Friday, June 29, 2012

The Bravest Kate

(FYI-Kate named this post and okay-ed all the pictures, since she's getting to an age I don't want her to be embarrassed.)

I am so going to brag on my brave little girl.  She was a little tearful before we left the house, we got up at o'dark early and I let her lay on my bed for a few minutes until it was time to go.  Justin and I were waiting downstairs for a few minutes when we heard a little sob.  She wanted Starbear.  I had intended not to take her because I was afraid she might get lost, but she tagged along anyway.  After a couple of, "I don't wanna goes," that I was echoing in my head too, she dried her tears and we took off.

Kate's arm after 2 days of ice and elevation--that is significantly smaller than when we unwrapped it the first time at the ortho office.

The gal did great with the waiting we did.  She was quiet, which is out of character for her, but I will also grant her that everyone we spoke with asked her for her name, date of birth, and what she was there for.  She got a little sick of answering those questions!  She defaulted to me, which was fine and sometimes just pointed at her arm band.  The nurses let her take Starbear back to the OR with her and even gave Starbear a hospital bracelet, in case they were to get separated.

Kate in pre-op

The anesthesiologist ordered sleepy medicine, despite the fact we told him it hadn't worked on her a week ago.  The nurses observered her in pre-op, and they thought she was handling it all great, so we opted to make it only if needed--and she was so brave she didn't need it.

When they rolled her away, she was waving and smiling.  We were quite thankful that they gave her a gaseous anesthetic before putting in the IV, so she didn't have to be awake for that.  The doctor said he was able to line up the bone just right without a problem and closing was easy despite the swelling.  He also said he was able to stay away from the growth plate.

The next time we saw her was much more difficult.  She looked lost and confused.  She kept crying, so the nurse gave her some morphine.  The tears remained until she had been awake long enough for her to have a popsicle.  Who knew grape popsicles were better than morphine?  She had been a long time without food or drink, so that perked her right up.  She was a bit upset when we had to get her up to go, but I'm sure she was still a little woosey and worried she would hurt herself.

Kate in post-op--she wants everyone to see her purple tongue.

We picked up a bear in a hospital gown at the gift shop.  I called ahead and knew they didn't have slings, so I brought what I needed to make one for the bear while she was in surgery.  Kate says that, "Mama broke the bear's arm."  It gave my hands something to do for a few minutes.  My aunt also stopped by to chat with us and to get some food for us.

She's been comfortable at home.  Her only complaints have been that she needed a sling (the pediatric sling won't fit over the two splints the doctor used to protect her elbow) and the pain medicine tastes awful.  We bought an adult sling today and I modified it (shortened the strap by half) so she can wear it and I took her medicine back to the pharmacy to get it flavored.  She said it tastes better, but still burns her throat.

Here is her new sling, which she though she hated until I shortened the strap.  She also uses the extra space as a purse to carry the bear.  Ha!

I think she's absolutely spectacular too because today she asked if the screw had to come out.  I idn't want to answer, but I also want to be honest, so I told her that it did.  Other than asking when, which we don't know, she's been fine with it.  I would be so mad I had to do all that again.  She is so brave!

She is to the point she can only wear pillow case dresses, since nothing else will fit over the arm.  I have made her two more today with fabric my mother brought her.  We'll meet with the orthopedist again next Thursday for follow-up.  Maybe then we can see if she can wear some more normal clothes!  But I am thankful to whomever came up with these dresses and that it is the right time of year for them.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today I am thankful...

I am thankful that we live in a place and a time where Kate's elbow can be repaired.
I am thankful, that even if her growth plate were to be damaged, she will still be able to bend and straighten her arm.
I am thankful that, as I write this, the swelling seems to be going down.
I am thankful for insurance that will help defray the cost of all these expenses.
I am thankful for grandparents, on both sides, who would be willing to drop everything to come and lend a hand.
I am thankful that though Kate is tall, she is thin enough that even I can still pick her up and move her when I need to.
I am thankful for a munchkin who has handled this with strength, grace, and even (almost all the time) with a smile.
I am thankful that we have a God who is greater than anything I can imagine, who promises to work everything, even this, to the good of those who love Him.

