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Monday, October 31, 2011

John Decided to be an Invalid for Halloween

Without consulting with me, John made a last minute costume change from lion:



to invalid:
Maybe he thought he'd get more sympathy and thus more candy. Which ended up being true. Though we had no plans to go trick-or-treating and I did not intend to give him any candy, he did get a lollipop at the pediatric orthopedist's office. So, if this was a clever ploy for sympathy and sweets, I suppose it worked!

Last night we were at a Fall Festival and I put John in the moon bounce which he luuuuuuuvs. However this time, the results were less than fun. He fell. He wasn't bounced upon by other kids, he just fell and started crying. I pulled him out but he wouldn't readily calm down. Not even when offered a banana which usually mollifies all of his problems. It took a good 40 minutes to soothe him. Meanwhile he was grasping at his right shin and was unable to bear weight on it.

At this point we were contemplating an ER visit. Thankfully we called our pediatricians' office and spoke to the doctor on call. He advised us that if we could get John comfortable enough to sleep, we should do that and make an office visit in the morning. Best advice ever. I'm so glad we didn't spend the night in the ER. Of course, if John hadn't calmed down we would have gone. But he was able to sleep most of the night. He did wake up a few times and I went in once around 3 am to give him more Ibuprofen. During which time he asked to eat and read a book. So, even though the pain probably woke him up, he wasn't suffering badly enough to dampen his interest in making farm animal sounds.

This morning he still couldn't bear weight on his right leg although he was feeling much better. He couldn't walk but he wasn't fussy. He was able to move his right leg without pain which he couldn't do the night before. Even though he couldn't bear weight, he seemed so happy that I considered waiting longer to go in to the pediatrician's office. I reasoned that maybe it would just continue to improve. But Peter thought we should go so we got an appointment for 9:10 am. I'm so glad we got an early one because we spent most of the day visiting doctors. It turns out that he has a spiral fracture in his right tibia and will be in a cast for the next four weeks. Poor baby! He was so good today through it all. He is the happiest patient you will ever see. He waves at everyone and smiles and asks people for snacks. He only ever fussed when someone was examining his leg.

I don't really know what to expect over the next four weeks. I don't know how mobile he will be. He can't walk now which is frustrating for him. I think he'll adapt but I don't really know how much we'll be able to do. This will be a huge change for such an active boy and for me- the mother of a very active toddler.

Here is what I've learned about Toddler's Fractures for anyone who might one day find themselves in a similar situation:

John's specific type of fracture is a common occurrence referred to as a Toddler's Fracture. As the name suggests, John's age group is prone to them. They can occur after seemingly benign falls, which John's was. I am a little surprised to be dealing with fractures before he's even two years old. But apparently it's not unusual and not an indication of anything more serious.

A fracture is not necessarily an emergency. Of course, when we made the choice not to go to the ER, we didn't necessarily know that there was a fracture. We knew there was the possibility of one. But if you can calm the child down and make him reasonably comfortable there's no reason to rush to the ER. I only say this because Peter and I were ready to go thinking that a fracture needs to be taken care of immediately. Some fractures are urgent but if the child can rest and be comfortable then you can probably wait until morning to be evaluated. If you can avoid an ER visit, that seems like the better choice! Spending the night in the ER is nearly dead last on the list of things I'd like to do.

That said, if a child cannot bear weight after a few hours, he will need to be seen and X-rays will need to be done. I was contemplating waiting longer before going to the pediatrician after he seemed to be doing better this morning. But according to our doctor if they can't bear weight within a few hours of an injury, you should make an appointment.

I'll keep you updated! Hopefully this will not be the first of many trips to the pediatric orthopedist. But with a rambunctious boy, is that wishful thinking?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Recipes and Photos

I always get so excited about Fall cooking (mainly baking). Last year I had a whole list of new things to try but I didn't make any of my old favorites. So, I thought that this year I'd try to make my favorites and cool it on trying new things. No such luck! I haven't gone crazy with new recipes but the itch is there and the lineup is in my mind. Anyways, here are two I've tried so far:

Pumpkin Cranberry muffins- These were delicious but sweet. Next time I plan to use whole wheat flour and cut down a bit on the sugar.

