Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mom of the Year!!

Not that I had any aspirations, but The Mom of the Year Award will definitely not be going to me this year! Let me, let me sum up. I'll give the condensed, then longer version. We found out Sat. at the ER that Sophia (almost 9 months) has a spiral fracture in her tibia (big bone below the knee). We're not sure how it happened (although we have a theory), and we think we know approximately what time it happened, but can't know for sure. It's amazing how much easier this would have been w/ a child that could speak.

So here's the longer version. Wed. night I had my open water swim class. Donald was home w/ the kids. While Sophie was playing in the living room (the baby proof room), and the kids were watching a movie, Donald went outside to put the cover on the pool. He said he was gone for 5 minutes at the most. When he returned, Sophie was beside herself, crying inconsolably. He got her ready for bed, she fell asleep while he was feeding her, he put her to bed. At 9:30 pm (I was home by this point), she woke up screaming. I got her out of bed, and she immediately threw up. So I thought, "hmm, must be sick." Gave her Tylenol, but still couldn't get her to calm down. She was acting like she was in pain. Anytime I'd adjust her position on my lap she would start screaming. Donald gave her a blessing and I took her to the ER. They checked her ears and throat, said she had an ear infection and sent us home w/ antibiotics.

Thurs. and Friday she was still very fussy, needy and not her normal self (even w/ the ibuprofen). She was having an especially hard time w/ naps and bedtime. By Sat. morning I was pretty concerned and exhausted (I'd probably slept a total of about 3 hrs. Friday night). Luckily Donald's flight had been postponed until Sunday, so he was home. While changing her diaper, Saturday morning, Donald noticed that one of her calves was really swollen. It didn't seem to bother her when he touched it, but he picked her up and she wouldn't stand on that leg.

This was a big aha moment for both of us. We started thinking back through the week about when she was fussy. So, we took her back to the Drs. They did multiple X-rays, found a spiral fracture and splinted her leg.

We have an appt w/ the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. They should cast it then. Sophie seems to be feeling great now that her left is splinted. It hasn't slowed her down much, although she gets mad that she can't pull herself up to standing anymore. We aren't 100% sure how she broke her leg (like I said, mother of the year), but since it's a twisting injury we speculate it's from her pulling herself up on the child's gate. She likes to pull herself up, then rest her foot between the slats. We think she must have done this and fallen, w/ her foot stuck.

To sum up. Sophie is doing great now, Donald is gone for a few weeks of training and I'm feeling like a bad mom b/c I didn't notice her swollen little leg sooner. Oh, and I just had a surprise visit from Child Protective Services. She was here to write up a "safety plan" for our house, but came in and said everything looked great and she didn't have anything to write. She said that due to the nature of the injury we would still have to talk to a couple more people and fill out some paper work, but that she had nothing but positive things to report. Good times!

In all of this I have noticed many things that I am grateful for: Our medical benefits are great! Being in the military, we don't have to pay a dime for all this. This experience also made me realize just how blessed we've been when it comes to our children's health and safety. Considering that we have 5 extremely active kids, I am amazed that Sophie was the first of the kids to have an ER visit for an injury. None of the kids have ever had a broken bone or stitches. Jillian is the only one that's ever had a hospital stay (not including birth), and that was for an allergic reaction. I have friends with children who struggle w/ health issues. Their strength is absolutely amazing to me. I honestly don't know how they keep their sanity. I was a completely drained, emotional wreck having to watch Sophie suffer, and she is fine, it wasn't even anything that serious.

My sweet little girl w/ a splint on her leg.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A nice quiet game of chess...

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Today James was trying to teach the twins (age 4) chess...and getting VERY frustrated with them. I was observing and trying not to laugh.
The conversations went something like this...
James: Hannah, you don't want to move there, then Claire can kill you with this one or this one.
Hannah: (who has the sweetest, highest voice of any child I've ever met) That's ok if Claire kills me, I don't mind.
James: UGH! (slaps hand to forehead)

Few minutes later...
James: Claire, that piece only moves diagonally.
Claire: No, it can move this way or this way or this way. See?! (Showing James that indeed there was nothing obstructing movement in any of the directions she wanted it to go.)
James: MOM!!!

