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I require a Xanax

Most of the weekend has been great. We were able to have Jared Hawkins over for a sleepover Friday night that was tons of fun, made even better because he brought his Wii over and I strained something trying to beat him at tennis….I failed miserably. He’s a fantastic kid and he and Nathaniel are like twins, so it’s fun to have them together. I would have always thought that having two 9 year old boys in the house would be loud and rowdy, but they are just gems!

Saturday I got the chance to go to a wedding. Nicole and Bill’s wedding has been a much awaited event, and it was well worth it. I met Nicole and Bill at the Children’s Cancer Center because Nicole’s son Caleb has leukemia. They are the second couple I’ve had the chance to meet who got married after diagnosis…and it gives me hope that there really are GREAT men out there who take on that world of cancer and love that family so much that they don’t flinch from the amazing responsibility. Bill and Fred both have my undying respect for the tremendous love they have for their families and for the amount of heart it takes to undertake that burden of that magnitude, when it’s not theirs to take. I wish Bill and Nicole all the love and happiness two people can ever have.

The wedding also offered a great chance to take a breather and get down with some great friends. I commented to one of the other moms who was there from the Children’s Cancer Center that we were the only ones on the dance floor….we decided it takes a lot less for us to have a great time, we don’t need a reason to dance and get funky, we just need a place! It was such a great time and I got a little emotional during the night because I was smacked again by how much I’m going to miss all these special friends. But, because I watched Gone With the Wind the other night, I’ll think about it tomorrow.

Today looked good at the beginning. The kids and I got out the door to church on time, we had a nice lunch and we took off to the mall to look for shoes that Peyton can wear with her new foot braces. The braces are very awkward, they make her foot really wide and they’re cut to give her room for growth so they’re about a size bigger than her foot actually is. The length issue isn’t a big deal, but in looking for a shoe that could accommodate the width…you’d have thought we were asking for the holy freaking grail! We went to 6 different stores in the mall and ended up at the Stride Rite store. I hate to spend big bucks on shoes for a kid that’s going to outgrow them in 6 months, but they’re the only game in town if you need an XX-wide shoe for a 4 year old.

If anyone out there reading this post is or KNOWS of someone who is in the shoe manufacturing biz….please pay attention to this next part. Finding an XX-wide shoe for a preschool girl is like trying to buy a 52-DD bra….they’re only for function, no frills, no cute little extras, like…oh, I don’t know…a splatter of pink glitter or maybe a stripe of color! Not only did they bring me institutional white shoes that bear a resemblance to old fashion nurse’s sensible footwear, they brought me 4 pairs of boys’ shoes!!! Peyton took one look at them and you’d have thought they asked her to dip her toes in acid. She looks down her little nose and says, “THOSE are UGLY!” Ok, there Imelda Marcos, you only have so many options. I send the salesgirl back with the glare that says “You’d better come back with some relatively girly shoes or this child is going to lose her mind”.

She comes back 20 minutes later with two boxes. Both pairs are pink and white and they have passed the most basic Peyton-footware requirements. Then we start with the struggle to get her foot IN the shoe. I seriously thought I was going to have to invest in Crisco to get this child in her shoes each day! I pulled one way, the salesgirl pulled the other, we were both pushing on her foot and we finally got it in the shoe. Amazingly, once the foot is in, it’s a perfect fit, but it’s the knock down, drag out fight to get that brace in the stinking shoe that had us both in a dead sweat.

I finally had to get a shoe horn to help with the process but she reacted as if I’d suddenly popped up with a switchblade.

“What are you going to do with that!!!??”

I explain what it does and how it’ll help get her foot in the shoe and she puts her hand on my face and says, all seriousness now, “Don’t cut my foot off, mommy.”

The thing is, it broke my heart a little to watch her walk in them. Yes, she limps and hops and if you know what to look for you can tell that her feet aren’t quite right. But watching her walk around with the little braces up around her ankles, so carefully walking because she’s not used to walking “correctly”, it sucks that cancer robbed her of something as simple as being able to walk across a room without discomfort. The PT person told me she’d be awkward at first, she’d feel unstable because she’s basically teaching her feet, legs and hips to align properly and she’d probably suffer some aches and pains as the body works to correct the alignment. She looked like she was walking on ice, arms out to her sides and sort of fighting with the shoes. We start slowly, she’s supposed to wear them for an hour a day and then slowly increase the time as she adjusts to them. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal, but I hate those braces and what they symbolize.