Pumpkin Cornmeal muffins- With these I did cut down on the sugar, which I won't do next time. They have a really nice flavor but they're a little bland! I might cut down on the sugar for John's muffins but not for mine!

I've been making mini muffins for John. They're easy on busy mornings!

Another Fall love of mine is pumpkin patches. John and I have been making the rounds from San Antonio to Louisiana (I did not go to SA or Louisiana just for the pumpkin patches, however. I am not so die hard. We were visiting family.) Last year taking pictures was so easy when John couldn't even sit up unassisted and had to be propped up by the pumpkins. This year is a different story. I have to take 1,000 pictures of that little rascal to get one where he's sitting still!

I'm going to try to photoshop my sister's arm out of this one. (Nothing against you, aunt Di di!)

Don't you just love that pumpkin orange color?! It's one of my favorites!

Not a pumpkin patch picture, but I'm throwing this one in for free!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Word Wise Wednesday Even Though I Know It's Friday

On Tuesday night after my Bible study, I could be found lurking around an empty parking lot taking grainy photos with my phone. What could I have been doing? Only documenting the downfall of our society (at least grammatically speaking)! People, this is what the world is coming to. In the future, our children will have no idea what a plural possessive is and here is evidence:


This establishment purports to be an academy. Could the irony be any more palpable?

And there's this gem:
Due to the poor quality, you probably can't read the slogan of this "academy" posted on their van: Learning Begins Here. I hope it doesn't end there because I think some things will be lacking!

Am I mission something? I almost can't believe that it would get to the point of hanging a huge neon sign without someone proofreading.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

17 Months

John is 17 months today. It's hard for me to even think about what kind of things he's doing these days because just picturing him makes me want to take a nap. He's very busy! But he's so sweet and affectionate and smart. I'm grateful Peter puts in the long hours to support John's and my bon bon-eating lifestyle. I'm glad I can be home with him for these fleeting baby years that I'm sure I'll look back on wondering how they passed so quickly.

I think he's started saying a few words. I say "I think" because I don't think anyone else would recognize them as words. But I suppose we don't start out life with the elocution of Shakespearean actors. His vocabulary includes: No, night night, go, uh-oh, and Moe- the name of our neighbors' dog. Apparently Moe is really someone special for John because he says Moe and he doesn't even say Mama or Dada!

"Uh-oh" occasionally provides appropriate commentary to my blunders around the house. When I broke a plate, for example, he declared: "Uh-oh!" He also will sometimes give himself away when he's doing something he's not supposed to be doing by saying "no." I was cleaning this week and moved a lamp to the edge of the table so I could clean underneath it. I told him not to touch it, then I heard him saying "no, no, no." I looked over and he was doing exactly what I had told him not to do!

He's added more signs. He does: More, please, down, thank you, hot, eat, banana, apple, cereal, all done. He might do a few more that I can't recall at the moment.

He loves to read books, often bringing them to me and then plopping in my lap. He has his favorites that we read ad infinitum. And he has some that he just won't sit through. He loves to throw balls and to climb. He also loves firetrucks and construction vehicles; he points them out when we're driving.

He has now started correctly identifying the parts of his face. He also knows toes and belly button- belly button being his favorite body part to point out.

When we're standing in front of a mirror and I say "where's a handsome boy?" he'll point to himself! I taught him that. Perhaps this is breeding an inflated ego? But I'm only teaching him the truth! Here are some pictures. Sorry for the poor quality. They were all taken with my phone:

Now this is what I'm talking about! He loves vacuum cleaners and brooms. Here he is with a toy vacuum I bought him. But, soon, very soon, I'm going to transition him to real cleaning tools and then: goodbye housework! Hello free maid service!

