My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

April 30, 2008

The Head Trauma Continues

Yesterday was a beautiful day, the weather was finally perfect. Sun was shining as we rejoiced with exclamations of, “Let There Be Light!” the sky was blue, it’s true it was blue. Something we have not seen here in UT for a very long time. The boys spent the entire day outside in the sprinklers, riding bikes and gathering up families of rollie pollies. However, that came with owee after owee. Everest had so many band-aids on when he took them off before bed he had polka dots on his legs from the sun and dirt. He also acquired a cut in between his toes, which we hope will heal so he can wear his new flip flops in FL next week. Oh, yes FL, moving on up in our bumps and bruises, yesterday Hudson collided with the pavement and landed on his forehead, right smack on top of his last injury that required industrial strength super glue and a plastic surgeon. Ah, yes. And so the afternoon went, scratched knee after scratched knee, scrape after scrape, bonk after bonk. There was no slowing anyone down. Not on a gorgeous day such as this. We had to soak it all in and cram in as many sports, activities and adventures as possible. After all the forecast for the rest of the week is grim.

It doesn’t stop there Cameron and I decided to take advantage of the weather and took the boys up the canyon for a picnic that evening. We brought a couple balls and thought we’d hike a little too. The boys were so excited they couldn’t sit still long enough to eat. Finally they pulled us away from our sandwiches and up the mountain. They knew exactly were they were headed. We had been up this way a couple times, straight to the stream. After all it is spring and there is fresh snowmelt so the river bed actually has water in it.

We hiked and climbed and made it to the little mountain stream. We spent the next 30 minutes climbing over river rocks, over and across as we made our way up the little river exploring as we went. The water too irresistible the boys gave up climbing the rocks and gave way to wading the ice cold water. Again, accumulating scratches and scrapes all the way. Including a nice big scratch on Edison’s face from the outer corner of his eye all the way to his ear, thanks to an over hanging branch.

The big family pictures are in 5 days. We will wear our wounds proudly. As they are a symbol of our adventurous and active family and all the fun times we have together. Besides, a picture without at least one of us mangled in it would be misrepresentation. There we will be polka dot legs, scratched faces, skinned knees, banged up heads with cuts, knots and scrapes.

April 23, 2008

Family Portraits & Head Trauma

I’ve come to realize and even unwillingly accept that family pictures and head trauma go hand in hand. Maybe it’s just our little family but why is it that whenever someone schedules, plans or mentions family pictures we are headed to the emergency room?

We will be going to FL shortly for a family vacation and reunion. Of course we decided to take family pictures, isn’t that what you do at family reunions? Not to mention we haven’t all been together for years and years and well years. Once it was unanimous that pictures were a must and arrangements were under way, I tried really hard to put the bumps, bruises and gashes out of my mind along with the urge to strap football helmets with face guards on their heads. I tried consoling myself with all kinds of reasons why this time would be different. However, On Wednesday evening shortly after Cameron left to take the young men from our church to a Jazz basketball game in SLC it happened. I was finishing things up in the kitchen when I heard it, That Cry that isn’t quite a cry or a scream or even a whine or whimper. But I knew exactly what it was and I raced up the stairs after it. There coming out of my room was a woozy Hudson holding his head looking as though he was about to collapse. I scooped him up and started talking and comforting him to keep him from passing out. He had his hand on his forehead and I placed mine on top of his. I knew I had to assess the wound, I was dreading having to make the call if he’d need stitches or not. When I saw that he wasn’t going to pass out on me I removed our hands from his forehead and blood just started gushing out. I couldn’t contain it, I was trying to keep it out of his eyes and then blood started going down the left side of his forehead and then the right. Now I was trying to keep it out of his ears while pressing my hand on his wound and yelling out instructions, “get a washcloth, get the phone, bring me my wallet!” Once we finally got the pressure back on and the blood stopped I called the pediatrician to see if they were in that night. There was no doubt he needed stitches.
The receptionist told us to come in right away. I’m passing out orders left and right as clearly yet as urgently as I can, “ get your shoes, I don’t care what kind just get some shoes, Everest grab a box of crackers and some waters, Get your jackets, everyone in the car now, right now…” I was able to get a big oversized bandage on Hudson’s head and whipped away most of the blood, grabbed his blanket and then frantically was looking for my keys, they are always in the same spot, running through the house unable to find them, I go outside to see if they’re in the car. THE CAR?! Where’s the car? Cameron took my car so he could fit all the young men in it! So back in the house I go to search for Cameron’s keys, we’re throwing in the car seats and boys and off we go. On the way, we go through our checklist, who’s wearing shoes? Who brought books? Who got the snacks? Does everyone have a jacket? Meanwhile I’m forcing myself to take long deep breaths.

