Sandwiches & Privilege 

14 03 2016

Had an amazing conversation with my 8 yo in the car tonight. We were at a Subway restaurant where there were several frustrating dynamics occurring simultaneously. As we arrived at 8:15/8:20 we were told they only had two types of bread left, then 8:25ish as we sat down with our meal they asked a group of people at two tables next to us to please leave since they weren’t paying customers and only there for the wifi. They also asked those of us who were paying customers to eat quickly and wrap it because they were closing the restaurant due to bread shortage. At 8:35 some young men were still at the table studying and the employees again told them they needed to leave since they hadn’t purchased anything. One of the guys called the employee names using derogatory words and said he was staying until 9pm because that is what the sign says and their power was out and they needed to complete an assignment. The male employee threatened to call the cops and there was more interaction. Eventually the quiet guy offered to buy a drink and they refused to serve him because of the friend’s attitude. 

While that interaction was occurring there was a homeless woman also in the restaurant who spoke up loudly saying “Guys, Burger King is open for awhile so just go there” they argued about whether or not there was wifi and decided to stay and stand their ground until police showed up. 

There was a point the women got up and went over to the drink area and grabbed a bunch of sugars. The female employee started yelling from behind the counter “Lady, lady, you need to stop and get out of here”. Then some device she was carrying dropped and the batteries fell out near us, Katie helped pick up the pieces. Meanwhile I could hear the employee loudly commenting to other customers that she came in to buy a drink and then continues to sneak over for more and is just drinking and drinking the water. 

At 8:40, a customer who just got his food (and likely the last load of sandwich bread) sat down at the table next to us and as he was going to bite his sandwich the woman employee came over and said “Sir you need to leave now because we have no more bread and are closing the store.” The man looked up and asked “Seriously?” and she said “Yes, we are closing the store you need to leave” and she gave me a look as well. So he got up and left annoyed and I wrapped up our food and told Katie we needed to go. She asked “Why – didn’t they say the are open until 9p?”. She is loud in her questioning and kept asking Why mommy? And as we went out the door I said “You can ask them if they want, but they say we can’t stay because they are out of bread.” 

At 8:43 we were in our car and they had turned out their lights and the young study buddies were still there. Katie noticed and wondered if the police were going to come and she called the Subway employees evil meanies. 

From there on our drive home we talked about why the Subway employees were upset about the wifi non-paying customers and the homeless woman. She wondered why employees at restaurants haven’t asked her to stop when she took extra sugars for her lemonade and I said it was likely because they assumed your family had money to pay and a knowingly homeless person gets judged differently because there is assumption they don’t have the money to be paying customers. She asked why they couldn’t give wifi to someone whose power was knocked out by the weather. She asked why places can’t let homeless people stay in when it was cold – we talked about various perceptions in society and different reactions. We also talked about some models of businesses who do choose to help or offer assistance and how sometimes there are a few persons unfortunately abuse and take advantage of the offering that kind of ruins it for others.

Another part we talked about was how to be arm respectful customer if you are not being treated well. For instance I think the study buddies were rude, but the Subway employees didn’t exactly have the best behavior either. 

I love my daughter’s heart. I told her even though we don’t always have the extra money for things we do have a home, food, cars, jobs, school, and this makes us rich compared to others. This gives a privilege and it isn’t something we are always aware of. Of course there are privileges we don’t have but we have more privilege than others. I talked with my 8 yr old about the privilege she has and how we need to be aware how people see us compared to others and we need to be aware so that we can speak up for injustices or learn how to right wrongs and difficult privilege-based situations in society. She wants to be a change maker and I pray her heart won’t be jaded. 


Katie and her Baby Giraffe

15 02 2011

Katie, who is 3, has been cracking me up as I take her to school (preschool/daycare) lately. When we walk into the school to check-in you are greeted by a reception/waiting area that has a huge safari themed display. This display I believe has been a fixture as the building has morphed over the years from dance club to carpet store to restaurant to daycare to montessori school. I would love to see how it was incorporated into the environment of the past owners. 

