Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They did it again....

So with the end of Mighty Mighty Nuggets basketball you would think we had put up our basketballs until next season. Not so, my friends, not so.
The tournament season started in March and Mike is coaching the under 11 Auburn Raptors Blue team. It is made up of half-former-nuggets and half other players.

So they played in their first tournament ever as a Raptor organization. And. They. Won.
Now, again, there were some nail biters--but a victory is a victory.
And again my husband was completely enthralled with this team. And again, I was a nervous wreck when we held onto a ONE point lead for the last 2 minutes of the championship game.
So what about Emma Kate? She was a trooper all weekend. The rides back and forth to Columbus, the long waits in between games, the junk food she ate all weekend. It was all worth it to her because Emma Kate is madly in love with her new 8 older brothers.

They were so good to her all weekend. She follows them around and they just watch over her and play with her like she is their own. She calls them her "bassetball boys" and she adores them.
Last night:

EmmaKate: I go wif dose bassetball boys in daddy's work car?
Me: Yes, Emma Kate, if you are a good girl you can go in the car with those basketball boys this weekend.
Emma Kate: OK. I bee good. I be nice. I go wif dose bassetball boys.

Now, isn't' that too cute. And isn't this too cute?

My husband has found his niche. He is now 14-0 in youth basketball. I am so proud of him for the way he is with these guys. He is in it for them. He wants them to be better players, but he also wants them to be better people. He teaches them a lot about basketball and individual skill, but even more about teamwork, perseverance and determination. And it shows.

Riverfest Basketball Champions 11 & Under--Auburn Raptors Blue.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pickin' Genetics

I was reading an article in some magazine or journal this week about how close we really are to being able to pick what genes our children get. I know that from a scientific view that is exciting and helpful. Just think of the genetic diseases that could be eliminated from the planet! Wow.
But, the other side of that coin is not so exciting. I think of Emma Kate and her health issues, several of which are genetic. Would I wish her to have asthma? HECK no. And do I LIKE that she is a carrier for some horrid genetic disease. OF COURSE NOT.
The thing that scares is that we would pick our children's traits and features, which would inevitably come along with this science.
When I think back to when I was preggo, I had a picture in my mind of what Emma Kate would be like. Beautiful. But then she came along, and she was not what I pictured at all. She was BETTER than beautiful.
Her traits were handpicked, just not by me. Someone who knew what He was doing much more than me. So, thank you GOD that I had my child BEFORE picking genetics was available. I am glad that I didn't have the option to mess it up, because I KNOW I would not have gotten it better than beautiful. I would have opted for a perfect smile, and I would have never seen that crooked grin she gives when she is holding something back. I would have chosen a slim nose that would have never quite crinkled the way hers does when she laughs. I would have chosen a high arch for that perfect ballerina point and never seen those silly pudgy flat feet kick like crazy when they are tickled in the slightest.
I would have chosen a pre-disposition to dancing, although she is probably going to laugh when I put her in her first tu-tu and tell me she'd rather be on the court. I would have focused on her being the smartest kid in the class, and forgotten all about the sense of humor that makes chuckle everyday. I would have probably wanted a head full of Shirley Temple curls and would never be able to pull it into the two pretty pigtails she asks for every morning.
So, again, I would just like to thank the Lord for being the designer and letting me just enjoy it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Must... Have... Camera...

OK, so the no camera thing is killing me. Having a cute 2 year old and no camera should be a crime and I am guilty. So, I DID finally get a new SIM card for my phone, but right now the number assigned to it is out of North Dakota, so it is still messed up. However, I was all over the 1.3 mega pixel camera on my recycled phone this morning when I put EK in a cute new outfit I made.

We have been having some terrible two tantrums lately. I am not sure if it is the change in her class or teacher or maybe she is still just traumatized from the finger incident (I still am!), but she is NOT excited to go to school, she REFUSES to go to bed in her room (although we reluctantly win that battle every night) and she wakes up every night and comes to our bed.

Today, I told her if she was a good girl at school we would go see her boyfriend, Aubie. We are going anyway (AU mens basketball NIT game), so I sure hope she is good.