Finally at the pediatricians we take a deep breath as they take us back and phase II begins. The nurse has me peel back the bandage to see if we really need stitches without saying a word she secures the bandage back on his forehead and goes to inform the doctor. Meanwhile we are all piled into a little room, the boys spread out their books and pencils and their shoes and jackets are now strewn all over the floor. They’ve found a toy car and have made ramps out of their books, seeing who can make it jump the highest and farthest. The noise level is climbing and as I’m catching my breath I realize how messy I am. That’s my other big question, why is it that you always look your worst in an emergency? I had been cleaning all day. I had sweats on and my hair was a mess, any make up that may have been on my face wasn’t anymore. Then I look around, oh, the boys don’t look much better after an afternoon of playing outside either.

The doctor comes in and introduces herself, we hadn’t met this one yet. She just so happens to specialize in plastic surgery. Finally something is going our way. She recommends super strength super glue. Since the cut is straight and clean, plus he is so young he wouldn’t have to go through the trauma of the shots and stitches. She reassures me that if she thought stitches would leave less of a scar she’d recommend them. I was fine with the super glue route, it would be quicker and less painful and frightening for Hudson. However, he’d never be able to boast about how many stitches he had in his forehead. Glue just doesn’t sound as cool or manly as stitches. In no time they were rinsing out his wound and holding the gash together while trying to super glue it without gluing their own fingers to his head. I, the boys, the nurse and the pediatrician all huddled around Hudson’s head with a bright light above while Edison paced the floor. Hudson didn’t flinch not even when she used pointy tweezers to pull a side of the skin closer for a snug fit. I even thought to myself, ‘ouch, that’s got to hurt’. He just watched all the commotion going on above him and then it was over. They raved about his bravery and they each got a little prize from the prize machine. And back home we went. It was much nicer and quicker than the ER not to mention less expensive. But it was still head trauma and we’ll have the scar and pictures for proof.

April 16, 2008

Top Ten

You know spring is near when the snow, all the snow suddenly melts and your basement floods.
Luckily the basement is unfinished, not so luckily all of our unpacked ready to move when we buy our house boxes are down stairs. Cameron brought up a good portion of the boxes and we tried to contain the water. However, the snow kept melting and the rain kept coming so while he was at work the next day I and the boys brought up the rest of the stuff. It was more than we had realized. I was trying so hard not to be grumpy, I kept reminding myself this is one of those bonding times with my boys where I can make the most of the worst.

So what do you do when your basement is flooded, your garage is now in utter disarray and your house now looks like a storage unit.

Top ten things to do with a flooded basement:

#10 Put your snow boots on and slosh and splash around in the basement.
#9 Get out the boogie boards.
#8 Invite the neighbor kids over for a pool party.
#7 Become a wild life refuge and let the local ducks enjoy a warm swim.
#6 Test everything that says ‘waterproof’ or ‘water resistant’.
#5 Make sail boats out of house hold items and see whose floats.
#4 Play adventure, where you can’t touch the floor or you’ll get eaten by sharks and alligators.
#3 Have a contest to see whose shoes are the most water repellant.
#2 Add bubble bath and run around in circles as fast as you can.
#1 Throw a Flood Party!

Despite the utter chaos not to mention mess our home had become over night the boys were loving it. They had become flood experts over night and would go down and check the status then come up and report just how much worse it was getting. They were rooting through stuff, digging in boxes and getting into all sorts of things. They had come across my storage box of wrapping paper. At this point I had thrown the towel in a long time ago. It was still too cold and miserable to be outside and they needed something to do which was really hard with so much storage in the way. And I needed a break so I gave them the green light and let them have what they wanted from the wrapping paper box. They began to wrap things and give them to each other. They went to bed that night wrapping away and in the morning we had gifts to open. Wrapping stuffed animals, old hot wheels, balls… That morning they went back to the box to sift through what was left and to their astonishment not only was there wrapping paper and ribbons in the box, but there were balloons and silly string, a boys delight! Their imaginations were running wild with creativity. Seeing I needed to quickly channel that creativity I mention they should focus their efforts on Dad and throw him a surprise party when he gets home. They spent the rest of the afternoon wrapping with duct tape, masking tape, string, ribbon with all sorts of papers. Piled neatly on dad’s bed were their lovingly wrapped packages. Anxiously waiting for the sound of dad’s jeep they paced the floors with excitement. When is dad going to be here, they’d repeatedly asked. Finally, when they heard his jeep pull up they ran to their positions and when he came through the door, they ambushed him leaping out yelling surprise while spraying silly string all over him. Chasing him through the house and up the stairs and backed into a corner we laughed ‘til our bellies hurt, our faces were red and we were gasping for air. Now it was time for presents and they took him to his room. He opened them one by one, finding all kinds of thoughtful personal and meaningful treasures even a wipes box full of loose change and allowances. They had taken such care in their wrapping and had planned and waited all day and now it was all paying off. It was a grand party indeed. Actually, it was the perfect party, I couldn’t have planned it better myself.

