Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ouch! Ouch!

Well, Friday I got to spend the day with a friend I hadn't seen in a long, LONG time.  Years, that is.  The reason wasn't so great--she's having a miscarriage, and her husband was concerned that she would pass out and no one would be around to dial 911.  She has a 4-year-old son, so I took Rowan with me to play.  They had met once before, but when both were much, much younger, so they didn't remember each other.

Both boys hit it off right away.  They set tunes to playing on the electronic piano and danced all around the living room.  They ran outside and looked at the bunnies.  They rode little bikes/car up and down the sidewalk behind the house.  It's rare for Rowan to connect so quickly with another child!

They grabbed hands and ran around and around in a circle.  R1 (Rowan) is standing; R2 (the other child) has just fallen down in their merriment.

 While the boys played outside, J and I lounged in the grass and enjoyed the sunshine.

Yep, that's my arm, taking up half the picture.

When Matthew was done with work he came over and picked up Rowan.  That's probably a good thing, because when J's husband got home (a few minutes after Matthew got there), the three of us sat down on the porch and chatted until it was quite dark.  It would have been a bit late for Mr Rowan!

When I got home, Henry was asleep on the couch (Thank you, Grandma!) and Rowan was preparing to enjoy popcorn with Daddy.  I suddenly rediscovered that we were completely out of milk, so I offered to make tea for Rowan instead for his bedtime.  I carefully poured the boiling water into a sippy cup (he likes those for bed, so he doesn't spill upstairs) and set it on the table to steep.  Rowan asked for a chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so I got the book out and we sat down to enjoy it.

Alas and alack!  Rowan, who has trouble sitting still--particularly when he's very excited, like he is about this book--somehow knocked the cup of tea off the table and onto his leg.  Oh my, the shrieking!  I immediately discarded the book and stripped his pants off so the hot, wet material wouldn't cling to his skin.  Matthew came bounding down the stairs faster than I've seen him move in a long time.  My poor child!  The whole area around his right knee was blistered, and some of his skin has just sloughed right off.  My stomach tried to turn inside out.

I took him upstairs to run cold water on it in the shower.  In retrospect I probably should have used lukewarm, but I was in Get It Cool NOW mode.  Matthew brought up an ice pack and a first aid kit, and Rowan and I snuggled into the armchair.  There was burn cream, thankfully, and Matthew also brought some aloe vera from our plant.  We coated the burn in cream and aloe vera, then bandaged it for the night.

In the morning when I unwrapped his bandage, it was immediately apparent that he needed to be seen.  Thankfully the pediatric clinic he goes to has morning hours on the weekend, and the clinic physicians rotate for those shifts.  His regular doctor, Dr G, was not in, but we got an appointment to see Dr K.  Here's a picture I took when I unwrapped his bandage again at the clinic:

My poor child!  A nurse coated it with a special burn cream and bandaged it up.  Dr K sent a prescription to the pharmacy for more cream.  Rowan felt a lot better after that, and in the car afterward he said this:

"I like Dr G (regular doctor) and Dr K (today's clinic doctor). They're easy to talk to. Maybe when I grow up I can be a doctor and build my own clinic and help people. And then if someone comes in with a burn like mine, I can help them."

It's enough to make a Mama melt!  He was definitely back to his old self, and spent the rest of the day running, jumping, and playing as if nothing had happened.

Henry was very glad to see Mama again, since I'd been gone all day Friday and all morning Saturday.  Mama was pretty happy to be home again, too.  I took both children with me in the double stroller to pick up Rowan's prescription from the pharmacy.  That's right; I put my almost-6-year-old child in a stroller.  It's better than having him walk and complain that he's tired!  We go faster, too!

Well, that was my weekend; so far, anyway.  How was yours? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Change and Growth

Yesterday evening Savanna and I, along with my two littles, went to visit my Very Pregnant sister, Dorcas.  That is, she is DUE TOMORROW.  We took dinner to her and had a lovely time, my children playing with her son.  This was actually my first time going to her house, which is shameful, since she's been there almost a year.  A year!  It seems there's always something going on, and it's difficult to get over there.  But I am determined to spend more time visiting my family!

The only photo evidence I have of the evening is several shots of Savanna trying to show Henry (2) how to juggle.  They had a marvelous time.

