the night but none to spoil our fun day at the school.  Also?  The weather report has changed for the weekend and while it’s supposed to be cool it is NOT supposed to rain!  I am awesome that way.  You’re welcome!

_______________________________________________

I live for Elizabeth’s nap time.  It drives my mom and my MIL crazy.  She doesn’t nap in her own bed.  She did until after the fire and then she didn’t anymore.  At first I thought it was the upheaval.  Then I thought, well duh; she napped in my bed or my mom’s bed the whole time we stayed there after the fire, she’s just confused.  Not only will she not nap in her own bed but she insists I lay down with her.  This is where my mom and MIL enter in.  They don’t like to lay down with her and she doesn’t nap well for them on the rare occasion she’s at one of their houses during nap time.  I don’t mind.  In fact it’s my favorite time of day.  Why?  Because nap time = snuggle time.  Elizabeth is a lot like an unbroken colt.  She’s always kicking and bucking and trying to run through fences but at times you see a glimpse of the heart in her.  Nap time is one of the few times I see that glimpse.  She’s not a snuggler, she never has been.  Not even as an infant.  She snuggles when she’s sick and when she’s exhausted.  Never any other time.  Any other time she’s testing those fences for weak wire or a gap big enough to fit through.  So when I say “it’s nap time” and she says “you coming to lay down with me” I say “of course” and I relish it.  I lay next to her and she snuggles up with me, laying as close as possible without actually laying on top of me.  Before she falls asleep she talks while we snuggle.  It’s usually a very deep conversation for her.  Whatever has been going on in her amazingly active head that day comes out at nap time.  The other day?  It was monsters.  Here’s the conversation:

E: My baby needs a bandaid for her broken heart

Me: OK, but where is her heart?

E: I don’t know mommy

Me: Do you know where your heart is?

E: I don’t have a heart

Me: Of course you do, everyone does.  It’s in your chest.

E: I don’t have a chest, what’s a chest?

Me: Well it’s right here above your tummy

E: My heart isn’t in my tummy, I don’t have a heart

Me: I promise you do, right here

E: No, because there’s cheese in there and I pooped out the cheese

Me: *snort* well you can’t poop out your heart

E: The monster stole my heart

Me: What monster?  There’s no such thing as monsters *she DOES NOT believe this no matter how many times I tell her*

E: Yeah huh, in my closet and he stole my heart.

Me: *laying my head on her chest* I can hear your heart beating right here where it belongs

E: It’s a pink, poofy heart with sparkles.

Me: Of course and monsters that don’t exist certainly don’t like pink, poofy, sparkly things.

E: I hope I don’t poop out my heart tomorrow *she says it like tamarrow with a short ‘a’ sound for some reason she has a bit of a Texas accent a lot of times despite being a Wyoming kid*

Me: Me too

How can you not live for that time of day?  They say I am missing out because I could use that time to do housework, have some downtime, take a shower, etc… They say she’s too old to nap in my bed.  I say she will never be too old for my favorite part of the day and they’re the ones missing out.  I so hope I’m right!

PS/I did NOT explain the digestive system to her.  I have NO idea where she learned where poop comes from, I’ve actually been contemplating that since this conversation took place.

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Spring, Spring, Springity, Spring, Spring May 28, 2010

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life — Steph @ 9:04 am
Tags: , , , ,

I usually LOVE Spring.  I mean I really do.  It’s my all time favorite season.  Probably because I’m an animal lover and oh, oh, OH the babies!!  Also because I LOVE to toil in the dirt and plant things and work in my yard and HELLO it’s Spring!  This year though?  Not loving it so much so far.  Don’t get me wrong I love seeing the calves, lambs, bird’s nests that surely have eggs in them, chicks, ducklings, goslings, etc…  and I LOVE that it’s SO green this year, but it’s been impossible to really enjoy Spring this year.  Let me tell you why:

