Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Picasso Strikes Again


This is our family dog, Daisy. (Yes, that is her real name. She doesn't care if you know her true identity since she doesn't get on the internet much.) Notice her sweet little face and how pretty she is posing for me. Now notice her coat and fur. 

Daisy is a little Blue Healer/Border Collie Cross, and her preferred fashion is to sport a shiny black coat with some white markings on her nose and feet. Now, notice the strange yellow patch of fur on her back/side? Whatever could that be? 

Oh, hmm, let's see. Might that be yellow spray paint I spy? Now who do we know that likes to spray paint inappropriately? Yeah, you guessed it. Mayhem. And can you guess who left the spray paint out again...He-who-must-be-severely-beaten (aka Daddy).

Once again, the Sol-u-mel took off most of the incriminating evidence. Most of it. Daisy is very grateful for Melaleuca cleaning products. They are non-toxic to pets and small children. Daisy would also be very grateful if you not mention this to her. She was very embarrassed about it when I took her picture.

This kind of behavior is: #1. Why our dog dislikes our son. And 2#. Why Mayhem is not allowed near my art supplies. I guess he figured eating a nickel last month was just not quite enough attention. He must really like the nickname Picasso.

The moral of our story: Hide your paint people.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Madness Writes A Book

My son is now a published author and illustrator. The same son who was recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrom and ASD (Austism Spectrum Disorder). How about that? That's basically what happens when your kid attends a stellar Arts Charter School.

Am I just a teeny tiny wee bit proud? Uh, yeah. You could say that. Considering he comes from a long line of writers and authors and painters (oh my), and that I myself am attempting to transform from once banking professional and content manager into now Mommy Blogger and Mixed Media Artist - yes, I am just a little bit excited about this.

He did not, however, choose to dedicate his first published book to me, the writer mommy. He chose to dedicate it to Hubby (aka Maniac). Yes, you read that correctly. Dad got the kudos and the shout out. I got squat. I'm still so stinking proud. Guess what else?

Madness started his occupational therapy and counseling a few weeks ago to help him (and us) better manage his ASD. This week his therapists invited him to join a select small group of their patients in a summer program where they will learn all about making a short film. They believe Madness's interests and natural talents make him an ideal participant. 

He gets to choose which areas of the film production to be most involved in, which is another smooth move on his therapist's part. She's awesome by the way. (Shout out to Cherie!) Is he tickled pink about the whole thing? Yeppers. He has decided to be part of the set crew and the guy behind the lens.

So now you know what's happening in Madness's world. Or as I like to call it...our new normal.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nickel Eater


The same day I was laid off from my day job (April 23rd), Mayhem decided to celebrate by swallowing a nickel. A nickel. It was bedtime, and prayers and tuck-ins had already happened. I heard a suspicious choking and gagging sound coming from his room. (I, myself, was already in bed half-sulking and half-giddy over the lay off.)

Just as I was heading down the hall, a very paranoid looking five year old comes walking up. He looked seriously sheepish, which almost never happens, because...the boy has no shame.

Me: Why were you choking? Are you okay?

Mayhem: Um...I swallowed a nickel.

Me: What? Are you sure?

Mayhem: Yeah, I'm sure I swallowed a nickel. It wasn't a penny. Pennies are copper.

Oh well, pardon me. I told Maniac (aka hubby) about the nickel. His response was so typical. "No way he swallowed a nickel. He's probably just messing with you." Uh, okay. Have you met our son?" is what I wanted to say. Instead I just looked at him, numb from my job loss, and slightly indifferent in that moment about the nickel.

Next morning, I called our pediatrician who suggested I monitor the exit material, aka fecal matter, of my five year old's bowels. He said most coins should and do pass, to give it a few days (up to two weeks) and then call him if I had any concerns. Okie-dokie then.


After 6 days of monitoring the exit material with nothing to show for it, Daddy was beginning to think it was all a big hoax. He's a logical guy and wanted some scientific evidence as to whether the nickel was even in there. Plus, he was tired of me whining about poop. So he got out his metal detector and conducted a highly scientific experiment, wherein he ran his little machine over the chest and stomach of our neighbor's son as a control subject (roughly the same size as Mayhem), with no results.

Then he ran the machine over Mayhem's belly. The chimey-buzzer-noise-thingie went off like a fire alarm! At last, I had some evidence that there may indeed be a coin living inside Mayhem, along with who knows what else because he is a boy and he plays in the dirt.  

On Sunday, May 11, two and a half weeks later and after several swipes of the metal detector, Mayhem started running a fever and complained of stomach pains and cramping. Nice. Fever and tummy aches came and went intermittently all day and into Monday. My mommy-stress and spidey-sense went into overdrive. I called the pediatrician again.

Me: So, it's been two and half weeks since he ate the nickel and it still hasn't passed. What should I do?

Doc: Oh, that's not good. Can you be here in twenty minutes? We had a cancellation.

That's not comforting at all. I took Mayhem to the pediatrician, who examined, poked and prodded. And then ordered us to get X-Rays. The X-Ray technician was pleased to show us a stark silhouette of Mayhem's skeleton, shadowy organs and dead center...the nickel. Bingo!

The findings proceeded an emergency visit to the pediatric gastroenterologist, who was very nice, laid back and pretty funny. He quizzed Mayhem like crazy about the nickel, the swallowing, the reasons and the impending surgery.


Surgeon: So, you swallowed a nickel huh?

Mayhem: Yep.

Surgeon: Why'd you do that?

Mayhem: was an accident? (This is the same kid who spray painted my car 2 years ago.)

Surgeon: Seriously, dude. Why did you put a nickel in your mouth?

Mayhem: I was worried about my dad. (Oh sure, blame your parents.)

Surgeon: Oh. You know I have to go in and get it now, right?

Mayhem: How?

Surgeon: I'm going to stick a special camera and tool down your throat while you are asleep and grab it.

Mayhem: Oh. Can I keep the nickel after you take it out?

Surgeon: Sure!

And so, on Wednesday, May 14, at St. Luke's Hospital, I took Mayhem in for an endoscopy. They put him completely under, the surgeon located and removed the nickel and Mayhem got to eat as many popsicles as he could handle. Also, he was hilarious coming around from the anesthesia.

Seriously. Almost comical enough to erase the mommy terror of the experience. Almost. I do not recommend feeding your children coins. Playing "piggy bank" is also really not a good idea. Seriously.

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