First of all, I want to thank you all who have left me such thoughtful comments, tweets and messages. Also, I’d like to send out a special HUG for all who have stepped in to help Ray with the kids. You have no idea how much it means to me to know that there are so many people who care so deeply for our family. You’ve all been so wonderful!

Now, for the updates ::

Ray took Ethan to see his doctor on Friday and, while he seems to be just fine, he was referred to a neurologist. Just this afternoon I made him an appointment for an EEG, so we’re praying that, after Monday, we can completely rule out a seizure. From what I’m told the shaking and eye-rolling is pretty common when one passes out. I think I’ll rest easier if I’m told that was, in fact, all that happened.

And, me? Well, the doctor in the ER told me that I needed an MRI to determine the cause of my headaches and neck pain, but first I must see my primary care physician… I have an appointment for tomorrow afternoon. I stopped taking the Vicodin and muscle relaxers, because they knocked me out and I can’t afford to sleep all day and night. I’ve been taking Excedrin Migraine, when my headache seems unbearable, and it seems to help a little bit, without the grogginess. After my appointment, tomorrow afternoon, I also plan to see the chiropractor again. Hopefully Dr. Thomas can help shed some light on my neck pain or perhaps even give me some relief.

But, for today, the kiddos are safe and having fun with our trusted friends, the Bouwes, and I’m supposed to be resting. I’ll lay down for a while and feel okay, so I’ll get up and try to do too much, and the pain screams at me.

It’s taken me way too long just to type out two posts and I’m beginning to hear screaming….

OD on the ER

Since I am barely able to function, let alone compose a coherent blog post, I’ve asked my hubby to update ya’ll on the reason why I have been MIA…

It’s been quite a trying week, to say the least.

It all started on Tuesday when I got a call at the office around 10 am. “Ethan’s had a seizure and the paramedics are insisting he go to the ER.” But that wasn’t the last of my visits to the inside of the ER this past week, unfortunately.

Friday morning at the office, at about the same time as on Tuesday, Christine called saying she’d been taking a shower, passed out and had to lay on the bathroom floor until she could manage to get to the phone. Her neck and head were in massive pain, she was extremely dizzy and her arms were numb. Not good, not good at all.

I rushed home and found her laying on the bed, barely able to move. Diane, our next door neighbor, was kind enough to watch the kids until Christine’s sister, Sara, could get here so I could take Christine to the Med 7, a type of emergency room. I dropped her off because I needed to take Ethan to his scheduled appointment to follow up on his incident on Tuesday. We returned and watched as Christine was tested for the next four hours for all sorts of things from the flu to mono. Everything was negative, thankfully. But that didn’t help explain why she was hurting so bad.

After Chris was prescribed pain killers and muscle relaxers, I took her home and she slept for the next 24 hours straight, until Saturday afternoon. By then, her pain was worse (when the pain killers wore off) and I knew we needed to get her head examined to be sure it wasn’t something more serious.

We dropped the kids off at our good friends’ house and I took Chris to the real ER. Hours later, the CT scan came back negative, which was a huge praise, but it still didn’t tell us why she was hurting so bad. The doctor thinks that it is a migraine mixed with severe muscle tension. But who knows. They used the IV to inject hospital grade pain killers and the result left her feeling better than she had in days.


Still, Chris hasn’t been able to move her neck or head much. She’s very stiff and in a lot of pain. Monday we’ll hopefully see the neurologist and get an MRI. We’re beginning to think it may be a pinched nerve, but getting any real diagnosis has been difficult.

In the meantime, we are very thankful to friends and family for stepping in to help in this difficult time, especially by being there to watch our children. I can’t imagine my wife functioning with six kids, not being able to stand for very long or move around much. May God grant us wisdom on how to proceed.