Kate says she's thankful for TV, ice, blankets, and StarBear.  Those are all things that have helped her through the seemingly endless hours of trying to get the swelling down.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kate's Elbow

Just a quick update on Kate...

Her elbow requires surgery (Thursday morning)--a screw instead of pins.  She will be splinted again afterwards and expected to move it soon afterwards.  I'm not precisely sure when soon is...I was surprised, so I didn't come with questions for that scenario!  I'm sure they will tell us at the hospital.

Until then her arm is elevated and iced.  We're having Netflix marathons.

It could be a rough few days for her and us, so prayers are appreciated!
Kate in a new pillow case dress

Monday, June 25, 2012


The other day I took the littles to buy a second swim suit for each of them.  I've signed the girls up for swimming lessons in July and I thought it would be a good idea to have that extra one.  I hit upon a good sale and was able to get them all covered for $25, tax and all, not bad.

I was a good Mama, despite the very hot temperatures we've been having, I hauled out the little play sprinkler we have for them to play with and let them run through the sprayer in their new swimsuits.

And I'm so glad I did, even if I roasted.  Here's why...

Yep, Miss Kate will be missing out on the water fun the rest of the summer.

She missed her gymnastics class this week because the dentist office recommended we reschedule, so we did.  We took her on Thursday night instead.  We had plans to visit some friends for the weekend, so I stayed home to work on packing and Justin took the gal to her make-up class.

At eight, just as the class should be ending, I heard a knock on the front door.  I thought a neighbor was letting me know that Nate was standing in the window, or some such thing.  Instead, I found Justin on the front porch.  Kate broke her elbow and she wanted me to take her to the hospital.

It seems that Kate has inherited my sense of grace.  The child, who does some pretty impressive things on the high bar, didn't fall from there.  She didn't tumble off the balance beam.  Nope, she was running and tripped over her feet.  She was heading for the spring board, but wasn't there yet.  She straight armed in the fall and turned a somersault or two.  She told me, "I thought she was dreaming, and then I screamed."

A couple of minutes after we walked in to the ER, a father and his 13 year old son came through, also with an elbow injury.  They were a funny set as we walked down the hall together, one nurse stopped and asked if we were all together, the boy in his soccer jersey and Kate in her leotard.  Someone teasingly asked if they had been in a fight.

The people in the ER were wonderful.  She was treated very quickly.  X-rays, splint, and all in what must have been about an hour, as I look back at what time I left the house and when we got back to the van.  She was such a little trooper.  The x-ray was the hardest part, since the tech needed it to be as straight as possible (about 90 degrees was the best we could do) for the pictures.  The lady who brought the ibuprofen was impressed when she asked how Kate was doing and instead of a whining complaint heard, "Alright."  The man who splinted her arm got her a popsicle for doing a great job.  As for the other kid, he needed a splint and he will be as good as new.

She got sick in the night, we assume from the trauma since it hasn't persisted.  Poor child had to have my shirt that she was sleeping in cut off of her and dumped in the tub at two in the morning, groggy, sore, and nauseous.

She will have to see an orthopedist tomorrow to see what will be next.  I'm hoping for a simple cast and expecting pins, so I can be relieved if she doesn't need them.  The only complaint she has is getting dressed.  It isn't easy to dress when your arm is twice as big (with bandages and all) and can't be straightened.

I'm seeing a couple of extra pillow case dresses in her future.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tooth Fairy

Miss Kate had a couple of adult teeth come in behind her baby teeth.  We've known this for awhile.  The dentist gave her some time to try to wiggle those baby teeth out, but they just weren't very loose at all, so this Tuesday Justin took her to have those pesky teeth pulled.

We both expected screaming and crying--before, during, and after.  We told her early on Monday morning, so she would have some time to process it all, but not so long that she could collect horror stories or spend days fretting.  We told her that the dentist would help her wiggle her teeth out--and the girlie was excited, after all that means that the Tooth Fairy would be visiting.

