Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Laceration *Warning!*: Some Photos Contain Blood

Yesterday while I was frantically trying to grab everything I needed before leaving the house to go visit friends, Evan was manically running around the living room.
And then it happened.
I heard a loud THUD but the thud reverberated with a hint of head on brick followed by a huge wail from Evan. I turned just in time to see Evan picking himself up from the edge of the fireplace. I ran to him and scooped him up and just let him cry while I carried him back to the kitchen, not realizing that he had a gaping flesh wound. Which is exaggerating quite a bit with creative license. I just tried soothing him enough to calm down until I noticed blood dripping down his face and onto me, and then I thought, "Oh man, what happened?".
I also thought I should take a picture of my bloodstained sweatshirt for memories sake.
My poor baby had quite a laceration.
I ran him out to the car immediately and my neighbor Mark noticed my panic and came running over to see if everything was okay. He took a look at Evan and  thought he should be fine (men!), but he went and got his wife Jaque to take a look and she and I decided I should take him to an Emergicare for my own sanity and peace of mind. 
I remained calm because Evan actually quieted down. He whimpered a tiny bit and I remembered he might have a smidge of pain so I ran inside to get him a dose of Motrin, he took it and we were on our way.
I didn't hear a peep from Evan until we got there.
Thankfully the Emergicare wasn't booming with business but it still took a lifetime of waiting in the lobby. I read a book to Evan while he sat on my lap but he was very lethargic which concerned me. 
Please take a minute to look away from the wound and gaze at my nicely manicured pinky nail. Thanks.
Then I got up with him to get a few more papers that needed signed and he puked all over me and the lobby. This got him entered in to see the doctor immediately so I gave him a high five in my mind.
The doctor asked Evan questions which he wouldn't answer, shined a light in his eyes and he continuously slumped into my lap acting very tired which concerned the nurse enough to make the decision to send us to the hospital for a CT scan. 
I cried.
A nurse came and put a butterfly bandage on his cut, gave us directions to the hospital, and what we were to do when we got there because the outpatient office was technically closed and I would have to knock and so forth.
Note to self, even if you have someone repeat directions to you 100 times in a traumatic situation, have them write.them.down.
We left and headed toward the hospital which managed to be the wrong hospital on the North end of town -a 20 minute drive out of our way. Evan slept and the doctor said not to let him sleep but make sure he was alert and able to answer questions. I managed to drive stressfully, yelling at Evan every 5 minutes and turn his favorite song up to decibels only a teenagers uses, but he still wanted to sleep.
We got to the correct hospital and got Even registered for the CT scan.
A nice lady gave the boys coloring books and temporary tattoos while I filled out the paperwork. Dawson gave me his tattoo.
After more waiting than any gaping wound toddler should have to endure, we were finally brought to the scan room where I was given instructions that I had to make sure Evan kept his head still for the pictures. This is no.small.task. I would have rather been assigned the duty of holding down a raging drugged prisoner. Which I totally think is an adequate analogy. Evan was scared of the "doughnut" as he named it immediately, but I pulled up "The Axel Show" on my phone which he watches daily and tried my hardest to keep him calm so that they could get the pictures they needed in one scan.
In the meantime many people were praying for Evan, not to mention me. The panicked prayers of a mother reach heaven much quicker than the prayers of a person seeking nice weather. Just my own opinion. I looked for that in the Bible but couldn't find a verse to back me up. 
Waiting on the results of the scan, thinking he could have a fractured skull or internal bleeding was rather excruciating and I asked if I could have an epidural. The kind nurse gave me a cup of ice water which was the next best thing. Evan and Dawson were given orange juice, and I managed to buy them each a Kit-Kat bar at a concession stand at one point. Poor Dawson hadn't eaten anything since lunch, because we were going to have dinner at our friend's house before we were rudely interrupted by a gaping flesh wound. The results of the scan came back negative. 
Evan was clear of any fractures or internal bleeding.
Really. I thanked Him nearly 1,023 times which was cut short by the barrage of information I was receiving about what we needed to do in order to get him stitches. We might have to go to a different children's hospital etc...
It turned out that we were able to stay at the hospital and go to the "Fast Track" section to get the stitches. I was so grateful because I didn't want to end up in North Dakota on my way to another location.
A few things one of the doctor's told me which other mom's might find helpful if you are ever in this situation:

