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Monday, August 25, 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Happy baby shower for Aunt Clara and Uncle Brooks. Cousin Mary Ruth had way too much fun helping. We were so thankful we could be there to celebrate a new little boy who will soon make an appearance!

Mary Ruth feeding Corwin a grape, I think. She's going to be a great big sister. Clara's gonna have to keep a sharp eye on her. Mary Ruth, "Grape in baby brother's mouth? Good idea!".

August has been full of the kind of events that individually don't seem like a lot but collectively have made me tense and like I am out of my mind. Here's the list in summary:

Pippin's Heart
Corwin's Arm
Alden's Ear
Overheating car
Wrecked our 2 vans
Traffic ticket

We seriously could have aired our own Liberty Mutual commercial...you know...the "Humans" one:

It has reminded me that I have absolutely no room to be angry at my family for all of those bad decisions and thoughtless mistakes. We are all in this life together, making mistakes and dumb decisions large and small, and we need to give grace and love each other. That doesn't mean that I will teach my children to drive...that is still Wally's job!

So, I'll start from the top:

At the first vet visit for Pippin, oh so long ago, a heart murmur was detected. It didn't go away, and b/c this breed acquires mitral valve disease later in life which results in heart murmurs, our vet pushed for an ultrasound to determine the location and problem. It ended up being the same valve that later causes problems. Likely it is not the mitral valve disease but a congenital (born with it) thickening of the valve. However, this has implications for how the later acquired disease might progress. SO, we got a whole lot of money back AND got to keep Pippin, who currently is not affected in the slightest by this problem. (As you can see from the picture, Corwin thinks he is a puppy too). Do you wonder why he has a broken elbow? This type of injury could easily happen on any given day with him...and it is not just I who thinks so, he has also frightened our piano teacher and pediatrician. Thankful for guardian angels!!!

Corwin thought he was 007 or something and decided that he could jump off of the playground platform, catch hold of the monkey bars one-handed, and actually hang on. In trying, he landed on his elbow and broke it. A visit to the urgent care followed by almost 2 days of waiting (they actually offered an appointment to the orthopedist for 5 days after he injured it...I refused and got an earlier one), we finally got the word it was broken (as if this mommy had any doubt...I hate the whole medical system at times), and got a cast on it. Corwin was much happier once his poor little elbow was stabilized in the cast, and I think it's the rest of us who are SO ready for it to come off (hopefully tomorrow). We've taken a break from swimming, biking, romping, and had quite a few minor injuries from that hard shell of a cast connecting with our heads, arms, bellies etc. You can see that it has not slowed him down in the slightest, and he is learning his alphabet by hitting a balloon and yelling out the sound that Aa makes. He plans to celebrate the removal of his cast by going to a splashground. He also plans to be a "fwyer" when he grows up (aka flyer aka pilot, "But not on a shooter plane. Just on a BIG fast plane with lots of people."). When I commented that he could give us free tickets so we could travel all over the world, he said, "Yeah. I can fwy you to the moon!". Well, that's not quite the world, but we'll skip that for now.

During this time, my van has been randomly overheating. Then to top that, I decided to back into it using Wally's van. Double whammy. Suffice it to say, I knew it was there, I forgot it was there, I was trying to miss a pole over my right shoulder, and forgot to look back over my left shoulder. SIGH. And I was not going very slowly either. Rhianwen got out of the van and said, "It's ok mommy. You are still the best mommy in the world."

A bright spot in it all was getting to see some friends/family for whom we have been praying as they walk through brain cancer with their littlest (who chose the chair closest to the TV and outside of this picture). Here they are watching The Croods...yes, I relate to that movie at this point.

Then just an hour before our monthly date night, Alden decided that spinning around and falling into a bush was awesome fun and repeated it only to get his ear sliced by a branch. We decided after consulting our family doctor (literally...Wally's brother...who probably wishes we'd stop calling him with every medical problem we have), to slap some liquid bandaid on it and hope and pray for the best. It was really nasty, but in a place where stitches would have been impossible. It seems to be healing pretty well. Too bad Alden wasn't wearing this get-up when he was spinning into bushes, that cardboard could have saved his ear.

Rhianwen very sweetly made a robot costume for Corwin too. My kids constantly want scissors, tape, boxes, paper, cloth, nails, and wood to create stuff like this. Apparently this fall, I need to give them some sewing, welding, and carpentry lessons.

Lastly, the traffic ticket, I am happy to say was not my own! It was Wally's for rolling through a stop sign. Phew! But I couldn't even get snippy about it b/c he was SO gracious about the vans. ;0)

Rhianwen has been the only child so far unscathed which is a little unbelievable b/c she is accident prone. She has been asking for harp lessons for 2 years, and a homeschool mom offered some, so I decided to see that as an open door. We shall see! It is a very pretty instrument. Maybe God knew we needed some soul-soothing around here.

Our kids got the genius idea of connecting their swings together so they did not have to listen to Corwin screaming at them to push him in his swing. Now when Rhi and Alden pump, Corwin gets taken along with them. This is why summer is not a waste of time....school outside of school....problem solving, team work, ingenuity, creativity, service, FUN. And Corwin learned how to pump, even if he is still too lazy to do it often.

Other projects they have been busy doing: folding construction paper in half, cutting random curvy shapes, opening them back up, drawing monster faces on it, and taping them all over their walls and beds. Cutting pieces of paper and labeling everything (I have labels for my cabinets that say "cabinets", for my clock, for their chairs, for the bathroom etc.). Writing a daily schedule of when they will play what, such as: 1h-read, 1h-play Star Wars, 1h-play Tod, 1/2h-eat lunch, 1h-draw...etc. I told them since this is the last week of summer, they'd better get busy with it ;0)

I've recently finished reading The Five Love Languages of Children and I was reminded how imbalanced I am at loving them well. I'm excited to try to discover each child's primary love language and to start practicing all of them (Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time) with them as well as Wally. When I was spending some one-on-one time with Alden, he told me the funniest thing, "Sometimes I pretend my pieces of food are kingdoms, and when I eat them, they are conquered." Maybe I should try that. I might feel a bit more in control...

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