Anyways the display has many animal statues – lions, gorillas, rhinocerous, hippo to name a few – and additional stuffed animals. My daughter has befriended one particular animal – an almost 5 foot tall stuffed giraffe. It sits at the railing of the display and there is a waiting room couch right next to it. 
So every morning we walk in, I go to the sign-in counter and Katie jumps up on the couch to say hello to the giraffe. It always takes a bit to get her to leave the giraffe and walk with me to her class. We’ve started to just say “Goodbye” and “See you later” to the giraffe. As we walk to class, Katie gives me an update on the giraffe. The first time was “the giraffe is scared of the lion”. The next few times “Giraffe is my baby and I’m her mom”, “The lion is going to eat the giraffe”, etc. She keeps a running dialog and usually it involves the giraffe being scared, something/someone being eaten by the lion, and Katie promising to protect the baby giraffe.
Today’s story was the best by far — “The giraffe is the baby and she misses her daddy. The Lion ate her daddy all gone. The gorillas are the giraffe’s mommy. They are swinging, swinging, swinging in the trees so the Lion can’t eat the mommy gorilla. She goes ‘Ooooh OOoh Ah Ah EE EE!’. They keep the baby giraffe safe.”
As I type this I’m realizing my husband is out of town for work and I wonder if that has an effect on the Lion eating the giraffe’s daddy – which is a new story line. Hmmmm.So how do I represent a gorilla?!?
Love that little Katie-bear of mine.

Katie’s MRI/Seizure Results update from Sept. 09

31 10 2009

The next chapter in the health sagas of our summer. My goodness, tomorrow is Halloween. I’ve attempted to write this particular entry several different times and hoping it is completed today!

End of September I took Katie to a follow up appointment for her MRI and seizures. We knew almost 2wks prior that the MRI results were negative (good!) because they let us know. They also would’ve let us know right away if something was wrong and we never got that call. 
So I met up with our Nurse Practitioner at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Seattle. She reconfirmed that Katie’s MRI showed nothing out of the ordinary.She said that because, so far, Katie’s seizures have been short (1 min or less) and follow a fever/vomiting/illness (except for once) and she hasn’t had an episode since August that she isn’t worried about doing anything about it right now. She said not to worry unless:

1)she has another seizure that isn’t following an illness 
2) she has a seizure that is 3 minutes in length or longer
3)she has a seizure that occurs when she is 6 yrs or older (which is 4 yrs away).

I really appreciate this NP, she doesn’t make us out to be panicked or worried parents and makes sure to give us ample opportunity to ask questions/get answers without sounding dumb… in a way that allows you to build up the courage to ask if that is what you need. Fortunately I really didn’t have any questions… just like to know what are the next steps we need to take should it occur again and it is great to know that everything, in general, is OK in Katies brain (no tumors – which was the scariest unknown!) and there is just something about illnesses that tends to trigger her seizures. 

Last week Katie did come down with a nasty double ear infection that kept her (and us) awake for two nights. We did visit the Dr the day after the first night to confirm that it was an ear infection and she started a round of Amoxicillin. As far as we know she didn’t have any seizure episodes from those. I definitely was on guard though to see if anything such thing might occur.

Here are a few photos from her MRI day, they are from my Blackberry phone so not the greatest quality but not bad for a smartphone and will suffice.

Stickers Galore – I do believe they wanted Katie to think Children’s Hospital loves her – so they showered her with stickers from the hospital registration, to the clinic check-in, to walking in the MRI prep room. I truly think she was getting sick of the stickers, overwhelmed by all the choices. I guess it that is the worst of her problems we’re doing great. Here is waiting in the room. She brought her baby doll and blankie, glad I thought to bring them for the waiting room, we had a really long wait in this room. The killer was a playground outside 4 floors down right outside her window. I wan pay mommy, go pay mommy (I want to play).

