Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fresh Wounds

As of yesterday. Jasper’s wound was looking really good.  You could barely see the points of entry for the stitches, and the actual scab was coming off on its own. 

That was until we got home from the post office.

I was carrying in Benjamin and Jasper was in front of us carrying his Lightning McQueen hat.  He turned the corner out of the laundry room, and I turned around to close the door to the garage.  In an instant things changed.  When I turned back from closing the door, there was Jasper standing in front of me with blood pouring out of his wound and out of his nose.  It was in his mouth and all over his hand which was also in his mouth – his gaping wide mouth from screaming. 

I couldn’t believe it.  I didn’t know what happened or really what to do.  I put down Benjamin and picked up Jasper and made a bee-line for the kitchen sink.  Jasper would not stop crying and would not tell me what happened.  Neither thing was helpful.  He recoiled when I put a wet paper towel on the wound, but I could not get the bleeding to stop.  I tried having him lie down on the floor to let gravity help me, but the wound on the bridge of his nose just poured blood into his eye.  Goodness! 

So I had to get tough.  I put more pressure on his wound and told him he HAD to stop crying.  Once I started talking like that, he realized I was serious and fell in line.  He explained that he hit himself in the nose with his hat (you know how kids hold the back of the hat – the loop that loosens - and kind of fling it around?  I can only guess he was doing that and really clocked himself in the nose.  How does that happen?  How does it happen to my kid who just had stitches???)  The fact that his wound was pouring out blood with greater force than when it was actually injured initially was wild and totally shocking.  I guess the nose has more blood vessels that the bridge of your nose, and when they rupture, the blood looks for the easiest way out.  (Spoken like a true layman.)

As far as I can tell – the stitches stayed in, and things don’t look too bad up there.  Now, of course you can see the points of entry from the stitches again and the scabbing is fresh.  And I think the blood vessels inside are more damaged from this latest injury … so we could see more colors of the rainbow.  But other than that, he seems back to normal. 

We’ll see what this afternoon holds. 

Dining Room Fort

Summer in Texas is hot, and I’ve been copping out and staying inside more than in past years. 

In light of that, I’m trying to come up with ways to entertain the boys – or let them entertain themselves – with a little more creativity.  So, we’ve been doing art more and I made a “fort” out of the dining room table.  I bought two queen size sheets and was going to sew them together to totally cover the table.  Turns out, Jasper didn’t want the ends closed – so one sheet will do just perfectly. 

In addition to that, I had to line up the chairs along the sides of the room, and Jasper thinks they make perfect trains on the left side and the right side.  We ride them all the time to Costco, HEB and Target.  (Can you tell where we go the most frequently?)  It took one day to figure out how high they could rise up and how they had to be careful about hitting their heads.  Now, they like to be in there a good amount of time.  They like it when daddy comes in to play when he gets home from work, too. :)

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Progress on the Potty

The only progress we’ve made on the potty is that Jasper will sometimes be willing to sit there to go #2.  He does not go on his own and will not stop what he’s doing to tell us if he has to pee (even when he’s wearing cloth training pants).  He’ll only go pee when he has nothing on bottom.  But, he’s willing to sit there.  It helps that we have this h-u-g-e toy catalog that neither he nor Benjamin tire of looking at.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rite of Passage

At 4:25am on Thursday morning, Drew and I awoke to the cries of someone in pain – Jasper specifically.  We bolted out of bed, and seeing as I sleep on the side closer to the door, I made it to Jasper’s bedside first.  He was kneeling in his bed, with his knees nearly on the pillow.  I could see something was on his face, so I took him out of the room and, holding him with his head on my shoulder, asked Drew to tell me if he had a bloody nose.  Drew turned on some light and said “oh no, he has a shiner.” 

Right between his eyes, on the bridge of his nose, he had a cut.  We do not know what happened.  We can only speculate, but here is my theory:  He rose up in his sleep either to a sitting or standing position (as we have witnessed him to do) and moved some amount.  Then when he went to lay back down he smacked his head on the headboard. 

Thankfully the cut did not bleed much at all.  We put pressure on it with a cold pack, and Drew sat with him a while … seeing as how I actually got whoozy from the whole episode and had to pass him off before I passed out.  In a relatively short amount of time he calmed down and was sleepy enough to go back to sleep.  Seeing as how his wound was not bleeding, we put him down back in bed.  I thankfully fell back asleep.  Drew worried that he had suffered a concussion and lay awake some with regret about removing Jasper from our observation. 

In the morning Jasper slept in until 7:22 and came running out to the kitchen alert, refreshed and nary even giving me cause to think he’d been awake overnight, let alone injured.  After breakfast I cleaned his wound to examine the dimensions and sent Drew a photo:  DSC_8062

We decided to prevent as much scarring as possible, we’d take him to Dell Children’s Hospital for stitches.  Thankfully our neighbor Amanda was available to come stay with Benjamin, and truth be told the whole trip to Dell was as good as could be.  They are totally professional & efficient at Dell and supremely sensitive to caring for kids. 

We did not have to wait terribly long.  Dr. Mouw talked to us about our options, and we opted for calming medicine administered via nasal spray and then restraint while he stitched Jasper (as opposed to putting him under).  They took good care of Jasper, and while I still do not understand why they did not have him close his eyes for the stitches, Dr. Mouw was able to get them in and get Jasper all taken care of.  The stitching took maybe 6-7min.  Jasper started to get upset almost right away when he had to be restrained (by the nurse and me) and when Dr. Mouw needed to tilt his head back.  We could keep him pretty still … until he started kicking his legs (his only loose appendage).  Drew was holding my iPhone above him for him to watch Cars as a distraction.  But that was pointless.  Once everything started, he was too distracted with not liking things to even notice the movie.  So, live and learn.  Next time he needs stitches on his face, just blindfold him. 

