Saturday, July 27, 2013

How ironic is it that at the end of a week of nature camp, where he did things like this...

...and this...

...Daniel ended up in the Emergency Room on Friday afternoon after slipping getting out of the tub from washing off the camp grime.

I wasn't prepared for him to step out because he'd had a fit about taking yet another shower (5 days in a row!) and was only pacified with the promise of some time in a bubble bath. However, his gnat-like attention span apparently led him to forget both the fit and the promise, so while I was turned to close the tub drain and grab the bubble soap, he started to climb out, putting his foot on the edge of the tub, slipping end banging his head on the toilet.

It all happened so fast! He was just sort of laying horizontally across the tub and toilet screaming from the shock and pain. I set him back in the tub, saw the cut and turned to get a washcloth. By the time I turned back, he was screaming harder as the full extent of head-wound blood came gushing down into his eye.

If you have to have a bloody head wound, being naked in the tub with the water still running is a very good place to do it. I got the blood washed away and then applied pressure with the washcloth. This gave us a moment to gather our wits and figure out how we were going to get from naked and wet in the tub to dressed and in the car for a trip to the ER.

He was pretty good about keeping the cloth pressed to the wound, so I was able to towel him off and get some clothes on him. But when he figured out we were going to the hospital the screaming began anew: "I DON'T WANT TO GET STITCHES!!!" Mind you he's never had them, but apparently just the thought was enough to conjure true fear. I made up some lameness about the doctors having other options we didn't have a home like "eye band-aids" and we got out the door.

I had the presence of mind to grab the iPad and a few snacks, so we were prepared in case of a long wait. While we were there a friend texted me inviting us to join them at the Children's Museum. When I texted back with our drama, she offered to come get Edward and take him to the museum, which he eagerly accepted.

In the end, no stitches were required thanks to the miracle of Dermabond. Two hours and a little medical superglue and we were on our way out the door. We met up with our friends at the museum and within minutes, Daniel was scampering and climbing around like nothing had happened.

We had planned a quick weekend trip to the indoor waterpark in Dubuque, but had to switch to just a day trip and save the water slides for another time as he's not supposed to submerge until the glue falls off in a week or so.

He's a little self-conscious about "looking weird" and is now pretty tired of telling the tale of how it happened. Actually, he tired of it after multiple ER retellings--admitting nurse, room nurse, resident, attending. Here's hoping the glue works fast and he's on the road to a barely noticeable scar in no time.

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Friday night and John is unexpectedly out at a concert he was asked to review for The Gazette after his good friend who was supposed to write it came down with shingles today. So it's only fitting that I take the opportunity of this quiet evening to share a bit of our last two Friday evenings.

Last week we tried our hands at archery when the university's Recreational Services department, which runs an outdoor education center that includes some of Edward's favorite summer camps, offered a family activity night. We didn't tell the boys about it until we were on the way to the site. Once there, they thought they should be allowed to pick up the bows and start shooting. They tried to be patient with the instruction, but it was difficult. Also, there was a glitch in the registration that allowed more people to sign up than they intended, so there were long waits for turns. But once they learned the rules and got the gear, they were eager archers.

 It turned out to be more difficult than they expected, but after about three or four arrows they were getting them all the way to the target. Not in the target, mind you. You see, the range is set up for taller people (local archery club for adults) so they were basically eye level with the wood frame. We tried to say that hitting the wood was the same as hitting the target, but Mr. Competitive Daniel was not fully appeased. Still, they both had a good time and Edward was excited to find out which one of the summer camp sessions included archery as an activity.

(The matching tie-dye shirts were made in camp that afternoon.)

The Friday before that ended with a brilliant fireworks display that we got to enjoy with my parents, as they had arrived for a weekend visit. Yes, it was July 5, not the 4th, but we were actually happy to have the late night followed by a lazy Saturday.

This Friday, I'm pretty sure both boys were sound asleep within minutes of turning out their lights. Daniel may have even fallen asleep as his head was dropping toward his pillow. He was yawning audibly from the time I picked him up from camp at 4. These last two weeks, both boys have been in daily swim lessons from 11:15 to noon followed by afternoon camp. Most of the rest of the summer, the camps are half days in the morning, ending by noon-ish. I guess it just takes a lot out of them. I know I'm more tired working in the afternoons and will be glad to return to our regular hours next week.

P.S. The swim session ended with Daniel passing to Level 3--ice cream for all!
The boys just kicked a ball in the living room, as they have been told repeatedly not to do. It knocked over and broke a lamp. I heard the crash and came running in to find two sheepish boys picking up the lamp. (Thankfully the lightbulb wasn't shattered.) When I realized it was broken, I told them they would be paying for a new one since they knew they were not supposed to kick balls in the house (Cue Brady Bunch, "Mom always said, 'Don't play ball in the house!' ")

This led to immediate break downs and screams/tears at the unfairness of it all. Then they turned on each other:

E: You were the one who suggested it and you knew we weren't supposed to and I forgot!

