Friday, November 23, 2007

Emma - One Month Old

"And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously;"
Exodus 15:21

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This is going to be short because I'm supposed to be taking a nap now that my kids are settling down for theirs.

As I was re-reading my last two posts... and the comments people have left, I realized that I left a few facts out. First off, quite a few people have asked me if Dolly's broken arm was the same limb as her hairline fractured wrist. Erroneously, I've been telling them, "Yes." and then I caught a glimpse of one of the pictures on my screen saver and realized, that no, she fractured her RIGHT wrist back a few months ago.

The other thing is I didn't actually say how Dolly's arm got broken. One reason is because I wasn't there when it happened, but from what we've gathered from Dolly, PC is the one who broke her arm. Dolly says she was "Helping PC to get down" and he fell on her. I'm not really sure what he was climbing or how high he was before he came down on his sister. There wasn't a scratch on PC, so I'm guessing he wasn't really very high at all, and that Dolly wasn't 'helping' him get down... she was probably trying to 'make' him get down and in the struggle, they both crashed. Because of how thoroughly her arm was broken, I'm also guessing that her arm got propped up against something before her brother landed on it - sort of like a log across a canyon style.

Anyway, I should go. I'm wasting precious nap minutes and I need them more than ever with one kid half handicapped, one trying to cling to me every possible minute because he still hasn't gotten over his latest cold and one wailing at me because she's sure she's going to starve to death before the three hours between feedings run out!

And someday I'll actually get the post I was working on Thursday afternoon finished and posted! - Ah! Somebody waileth a summons... I must attend to said child... but at least she can nurse in bed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Rest of the Story...

Sorry to keep you all waiting so long for an update. I know I said I'd post pictures of Dolly's arm yesterday, but yesterday was post in itself. I was home all of two hours between 10am and 11pm! But that's beside the point - this post is about Dolly's arm.

Ok! Back to my story. Even though we'd been through triage, we stayed out in the triage waiting room because the ER was so busy Thursday evening. After about half and hour, a really tall and very tired looking doctor came over. He asked Dolly where her arm hurt, and she pointed to her empty shirt sleeve and said 'There'. Even if the doctor had looked under her sweater to see what she meant, he wouldn't have seen just 'where' she was indicating. So, he said something about getting pictures of her elbow and wandered back behind the triage desk. I wasn't sure if we were supposed to follow him or not, and I didn't think anything of his 'elbow' comment. Sir went and asked a nurse behind the registration desk if we were supposed to wait where we were or find our way to the x-ray department and she said we were to stay put until we were called.

After another 20 minutes or so, we were called in behind the triage doors and told to follow the red line to the imaging department where we'd wait for our turn for pictures. While Dolly and I waited to be called, Sir took the carseat out to our car so we wouldn't have to continue to lug it around the hospital. While he was gone, we were called in.

We had to unwrap Dolly's arm for the x-ray, and the lack of extra support, caused her to really hurt more. At first the technician wanted me to hold her on my lap so they could put her elbow on a raised table in front of us. I told him Dolly wouldn't be able to put her arm in the position he was asking for because of where it was broken. Then he told me they were suppose to take pictures of the elbow and when I told him that they should have been told to photograph the whole arm, he decided to go double check with the doctor. The instructions and the patient weren't makeing sense together. When he came back he said that the plans were changed and they'd be taking pictures of her arm - not just the elbow.

Poor Dolly was so brave. Repositioning her 'just so' for the x-rays was very painful, but she did it, and the technician gave her a sticker when we were all done. At least they only had to take two shots, and we got to leave with a wheelchair. Yay! (Dolly was getting a little heavy to carry everywhere). Below are some closer looks at the x-rays in the top photo. The first picture is looking at the arm from the front where the second is a look from the left side. Click on any of them to view full size.

Once the x-rays were done, we headed over to another waiting room, but only had to wait about 15 minutes before the doctor got to us. He had called a orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion and the surgeon said he wanted to see Dolly in a week. So, the ER doctor put a temporary sort of cast on Dolly's arm. Basically it's a strip of fiberglass that starts at the shoulder, goes down the outside of her arm, and folds over the elbow as it ends just short of the armpit. Then the whole thing was wrapped with an ace bandage before a foam strip was fashioned into a collar-sling. Thankfully, wrapping the arm took less than five minutes since any kind of movement was very painful, and the doctor was very gentle. When he was done we waited another 20 minutes or so for a nurse to bring us the surgeon's contact information and a few doses of painkillers to go home with. Below are a couple pictures of while we were waiting to leave, and a shot of Dolly's bandage.

