Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Gone!

That abominable cast is finally off!  24 days of that thing as a constant reminder that my son is hurt--is now gone.  But, the reminder isn't...not really. 

We went back to the orthopedist today and Thomas didn't even make a peep when they turned the saw on and cut that blue monstrosity off.
I was sure he would freak out, but he only covered his ears and watched intently.  I would have snapped a picture of her removing it, but mommy had her hands over his ears too, and his was digging deep in to my body.
But, I got some great "after shots."

X-rays showed that his fracture is all healed, but the doctor tell me he will limp for *at least* 2 weeks.Of course he isn't limping now, he won't walk on it all, and mommy has resumed carrying his hefty behind where ever I go.

I couldn't be more happy this whole ordeal is behind us, and I think the rest of the family is too! It has been a long 3 weeks, and we have more time of healing ahead of us. What a story he will have to tell...

Wanna hear it? ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Futile Conversation With Thomas

Thomas why didn't you take a nap?

"Gee-Cee school. Da-da gym. Re-pa work. Grama home."
(His daily checklist to remind me where everyone is)

Yes, Thomas, but why didn't you take a nap?

"Um, um, um...undies?!"

Thomas you need sleep

"O-kaaaaay."  "Undies?!"

Yes, Thomas, lets go put on your undies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hands On Parenting

When I was just Gracie's mommy, I mothered in such a different way.

Let me re-phrase: I mothered in a way she would allow me.

It is no secret that I continue to struggle to find ways to be a good mother to Thomas. 

Yes, I know that I am a good mommy when I feed him and hug him, and cover him in kisses, and tuck him in.

But, I am a much more "hands on" mama.  I prided myself in doing school work and crafts, and activities that I made up myself with Gracie.  She was so smart and good and we seemed to bring out the best in each other.  We were both creative, quiet, and imaginative.

Now with Thomas, I am at a loss.

He hates to sit down and do school work. In fact, he won't sit and do anything.  He is now in a phase where he wants me beside him 24/7 to "play" but there is no structure. He goes from one thing to another in a matter of minutes.  I can't get him to stop and clean up the last toy, or keep him on another idea for more than 5 minutes.

I am well aware that boys are different, and I have had to back away from Thomas for the past year or so.  He wants to do everything himself, and until lately he wanted to play solo (I was like that as a child too). 

So, here I am, a stay at home mom, who doesn't know what to do with her child.  The whole point of staying at home (for me) was to teach my kids, to mold them, to watch them grow and learn.  With him, I watch him make a mess, and I watch  myself get frustrated day after day.

Oh, he knows his ABC's and shapes, and colors, and can count to 20.  We just kind of stick that stuff in among the car races.  There aren't any worksheets or neat learning activities.  We just kind of learn as we go.  And, I am learning that is how it is going to be for the next 2 years.

I say all of that to say, that things haven't changed much. I can't do the things I did with Gracie, and I am struggling to find ways to teach and mold him. But...I have some new ideas (so there is a good side).

I found a blog, through a friend to Pinned this bloggers post (don't even try to understand that mom), and I feel like so much has been revealed.

I have looked for ideas for activities for anything to get my son to be more engaged, and I have failed. I either haven't looked in the right places, or I am still to stubborn to change my "motherly" ways.  But now, I have found a new arsenal of ideas!  They are "my kind" of ideas. They are hands-on and messy and great.

Now, we can't do a lot of them yet because of that pesky cast--but I couldn't resist doing one of the most simple ideas.

Letting him shuck the corn.

I am really good about a lot of things with my kids, but letting them help--I am really, really bad at it.  I am learning, and now Gracie does a few chores around the house (although at age 8, she should be doing so much more), but I still take my A type personality and hog all of the household work (why?!!!  Yep, it makes NO sense!!).

Anyway, I took the corn outside, a bowl outside, and I set Thomas on the porch. 

He wasn't so sure about it at first, but then he really got into it, and had a great time pulling the layers off one by one.  And, he chatted with me while he did it.  He has a new mommy's helper job, and I have a new and wonderful meal preparation moment with my son.

I absolutely can't wait to do so many more of the activities this lady has done with her son.  I know he won't love all of them--but I really think this will be a great learning and fun opportunity for both of us.

So, yea us!

Gracie's Poem

I found this in Gracie's school binder this afternoon when she came home from school among some other papers.

She and the class have been working on poetry and poems.

 This one--I am sure--is the greatest one every far :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gracie Runs...Again

We are so proud of our little runner.  I am not sure when she got so big...or old...or athletic...or determined.  It must have been one of the moments in which I blinked.

