Sunday, March 25, 2012


I miss this lady!  I taught with her out at Idaho and she was my soul-colleague-friend.  We think on the same wavelength with all our crazy big projects and ideas.  We shared a passion for BIG projects and creative ideas.  I miss her.  She's my professional other half.
She and her hubs were here for vacation and we got to meet them for brunch at "Beth's Cafe" in Seattle.  They are doing the coolest vacation ever - visiting different restaurants that have been highlighted on Food Network and/or the Travel Channel.  Almost as good as my cheese-a-palooza from this summer, but not quite...
It was so great to catch up.  Sooooooooo great.
It ended up that the restaurant was super close to the Seattle Zoo, which we've never gone to.  Really fun!  We had fun with the gorillas....
 Complete with sound effects....
 The worm garden was a hit - Lucas proclaims himself the "Gate Guy".  And he was.
 I cannot believe how bossy that kid was.  So stinkin' bossy.
 Ethan was master of the maps.  Until his arm started bugging him.  And bugging him bad.  He claims pain level 10, but I don't think it's quite that bad.
 One of the favorite animals was the peacock, as always.
 The tapir was pretty cool too.  We've never seen them so close - right in your face!
 There were lots of great animals (including an Africa exhibit just like in Idaho!!!), but all Lucas really cared about was "the boat".  He was obsessed.
 And when we finally got him in it - the smile was huge.
 While we were out that direction, we went in to Top Pot Doughnuts - which Brian claims is a local phenomenon.  The doughnuts were really good.  The coffee too.  Lucas insisted on sitting up at the bar.
 Ethan was still a bit of a mess with pain - I felt so bad for him and had just cleaned all the meds out of my purse the day before.  Sad.
So, tonight we took it easy - made dinner together and then had a cleaning race all over the house - was actually a lot of fun.  And our living room/dining room has not been this clean in a very long time.  Win!
This week is conferences - which means a whole lot of work and not a lot of play for me...  So tonight I soak in every bit of family time and relaxation - I won't see it again for 5 days!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Soccer Balls and Sunshine

I include this first picture to show you my students' longhouses for the Culture Night on Thursday.  There are 5 more Native American type homes in my classroom, but these two are the piece de resistance and turned out very cool....  The boys loved the event - as did I.  It was a huge amount of work, but worth it to see so many kids learning about different cultures!
 Friday was our trip back to the doc to see how all was healing.  My fingers were crossed, hands in prayer, that everything stayed aligned though this boy seems to keep falling and flinging himself all over the place.
The nurse cut off his splint and Ethan's eyes went straight to his arm.
 "What the heck?  What happened to me?  What is that?"  Apparently he hadn't figured out that to cut out a part of his bone they had to cut open his arm.  He was pretty freaked out.
 I was freaked out as they pushed and pulled his arm all over the place.  Made me a bit squeamish....  And here I was freaked out about him falling over a few times and jarring it.  Apparently the pins keep it pretty darn secure.
 The doc saw his arm and stated, "I'd be proud to put that up in front of a crowd of my professional colleagues and say, 'I did that!"  I'd say you can't get any better than that.
Except you can.  They had a super cool soccer ball cast.  Ethan was elated.  Solid colors are so last year.... Been there done that....
 After the appointment he was pretty sore, but managed to make it through the evening playing around and relaxing.  Lucas had a fun party at his school and our super original snack of Lucky Charms was a bit hit with his class.  Yeah for being too tired to get creative!
Because I took Ethan to the doctor, I missed my grading time at school for the trimester, so that is how I spent today.  7 hours in front of the computer.  Ick!  The boys went to the Lorax (which was a bit much for Ethan apparently - he is his mother's son - emotional).  Then they came back and tried to stay out of my hair.  Tried.  Tried hard.
Finally I was seeing double from all the screen time and we decided to go down the street to a local restaurant for some grub.  Delicious food and a fun atmosphere and then the boys and I walked back home. They drove me nuts, stopping every few steps to look at something, but once I finally gave in and switched to science teacher mode, we had fun.  Lots to find.
Lucas found a bunch of pinecones.  Which he insisted on bringing home and planting as he yelled out, "I am the Wolax, I peak for da twees!"
 "Why is dey not gwowing yet?  I gave dem water!"
"You're not doing it right Lucas."
Ethan likes to make himself the supervisor of the situation.  Offering no solutions, but plenty of criticism.  I suppose that's the job of an older brother.
 And it seems also to be Ethan's job to terrorize me.  "Hey Mom!  How far up do you think I can climb?"
 Grrr.....  I don't know how I'm going to keep him from busting up some other bone over the next 3 weeks. That boy is determined to be an adventurer.
So nice to be outside - even if it is 40-some degrees and it snowed this morning.  I'm ready for Spring. 
After we came inside for awhile, the boys were joking around as all boys do - potty talk, etc.  We told them to stop being inappropriate with their words and Ethan started yelling out advice to not say the "F" word.  I asked him what he thought the F word was and he replied, "You know Mom.  Everybody says not to say the F word.  It starts with a P and ends with a P."  And so tomorrow we'll work on our phonics skills a little more.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