Tuesday morning she came down the stairs early in the morning with tears in her eyes.  I asked her if she was scared and she looked at me incredulously and shook her head, "No."  Then in halting speech she told me, "I'm so hungry.  I want to eat."

We opted for sedation in the form of some liquid that would help her sleep through the procedure, so she couldn't eat that morning.  Justin took her, thinking she might be so out of it that she would need to be carried out of the office.  Kate fought the sedation, of course, since we paid out of pocket for her not to remember the whole thing, that failed.  She's just too nosy!  The gal who brought her back told Justin that she whimpered a bit, but never cried.

She seemed to think the whole thing was an exciting adventure.  She told me about asking the kid next to her if she had something on her lip after it went numb and felt funny.  She told us she didn't even know when the teeth were pulled.  She laughed about the 'band-aid' (a gauze pad) in her mouth.  And she had no pain the rest of the day.  I had been expecting to dole out some Tylenol.  I expected panic when she saw her gums.  I expected sleepiness and maybe some vomiting.  Instead, she watched cartoons without dozing and wrote the Tooth Fairy a little note.

The next morning she was very excited to find two shiny quarters and a reply from Fairy Faye of Toothfaria thanking her for the teeth.  She couldn't keep her eyes open with the flash though!

She's having her doubts about the Tooth Fairy.  It is interesting to see the gears turning.  She tells me that fairy tales aren't real, but she sure does like those quarters.  She decided I was the Tooth Fairy.  I asked her how she came to that conclusion.  Wednesday she said, "You left the house and then came back in pretending to be the Tooth Fairy."

"I can honestly say, I did not leave the house and come back in last night."


Thursday, June 14, 2012


I took Miss Kate with me to the eye doctor the other day.

I have horrible vision and Justin wears glasses too.  She had her vision checked at the regular doctor's office 18 months or so ago for her before kindergarten physical, but knowing the issues I've had with my vision and that schools have nifty little vision checks that she isn't a part of, we opted to take her now.

The doctor found that she is a bit farsighted, but didn't think she needed glasses just yet.  I could tell she was torn between relief that she didn't need them and disappointment that she didn't get to pick out frames.

I, on the other hand, did get to pick some new frames.  My old ones were quite old, as I had been using glasses only as a back up to my contacts until the past year.

Here are my new specs, photo courtesy of Gabriella!

I have to have my lenses thinned to make the glasses wearable--they are too thick (and heavy) otherwise.  The person who worked on them did a great job.  That is (of course) Kate dancing in the background.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I am constantly surprised by how much Nate takes things that were so difficult with the girls and deals with them as though they are no big deal.  We had to bribe Kate to walk, the girls took a long time to potty train, and we had lots of cup training.  None of that has been true with Nate.

He bit through one of his sippy cup straws, so he's been using an open water cup (with small amounts of water to start) with almost no spills since Saturday.

Also on Saturday when I put Nate down for a nap he was sad because the girls were out with their Daddy (They went shopping, no worries he got to make a trip to the hardware store on Monday.).  I put him on the big bed in his room and I was singing to him.  He had cheered up until I moved to put him in the crib.  I sighed and asked if he wanted to sleep in the big bed.  Of course, by the time the girls were his age they had been out of the crib for a long time (after all there there was already a six month old baby by the time they were his age and we always made the change ahead of the birth).

I had kept him in the crib because, lets face it, it is easier to keep a kid in bed, if they can't get up.  Since the girls were both notorious for getting up...well, I wasn't in a rush to try it again.  I had joked he could stay in the crib until he learned to climb out or went off to college, which ever came first.

I left his door cracked a tiny bit so I could check on him.  I saw his sitting up, but he never got out of the bed that I saw.  At this point he's napped there once and slept through two nights.

We're fast saying good-bye to diapers, sippy cups, and the crib.  My little boy is growing up entirely too fast!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thirteen Years

Happy anniversary to my husband of THIRTEEN years!