D: Then I'm going to call you Mr. Bad Memory
 (**editors note: this is the line that prompted me to start transcribing this exchange for you, dear blog readers)

E: Then I will call you poop face.

D: Then I will call you stinky head.


{break in dialogue to focus on wailing and screaming}

E: You're the one who kicked the ball!

D: Well you're the one who was supposed to catch it!

E: Well you're the one who kicked it and you knew we shouldn't kick it!

{calming down}

E: How many dollars do you have?

D: I only have 11.

E: Well I have 29...that's 40 all together...maybe 41 if we count all our coins.
{end scene}

Does that count as a summer math exercise?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My parents were visiting this weekend for the 4th and came to Mass with us on Sunday morning. The boys were on very good behavior, looking forward to a hotel swim afterward. (Also, it helps to have extra adults as barriers between them.) Anyway, after Communion, my mom fished a piece of paper and pen out of her purse to quash Daniel's restlessness. After Mass, he showed me his drawing:

"Look, Mom, a crime scene!"
To which I replied, "Well, that's very holy."

He didn't quite get what I meant, so I said, "You know, holy, for church. Like God and Jesus."

"Oh," he replied. "I can draw a holy picture too." So on the way to the pool this is what he came up with. (My notes added after the fact)

Edward's contribution: "Make sure you put Jesus on the right of God."

Well, I guess they are listening. Sometimes.

Youth baseball season has come and gone and here I am just getting around to blogging about it. Well, technically I guess that's not true as I did share some early tales of extreme weather and extreme exhaustion.

And also, let's be totally honest, the phrase "come and gone" is not really an adequate descriptor. More like, "come and stayed and lasted and lingered and continued and finally--mercifully--gone." Did I mention it was a LONG season? Starting with winter coats at April practices, continuing through May flooding and relocation, and finishing with a five-games-in-three-days weekend tournament at the end of June. And that was just Edward! Daniel's coach-pitch tee ball was but a six-week blip in comparison.

They both really liked it and even after three months, I heard Edward sigh wistfully in the middle of the week after the season ended, "Oh, I wish I still had baseball!"

I think he really likes being a part of a team. Also, at his age they use a pitching machine, which (usually) makes it possible to have some success with hitting. (The machine wasn't always consistent.) 
Edward in right field; umpire feeds the balls into the pitching machine
He started strong, then went through a few weeks where he adopted a weird batting stance, holding the bat way over his head and striking out a lot, then allowed himself to be corrected and got back to connecting the bat and ball. 
John was often the third base coach

Now, it didn't always get past the pitcher, but that was actually OK since it was rare for any team in this league to be able to throw out a runner at first. After one of those little dribblers, one of the other dads commented, "Well, you know, his on-base percentage is actually pretty high with those." 

His fielding was...shall we say...unfocused. Early in the season they rotated the kids through various positions, but ultimately Edward ended up in left field, without much action.
Rare "readiness." Likely had something to do with
John standing at the fence to take the picture.
 The final weekend was a bit much with the last regular season game on Friday evening followed by two tournament games each on Saturday and Sunday. And it was HOT! But then it was over and only Edward was sorry.
Participation medal
Team at the end of the tournament weekend
Daniel was a trooper with going to all those games, but it helped that we let him play at the nearby playground and there were always plenty of other baseball siblings to have fun with. He also appreciated Edward's game day preparation:

Is it weird to fire yourself up for a game by reading
about Abraham Lincoln's funeral train?
Daniel was just as intense about tee-ball as every other sport he's played.
Happy to be on a team with his good friend, who we met when the
older brothers were on the same tee ball team two summers ago
His was a coach-pitch format with four or five chances to hit the coach's pitch before hitting off a tee.

Swinging too high

Note the tongue; sign of concentration
The kids all stood in the field while the other team batted, but it would be a stretch to say that Daniel did any actual defense. But he had fun and he could certainly tell you how many games his team won, even though they don't keep score and every kid gets to bat every inning.

Pre-game warm up
I tried to de-emphasize the whole winning/losing thing to focus on having fun and learning the game, but he was not buying it. This did lead to me being hilariously called-out in front of my parents when they came with me to pick him up from a sports-themed week at day camp and he said, "Mom, I know you don't care about winning and losing, but my team won both soccer games today!" He was pleased.

The last baseball-related item was a big surprise to me. I asked Edward to make thank you cards for his two coaches and he took his materials and disappeared for a while. When he came back, this is what he had created:

for reference

He had grabbed his hat and free-hand copied the logo with crayon and colored pencil. I had no idea he could do that--100% Kenyon genes at work!