Thursday, June 11, 2009

Teenage Drivers

Okay, this thing with teenage drivers is crazy. I have known this for a few years. It's just that I haven't had a new driver for a while. The whole idea of teaching a kid to drive is scary enough. They stop too suddenly, follow too closely, ride the curb or the center line and you just wish you never had to even get in the car until they knew how to drive. If I had a lot of money, it would be worth it to just pay an instructor to do the whole thing. Drivers training classes already cost $275, and they just get 6 drives or so. They expect parents to actually teach the driving part. Ridiculous!

So then you consider the car situation. Accepting the fact that we have had one car catch fire, one car throw a rod, making a large gaping hole in the dead. One car rear end a truck, one car jump a really big curb, taking out most of the under carriage, one van take speed bumps with such excessive speed that it took out an oil pan, one car get vandalized with deep keying and profane language such that it required an entire new paint job, and one car get backed into in the Safeway parking lot and Walmart...same car. Now granted I did have one experience myself with a yellow deer! However, all the previously mentioned episodes were with our first 3 teenagers. We have 6 to go!

With that said, and 2 new drivers, we thought about the car situation. Now, we could let the new drivers just share one of our current vehicles, but considering the potential for a disabled car, we thought an additional car might be the best option. We could also finance a cheap car for the kid car, but we'd still be making a payment on something that past history says will be damaged. So, we decided that Larry and I would get another newer car for us to drive and be off limits for the kids.

The Suburban, 15 years old, remains the family vehicle and the towing truck. The 10 year old Honda is for the boys to drive and Larry and I got a nice, new, pretty, undamaged Acura. It is still a 5 year old vehicle, but it has no dents or dings. Since our recent purchase, the kid car has sustained bumper damage on one side from some unknown source, and just yesterday, the other bumper got hit. It left scratches, and the force pushed the bumper in a bit. It also broke out the tail light. Just found out tail lights are $65!!!!! The other teenage driver has not yet begun to drive, and he is the one I worry more about.

Now add the cost of insuring these new drivers. It's not pretty considering we have so many drivers on our policy already, and actually we have the discount for safe drivers even considering the car experiences. So with one driver, we jumped up about $30 a month. Not so horrible I guess. But we added the new, nice, more expensive car....oooooops, almost $100 a month more. Even being safe drivers, and telling them the kids would not drive this vehicle, it all gets rated for the fact that a kid may drive it and that increases the chances for a kidding! I can't wait to be able to add Jordan in September and Rashelle the following spring! I think I need to get another job.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Break Tonsilectomy

Well, Rashelle had her surgery today, and she is tonsil and adenoid free. It has been a really interesting process and I have learned a lot. I am sure in the next week I will learn even more.

It all started with a trip to the doctors for a well-check. Actually, my main concern was Rashelle's sleeping habits. She has always been a big sleeper, but it seems like the past year or two it has really interfered with her life. She misses a lot of school because she just doesn't get up. I leave for work and the next thing I know, when I get home, I find out she hasn't gone to school. This happens at least once a week, on average. So we tried grounding her, we tried bedtime routine ideas, I tried rewards and other punishments, but nothing seemed to really work. I'll admit I haven't always been good at following through but I feel I do the best I can. Her main focus in life is to sleep. She would rather sleep than hang out with friends, or eat or anything. She doesn't really have any other problems, just that she wants to sleep all the time. Often, on a normal school day, she is asleep, napping, before I get home, and she can sleep till the next morning. Some days when she stays home, she only gets up once or twice and we don't even see her. Even last summer, on our vacations camping and all, she would rather sleep than go to the lake or go boating or most anything.

I figured something must be wrong. In the past, doctors always kindof dismissed it with the idea that teens sleep a lot, but this was different. So after a screening to check for any signs of depression (she didn't really fit that) the doctor ordered a sleep test, and a visit to the ENT. The doctor said possibly because her tonsils were so huge (always have been) she may have sleep apnea and that may be causing her to need so much sleep.

So we went to the Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist. She was amazed at how huge her tonsils were. From a scale of 1-4, Rashelle was a 3.5 on one side and a 4 on the other. They literally touch. When I explained about the sleep study, the doctor said definately postpone until after the tonsils are removed because in many cases, removing the tonsils fixes the hypersomnia. Amazing....I had no idea.

So today, after 3 IV attempts, Rashelle went under and they took the monsters out. The surgeon said she had a lot of scar tissue from a lot of infections and the tonsils were still a bit infected so recovery was going to be even worse and longer for her. She said it would be a really painful recovery. We have geared up with all the liquids and soft foods and all that to keep her hydrated. That is one of the main concerns especially since Rashelle is so small. And she has her antibiotics and pain meds to keep her good, we'll see how it goes.

One crazy note tht just fits with our family...the doctor said no visitors for a couple days. One, so she can rest, and the other to keep her away from germs. So, we get home and Kendall has 2 friends over, Zack has one, and Travis and Tristah stop by. Tristah is on day 2 of antibiotics for strept throat. Cracks me up. Like this house could ever not have visitors. Rashelle was pretty energetic immediately after coming home. I think she liked being the center of attention. We have seen more of her today than in the last two weeks. She was pretty doped up too, so her pain levels were not too bad. She entertained us all with flashlight views from her new throat which looks cavernous now. It's pretty gross actually. She started to cry when she saw her uvula hanging down to her tongue. You couldn't really see it before and it does look gross now, but it kindof freaked her out. She didn't know what it was. Maybe I'll post pictures! Poor baby.