The girlies have gymnastics tonight and the babysitter we've used a grand total of once since we moved to Tennessee (almost 2 years ago!) is out of state for the summer, so we will just have dinner at home once the littles are in bed.  I did manage to snag a Groupon for $5 for a restaurant in my home town so we can get dinner the next time we're there, while the kiddos hang out with their grandparents.

Wild and crazy, we are not, but we are blessed!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Picture Perfect?

I've always thought my kiddos are awfully cute, but then again, what mother doesn't?  I even had a few friends ask me about Kate modeling as a baby.  We did not want to do that.  However, when JCPenny's portrait studio called this weekend to tell us that corporate really liked the pictures we had made (just for our family) and asked permission to be used as part of their promotional material, we did give them permission.

So if you happen to see a familiar face at your local photo studio, that is our Katie girl!  She is over the moon (I made her skirt, so it is kind special for me too).  Daddy is fretting.  And me, I'll be using that coupon they will give us when I sign the paperwork to get a set of pictures of the littles together.

These nice new photographs inspired me to actually get the frames out of the box and put them up on the wall--yard stick, hammer, fractions and all.

Disclaimer: JCPenny's didn't compensate me for this blog entry (they don't even know I have one!), but we will receive a credit for the use of Kate's picture.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Joy in the Journey

I remember the days of packing up for a quick trip with one suitcase.  Those days are gone, at least for now, but we still do a little traveling, though it be with extra clothes for little people, pack an plays, and potty seats.  June is Justin's month 'off,' though they have him scheduled to work quite a bit for new student orientation this month, so we drove up to visit his parents.

Since we pass through Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati on our way there, we try to make the most of our travel. We spend the lion's share of our trip with them, of course, but as we are passing through, we'll often stop by for some Skyline chili.

This particular trip, we got Skyline at the restaurant just down the road from where we used to live.  We saw a waitress that used to serve us there.  Then we stopped by the University of Cincinnati for about an hour for Justin to drop off some crystals for his current research project (the crystallographer there is a able to provide her services to outside universities) and to let him chat with his former adviser.  We also got to show off our littles.

On the way home, we made a trip to see a dear friend.  It added some travel time to make it to her house, but it is so nice to see old friends, even if for just a few hours.  And the littles loved her dogs.

Then we stopped at a little place called The Dari Bar, since we used to go there when we lived near by.  

The kids did not object to greasy food followed by ice cream!

On our drive home, we came upon an accident.  We were less than 10 cars back from an overturned semi.  The driver was taken by ambulance, not life flight, which we took as a good sign.  And, while no one wants to be stopped on the interstate for well over an hour 5 hours from home, we had the most lovely weather for it.  We opened up the doors to let the breeze through.  The fussing was no more than should be expected by three little people, and perhaps less than one would expect.  We had stopped to let the littles use the restroom at the gas station one exit back while Justin filled up our gas tank.  We had plenty of food and water in the van.   Justin was able to chat with a few of the other people stopped.  And considering the state of the truck, one lane was cleared quickly.  To top it off, since everyone became friends as we waited to move, everyone was so courteous in merging, so it we moved very quickly when the lane was opened.

We made it home at 6 PM, much later than our 6 AM start time could have given us had we driven straight through, but there is joy to be had in the journey too--old friends, old memories made new, and kind strangers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I get dizzy when I look at our calendar for the next 6 weeks!  We have family visits, friend visits, a dinner we're hosting, Justin has extra work obligations, leading children's worship, doctor visits, gymnastics, swimming lessons.  It's all enough to leave my head swimming!

It is a busy time of year.  At time that I have to consult the calendar before I schedule anything.  A lot of special activities that we don't get to do during the year when Kate is schooling and Justin has to be at work (instead of choosing to be there).  Somehow he is still there more days than not, as he works on research this summer!

Wishing you some time to rest and enough busy to keep you out of trouble!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Funny

As I went in to get Nate after a nap, he proudly announced, "I built a she'ter!"

The quilt at the back of the crib is his 'shelter.'

Later he told me that the brown blanket, near the camera is the fire.  Poor Baby Bear is a little close!

I'm trying to decide if he is a genius or just watches too much Man vs. Wild with Daddy while I have the girls at gymnastics.