April 12, 2008

A Day in the Life

Are Your Smarter Than a 4 Year Old?
While checking out at the store a woman began speaking over the intercom. She was making an announcement for the store clerks and asking certain departments (which was an amazing amount of them, I didn’t realize how many departments there were) to come get their pick ups at customer service. She began rattling off numbers of departments something along the lines of, ‘…13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, 37, 38, 39, Isaac leans into me and whispers, “she can’t count very good". The woman continues to rattle off department numbers 44, 46, 47, 53, 61, 62, 63, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 75, 77, 78, 83, 87, 88, 90, 91, 96, 97, 99. " giggling he whispers she’s doesn’t know how to count does she?”

Why Is That?
While waiting for Edison to get out of school, I started thumbing through a magazine the usual way, backwards. I realized I had caught Isaac’s attention as he watched me intently for a moment and then when he could bare it no more he informed me, “You’re reading that wrong, you’re supposed to start from the front.” He then showed me how you begin at the beginning of a book. “Like this mom”

You can always tell when it’s spring around here, one sign is the sudden outbreak of cuts, scrapes and bumps. Edison did just that, his scraped the skin right off of his knee and elbow and obtained a few bumps and cuts in between. After the sting had subsided and he was feeling good enough to give into the temptation of warmer weather calling, he joined his brothers outside. Only a minute later did he bounce back in the house asking for packing or duct tape. When I couldn’t find any he said, that’s ok, this will do as he proceeded to tape up the hem of his shorts with scotch tape. He taped the whole hem a good three inches up his thigh to keep it from brushing against his scrapes and cuts. He’s a strong disbeliever in band aids.

Call It Like It Is
Isaac: Ding bell is what Isaac calls the school bell at the elementary school.
Another saying around here: “you took my flavor”
Hudson: Panpakes (pancakes)

Isaac pronounced the need for a new bigger car because when he stands up inside ours his head brushes against the top.

A New Holiday
While driving home down a certain stretch of road, we came upon a ‘construction zone’. The road was lined with an absurd amount of cones. Isaac gasps, “HOLY COW! Look at all those cones! It must be cone day.”

Cannon Boy
After making popcorn for the boys, Hudson sat down with a big bowl and dove in. He took a humongous handful, tilted his head back and shoved in the popcorn. Suddenly he let out this strange little whine that didn’t let up. I kept asking what? Checking in his gums and teeth to see if any kernels were stuck. He kept his persistent somewhat panicky whine going. Lost, I asked what one more time, with his head tilted back again he pointed to his nose and revealed a small piece of popcorn in one of his nostrils. Trying not to laugh or make a big deal about it, after all I didn’t want him to inhale and suck it up further. I told him to breath out his nose really hard and fast. He blew and boy did it shoot across the room. His brothers thought it was cool and we all laughed hysterically.

Hudson: I love you mom
Mom: you love me?!
Hudson: noooo (pause) I love you SO much

Isaac: Having a rough morning, I sympathized with him and said, ‘you’re having a rough morning aren’t you?” he nodded. 6:15pm that night, he says “ I’m still having a rough morning”.

How Much Is the Horsie in the Field?
Mom:I see Horsies.
Hudson: ah, I wanna buy one
Mom:Where are we gonna put it?
Hudson: In a cage.
(Hudson loves and adores animals, as long as they stay out of his comfort zone)

Road Trip
Literally a short jaunt down the road, maybe 1.5 minutes and
Isaac sighs as he opens the door: ah, man it’s so good to get out of that car.

A Family Poll
Edison: All I wanna do is eat dinner ‘N’ get in the pool.
Isaac excitedly casts his vote for the evening: Aw, that’d be so fun to eat dinner in the pool.