"Mom, did you know two papers makes a baby?  They sit on the eggs and then it turns into a diaper."
Basketball season is over.. *sniff*.  While I'm happy to say hello to my Saturdays and Tuesday evenings again, I am sad that all the fun is over.  I was so impressed by how much Ethan learned this year.  We started the season not even being able to dribble and ended with three shots and some mean defensive skills!  The coaches gave a speech about how much he'd learned - going from twirling in circles to setting up plays.  I was a bit choked up.  So proud of my big kid.
 He didn't have a hard cast for his buddies to sign, so I used plain band-aids and had them sign that.  They didn't stick very well to the mesh sling, but the star wars tattoo band-aids did, so I used them as tape.  It turned out pretty cool.
His pain has been pretty low - amazingly.  I tried him off meds today, but that didn't work, so I'll keep giving him Tylenol for the time being.  Friday we go back to the doc - fingers crossed for a hard cast!
Lucas is loving getting to be the active one and Ethan is HATING having to watch him at swim lessons.  I don't think he's ever had to watch Lucas do anything that he wasn't involved in.  Hard life lesson right there.
Today Ethan pulled out a tooth - amazingly it wasn't even loose.  I think he was so frustrated today because of the no meds thing that he just kept yanking on it until it came out.  Impressive.
This is one of the weeks that just seems off. We've had weird weather (what the snow?) and weird schedules.  Getting used to the one-armed man has been tough as well.  But....  Ethan's doing well - Lucas is being a charmer and all is well.  Can't ask for much more.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Surgery, Take Two

 When Ethan is scared, he gets silly.  When your kid is going into surgery, they ask how he reacts when he's hurting or nervous.  My boy's feelings are easily identified if you know him well.  Nerves = baby talk and plain silliness.  Pain = anger and irrationality.
There was quite a bit of silliness.  Especially when we first got there.
 He had freshly knitted socks from Uma and the thoughts and prayers of lots of people - far and wide.  Once he found out he'd be asleep before the IV was put in, he calmed down quite a bit.  As did I.
 Every time someone asks us what his symptoms are, we have him point to the wall.  Then we don't have to say anything.
I was kind of sad to say goodbye to his future career of a circus performer, but so glad to know he wouldn't be hurting any more.  
 At this point I was still okay.  My baby was with me and he was doing well.  They gave him a DS to play with and I tried to explain to everyone that this was a bad idea.  He'll break every bone in his body if it means he gets a DS.
As we got closer to 10, they gave him some versed.  This is to induce drowsiness, relieve anxiety, and aid in memory loss. Then the doc and anesthesiologist came and asked him all sorts of questions.  They should have done that before the DS and the versed.
 He told us all that "Sonic is brave all the time.  He saves the world with his creature powers."    He'd been really positive and matter-of-fact all along, but as they wheeled him away he said, "But I don't like surgery."  And then the tears came.  But not for him.  For me.
We quickly ran down to the cafe to grab something to eat while we waited, but I couldn't even stand to be down there for more than a minute.  I ran upstairs to watch the screen that would tell us where he was in the process.  I watched it change to green - "In OR".  And then we waited.  The whole time I was a bit of a mess, but then I'd look at this couple whose child had been in surgery for four hours already and just be thankful.  It's just an arm.  It's just an hour and a half of our life.  It's nothing life threatening or altering.  But all rationality went out the window when he moved to a pink stripe - "In PACU" - (Post Anesthetic Care Unit).  Because then we waited.  For 38 minutes.  While I knew my baby was waking up.  Last time he was so disoriented and freaking out.  I just kept picturing him like that.  I knew our doc wanted to check on him before he came up to see us, but I figured it would be quick.  I think the reasoning was that he wanted to see if the nerves were working before he got us.  Had they not, he would have taken him back to surgery to see why.
We finally got up there and he was looking pretty good.  He was talking and chowing down his popsicle -getting barked at for eating it too fast.
 We were moved into a room and after a bit he said he was hurting pretty badly.
 They brought him some morphine and I tried to cheer him up with his 02 zebra.  Didn't really work.  But TV did.
 It's crazy to me how fast the meds work.  He was perking up pretty quickly - so much better than last time.
 They gave us our "Goals for Getting Home", and while they weren't easy, this kid was a champ.  I was afraid that when the morphine wore off we'd be a mess again.
 And he was, but turned out that he was mostly just scared about getting the IV out.  We talked about the difference between the pain scale and the scared scale.  He was a 10 on the scared scale, but a 2 on the pain scale.  The lady bribed him with a popsicle and went really slow and he was a champ.
 After a long, but happy, drive home, he was happy to curl up in bed with his new pillow (gift from the hospital) and his sling.
 He slept really well and then I knew we made the right choice to come home.  We never would have slept that well at the hospital.
I slept well too - better than I had in a while.  Even though I was sleeping in Lucas' bed (we won't let Ethan sleep upstairs on these pain meds or in the soft cast).
My baby was okay.  His arm is straight again.  The hard part is over and now he just has to heal.  Luckily, his arm really likes to regrow - and it is so tightly pinned in to place that this time it should grown in the right direction!
My baby?  He's so brave.  He saves the world using his creature powers.  Just like Sonic.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2 more sleeps....