  1. A child is typically allowed "one free puke" after a head wound occurs. Continuous vomiting is a symptom of internal bleeding and/or a fracture.
  2. Disorientation, confusion, unable to answer questions correctly and especially lethargy and falling in and out of sleep are also signs of serious head trauma and should be checked out.
  3. I asked if Evan was allowed to sleep in his own bed, in his own room, because I was so concerned with the questions I was asked about seizures etc... and the doctor said once Evan was cleared based on the CT scan, he was fine to sleep without supervision. Specifically -that he wouldn't die in his sleep (which he pointed out was my real fear and he was correct). 
Evan had to have some numbing cream put on his forehead, and take some medicine to relax him enough to stay still for the stitches. He thought the new bandage he was sporting was rather awesome, and the nurse told him he was like superman. 
Everyone was consistently remarking how good he was being. He really was. He remained cheerful and like his normal self, even while receiving medicine. 
My sweet buddy. 
I also want to give a shout out to Dawson who managed to remain calm and so very helpful the entire time. He grabbed my purse and Evan's bag each time I nearly forgot them at every stop we made. He never complained even though he was exhausted and starving, AND 2 nurses told me I have such cute kids, and I reminded them to have another look at their mother. 
Finally, 5 hours after our trip to Emergicare, Evan got his stitches. I had to leave the room because I cannot endure other people's pain. I'm pretty sure that's why I decided to never be a nurse. Well, that and cleaning up after people is a full time job at home.
The cleaning of the wound and stitches only took about 15 minutes. I thought, hmm, we could have been done and at my friends house enjoying mozzarella sticks if the puking lethargy hadn't gotten in the way. The doctor and both nurses who took care of Evan for the stitches told me that they had all commented that even out of the adults who have gotten stitches, Evan was one of their best patients.
4 stitches later, we were home and in bed by midnight. 
Now I'm taxed with keeping Evan's stitches clean and clear of infection and he can get them out at our pediatrician's office in 5 days.
In the meantime, I have gone to great lengths to further toddler proof of our home.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Colorado Aspens and a Bit of Science

Fall in Colorado is a pretty big deal. 
Well. Winter is a pretty big deal too, since it's skiing season. And spring and summer are a pretty big deal because of hiking and the wildflowers. So. Pretty much Colorado is a big deal, and you should probably move here.
In the fall, everyone clamors to the mountains in a single weekend when the Aspens are at their peak color in order to capture it on camera.
 I guess that's what we did too.
 But first we visited The Donut Mill in Woodland Park to ensure we had enough energy to sit on our butts for the drive.
 Evan discovered a new way to eat a doughnut.
 I love the beauty of Colorado in the Fall, but I especially like the weather during this time frame. It's been in the 80's but it cools way down at night so that we can keep our window open and allow the cool refreshing breeze to surround our bedroom. It also allows us to hear any hoodlums on the prowl. Bonus.
I'd also like to add that if I were a cow, I'd happily graze in this field because it's a way better view than grazing in Indiana. And I know cows in Indiana.
 We opted to visit Victor this year, rather than going to St Elmo  because I've managed to wear Jason down in his fear of the town.
He actually summoned the courage to park the Jeep and get out to walk around. I was ecstatic. Last year I had to beg and beg him to stop the Jeep on the side of the road so that I could get out to take a picture of an awesome old jalopy.
But not this year. We explored.
We found a quaint little park (is quaint little redundant?) where we had a picnic lunch and found this photoboard. Evan doesn't quite grasp the importance of the face being proportioned for the picture and was more like a worm.
We walked right past a mining museum that had exhibits outside and I found this awesome sign:
There are plenty of abandoned buildings which, if I made the choice to go back to college and choose another major, I'd choose abandoned buildings. That's how much I love them. This was an abandoned pizza joint and I took a shot of the inside through the window. That's totally not trespassing. Just don't do that through my windows.
Soon we had found our way back to the Jeep in search of more Aspens.
  Before we were entirely out of Victor we came across a hiking trail we had never noticed before and stopped to investigate.
 Trails of Gold is a 2 mile loop around a dilapidated mining community.
 I wanted to walk around inside each abandoned mine without dying by falling through a mining shaft.
 As you can see, when we hike, we opt to hike in order by age.
  I asked Jason if we could take this mine home and he said no.
 As we were nearing the end of the loop, we came across an abandoned house! Oh the glory! 
We went in because it wasn't barricaded off. Just look at the awesomeness.
I was ready to move in.
 Dawson just reminded me that there's a slight possibility that I might be poisoned because I touched the wallpaper.
We found the sign with the information about the ownership of the house. I don't know about you, but I like that name Bebee.
And just now I discovered that the picture above is the last one in my long line of Aspen photos and therefore, I have to come up with a clever transition into my brief discussion about Dawson and his science share project.
Only I can't think of a transition.
If Aspens encountered earthquakes...
There we go!
Dawson recently had to research and present a tri-fold along with a speech and model about earthquakes for his class project. 
4th grade, people.
We missed his presentation speech in class, but we took video of him practicing at home:
Then Evan felt left out and wanted to give his own presentation:
But that one wasn't good enough and he kept going.
We did get to visit his class and see his display and model:
And today he told us he got a 100%.
75% of that goes to his dad.
 I feel strongly that Dawson should be able to graduate right now and earn a comfortable living. And let me mooch off him.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Stop Motion Films