  • Spring in Wyoming is volatile at best.  We have our worst snowstorms in the Spring.  We can go all year with minimal snow and come April and May watch out!   You could have 70 degrees one day and a foot of snow the next!  When I was young I just loved this.  The big Spring snowstorms meant snow measured in feet rather than inches and it meant heavy, wet snow that’s perfect for building snow forts and snow men.  It also meant you could go outside the next day and actually play in the snow because it’s not 50 below zero with the windchill.  It rarely hits 50 below here in ambient temperature but the wind blows CONSTANTLY here so you never hear someone say it’s -15 with a windchill of -50.  Instead it’s “well it’s -50 today”.  In Spring it’s rarely cold so the kids can actually play in all of that lovely white fluff!  This year though?  We had two piddly snowstorms, but we’ve had rain.  Oh my gosh the rain!!  A friend from high school actually posted on her Facebook status “welcome to Seattle, Wyoming”.  I felt the SAME way.  It has been crazy!!  Last week it POURED rain for two straight days.  Some places had 4 inches of rain in 24 hours.  That caused a bunch of flooding both indoors and out for a lot of people.  For us it was a great test of our new house.  We discovered our house doesn’t leak!  However we didn’t have a chance to put up window well covers since we moved in January and when one window well had 6 inches of rain standing in it the window did start to seep around the frame.  All in all not bad though.  Then the day before yesterday the Spring storms really hit with a vengeance.  They are early this year.  VERY early.  Usually it’s mid to late June before we see severe weather.  This year?  We had tornado watches, actual funnel clouds were formed (thankfully not touching down), and then it HIT and we had golf-ball sized hail driven by 40 mile an hour winds.  First, I wanted to cry because hello, new house!!  Then I just prayed the windows would hold!!  Elizabeth was absolutely terrified and Joey?  Joey had a panic attack.  I should probably stop here and tell you why hail scares Joey.  A few years ago we were at Relay For Life (something we did every year from the time  he was a newborn, there was even a write up in the hospital newsletter about the then 4-year-old who had been on the hospital’s team since infancy but that’s a story for another time) anyway, we were at Relay and all of the sudden the radio dj’s came over the loud speakers and said “GO HOME NOW”.  The sense of urgency was something I can’t quite convey.  There was a major storm coming with tornadoes and large hail and it was heading straight for us.  I threw Joey in the car and headed home.  We made it almost home before the hail stones started hitting the car.  We stopped in the middle of the road with the other cars and ALL I could see was a wall of black with HUGE white stones hammering us.  The first stone cracked the windshield of my car and they just.kept.hitting.  With every stone it broke a little more.  I can not tell you how terrifying that was.  I was stuck in the car with my 4-year-old and I was FREAKING OUT.  I quickly grabbed him out of the booster seat and threw him on the floor under the dashboard and covered him with my body.  I can’t even tell you how loud it was.  Then all of the sudden horns were honking and cars stopped around us started hauling ass out of there.  I risked a glance around and still all I could see was this wall of black but I noticed the wind had picked up.  I weighed my options and figured the cars facing us must have a better view and if they were moving we better move too.  Driving in that?   It causes the hail to hit harder.  By now I was shaking like a leaf and trying so hard to stay composed so as not to scare Joey worse but inside?  I was saying silent prayers with fervor and crying.  We made it home fairly quickly and GOD BLESS FORD because my windshield held.  I would later see that the only place it actually punched clear through the windshield was in the upper most portion of the windshield.  Oddly enough that’s the thickest glass.  My car was completely hammered but somehow that glass held.  By the time we got home the storm had passed but within a few minutes I would find out what prompted those cars to move.  What I couldn’t see was a tornado bearing straight down on us, driving those baseball sized hail stones.  So, you can see why Joey is terrified of storms.  At 10-years-old he still suffers from some PTSD from that day and I think probably always will.  The storms the day before yesterday weren’t even close to as bad as that one was years ago but they were bad enough.  Half of the town is hail damaged.  My house thankfully suffered no damage.  The hail here was ping pong ball sized, as it moved past us they got bigger, by the time it made it’s way a little further north they were golf-ball sized and they caused a lot of damage, the 40 mile per hour winds didn’t help.  My dad’s cars on his car lot took some serious damage, my brother’s house did as well.  A friend’s house really got hammered and had broken windows and skylights and water poured in to her house.  It’s not over by a long shot.  It’s early.  Today they are predicting similar storms and possibly even worse.  The Storm Chasers are in town (or so I’ve been told)!  That my friends is NEVER a good sign!  So, I’m not loving the weather this Spring at all, even though you get used to it, when it hits this early you can only assume it’s going to get worse and when you’ve had a house destroyed you really don’t want to think about what could happen to the new house you just bought!  Thankfully no one was seriously injured or killed during our storms, people here know, if they issue a warning you get your butt in the house and stay there.
  • I just realized pretty much all of the reasons I’m not loving Spring center around the weather!  Sorry to be redundant!  Anyway, can you say cabin fever?  Elizabeth is bored, I am bored.  If it’s not raining it’s MUDDY.  The playgrounds are under water so we can’t go play at them.  Our yard is a muddy mess because we haven’t landscaped it yet so we can’t really play there.  We did take advantage of the break in the weather yesterday and go ride bikes on the road, but we want to go play on the slides and swings.  Elizabeth wants to play in the sand and/or dirt.  I want to plant flowers and get my yard in order.  Without slogging through the mud we just can’t do any of this.  Elizabeth is actually amusing herself by (not kidding here) either playing with her big ball in the house, rolling it around calling it “baby” and treating it like a baby doll (no I have no clue why, she has a million actual baby dolls) and/or last night and today she’s playing with plastic clothes hangers and her toy necklaces?  I have no idea people.  I am thankful she has a very active imagination that keeps her busy most of the time.  The rest of the time she’s been a challenge.  We tried the public library a few weeks ago and that was a DISASTER.  She just does NOT have the patience to be good in the library.  I am signing her up for dance class and swimming lessons when they open registration because I am just exhausted.  I would also love a shower but I can’t take one unless someone else is home because she’ll spend that 10 minutes getting in to something she’s not supposed to be in to.  It’s a good thing we’re stuck inside because in a stiff wind I might be toxic to bystanders.
  • My allergies are KILLING me.  I have had miserable seasonal allergies forever.  When I was young I spent my Summers anywhere but at home.  That usually meant at my grandma’s house in Colorado or at my uncle’s ranch.  Before I could go either place I would have to have allergy shots.  With all this moisture the pollen count is off the charts and my head feels like it’s going to explode.  Today is Joey’s field day at school and Elizabeth and I are going but I feel awful.  Hopefully the Sudafed kicks in soon and I’m going to have to make an appointment for allergy shots or I won’t make it through the rest of the storm season.
  • School is out next week.  Joey will be home all day.  I am actually excited about this because he can entertain his sister so I can shower every day!  I don’t know how I’ll handle that!!  I am praying the weather eases off a bit.  I am hoping to set up some play dates with my nephews since there really aren’t any kids on our street and as much as I love them all I do not want to be cooped up inside with all four kids.  We want to be able to go to the pool or the playground and/or play in the yard!

