Monday, October 26, 2009

A Day at the Arboretum

The great thing about this shot is that Henry is the photographer. Look closely and you'll see the remote control in his hand.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blood, (No) Sleep, and Tears

Three a.m. Sunday morning and I'm in the best sleep of the night, sleeping beside Henry. I hear a big nose blow and then a request for a tissue. I reach on the table beside me and hand Henry a tissue, never opening my eyes. A few minutes later, I open my eyes and Henry is sitting up in the bed and I can see blood on the sheets. I turn the light on and Henry's face, hands, shirt, pants, feet and everything around him are covered in blood. Richard (who later said it looked like the scene of a splatterpunk film) comes running in to check on all the commotion and very carefully gets Henry to the bathroom, trying his best to avoid splattering blood on the new yellow chair and ottoman in the nursery. They made it successfully to the bathroom where I realize that Richard missed his calling as an EMT. Very calmly, he soothes Henry who is blowing his nose, crying and saying,"look at all that blood." I, who have never had a nose bleed, run warm water on a washcloth to hold on his upper lip to stop the bleeding. Dad, who has had many nose bleeds as a child, reminds me that it's cold water that we need. By this time Neil is wide awake, standing in his crib crying. Have I mentioned that it is 3 a.m. and we are doing all this in our sleep! I head back to the nursery to try to clean up and calm Neil. Not just sheets, but a comforter, a blanket, pillows, EVERYTHING is splattered in blood!

I can hear Richard continuing to calm Henry "You're doing great Henry, I think it has stopped." Wait, don't blow again. " It starts again. This goes on for what seems like all night--but I guess it was really only about 15 minutes. Finally things quiet down. Henry settles onto a crib mattress with Dad on the floor beside him. Neil would have nothing less than being in the bed with Mom. I think by 4 a.m. we were all sound asleep again.

Sunday morning, Henry awakens and says, "I didn't like that nose bleed." We get our coffee (bow) and ask him to tread lightly for awhile so that heaven forbid, that doesn't happen again. By Sunday afternoon, Henry complains of an ear ache. Thankfully we have those numbing drops that helped him make it until Monday when he was diagnosed with an ear infection. On Amoxicillin now and all is fine. And while at the doctor, for better or worse, Henry was the first of us to get the H1N1 flu mist vaccine. At the moment, all is well.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mother Hen and Other Stories

I feel like a mother hen with all my chicks gathered 'round. Parker started at the new Tuscaloosa Magnet Middle School for 8th grade, and Neil and Henry are now BOTH at the RISE School at UA. All are within walking distance of our house. What a dream! And, they are all very happy!

The opening available at RISE for Henry was in the 4 year old room (Neil is in the 3). Henry told me last night that he hugs and kisses Neil when he meets him in the hallway. Henry has been so excited about this that one night he named everyone he could possibly think of that he has ever known and talked about having a celebration party with BBQ hot dogs, BBQ pizza, BBQ turnip greens, etc... I think he was still naming people and BBQ'd items when I finally fell asleep. Needless to say it is wonderful to have them in one place.

Dad and Parker have completed the backyard play structure and it is fabulous. Dad spent MUCH of his time securing everything for safety. We tried our best to think like Henry and Neil would. Well, after about a day, Neil discovered that he could climb all the way to the top, get to the slide, raise his hands above his head, hold on to the beam above him, pull his legs up and swing like a little monkey! Terrifying! He does this with one of his beautiful, big smiles on his face. Thankfully, Mom can quickly climb the nearby tree and get to him! So much for trying to stay ahead of these guys. They get us every time!

After six years of competitive swimming Parker thought he'd enjoy a break--and he has. We have loved having him here in the evenings. He wanted more time to play tennis and has joined the Fall USTA team. He has been a part of the Cross Country Team at his school and has enjoyed that. The meets are held in beautiful areas (Arboretum and Sokol Park) and it's nice to see all these children out in the fresh air. As of two weeks ago, Parker started guitar lessons with Tommy Sorrell and is soaking it up. It's amazing what a child does with a musical instrument when it's their idea.

That catches me up to this week. The "piggy flu" as Parker calls it or the "flying swu" as Henry calls it has hit. Parker tested negative but Dr. Pettit says that "clinically" he has it and has been out of school all week. He appears to have had a mild case compared to some I've heard. Neil and Henry are running wide open on Tamiflu to try to prevent it. Richard and I are hoping for the best and taking our C and Zinc.