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The Real Life Adventures of a Great Idea

Ever have one of those times when an idea sounds like a Great Idea? Until you actually do it? The it kind of seems like The Worst Idea Ever?

Take, for instance, the idea of scheduling two of your children, with completely different health issues, with the same doctor, on the same day? Afterall, the clinic is two hours from your house. Think of the money you would save on gas! Not to mention redeeming an entire day…

But then as you sit in the office your realize that even if the doctor is a fabulous otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat dr) discussing your 12 year old’s hearing loss and your 3 year old’s respiratory issues, discussing various tests, the results of those tests, potential tests, future tests and worthless tests may get a wee bit confusing. And you may just come home with a huge tension headache…and then have to pass all of that info on to your husband who is busy working so you can pay the medical bills.


Also consider the idea of taking your newly-eight-year-old son to the LEGO store right after his siblings’ appointments. Afterall, you will already be two hours away from home, and just minutes from the LEGO store!

And this sounds like a Fabulous Idea. Until the appointments at the clinic last over two hours and your sleep-deprived three-year old is cranky and hungry and scared. And you had to walk several blocks to the clinic because  your van won’t fit in the parking garage so you park across the very busy street and decide to walk. But you have seven kids with you and look like the Duggars’ (except some of the boys have long hair. and don’t wear polo shirts. and the girls are in jeans).  You arrive and ride the elevator up two floors only to discover a sign that says: Please visit us at our new location! So you ride the elevator back down two floors and realize that you are now halfway between your van and the new location….so you decide to walk there too.

But your three-year old has to be carried the whole time because he is way too tired to walk. But at least you (read: I) live in the Pacific Northwest so there is a Starbucks in the waiting room of the clinic. Only you don’t actually get coffee because, let’s be honest, you have paperwork to fill out and kids to watch. But it smells wonderful and lends a relaxing feel to the clinic.



Then imagine finally making it to the mall in which the LEGO store resides, but you have to first locate the secret entrance the to only non-parking garage parking at the place (cause there is no way your 15 passenger van is fitting in there). So you drive for literally half an hour before you find it and finally park. Then your three-year old has a major meltdown at the LEGO store because he doesn’t understand that his seventeen cents that he has managed to scrounge from around the house won’t actually buy him any LEGO sets. And you forgot to prepare him for that. You leave with one small LEGO set for one small three-year old and look at your watch.

It is now 5:30…dinner is in the crockpot at home, but you are a minimum two hours from home (if there no traffic…and you know there is on a Friday night).  So you head into the Baskin Robbins (hoping to stave off low blood sugar issues) that you saw on the way in…and heave a thankful sigh of relief that they sell cones for only $2.07. So you buy your seven children (and yourself, of course!) an ice cream cone…only to receive dagger-like looks from the grandma wither her granddaughter. Apparently I have no right to buy eight cones when they are eager for their own cones…


I’ll leave out the details here, but Apollo will be having another sleep study, a bronchoscopy and, depending the results of those two things, his tonsils removed. His ENT is concerned about apnea because of Apollo’s “complex”  airway with multilevel airway obstruction (including laryngomalacia, trachamalacia and damaged trachea).

{ETA: his ferratin levels came out fine…ENT thinks he is so exhausted from lack of sleep…ya think???}

And switching gears entirely:

When Kalina’s hearing loss was diagnosed back in April it was considered: moderate to moderately severe. The test at Children’s last week put her in the: moderate to moderately-severe sloping to profound hearing loss. That’s right, her hearing in her right ear now goes all the way down to profound…meaning no matter how loudly they amplify those tones, she still can’t hear them. To be clear, it is not profound in all tones, just some.

Even though the ENT’s office called the hearing clinic up here asking for the records, they didn’t actually send them (just a summary of her visit) so we don’t have the actual audiograms to compare. I will be requesting those, along with CT scan, per the instructions of the ENT.

Kalina now has a referral to the Hearing Loss Clinic down at Children’s where she will get a full evaluation.  Due to some other symptoms (feeling like her ears are plugged, dizziness, change in hearing) the doctor thinks it is possible she may have a vestibular disorder.

And that, my friends, was my Friday.



  1. Crystal

    Oh the glaring stares of those with only 1 kid! I only have 4 kids & people have actually asked to go before us, since they only have 1 child with them.
    We started going to the Lego store in Lynnwood. Our medium size SUV barely fit in those Bellevue parking garages!

  2. Renee Smith

    Dear Renee: I love your name! You are a brave Mama taking all those kids and enjoying all those experiences with your children. I can remember being maxed out with stress trying to corral just 2 and go shopping, or on errands, etc. My daughter just had a few unmistakably stressful days in a row with just her 2 daughters. Nothing big or terribly bad, but she was trying (unsuccessfully of course) to be in 3 different places with 2 kids at one time. I hope you got a nice cup of coffee sometime that day!

  3. Samantha

    Wow! What a day. Maybe you should appoint your oldest child coffee ambassador to Mom on those kinds of trips?

    I was glared at this morning at Starbucks (inside Target. My daughter is an angel if treated to a cake pop before we shop) because my one child was sobbing that they were out of cakepops.

    If they had been out of coffee I would have been sobbing too.