Jillian kindly stepped in to "help" Claire, and James took over for Hannah who'd lost interest. They had a great time playing, especially b/c Jillian (who hates to lose) didn't mind losing while being proxy for Claire.
I sure love my kids and their individual, quirky personalities.
Where was Sophie? She was busy in another room. Her only desire would have been to EAT the chess pieces and that might have sent James over the edge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Family Pictures and a Whole Lot More!

In February we had a fabulously fun little family reunion in CA. Last fall we discovered my brother was gonna be going home to CA w/ his family in Feb. Since this is a rare occurrence w/ him being so busy w/ his surgical residency, we all jumped on the chance to meet them for vacation. All the siblings and most of the spouses (except Rick and Donald) were able to attend. We stayed for 2 weeks and had a great time celebrating Sara's birthday, going to Disneyland, hanging out in San Diego and letting the cousins play together. They all got along great and I was sad to split up Ty and James when it was time to leave
This picture makes me crack up. I'm sure the photographer hated me...I'm talking in more pics than anyone else. This one looks like Chris and I are singing a duet...and mom is busting a gut.

Out to dinner celebrating Sara's Bday. M & D, siblings and cousin, Tim.
Happy kids at a happy place! We hardly had any wait for the rides too! Very fun day!
This was at a fun park designed to look like an old village...each bldg is a play structure, some of the building are connected by tunnels/bridges. Very cool! We also fed ducks and despite the kids' best efforts no one fell in the nasty green water.

And after surviving the flights (both w/layovers) to and from LAX w/ 5 children under the age of 8....I feel confident that I can do just about anything! Makes me tired just thinking about it. We did have one traumatic experience at SEATAC. We were walking on the moving walkway, and I was coaching the kids to keep moving and watch their step as they got off the walkway. Hannah, who has always been my "has to experience everything for herself" child, noticed a penny conveniently located on the metal plate at the end of the walkway. So, she front of all of us, at the end of the walkway, and fell (thank you Mr. Newton). James fell over her. The rest of us managed to get around her, but in her efforts to get the penny, her shoelace was eaten by the walkway. I had to yank her free. I'm sure it was a sight to see...carrying a backpack on my back (where else), a baby on my front, and someone else's carry-on in a hand, while trying to haul my screaming 4 yr old away from the jaws of the walkway monster. Good news: She got her penny, and was pretty pleased about it too! Lesson learned? Probably not.

March was a great month as well. James had a violin recital, which went really well. I've been very impressed w/ his focus and love of playing. I hope he never loses either. He's the blonde, left of the very excited little brunette.
Jillian celebrated her 8th birthday. We had a fun party w/ family and a few of Jillian's friends.

In April, both sets of Grandparents came out here for Jillian's baptism. We also went to the Skagit ValleyTulip Festival.

Beautiful! I think the tulips liked the weather well enough, but I was a little chilly.

So, I found this picture on my camera....I didn't take it, but this is pretty typical. I love that my kids love to read, but I hate that there are usually at least 50 books strewn across the living room at any given time.

Other than that, just life as usual here. Got the garden planted, it doesn't LOOK as great as it has in years past, but we've already gotten lots of carrots, spinach and sugar snap peas, so hopefully the yield will be good despite my neglect.
Donald and I celebrated our 9th Anniversary last month, and there isn't anyone I would rather go through this crazy life with. He's a wonderful friend, father and sweetheart. So glad I convinced him to marry me. ;o)
Finally enjoying some summer weather, after my coldest 4th of July ever...the kids were all in coats, hats and gloves and complained to leave before the fireworks show was even over. Love that coastal breeze!

I've been attending a weekly open water swimming course w/ my friend and fellow triathlete, Kori, and it's been great! I've learned a lot that I can hopefully apply come tri. time, and the class is about 45 min. away, so it's been nice to have time to visit on the drive down and back.

Donald has been away a lot recently w/ small training dets...gotta love the Navy, always keeping life interesting! His squadron should be getting orders soon...originally they were headed to Afghanistan for a 7 month deployment, then the general over there was fired for expressing his discontent w/ Obama, so we've been waiting for some time now, to see what the new verdict will be....Japan? Afghanistan? N. Korea? I've found it best not to think about it.

And that about sums up the past few months. Here are a few family pictures. These were taken in June (gloom) by my friend Debbie.