The kids and I are going to tackle Spring cleaning this weekend.  I wanted to spend the weekend planting flowers and playing in the dirt but the weather is supposed to be horrible so I am going to hold off buying my flowers.  So far the forecast looks better for next week so I’m hoping to be able to get out there and start playing in the dirt.  I just hope I can breathe while doing it!!

 

Happy Mother’s Day May 9, 2010

Filed under: Family,Kids — Steph @ 12:07 pm

I am having a great Mother’s Day and I hope the rest of you are as well!  I am a little bummed this year though.  Usually Mother’s Day is my favorite holiday.  Not because I get gifts, or cards, or anything like that, I usually don’t I prefer it that way.  I much prefer the home made gifts Joey brings home from school.  Usually we get to spend Mother’s Day outside in the yard.  For us it’s almost always the real start of Spring around here.  It usually marks the beginning of the safe planting season in our crummy climate.  Not this year!  If you know me at all you know that one of my favorite past times is working in my yard and garden.  Usually on Mother’s Day I get to go pick out flowers and start planting!  This year though Mother Nature is still suffering from a serious case of PMS and we’re supposed to have more snow next week.  No planting for us in the foreseeable future and I am so excited to get planting this year since I have this great big blank canvas this year at our new house!!

That’s OK though!  Instead I am spending a lazy day with my kiddos and of course there’s never anything better than that!!  I hope you’re all having a great day!!

 

Mornings May 7, 2010

Filed under: ADHD,Kids — Steph @ 8:27 am

I loathe mornings.  When I was younger I loathed them for entirely different reasons.  I was NEVER a morning person.  Even clear up until a couple of years ago I was not a morning person.  For some reason after the fire that changed.  I go to bed earlier and get up earlier and I don’t hate mornings.  I actually love my time in the mornings before the kids get up.  I have a cup of coffee with one or all of my dogs and just enjoy the quiet.  Then Joey gets up and I am thrust in to some kind of torture I surely haven’t done anything to deserve!!

