Monthly Archives: January 2011

Our annual ER pilgrimage

Raine is only two-years old but has now been to the ER twice for serious injuries. I don’t know what to say; it is hard to comprehend how such a mellow child can be so accident prone.

It all started while Raine and I were in the kitchen making Rice Krispie treats. She has a sturdy, stable, two-step stool to use in the kitchen, but for some reason she was standing on one of the little wooden chairs from her play-room. As she reached for something at the back of the counter, her chair tipped over backward. Her feet flew up with the chair and she landed right on her chin on the tile floor.

I picked her up and there was blood everywhere. I FREAKED out. I grabbed a dishtowel to stop the bleeding and as I pulled it away I could see that Raine’s chin was split wide open. It was gruesome. But then I noticed that there was blood coming from inside her mouth as well. I looked inside and the only way to describe what I saw is ‘hamburger.’ That’s when I really freaked out.

I called DJ because I didn’t know what to do — I’ve never had any traumatic injuries. Did I need an ambulance, should I just drive like mad to the ER, what should I do??? Honestly, my first instinct was to call 911 — I don’t do blood and my baby was covered in it, if anything was an emergency THIS was it. Fortunately, I was able to suppress that urge and called DJ first. (If you haven’t guessed yet, I am NOT the person that you want to have around when disaster strikes.)

DJ said he was on his way home and that I should call the pediatrician to see if they thought we should go to the Urgent Care or to their office. I started to call, but knew that I would have to wait for the nurse and I didn’t feel like I could handle that. So instead, I just started throwing everything and everybody in the car and started driving to the nearest Cook Children’s Urgent Care center. I called DJ from the car to tell him to meet us there.

Upon arrival, I slung Carter’s infant carrier onto one arm, the diaper bag over the other, and then pushed Raine in the umbrella stroller. I pulled up to the check-in counter and the receptionist says, “I need to see your insurance and ID then fill out these five forms and bring them back up to the window.” What is wrong with our society? You walk into an “URGENT” care center, covered in blood, and they expect you to drop everything, pull out your cards, and then calmly fill out five pages worth of contact information. Did I mention that I was carrying over 30 pounds and pushing a blood soaked toddler??? But yes, let me take that clipboard in the hand that is only carrying 10 pounds and try to avoid hitting my bleeding child with it as I push her over to the waiting area. I get more sympathy and help when I’m at the grocery store with two kids. But in her defense, after we were seated, the receptionist did bring over a pink band-aid to put on Raine’s chin. Apparently the blood soaked dishtowel and the fact that we were in the URGENT care didn’t suggest that this wound was a little more than a band-aid could handle. Regardless, Raine appreciated it and that was what mattered.

Within minutes we were triaged and called back into an exam room. DJ arrived, Raine told him that she “fell right on the tile” (a phrase that we heard repeated at least a hundred times the rest of the day), and then the doctor came in. She looked at Raine’s chin, played with it for a minute, and then to my relief said it wouldn’t need stitches. They would be able to glue it back together. When she looked into her mouth though, she said that it would have to be stitched. I really didn’t want Raine to have stitches so when the doctor came back a few minutes later and informed us that mouth wounds don’t require stitches, I was very relieved.

However, when the nurses came in to glue Raine’s chin, my fear of stitches was renewed because they couldn’t get it to close. They called in the doctor who was eventually able to get it closed and between the three of them they finally got Humpty Dumpty put back together again.

During all this, Raine laid perfectly still and quiet on the bed. She really is a tough cookie. I, on the other hand, got so queasy watching them try to close her chin that I had to sit down while DJ held her hands and told her that everything would be okay.

We finished our paperwork, checked out, and went home with our patched-up kid. She fell asleep as soon as we got in the car and took a much needed nap. After she woke up, it took awhile to find a sippy-cup that she could drink from, but within a few hours she was eating and drinking like nothing ever happened. She never took any Tylenol and didn’t complain at all about pain. I guess if you are going to be accident prone, it is a blessing to at least have high pain tolerance.

As a side note, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland was playing in the waiting area and exam room while we were there and I would like to know how a caterpillar smoking a bong made it into a children’s movie? I realize that it was the 1950’s, but was that ever not drug related?

Fort Worth Stock Show

This was the opening weekend of the Fort Worth Stock Show. Saturday we went downtown to the parade. It is a fabulous parade for kids who love horses because it is 100% non-motorized. There are literally hundreds of horses — big ones, small ones, furry ones, some pulling carts, lots carrying riders, some with braided tails, some with painted toenails.

One rider steered his horse right over to us and asked Raine if she wanted to pet it. She was in HEAVEN! Of course it happened so fast that I couldn’t get a picture of that great big smile. But here she is earlier.

Carter didn’t care, it was nap time.

Yesterday, we went down to the Stock Show. This is what 4-H and FFA kids look forward to all year — so I’m told. There are huge barns full of perfectly manicured farm animals for you to look at and countless competitions to watch.

