Thursday, September 1, 2011

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At the Time...

Clara had another appointment at the University of Michigan today. While I am usually very prepared for these appointments, the last two totally sneaked up on me. Since I had not planned ahead and found a babysitter, Jeff and I decided that I would take the two little girls, leaving the two big girls at home. That would give Jeff the ability to still work most, or all, of the day, leaving the girls at home (depending how things went), with the possibility of them finding a friend to hang out with for the day. And I thought that it would be really fun to have some "little girl and Mommy" time.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Before we could leave for Ann Arbor, Clara had her first session at Reins of Life for the season from 4:30-5:30. I met Jeff from there to hand over the big girls. That is where it all started to fall apart. The girls were already tired....they had played hard all day....and it was almost supper time (hunger is typically the only thing that puts Megan in a bad mood). She was holding it together pretty well until Alyssa got out of the van. I guess she thought Alyssa was going.....she went berserk!

As we headed down the road, I was finally able to distract Megan with some music, and the whole time, Clara was trying to console her. It really was sweet. But while Megan had her mind totally set on getting back to Sissy, all Clara could talk about was eating at Cracker Barrel. I don't know what it is, but every time we get in the car to go on a trip, Clara thinks we're supposed to go to Cracker Barrel. I knew I had seen some on I-94, but could not remember where they were, so about an hour into our trip, I gave up and went to Pizza Hut.

Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I wasn't sure we were dressed properly for a sit-down dinner, but I could not stand the thought of fast food at that particular moment. My concerns were laid to rest when I walked in the door and saw a sign that read:

"Welcome to our Paw-Paw Pizza Hut!"

Really. I am not kidding. We had landed in Paw Paw, Michigan. I didn't think a name like that was possible in the north.

The hostess/waitress proceeded to seat us at a booth that had been partially renovated, as had the entire restaurant. The tabletop was a 4' x 4' sheet metal table top that would beautifully fit the largest of pizzas. The booth itself, however, had not been changed at all to accommodate the size of the table, and therefore, did NOT  beautifully fit my, um....abdominal parts. After I very carefully squeezed myself an adjusted my 'parts', the waitress took our drink orders. For a minute there I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to eat or drink, but I managed to sit up nice and straight and push the table forward about two inches. (I didn't want to squish the little girls on the other side.)

When we were seated, I asked if we could have two of the kids menus with the crayons that I saw at the front door. Our waitress said, "Sure, I'll bring those and your drinks right back with me." Well, after passing our table two more times, both times asking us if she could get us anything (ummmmm....drinks?), I gave up, and I guess the little girls did, too. Before I realized it, they had taken all the packages of moist towelettes out of the caddy in the center of the table, and had begun building what looked like a house of cards. About the time we got all of those put away, we (finally) got our drinks. Once we all got our straws into our drinks, I looked up and both girls were tearing their straw paper into bits. That is not something I would normally let them do, but at that moment, I didn't see the was keeping them quiet, after all. However, what happened next happened so quickly, there would have been no way to stop it, even though it seemed to play out in slow motion in my head. Megan proceeded to pile up all of the tiny bits of paper and as quick as a flash, picked up her straw and blew at the paper as hard as she could. I jumped up to stop her as fast as I could, but instead of stopping her, I impaled my, amputating a few pounds off of my abdomen (not a totally unfortunate thing...), tipped the table sideways, and if people weren't already watching the little southern hillbilly children blowing a snowfall of paper, they were looking now, because Clara and Megan were giggling hysterically, and in my moment of agony, I let out a groan that that let everyone know I had almost suffered an amputation with no anesthesia. 

I couldn't crawl under the table. Heck, I could barely slide in behind the table. So I tried to ignore the stares as we ate our meal and got out of Paw Paw as quickly as we could.

To add to our craziness, the DVD player in the van is on the blink. I know that is not a necessity, but it is amazing how quickly you get spoiled to that in eleven short months. I decided that would be a perfect time to listen to some worship music with the girls.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

We were driving down the road, singing away, when out of the blue Clara said, "Mom,'re singing so loud I can't even hear the music. It makes me just want to eat your mouth!" I am not sure what that meant, but I do know that my over-zealous worship had to be toned down a bit. :-)

When we arrived at the hotel, it was 10:00. Both girls had taken turns sleeping in the car, and were both half asleep when we got there, which made getting them inside and checked in made life very interesting. We survived, but once we got into our room, I just wanted to burst out laughing. Not because it was funny, but because it was so typical for the day we had already endured. There was one full-size bed in our room. A king-size bed is not big enough for me and those two little orangutans, so I KNEW this over-sized twin was not going to cut it. I called the front desk and the employee there informed me that there was nothing they could do about it....they were booked! So he, very kindly, brought some linens to our room and the little girls had a "slumber party" on the floor. They thought it was great! It will be one of those moments, though, that they look back on one day and say, "Heeey....wait a minute!" That's what memories are made of. :-) Aside from getting only getting about two hours of sleep myself, due to the broken A/C  and the forgotten CPAP, our night, from that point on, was fairly uneventful.