Gracie seems to really enjoy running the kids races, and so I have been looking for other opportunities for her to do so.  I found the 5K she ran today from a friend's Facebook page.

Gracie was eager to run with the other kids, and even more thrilled when she received a real metal medal.  Her other medals are a flexible plastic--and this one is heavy.  She was super proud!

Of course we are always proud as long as she tries her best, but we were even more proud when she beat her previous 1 mile time.

Congratulations Gracie!

Monday, May 14, 2012

One Week

I think I should get a badge or something...but we made it a full week...cast and all!

I have been chronicling the days of the cast with pictures on Facebook (yes, ma, I know): so I thought I would share the link here so you can see the day to day ways that he and I are both coping with that monstrosity.

*He is able to get around rather well, and when he wants to: rather swiftly.

*Pottying is still a nightmare, but we manage.

*He gets baths in the kitchen sink. Well, more like scrub downs.

*The cast wraps are helping, but that sucker is still gross!  And, he is starting to pull at it, and it is weak in the toe. It is just a small section, so I don't think it will hinder his healing, and if the cast starts to break apart worse, we will take him back in.

I thank you all for the well wishes for Thomas and myself--I have truly needed it.

Click here to see the album.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mommy's Day 2012

I am really not a fan of this picture of me--but I asked Garren to take it, so here it is.
I had a good Mother's Day.

Church, lunch at Outback, and the best part of all: a 3 hour uninterrupted nap!  What more could a mom ask for?!

Happy Mother's Day 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Grandma & Mamaw

Aunt Dawn, Aunt Heather & Aunt Ruth

my dear friends:
Connie, Shannon, Amy, Becky, Heather, 
Janet, Cristy,Colette, Katie, Kelly

and to two brand new mommies:

mommy to Elanor, born May 7


mommy to Gwendolyn, born March 2

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dirt Can't Hurt

Well, actually he isn't supposed to get it dirty, or wet, or sandy, or a myriad of other things that boys need for survival.  But, I thought that if I could whip up an outdoor blanket/spread, he could go out and watch me weed the garden.

It was great for him to get outside, and me too!

He did get dirty, but his cast stayed mostly clean thanks to mommy's crafty new accessories: cast wraps.  I tried a million  two different ways to sew something to cover that monstrosity, and after many failures, it occurred to me that a wrap like an ace bandage would be perfect! I have made a night time one out of flannel, and I have this Tigger one finished, 2 more ready to finish, and 2 more cut out.  He will have quite a collection by the end of the 3 weeks. And, he will need it, this one is filthy already! :)  The great thing: I can throw them in the wash!

Oh, and he got more brave today, and is walking by himself a few steps without wavering.  The nurse practitioner said he would be able too, but I wasn't seeing it.  But, I saw it today!!

The Countdown Is On

I got a chance to call the orthopedist today and schedule an appointment for getting Thomas' cast off.  Because of Memorial Day, he has to go 48 hours longer than planned, but we will manage.

I thought it would be fun to count down the days.  No, actually, it is a necessity for me to countdown the days--so I am sharing that nail biting "tick tock" with you.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Abominable Cast--Day 2

 Or as daddy calls him "Peg Legged Pete."

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Whole Story

I look at him in that baby blue monstrosity and can't believe that we are in the same reality.  I look at myself and can't believe I survived it all.  I guess moms don't have a choice, but there were many times I wasn't sure I was going to make it through this "event" and out the other side.   Of course, I had to. No one else can take care of him the way it needs to be done.  So, I guess that is the answer for why moms have to make it through very tough times like this.


Just Tuesday he was playing on the floor with the cool letter roadway I made him. Just playing and vrooming.

On Thursday he was fishing naked.  (Yep, naked, long story--well not really, mama has good idea.  Son has better idea)

Then, Saturday, he climbed into what looked so innocent, and I now refer to as: the death trap.

Now, he looks like this.

I guess it looks a lot more pitiful to me.  As you can see he is smiling, eating ice cream and he has his best friend with him.  But, trust me, this baby is pitiful.  He didn't cry or scream at all, but I am telling you this is a sad, sad sight.  He was fine when we go to the car and wanted his earned lollipop--but it is just awful, awful!  He kept hitting it in the car and laughing because he can't feel it and it sounded funny--but I know those laughs were hiding the tears....mine were, so his were....right?

If the above pictures were a great lightened version of the Thomas Shipley: A Story of Heartbreak for you, then move on...or you can hear the whole sorted story.