Ever since the success of his last stop motion film, Dawson has been ablaze in stop motion glory. He has asked for a remote to use with his camera so that his camera doesn't move while taking pictures of his Legos. Can guys be divas? Because I'm a bit over the edge with him and his constant requests. He's been watching training videos on our iPad that give instructions on how to make the lighting look more authentic for heavens sake. And did you know that if you want to make your Lego minifigure do a flip all you have to do is put sticky tape on his hands, then place his hands on the Lego platform and position his legs before each picture? I know right? 
Being the best big brother he can be, he recently created a couple of trash videos for Evan using Evan's construction equipment toys. 
I personally enjoyed the "Garbage" personal touch he added at the end of that one. 
I think garbage companies should knock down our door trying to hire Dawson for his genius creativity to make trash seem so appealing.
Just wait until the years Dawson begins to drink coffee. Imagine the possibilities of stop motion films on caffeine!

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Sneaky Adjacent Resident

A few weeks ago, Jason was gone on a business trip in Texas. While I was back home suffering from child overwhelmation (which is a total thing. just don't look it up.), he was crowned prince of the concert arena and schmoozed with the likes of Hillsong United.
That being said.
I run out of ideas for the boys to do while Jason is away, so they usually end up playing in our cul-de-sac. On this particular occasion, Evan had been riding his red scooter. Evan has 1 red scooter, 1 motorized Lightning McQueen car and 1 tricycle. All of which can be laying in our front yard at one time. Add to that 1 pair of rollerblades, 1 Razer Kick scooter, 1 bicycle, a frisbee and a basketball and you'll have the summation of all items that need to be gathered into the garage by me before the night is through.
Can you imagine it could be possible that I might forget to bring something in? ...

When Jason got home from his trip, he went outside to check the mail, when along came our next door neighbor Jaque. (this is the same neighbor who put our house up for sale while we were on vacation last year.) She had in her possession 1 red scooter, and 1 letter addressed to Evan.
I present to you: 
Yes, I know you all want neighbors like ours.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Snowmass Village, CO

We just returned from a quick trip to Snowmass Village. 
A ski town Jason and I affectionately named: "Poor Man's Aspen" because it's only about 10 minutes from Aspen, but it only cost us $99 a night to stay in Snowmass, rather than $1,325 a night to stay in Aspen. And that's in the summer people.  
I love road trips. We eat Combos and stare.
 We took the long way to Snowmass which is a 6 hour drive but the scenery is breath taking. 
 And you get to go through a tunnel. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. HA!
The boys took a nap
 And we saw what I believe is the fattest rainbow ever to grace the earth. (No offense rainbow).
 We stayed in a nice little condo with a pool and hot tub available
 And there are free shuttles available to take to town. We rode it to go get groceries. 
 Then we ate dinner at a quaint little Mexican restaurant called Venga Venga followed by an evening gondola ride, which was free! 
It was actually fairly light out when we got started. The dang thing goes so slow that it was sunset by the time it was over. Evan couldn't contain his excitement.