She has been adding bits of humor into our days, though. Yesterday they had a St. Patrick's Day green party at school. When her fav teacher came around to give her some green kool-aid, she said as cool as a cucumber...

"I cannot have green drink."

The teachers figured she was telling the truth because she does have so many food restrictions, so they offered her apple juice. Again, she said...

"I cannot have apple juice. I only have water."

Who knows where that came from? Maybe she gave up juice for Lent??

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Typical Day

Please notice there are two posts today and the one below this is much more important than this one. I just wanted to let everyone know that right now I am sitting in a meeting with a bunch of physicists---real, live rocket scientists to be exact---and they are talking about IC2s, integrated software, orbits, communication systems, ax25stacked?, magnetic spheres, particle electron detectors, and a bunch of other stuff over my head. This is my typical day. And I love it.
I learn something new every single day and the projects that are going on here at Auburn are so exciting, even if I don't understand more than half of them.

We are the Champions, my friend.

In the midst of all of those horrible things happening, there has been some excitement in the Thomas world lately.

Every (yes, EVERY) Saturday, we have been spending our Saturdays like this:

11:00 Nuggets vs. Opponent at the Auburn University Rec Center.
12:00 Lunch & home for a nap
2:00 ish-Auburn basketball game.
So, you would think we would be Basketball'ed out. But we're not. Why, you ask?
Because. We. Win.
I mean, WDE, Auburn is doing the best they have done in YEARS. Men and women's. The games are fun, Emma Kate loves
them and usually my whole family is there.
Sometimes, even these folks show up (and Hoppy has that awful disease, Alabamafanitis).

But Auburn aint' got nothin' on these guys....

Every Saturday, the Nuggets would win. It got to the point where the games were crazy-physical because the teams were so determined to beat the Nuggets. No Auburn rec team had ever gone undefeated. Ever.

So, we made it to the playoffs undefeated, and most games we won by a landslide. Except the Pistons. We came from behind and beat them by one point in the regular season. Then they went on a 5 game winning streak. They were out to get us. So guess who we played in the first round? Yep, the Pistons.

My husband, Coach Mike as he is called these days, was more nervous than I had ever seen him. I had seen him prepare for a gazillion golf tourneys and never so much as blink an eye. Here he was, preparing to coach 5th grade boys in a city rec league and you would have thought he was Coach K in the Final Four.

He couldn't sleep. He couldn't eat. At one point I found him in our bathroom, standing at the counter at 12:30 am. When I asked him what he was doing he told me he had just thought of a new play and had to get up and write it down. INSANE.

Thursday came and went, and although one of our, um, spirited dads got thrown out of the gym for "talking" to the refs, the Nuggets BEAT the Pistons and moved into the FINAL GAME, set for Saturday.

Mike, I mean, Coach Mike went into full basketball mode. He had me make a warm up CD, circa 1993 complete with "Are you ready for this" and "Eye of the Tiger." He watched GAME TAPE of the first two times we beat the HAWKS (the other team in the finals). He went to Party City and had a run-through banner made. He had me buy posters and huge markers and find my inner-high-school-cheerleader and make posters with all the boys' numbers and names. INSANE.

His parents came down for the big game. My mom and grandmother came. Unc, also known as Deuce to the players, came. I think Mike had more people rooting for him than any one of the players. INSANE.

But, then something crazy happened. It was awful. It was scary. We were getting beat. The kids seemed defeated when the third quarter ended and the Nuggets were getting beat 22-11. The Nuggets HAD NEVER been down by double digits. Even I had lost hope (and I am the most optimistic sports fan of all time, like-I still think Auburn can win last year's LSU-Auburn game and it has been over for 6th months.)

Then, my husband, Coach Mike did what he does best. He COACHED. I mean, C-O-A-C-H-E-D. He put in his dream team. He had them run great plays, called a great defense, and pumped up his bench. He did what no one else in that gym was doing. He BELIEVED. He still believed in his boys, even when they (and, admittedly, everyone in the stands) didn't believe in them. He UNDERSTOOD that the game was not over and that as long as there was time on that clock, there was still a chance.

And there was.