This is where the day took a HUGE nosedive. I promised the kids I would take them to the bookstore…a GOOD bookstore….and we went to the Books-A-Million at our mall. We’re in the kid’s section, the girls are playing with a table of trains they have set up and Nathaniel’s playing his Nintendo DS and I’m just sitting….trying to catch my breath from that whole shoe extravaganza. This other little boy kicks up a conversation with Nathaniel and they start comparing Pokemon, sharing tricks of the games, talking a little smack…all good fun. Then this guy sitting across from us tries to join in the conversation. Now, I’m sitting right there, less than an arms-length from Nathaniel and this guy starts trying to talk to the boys. He’s asking them all sorts of Pokemon questions, talking about how good he is at the game, how he has all the newest games before they come out in the States because he gets them straight from Japan, how he knows how to get them for free. I’m looking at this guy, and I’m thinking “Wow, dude, you need to get a life! These are kids, they’re allowed to be obsessed, you’re a little crazy.”

But I have this weird creepy feeling about this guy, just watching and listening to his conversation.

He drops the bomb.

He says, “You know, they have those games here, and a really good Pokemon book section…I COULD TAKE YOU OVER THERE AND SHOW YOU WHERE THEY ARE!”

What? What was that?? They don’t carry video games in the bookstore. And did you just ask my kid to walk away with you??? Are you kidding me?

Ok…that’s the moment when Mama Mayhew came unhinged. I went off on this guy. I tore him a new one, I raked him up one side and down the other. It was ugly, but it was all I could do not to physically attack this guy. I grabbed all three of my kids and stormed off, I went straight to the manager and told him exactly what happened. I’m sure he already knew that he had a crazy lady screeching in the children’s department, but I let him know why. He went over and came back and asked me to describe the guy…would you believe that he was STILL sitting in the kid’s section?

They ended up calling security and having thrown out of the mall. I was so freaked out that all I wanted to do was get my kids the heck out of that mall. I practically ran out of there with my three in tow. Once in the car, after having a long talk with the kids reaffirming the danger of strangers and what not to do and what to do, I hauled butt out of the mall.

I kicked myself in the butt the rest of the afternoon for not calling the police and at least give a report of the guy and get his information. I may have totally over-reacted, but in my gut, I know this guy was up to something bad. I wish I’d taken the time to calm down and stayed long enough to see what security did, but I just wanted my kids safe and far away.

It took me a long time to calm down from that one.

The temperatures today were high 80’s…sorry all non-floridians-who-are-suffering-the-wintry-north. So, when Peyton told me that it was “freaking cold” in our garage, I was all “huh?” I went out there and it wasn’t cold….until I walked by our freezer. Oh yeah, it was pretty cold now…and wet….yes, it was cold AND wet….oh crap.

I hate toaster waffles. Do you know why I hate toaster waffles? Because my kids have to go get them from the freezer every morning and apparently one of them forgot to close the freezer door…just before we left our house for the day. So, Lake Michigan is forming on the floor, every last bit of food is at a nasty level of defrost and I just wanted to sit down and cry. The entire thing had to be emptied and all the food trashed, I figured it was as good a time as any to clean it out, so it’s now unplugged and slowly defrosting. I’m armpit deep in the freezer with a hammer and a screwdriver, pounding away at the built up ice and the kids are standing behind me like it’s the afternoon matinee.

“What are you doing, mommy?”

“I’m chipping the ice away so I can clean the freezer.”

“Who did it, mom?? Who’s fault is it?”

“I don’t know, but if anyone wants to ‘fess up, they’ll be bathing in what I pry off the walls of this freezer tonight!”

I got three adamant “Not me” responses. Go figure.

Again with the deep breathing and calming down. I think this is God’s way of reminding me how BADLY I need Peter here.

On the upside, I had a pretty funny conversation with Rachael tonight during bath time.

She wanted to know why Nathaniel’s eyes were “squinty”.

“Because Mommy’s Korean. Yours are slanted too.”

“No they’re not.”

“Yes, they are.”

“They are?”



“Because you’re Korean too.”

“No I’m not, Nathaniel is.”

“What do you think you are?”

Ok…you ready for this?


Apparently, I’m living with a racist and didn’t even know it. Who knew you couldn’t be Korean AND perfect….all my lasting self-impressions are crushed.

In the light of such a heinous day, I thought I’d leave you with these great pictures of Peyton’s hair.

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

9 Comments on “I require a Xanax”

  1. #1 sharon
    on Jan 6th, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    you are an amazing Mom. your entries make me laugh and cry – this one did both. God has truly blessed you and his hand is upon you, your children and Peter.
    Seeing braces on Peyton has got to be tough (I cried when they told me my 2 year old was playing too rough at pre-school) but she shines through it all and God has a very special plan for her ~ I have no doubt that years from now we will still be reading about the awesome things she is doing in her life! She will shine!