The child is a dawdler of the variety I can not adequately express in words!  I can wake him up two hours before the school bus is due and he will STILL be rushing out the door as she’s honking her horn!!  It.drives.me.crazy!!  I don’t know how to fix it.  I have tried everything from waking him up two hours early so he has that time to dawdle to waking him up thirty minutes early so he doesn’t.  It makes absolutely no difference.  He will inevitably be in that rush to get out the door before the driver of the bus gives up and drives off.

I’ve tried laying his clothes out the night before, whether I choose them or he does it makes no difference.  The morning will come and with the morning sun comes the inevitable decision “Mom, I can’t possibly wear THAT to school”.  Then I send him to his room to get dressed in whatever outfit he’s finally deemed acceptable and it will take him 45 minutes to put on his pants.  By this time I am not so quietly reminding him the bus will be here in 20, 15, 10, 5 minutes…  He NEVER has time for breakfast.  If he’s up two hours early he will still not have take the time for breakfast.  I will ask him 100 times what he wants and 100 times he’ll say “I’m not hungry yet” or “there’s no food in the house”.  Of course that’s not true.

So today he was up in plenty of time as usual.  Thirty minutes before the bus is due to arrive I tell him to go get dressed.  Thus begins my every five minute reminding him he needs to get a move on.  Today five minutes before the bus was due it was “mom I can’t find socks” so I dutifully find him the socks.  Then three minutes before the bus is due it’s “I need a sandwich, my teacher is making egg salad for lunch today and I HATE egg salad, I can’t possibly eat that, I will starve!”.  I allowed as how he had PLENTY of time early in the morning to make said sandwich and he chose to use his time poorly so he was just going to have to ask his teacher to allow him to get a hot lunch from the lunch room or eat the egg salad that I assured him WILL NOT kill him.  As he’s stomping out the door I explain I am NOT making an entire bus full of children late to school because he chose to wait until the last minute to bring up the sandwich issue.

He stomps out, slams the door and mumbles to himself all the way down the driveway to the bus.  I am quite certain I do not want to know what was being mumbled.

Just another typical morning around here.  Man I love ADHD in the mornings!  It totally sets the tone for my whole day!

 

Randomness April 30, 2010

Filed under: Blogging,Family,Fire,Kids,Life,Uncategorized — Steph @ 9:19 am

It is snowing today and of course the wind is blowing.  A couple of weeks ago we had days in the 70’s and Elizabeth and I spent a lot of time at the park.  The last two weeks it’s been windy, rainy, cold or dreary and now it’s snowing.  Wow I love Wyoming in the Spring!  We have cabin fever big time.

The man who bought our house has completed the re-construction.  They offered to give us a tour.  I am the ONLY one not interested.  Joe hooked some friends of ours up with our realtor’s information because they’re looking for a rental.  They are going to look at our old house because it’s close to town, work, etc…  There. is. not. enough. Klonopin. in. the. world. people.  My state of mind is so much better than it was but I still struggle and I still require anti-anxiety meds to sleep without nightmares.  I can not imagine what would happen if I went over there.  PTSD patients don’t get “cured” they go in to remission.  The smallest of things can trigger a relapse.  I am almost positive going back in that house (rebuilt or not) would trigger a relapse.  No, thanks!

Elizabeth hasn’t tried to escape the loony bin again.  I don’t think it’s because her escape attempt scared her, I think it’s because the weather has been too nasty.  Thanks Mother Nature!

Joey keeps bringing home projects for school.  I am sick of them.  He had to build a wire.  Then he had to bring home a book of like 175 science experiments and choose one to do.  I am not a “project” kind of mom.  I am NOT crafty or artistic, the day they built me they skipped the creativity aisle completely.  Hopefully we can find step by step instructions on the net that even I can’t screw up!

