Sick Kid = Stressed Mom

We had a great weekend! We got a lot done around the house. The kids cleaned up the yard and raked leaves. One of my good friends and I did a lot of interior painting to the new house. We also got a few things set up to make it feel a little homier. Friends and neighbors joined us on the deck Saturday night for a fire and a glass of wine. We grilled out with friends on Sunday and enjoyed the football game, even though the Bengals came up short. It was the perfect fall weekend.

However, my little boy is now paying for the all the time outside, especially the fire, leaves and grill. He is congested and his asthma is flaring. He was up half the night coughing, which meant I was up half the night listening to him cough. He’s had to use his inhaler and take breathing treatments through the nebulizer. I stayed home with him today to keep a close eye on him.

I honestly think I would rather deal with a broken bone or other injury than an asthma flare up. It’s extremely stressful for the child and parent. Since he is almost 10, he is definitely aware that he is having a difficult time breathing, which makes him nervous. I am stressed because my baby is congested, coughing and having a hard time breathing. It’s very scary. I used to run to the doctor every time he had a cough but we have learned to manage the asthma at home over the years and visit the doctor as needed.

Although he attends an excellent school with great teachers and administrators, it is hard to send him to school when he’s congested even if the asthma seems to be under control. Honestly, it’s hard to even let him visit grandma or be with anyone other than me. I just worry so much that I prefer to watch over and make sure he gets the breathing treatment immediately if needed. So, I’m not sure if he will return to school and I will return to work tomorrow. I hate for either of us to miss but his health is my priority.

Do you have a child with asthma or other health issue that stresses you out? How do you deal with it? How do you help your child understand and manage the health issue?

A Day Off

Working full-time and having kids involved in several activities often means we don’t have a lot of time for just unplanned fun.  We miss that. The kids were off school Tuesday for Election Day so I decided to take the day off work. Both A and J had overnight guests on Monday. A’s had been planned for quite a while. We actually didn’t tell her or her friend until Monday morning giving them a pleasant surprise before school. J’s guest was scheduled last minute due to the mom needing someone to watch her son the next day. J was so excited that I really didn’t mind at all. Another one of J’s friends, who lives in walking distance, joined us Tuesday morning.

In case you lost track, this means I had five kids on Tuesday – two 12-year-old girls and three almost 10-year-old boys.  Some would call me crazy but I love having a houseful of kids. It is so fun to watch their imaginations at work, see them play ball in the yard, listen to them giggle and hear their insightful conversations (there was actually a very intelligent conversation about global warming).

As a group, we discussed how we wanted to spend our day off. There are so many wonderful things to do in the Cincinnati/NKY area that this discussion took a while. We talked about the boys just riding bikes and the girls rounding up teammates to play soccer with at one of the many fabulous parks in our city. We discussed going to the Zoo, the Art Museum, the Kenton County Public Library the Conservatory and the Nature Center. We knew we wanted to spend some of the day outside since it was beautiful and didn’t want to spend a lot of money.

We finally decided to head to Newport on the Levee. We had lunch at Tom + Chee. I have to be honest, I have been there twice now and I’m not impressed. I enjoy my homemade tomato soup, and even the Private Selection tomato soup at Kroger, more than the soup there. I’ve tried two different sandwiches and although they were tasty, they weren’t anything I couldn’t easily make at home for less cost. But it was nice to sit outside. The boys were able to run around the Levee plaza while we waited for our food.  We also browsed Barnes and Noble, Peek-a-Toy and Claire’s. Once we arrived back at my home, all of the kids played in the neighborhood.

It was so nice to just “wing” it and not feel like we had to be at a specific place at a set time. And one of the most humorous parts of the day was when people asked me if all five kids were mine!!!

How do you keep your family from feeling over scheduled? Any suggestions on what we should do in the Greater Cincinnati area on our next day off?