  4. Taylor-Tots Mom

    I just read this to my kids (we all love your blog!) and they said, “Mom! Their family has days like ours!!” (Sad to say, but it’s good to know we aren’t the only ones.)
    Hopefully the next sleep study will give some (any?!) answers for Apollo. Praying for Kalina too!

  5. Robyn

    Our most recent Great Idea wasn’t nearly as traumatic as this, but we did decide it would be a Great Idea to go camping with our kids (only two of them, 5 and 7 years old). We used to backpack a lot when we were young and childless so figured we knew the drill. What we hadn’t done before was feed gluten-free, dairy-free, picky eaters for four meals (lots of grilling on a smoky fire), sleep four to our “four person” tent (yeah, if they’re REALLY good friends!) on a hot September night, and try to keep people relatively clean at a campsite with no washing-up facilities (for people or dishes). Oh, and car camping is tricky when the car’s a Prius. We fit everything we needed, but there was not an inch to spare.

    Still, the kids thought it was the greatest thing ever. We’ll do it again next year — but I think next time we’ll take TWO tents, more sleeping pads, a camp stove and a big water jug… and stop at our favorite cafe for breakfast in the morning :-)

  6. Vivian

    mercy … your life is not boring … and to all people who think they deserve to go before other children…no matter how many , shame on you!!
    praying for you all.

  7. Erica S

    Been a Mama to many for almost 20 years…Always take mine with me too…Feeling your pain and fatigue (in between nods and smiles)…In fact, when my children were all small, I would sometimes think I was having ‘one of those days’, but now I know better. They’re all that way!. Full of joy, still, and the blessed knowledge that I am raising for the Almighty. And you are too! Great job leading the pack.

  8. Becka

    Sounds a lot like our last back to back at Children’s! I can completely relate! Well except I feel overwhelmed with only 2 children. You are strong mother and inspiration.

  9. Elizabeth

    Those are the days that can make you cry at the time and sometimes make you laugh later. (sometimes…) I guess at least it makes an interesting blog post!

  10. Michele P

    Oh my Renee! What a day! Praying that your weekend was a peaceful one and that this week is not so hectic!
    And the Lego store…yep, you are a BRAVE woman! That place sends my 6 year old into a tailspin every time! ;)

  11. Dorothy Stankavage

    My little brother took 2 of my boys to the Lego store in Tyson’s Corner once. He then instructed them how to pack the containers full of lose bricks properly, to get the maximum number of bricks in each container for the set price. The trick is to stack the large bricks in the middle of the container, dump lose bricks in the container, then shake until they settle, add another layer of big bricks in the middle, lose brisks all around until the container is full. ;)

  12. Erin

    I have a child with a sensory disorder. The most significant of which is his vestibular system. Occupational Therapists have been wonderful – but we found one that specialised in sensory disorders. His was definitely impacted by not being able to hear at a crucial stage of his development, which I can only assume would be similar for a child with hearing loss. It has to do with a tiny little muscle in the ear – which is where the OT comes in – to help build that muscle back up again.
    The book to read on this one is called “The Out of Sync Child” by Carol Stock Kranowitz. It is from a preschooler perspective, however there is still a lot in it to help make sense of what is going on for them.
    When we did music therapy with him he changed how he ran, caught balls, swam, sat in a chair, wrote, etc. Massive impact on his life.

  13. Nanette Lescher

    I found a link to your page on This Little Miggy Stayed Home, after reading your story in her special kids section. Before I even read today’s post, I saw the first picture and said to myself “That’s Children’s Clinic in Bellevue!” Then I read on. What an exhausting day you had! My family lives in downtown Bellevue just a few miles south of the clinic, and depending on the direction you come from, you may end up driving right past my house. I am always home these days, watching my 2 1/2 year old grandson while his mom works and goes to school for her nursing degree, and I am sincere in this when I say, use my house as a respite. Leave a few kids to hang with me and my grandson, or use my home to take a breath in between appointments. I have 6 grandkids and am used to action. We have a dog, big yard, books, toys, etc. I know this is a bit forward of me, but my grandson has HLHS, he and his mother live with us, and we are very used to trips to Children’s, heart care, doctor appointments, etc. I want to be an option for you. My e-mail address should pop up for you, but if not, let me know and I’ll message it to you.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thank you Nanette, I will keep that in mind. We usually have our appointments in Seattle, but I will keep your offer in mind!

  14. Laura Corkern

    If this is Children’s Hospital in Seattle where you had appointments today, the valet service in Whale parking (or whatever it is called now) does a great job parking our oversize vans.

  15. Melissa

    Freaky Friday! But you should be patting yourself on the back for staying sane. I’m doing the same stuff but with only three kids and I am perfectly capable of, not only feeling disoriented and frustrated, but turning into an I-told-you-no-computer-before-breakfast witch. And toddling off to work wishing I’d had time for a detailed explanation of why READING is good and that game (“but Mommy! There are Japanese kids who stay online for three days!) is bad.

  16. Nicole

    My heart goes out to you mama! I’ve had similar great ideas! To this day I still can’t decide what’s worse…back to back appointments or two days out of the house.

  17. Jess

    Sounds so familiar. I have 7 kiddos, home school, and run the “it’s complicated and rare” special needs gauntlet too. On the other side of the world (Australia) I have days just like this!

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