This is my favorite, although a trifle blurred.  
Who is Savanna?  I've gotten that question a few times.  Simply put, she is my unrelated sister and godmother to my children.  I'm trying to get Rowan to address her as, "Godmother Savanna," just because it amuses me so much.  You should read her blog here.

So today the kidlings and I went to my sister Melody's house to play--not with her children, who were in school, but with another niece and nephew of mine.  I have missed that so much!  We tried for a while to have all of us girls meet at Melody's on Fridays with our children, but Life Happened and we fell off of that.  I hope we can get something similar started again!

The only photo evidence of today's fun.  Yes, that's Henry, wearing the same shirt as yesterday.

Rowan and Henry had a blast playing with their cousins today, but the cousins they played with are ages two and almost two.  Which is fine for Henry, of course, but Rowan is accustomed to seeing Melody's children, who are closer to his age.  This might have contributed to the conversation we had on the way home:

Rowan:  "Mommy, I want to go to kindergarten."

My heart suddenly fell out of my chest.  We experimented with preschool last year, but the early hours led Rowan to request being taken out again.  I was more than happy to oblige.  Preschool actually caused Rowan to regress in his learning, rather than progress.  So to hear today that Rowan wanted to go back to school....

As calmly as I could, I asked, "Why do you want to go to kindergarten, Rowan?"

He replied, "So I can learn."

Ah.  That's the crux of the matter.  There is very little that kindergarten could teach Rowan, apart from how to sit still and be quiet, and that some children are cruel, especially to enthusiastic learners.  What he doesn't realize is that he is learning, and has been all his life.  He can read chapter books.  He can add and subtract and do basic multiplication, and is learning fractions.  He knows how to find Oregon on a map, and is learning to plot driving routes.  (He has a map of Oregon pinned to his bedroom wall, with a map of Salem on the back.  He has routes drawn in pen to the houses of all of his Oregon relatives.)  He knows almost all the rules of the road (and reminds me of them frequently).  He can bake a cake, with help.  He knows how to wash and dry laundry.  He is enthusiastic about learning to can fruit.  His vocabulary is more advanced than some adults I know.  When he asks something to which I don't know the answer, we find a How To video on YouTube.

What he lacks is companionship.  Rowan is a loner, like his mommy and daddy.  It's not that he doesn't want to have friends--he is actually terribly lonely, and tries to play with nearly every child he sees on the playground.  Some respond.  Some don't.  Some are viciously cruel, leading him to retreat and not approach anyone else for a few months.  He relates far better to adults.  His favorite people in the whole world, apart from Mommy and Daddy, are almost all adults--his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, his godmother.  I love being a favorite of my son, except for his desperate plea, All Day Long:  "Play trains with me!  Play trains with me!  Please, oh please, play trains with me!"  So I'll play with him for twenty minutes, then tell him I really must fold some laundry, and the cry goes up again:  'Please play trains with me!"  Every time he asks, it's like I haven't spent any time at all with him.  I really, really want to find him a companion his own age.

I asked him, today in the van, if he had a good time at Aunt Dita's last night and at Aunt Melly's today.  He said, "Yes."  I asked if he wanted to go to kindergarten to spend time with other children, and again the answer was yes.  So, I guess I need to find a child.  Rowan does NOT do well in large groups--or in small groups, for that matter.  He does best with just one or two other people.  Maybe I can find a homeschooling family around here that will let me borrow a child for a few hours once or twice a week.

In the meantime--well, I guess we'll play trains and watch YouTube videos.  And build with Legos.

Grandma instructing Rowan in how to play the accordion.

Apollo the Giraffe.  Don't look at the laundry--my children were happy!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

After Long Absence

It has been a looooong ten days since I last posted.  I am so sorry; I never meant to neglect my writing.  Life happens, and sometimes it happens in such a way that I think of brilliant things to write during the day, and then at night I'm so tired I quite literally fall asleep over my keyboard.  Now I'm typing with my eyes mostly closed, lying flat on my back on my bed, snuggled up against my not-quite-asleep 5-year-old.