After the MRI, it took about 30 minutes for her to wake up from the anesthesia. These tubes are just to help her not bite her tounge while she is sedated. She was the grumpiest little thing when she finally did wake up. Anyone would’ve been if they had been through all this without breakfast or lunch or any snacks and it was 3 p.m. In addition to the animal cracker and apple juice she was provided we visited the snack vending machine outside the cafeteria and she got to choose whatever non-candy/non-overly junk food item she wanted. (Yeah, I know that doesn’t leave many choices). She then sat on Pigthaylion, the pig bench between the hospital and the parking garage. She treated it like a carnival ride and everyone passing by just thought she was so cute and hilarious with her excitement about ‘riding’ the pig.
This concludes Katie’s seizure saga. Well, until we finish paying off the medical expenses. Nothing like medical bills after EKG,MRI and several doctor visits to make you thankful for the little bit your insurance does cover and that you have the ability to pay them off. This was just one round to determine the cause of siezures and we’re done, I hope. I absolutely cannot imagine the burden of costs for families with children with terminal or other illnesses needing to be treated for many more days than Katie.
I did it! I wrote the blog entry! Hurray!

Katie’s Seizures Part 3.

25 08 2009

A short (I think) update on the latest information about Katie’s seizures. She was scheduled to have an MRI on Aug. 18th, and we ended up rescheduling due to Doug’s grandmother’s memorial service being held the same day. The rescheduled MRI is for Sept. 1st. Toddlers have to be sedated for MRIs so it’ll be a tough morning denying her breakfast after 6am and only juice/clear fluids untl 10am then nothing before her 12noon appt. We’ll see if that is easier than waking up with her at 4am for the EEG and keeping her awake until 12:30p!

About a week ago (8/16), late on Sunday night Katie had two more epileptic episodes – as far as we can tell. They weren’t as intense as before, but the happened. She had some 24 hour-ish flu bug where she didn’t eat much for dinner then didn’t actually ever fall asleep because she complained of stomach pains. She Kept saying “ow-eee” for a few hours and I eventually brought her out with Doug & I so we could finish watching a movie that took us almost 4 hours to watch in the end. Around 10pm it was apparent why she was in pain because she threw up – all over me. Fun times being a mom. I’ve probably said it before but it is these moments that make me appreciate my mother all over again, and thinking about my mother caring for me that keeps me going taking care of my children when they are sick. She continued to vomit about every half hour until 1 or 2am.

Around the 3rd or 4th time she was in my lap and just stared straight ahead with her eyes moving up and down, side to side. She was unresponsive to words and then I tried pinching her and twisting her skin (as I’d been instructed to do by the med. experts we’ve been talking with) and then also seeing whether she’d grasp my fingers which she didn’t. Doug at one point pinched her really hard in the stomach and she yelled “oW!”. The combination of the vomiting and the episode made me nervous so I wanted to call the clinic for an after hours consultation. This was the first time Doug has witnessed any of her episodes and I don’t know if he didn’t think it was a big deal or didn’t want to believe that it was a seizure and he didn’t want me to call. I told him I was calling anyways because this is the same thing that her eyes have done in the past and she really wasn’t responding to anything before his big pinch. So I called and we waited about 20 mins for someone to call back. Katie started vomiting again as they called and Doug spoke with them while I helped her. Poor little thing. Immediately after vomiting she had another episode with the same eye movements and non-responsive communication. Another big stomach pinch and she came out of it.

The after hours doctor said if she vomits through the night to call back, bring her in. But she stopped. They also recommended we call the nurse practitioner at Children’s to report the epileptic episodes. So I called them and reported the episodes. They will follow up with us after the MRI results.

I know Doug is scared in general because there is the worst to fear… the worst that may not be at all. A tumor and hopefully it will not be that. We have found out through all this that at least two, maybe three family members on Doug’s side have had seizures as young children grew out of them. Hopefully that will be the same for Kates.