Those guys played their hearts out for that last 8 minute quarter. They listened to their coach who told them that they COULD.

And they did.

They outscored the Hawks 18-1 in the fourth quarter. Is was more exciting than and Auburn vs. Alabama game. No, really, it was.
When the buzzer sounded, the Nuggets were the Champs. The Undefeated Auburn Rec 5th Grade Boys Basketball Champs.
I was so proud. I was like a momma bear to all those cute little 5th graders who played like it was the NCAA tournament.
But mostly, I was proud of Coach Mike.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Horrible, Terrible, Pathetic Three Days: The Final Chapter

So, following the Great Coach caper and the Finger incident, we WERE able to make it to a lovely dinner with dear friends. Two sorority sisters, Allyson & Beth and one of my poli-sci and law schools buds (and Beth's hubby), Blake, met Mike, Emma Kate, Emma Kate's finger and me at the local Mexican joint.
The dinner was great. Good food and good friends was just the thing we needed to end our two days of horror. Emma Kate told everyone how she "hut her singer." She and Mary McKinnon hung out eating cheese dip and coloring. We laughed a lot at oldie-but-goodie stories and we just had a good time.

Everything seemed great.

That night, we got home and Emma Kate didn't want to go to bed. She had gotten so worked up over her finger, and then over dinner with Mary McKinnon that she was too excited to fall asleep in her bed. So, Emma Kate and I headed to our bed to try and watch some T.V and hopefully pass out peacefully. Emma Kate had a little cough and had told Mike that her "mouth was making noise," which is what she says when she is wheezing, so I gave her a nebulizer treatment about 8:30. Finally, she fell asleep around 9:00.

As I lay in the bed next to her, I noticed that she was coughing more and more as the night progressed. After two hours, I realized that she was coughing so much that she was gagging at the end of every coughing fit. I counted the time inbetween coughing fits. It was on 6 seconds.

We were getting a little worried, but I hesitated to call mom, since it was midnight and she has to get up for work at 4:30a.m. Finally, I called UNC, who was at mom's. He told me he would wake her up.

TIME-OUT: For those of you who don't know, I called mom because she knows asthma. She has had it--well, her whole life. Emma Kate's fits were starting to sound like my mom's asthma attacks when I was little. When she was coughing to the point of gagging and my brothers and I would have to beat on her back to break up the stuff in her lungs. So, I wanted mom to help me determine if this was a full-blown asthma attack or just a little cough. I tend to under-estimate things because I am afraid I will over-exagerate. I need to just listen to my mommy instincts--they are usually right.


Mom could hear her coughing over the phone. I found some oral steroid leftover from a January attack and gave Emma Kate the prescribed dosage. Although she took the meds, she just gagged them right back up. Mom came over and we all decided it was time to call the after-hours number for our pediatrician.

When they called back, the nurse could hear Emma Kate in the background. She was still getting air, but the nurse thought it had been long enough for the steriod and albuterol to have kicked in. If she was still having trouble like that, the nurse advised that we go straight to the ER. At 12:30 a.m. Exactly 7.5 hours after we left the doctor's office having her finger fixed. On a Thursday night.

We bundled up for the cool night air and headed to EAMC. Luckily it wasn't too crowded and we got back pretty soon. But, by the time we saw the nurse practioner, the attack had pretty much subsided. Seems the steroid kicked in about the time we were in triage. Which was GOOD, but you know how the ER is, we have to do x-rays and tests to be sure.

EK was a trooper for the chest xray and she played on her hospital bed as if it was not 2 a.m.

I almost had it out with the nurse practioner who tried to tell me that she didn't have an asthma attack because she wasn't wheezing. It was WAY too late to go into what the ASTHMA specialist has taught me that Emma Kate's asthma manifests itself in coughing fits and not so much the wheezing. ANYWAY.

We got out of there about 3:30 a.m. Emma Kate slept with us didn't have any more problems. I stayed home with her Friday and she slept until 11:00 a.m!!!

So, that is it. That was our Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Luckily, our Saturday was a million times better. I will tell you all about it later, but here is a sneak peek.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Terrible, Horrible, Pathetic Three Days, Part Deux.

