Thursday, May 22, 2014

After three weeks of having a cast, Daniel got it off today. He was very excited about it. The process itself was very quick. The biggest problem was that the vibrations of the saw tickled him so much that he could hardly sit still long enough to get it off. Note: the video is on the long side, but it was a milestone for the boy, so I thought it was worth documenting in full.

The doctor told him to stay off the monkey bars for a week so his arm can regain strength, but cleared him for his debut in a T-ball baseball game. He was very excited about finally joining his team on the field, and did well despite the long layoff. The Cardinals were happy to activate him after 21-days on the DL.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Daniel lost his first tooth! And he promptly swallowed it while eating an after-school snack of popcorn. Even though he has already busted the Tooth Fairy myth, his first question was still, "Can I write a note to the Tooth Fairy to explain why there's no tooth and still get my dollar?" We decided he'd write his note on a print-out of this picture:

I think she'll be persuaded.
We're nearing the end of the soccer season and finding we don't have the right kind of camera to capture action on the second-grade sized field (which is significantly smaller than a regulation field, but still larger than our camera range.) Edward played goalie for a whole quarter on Saturday without allowing any goals--hooray! As many times as I remind myself that they are 8-years-old and technically not even supposed to keep score, I can't deny that I feel very anxious when he's in the goal. He had several stops and a few he could scoop up, but still managed to deflect with a kick. He was very happy trotting off the field, especially after even his coaches were heard to exclaim "WOAH!" on this cherry bomb:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

At the end of a very busy Saturday, Edward quietly called John into his room with a, "Psst! Dad...come in here...secret Mother's Day talk." (I was not privy until much later.) He had concocted the following plan and wanted John's support: "Dad, after Mom falls asleep tonight, you come and wake me up. Then we'll go downstairs and decorate for Mother's Day. Then if there's still any time left before morning we'll go back to bed for a while." John persuaded him that they could sleep all night and accomplish the task before I got up on Mother's Day. So at 6:05 a.m. Sunday, there was Edward at his bedside whispering, "Psst...Dad! Wake up!"

Daniel's secret involved a library book and a sous chef. Every Friday his class visits the school library and each kid can check out one book for the week. Daniel checked out this "Gifts in a Jar for Kids" book because he wanted to make one of the recipes for me. He wouldn't let me open his backpack after school and waited for John to come home to have a secret conference about this plan. They accomplished the baking while I got a Mother's Day pedicure on Sunday. Tasty! Daniel later told me, "Well, I've really been wanting this book on wolves at the library but then I saw this book and I thought, 'Which do I like more, Mom or wolves' and I decided, Mom!" I rate above wolves, so I've got that going for me!

 Mother's Day weekend is the traditional time for planting the vegetable garden, but we're still expecting some chilly nights this week so we stuck with just broccoli and carrots for now. Probably a little late for those, but we'll hope for the best.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

This year's rhododendron picture coincided with Edward's First Communion weekend. We'll also remember this one as "the year with the cast!"

We'll also remember this as "the year three cousins in three states all had their First Communion on the same day!" Katherine in Wisconsin and Sean in Arizona were also celebrating the sacrament so Geraghtys were dispatched in all directions with Aunt Nora (Edward's godmother) coming to Iowa City, my parents to Wisconsin and Uncle Joe to Arizona (where Sean also needed a Confirmation sponsor.)

Can you see the halo? The day before the big event, our former neighbor who also is a member of our parish stopped by with a card for Edward. This was his first indication that this would be a gift-giving occasion and it was very cute when he opened the card and exclaimed, "Whoa, five dollars--thank you!"

Good thing Daniel has two years to mature before his own big day.

The bright day was too much of an adjustment after leaving the church, 
so this was the best family portrait we could manage.

Godson and Godmother (and rhododendron!)

Edward's party needs were very simple. He asked to go out to lunch at Micky's after church (Nora and Simon were a bit scandalized that our son's favorite restaurant is a college town bar!) 
And he wanted vanilla cake with a gold cross. Done!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Well, this finally happened

I missed witnessing it by about 10 seconds. I was walking up to school at the end of the day Wednesday, and as I rounded the side of the building saw the flurry of activity as the teachers came running then started ushering Daniel up toward the main entrance. I ran to catch up, heard the breathless, sobbing story of a fall from the monkey bars, and took him to the office for ice. Then ran back to get Edward and our two friends who come home w/us on Wednesdays. Then back to the office where the friends' mom (who is a teacher at our school) took the other kids away to see crayfish in her classroom while I tried to figure out what to do. Ultimately, my friend ended up driving us home and then we had some calming time w/TV.

He could move it, but it was swelling (even with the ice) and pressing near the wrist/hand juncture was very painful, so I decided to err on the side of caution and call the doctor. John walked in the front door at 5 to take Ed to baseball game (in 45 degree weather and intermittent rain!) and Daniel and I walked out to our nearby clinic, which has evening hours. The Nurse Practitioner thought it was probably OK since he could move it without pain, but sent us for an x-ray (across town!) just to be sure.  

He was not complaining at all of pain by this time so I was sure it would be fine. Just after I called John to tell him we were home and fine, the NP called back to say she'd received the radiology report and it was indeed broken. She had given us a splint and a huge ace-bandage to use to secure an ice pack, so she said to keep that in place overnight and then wait to hear from the orthopedics clinic the following morning.