Dolly has to sleep in a semi-upright position to allow gravity to keep her arm properly aligned. The first night was the hardest for her as she was up every two hours due to the pain. Last night she slept solid from 11pm to 9:15 this morning - which was wonderful for me since I was past the point of exhaustion after yesterday! Speaking of sleep... I need to get some since it's getting late and I have no idea how my kids are going to sleep tonight. At least I got this posted today - I've only been working on it off and on over the last 12 hours!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Breaking News

Yep, you guessed it - we just spent the last four hours in the emergency room again. Only this time we got to ride in an ambulance to get there.

Just as the kids were about to get into bed, I realized PC's soother was missing. So, I started my search through the house and the kids started playing/goofing off/etc in their room. Within a few minutes I heard them start to argue/fight/fuss at each other followed by a huge bang. Both Dolly and PC started crying and I rushed to investigate. PC was screaming the loudest so I started trying to figure out what was wrong with him, while Dolly ended up in my room still crying rather intently. Sir noticed that Dolly wasn't using her left arm, and over the racket I realized that PC was fine and was just making noise while Dolly was actually hurting.

When I took Dolly's P.J. top off to get a better look, she squirmed in pain, and her arm tensed up. And instantly I knew her arm was broken. Clean through. It had disfigured into an 'S' shape each time she tried to used it. While I tried to keep Dolly's arm straight and stable, Sir called 911 to get an ambulance. There was no way we would be able to get her to the hospital with her arm the way it was.

Meanwhile, PC was still crying, Sir was on the phone and couldn't get off, and Emma had lost her soother and was letting the world know she'd been abandoned - forgotten - worse! Sir tossed me the cell phone and I called Grandma C to ask her to come take, or stay with PC and Emma while we took Dolly to the ER. Within seconds, Grandma C. was on her way. She got here just five minutes before the ambulance pulled up outside so at least the younger two kids were under control and we could hear each other speak!

The paramedics wrapped Dolly's arm to her body and we dodged out through the pouring rain to the ambulance - carseat in tow. At first Dolly wasn't too sure about riding in the ambulance, but Mommy was coming and the paramedics gave her a teddy bear - to keep, so life was bearable.

It didn't take long before we were through triage, had briefly seen the pediatric doctor in the triage waiting room and were waiting for x-rays (where we took the picture above)

Well, it's 2am, Sir has sent his e-mail to work letting them know he'll be in late tomorrow, and I need to get to bed. Everything is ok, and I'll post a follow up tomorrow with all the pictures - I can't stay awake to re size them now.

Friday, November 09, 2007

This One's for Sir...

I'm sure he can relate to the I.T. guy. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Unforgotten and Unremembered*

Five years ago today, I made one of the best decisions of my life. Let me tell you how it went....

Sir had flown down to The Middle of Nowhere (that's where I lived on The Ranch) to see me. This was back when we'd somehow manage to see each other for a few days every couple of months before resuming the long distance courtship of e-mail and phone calls. Anyway, he flew in Thursday evening, and after I got off work, I drove down to the airport to pick him up. I think he was supposed to fly home Sunday night, so on our drive back to the Ranch we discussed what we were going to do for the next couple of days. I was taking Friday off from work and we had previously agreed that I would make all the plans for Friday, and Sir would make all the plans for Saturday. Sunday took care of itself because there was just enough time to go to meeting and have lunch before we'd have to head back to the airport. But when we got to the ranch, Sir casually suggested we switch our assigned days. It seemed a bit strange to me that it made a difference which day we each were responsible for, but anything I was planning could be done on either day. So, I had no problem with the switch, promptly forgot my initial puzzlement and settled down to enjoy being with my knight.

I should have been more suspicious, but I was too preoccupied. Earlier that week I had been talking to Sir on the phone and somehow he got me to give my dad the phone without making me too suspicious. And my dad played right along. They both teased me for being suspicious and my dad even tossed out some seemingly senseless clues "Emotional Salad Bowl" he grinned at me. What? I just shook my head and tried to pry some information out of Sir, but he wouldn't budge. So, I put it aside to work on later.