So, once the great Coach Caper was discovered, and we went through all the rigmarole associated with that nonsense, everything went seemingly back to normal. For exactly 3 hours and 43 minutes. Thursday afternoon, I was sitting at my desk at work when my office phone rings. I look down and that lovely little creature called caller ID was staring back at me, saying, "GROWING ROOM AUB."
Great. Did she get bitten again? Did she bite? Is her hiney as red as an apple again?

Me: This is Amy
GR: Hey Amy, this is Mendy (Assistant Director. Uh-oh, this is serious.)
Me: Hey Mendy, what's up.
GR: Weeelllllllllll, a parent was leaving Emma Kate's classroom and she was standing next to the door and her finger got slammed in the door.
Me: (at this point I am thinking maybe a little pinch. Negative) OK, I...
GR: I really think you or Mike should come take a look at it. It's pretty bad. Her pinky was on the hinge side of the door and the door closed all the way. We had to open the door to get her pinky out.
Me: (I think I threw up a little at that point). I will be there in 4 minutes.

As I gathered all of my things----oh wait I don't have things, I have keys. I realized as I was running out the door that I didn't have a cell phone to call Mike, so I had to run back to my office and call him from there. I told him we would come by the house and if we needed to go to the doctor, we would just all go together.

When I got to Growing Room, I parked the car like I was on the Dukes of Hazard. As I neared her classroom, the Director, and two assistant directors of the school were standing outside the classroom looking in. It was like people standing outside of a hospital room, waiting for the bad news.

I started to realize this was not going to be good. Mendy stopped me before I got in the door.

Mendy: Its pretty bad, it is swollen and already purple. She's really upset.

I walked in and saw my pitiful, limp baby on her favorite teacher's lap. They were trying to hold ice on it, but she (of course) would not let them. All 15 of the other kids were sitting at their tables, quiet and scared to death. It was erie.

I walked over to her and she reached up her hands to me. I picked her up and carefully removed the wet, red-stained paper towel from her little pinky finger. It was awful.

Me: Hey baby, are you okay?
EK: I hut my singer in da daar.
Me: Let's go see the doctor and she'll make it better.
EK: Yes ma'am........(Big crocodile tears in her eyes started to stream down her face as she looked up into my eyes, which were also welling up with tears..)......Docker Mimmis make it better?
Me: Yes baby, Dr. Williams will make it better.

I hurriedly exited the growing room, only to reach the door and remember that I DON'T HAVE A CELL PHONE. **&%^$##@&*%$#. I run back inside, but try not to seem too excited as I was trying to keep my baby calm. I borrow the phone to call Mike.

Me: Meet us at the doctor.
Mike: Is it tha.....
Me:Yes. Click.

I start to drive to the Pediatric Clinic and realize that I don't have an appointment, so I reach in my pur..... *&*$#*@*&$#. I cannot call ahead. I hope they are not too busy.

We walk in and it is more crowded that the health department during flu season. There are coughers. There are criers. There are teenagers getting some sort of physicals. UGH.

I walk up to the front desk...

Me: I don't have an appointment. I brought her straight from school.
Lady: Well, I am not sure.....

But then she sees it. THE FINGER. Immediately she hands me a clipboard.

Lady: What is her date of birth?

They put us on some overflow list and we sit and wait. And wait. Mike got there, and then my mom. Mike had a meeting, so he had to leave before we went back to see the doc, but thankfully mom stayed there with me. She was so helpful keeping Emma Kate distracted from her purple, I-am-sure-broken, bleeding finger.

And WOW, my kid is tough. I mean, this massive, heavy door closes all the way and her finger is stuck in the closed door. It made me queasy to think about it. But she cried very little. She just kept saying, "I hut it in da daaar" or "It huts, mommy."

When we did get to see the doctor, it wasn't Dr. Williams. But the doc we did see was excellent and he checked her joints and made her feel like a princess. Her finger WAS NOT broken, because at two her bones are still "rubbery," as he put it. Her fingernail was completely gone and the door had closed right on her nail-plate. Her naidbed has to heal first, and then her fingernail will start to grow back.....in about 6 weeks. The biggest concern is infection, and with Emma Kate it is a valid concern. It has to stay covered in anti-biotic creme and the dressing has to be changes three times-a-day. She had gauze wrapped all the way down her finger and around her wrist so she didn't try and remove the bandage.