Also they are going to the local museum for some pioneer thing.  This school (or the teachers I’m not sure which) are all about role playing and creativity.  Great, I’m all for that.  A couple of months ago he had to dress up like Abraham Lincoln for a play.  Now he has to dress like a pioneer child would dress for this trip.  He also has to pack a lunch, but it can’t just be a sandwich and fruit.  It has to be a “pioneer lunch”.  They sent home a list of foods pioneer children probably ate.  I’m not even sure we can find some of this stuff here this time of year.  Also?  No brown bags or lunch boxes.  We have to use a “pioneer lunch box” so they’re sending home some can we are supposed to attach a wire to and stick his lunch in there.  Of course it goes without saying they didn’t have bottled juices, milk cartons, etc… in pioneer days.  I have NO idea what to send for him to drink or what to contain it in.  My favorite part of the whole thing?  His interpretation of what he’s going to wear… “hey mom, I get to dress like a hooligan for once without you making me go change”.  Awesome!  We recently watched “Where the Red Fern Grows” one of my all time favorite books and it was interesting the movie was on because I had just suggested the book to Joey and then it was on.  Anyway when the boy goes to the city to pick up his pups, he packs bread and dried salt pork.  He drinks from a well in the city.  Do you think the teachers would be impressed if I sent Joey with a loaf of bread and some jerky and told him to drink from the hose?

Elizabeth wanted peanut butter toast for breakfast.  I was all “OK” it’s better than what she usually chooses (Oreo cookie Pop-Tarts anyone?).  Then she says “I need chips with my sammich”.  I can’t fault her 3 year old logic.  “Sammiches” at lunch come with chips, if she’s gonna eat a “sammich” for breakfast why shouldn’t she get chips?  I gave her tortilla chips.  Hopefully that’s less of a fail than if I’d given her Cheetos.  They’re made with corn and all that!

Another blogger wrote a post yesterday that really offended me.  I’m not gonna link to her because I’m not giving her the traffic.  She’s a pretty popular blogger I think although I’ve been reading her for a while and don’t much care for her.  Anyway, her post was about PR and at one point she quoted an article from a while back that suggested everyone should have a blog.  She disagrees with this for various reasons, she said not everyone can write, entertain an audience, and/or is relevant.  I disagree with that in so many ways.  If everyone wants a blog then more power to them!  If they like to write out their thoughts and they like to read them then they are relevant and have an audience.  It may not be the type of audience this blogger is referencing but it’s a valid audience none the less.  Lots of blogs start off as a way to keep long distance relatives up to speed on their family’s doings.  How is that not relevant?  I’m probably over-reacting but it really made me scratch my head that she thinks she’s the czar of blogging and what’s relative.

 

My Day – Part 2 April 23, 2010

Filed under: ADHD,Kids — Steph @ 8:28 am
Tags: , ,

Just for Amy I am doing this before I do anything else today.  🙂

So when we left off I was on the phone with my mom and the call waiting beeped in with Joey’s teacher’s cell phone number showing on the screen.  I knew her number because she called me Tuesday.  I put my mom on hold and clicked over.

I wrote a while back about Joey being different. He has been doing EXTREMELY well behavior wise in school, but they can tell if he doesn’t take his meds.  On Tuesday he forgot to take his meds and his teacher called to tell me he’d had a really “off task” day.  Apparently there were 3 of them “off task” that day and she just had a heck of a day.  Joey received two “re-focus slips” which essentially means they sent him to another room to calm down and re-focus his behavior.  When Joey got home that evening he was really on the defensive about his behavior.  Unfortunately he’s using his meds as a crutch for bad behavior.  When I asked him what the deal was he was all “I just couldn’t focus and get on task mom, people were talking to me and I had to talk back to them and then I got in trouble and no one else did and it’s all because I forgot to take my pill” and so on…

One thing we are really struggling to accomplish with Joey is to make him accountable for his actions and behavior.  He’s the king of “it wasn’t my fault!”  He is forever blaming everyone else for his poor choices and now he blames his illness.  He’s been like that for a couple of years now and I talk until I’m blue in the face and he still just doesn’t take accountability.

Anyway, now you have the “back story” to yesterday’s phone call.  When I clicked over it was Joey on the phone and he was crying really hard.  So hard I could NOT understand what he was saying.  At first I thought he was hurt but after a minute or so I managed to figure out he wasn’t hurt but was instead in trouble.  Finally his teacher came on the phone to explain to me what was going on.