It all started Saturday.  I took the kids solo to the Spring Festival at Gracie's school. I will be honest, I didn't want to go. It was hot, and humid and we had been out all morning in the heat at Home Depot. I was over it.  I was cranky. But, I knew I couldn't get out of it. 

I got crankier as I searched for a parking space and then had to create my own. I got crankier as the kids are yelling about the things they see they want to do.

I got crankier as I shelled out $5 a piece for arm bands.

We made a bee line to the bouncy houses, because that was where Thomas  wanted to go, and Gracie was fine with that.

He was in and bouncing for maybe 5 minutes, I am watching him literally up against the bounce house and peering through the netting. (I am a helicopter parent. There I said it!)

I saw him fall, and then I heard the blood-curdling scream!

In seconds I hand my hands under the flap and I pulled him out still laying on his back.

He was crying hard, and the school's librarian was over to us in seconds. I think he was in charge of the bounce houses.

I wiggled every part of his body, thinking the worst, but everything moved and nothing made him scream louder. He was just crying and saying "ow, ow, ow, ow!!!"  I put his shoes back on and carried him to the car. I figured he must have hurt himself, but he would stop crying by the time we got there. 

I pulled out the stroller thinking he could ride until he felt better, but he was still crying.  I asked him if he wanted to ride in the stroller or go home.  He told me "mama cars!" Then, I knew it was pretty bad.

Poor Gracie is frantic. I was fine, I figured he had twisted something.

She is pawing all over him and she looks panicked.  She tells me she just wants to take him home so he will be better (love that kid!!)

When we got home I put him in my bed and turned on the fan (we were hot!!)  He got the IPad and seemed to be better. Whiny, but better.  I gave him some Tylenol, and Gracie insisted on laying beside him.

It was already late afternoon, about 1pm.  I knew he needed a nap, so after a little more playing on the IPad, and I carried him to his bed. He protested, but I didn't think anything of it. he isn't usually gun-ho about taking a nap.

This awful lawnmower stared up next door about an hour later and woke him up--and now he is screaming again.

I knew it was really bad.

Gracie leapt into super big sister mode and she helped me get a bag ready, while I called the weekend line for our pediatricians office.  We were told to take him to KidMed, a pediatric urgent care.

Thomas was crying and miserable while we waited, and waited, and waited.

I was holding him tight and trying hard not to panic, but I was really worried now.  He kept saying "ow, ow, ow, ow!!" "Kiss it mama!!" I gave millions of kisses, but they just weren't working.

Every parent in there was staring at me. I know they felt bad for me, but I was dealing with enough, I could have done without the 20+ eyes on me.  The place was packed, and he was starting to cry really loudly and hard. I was walking him and rocking him, nothing was soothing him. He is heavy and my back and legs are screaming and I am really, really worried.

I texted Daddy to let him know where we were, and as soon as the text sent the phone crashes.  I never need that thing, and the one time I do it is useless!!

After 45 minutes we get called back and he screams at anyone who so much as looks at him.  Now it is even more of a nightmare, because the nurses can't get close.  The nurse practitioner on duty takes one look at his leg that has no bruising, no swelling, and gives me a knowing look I will never forget. She tells me he will need and x-ray and to give him some Motrin.

The other nurse comes back with the medicine and I get it in to him.

More waiting, and after another 15 minutes he starts to calm down and I get some relief from him.

Thankfully there was a phone in the room, so I call daddy and he is already on his way.

Daddy arrives in time to take him back to x-ray.  I didn't want to leave my baby at all--but daddy steps in and insists that I stay behind with Gracie.

More waiting.

The x-rays were inconclusive. She sees "a line" but isn't sure if it is a fracture.

We are told to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours, and if he still won't bear wait on it by Monday to see the orthopedist.

Fast forward to today.  Of course we are at the orthopedist, because he *would* have to really have injured himself.

More hot waiting.

We get called back and this time he is an angel!  He lets this nurse practitioner look at him and touch him. I think he finally realized he was going to be helped--and she would make it better.  

We had to do more x-rays and he was golden! Not a peep, or a fuss. Of course he had done this part before.

More waiting.

She sees what she thinks is a fracture at the bottom of his leg, but is confused that he is holding the top.  Either way, she tells me, when a child of his age won't bear wait, it is a fracture.  So, she suggests a leg cast and says to see if he will walk on it. If after a few days he won't walk it means there is one in the top of his leg and to bring him back.

Nope, I am not putting him through more of this!!