She didn't cry and she was a trooper all the way. (I cannot say the same for me.)

MAN, this parenting stuff is hard, huh? But when that little face looks up to yours and says, "Dey fis it mommy," and pushes out a smile, I am pretty sure it is all worth it.

So, at least we only had one medical emergency for the week.....or did we????

***Mom, I realize that there are major tense shifts in today's story. At least I realize it. Please ingnore them. It is just a blog.

***Oh, yeah, I would love to post pictures of the injury. But I cannot. I do not have a camera. *&%$#&*.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Horrible, Terrible, Pathetic Three Days, Part I

I'll just get right to it.
This was stolen.

Out of my car, in my driveway.

YES, I lock my doors. (OK, 82% of the time.) But my electronic lock doesn't lock my passenger door and I only reach over and lock it 6% of the time. Wednesday night fell outside of that 6%.

And no, I don't usually (mom, don't say whatever you are saying right now!!) leave my C in the car.

Dude walked right up to my driveway, opened the door, snatched the C. (C for Coach. Real Coach. Ouch.)

That means he also got this:

And this:

And these:

And this:

And this.

I don't have a phone OR your phone number. I don't have a video camera or digital camera to capture the latest Emma Kate caper. I don't have a driver's license so today when I took EK to school and drove to work, I was pretty much living outside the law.

So, we had to file a police report, cancel debit/credit cards, cancel my MEDCOM card--(this is what literary gurus, or my mom, call FORESHADOWING), cancel the phone (only after he sent vulgar text messages to my mother in law---if you also received text messages from me that resembled a porn script, I apologize) change the locks on the house, blah blah blah. It doesn't get any worse than this.....................or does it??

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are!

A week ago, we were having a typical crazy Thomas day. It was Ash Wednesday and our afternoon went something like this...
4:45-leave my office
4:47-get to my car and realize I left my keys on my desk
4:52-back at car, with keys
5:01-picking up EK from school
5:08-run inside house, change clothes.
5:12-mom picks us up to head to church
5:19-park at church for 5:15 service
5:21-sneak into back of church with mom and EK (no nursery for service--but I knew that going in)
5:25-Mike arrives at church-sitS behind us
5:32-I pass EK over the pew so that she stops saying "Daddy, Daddy, I won Daddy" while the choir is singing
5:45-imposition of ashes on forehead--which I take EK up for. Our preacher puts ashes on EK's head and says "Jesus loves you very much." Ek says "Yuv u." TOO CUTE.
5:59-church is over and Mike heads to basketball practice. We head back home with ma-ma.
I told Emma Kate that if she would be good during "big church" I would get her a prize. Once church was over, she remembered my promise. So, she and I went to McDonald's for a Mommy & Me date.

We had cheeseburger happy meals and EK got a Hello Kitty watch as her "prize" in the happy meal. She even got cookies as a treat. Then, she spotted the playground.
We were having such a nice time, just the two of us, so we headed outside where we were the only playgrounders of the evening.

Emma Kate immediately ran for the narrow, spiral stairs that lead to the labyrinth of colored tubes and boxes, high above the ground. She would call for me and tell me the color of the tube she was in, etc.

After 15 minutes, it was getting darker and darker and the light of the golden arches was not shining bright enough for EK to see in her world of tubes. So, I told her to just come down the slide and we would go home and see daddy.

K: Not slide, mommy.
ME: Emma Kate, just come down the slide. I am right here at the bottom.
EK: 'S toooo dark in derrre. Come Mommy.
Me: Emma Kate, mommy is right here, just come back through the yellow tube and come back down the stairs.
EK: No mommy. Mommy COOOMMMEEEE.
Me: Emma Kate!! Mommy is right here. I can hear you, just come back down the stairs. Let's go!!
I tried and tried to coerce her to come down on her own. I stuck my head in as far as I could up the twisty slide and told her to follow my voice. No luck. I went back to the narrow, spiral stairs and yelled from there. "Follow mommy's voice!! I am right here!!" Nothing but screams from a far off corner of colored-tube-world.