We had a blast in the petting zoo.

Raine petted a few goats, a chicken, and a couple rabbits. We kept our distance from the llama though.

When our feet were tired of walking through the barns, we sat and watched the paint-horse cutting competition.

So much fun!

Six-month old Carter

Yesterday was Carter’s half-birthday — I swear it took Raine a lot longer to get to six months than it has taken Carter. Today he had his well-baby appointment and here are his stats:
Weight: 17 lb. 10 oz. +50%-ile
Height: 27.75 in. 90%-ile

Carter cut his bottom two teeth last week, just days apart. Now we think twice about letting him stick our fingers in his mouth.

He is starting to sit better every day. He used to always fold over like a taco and then yell at us because his belly was getting squished. But now he holds himself up until he tips over to the side.

His rolling skills are coming along nicely as well. He can easily roll from back to front and has rolled from front to back once.

He is quite the babbler. I’m not sure what he is trying to tell us, but he thinks that if Raine can do it, so can he.

Carter is also quite the smiler — anybody, anywhere, just about anytime. He is a real flirt! When we go anywhere, people literally chase us down to tell us how cute he is — “yes, we think so too”!!

As a side note, taking a second child with you to a doctor’s appointment is not for the faint of heart. I intentionally scheduled Carter’s appointment on a day that Raine would be at school so that I wouldn’t have her with me. As the day drew closer however, I realized that it was an early release day. I considered changing the appointment, but in the end decided to just tough it out.

Everything was going well. Raine sat silently on the chair the entire time because she knows that the doctor’s office is where you get “poked” and she didn’t want to call any undue attention to herself that could result in her being the victim, rather than Carter. When the nurse came in to give Carter his shots she brought Raine three big princess stickers. I remember seeing her peel one off, but then all my attention was turned to holding Carter as they drowned him with the Rotovirus vaccine and then poked both of his legs. As I finished consoling Carter and packing up our stuff to leave I thought, “I wonder what happened to Raine’s stickers.” I assumed they were stuck to her shirt and didn’t give it another thought. As we walked down the hall toward the waiting room the nurse bid us farewell and then, laughing, she said, “Hey Mom, all her stickers are stuck to your butt. Just in case you didn’t know.” I reached back there and sure enough they were each expertly placed in a line across my backside. Sheesh!

Christmas Vacation

Day 1

On Monday, we left on our post-Christmas vacation. We were headed down to Galveston, but made a few stops along the way. We started driving south-east towards the piney woods and spent the first night in Lufkin, Texas.

We had heard about the Trail of Lights there at the Texas Forestry Museum and thought it would be fun to see. The city’s website touted it as a winter wonderland along the Urban Wildscape Trail. When I pulled it up on the map on our way over it didn’t look like there was enough space for a forest trail, but I just assumed the map was off a bit.

Well, it wasn’t. We literally laughed out loud as we drove up and saw that our wonderland was in fact a single strand of Christmas lights running along a sidewalk that circled the backyard of the “museum” (a building that resembled a double-wide trailer). Some of the houses in our neighborhood had more Christmas lights than that “trail.” Luckily, Raine didn’t care. She touched every light-bulb as we made our way around the track. Isn’t it great how kids find so much pleasure in simple everyday things . . . like hotel room closets!?!!

Day 2

Tuesday morning we continued our drive south and stopped to hike in the Sam Houston National Forest. It was a bit overcast, but otherwise a very nice day for hiking.

We stopped in Houston, at my cousin Shannan’s house, for dinner and then continued down to Galveston that night.

Day 3

We started our day by visiting the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid. They had all sorts of sea life in huge tanks that you could see both above the water as well as through wall-size windows down below.

I was surprised when Raine agreed to touch a starfish; she thought it was great.

Our favorite part was walking through the tunnels in the big tank. My photos didn’t turn out real well because I had to turn off the flash, but here is a huge shark swimming over my little family.

After the aquarium we drove along the beach to the old town. Galveston is a very interesting island and I was glad to see that it survived the hurricane as well as it did. It has a lot of beautiful old houses and buildings. We walked along The Strand and then out to Pier 21 where we saw the Elissa.

That evening we drove back out to Moody Gardens for the Festival of Lights. Let’s just say that it was a whole lot more impressive than the Forestry Museum.

Day 4

Thursday was a beautiful day so we went to the beach before leaving the island. Raine and DJ saw a washed-up jellyfish out on the sand.

We drove back up to Houston and met Shannan and her family at the zoo. Raine and Alexa had a blast!

DJ and Carter enjoyed it too.

We all loved seeing the baby elephant.

And the girls REALLY loved the carousel.

After the zoo we drove back home and arrived just after mid-night. It was a fun vacation, and we were happy to still have another few days before DJ had to go back to work.