She explained he had gotten a 3rd “re-focus” that morning in art class and when you get three of them you have to stay after school at what they call “Academic Academy”.  She asked if he’d had his meds and I assured her he definitely had that morning.  I asked her if he was having another bad day and she said she didn’t really know because she had only seen him briefly that morning.  They go straight to “specials” which happened to be art yesterday.  We talked a little more about his behavior that week.  She actually felt bad he was going to have to stay after school.  She told me she’s pretty lenient with him in some things, especially on what she said are his (very rare since he’s been on meds) “off days”.  She explained how on days he didn’t have his meds she could tell right away and he was like a little “bee buzzing around the classroom talking and flitting and just off task”.   She said she had to follow through with the “Academic Academy” consequence for him because it was a school rule and his 3rd strike was not in her class room.  I assured her I completely understood.  I think she felt bad because his reaction to the discipline was so drastic.  I have NO idea why he was SO upset over it.  He doesn’t like getting in trouble, he’s very sensitive that way, always has been and he’s had a really rough week and made some poor choices that had some severe consequences at home so I can only assume he was afraid of what punishment he’d face at home this time.  To be honest I didn’t really have anything left to punish him with when he got home yesterday.  He’d  had a really bad day on Tuesday and is already grounded from his computer, DS, and sleepovers so I really didn’t have anything left!!  I won’t go in to the whole day on Tuesday because this post is already getting long, I will just say he stayed after school for “Activity Club” on Tuesday but when I got there to pick him up he wasn’t where he was supposed to be and he had lied repeatedly to a teacher that afternoon about where he was supposed to be.  That got him grounded.

She also told me he takes a short time in the mornings to settle down and get focused.  I think he needs to take his meds a bit earlier in the morning so they kick in before he actually gets to class and needs to be on task.  They are time release meds and they’re made to focus them during the day when they really need to be focused but wear off in time for bed so they can sleep.  We’re still learning exactly when they are most effective.

So, that’s my story.  All of this happened before 11 AM.  I know this part isn’t quite as intriguing as the first part but it all fit together to make my day just super fun!

I had to laugh when I was telling my mom about Joey and his “Academic Academy”.  Why can’t they just call it detention?  That’s essentially what it is?!  I’m guessing the new term is meant to lessen the blow to the kid’s self esteem?  But I truly have no idea.

The best part?  When Joey got home yesterday after spending an hour after school he says “I actually kind of enjoyed the Academic Academy because I got to get caught up on homework”

I was totally speechless, but I thought “only my son would enjoy detention”.

 

My Day part 1… April 22, 2010

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life — Steph @ 12:29 pm
Tags: , ,

So Elizabeth and I have been hitting the park this week.  It’s been very nice out, but in typical Wyoming fashion we now have like 5 days of rain forecast.  That pretty much sums up my day so far and it’s only 1:00 in the afternoon.

The day started off OK, Elizabeth wanted to go outside or go to the park.  I said ” we can’t today sweetie it’s cold and rainy out, we’ll have to find something to do inside.”

So she decides to eat breakfast and watch cartoons and I’m all “OK, you do that and I’ll catch up on folding some laundry”.  I’m in my bedroom folding laundry for about 20 minutes when I realize it’s awful quiet in the living room and there’s no way the Imagination Movers are THAT engrossing.  So I finish folding the shirts in my basket and come out to the living room to check on Elizabeth and….

SHE’S GONE!!  The front door is standing wide open and she’s nowhere to be found!!

I enter full on panic mode.  She’s tried to go out the front door a couple of other times so we put one of those Safety First door things on.  They make the doors really hard to open, you have to squeeze the plastic thingy to turn the nob.  She CAN NOT work that thing!  So I figure Joey must not have pulled the door all the way closed when he left for school.

I run outside (still in my pajamas by the way) and I’m calling and calling her and she’s nowhere to be seen.  Some guys working on the house across the street say “we didn’t see her, she isn’t out here” so I run back in the house and search it from top to bottom.  In my gut I KNOW she’s outside but I dutifully search every nook and cranny and cupboard.  Then I am really panicked so I throw on a sweatshirt and some shoes and fly out the door.