Last weekend we spent numerous hours outside, sucking up some Vitamin D and enjoying the not-quite-as-cold.  Which meant we had a sore kiddo come Monday.  Oops.  I forget to make him take it easy.  He doesn't tell me when his arm hurts, I have to guess based on his attitude.  And I have to give him tylenol in the morning or he for sure has a meltdown by the afternoon.  And it's not until he's worked himself into quite a temper that he will admit that anything hurts.  He's decided he hates taking medicine (and yes, we have tried every kind out there).  
So Wednesday couldn't come soon enough - the visit to our new surgeon!  Brian decided to come as well, which made me happy as I was glad to have him meet the new guy too, and knew that Ethan might be a bit of a mess.  Our hospital is such a happy place though - video games in the waiting room?  Yes, please!
 Long story short, we felt very comfortable with this guy and we scheduled the surgery for this week.  I'm tired of my baby hurting and I'm tired of worrying about it all.  We're ready to get it fixed and move on!  Of course now I don't sleep at all, but it's only 2 more nights till we check in at the hospital.
Friday was Dr. Seuss day, and the absolute best thing to counter all my frustrated, anxious feelings.  We made hats, we read books, we had fun (even the teachers) celebrating reading.  And the spread of  cupcakes was amazing.  Though people kept giving Ethan more and more after school and that boy was a sugared up mess by the time we got home.
Yesterday was Ethan's last bball game.  He made another shot - very exciting as his coach had been gone at the other game that he scored at, so he was suuuuuuper happy.  It was an emotional game for me, being the last and also the last big event until his surgery.  The team prayed for him and promised to sign his cast next weekend at the team party.
After the game, we had an ice skating party for some friends from church.  We had not been to the rink in months.  Lucas was soooo excited to get to skate for the first time.
 At first, he just kind of laid there on Brian's arms... scared to move.
 He got a little coaching from his brother....  (who was doing awesome out there)
 But he still didn't push off of Brian....
 Until we left him alone on the side....
 And by the end of it he could skate a ways by himself and had a blast.  I could not believe how independent he was.  Ethan was just a skating machine, though both were super excited to eat cake and sing happy birthday.  It was a lego party and had all sorts of cute touches - very fun!
Then we tried to go bike riding.  Fun for the dogs and Lucas.  Not so fun for Ethan.  I think we'd just overdone it and he was a crying, screaming machine.  I finally (after coming back home) rocked him a while and sang him his baby song and he was able to calm down and asked for some ice.  He explained that his pain level was up to the ceiling and then it was my time to cry.  Oops.  Poor kid.
We got out ye olde ice pack and put on a cartoon (though he was much more interested in Wheel of Fortune when that came on) and left him alone.
Lucas and I started building trials of a project I'm doing with my kids in the next two weeks - building various regions' Native American homes.  

The Northeastern Woodlands' Longhouse
 The Northwestern Plankhouse
 Great Plains Tipi Frame
It is amazing to me what can be done with paper bags and cardboard.  And I'm thankful to have the project to distract me.  The models will be made by my kids, but I had to be sure it could be done first.  And I had to do some problem solving.  The only thing left that I'm still not sure of is the dried grass for the thatch houses and wigwams.  But I'll figure it out.  In the meantime I have a whole lot of cardboard sitting in my living room.  Poor Brian.
And now I better get to cleaning.  All this creativity kind of makes a big, giant mess....  But, in a lot of ways, I think this is why my job is so satisfying.  I get to do what I love - work with kids - but also push my intellect and creativity to new levels.
Think of us early Tuesday morning and shout out a prayer for us.  And really, we could use a prayer or two to get through the next couple of days.  And I'll get back to making messes and building things....  Sorry Brian....