Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye ...

One minute, you're just a kid without a care in the world ... a big boy who's busy conquering the world - playing xbox, reading Harry Potter, riding your new big boy bike without training wheels, playing with toys in your play room. 

The next minute you're wondering what in the world happened. And spending about five hours at the local emergency room. Good thing Grammy works there, and several of her friends are on shift to take good care of you.

This, boys and girls, is what happens when you tangle the front wheel of your big boy bike with the front wheel of an adult mountain bike. It topples you over onto the pavement, and then it topples the adult bike over on top of you. And even though you're wearing your trusty Hot Wheels helmet, going face first into the pavement is a hard way to go.

You spill quite a bit of blood on the pavement and everything around you. You get a gash on your lip that requires two dissolvable stitches. You scrape, scratch and bruise your chin, your lips, your nose and your forehead. You hit so hard that your lip and nose swell up to more than twice their normal size. You get a CT scan to rule out a broken nose or any other broken bones. And you also discover you have an ongoing, chronic sinus condition (you know, from the CT scan looking for broken bones).

Our big boy was incredibly brave throughout the whole ordeal. After the initial fall, he didn't even cry. Everyone told him what an amazing job he was doing, staying calm and helping them as they took care of him. Everyone, from the doctor and the nurses and the techs, complemented his bravery and toughness.

The good news is you get an excuse to stay home from school. The bad news is you have to follow up the next day with your dentist. Because the impact pushed your two new front teeth up into your gums, and also chipped one of them. You also cut and scratched your gums, which caused even more swelling inside your mouth.

The first dental visit revealed no major damage, but after a few x-ray pictures and an examination, we were referred to a pediatric dentist better equipped to handle "trauma" patients.


But the pediatric dentist was more reassuring. A small chip we can fix at his next regularly scheduled cleaning. No fractures. Both front teeth are a little loose, and they were pushed up a little, but she felt pretty confident they would tighten back up and come back in without much alteration.

You look pretty pitiful, and everyone once again compliments you on your bravery and toughness. They will even decide you probably need another day off from school to recover. But they put you on a "soft" diet for the next 10 days while you continue to heal.

There are perks to being injured. Like "soft" diet means a lot of yogurt and icees and even milkshakes. And people bring you gifts, to entertain you while you spend time recovering at home. 

And Mommy even feels sorry enough for you to take the family timer off the xbox.

And Daddy feels sorry enough for you to stop by the store and pick up more Skylander warriors for your new favorite xbox game.
And even though you still look pretty rough - scraped and bruised and swollen - you still snuggle down in bed and tell me that today was the best day ever. Because you got to stay home with Mommy on a school day (and brothers had to go). Because you had a milkshake for lunch. Because you got to play xbox half the day. Because you didn't have to go to speech therapy (Grammy and Pappy came over to help). And because everyone gave you gifts and made you feel so incredibly special.
But that's because you are.
You're my big, incredibly tough and brave boy. You took a really hard fall, barely cried, and made it through countless hours of poking and prodding and scanning without any real complaints. Because you look on the bright side, even when you probably are stiff and sore and could easily be angry and sullen. Because you smile, even when it hurts. And because you're still willing to get back on that bike and try again.
You know, in a few weeks, once the scratches and scrapes and bruises start to fade.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snapshot Sunday

Good Boy by here we wander
Good Boy, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.

Big Boy

One of Connor's Christmas gifts this year was a new, bigger bicycle. He had struggled to learn to ride without the training wheels on his old one, partly because he was getting too big for it. His knees were crashing into the handle bars.

While we were away on vacation, there was some nice winter weather in our part of the world. Grammy took Connor outside and helped him master the art of riding his new bike.

And he's quite proud of himself about it.

There are still a few crashes here and there. Mostly when he doesn't think about the drop off between the sidewalk and the yard or when he comes across some of the broken sidewalks in our older neighborhood.

But all in all, he's doing well. And he loves going out to ride his bike with you (Grammy also left us her bike, so we could ride with him). Guess an adult bike might be in our near future, too.

Now, who's ready to ride?

Best. Birthday Present. Ever.

Happy to Be by here we wander
Happy to Be, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.
Sawyer and Xander's new swing from Ikea. Oh yes, they like it. They sometimes even fight over who gets to be in it.

Right now, we're switching out the original cuddle swing with this one. But we're eventually going to put another hook in the kids' play room. One swing will stay in Sawyer's room, and the other will stay in the play room. You know, right next to the tunnel and the body sock. Perhaps we should call it the therapy room.

Regardless, we have three happy boys. They all enjoy it.


It comes in waves, apparently ... the loss of teeth. We have to keep that tooth fairy on her toes.

Xander lost his first tooth about a week ago. Grammy is pretty sure it came out during dinner one night, at which point he put it on the table near Connor's plate. Because Connor picked something up and said "That looks like a tooth!" but it got lost in the chaos of dinner. That's our theory anyway.

Next is Sawyer. He actually hasn't lost a tooth yet. It's still stubbornly hanging on. Despite the fact that his tooth was actually the first one to become loose. Now it's twisted and crooked because the new tooth is coming in whether it ever comes out or not.

And then there's the original toothless. He still has gaps where his two front teeth are coming back in. And now he's lost another one on the bottom. He doesn't mind though, because that just means more money in his piggy bank. He's not sure he believes in the tooth fairy, but he still expects her to come. Ah, the logic of a seven-year old ...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

10 (+1) Year Anniversary Trip

Early Pool Shot by here we wander
Early Pool Shot, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.

When Josh and I got married more than a decade ago, we opted for a small wedding and in the mountains just a few hours from home. We didn't do a big honeymoon, just stayed a few more days after the wedding.

