I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to blog again! I’d love to blame Grandmom’s visit for my lack of posting, but I just checked the calendar and she came a week after my last post. Guess I’m just a slacker!
Anyway, we’ve had lots going on around here. She came for a week, and what a week! Jack went to school that Friday so Tj, Max and I went to the airport to pick her up. We drove straight to lunch at David’s Burgers (they make the absolute best burgers in the world!!). As soon as we’d ordered I got a phone call saying Jack was sick and had thrown up! He’d had some throw up in his bed that morning, but he’d been coughing a little and had gagged and spit up once the day before, so I knew it wasn’t contagious throw-up, so I sent him to school. I figured he wasn’t really sick, but we got our food to go (sob…it just wasn’t nearly as good an hour later when I got to eat it) and went to the school. When I saw him I could tell they were right. I sat him on the counter while I signed him out and he just laid his head on me and it kept slinking down my chest. They said his temp was 100.something, not horrible, but one look at him and you knew he wasn’t feeling good at all. I stood him up on the floor to put his hat on and he just lay down on the floor. Poor bug! He walked out to the truck and I started strapping him into the middle seat. He started coughing and then we knew he was gonna throw up and right away Max handed me Jack’s hat…Max saved the day! He threw up a couple of times, and was just generally pathetic. We drove home and he took a nap, then he ran around the house the rest of the day like nothing had happened! He was great all day, then we sat down to supper and he threw up again! Silly kid! After that he was fine again through the night. I expected lots of coughing during the night but there wasn’t any. The next day was about the same: 95% of the time he had no fever and was chasing Max around the house, but for about 20 minutes he’d have a temp of 100.5 and be still. I never gave him anything to bring his fever down figuring that his body was fighting whatever he had. He didn’t go to church the next morning because his temp was up Sat. night.
Poor Grandmom, what an intro to her vacation! We had a good time with her overall, despite the beginning. We didn’t do too much, mostly lay around and read/watched movies. Our refrigerator had stopped working the week she came and when she came we were trying to decide if we could repair it ourselves or if we needed a professional. All the wonderful things I’d planned to cook had to be cancelled! We did get to eat out a lot which is fun, but I’d had such fun things planned! Finally on Tuesday the repairman came and replaced the timer and we were back in business!
Monday we celebrated Max’s birthday by taking him to Chuck E Cheese’s. He had a blast, of course! I can’t believe I have a 9-year-old! That’s halfway to 18!!! Wow. Grandmom made a scavenger hunt for him…she had 25 one-dollar-bills each with its own note of where to find the next bill. Boy did the boy love that! She’s such an awesome Grandmom!
There’s not too much else to say about her visit. She told us that she’s been sleep-eating due to medication and (likely) stress at home. She’d eaten an entire cake one night! She’s also woken up to find that she’s made and drunk some hot chocolate complete with marshmallows. Crazy! Poor Grandmom! She’s gained 14 pounds!
I was stressed Saturday about the cake I wanted to make for Max and she helped me calm down. In the end the Minecraft cake turned out pretty well.
She left on a Sunday, and the next night we hosted the Hoopers. I served tapas including our new favorite bruschetta recipe, and made a pear/blue cheese dessert, and also a strawberry cheesecake ice cream for second dessert.
Oh, and that was the same day that Tj had his first deacon visit. Max and I went with him, and it was a doozy! The guy started asking us about TULIP and if our church was Calvinistic! You should have seen us wrack our brains trying to remember all we knew about Calvinism! It worked out in the end, though.
Then we had the Super Bowl party for our Life Group at our house. It was potluck, and we had a great time. The kids behaved themselves very well, thankfully. It’s always hard to tell how that part is going to go…the difference in ages, etc. We put a movie on in our room and I think most of them enjoyed their time, at least somewhat.
The next morning we got up, I sent Jack off to school, and when Tj got up he noticed once again that our refrigerator was warm. 60 degrees in fact! I called our guy again and he replaced another part free of charge. This wasn’t entirely related to the previous malfunction, so it’s not his fault it broke again. But he felt like he should have thought to check this (I think it was the thermostat) so he didn’t charge us. I’m so thankful that we still have that dorm fridge…it helped us not lose anything this second time. Our milk went almost-sour, so I just made mac and cheese with it.
The next big thing was the Deployed Spouses Dinner was this Tuesday night. I was supposed to cook at the church, and planned on leaving Max here while I was there for just a few hours. We’ve been leaving him here when I’m around town with strict orders to not cook anything on the stove, not to even go to the door if someone rings, and not answer the phone unless I or Tj call him. That morning right before I got up I got the call that school was cancelled for the day due to icy conditions…and later on Tj’s work was cancelled! Yea! We had a great snow day, though I don’t think any one of us left the house for a minute! I’ve been doing Hooked on Phonics with Jack since the beginning of January, and I can tell that learning is taking place! We worked on that three times that day…we usually only work about 15 minutes at a time on that. I got to read a lot, and everyone just had a great time.
More about Hooked on Phonics: I panicked a little at first because I couldn’t find the first book! And was soooo glad when it turned up. I realized this week that I’m not using it the way I used it with Max, back when I followed the directions explicitly. I thought I was, but I’m more relaxed with Jack. I can tell he’s understanding a little, but I see that this is going to be a long, slow process. Annoying points: he often starts talking just when I start talking. It would be so funny except it isn’t. He’ll do it like 10 times in a row! He also doesn’t listen to what I’m saying…he just guesses at the words sometimes. But overall progress is being made. Just this week I started getting sterner with making him keep his hands and feet still.