What to say?  We've had plans.  We've ditched said plans.  Rowan has said cute and funny things that I was absolutely going to tell you and now I've forgotten.  Henry is saying more words, like, "Puhpuh [purple]" and "goat" and "book."  He can count to 10 frontwards and backwards.  It is a great joy to hear his language increase.

Yesterday I forgot.  As in, I forgot the significance of the date until I went on Facebook and saw what everyone else was posting.  I considered writing something up that was suitably patriotic, but it seemed like a rather trite thing to say, "Never forget," when I had forgotten.  So I thought instead, and I remembered where I had been thirteen years ago, fresh out of high school.  Such a changed world it became overnight.

I do not greatly enjoy either television or radio, so I had not heard the news when I left my sister's house in the early morning and went home to help my mom bake pies for the church.  I walked in the house and the first thing that struck me as odd was that my mom had her television balanced on a chair in the kitchen.  Since my mom rarely watches shows, I found this extremely unsettling.  Then she told me what had happened and I found it so difficult to believe that we were really, truly under attack.

The truth is, I'm tired.  I'm tired of politics and congressmen who think they know better than their constituents, and I'm tired of watching our liberties slip further away daily.  I'm tired of people who want to hurt their neighbors, their children, their friends.  I'm tired of wars that never end and don't wind up doing what they were supposed to anyway, unless the goal was to take our National Guard away from actually defending our homeland here on our soil.  All I want is a house in the country that belongs to US--because if you're threatened with removal if you don't pay a fee every year, it doesn't really belong to you--with dogs and cats and maybe a horse or a cow and lots of space for my children to roam.  I want to take care of my husband and grow flowers and vegetables and preserve food for the winter.

I'm tired of struggling day after day to manage children, both of whom are probably autistic.  I'm tired of never knowing whether it will be a good hour or a bad hour for Matt--there are no more full good days--and whether I'll be able to run errands when I need/want to without dragging children along.  I'm tired of crashing and spending too much time on my computer or phone.  I'm tired of having the expectation of cleaning up toys fall always to me, even though I really, really don't want Matt to overexert himself.

Which of those things can I change?  Myself.  That's all.  So I've started hanging clothes to dry outside, which was really for the purpose of eliminating Diaper Odor, but has turned into spending time outside with my children and letting them see me work.  Rowan likes to help by taking down the dry clothes and bringing me clothes pins.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other--that's how we get by.  And really, that's not so bad.  I'll be more enthusiastic after a night of sleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


We have canned sixty-seven jars of pears.  Saturday night Savanna and I didn't get back to my house until 3:30 in the morning.  Sunday we finished everything up right before Matthew and I went up to Portland to get Noah from the airport.  For our last fourteen jars, Savanna and I waited until Annetta had gone to bed (she worked graveyard that night) and then quickly added cinnamon to the syrup.  It tasted divine.  Now I'm wishing we had thought of that long ago.

Savanna and I are contemplating picking more pears, but Annetta has forbidden us to.  We might have to go around her and can them without her help, because I really think we need more cinnamon pears.  Besides, we took thirteen jars of pears into the local sort crew at UPS today, so we need more to hoard on our own shelves.  I think local sort loves us.  We bring them goodies a lot.  And besides, who doesn't love home-canned pears?

I am so incredibly tired.  Matthew let me stay in bed until 9:00 this morning, which is almost unheard of, but I've had a headache leaving and returning all day today, and I also had to take a Benadryl.  Oh, Benadryl, I love you so much, but you make me so very sleepy!

I got a new phone today, a Sony Xperia.  I have been thinking about it for quite a long time.  It is the only waterproof smartphone around (the rep said her friend took his scuba diving and took underwater pictures with it) and it has a 20.7 mp camera.  I haven't had a chance to test the camera yet, but I am looking forward to taking and sharing lots of pictures of my children again.  Hurray!  I haven't put a memory card in it yet, but I've put a lot of my music on it, as well as all of The Chronicles of Narnia, a few other Lewis audio books, a great deal of Tolkien audio books, and the Marissa Meyer audio books, and I still have 10 GB of space left.  This pleases me greatly.

I suppose I should go collect my children from my parents' house now.  I love Tuesdays; I can hang out with Annetta and Savanna and write without constant interruptions from children.  One evening a week where I can just be a writer.  Time to go be a mom again!