We wanted to go to Hawaii, but we didn't have the money to do it right, to island hop and to really enjoy the whole experience. So we always said we'd go for our 10 year anniversary. You know, when we had more money. Three kids and 10 years later, we were still talking about it.

For a lot of different reasons, last year didn't work out. This year it did. We arrived last week in Oahu, and today made our way over to the Big Island.

So Aloha (hello).

And Mahalo (thank you).

Mahalo to Grammy and Pappy, who helped send us on this trip and who are back at home with our three boys and the two puppies.

Pictures are here.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Hi, Mom by here we wander
Hi, Mom, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.
This is a special wave for Mrs. K (and all of Sawyer's teachers), who have helped make this possible. They worked really hard with him on one of his IEP social goals - greeting others. While still usually a response to someone else's greeting, Sawyer is looking at you and returning the greeting. And that's huge progress ...

Snapshot Sunday (Monday)

Xander's Letters by here we wander
Xander's Letters, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.
Letters, letters ... everywhere. How many words do you see?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sunshine ...

Silly Face by here we wander
Silly Face, a photo by here we wander on Flickr.
How the boys and I have missed you. It actually snowed earlier this week. Only flurries, but still. It was cold enough for snow, and that's bad enough.

Today was in sunny and warm, with temperatures in the sixties. That's our kind of weather. It means flip flops and Crocs, and that's how we all made our way outside after school.

We snacked on some home-made chocolate chip cookies (leftovers that didn't fit into the bag for Sawyer's teachers, who so graciously kept all three boys for an extra twenty minutes or so yesterday afternoon so we could finish our late afternoon IEP meeting for Xander).

The boys played on the swings and bounced on the trampoline. They even dug into the toy box and pulled out the sidewalk chalk and a few balls. It was a fun afternoon.

I was a little worried about taking them out. We've started on a little back yard project which involves removing all of the old chain-link fencing that was original to the house, and we are replacing it with standard wood fencing. We have a few climbers in the family, and chain-link is a little too easy for them to scale.

At this stage, there's about fifty foot of back fence missing and open to the neighbor's yard. The boys didn't even venture near it. Buster, on the other hand, is not to be trusted without his leash.

Despite the fencing issue, the weather was too nice to pass up. The boys played. I alternated playing with them (someone has to push them on the swings and break up the fights over chalk) and also cleaning up the yard. Part of the fencing project also involved tearing out about twenty years of overgrowth around the edges, like ivy the size of small trees (not kidding).

Connor helped, so he says. He managed to get one fistful of sticks into the outdoor waste container before going back to play. I filled the rest of it up.

And then he was surprised when there was no xbox for the second night in a row. For the exact same reason. He didn't help us while we worked on the back yard project. Perhaps he'll learn yet.

Just another day in the life ...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Still Here ...

Winter and I are not friends. Too much cold and too many days spent inside. It makes me want to do things like crawl back under the covers and take a nice long nap. Or sit huddled on the couch with a blanket and a favorite movie. Or play the new full version of HydroThunder that we just bought Connor for the xbox. It's a little addicting.

But I digress ... I was talking about my complete and total disdain for winter. It's cold. I have to wear too many layers, and if I actually go somewhere, I have to put on real shoes. With socks. I hate socks. I miss my sunshine, and I really miss my water. Connor is right there with me, asking how many months before we can get the swimming pool back out. I think he asks that one as much as he asks about Spring baseball, and that's saying A LOT.

As for Spring baseball, sign-ups are already in progress. I got the emails from both leagues last week. We'll be signing Connor up for the one he was in last fall, the one further away from our house but better organized and certainly more instructional. There's a mandatory evaluation on a Saturday in March, to try to form fairly even teams, and then games will start the second week in April. Sawyer and Xander are not happy. Not at all.

But that's a few months away yet. Winter break just ended, so the boys are all settling back into the school routine. The twins bounced right back in without much complaint. I'm pretty sure Xander was asking to go back the last three or four days. He spells a lot of words (as in pretty much all day every day), but there at the end I was hearing S-C-H-O-O-L over and over and over again. I think that was his sign. And when I talked to him about school and his teachers, he would excitedly repeat their names back to me. Yeah, I'm pretty sure he was tired of being home, too. Sawyer is harder to tell, but he doesn't fight getting ready or being dropped off, and those are pretty good signs.

Connor is kicking and screaming his way into the new year, especially in the mornings when it's time to get out of bed. Funny how he can get up early nearly every day of winter break at home, but getting up early for school is incredibly hard. Apparently he's decided he is not a fan of school. Or homework. And he really, really hates spelling words. He has ten new words to learn every week. And if he gets the pre-test correct, he has ten "super star" (translation: really hard) spelling words every week. He had those for several weeks in a row, and we were pretty impressed. But Josh and I both agreed if it were us, we might miss one on purpose, just to slide through the rest of the week. He made one mistake on his first list after break, so perhaps he's easing himself back into it. He also still has to practice his handwriting, because it's pretty atrocious. Even he admits it, though that doesn't stop him from complaining about the practice part.

This week has been a busy one. The twins' birthday is in January, which means our annual IEP review is always in January. We had Sawyer's meeting on Monday, complete with his re-evaluation thrown in for good measure. We did a lot of the questionnaires and interviews back in December, but we had to go over the thirty-some odd page report. No one was questioning his eligibility, just a formality. We get to do it every three years. In fact, we'll discuss Xander's re-evaluation planning at his IEP meeting later today. The fun just never ends.

Wish me luck. My second IEP meeting in one week, and a freelance project just arrived in my email box. It's only due next Monday.

First it was the holidays, now it's winter. There's a reason the Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday. It's in the summer. It's warm, and usually involves a lot of sun and a lot of water. I am so ready for some sun and some water ...