Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"Just suck it up, Thomas"

Those are the words I said to Thomas several times following his "jammed" finger incident. Seems like trying to catch a flying soccer ball got the best of this guy. Two days later, and several "Just suck it up, Thomas" later, his teacher asked if I thought we should popsicle stick it. Huh? Popsicle sticks? That is what we are resorting to?
No, I decided that I would keep the sticks for cabin building art projects and scheduled him for a real diagnostic exam. I felt bad, apologizing to the nurse who set out appointment. "I know it's just a jam, but..." I said. I apologized to the nurse who took vitals and weighed him. "I figure its a jam, but..." I joked with the doc and the x-ray tech, who assured me it was probably nothing, but it was good to get a look.
"Uh, mom?" You'd better take a look at this," his doctor advised 30 minutes later, beckoning me over to her table. "Uh, huh. We have ourselves a nice little fracture."

Failed. I failed. I failed him. A minor fail in the grand scheme of things, but still a failure on the old "mother's instinct" mumbo-jumbo. How do you apologize to a 7 year old that you've told to "suck it up" and barely gave tylenol to? How do you pick yourself up, wipe the tears that are threatening in the exam room and make it ok in your heart? I don't know that I will trust myself for a while, so that doctor's office punch card that I've joked about? Better sign me up for a pack of them, because if Tommy says "Boo" I will be in there asking for an official assessment!

4 days later and 3 diagnostic changes, we are left with 4 weeks out of every physical activity and a big hard brace to replace the little old splint they thought would keep this boy quiet for a while. Of course, you can't keep him from falling, from bracing, from jumping around the house with just a little old cast. 10 days later on a rescan the verdict was still "broken". Um, how much did you charge me for that rescan x-ray again? Seriously? Maybe they were hoping for the hand of God to come down and wipe away the fracture. Whatever. I don't know. All we do know is that Thomas is wearing his club for 4 weeks and will be playing January indoor soccer, with or without this cast.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Death of a Pet

On our way out the door to school, Tommy walked as usual up to his bunny's cage to check in on him before we headed off to school. "Mom, is Bounce sleeping?" he asked. I went up to the cage and realized that Bounce was laying on his side and not bouncing to greet us as he usually did. Not really realizing something was amiss, I poked at Bounce with my finger. Sure enough, he was a bit on the stiff side, but I thought maybe I was mistaken. Surely he wasn't dead. I had stroked his ears and checked his food and water late the night before and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I hurried Tommy to the car with a "he's just sleeping in this morning, Tommy," and headed back inside to tell John something was up with Bounce. With tears in my eyes, I told John that I probably was wrong, but maybe Bounce was dead.
Sure enough, John called me later at work, announcing Bounce was stiff and cold. I cried in my office, partly out of sadness for Bounce, but mostly at the pain this info would cause to our little boy. What should I tell him? Should we have some sort of "funeral/burial or just quietly move along and not draw it out? Should we let him lead, or should we bring him along for the ride? Questions all day long. However, I did know that I wanted to wait until after our afternoon of pumpkin hunting was over before breaking the news.
Turns out we ended up letting Thomas lead this one. At pick up after school, Mrs. Batten told me that Tommy had been tearful on and off throughout the day worried about his bunny. I gave her the "slash across the throat" sign, and she sighed. "Let me know how it goes," she said. Tommy was bound and determined to go see his bunny, so once in the car I told him that Bounce wasn't just sick, but that he had died. I watched his face change as understanding dawned. I watched him physically crumple in his seat, his face in his hands as he started to sob. Thankfully, Madeline and Isaac were there to prop him up, and stories of death and dying filled the car. "My hamster only lived 3 months, Tommy, so this is nothing," Madeline assured him. "At least you got Bounce for a whole year, " Isaac pointed out. "Our fish died and we flushed him," Madeline pointed out. "Good thing Bounce is too big to flush," they agreed. "Do you think Bounce is up in Heaven?" he asked. "Yes, Tommy," I lied. It isn't the first and won't be the last "lie" I tell, I bet. Apparently, or so I'm told, good theology doesn't stand up to my "all animals go to Heaven" mantra that I've told myself since childhood. I will believe it anyway, and give my children some peace in believing that they will see their animals. I think it will be the least of their worries once up in Heaven anyway.
Once back at home, Tommy carefully planned out the burial. He picked up and cuddled Bounce's stiff body, his ears flopping around as Tommy bounced him around in his arms. I cringed a bunch with the sight. He wrote a short little love note and picked flowers. He made sure Bounce was safe in the box, and asked to be the one to carry him up to the burial site we'd picked out. He went to the shop and found two big crosses that he'd been working on. It was incredibly touching how sincere and thoughtful he was in taking care of his little Bounce. Once we were all gathered around the site, Tommy had a bit of trouble putting the box down in the hole. He picked it up a couple times, making sure that the tape was extra secure. He wanted to make sure no dirt got down in the box to mess with Bounce's beautiful white fur. Tommy said a few nice things about his bunny, Bounce, then started to sob. Even as he sobbed and wiped at his nose and eyes, he continued to talk about his bunny. John asked if he wanted him to pray, and John then said a short little prayer. He was so strong and so brave, even as I knew how much it was hurting him. Finally, John covered the grave up and we headed back down to the house. I couldn't keep my tears in check watching Tommy sob and sob over the grave. It was an emotional day for us all.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A 36 year repeat

I turned 36 years old...again. My mother called me the other day, and said she couldn't believe her little girl was turning 36. "Mom, stop it. I'm going to be 37."
"I think I know the age of my own daughter," she said, a bit of huff in her voice.