Photos from the time at Dell 

in the waiting room:


with numbing gell on his wound:


looking at Mr. Matt’s glitter wand while the numbing gell took effect.  Mr. Matt explained all about the procedure, showed him the tools what would be used, explained what his job was going to be (to hold his head still), and assessed Jasper’s mental stated to let us and the doctor know how he’d do for the stitches.


after the stitches, ready to hit the truck aisle at Target for being a brave boy: 


after his afternoon nap, for which he slept soundly:


Friday afternoon, bright eyed: DSC_8081

and kinda scary-looking:


Saturday on our hike (sunglasses are the one thing he can’t wear right now.  they hurt his wound.)


Sunday night, the rainbow of colors is setting in:


I told Drew on Sunday that each time I looked at Jasper on Saturday I had a hard time not thinking of him as Herman Munster’s son. 

Not once since the event has Jasper complained about his wound.  He wasn’t himself the following morning (Friday) when he stayed home with a babysitter, but that seemed to clear up after his nap.  Since then he’s really been just himself – a really great kid!

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, thunder boomed overnight and woke Drew and me up with the loudest and longest clatter, rattle and shake that I’ve ever remembered hearing in my more than 30 years.  We were startled awake and shaken alert by the thought that the boys would start screaming any minute.  But … they didn’t.  They slept through it all

There was no lightening or thunder to speak of once the sun came up, and as it was clear that the rain was just going to fall lightly throughout the morning, we headed out for some pre-lunch fun.  The boys donned their boots and rain jackets and took their monster trucks out for some muddin’ action. 

Jasper was methodical in driving his trucks through the puddle over and over.  Benjamin wandered around trying to find what interested him.  Eventually he found the plopping rocks into the puddle and making a splash was cool, so then he was on a hunt for rocks.  Jasper later figured out it would be great fun to splash his “stroller” in the puddle and repeatedly ran it up and down the driveway to make the best splash.  All in all, just about every outdoor toy got used and muddied in the process.  After about an hour or so, both boys were quite wet and dirty, but boy did they have fun! 


Benj trying out boats (the puddle wasn’t quite deep enough): DSC_8000 DSC_8002 DSC_8007

Benj is moving on to find something else to do.

DSC_8010 … but is still having fun.DSC_8015

Benj now discovering the presence of rocks:

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Out come the jeep and the “stroller.”

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I fought the jeep, and the jeep won.


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We hear sirens!  Is the fire truck going to come down our street?  (nope)


All done!  Time for a bath!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tomato Sauce Funny Face

I can probably count on two hands the number of times we, as a family of four, have eaten together the same exact thing for dinner.  Between our picky toddlers, Drew’s work schedule that rarely has him home for dinner, and Jasper’s dietary restrictions due to his continuing GI issues, there are a limited number of meals we all eat. 

Tomato sauce has almost never been something Jasper would touch with a ten foot pole, but for some reason I offered him raw tomatoes the other week and he gobbled them up and said that he loved them.  !  Benjamin has demonstrated before that he likes tomato sauce, so I figured: we just had to try again. 

So a week ago Sunday, I fixed plain-jane grilled chicken with penne pasta and our standard tomato-basil sauce (which won the taste-test on America’s Test Kitchen, by the way).  I went so far as to add more brown sugar than normal to really over compensate for the acidity, and i even strained the sauce for the boys – to remove any herbs.  And what do you know, but Jasper ate everything.  He gobbled it up! 

Benjamin did, too. 

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As a reward for going #2 on the big boy potty (right before bedtime the night before), I frosted some chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Umm-umM!  They were yummy.  Each boy had his own special way of eating his treat.

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What remained after Jasper finished licking off the frosting:


And yes, it was good enough still to eat it without the frosting:


Is that not the look of pure chocolately contentment?  (or is it mischievousness?):


He does not show it off so much anymore, but if Jasper asks Benj to “show us your funny face” we get treated to something akin to this.  This was just too cute to pass-up. 


Have no fear, with some good old-fashion elbow grease and a soapy washcloth, Benjamin is no longer orange.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Backpackin’ Boys

We’re still trying to train the boys to hike.  The last two weekends we’ve gone for a family-style hike (aka slow walk) on the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  The first week was hot, dry and not too interesting.  We had to use snacks (apple slices, bunnies and straight-up apple juice … bring on the sugar!) to get Jasper back to our car. 

Jon and Debbie let us borrow their Kelty backpack for this past weekend’s hike.  Benjamin liked it.  Jasper wanted to show off his backpack, too.  (He does not wear it while we hike.)


This past Saturday, we entered at a much greener, shadier section of the (8-mile) trail and immediately got to watch rock climbers.  Jasper took to this portion of the trail with much greater enthusiasm and walked more decidedly.  He enjoyed when we got to cross a bridge and when we reached a portion of the trail that opened onto a creekbed over which we had to scramble (thankfully it was dry) and when we found pools of water into which he could throw rocks.  He has quite a throw!  His aim & distance are steadily improving.  We’re going to have to get a football into his hands soon if we want a future Brett Favre rather than a Stephen Strasburg.

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After our hike, we had lunch at Rudy’s – what a reward for ALL of us!