Ortho called at 9:30 a.m. to tell me to bring him in at 10, so I leaped up from work, raced back to school (where I'd called ahead so D would be waiting in the office) and then dashed back across down, arriving breathless by about 10:05. Then we waited. and waited. and waited. We were called back from reception at 11 and finally saw the PA about 11:30. But then we were out by 12:30. (Good thing I had D bring his backpack and lunch. He ate in the exam room!)

It's the radius that's broken, and a "bulging" fracture rather than a clean line (see arrow pointing to the injury site.) PA said ulna is likely also affected, but hard to say definitively and it doesn't impact the treatment. He'll wear the cast for three weeks, then have it removed, re-x-rayed and should be good to go. For now he wants to "keep it orange" and not have friends sign. That may change as the time goes on and he needs a distraction.

Three weeks means no more soccer this spring (which elicited the only tears over the incident other than the initial fall,) but he can rejoin his baseball team after the cast is off, May 22. No biking or anything that would potentially cause another fall while it's healing. He has to skip the swimming part of a birthday party, but still gets to go for cake and Harry Potter-themed games, so not to great a disappointment. 

He's definitely counting the days and is already annoyed by my reminders to take it easy. The PA recommended slides for park and playground entertainment, but Daniel has no interest in sitting on his butt and sliding down. To him, slides are for climbing up/over/around and/or for shimmying around the edge and dropping from the top.

Ultimately, I think this will be just a blip in Daniel's childhood story. As my mom noted, with a playground fall, it definitely could be worse (e.g. involving the head or neck!) And as I responded, "Yes, and given the child, this was basically inevitable." (It's worth noting that it was a cold, damp day and Daniel was attempting the monkey bars while wearing thick gloves. And, he told me the monkey bars were wet. Life lessons in cause & effect.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

We tried to squeeze in a quick trip to the park this afternoon before impending bad weather. But after about 20 minutes we were sent packing when the weather siren sounded. The boys were absolutely horrified to be caught outside, exposed to the danger. Even my calm reminders that the sirens are not just for tornadoes, but also for severe thunderstorms did not quell their anxiety.

"WHY aren't you RUNNING," they called over their shoulders as they rode their scooters down the hill toward home. For the record, there were a few stray rain drops and gusty winds, but no thunder or lightning at this point.

Once we reached home they were still scampering around like nervous cats so I finally gave them a bag and said, "Here, take this and put things in it to keep yourselves busy if we have to go to the basement." I emphasized that this was not a "survival kit" as we had plenty of water, food and flashlights in the basement already. Here is what they packed:
  • Nintendo DS (and games)
  • LeapPad (and games)
  • iPad
  • Lego
  • Lucha Libre masks
  • Willy Wonka hat
  • coin purse
  • set of toy magnets
  • rubber snake
We did not end up needing to seek shelter, but the gathering of items did calm them a bit. Then we allowed a bit of TV time and by the time the show ended the worst of the weather had passed.

And later in the evening there was much love for new pajamas that I impulsively added to my "cart" while ordering a new pair of "church shoes" for Edward, having learned this week that the ones he was wearing were 2 sizes smaller than his everyday shoes!

Oh...just realizing that the picture of the Lucha Libre masks John and I brought home from our trip to Mexico in February never made it to the blog. Here is what is considered essential severe weather entertainment:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Shortly after this exuberant embrace of the Easter Bunny's largess, the jig was up.

In the 10 minutes it took to drive from our house to church for Easter Mass, three childhood heroes were toppled. I always knew that I would not lie when confronted head on with the quest for truth, but I thought it would come from Edward and I thought he might get a few months or a year of being "in on the secret" before Daniel was brought up to speed. At the very least, I thought Edward would be the one to reveal the truth to Daniel, in a conspiratorial big brotherly way.


A friend of Daniel's, whose family does not participate in the myth-making, told him, "It's your parents" and that's all it took. I think she probably told him back around Christmas, because Daniel has tested the theory a bit in the last few months, casually mentioning, "I think maybe you and Dad are Santa Claus." My response, "Oh, really, that's interesting. What makes you think that?" has never drawn him into further conversation.

But this morning there was no dancing around it. Voice from the backseat: "Are you guys the Easter Bunny?" Sideways glance between John and me. "Are you sure you want to know?" YES!

"OK then, here it is. Yes, we got the treats and made the Easter baskets."

What about Santa? Again, "are you sure you want to know?" YES

Another one bites the dust. Here, Edward was skeptical, "But, wait, how do you know what we want from Santa. We only tell him!" Oh, really, you mean you don't spend weeks and weeks of anticipation listing your hearts' desires? "Oh, yeah, I guess so." There's still the magic of the snowglobe, which Edward knows he only told Santa and Mrs. Smith. Maybe there's still a kernel of mystery there.

That 10-minute drive seemed endless, and then, getting out of the car Daniel said, "What about the tooth fairy?" Are you sure you want to know? NO...wait, yes?

I'm sad for him that the myth is busted even before he loses his first tooth (which just started wiggling this week.) I guess he won't care too much as long as he gets his dollar when it falls out.

We made a point to let them know they should NOT spoil the secret for other kids. I've revisited that point separately with each boy today. We talked about how even though there isn't a real guy in a red suit who travels all over the world in a single night, there is a special feeling of excitement and a spirit of giving that helps us celebrate Christmas. And we agreed that holidays are special family time with or without the colorful characters. And we proved it by spending a lovely day together riding bikes (with new baskets from the "bunny") to the park, playing backyard wiffle-ball, grilling out and eating our first porch dinner of the season, and then another bike ride--for ice cream dessert.