  2. #2 Misty
    on Jan 6th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I have to ditto everything Sharon said! I can cry and turn around and laugh until my tummy hurts reading your posts. You are amazing, as is your entire famiy, even if not all of you are PERFECT! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with others. Love the Peyton's hair pics! 🙂

  3. #3 Jennifer
    on Jan 6th, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I don't know if I ever told you that Kate had Plagiocephaly when she was a baby. She was diagnosed with it at 4 months. By the time we got through all of the Insurance red-tape, she was about 7 months when she was fitted for a corrective device which resembled a bike helmet. It was the ugliest darn thing you'd ever want to see. Her head wasn't that strong to begin with and with the weight of the helmet, she had a hard time keeping her head up. She looked like a sad version of one of those bobble-head things you see in taxi cabs. I hated that thing. She hated that thing. It was a miserable experience. She learned very quickly how to take it off and it was a struggle every minute of the 23 hours per day that she was supposed to wear it. It was a long 6 months but we made it through and her head is…well…not perfect but much better than it had been. It probably would be even better if I had been more consistent about making her wear it. There were many days (more than I care to remember) when she only wore the helmet for a few hours instead of the entire day. My advice to you is to stick with the regimen of having Peyton wear the brace and keep remembering "it's a means to an end". Foot brace or no foot brace – that child is PERFECT (and Korean)! :WINK


  4. #4 Ami Czorapinski
    on Jan 7th, 2008 at 8:15 am

    We all have those days. The ones where you feel like if one more thing happens you'll burst. Then about three more bad things happen and you realize that you're still taking it. Stinks doesn't it? What I always notice though is that no matter how bad the day is, I always have my three kids to tuck in and kiss each night . That has to override the bad stuff. I mean come on. You even have PERFECT children. You can't that! Take care my friend, blessings are coming your way.

  5. #5 Lisa
    on Jan 7th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    I'm guessing Peyton is using AFO braces? In high school I was forced to wear a pair and faced the same problem with the braces not only being wide but also the shoes being too tight when my foot got in. I found that Sketchers makes their shoes actually kind of wide in addition the soles of the shoes come out completely allowing the AFO to fit in perfectly. So if and when Peyton needs a new pair, kids Sketchers might be something to look at. Plus it has all the things Peyton likes sparkles, pink, rhinestones.. good stuff there

  6. #6 Alayna
    on Jan 7th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Oh my God! Oh MY GOD! I am FREAKING OUT about that guy in the bookstore – seriously, freaking out. I mean, I know there are bad people and all that, but it still is freaky when you encounter it. Praise God that you were sitting right there, and I'm so glad you went off on him. I have let my kids play at the train table things relatively unattended before – I'm still within eyesight, but I might not have heard any conversations like that, and when your kids are older, like yours, I think I would be even more lax – not anymore!

    But, the rest of your post had me laughing as always – so glad to hear that Rachael is perfect and that you didn't vut Peyton's foot off. Oh, I learned how to make these adorable little tutus last night, and I just know Peyton would looove them – Lily hasn't taken hers off all day – I'll try to get one made & sent to her, and I'll give some thought on how to make those shoes cuter – what color did you end up getting? Will she have to wear them all day eventually and how long (as in months) will she have to wear them? Or do you know that yet?

    Hang in there!


  7. #7 Natalie
    on Jan 8th, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    You are too funny and yes, I too am freaked about the FREAK at the mall! I can't believe he tried to do that while you were sitting RIGHT THERE!!!

    Keep 'em coming!

    Lots of love,

    PS – Love love LOVE Peyton's hair pictures!

  8. #8 Tanya Hoven
    on Jan 8th, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I have read your site for a couple of months now. Thank you for making us all laugh and then hit us with the heart stuff! My daughter, Lily, had neuroblastoma when she was one. It was in her spinal cord making her paralyzed from the waist down at one point. 3 years later, no cancer, but we're still dealing with the after effects, most specifically weak muscles in her legs and urinary issues. She wears AFO's all the time. Since she was one when she first got them, she's never thought too much about them, so my heart goes out to you especially since you have such a girly-girl. Do you at least have some cute ones? Lily's have butterflies on them right now. Obviously, we have the same issues you do with shoes, except Lily's never known super cute shoes! We get our shoes at a Stride Rite outlet mall (not sure if you have any around you or not), but she's quickly outgrowing the sizes that they have extra-wide shoes in. I have also gotten skater shoes that work great. The one pair we got was from Target and had Barbie on them. She loved those!! Those are more easily found and can be somewhat cute. I know it's hard, but hang in there. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. We're praying for you in Minnesota!

  9. #9 We MUST protect our children | Hope4Peyton
    on Sep 18th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

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