I looked around for some kid, just coming off of karate or gymnastics--with parents doing as I did: opting for a quickie, unhealthy cheeseburger dinner on a busy Wednesday night.

DO ALL MOTHERS IN AUBURN COOK DINNER??? Where are the children????? For goodness sake, I need a child to climb into Ronald McDonald's playhouse and bring down the princess from the tower!!!
No one came.

There was only one option.
Only. One. Option.

I was going in.

I kicked off my shoes and prayed that the green and red bolts were strong enough. I climbed up the narrow, spiral staircase. I climbed through the yellow tube, into the blue box and turned the corner into a big red car-looking-thingy. There, next to a life-sized tic-tac-toe board was my little girl--shivering and crying in the corner. It WAS dark in there. It WAS scary. When she finally saw my face, she stopped crying and crawled my way. As I backed down the way I so carefully came in, she followed me on her hands and knees--our faces very close together.

She whispered "Dat skerred Emma Tate, mommy."
I whispered, "Me too, Emma Kate."
She whispered, "Mommy annassh gone." (Mommy's ashes gone)
We made it all they way back down where a half-eaten cookie was still waiting on her. She gobbled it up and said....

"My pwize in derre," and pointed up to the big-red-car-looking thingy.
I looked at her wrist and realized that hello kitty was missing.
I grabbed our things, bought Daddy a happy meal for supper, gave Emma Kate the new "pwize" and headed home.

Monday, March 2, 2009

She'd had enough...

Last week, Emma Kate came home on Wednesday with a rather distinct bite mark on her arm--just like here. (And note, I predicted this!) For 7 months, Emma Kate has gone to "school" and she never once had gotten an incident report where she was the bad guy and not the victim. For seven months, one lil' boy has been biting Emma Kate on a pretty regular basis. Although the school cannot tell us who it is (fear of parent retaliation!!) Emma Kate does not shy away from telling me who it was. It didn't really concern me, because they school is always very good about giving her some extra TLC whenever it occurred, and hey, Emma Kate is one tough cookie.
Back to Wednesday. I noticed the bite mark on her arm, but there was no incident report to go along with it, so I figured it went unnoticed by the staff.

Me: Emma Kate, did someone bite you today?
EK: NOOO, Mommy.
Me: **Baffled** Emma Kate, there is a bite mark on your arm, are you sure no one bit you?
EK: N-OOOOO. Mommy. DON'T TALK 'Bout it.
Me: What? Don't talk about it (emma kate has never said this before)?? You need to tell mommy if someone bit you or hurts you. You can always tell mommy.
EK: I not talk bout it. Not talk.
So, I dropped it until bedtime. I had a talk with her about how she can always tell me anything and that I am not mad at her for someone biting her, I just needed to know that she was okay. She finally told me who bit her (same boy as always) and gave me a extra tight hug before she went down. It was if she was saying, "I love you mom, but there is something I have to do." I didn't know then that her little mind was planning her revenge, which would take place on Thursday.
Thursday, when I went to get her from school, her favorite K2 teacher came right up to me and said, "I am so sorry to tell you this but Emma Kate bit someone today. It was bad, she almost TOOK A PLUG out of him. They had to take him inside, where he is now."
I scanned the playground and noticed right away that the boy who was not there was the infamous biter. Right then, I knew what had gone down. SHE HAD HAD ENOUGH.
They gave me an incident report, but even the teacher told me not to be too hard on her as she was "probably just defending herself."
I did scold Emma Kate, but I must admit, secretly I was a little proud. NO, I do not condone violence. Emma Kate has put up with it for seven months, and that bite Wednesday put her over the edge. Nothing else had worked, so she had to fight fire with fire. Or teeth with teeth.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Pics

We woke up to snow and it lasted all day! We went in and out of the snow several times, then Emma Kate and mommy (and Belle, Jasmine & Bany) had a tea party while Dad and Unc were at basketball practice.