I didn’t think it would happen to me…

Ask any one of my family members or friends and they will tell you that I am not typically the type of mom who coddles her children. When one of my boys falls, I tell them to get up and keep running. My kiddos (no more babies here) play in the tub while I grab their p.j.s and throw yet another load of laundry in the dryer. My half dozen even explore the playground while I watch close by, not once hovering over them. No band aids unless you’re bleeding and that bump? eh, he’ll be fine.

I’ve never been a helicopter mom.

Until yesterday.

helicopter mom
While Ethan has been fine, yesterday’s episode has had me on edge. I have kept Ethan in close proximity for the last 36 hours, much to his chagrin. I haven’t even allowed him to play outside, without me, and I made him take far too many breaks at the pool, insisting he sit by me.

I’ll admit that I’ve always thought those helicopter moms were a bit paranoid. Today, keeping all of my brood more close by than normal, making sure they stayed well hydrated (even though this has never seemed to be a problem, since they all drink water like it’s going out of style), jumping at every little whimper or whine, and this evening even giving in to every-single-little-request, I felt like “that mom.”

Even though I know that each of my children’s lives are in the hands of our Father and that I have no need to be paranoid or worried, tonight I was reminded…

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” ~Matthew 10:29-31

“kinda stressful”

Today started like so many other days, although a few of my kiddos decided to sleep in a bit. Not entirely abnormal, I wasn’t surprised when Ethan said, shortly after 10am that he hadn’t eaten breakfast. He came in from saying hello to his neighborhood friends, hopped up on the counter and drank from the faucet as if it were a drinking fountain.

Here our day turned into anything but normal.

Ethan cried out that he had a sharp pain and I instantly knew something was really wrong. Just as I made it to him, he collapsed in my arms. Had I not made it to him in time, or shrugged off his cry – like I have so many times, knowing he wasn’t really hurt – he would have fallen to the floor from the counter top. But, as he fell into my arms, he began to shake, his eyes rolled around in his head, and he was drenched with sweat.

Calling for Zach and Julia’s help, I carried Ethan to a chair and dialed 911, informing them that my son had just had a seizure. They sent help.

After an exam from the EMT, I was urged to get Ethan to the emergency room for brain scans. Actually, they wanted to take him in an ambulance, but I had no one here to stay with my kiddos yet, so I waited for my amazing friend, Mindy, and drove him myself. All the way to the hospital I prayed for my oldest son, and begged for God’s mercy. It is the scariest thing to not know what is going on with your child or whether or not it will happen again, but to trust in the Great Physician is so very comforting!

Ethan had test after test – EKG, CT, blood, urine – show everything as “normal.”

blood test


Doctor and nurse said there was no explanation and sent us home with information on what to do if Ethan had more abdominal pain or fainting spells, totally discounting a seizure. I just have to say, as Ethan’s mom, I know what I saw.

While we are very thankful that Ethan appears to be fine now, he still seems a bit out of sorts. I just have a feeling something isn’t right. God, how I pray I’m wrong. While we are both hoping this was an isolated event, I am taking Ethan to see his pediatrician tomorrow, and Ray insists on finding a pediatric neurologist who can see him.

This afternoon, Ethan looked at me and sighed, “Wow, it was kinda stressful today.”

No kidding.

Transformers: Vacuums in Disguise (Dyson DC25 Giveaway!)

Last year we had the privilege of reviewing one of the best vacuums ever – The Dyson DC25. I discussed how easy it is to maneuver, and how it cut down on allergies in the air. Zach and Ray even created a fun video displaying how well this Dyson Ball vac moves. This short clip still makes me laugh out loud!

Well, you can imagine how excited my kiddos and I were to discover that the vacuum we have used (and abused) is making it’s Hollywood debut next week. That’s right, the Dyson DC25 makes an appearance as a Decepticon robot in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. My boys always said that our vacuum reminded them of a robot. Maybe that’s why they loved to vacuum!

We’re not sure what the DC25-cum-robot looks like in the movie, but thanks to my friends at Dyson I was directed to some of the speculations ::

dyson-dc25-robot3 dyson-robot5

and, my favorite: