Thursday, May 29, 2014

Knee bone is connected to the . . .

So, Tuesday this past week I received a call from Ethan's school.  This occurrence is typically accompanied by Mrs. Melissa regaling me with the epic saga of who Ethan has felled in battle.  I don't get these calls often but I had one last week so was pretty wary.  This time; however, it was injury related.  Or so we thought.  Lil' EWee's Knee had swelled so large in a short span of time that his teachers wouldn't even let him put weight on it.  Fun times.  After some scrambling with phone calls as Tobias Rex was napping, I jetted over (sans the Rex) to pick up the Wee. 

Holy swollen knee Batman.  It looked BAD.  But it was also really hot to the touch.  A large part of my brain screamed, "You know what this is Jen!" and the other part of my brain (clearly the awake part) was listening to Ethan's story of how he fell trying to catch a frog.  We have been hot and heavy with frog hunting since two resident bull frogs (FOOLISHLY) staked territory across our driveway.  He maintained the frog story with such detail and conviction that part of me thought, "Maybe it is a sprain?"

--Interlude-- I am fully aware that any story coming from Ethan's mouth can be completely fabricated no matter the plausibility because he is a Grandmaster in Storytelling.

And we're back.  Off to Urgent Care where after waiting a bit longer than I would have liked, the medical person took one swift look and declared it cellulitis.  Ethan has had cellulitis one other time (a skin infection that can become quite nasty if not caught in time - it is also capable of entering your blood stream and causing sepsis.)  This isn't common with kids - sort of rare actually - and I'm trying not to freak out about it.  I didn't receive the nickname Nurse Caldwell for nothing.  If a rascal is injured Matt wisely hands them off to me.  I am pretty brutal when it comes to cleaning wounds, inspections and other medical ministrations on the "boo boo" level.  It makes me feel a tad culpable that he got cellulitis on my watch.  It also means that my trip to pick up his antibiotics also yielded a whole new regime of wound washes, cleansers and first aid supplies.  If you are in need of first aid, I have it all.

The most wonderful part of all of it . . . and yes, there is a wonderful part . . . is Ethan's smile.  His attitude and smile were stellar.  I understand he wasn't really in any pain and I had the iPad ready with plenty of frog and monster games but this kid completely rocked the whole adventure.

Now, today . . . we are having MAJOR trouble keeping the wee down.  Yesterday was challenging enough but with no pain per se he doesn't think anything is wrong.  Thankfully the low grade fever from yesterday has dissipated and the swelling has gone down. 

So now, Ethan is in Frog Heaven outside with brudder.  Happy and Healing.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tantruming - NotQuite - Twos

So, dear Toby has hit the "almost 2" phase of temper tantrums.  I've been here before and know that what he is doing is normal.  Sadly, it doesn't make it any less frustrating. 

We were "supposed to" attend Big Truck Day this past Saturday in Hinesburg.  We attended last year and Ethan LOVED it.  I was completely excited and so was Matt.  He was taking me out to Bristol Bakery for lunch!  But then . . . he had to go out of state.  And the kids were being rabid rascals.  And all of a sudden my balloon deflated.  I was tired and worn out and just couldn't bear taking both of them somewhere alone AGAIN. 

I have a habit of looking back on events and thinking, "Why didn't I just push on through and GO!"  Well, dear future Jen, it is because some days it is okay to let the kids win and not leave the house.  Declare it a Pajama Day and let them play with bubbles outside and harass frogs.  I'm confident that in a few years these struggles will be different and hopefully less challenging . . . or challenging in a different way.

Toby's need for independence is strong; as was Ethan's as well.  Thankfully, I've almost figured out how to deal with Toby's public tantrums depending on the situation (hello breakable display at the library or a preschool classes lunch and water bottles at the park!) 

Ethan has also started using that dreaded phrase . . . you know . . . the, "It's not FAIR!" phrase.  *deep breath* yea . . . fun times.

So when I look back on this time period and think, why didn't I go to all of those fun things?  It was because I chose to minimize their rampaging and preserve some sanity.  They are little for such a short time and then the not-so-littleness buries in your chest and despite your logical reasoning you MISS these times.  So, I'm enjoying them.  Temper tantrums and all.


Saturday, May 10, 2014


Being a mom has presented me with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. 

The highs exponentially outweigh the lows, but the lows have everything to do with my identity and drill down to the core of "me." 

The most remarkable thing about being a mother (to me) is that my children are a mirror.  You can see IN REAL TIME how your behavior, mood, and speech affect your children.  Obviously I'm a newbie in terms of this observation as my rascals are (almost) 2 and 4 1/2 but still . . . this is the time where I am shaping some of the blocks of their foundation. 

The fun part about this is that they come with their own set of blocks.  Their blocks are not perfect, some are malleable and some are just who they are in the most basic way.  It is our job to work around the immovable blocks, shape the malleable ones and add our own (very important) blocks.

The HARD part is what I see in my "mirror."  Things Ethan says to himself when he is frustrated mimic phrases I use when I'm muttering.  My impatience (low blood sugar, hormones, evil pixies, etc.) bleeds off onto Ethan and he, in turn, gets whiny and prone to bursting into tears.  My divided attention for myriad reasons means that he wants to rush speaking to me and is starting to stutter again.

I KNOW in my heart that what I do, say and act affects my children profoundly.  I am AWARE.  They are my mirror.  And they are the most amazing thing that I've helped create and nurture. 

At the end of the day, when they are safely tucked in bed and I feel like that 70lb rucksack has been shed . . . I feel peaceful.  I am content that they are safe and happy and well cared for, but I'm also thankful I can just focus on myself for one freakin' moment.  I've said it before, I'm in the trenches right now, things will get better.  Well . . . they will be different. 

Parenting is practically nebulous at this stage, it flows, changes and rockets in directions that you can't anticipate.  While my parenting has become more psychological than physical it is also incredibly MORE challenging.  I feel as if I'm on a stage all the time.  I am held accountable for my actions . . .  not by my peers but my children.  And that, my dear folks, is a good thing.  But it also means that relaxation is fleeting and contemplation (beyond this drivel) is evasive. 

This Mother's Day all I want to do is sleep in, read and drink coffee.  I know it won't happen, and that is okay . . . because I will have all the time for that in the world when they are grown up and leave the house.  I can't even begin to imagine.  I wish, to some degree, that they would stay little forever. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Far & Away & Home Again

I'm not exactly sure why the end of this winter has been so tough. 

I've never been one to squander in the winter blues, but I was clearly swept away by the doubt and sad monsters. 

Now that spring has a firm hold and I've completely a mad dash south to stock up on hugs I feel I'm climbing out of my wee hole.

I'm focusing more on using my Filofax (finally found the one that I'm comfortable using!) and organizing the household better.  Oh my travels in the Filofax World . . . a post for another day.  I promise.

My father is in surgery right now.  As I type.  There are a handful of unknowns and quite a few knowns about this procedure that make me a tad nervous.  Hence my short jaunt down South sans kiddos.  I'm very thankful I went, even if my house is a holy disaster after being gone for a week.  Woods walking with my Paw is a magical event.  Getting Momma hugs is priceless. 

My to-do list ate my to-do list.  I think I should get that tattooed on my ass.

Oh!  But I've got some great things lined up for the kids in the next few months.  Events that we attended last year as well as some fun outdoor activities as part of Venture Vermont.

And in "Me Time" news, this week I'll be attending TWO (2!) mommy only events.  I'm also going to a writing seminar next Monday which should be good for me.  I have yet to participate in the actual Writer's Workshop group that I joined last year but I'm closer than ever.

Spring tidings and more to come . . .