Or, we can just do the full leg cast.

Option #2 please.

The nurse asks him to pick a color, which he won't do.  So, I pick something neutral.  (Gracie was eying that pink and I tell her out loud that she will not be putting her brother in pink.  She laughs)

Thomas was not happy having to get on the table. He had been safely in his stroller until this point.  But, he lets me hold on to him and his hand while they place a cast on my baby!

Not a whimper or a fuss. He watched them very closely.

That was it. It was all over.  She tells me not take this sock looking thing off for 30 minutes until it dries, but we are good to go.

They both get a lollipop and I get the heck out of there!  I was praying the whole time not to puke or faint or both. And, I am telling you it was a near thing many, many times!  I swear everyone was staring at us as we left. Either in pity for my toddler in a giant cast, or for the mama who was surely several shares of green.


For the record, I know that this is not, nor will it be the hardest moment in my mommy-life, but for the past 48 hours, nothing could compare to the pain I felt--so as far as I was feeling: it was the end of the world--my baby was hurt, scared, and now walking around with a physical reminder of that day letting none of us forget and go back to life as it was for even a minute.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

At The Car Wash

It was a pretty warm hot day today, so I got the great idea to let the kids get a little wet.

We are so blessed to finally have our own yard and space, and this was one of those times that I could push back the hate dislike I have for this house and truly remember how grateful I need to be.

My Thomas LOVES all things cars, so, why not let him be like daddy and wash his many vehicles?

He loved it!

Gracie did too!

They spent more than an hour outside with sponges and a bubbly bucket.

Thomas washed and washed his cozy coupe over and over again, pausing briefly to help Gracie on whatever vehicle she was currently scrubbing.

He cackled and giggled, and couldn't get enough!

When we were through I made him stop, he was soaked and soapy and had to change clothes!

I think this will be a summer time fun thing to do over and over again!

Peas In Different Pods

My 5th grade best friend Emma got married this weekend. That is her, second from the left (I am in the middle) at my birthday sleepover (the first and last as I recall)

I have a terrible memory, it is sad actually, I can't remember the details of things that happened yesterday or even last year.  But, there are memories that stick out in my mind so brightly I could relive them.

Emma is one of those memories.

She and I were the best of buddies all of 5th grade at Perrymont Elementary school.  We did practically everything together that year. And only that year.  I cried my heart out when I learned she would go to a different middle school than I would.  We saw each other a few times after that, but not much.

Emma and I are as different now as we were then.

She was pretty, I was plain.

She was outgoing, I was shy.

She could talk and talk for hours, I would rather listen.

She had trendy clothes, I could care less.

She wasn't the best student, I got all A's.

...but we were the best of friends.  If she wasn't at my house, I was at hers.  We passed notes, and chatted all recess long.  We went to the roller skating rink as many Saturdays as we could talk our parents into.  When they called for cheer leading sign ups, we both signed up.

The years went on with out Emma, and I was lost for most of 6th grade, and then after.  But, as you know time has a way of moving forward whether you want it to or not.  I know in high school she was popular and a cheerleader while I was more in the background and in band.  She did drama, I wrote for the paper.  She went on to college for theater, and I wanted to be a writer.

I think it is kind of funny that we both went in to the "TV Business," but just like we were at age 10, we couldn't be more opposite.

While I was getting married and starting my career she was making a name for herself in LA.  While I chase kids around, she is heading to the set for one TV show or another.  When I click through to see reruns of my favorite show I see her make a guest appearance.

Our lives couldn't be more polar.  She had this gorgeous ceremony in Mexico, I had a DIY wedding that everyone ditched as soon as they could.  She is honeymooning somewhere exotic today I am sure, while I returned to work the Monday after my wedding.  She is going to be in yet another movie that will come out soon, and I will make my star appearance at the local park sometime this week.

In years past the observation of our different paths would have made me feel as jealous of her now as I secretly was back in 5th grade. But, I am not. I can't help the huge grin on my face each time one of her current friend shares a beautiful image of her gorgeous ceremony, or her kissing her handsome groom. I am so amazingly happy for a friend that I haven't seen in 20 years.  She is happy and so am I. We reside in vastly different worlds, but happiness isn't only allowed for the exciting and beautiful.  It finds a way into the lives of all of us if we truly seek it.

Congratulations to Emma Bates and Joshua Zar on their blessed day.

Okay, so a little jealousy had to creep in...they got married by Neil Patrick Harris!  Of whom I was so embarrassingly in love with back when she and I were inseparable!