I had to pause. Really? I was 36 all year. I signed it when asked at the doctor's office. I mentioned it when asked. Truly, I've been 36 all year.

I AM 36!

"Do the math, Cynthia," she demanded. "Am I doing the math right?" Now we were both wondering, and my heart was thudding. I just filled out paperwork at the gym I'm now working out in. I put down 36. The trainer put 36 years old in her computer system. Surely I'm 36, right?

Nope, apparently not. If you subtract 1975 from 2011, you indeed end up with 36.

WHO does this, you ask? Who could possibly make this kind of goof?

Me, apparently.

And so, with that, I am 36 years old.....again.
Untitled by whippski
Untitled, a photo by whippski on Flickr.

Flag Football

Untitled by whippski
Untitled, a photo by whippski on Flickr.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Untitled by whippski
Untitled, a photo by whippski on Flickr.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Spring Updates

Time is flying by, and I realize that Facebook really has killed my blogging abilities. It just hasn't happened, and it's sad, because I will look back and wonder at all the amazing activities that we've missed. DId I blog Tommy's Mario Bros-themed party? Did I capture the wonder of my baby turning 4 with John Deere tractors? Have we updated that Bruce and John have taken the house and turned it inside out with total makeover inside? What about Coop completing Teacher Dana's 3 Day Preschool with a successful year? Tommy's amazing soccer season full of goals? Cooper starting, but not really going to t-ball? Coop's first playdate with Brayden? The stories and stories that Coop can tell? What about Cooper's Cowboy costume, Drywall costume, fireman costume, police officer costume, secret agent costume, football player costume, worker man costume, Indiana Jones costume? Did we tell all about those? Did we talk about how Tommy stood up in front of his school with a speaking role from his music class? Mr. Shy was totally game to get up there and speak to the crowd.
Double weekend trips to the farm? John's Ironman training, and on and on it goes. I can only hope that with this little blog today, the memories down the road will come rushing back. And hopefully I can pick up and do better from here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cooper gets a haircut

Every now and again someone would bring up the idea of Cooper actually getting a real haircut. To be quickly followed up by a resounding, "NO". .... from someone, whether it be John, Thomas, or myself, coupled with Cooper's adamant "NO" as well. So days, then months, then years have passed, without more than maybe one trim job by John at some point. Not even sure it was an "event" enough to even take pictures, but we did take a lock of curl to keep. Coop may never truly appreciate the curly top he has, but it sure garners him increasing attention. We can't go anywhere but for someone stopping to touch his hair, to comment on his mop top, to make comments as we pass them by. The curly haired server at Red Robin has commented to me twice now that they should share product stories, and if you have curly, curly hair you understand the necessity for good quality product. (And how the server recognizes us enough to talk about hair is a whole different story!) However, there comes a time when a good thing gets away from you, and Cooper had definitely reached a point where he needed a bit of help with his ringlets. They were dragging down so long they were losing their curl. It was messy and hanging in his eyes. He would even agree with us that he needed some attention, so once we had his buy in, we called up Lindsey and she got him right in.
Chair Drama-Cooper talked a mean tough guy talk all the way to the salon. He wasn't scared. He had no hesitation. He was eager to get his medium sized Lego for being brave. I didn't even sweat the drive over, as I truly thought it was no big deal for him. UNTIL.....he walked in and saw the chair. He fussed, he moaned, he told me "I change my mind!" and loudly, no less. Thank goodness John was there as the voice of reason, and although we ended up holding his hands under the drape (basically holding him down in the chair), he came around once John's distractions caught his attention and he realized Lindsey wasn't going to cut off his head, or whatever changed around in his little mind!

You won't notice a big difference, but it's there. Still the curls, but less "mess". We wouldn't take them down much, though, as this is Coop. Without a head of hair, it just wouldn't be "Coop".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tommy and Basketball

We didn't give much thought to basketball until Jenny's persuasion finally took and we signed him up. It helps immensely when his best friend Isaac is on his team and WWU's men's assistant coach is also HIS coach. Can't get much better than that, really. I had a bit of perma-grin on the Saturday Jenny called me from the game (I had to work that morning) to tell me Tommy was "on fire" and shooting and making up a storm. My proud-meter was flickering pretty bright that morning.