Speaking of baby, it will feel like I have another one now because I am supposed to wake her up to keep fluids in her and pain medicine round the clock. Pain is funny because they don't want her to get on the low end of a dosage and be in a lot of pain. It is much harder to bring the levels back down than to round the clock maintain. I also can't leave her alone in the rare case that she may start bleeding. She is not to go anywhere far from a hstpital for the next 10 days or so. Happy Spring Break.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


"You can never know the good if you've never known the bad,
You can never be happy if you've never been sad...."

At 7:10 tonight, I pulled into the Kidney Center in SeaTac area. I wasn't looking for a kidney. I needed a new heart. Mine had gotten way too tight in my chest and was threatening to break. The Kidney Center just happened to be the closest parking lot. Driving was all the sudden impossible as tears flooded my eyes and my throat was so choked I couldn't respond when Larry said he thought we were going the wrong way.

At 7:oo, I hugged and kissed my beautiful 22 year old son good-bye as I dropped him off at his hotel so he could leave for basic training with the AirForce. He will be gone for 8 weeks of training then enter Tech school for another 5 months. It's not like it's forever, or even a really long time. But it is the official leaving the nest, baby all grown up thing that wreaks havoc on a mother's heart. I am incredibly proud of him and very excited for him also. Still, my heart hurts.

On the other end of the spectrum, my other grown up baby, Renee, found out she is having a baby boy. No questions this time. Definately a boy. My heart rejoices.

So, this weekend, we cheered for Renee, congratulated Garret with a big family party, celebrated my sister Lorri's 40th birthday and tearfully sent Garret off to his new life and adventures....Opposition....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's a Boy...or a Girl

On a snowy, slushy, yucky day, I left work early to go to Renee's ultrasound appointment. After an hour of checking measurements, spine, heart, bones, etc., in a last minute, seemingly half-hearted effort, the technician checked for gender. "Well, it looks like maybe boy parts, or an umbilical cord in the way, can't really tell." and in the space for gender, placed a question mark. So, there you have we know. It's a boy, or a girl!
We got a couple great profile pictures, a cute little wave of the hand, lots of swimming and an adorable foot with toes shot, but no gender specific information. Renee was so disappointed. So was I. She had a friend tell her about a new pee test that is supposed to be able to tell. Maybe that exists and she can check it out. Assuming there are no complications, this will probably be her one and only ultrasound. Bummer.
It's strange I am still battling with my emotions on this all. If I am talking to a complete stranger it is easy to be excited and all, but whenever I discuss this with someone I know well, I get all mixed up in my emotions. Half excited, half tearful....I never know how to react, and am often surprised by the emotions that seem to take over. At home we joke and laugh about it. The ole "humor" in place of uncomfortable emotions we don't know how to deal with. Sound familiar? Renee seems to be doing better than me I think. But I know she definately has a baby in there, and that means I am definately going to be a grandma in about 4 months. I guess I am just still pretty overwhelmed by it all. My baby girl Renee is having a baby and I am just not quite ready for that. Motherhood intensified and magnified?

Monday, February 9, 2009


The following conversation just struck me as hillarious as this is typical of strange and bizzare conversations we have around here from time to time. No one is our family is racist and we all have many good friends of many ethnic origins. I am sure Kendall was considering the reputation of excellent athletes that are African Americans, and it was just one of those goofy things that came out of nowhere. We have often teased Chloe for her preference for thinking Hispanic guys are so hot, and it is no secret I think African American babies are incredibly beautiful. Dustin over the last few years has had Asian girlfriends, so I'd say we are pretty well-rounded.

Conversation Overheard at the Cline/Larson House

Kendall: (while playing Wii Sports with his African-American Wii Me "Jamal") I'm going to have a big black boy when I have kids. (NOTE: Kendall is very athletic)

Mom: (lLaughing) Well then you'll have to marry a big black girl.

Kendall: No, I that's not what I meant.

Mom: Well then you will have to be okay with your wife occassionally seeing the mailman.
(NOTE: we once had a black mailman and it was a joke because Mom always said she wanted a black baby)

Chloe: (With a super Chloe giggle) Well I am going to marry a Hispanic guy cause they are soooo hot!

Larry: (With thick sarcasm) We will have no interracial marriages in this family! (NOTE: his mother is African American)

Kendall: Well maybe a girl that is half-black then.

Renee: Well I am marrying someone who is Native American or European only. Actually maybe just European like German or Scandanavian because blondes are becoming extinct and I need to preserve the blonde genes. (NOTE: Renee is currently very natural blonde and 5 months pregnant with a baby whose father has Native American heritage...bye-bye blonde!)

Renee: (continuing) And besides, before you know it America will be all the same color and all be brown-haired.

Mom: Renee, you're such a Nazi!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Whole Gang