Awaiting Sept 1st for the MRI. That’s the scoop.

Katie’s EEG Consultation Follow Up Appt

1 08 2009

For the curious (thanks to everyone who has been asking and concerned about Katie’s situation).

Our visit at Children’s Hospital Seattle went fine, other than the fact that Katie is a little monkey and literally climbed on everything she possibly could.We met with a nurse practitioner for the consultation – which is fine with me. I my experience nurse practitioners have sometimes figured out what was wrong with me when the doctors couldn’t. So she checked out Katie saying at that moment in time she was perfectly functioning little 2 year old. I rehashed the details of the seizure episodes. They are not so concerned about the febrile seizures but they are curious about the second seizure (which didn’t have any other symptoms like a high fever with it). She gave us the results of the EEG saying it came out completely normal, but they only tell 60-70% of the story as it is reading the brainwaves for that specific period of time.

Katie’s second seizure episode causes more concern than the febrile seizures and they are thinking it might’ve been a “focal seizure”, which sometimes that means maybe there is something in particular affecting the brain causing the seizures to occur. She went out for a bit and consulted with one of the neurologists to get a second opinion about whether or not to wait until there is another seizure (if ever) or prescribe the MRI right now, she mentioned that toddlers need to be sedated for MRIs because they are wiggly. The neurologist said better safe to do it now than not do it and find out worse problems later. I agree.

We have to call and make the MRI appointment. In the meantime, we are just hoping it is nothing and she’ll never have a seizure again. All the while watching her and then reporting anything we notice. If she does have another seizure (non-febrile and when someone is observing) then she’ll likely have to start medications.. more for prevention, not so much for stopping seizures.

So that’s the lowdown on the EEG consultation. We’ll continue to keep you updated as we find out/experience more. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Katie’s Turn

7 02 2009

I last blogged on Ellie and now it is time to talk about my sweet Katie. 🙂

Katie is now 1.5 yrs old (20 months if you’re counting..) and living life in full ‘go’ mode like a toddler should.
She is full on walking, running, hops around saying ‘jup, jup’ to jump.
She wants to go potty on the chair like everyone else but is still confined to her diapers because it is a new concept to her. She is being persistent about letting us know when she has a ‘peepee’ diaper which can go either way, but she is usually stubborn about letting us actually change it. I’m not ready for her to potty train. Honestly. This means waiting and waiting for her to decide she is finished, begging to let me change her, and then when it is really *time* enduring the “accidents” that happen for at least a year or more. I’m not excited for this part of growing up, but I know I must give in and allow her the freedom.
We took of the railings of her crib and she is now officially in a ‘toddler’ big girl bed. She hates it. It is fun to play on but getting her to sleep on it at night is difficult. Thank goodness for Dr. Weissbluth and “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”. It isn’t easy but doable. Doug thinks it is easy. She just goes right to bed for him. :p 
High chair – that is disappearing tonight. She officially decided she wanted the booster seat like Ellie. No more high chair. She fights us when we put her in it, refuses to eat. Complete food strike if she has to sit in it. So we brought the dining chair in from the garage and have returned it to it’s rightful place at the table – with a second booster seat for Kates. She is happy. Although she still doesn’t want to sit at the table if everyone in the house is not also at the dinner table with her. Way to bring us together baby.
Katie has lots of fun words and my favorite communication is when you ask her a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question and she nods her head or does a little dance. She can sign ‘thank you’,’please’,’more’,’eat’ and ‘drink’. She’s singing too and dances in her carseat. It is distracting to drive when my cuties are having fun together dancing to music in the back seat. 
Katie and Ellie get a long very well and fight very well too. Perfect sister match. 🙂 Katie is getting very good asserting herself saying ‘no,no!’ and ‘dop, dop it!’ (stop it). 
It is true that you can love your second child as much as your first. She’s so cute, I just want to hug and kiss and cuddle with her all the time – too bad she’s always on the go!
Love ya Katie-bears.

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