The other Saturday Jenny also asked if Tommy wanted to be ball boy at the WWU game. It was amazing to walk into Carver Gym, this time not as a young girl checking out the boys, but holding hands with her young son. Pretty wild, really, and I couldn't help but look around at all the people that I didn't know, instead of trying to find my group of friends cheering in the stands. Instead of finding Dan and Dave on the court, there were a bunch of young boys out there that really didn't look older than 17.

Tommy met up with the guy that was in charge of the program, and after a bit, he went his way and I mine. Just as I got settled in my seat about 5 rows up, I looked down to find Tommy under that basket, scrambling after loose balls, yet at the same time with puckered up lips and big eyes. "Is he crying?" I asked John, trying to figure it out. Without waiting for an answer, I headed back down. The nice lady monitoring to make sure no one went out onto the court allowed me to get closer to Tommy, who crumbled into my arms in tears. There on the side, with warm ups all around, here was my little boy crying big tears. He couldn't find me in the crowd and panic set in for him. I assured him that I wouldn't leave and showed him where I was sitting, then when the tears quickly dried, he hurried back to join his fellow ball boys. Poor little guy! What an overwhelming experience for him. He pulled it out, though, quickly figuring out how to operate the broom that they had to use to dry up the court for timeouts. Jenny and I hung out down by the court after halftime, just to make sure the boys stuck it out and finished the game. It was a unique experience for us as well, just different being in the role of parent. Pretty surreal, actually. Pretty surreal. Late that evening, after questioning Tommy on his evening, I asked him if he'd ever want to do it again. "No," he said, shaking his head. "Why not?" I asked. "Mom, I want to play basketball, not sweep their floor." Enough said, and understood completely.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Fall Adventures

John would say that Facebook has ruined my blogging. That and a somewhat lazy attitude have done me in, I'm afraid. It couldn't have been the numerous and unplanned little "adventures" in our lives to deal with. Or crazy schedules at work. Or the onset of a home remodel that was completely unexpected. Or...
One of our major issues this fall came with the return of Tommy's headaches. Maybe they really never left, but were masked by the massive and round the clock doses of pain medicine he took for 9 days straight. Tonsils and adenoids tend to do that, I guess. I felt conflicted in it all, as although the MRI showed a beautiful, clean and clear brain with no monster tumor in there, it was hard to realize that something I too suffer from could possibly be now haunting my little six year old. I understand the pain, the fear that rushes in when that all-telling pounding starts its slow drum in your temple. When Tommy pounded on his eye in a desperate attempt to fight off the pain, my heart pounded and I felt sick with him, knowing how helpless I am to even protect my child from whatever would come. With the almost daily calls from his teacher threatening his education, I realized that it was nothing to play around with anymore.
In this case, you go straight to the best that you can find. Seattle Childrens. That means phone calls, more phone calls, return phone calls, and answering the same questions over and over. You are thankful that you have the opportunity to find the "best", but sometimes talking to medical assistants "helping" their doctor only finds you talking to different people about the same issue, and then repeating it again. Turns out that even double checking doesn't work, as when we finally were able to settle on a pediatric neurologist in Seattle, even wires got crossed when I thought I'd checked in with everyone and they all seemed straight on what info went where. I think we did the best we could. We ruled out his breathing with the removal of his adenoids and tonsils. We saw an eye specialist for his eyes to make sure all was good there. We already had a great MRI. By the time we got down to our Seattle Pediatric Neurologist, I would have been shocked to not hear the word "migraine" for my son.
Although I went down to Seattle with a sagging heart, I left encouraged and hopeful, which is saying something. The facility was great. The med assistant was great in that he loved on Cooper while we were there, taking him out and behind the desk to watch movies while we talked to the doc. I felt that I was heard, and that time was taken to go through things. We opted to start him on a nightly med, one that was a starter and had a long track record. Its an antihistamine, actually, one I'd never heard of in all my research. That's why I'm not paid the big bucks for my Google searches, I guess. Side effects? Increased appetite and sleepiness, which is why we give it at night. We agreed to start the med, as although every mother hates to give a medicine every day, I want to give Thomas the best shot at living each day without a headache, without the worry, without the disruption it causes in his school day. I want to go anywhere I can to let him be free of this, and if that means I give him a nightly shot of medicine, I will have to be ok with that.
An update since November's appointment? Tommy has gained 4 pounds and has had four minor complaints of headache in a bit less than 2 months. Those resolved quickly with a shot of his cocktail, and never blew to migraine. Compared to the 3 out of 4 days of calls from the school that I received the week he started this med, I'd say that this is a fabulous response. I have yet to have the school call me since he started. He gained 4 pounds in the first two weeks, which had me a bit on edge, but it's amazing what an appetite will do for a kid who really could care less about food. He actually asks for breakfast in the morning, which is almost unheard of, and we don't have to shove food in his mouth as he's getting out of the car door for school. He eats now, and that 4 pounds is likely weight he should have already been carrying. We shall see where this takes us, but for now, we are thrilled. We are thrilled that unlike the days of the past, when people crawled into their dark bedrooms to try to outlast the pain, Tommy has hope. My prayer is that they will eventually fade away and all of this will be just a distant "adventure" we blogged about.