Chillaxing in the cart at Target

Banana Monster
He loves bananas. When he sees them at the grocery store, I occasionally get him one if he's being particularly adamant.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

No Sick Days For Moms

I've been meaning to get on here and explain my recent, unplanned, blogging hiatus. I wanted to post, I had ideas! I just couldn't make it happen. We've had a rough month or so. Actually, things didn't really get rough until this Monday.

Peter has been logging some long hours. Last month he would usually come home for dinner but then he'd have a few more hours of work to do on the computer. Thus, during my normal uninterrupted computer times, the computer has been occupied for the past month.

Last week John got sick. A stomach bug. The way everything went down, including the moment he unleashed his projectile vomit, was eerily similar to the way it happened at his first birthday. For those who aren't familiar with the first birthday story: he vomited all over me just as we were sitting down to eat at his party (thankfully this time I escaped the regurgitated deluge). Then everyone staying at my mother's house ended up being violently ill; 6 of us all jockeying for position over the toilet for a memorable 12 hours.

So, I was immediately scared that the same horrible sickness was going to strike down Peter and I and everyone at Black Eyed Pea that night (where John threw up). As the week went on, I thought we'd escaped it. We hunkered down for a few days. John recovered and the weekend was mostly great. Except Sunday night I didn't feel so well.

Monday, I was vomiting all day. This, in itself, while not fun, is not highly unusual and might not have been so upsetting to me except for the fact that this week Peter's work schedule has been outrageous. He took Monday morning off. But he went in for the afternoon and the whole team had to stay until 9 pm to finish seeing the teems of patients at the clinic. This left me with John Monday afternoon which was probably a mistake because that wore me out. Regardless, we discovered that Peter cannot easily miss work. Tuesday a saint from my church took John from 7:30 am to 2 pm. Literally, I believe this woman is the reason I was able to get out of bed today. So I slept yesterday morning and had John yesterday afternoon again. I felt better yesterday, I wasn't nauseous but I was so tired. Walking from my bed to the bathroom made me feel like I needed a nap.

Overall things went pretty well, though. I even felt well enough to go out and get some chicken noodle soup for dinner. Which I ate and kept down for a while. But in the evening things fell apart. Peter didn't get home again until after nine. I wasn't sure that my energy level would ever rebound enough to take care of my highly energetic toddler. I was making phone calls to loved ones in tears mostly trying to enlist help for this weekend when Peter will be on call. I finally erupted into sobs which led to me throwing up all my chicken noodle soup!

I felt so desperate and discouraged mostly because it seemed like Peter can never take off work. Which isn't totally true. He technically can but it puts a huge burden on his colleagues. As I mentioned above, they all had to stay until late in the evening when he took off Monday morning. In my mind I felt the weight of the next three years of residency, and possibly beyond, thinking "I can't get sick for the next three years! Nothing can go wrong for three years!" I was just at the end of my rope. Clearly there were some sickness and fatigue induced histrionics involved. But all I could see last night was me having to care for John by myself everyday for the next three years having my big pink vomit bowl at the ready for heaving into (I have indeed been carrying around such a bowl. It works well for me because I'm not great at making it to the toilet or trash can.).

Today was so much better! I can't even explain how much better. Even though I'm not feeling 100%, the fog of tiredness and illness has lifted. It's amazing what that can do for one's outlook! Compared to last night it's as if I came out of a coma. The difference is night and day. I now realize it was a little dramatic of me to assume I would never have any energy again. But in my exhausted, nauseated stupor, I couldn't imagine how I would ever regain it. Today, I could actually walk to the bathroom without feeling like I needed to lay down. I had the energy to play with John. Things are back in a more normal perspective.

Anyways, God has been very gracious to us with our health, for which I am very thankful. It must be obvious that I don't usually get sick when one little stomach bug sends me into a tailspin of desperate tears. I'm thankful for our health and for the church. Another family from church was willing to take John this afternoon if I needed it. I didn't have to take them up on it but it's a huge blessing to have people to turn to in times of need. And I'm also thankful for big pink bowls. Seriously, usually when I get sick I have to clean up my own vomit from the floor, or wherever I throw up when I don't make it to the bathroom. My vomit bowl solved the problem!