Ok, the biggest news yet: we went to the ER Thursday!!! I got a call at noon from the school nurse saying Jack had bitten his tongue pretty badly, that it was cut more than 1/2″ across, and that I needed to take him to the ER! I hung up and called Tj and started packing the ER bag (you know: food/water for all 3 of us [especially since Max and I hadn't eaten lunch yet], toys for Max/Jack, schoolwork for Max just in case, etc. I did forget the phone charger, need to remember that next time!). We discussed which hospital I should go to and then Tj said he would leave work and come with us. I got to the school and Jack wasn’t crying at all. His teacher wasn’t with him when it happened (they said he was sitting on a stool, leaned over to get something and the stool scooted out from under him and he bit his tongue), but was with him in the nurse’s office. They said when she tried to go back to the classroom that Jack fussed and wanted her to stay, so she was with him till we got there. The nurse told Jack to stick his tongue out to show me and it was a pretty big cut. We got back into the truck and I called Tj as I was pulling out. Jack was almost behaving normally, but would fuss a little when bored. About 1/4 mile from the school I pulled over and had Max move over to the middle seat so he could comfort Jack…that seemed to be all he needed. Tj and I talked a bit and both decided that we would skip the ER…Jack was calm (though obviously in some pain) and his tongue was not bleeding. I turned around before I got to the highway and we went home, and Tj told his boss he wasn’t leaving work. I called the base’s nurse hotline and told them what the school nurse said, but why we were thinking an ER trip wasn’t necessary. She put me on hold and consulted someone else for what seemed like forever. I scooped some ice cream for Jack and he put up his shoes and coat. When she finally came back on she said they thought we should go to the ER. I asked her what the doctors would actually do for a tongue? She said if the cut was deep enough they could stitch it, and then asked me if it was deep. I hadn’t wanted to look too closely, but did so now. Yeah. It’s deep. Gross! Poor baby! So we packed up again and left. I called Tj but he (understandably) didn’t want to tell his boss he was leaving again, so we went by ourselves. I wasn’t nervous at all, especially since Jack was just about back to normal by this time. My only concern was where to take him. The school nurse suggested a hospital I wasn’t familiar with at all, and Tj and I discussed both Baptist and Children’s. We finally decided on Children’s, and have said that there will never be a discussion again on where to take the boys…it’s always Children’s! Hopefully we’ll remember that if we ever need to go again! While we were discussing this at the house I finally just told him to please just tell me where to go and how to get there. I had so many other things I was thinking about at the time I didn’t want to make that decision. It had just started to snow when I got the call, but fortunately the snow wasn’t ever a bother to drive through. On the way to the hospital D. Billingsley called me! I hadn’t heard from him since before I got married! It was fun to chat till I got to the part where I had to pay attention.
The only person in the waiting room when we got there was a guy waiting for his wife/baby to come out. What a change from the other ER visits we’ve had! We didn’t wait too long then went to have his vitals taken. The girl had trouble hearing his heart, which made me wonder if there was something there, maybe to do with DS, but in the end I think it was just her. We got back to our room which was pretty much like a regular doctor’s exam room, solid door and all…not like I’ve seen in other ER’s. The doctor came in with a student after a bit and I held Jack on my lap while they had him stick out his tongue. Then she got some gauze and held his tongue out for a more thorough exam. She looked underneath and said that it did go all the way through at one tiny point. She thought quietly for a bit and said they probably wouldn’t stitch…that most stitches in the tongue were chewed out by the time they reached the parking lot! Yuck! She left for some paperwork, and when she came back she said she’d consulted with someone else and they would give us a prescription for a mouth rinse. She asked if he could swish and spit, and when I was doubtful said she’d give us the script and if it worked great, and if not don’t worry about it. The tongue usually heals itself so quickly it’s not a big deal. She watched him a minute more and left again. When she came back she’d talked with someone else, and then mentioned Jack putting his hands in his mouth. I said he does that a lot. She said she’d noticed and they thought he should go on antibiotics right away to ward off any possible infection. I was surprised, but he had already been messing with that spot a bit and I knew he would continue to do so. In the end we got the initial call around noon, and we walked out of the ER around 3pm. I think that’s our fastest time yet! He’s on a soft diet, but doesn’t seem slowed down at all now. I’d made homemade mac and cheese the night before and he’s eaten that for most of his meals so far. We kept him home from school Friday since I couldn’t see him eating his 3rd meal after that ordeal at school with a spoon. That sentence was awkward, but I know what I mean.
I started thinking about all our ER visits:
Max’s first: fell out of the shopping cart, Tj was deployed to England.
Max’s second: our second camping trip. We had to pack up the whole camper and he had his chest x-rayed.
1. When he broke his leg. Enough said.
2. He suddenly stopped walking for 3 days, they said possible leukemia, he started walking again in the ER, probably inner-ear problems.
3. Croup so bad for a few days…after a long time in the steamy bathroom he was really laboring to breathe. Tj was deployed, Max had thrown up earlier that day. I asked Freda to come stay with Max (it was 10pm); I told her I’d probably be back home by the time he woke up the next morning. They wanted to admit Jack and keep him a few days but I brought him home cause he was doing better and I didn’t want Freda to have to keep Max that long! That was the time I panicked in the ER waiting room cause Jack woke from a sound sleep and was chocking/coughing and couldn’t get enough air. Scary!
4. Jack and his tongue.
There was one time I was in the ER with one of the boys and saw the McDonoughs, but I can’t remember if that’s one of the above visits, nor which boy it was.
So we’re up to 6 or 7 visits total. I’m ready to quit needing to go!
Last thing. This morning we were discussing Max’s list of payable chores he wants to let the neighbors know about. I told him he could leave ‘Keeping your kid company’ but couldn’t put babysitting as an option. He then asked me, “Mom, would you let me kick a man to death if he was trying to take Jack?”