Anyway, I don't remember perfectly, but we probably went for a moonlit walk Thursday night before saying goodnight. When Sir visited me, he usually got to sleep on the second story of the horse barn. Then we'd set our alarms, and meet up for a early morning horseback ride where we talked and watched the sun rise over the misty rolling hills. I still am amazed at how we managed to drag ourselves out of bed so early in the mornings... especially since we're both more on the night owl side of things and we'd often stay up till Midnight before finally saying goodnight. Friday morning we saddled up and raced our horses to the High Point where we'd get a front row seat to see the sun rise. I remember welcoming the warmth of the sun that chilly morning. We just sat there watching the world wake up. The High Point overlooked the county road for a little ways and we saw my dad drive by on his way home from work. We waved, but he didn't see us - of course he was probably dead tired from working all night and wasn't looking for two kids on horses at 7:50 in the morning.

We rode back to the house for breakfast and then hopped in my car and drove to our favorite park. It was a tiny little historical park that was originally the homestead of the 'former president of the Bear Flag Republic - California independent of Mexican rule.' Outside the little one-room adobe house, was a wooden plank bench on the porch overlooking the beautiful Sacramento River. This was where we'd read and pray before getting on with the day. We were reading in Ecclesiastes, but I can't remember now which chapter we read that morning. I do remember holding Sir's hand when it was my turn to pray and I remember him squeezing my hand as I prayed for "whatever it was that (Sir) has up his sleeve". I guess he squeezed my hand while trying not to laugh at my suspiciousness.

After we finished our little reading, we started to go for a walk around the park. When Sir pulled me up from the bench, he didn't let go of my hands right away. Instead he stayed facing me and said my full name and paused before finishing with, "I love you,". This was something different... the saying my full name part. He'd done it earlier that morning and the evening before too. I was a little puzzled, but it wasn't something to worry about or anything. He let go of my right hand and we walked down the path along the river. When we got to the little wooden bridge that a small stream ran under on its way to the river, we stopped underneath the leafless grape vines that hung from the huge oak trees and leaned, side by side, against the bridge rail as we looked out over the river.

We stood there for a few minutes not talking - just enjoying the morning and each other's company. Then Sir stood up and took my hands again and said my full name. This was strange behaviour and my puzzlement must have showed a little because he let go of my hands and clasped his hands behind my neck. Still standing an arms length away, he repeated my full name yet again. And this time after the pause, he finished with, "Marry me?"

I really wasn't... quite... ready for that question. Of course I knew it was coming... but I thought it was still a few months away at least. I just stared at him as I grasped what I'd just heard. And then, thinking that he might not be ready to ask this question I asked, "Are you sure?" Not exactly the most romantic response, I know, but he knew he'd surprised me and just answered, "Yes, will you marry me?" And as I could do nothing but cry he pulled me in for a hug. He kept hugging me until I realized I hadn't answered him. I stepped back, and while both laughing and crying at the same time, I accepted my knight's proposal.

That was when he explained why he wanted Friday instead of Saturday. We were going to go ring shopping, and he wanted to make sure the stores would all be open. When we got back to the car, he pulled out a bunch of maps he'd printed before he'd left to come see me. All the ring stores he could find within 30 miles were marked out on the maps. I was astonished he'd been planning it out for so long and that he'd gone into such detail and research. Then I remembered my morning prayer and laughed at just what I had prayed for! Just before we drove away, I started to tell him how close to my imagined proposal he'd come and wistfully mentioned something along the lines of my dad getting asked for my hand first. Sir grinned at me and said he had asked my dad... earlier that week... on the phone to be exact. We laughed at how well I'd been surprised, and I marvelled at how well Sir knew me. I'd wanted to be surprised, but not really with a ring. I kind of wanted to choose a ring together, but I knew when the time came, it really wouldn't matter. I really wanted my dad to give his permission first and I never mentioned any of it to Sir. We'd never talked about those parts of our future before that day.

We stopped for lunch somewhere (I don't remember where) and then we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for my ring. When we finally found the one we liked, the jeweler told us they could have it ready for us that evening, so we made a dinner reservation at a restaurant and sat in the car outside the jeweler's shop where we started making our wedding plans. Once we picked up the ring, we went to dinner and afterwards stopped by the hospital to wait for my dad to get to work so we could tell him that we were engaged. My dad was 'on call' to work that night and he thought he'd be called. While we waited we designed the ring picture at the top of this post and when we were finished, we discovered that my dad wasn't going to work that evening. So, we headed back to the Ranch and shared our news with my family before calling Sir's family on the phone to tell them too.

And so now you know the story of this day five years ago. I need to publish this soon, or it will end up getting put off again.

*(not forgotten yet still seldom brought to mind)