Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oliver took his little sister out to play on Monday, Nov. 1. He wanted to teach her to play baseball. She stood too close behind him as he swung the heavy, metal bat, and ended up with a broken nose. Oliver ran for me so I could help. As blood and tears gushed forth, sweet little Eleanor sobbed out, "It's okay, Mom, it was an accident. He didn't mean to - he feels really bad!" Her first concern and thoughts were of him. She didn't want him to feel bad or to get in trouble.

I called Jeff for advice as the blood poured out. I couldn't see her nose yet. He said to wait 15 minutes and call back if the bleeding didn't ease. Thankfully, it began to slow down. I wiped her up and then saw that the bridge of her nose had been pushed over. It was obviously broken. Jeff picked up Ellie to go see an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor friend of ours. Definitely broken. And she'd have to have surgery when the swelling went down.

Eleanor kept up her cheery disposition despite the significant bruising and swelling. She insisted the next morning that she had to go to school. I insisted that she needed to stay home. But as I watched her bouncing around in her Ellie way, I realized she'd either have to bounce around at home or at school, and there was no point keeping her home when she was just fine. I dosed her up and dropped her off. Kindergarten is just 2 1/2 hours long, anyway. Still, I made a trip down to the school to check on her after the first hour. She was fine. Her teacher was concerned, though, because Eleanor had the lead role in the kindergarten classes' play coming up the next week. We weren't sure when surgery would be, so we just played it by ear, assuming she'd be able to still sing and perform.

She met with Dr. McMaster the next day (Wednesday) so he could asses the swelling. He wanted originally to schedule surgery for the next week (play week), but figured he could do it at the end of the current week instead. That'd give her all weekend to recover from surgery and get ready for the play. Of course, the play was insignificant compared to getting her nose fixed, but it was nice that both things could be accomplished. Eleanor had surgery Friday, Nov. 8, at 7am. That meant we had to be at the hospital at 6am. My mom came to be with the rest of our kids (who were still asleep) so Jeff and I both could go with Eleanor. Thanks, Mom!

Eleanor did great. She was sweet with the nurses and doctor, and was very brave with the IV insertion. The "happy medicine" they gave her just prior to surgery made her very loopy, though. She'd giggle uncontrollably, then for no reason burst into tears, then she'd laugh and cry at the same time. That stuff's weird. Dr. McMaster invited Jeff into the surgery. He left to put on scrubs while I waved Eleanor off into the operating room. I did not like being left behind, but, on the other hand, I'm not so sure I'd have liked to have been in there, either. While she was in surgery, I drove back home to make sure the boys were getting ready for school, eating breakfast, and getting off in time, and getting Charlotte up and dressed. The boys had lots of questions about the hospital visit and how Eleanor was doing. I told them she was doing just fine.

My Mom sent me back to the hospital after a half hour or so. I only waited in Eleanor's room about ten minutes before they wheeled her back in, asleep and nose-casted. I didn't know noses could be casted. Dr. McMaster had straightened her nose, packed the nostril, and set a hard casting bandage over the nose. It had gone well. She woke up slowly. The first thing she said when she awoke was, "Am I okay?" I assured her she was. The next thing she said was, "I have to tell Oliver that I'm okay." She was upset that we couldn't call Oliver right that minute to let him know she was fine. Oliver was in school, but I promised her we'd tell him as soon as he got home. That didn't help. She didn't want him going through a whole day of school not knowing how she was. Luckily, when I told her I'd seen the boys before they left for school and had told them she was okay, she then settled down and went back to sleep for a few more minutes. We came home for a day of resting on the couch. I picked up Charlotte from my mom's house, then we turned our futon couch into a full-sized bed in front of the TV and watched movies all day. Jeff's friend's family (the Gambles) had given Eleanor a movie, which she loved. Our neighbor (the Holmans) brought her an enormous butterfly-shaped lollipop (and the rest of us a Mickey Cake - yum!), and my parents came over with a bunch of helium balloons, so we had a party indeed!

Friday evening, Jeff and the boys left for an overnight stay in Utah so they could attend the Saturday BYU Football game (without having to drive early Saturday morning). It was girls' day for us on Saturday! But Eleanor was still drowsy and recovering from surgery, and Charlotte got sick. She'd been doing just fine Friday during the day, but Friday night and Saturday (and the next few days, too), she started throwing up, then lower GI problems, had shaking chills, and a fever of up to 104. She was very, very tired. So for "Girls' Day" we again pulled out the futon and watched movies (and threw up, and dosed medicines, and slept) all day. The boys & Jeff came home after I'd put the girls to bed. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday for Charlotte.

Eleanor was feeling better, so Jeff took her and the boys to church. He drew a pink butterfly on her nose cast to make it a little less jarring to look at. Very pretty butterfly for a very pretty girl.

Monday I got up early to make a quick trip to the store before anyone woke up. I started feeling sick Monday. It lasted for me all week long and into the next, but was pretty mild compared to how the kids got it - they got it hard but it only lasted a couple of days. Jeff got it medium-ish, and it lasted a little longer, I got not so hard but definitely long.

When the girls recovered their strength a little, they donned their winter clothes for some snow play in the season's first snow. They didn't last long before tiring out, but they certainly loved getting out.