I go down the street where she and her brother sometimes ride their bikes and she’s not down there.  I turn around to look up the street toward the main road that leads to our subdivision and my heart drops.  There’s a police car up the road at the fire station which borders the main road.  I swear I lost 10 years off of my life walking up that road.  I just KNEW she’d been hit by a car up there and I am cussing myself like crazy for not being more diligent, not making her watch cartoons in the bedroom with me, not hearing the door open, etc…

Thankfully when I was about 50 feet away they heard me frantically calling her name and the policeman and another man came to me and I say “do you happen to have a 3 year old little girl up here??!!”  the policeman says “yes and she likes candy!”.

I can not even tell you the emotions at that moment.  Fear, relief, self loathing, you name it I felt it.  Thankfully two passers by happened to see her at the fire station and stopped with her.  They took her in to the fire station and called the police.

I am a crying, shaking, blubbering mess when we get in to the fire station and I go running to Elizabeth and scoop her up in what I’m sure was a choke-hold/hug.  I say “Elizabeth you scared me to death!”.  About that time they all look at me funny and I’m like “what?”.  Then one gentleman says “what’s her name again?”  I say “Elizabeth”.  He says “huh, she was saying something like Missy”.  DUH!  I say “did she happen to say Sissy?”  He says “Yep, that’s it!”  I say that’s her nickname.  (Note to self we have GOT to start calling her Elizabeth or she’s going to kindergarten as “Sissy”).

So, the policeman then gets my vital information and says “how did she get out?”  I sheepishly tell him what happened and that we have taken precautions to keep her safely in the house.  He then says “do you have a sick baby at home?”  I’m just dumbfounded.  I say “Um, no sir, SHE is our baby, the youngest we have, her brother is 10 and at school”  Then it dawns on me.  She’s been playing non-stop with her all better baby.  It’s a baby doll that comes with a doctor kit because she’s sick and they have to make her feel better.  I explain this to the policeman who looks at me like I’m completely off my rocker.  At this point I just burst out in hysterical laughter.

After considering that for a few minutes he finishes getting my information.  I get down on my hands and knees and kiss the feet of the two gentleman who stopped to whisk her to safety and thank them profusely, so they can be on their way.

The policeman asks if he can follow us back to our house and I of course say “sure”.

On the way back down the street I am giving Elizabeth a stern talking to about NOT EVER going outside without mommy and daddy.

By the time we get home I’ve stopped shaking and am starting to regain my composure.  The police man is not far behind us and comes in to speak with us.  He tells Elizabeth she CAN NOT go outside without mommy and daddy and MUST stay in our yard, etc… and all the while he’s kind of taking in the house and me.  He asks to see the safety thing on the door and I show him and I tell him that the funniest part of ALL of this is that we discovered the safety latches several years ago when Joey at almost exactly the same age did the EXACT same thing!!  The difference then was he took the dog with him and the neighbors called the animal control to get our address.  Also he was only outside for about 5 minutes and it was a big neighborhood with no really busy streets and lots of concerned neighbors who helped him get home safe.  Just to add to the irony, I was doing laundry that day too!!  The laundry room was in the basement and Joey was napping on the couch upstairs.  I literally turned my back for all of 5 minutes and he wanders out of the house!  <sigh>

So the policeman tells me they had the exact same thing happen yesterday and it’s “that time of year” and I thank him again and he leaves with another stern word to Elizabeth about staying in the house and yard.

After he left and I managed to calm down I had a few thoughts:

1. These kids are trying to kill me, seriously

2. While he was talking to Elizabeth in my living room I didn’t think about it but after he left it occurred to me he was looking at the pictures on our wall.  No doubt trying to make sure she really did live here.  Also, he was probably listening for the sound of our “sick baby”.  I just realized there’s a picture on my wall of my kids and my nieces and nephews, it’s quite possible he thinks I lied my ass off about the sick baby!  Hopefully not!

3. Laundry IS the devil!!

4. They took Elizabeth in to the fire station where she played with the kids who belong to the gentleman who found her and had candy.  She’s going to think the fire station is the best place in the world and I am going to literally have to sleep with one eye open.

Thankfully she really can not open the door by herself.  I had her try after I shut and locked it.  I always check that door when Joey leaves in the morning to make sure it’s shut tight for this very reason, apparently today was just my day to be a complete and utter failure!!

As soon as the policeman left I called my mom to tell her about all of this and while I’m on the phone with her Joey’s teacher’s cell phone comes up on the caller ID on the other line.  I put my mom on hold and click over…

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…