The next morning, when we arrived at the hospital for Clara's 9:00 a.m. appointment, we had to go straight to radiology for x-rays before her orthopedist would see her. When we arrived at radiology, there was standing room only. At 9:00 in the morning!! And to be totally consistent with the whole "unprepared for this trip": theme, I had forgotten to bring Clara's Jesus bag with me, where I keep coloring books, Legos, stickers, and other fun stuff. After all, we have always been right in and right out with this particular doctor. Not today. When all was said and done, we arrived back on the 2nd floor, at Registration B, at 10:40. Yep. An hour and forty minutes later.

Again....there was very limited seating. We found a bench along the wall where we would fit, and I thought it would keep us out of the way of other people (by this time, the girls were slap-happy).

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

That bench ended up serving as the perfect seating for an audience. Boredom is not a good thing for two silly little girls. They began building a fort out of Clara's chair, and even sang some of their VBS songs, movements and all, at the top of their lungs. It was at this point, out of desperation, that I began digging in my purse. CERTAINLY there is SOMETHING in there that will keep them entertained! Let's see....

My Bible. That's great, but not what I am looking for at this moment.

Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer. Hmmm...I have bigger fish to fry right now.

A rock. Nope....that would be one more ingredient for this recipe for disaster.

A light bulb. Nope...see thoughts for the rock.

Lime green sunglasses with star-shaped frames. Oooh, that could be good. Here Megan....

Mouthwash. No, too poisonous.

Dental floss. No, they might get too creative with that.

My camera. MY CAMERA! They will always stay focused on me when I have the camera (little narcissistic beings that they are.)

Here are a few of the shots of two bored little girls:

That really was a good idea at the time! Not only was I laughing hysterically, but the people around us were, too. I think we all needed a tension breaker. :-)

The battery died, however, and I almost had a heart attack, but at that very moment, we heard the most glorious thing:
"Clara Bryant"

At last! The nurse called us back to see the doctor! After all that, do you still want to know what the doctor said?

Well, after the visit we had two weeks ago with the endocrinologist, I really wanted some good news. I don't think I have blogged about that, but the short version is that they see no improvement on Clara's x-rays. Her bones are not healing like they thought they would, so they have almost doubled every bit of her medication.

I went prepared for a much better visit this time.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Just as casually as if she were telling me she ate pork chops for dinner, that doctor looked straight at me and said, "Her right leg definitely looks worse to me, so I am trying to decide if I need to cut the bone or insert A1 plates (I think that's what she called them)."

Ummmm....excuse me? What did you say? Surgery or surgery...those are our options?

I know it used to be harder than it is now to catch me off-guard, but it seems like every time I talk to a doctor these days I get the breath knocked out of me.

She also asked if we were able to get x-rays, since the machine blew up.

Ummm...excuse me? Blew up??

I didn't know anything about exploding machines, and after going to check, she said we were the last ones taken before the machine broke.

Whew! Dodged that bullet!

We dodged the surgery bullet, too, at least for another year. One of the surgeries is still too experimental and the other one is very, VERY invasive.

We left the hospital at 12:15 and FINALLY found a Cracker Barrel! Clara was so happy.

I was happy when we pulled in the driveway at home. Those girls wore me out!

Overall, I am thankful for a safe trip and thankful for such wonderful, respected doctors. I am also thankful for some sweet time I had while the girls slept on the way to Ann Arbor to just worship...worship in a way I have not in a while. Honestly, I have been feeling spiritually dry lately, but I never cease to be amazed at God's outpouring of love for me. It seems the more (worship, money, time, etc....) that I give Him, He gives back 100 times over. It is true, you cannot out-give God. That's what I did in the van in the dark quiet of the van last night; I poured my heart out to Him. I worshiped with no other motive than to sing love songs to my God. I so enjoyed that time with my Savior, and He filled me up in a way I have not been full in a while. He was just waiting for me.

Definitely a good idea all the time....

Many Blessings!

1 comment:

  1. (This is one of Jeannie's Southern Sisters....)
    Girl, I about pee-peed myself reading about your trip!! SERIOUSLY, you should write a book or do stand-up comedy or maybe sit-down comedy for Pizza Hut!!! H_I_L_A_R_I_O_U_S!!!!!!
    On the other note, I am very sorry Clara's little bones are not perking up. Please know I think of you daily and can't wait to chat and belly-laugh with you in person again!!!!
    In Louisiana for soybean harvest right now, so gaining southern food weight as I type....ha!!!!
    Love you tons!!!!!