Tuesday Oliver got sick while at school so he came home early. His teacher told us that at the last minute, Oliver had been chosen to participate in a t City Spelling Bee, to be held Wednesday night. Tuesday after school his teacher dropped off the packet of spelling words so Oliver could study. Oliver was too sick to study, except for about an hour on Wednesday. We still weren't convinced that he'd make it to the Spelling Bee, but Oliver rallied enough strength to go, despite not having eaten (except a few pieces of pasta) in two days, and only studying a little. It was fun and he handled the whole thing well. He forgot the final "a" in "valiant", so didn't move on to the next rounds. I personally think "valiant" doesn't need the final "a" anyway, so there. Good job, Oliver.

Last week was a long week. The Spelling Bee was my first trip out of the house (beside the quick store trip) in 6 days. Ugh.

Friday we made it out of the house again to go watch Eleanor in the play. She was a lovely Little Bo Peep (broken nose and butterfly cast and all). She sang beautifully and thrived on the attention. She might just have a future in theatre!

Charlotte dressed up in her own Little Bo Peep costume to attend the play (as "Littler Bo Peep", I guess). She actually told me she was Little Bo Peep's (Eleanor's) Little Sister. Charlotte cracks me up. She has an amazing imagination and says the cutest thing. This week it was, "Oh, for goodness' sake!". I know she's a shy little thing around most people, but at home she has no trouble speaking up and asserting herself.

Samuel is very gifted in many areas, including music. He has a love of learning to play new things - a little too much love, perhaps? :) He's switched instruments about 5 times. Now he just needs to pick one and stick with it. I think this is it - the bass clarinet. I love hearing him practicing. He and Oliver have been so helpful this week (and actually, always!). They are amazingly responsible and capable. Now we just need to work on picking up dirty socks... Hee-hee. :)

Samuel earned his 2nd Class in Scouting!

You know how so often they say the Mom earns the rank advancements (half joking, of course)? Well, not with Samuel. His mom (me) didn't do a thing. Samuel took the initiative and, along with a great scout leader, did it all. I am breathing a sigh of relief that I have one less thing to worry about. How nice that Sam does it on his own. I hope when Oliver is an 11-year old scout he doesn't expect Mom to push him to do it. Besides, Oliver would do a much better job than me, anyway.
Speaking of Samuel, Saturday evening, he came down with a fever. He was sick enough that on Sunday he definitely wasn't going to church. Jeff wasn't going either - he was quite sick, too. I got the girls & myself & Oliver ready for church (which starts at 1pm). But I just couldn't do it. I just felt awful. At 11:30 am I threw in the towel and told everyone to change into play clothes. The whole family stayed home. I was exhausted so I fell asleep in the library while Jeff put on an animated bible movie. When I woke up, he went to take his nap. Sam was feeling better, and the other kids were fine (Eleanor never got it - good thing, since it'd be miserable to throw up with a broken nose).
I realized that even though I felt crummy, I still had to take care of my family. The last thing on my mind was food, but I found my kids all reading books - cookbooks. They each had a cookbook. Oliver stood over his book at the counter in the kitchen. Sam sat at the table with his book. Eleanor was curled up on the couch with her cookbook. And Charlotte hopped from one sibling to the next, looking over their shoulders.
My kids were hungry.
Heavenly Father must have sent me a little energy because somehow I managed to help Oliver make rolls (we narrowed down all the recipes to just one). I opened some bottled peaches and green beans and served some left-over slices of roast beef with the rolls. There. A good meal for my starving kids.

Eleanor has turned into a great reader. She's now reading The Magic Tree House books quite well. I love it.

The weekend project had a not-so-good-feeling Jeff building an Endless Pool. He and Oliver worked long and hard, and I was able to help, too. It's coming along, although there is still much to be done. Oliver is a great worker. Dad appreciated the help!

My running shoes. I keep wearing them out. But they're still serviceable - great to have some old ones for muddy runs and stuff, but I do need to get rid of some... I haven't been able to keep up the miles over the last week or so. I can feel my motivation and my muscles atrophying in tandem. I'm wasting away. I'm melting... I'd better get better or I'll have no need for my running shoes, and that'd definitely be a waste.

Recipes. I loves this sausage and orzo dish, and the pumpkin pie cake. I'll add recipes later when I can handle looking at food a little better. (No, I am NOT pregnant. Just sick).

Halloween! The penguin is my little niece Marianna. My kids (and Jeff & I) adore her and her mom. Nice to have them around while Marianna's dad is serving in Afghanistan.

Reading: So I've neglected this area in my blogging, but I really have been reading. On our Grand Canyon trip I read lots and lots and lots during the driving, which I loved. I just finished the Gregor the Overlander books by Suzanne Collins (same author as Hunger Games). The story line was interesting and I really enjoyed it. But I found that the author turned the last book into mostly violence and less story - just like she did in Mockingjay. I hate that a young adult book is so violent that I end up skipping chunks. It's not necessary to be so shocking and does nothing to further the story. There's my rant. I'll be quiet now. It's 3am and I need to get back to bed. I'll never get over this illness if I can't rest.

Life keeps us busy, doesn't it? Illnesses, broken noses, spelling bees, school plays, music practice, scout advancements, home projects, and the need to keep eating. I still think it's funny my kids were reading cookbooks. Bedtime.