I do believe that our gondola was immersed in water and attacked by sharks at one point in it's life.

 We let the boys swim for a bit and then we called it a night. I couldn't wait to see what was on Discovery channel! Oh the luxury of having cable! 
 On Saturday we got up early to hike The Rim Trail.  And we never saw one snake. Victory!
 Dawson is a sprouting photographer. I like sprouting better than budding. It's my blog. He took a lot of the pictures that follow. 
Of course, I found out later that he had it on a setting called "vibrant" and the color was all askew in some of the pictures. 

 Dawson took this one. These trees are sprouting.
 A view of Snowmass Village from the hike.

 The view of this lake is stunning. Because stunning is more descriptive than pretty in my opinion.
 A view of Snowmass on our way back down.
 And 6 1/2 miles later, a shirt drenched in sweat, one cranky 9 year old, one miserable 3 year old and we were done.
So we went for a swim.
Across from our condo was a mall where the chalk it up festival was being held. I'm not trying to sound critical or anything, but most of the chalk art was only okay. I didn't mind walking on it or anything.
After our walk through the mall we grabbed the shuttle to Aspen.
This shuttle bus was bouncy. Evan grabbed on to daddy. He didn't want daddy falling off the seat.
Halfway through, we had to transfer shuttles. This one had standing room only by the time we got on.
Aspen's gondola isn't free, but we rode it anyway. 
  If you squint, you can see Aspen down at the bottom.

Dawson didn't appreciate me standing up to take pictures out the window of the gondola. Jason didn't appreciate me holding my phone out the window to take the pictures. 
Evan didn't appreciate me taking selfies with him on the gondola. My family is so stressful!
 When you get to the top of the mountain and take a stroll, there are fun activities to choose from for the kids. I was completely shocked when Evan ran over to the construction zone.

 A view from the top:

 It was late afternoon by the time our gondola excursion was over so we took a stroll through town looking for a place to eat.
During the stroll, I happened to peer inside a store where I saw rows and rows of purses in individual cubbyholes. I thought to myself, "self, you have to sneak in there and get a picture of that, because if those purses get their very own shelves, and aren't hanging from a hook at a thrift store, they probably cost more than $3.00." So I snuck in. Well. I walked in, and turned my phone on silent so that the lady at the counter wouldn't wonder why I was taking pictures of the purses. I could tell instantly that she knew I was a peasant when I walked in. 

 It wasn't until after I left the store that I realized what the store was. I never bothered looking at a price tag. I thought if I pass  Kate Hudson on my walk through town I'd just tell her which purse I want and she'd run in and get it for me. Save me the trouble.
I love the cobblestone sidewalks in Aspen. I'm passing around a petition in Colorado Springs to get them here.
 We settled for a place called Hops Culture because we were able to eat outside, away from any rich people who might scrutinize our parenting skills while Evan ran amok so that we could eat. I had Matzo Ball Soup.
This was a short trip and by the time we got back to our condo from Aspen, we let the boys swim again and we went inside where Evan has us freaking out because he was crying with pain in his ear. This lasted until midnight where we exhausted our resources because there were no open clinics and the nearest gas station to try and find medicine was at least a 1/2 hour away. I told Jason I wanted to pack up and go home. But instead, we gathered around him and prayed for him. Jason found a whistle in a first aid kid he grabbed from the car and we gave that to him, and after an hour, Jason got him to drink some water with a small bit of crushed aspirin in it. The prayer, whistle, asprin and round with season 6 of Spongebob and he finally fell asleep and slept all night. *Note to self: remember to pack children's motrin, olive oil and garlic on future trips.
We got up early the next morning and Evan was fine as could be. We decided to take the shorter, 3 hour trip home through Independence Pass which is a beautiful drive.

 What a great end to our summer season before school starts!
I'll leave you with a video of how our boys stay entertained in the car on road trips: