Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Our Week - The One with a Movie Date, a Music Performance, and the Mother Son Dance

It’s Tuesday which means… it’s time to recap the week! 

Monday, March 4

Monday morning, I got the kids to school, flew over to Walmart and Publix to pick up groceries, and then I flew home to get them all put away.  Olivia had an appointment with the gastroenterologist – finally! – about the abdominal issues she’s been experiencing this last year, so I had to be back at the school by 9 to check her out and get her to the doctor.

In case you missed it, last year, Olivia had three separate times where she had major pains in her abdomen.  The first time occurred last February, and she had terrible stomach pains and no appetite for three weeks.  She was lethargic the entire time and she broke out in a rash on her face one day towards the end.  We took her to the pediatrician, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  They chalked it up to a virus and told us that it would just take time to go away on its own. 

The same issue popped up again in early November, but was thankfully, short-lived (only a few days), so we never took her to the doctor.

Then, in late December, she had a repeat of her February episode – extreme abdominal pain, no appetite, lethargy, and a rash on her face yet again.  We took her to acute care one night because the abdominal pain got so severe.  The next day we followed up with her pediatrician’s office, and again, they chalked it up to a virus, but they also suggested that it could possibly be intussusception, which is when a portion of the child’s intestine folds inside another segment.  It’s most commonly found in toddlers, and most kids outgrow it by age 10, so he said it was highly unlikely it was that since she just turned 10, but he told us if the severe pain happened again to get her to the ER so they could do an ultrasound to check.

Well, a couple of days later (three days before Christmas), she woke up in the middle of the night in severe pain, so Brian took her to the ER, they did the ultrasound, and they couldn’t find a single thing wrong.  They diagnosed her with “gastritis” (inflammation of the lining of the stomach caused by an infection AKA a virus) and they sent her on her way.   

Thankfully, a couple of days later, the pain resolved on its own and she has been fine ever since then.  However, her pediatrician’s office had referred us to a pediatric GI doctor back in December, and even though she hasn’t been experiencing the pain the last couple of months, we decided to keep the appointment. 

The GI doctor ended up being really fantastic, and after a very thorough chat about everything that has been happening, lots of questions for Olivia and myself, and a physical exam, he diagnosed her with abdominal migraines.  WHAT?! 

Y’all, I have never even heard of such a thing, but apparently, they are very common in kids up to age 10.  He said that an abdominal migraine is diagnosed by process of elimination, and he said that because she is not having issues constantly, that pretty much rules out food allergies, gall bladder, spleen, and appendix issues, Crohn's disease, and lots of other scary things.

An abdominal migraine is exactly what it sounds like – it’s like a migraine in your stomach instead of your head.  He said the nerves in the stomach flare up and cause pain, sometimes severe pain, and it can last from hours to days to weeks in some cases.  He said that the rash on her face was likely the result of emotional distress from being in so much pain.  And it also explains why one minute she would be fine and the next minute she would be in terrible pain. 

Our next steps are just to watch her and pray that she outgrows them soon / has outgrown them since she’s on the older end of the age bracket for these.  If it happens again, he said he wants us to call him back, and then he’ll decide how to proceed from there.  He will likely do a scope just to make sure 100% that there’s nothing else going on in her abdomen to cause the pain, and if the scope comes back clean, there is a medication that they can put her on specifically for abdominal migraines.

I am obviously praying that it never happens again, and I’m praying even harder that she doesn’t have to go on any kind of medication for this, but overall, I’m so relieved to have some answers.  It’s wild, because we have seen two pediatricians, an acute care doctor, and a batch of doctors at the emergency room, and not one single doctor ever mentioned abdominal migraines.  Many, many potential diagnoses were mentioned, but never once abdominal migraines.  This just goes to show that you truly have to be your own advocate for your health and the health of your children.  If you are not satisfied with the answers you’re getting with one doctor, it is so important to keep seeing different doctors until you find the right one.  Sometimes it just takes finding the right one to get the answers you need. 

Anywayyyy, we were really impressed with the whole visit – the check-in process was quick and easy, we barely had to wait in the waiting room (there was no one else waiting the whole time we were in there), the nurses and staff were wonderful, we only waited for about two minutes from the time we got in our room until the time the doctor came in, and the doctor was kind, thorough, and amazing with Olivia.  We were in and out in less than 45 minutes, and the doctor was with us for, probably, 25 of those minutes.  Local friends, if you need a good rec for a pediatric gastroenterologist, feel free to message me!

After our appointment, I got Olivia back to school (she barely even missed anything since the appointment was so fast), and then I headed home to work for the rest of the day.

At 3, I grabbed the kids from school, and we headed home.  I helped Olivia with homework and studying, finished unloading and reloading the dishwasher, put away the rest of the groceries, and finished prepping for dinner, and then I did my Bible study for the day.

Once all of that was done, I headed out for a run.  My runs have been a struggle lately because my asthma has been flaring up due to all of the pollen, but I got it done even though I felt like I was going to die afterward.  Haha.

When I got home, I got dinner on the table – chicken tacos – and then we all sat down to eat together.  After dinner, we cleaned the kitchen up, and I got showered and in my PJs.  I folded towels and watered the plants and worked on a couple more things in my office while the kids got ready for bed, and then we watched some of American Idol with the kids before they went to sleep.

B and I watched some of The Bachelor, and then we called it a night, too.

Tuesday, March 5

Tuesday was just yucky outside.  It was chilly and it rained most of the day.  I had a Home and School Advisory Board meeting at 8, and then I headed home for an hour to squeeze in some work before meeting my Momma at the movie theater to see Ordinary Angels.  We were in the theater with the recliners, so that was a treat, and the next 2.5 hours were spent being lazy, eating my lunch (yes, I brought a full lunch with me – haha), watching the movie, and crying a bucket of tears.  The movie was good.  Just bring lots of tissues.

By the time the movie was over, it was almost time for me to get in the car line, but I had just enough time to swing by Staples to do an Amazon return, and I also tried and failed to pick up my prescription from CVS because they were closed for lunch.  I mean, honestly.  I agree 100% that everyone deserves a lunch break during their day, but for these big pharmacies to be closing down completely during the day for a lunch break is just mind-blowing to me.  They have, like, 5-6 employees in the pharmacy at any given time, so why they can’t just stagger their lunchbreaks like every other company in America blows my mind. 

Anywayyyy, after that, I got in the car line, I grabbed the kids from school, and then we headed home.  Olivia typically has dance on Tuesday nights, but her school was putting on a music performance for grades 3-5 Tuesday night, so we let her decide which event she wanted to attend.  She chose music, so we skipped dance, and we headed to the school for the performance at 6. 

Olivia’s grade had learned to play When the Saints Go Marching In on their recorders, and they also sang a song about the United States.  The other grades did similar performances, and the whole thing was really cute.  It was quick, too, and we were out of there by 6:30.

We grabbed dinner on the way home – Chipotle per the kids’ requests – and we ended up having to go to two different Chipotles because the first one was out of white rice and there was going to be a 20-minute wait. 

The other Chipotle had a long line, so by the time we got home, it was late.  We ate dinner, got the kitchen cleaned up, and then while the kids got showered, I did a stair stepper and an arms workout. 

After that, it was bedtime for the kids, and B and I finished The Bachelor before heading to bed.

Wednesday, March 6

Wednesday was the only day that I didn’t have anywhere to be, so I used the day to my full advantage, working a lot on the blog, and also catching up on some housework that desperately needed to be done.  I love and need and thrive on a tidy house, but I will put off deep cleaning a toilet forever.  Haha.

In the car line, I FaceTimed with a friend while I waited, and then after the kiddos were out, we dropped Olivia at dance.  After that, Jacob and I stopped by CVS on the way home to grab my asthma prescriptions, and then we headed home.  He worked on homework and watched some YouTube while I got my Bible study done, and then I finished cleaning the kitchen and started prepping for dinner while he did some origami.

When Brian and Olivia got home from dance we sat down to eat together – pizza Joes, green beans, and garlic bread – and then we got the kitchen all cleaned up. 

Once the dinner/kitchen cleanup was done, I quizzed Olivia for her word work test the next day, and then I got in a strength workout while the kids got showered and ready for bed.

Wednesday evening, Jacob decided that he wanted to learn how to play What Was I Made For? by Billie Eilish on the piano, so he printed out the sheet music, and went to town.  I couldn’t believe how much he learned (and memorized) in just 15-20 minutes.  He constantly amazes me. 

We all sat by the piano and listened to him play for a bit, and then after the kids got in the bed, B and I finished the episode of American Idol we’d been watching, and then we headed to bed.

Thursday, March 7

Thursday, after I dropped the kids, I put some gas in the car and then I headed to my primary doctor’s office for a follow-up about my vertigo.  Since all of my specialists have ruled out the serious stuff (brain tumor, heart problem, blood clot, vestibular issues), they all released me, and my primary doctor is the only one who remains.  Sigh.

Thankfully, she is fabulous, and she is sticking with me, and after discussing with her all of the results of aaaallll of my tests (MRIs, CT Angiograms, VNGs, echocardiograms, etc.) and how they all came back clean, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is most likely the braces – more specifically the rubber bands – that are causing the issues… that, coupled with my anxiety and the fact that I hold all of my stress in my neck.  Since my face has shifted so much, we’re thinking that it has made my vestibular system a bit off-balance, and we’re praying that once the braces come off and the rubber band use is discontinued, that everything will eventually settle down and get back to normal.

In the meantime, she is going to keep me on the medication that I’ve been on for the last few months, and she is going to add an additional dose in the morning to help get me through the day since I had that recent vertigo spell.  I’m currently only taking a very low dose at night before bed, but I notice that the dizziness gets worse as the day progresses, so hopefully this morning dose will keep it under control all day.  Then once the braces come off, hopefully I can wean off of the medication altogether. 

While it sucks that I’m still having these issues eight months later, I’m grateful for a doctor who has helped me have a plan in place to *hopefully* manage the symptoms until they go away.  And, of course, I’m grateful that I’m able to drive and do most of the things I need to be able to do on a daily basis.  I will have to give up riding rides on our Disney trip, but that’s a small price to pay compared to not being able to get out of bed like I was in the beginning. 

After that appointment, I headed straight to my therapist’s office for my weekly appointment… she has been a Godsend during these last eight months that I’ve been going through this vertigo, and I’m so grateful for her, too. 

Once that was done, I was able to head home for the rest of the day to work on the blog, and I also spent a good chunk of the afternoon deep cleaning all of the floors, vacuuming, mopping, etc. 

After school, I enjoyed the spring-like view from the car line, and then we headed straight to music lessons where Olivia made bracelets for Mrs. Janice and Mr. Steve.  She got a rubber band bracelet making kit for her birthday and she has been a bracelet-making machine.  If you know us and see us any time in the near future, chances are, you’re going to receive a bracelet from our girl!  Haha.

I sat in with Jacob for his lesson, and Mr. Jarrett helped him work on What Was I Made For? that he had started Wednesday evening.  After that, they worked some more on Fur Elise since he’s trying to perfect that before his upcoming recital.

Olivia had a double voice lesson on Thursday since her teacher had been out the week before, so while she was in the second part of her lesson, Jacob and I hung out in the lobby. 

We headed home after that, and the kids worked on homework while I did my Bible study.  Then they played outside for a long time because it was such a beautiful day.  We’ve started seeing the first signs of spring in recent days, and it’s been soooo lovely.  I’m not even mad about my spring allergies flaring up because I’m just so ready for warmth, sunshine, and greenery. 

When Brian got home, we made breakfast for dinner (eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, and toast), and then after we got the kitchen cleaned up, I slipped out of the house for 20 minutes to take Maui for a walk.  The sun had already set, and the crickets were already starting to chirp, so we had to keep it short, but we got to say hello to several neighbors who were also out and about, and we made it home just before dark.

While the kids showered, I squeezed in an arms workout, and then I got in my PJs.  Jacob spent the rest of the evening tinkering on his piano, and Olivia worked on a craft, and then after we got them in the bed, B and I watched another episode of Pieces of Her.

Friday, March 8

Friday morning, the kids celebrated Read Across America with "Dress Like a Book Character" day for Olivia and "Read My Shirt" day for Jacob.  Olivia opted to be Taylor Swift... I told her that was a stretch since she's not traditionally a book character, but then she pulled out her Little Golden Book about Taylor Swift and I couldn't argue with her.  Lol.

I dropped the kids at school and then I headed home to work and prep for the Mother/Son dance all day.  At 3, I grabbed the kids from school and got them home, then after getting myself ready, I headed back to the school sans kids to co-chair the dance. 

The dance is only for 5th grade and under, so Jacob is long past those days, so Brian kept both of the kids with him Friday night and they spent the evening hanging out at home and watching a show since it poured down rain all night.

When I arrived, my friends Bianca and Heather and I all got started getting set up, and then we had another girl, Charlene, and our school principal arrive later to help out, too.  Our chef did the most amazing job on the food yet again, and we had s’mores brownies, a variety of different cookies, fresh fruit, homemade potato chips, lemonade, and of course, his famous spa water.  He is just so fantastic!

That gave us girls time to put together the balloon arch and set out the other decorations before everyone arrived at 6:30. The theme was Out of This World, so we had gotten an outer space balloon arch that Bianca did a fantastic job on, and we had fun little light-up rocket keychains and space glasses for the boys.

It started pouring rain around 6, so it wasn’t the most ideal evening for a dance, but our school resource officer who was doing security for us, spent the whole evening escorting the moms to and from the vehicles with a giant umbrella so they wouldn’t get wet.  He is truly the best.

The next hour-and-a-half was a blur of checking people in at the door, replenishing snacks, putting in song requests for our DJ (who is one of my old friends), cleaning up spills, and telling the boys to get off the stage, stop jumping off of the walls, slow down, and leave the DJ alone.  Hahahaha.

It was still pouring when 8 PM came around, so cleaning up and getting everything back in my car was a mess, but we finished up around 8:30, and we just had to wait for my friend, Shaun, to finish putting away his DJ equipment. 

Transporting subwoofers and speakers and computers and other electronics that cannot get wet was a major challenge in the pouring rain (as you can probably imagine), so it took forever for Shaun to get his stuff loaded back up in his truck.  He and our resource officer worked together to haul it back-and-forth since he couldn’t wheel it out on his cart like he usually does (because – rain), and I tried my very best to keep a large umbrella over their heads (and the equipment) while they went back-and-forth.  We were all soaked by the time we were done – well they were… I was only soaked from the waist down since I kept an umbrella over my head the whole time, haha – and the rain just didn’t let up.

After we got the school locked up, the three of us ended up chatting for a few minutes before heading home.  I was praying for a break in the rain, but it never came, so I ended up taking the back roads home.  We don’t live close to the school at all, so we usually take the highway back-and-forth, but that highway gives me anxiety on a normal, sunny day, so I wasn’t about to get on there in the dark and pouring rain. 

Taking the backroads ended up taking me twice as long – nearly 30 minutes – and it was not a fun drive home, especially, once I hit some fog in addition to the dark and the rain.  But I made it, and I was so happy to see my babies!!  And I was even happier to get out of my wet clothes, put on my PJs, grab a glass of wine, and sit down with some leftover Kraft Mac n Cheese and one of the s’mores brownies I’d brought home from the dance.  Hahahaha.

After B and I got the kids in bed, he and I watched another episode of Pieces of Her, and then we headed to bed later than usual since I hadn’t gotten home until 9:30. 

Saturday, March 9

Saturday was pretty typical – homemade waffles for breakfast, some lazy time, devotional and Bible time, a mixed cardio workout for me, laundry and tidying for the kids, lunch, more hanging out, and I got some planning and stuff ordered for our Disney trip.  It was dreary and still soaked outside from the tons of rain we’d gotten all night Friday, so we didn’t spend any time outside.  Instead, the kids made a massive fort in the playroom, and they hung out in that all day.

Saturday evening, we went to 5:30 Mass followed by dinner at our favorite local pizza place right by our church.  We had our usual big group Saturday night, and we ended up staying there for a long time.  

The kids got in bed shortly after we got back home since the time change was looming.  Spring forward is always rough, so we went ahead and turned our clocks forward before bed, to try to offset that loss of an hour on Sunday.  B and I watched an episode of Pieces of Her, and then we headed to bed a little earlier than usual to ensure we got adequate sleep since we lost an hour.  Sleep is very important to me!  Haha.


Sunday, March 10

Sunday morning, we were up at our usual time… which, of course, felt like an hour earlier.  Sigh.  We did cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then had a lazy morning like we usually do.  The kids watched TV for a bit while I got everything planned for the week ahead, listened to my Sunday morning sermon, and did yoga.  I also got my Bible study done for the day. 

We had lunch at my mother-in-law’s and step-father-in-law’s house, and we hung out over there all afternoon.  Then we spent the rest of the day hanging out at home until it was time to go to my parents’ house for Sunday dinner.  The kids cleaned up their fort, but first – a picture to document it!  ;o)

Momma made porkchops, rice, green beans, black eyed peas, and cornbread, and it was soooo delicious. 

We headed home around 8, and then after the kids were in the bed, B and I finished Pieces of Her and then we watched some of the Oscars before calling it a night.

And that was our week!

Happy Tuesday, y’all!


  1. Abdominal migraines...never heard of such a thing!

  2. Glad you were able to get some answers for O! But wow abdominal migraines. Crazy! What a great rest of the week and what a fun dance!!

  3. So glad that you finally have some answers for Olivia; my youngest had a pediatric GI and we just LOVED him and his whole office so much. So sweet and so, so thorough in this day of quick in and out visits. Keeping my fingers crossed for all of you that she has outgrown them. I love that dance theme and it is so sweet that you still help out even though your kids don't participate.

  4. Do look up "vertigo and braces" on Google. You will see hundreds of results. It is very well documented that dental work can cause vertigo. Specifically, there is connection between TMJ and vertigo. This is why i have a pretty low opinion of today's health care system in general, that something as basic as TMJ-vertigo connection was not mentioned by your dentists or ANY doctor. You probably have BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). Good luck to you and I hope you feel better!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting about this! I have definitely done some research and I have seen many articles about dental work and TMJ. BPPV is what I was originally diagnosed with, and even though I've done all of the PT for it, it just won't go away completely. And I TOTALLY feel you on having a low opinion on health care because I have had several instances in my life where I feel like things could have been prevented/explained/treated and they weren't. Thank you so much for your kind words.


Thank you for taking the time to comment... I read and respond to each and every one! However, if you are a no-reply blogger (meaning that your email address is not connected to your Blogger account), I will not be able to reply to you directly via email... you will have to check back on the blog post for a response!