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Finding Our Way Home

So far I have really only talked about my kids. Today I’m going to give you a little insight into our family journey over the last nine years. I just bought our first home since my divorce nearly nine years ago. We have lived in three different two-families since selling the marital home. All three were in the same city and school district but we moved for a variety of reasons. Being someone who lived in two houses her entire childhood, moving my children around was difficult for me.

After the divorce, we moved to a rental in a great city but a not so great part of town. I didn’t realize this area even had a ghetto until I lived there. The police patrolled the street a lot and with reason. My children were very young so I felt I could protect them and honestly wasn’t in the position to move right away again. Plus, it was important to me to provide stability, which I thought included staying in one place. Then one day A, my then 7-year-old, asked me “Why does Kurtis always go up to that car with money and then they just pull away?” It was right then that I knew we had to move. We found a beautiful place in the middle of town with a large yard and in walking distance to everything. We lived there three years putting up with nonsense from the landlord and the neighbor. The landlord wouldn’t fix anything properly. Some of lights and heat were ran through the other apartment so if no one lived there, I didn’t have lights in my living room or heat in my foyer. One of the duplex neighbors, who lived there about a year, partied constantly. I pulled up to our house, on a main street in the city, one day to find him and about six of his friends in my front yard with no shirts on drinking beer out of brown paper bags. I was utterly embarrassed. It eventually became so ridiculous that we moved to our third two-family. This place was only a block away. It wasn’t nearly as pretty but it was cheap and I knew a house was more likely to become reality this way. I saved for a year and half and purchased us a home last month.

This was one of the proudest moments in my life. I feel like my hard work finally paid off for my children. The house needs some cosmetic work… thank goodness I’m a little OCD. In one month, with the help of my friends, new neighbors and parents, I have managed to scrape wallpaper off of two large rooms, paint three large rooms, find and setup furniture, make repairs to my deck, get a new roof and gutters and much more (see photos). We still have a lot of work to do but it’s getting there and already feels like home.

My children love their new home. We finally have something that is ours. We don’t have to worry about a duplex neighbor being too loud, trashing our yard or having inappropriate dealings in the street.  They can play in the cul-de-sac with the neighbor children, hang out on our back deck or side patio, talk to the older neighbors who they admire and ride their bikes around the neighborhood.

I am so grateful that the three of us are finally home.

Even though we love it, there is still an adjustment period. They do miss seeing the friends on our old street on a regular basis. My daughter misses her short walk to school. They are adjusting to their new rooms. Do you have suggestions on how to help kids adjust to a move and a new neighborhood? I’d love to hear them!

Getting Started

First day of 7th and 4th grade

My 12-year-old daughter A is probably going to be upset when she finds out about this blog so let me start by apologizing to her. Sorry hon. Now that we got that over with, I’ll get started by telling you a little about me.

My name is Gina Holt. I have two children who we will call A, my 12-year-old daughter, and J, my almost 10-year-old son. I’ve been a single mom for 8 years now, which does make raising two tweens a little more challenging I think. Thank goodness their dad is just a phone call and 30 miles away.

I wrote for several local publications for 10 years. I have covered topics like 9-11, the Erpenbeck Scandal, the deer hunting issue in Fort Thomas, politics and much more for the Community Press, The Enquirer and The Kentucky Post. I have written about the restaurant industry for Prep Magazine, Northern Kentucky festivals for Kentucky Monthly and my favorite… family and kid issues for Cincinnati Family Magazine.

I am now the public relations coordinator for the Kenton County Public Library. I love my job but I miss writing about family events, medical issues, my kids, etc… So here we go.

My plan is to write about the funny stuff my kids do as well as some of the issues we take on socially, medically, etc. You will quickly discover that my children have had a lot of health issues over the years, that my life revolves around my daughter’s soccer schedule and that my son is a genius who can’t find his shoes as he trips over them. You will also find out that I love my children more than anything but wine and good food is how I stay sane.

Feel free to comment, tell stories about your own kids, ask questions, etc… I hope you enjoy!