Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ah, Christmas

We couldn't really have asked for a better Christmas.

This was the first year that the kids were too excited to sleep. And we had to make a deal with them about what time they could wake up.

Paige: What time can we wake up?

Traci: 7:00.

Paige: How 'bout some time before 7:00? Like 6:00.

Traci: No. 7:00.

Paige: 6:30.

Traci: No.

Paige: 6:59.

Traci: Deal.

At 7:10, Paige woke up and came into our room. We told her she needed to get Curtis before we could go downstairs to see if Santa came.

Paige: Curtis says he doesn't want to get up.

At 7:30, Curtis finally got out of bed and we all headed downstairs.

The before:

The after:

The during:

The mayhem was enjoyed by all.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Two Arms Again

When it comes to the cast situation, we couldn't have been luckier. It hasn't really seemed to bother Curtis at all. He did try to use it as a way to get out of taking baths, but to no avail. (He actually ended up being pretty excited about wearing the plastic bag on his arm while he was in the tub.)

I'm also glad he had it on in the winter, when we're in the house most of the day, so we didn't have to deal with having a cast during soccer season or him shoving sand or rocks or whatever in there.

After a short three weeks, we headed back up to Primary Children's today to have the cast taken off.

He was less anxious about being there this time and had a little fun looking at the fish in the foyer and all the airplane pictures on the wall in the waiting room. He was even a good sport about having his x-ray taken (he got to wear a zebra print X-ray apron; I was left with the leopard print).

Things weren't so great when the nurse came in to actually take the cast off.

"It's just going to sound a little loud like a vacuum," she said about the electric saw.

Curtis, who hates loud noises (even when they're made by his favorite monster trucks) was not amused. Here are the various stages of his agony.

About two minutes later, the cast was off and it was as if the whole thing never happened.

On the way back to the parking lot, Curtis insisted we stop at the fountain and that Traci give him a coin to throw in.

"Curtis," I said, "You get to make a wish when you throw a coin into a fountain."

He looked me straight in the eye--and then turned and threw the coin directly into the rocks.

Yep, everything is back to normal.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Show 'n Teach

Paige's class doesn't do show and tell--they do show and teach. Each kid has to bring something that they can teach the class about. Because Paige is toward the end of the alphabet, we got to hear about what the other kids were doing before she had her turn.

Paige raved about Abbey's show and teach about the Chinese zodiac. Abbey even sent everyone home with a handout that told what years were associated with each animal. Paige spent the afternoon saying, "Dad, you were born in the year of the monkey. Mom, you were born in the year of the goat. Great Grandma was born in the..." and on and on.

But Abbey's presentation paled in comparison to Hector's, who brought real life shells all the way from  a beach in Mexico. All of the kids even got to touch the shells and put them up to their ear so they could hear the ocean.

When it came time for Paige's turn, she really wanted to share something good.

"Maybe you could take one of dad's keyboards and teach them some of the things you've learned at your piano lessons," Traci suggested.

Nope, not good enough.

"Maybe you take some of Curtis' monster trucks and teach them the scoring rules of Monster Jam," I suggested.

Oh, Dad.

No matter what we offered up, it just wasn't interesting enough, Paige protested.

That's when I got an idea.

"Mom, are you going to the ranch this weekend?" I asked my mother over the phone. "You are? Would you mind picking up some sheep bones if you see any around? Excellent. Thanks."

Real life bones. That'd be better than a handout or a stupid shell, for sure.

"Paige," I said, "Do you think you'd want to take some bones for your show and teach?"

Her eyes lit up and her head nodded in approval.

When we got to my mom's to pick up the bones, there was a surprise for us. My mom hadn't settled for some boring old sheep bones. She'd brought home this:

Paige was ecstatic.

"I think a few of the neck vertebrae are still attached," my mom exclaimed.

I was a little bit nauseous.

Sure, a real life cow skull seems awesome enough. But it smelled horrible. And I was a little hestitant to actually touch it.

"Oh, and I put a dead mouse in that bag, too," my mom added, "in case Paige wants to take that, too."

I was about to throw up.

The skull proved to be unwieldy at best. We couldn't find a box big enough to carry it in and it smelled so bad (even after I soaked it in bleach) that we had to keep it out on the side of the house until the day Paige took it to school.

When the big day arrived, the skull wouldn't fit in Paige's backpack. And I ended up having to carry it to her class for her. "Uh, hi first grade teacher. I'll just set this box o' cow skull on this desk over here."

When I got home from work that night, I was pretty excited to see how the presentation had gone.

"Paige, how'd it go? What did the class think about your skull?"

"They liked it. My teacher passed it around and let everyone touch it if they wanted to."

"So, what did you tell them about it?"

"I told them the things we practiced." [The number of bones in a cow's body, what bones are made of, etc.]

"But I added one part to my speech."

"Oh, yeah. What was that?"

"I told them, 'These are bones of a cow who trespassed.'"

Wow. I'm not sure where she got that from. But I guess all you cows out there better beware.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sticks 'n Stones & Broken Bones

So, I mentioned that Curtis fell off the bunk bed our first day at Disneyland. We weren't sure what we should do about his sore arm. Should we take him to the ER in Anaheim on a Sunday afternoon? Stubborn Curtis won't even let our pediatrician look in his ears without putting up a massive fight, how would he do in an ER for five hours?

We decided that we'd keep an eye on it and see how he felt the next morning. The good news was that he slept just fine, the bad news was that he still wouldn't let us touch his arm in the morning. He wasn't crying or complaining about it, so we decided to give it one more day.

We then repeated the process.

Each day, it seemed to get better. I'd ask him how it felt, squeeze it at different spots, ask him to bend it or flex it or whatever. Though it was still a little sore, he soldiered on and happily tea cup-ped and Lightning McQueen-ed and Buzz Lightyear-ed through Disneyland.

By the time we left Anaheim, he seemed to be completely better.

When we got back home, we still had the feeling that we better take him to doctor. The pediatrician poked around a bit and thought everything looked okay. (Of course his first two questions were: "What happened?" followed by "When?" Uh, about 10 days ago. We're good parents.) He then sent us to get some X-rays just to be sure.

That night, the doctor called us back. Our little guy did in fact have a small crack in the bone right above his elbow. He told us to go to Primary Children's Hospital to get a cast put on it.

We tried to get him excited about having a cast. "Curtis, do you remember when Paige's friend Mackenzie got a cast? Everyone got to write their name on it. That's awesome, huh?" His ears really perked up when we told him he'd even get to choose a blue cast, his favorite color.

The next day we made our first trip to Primary's (we've been pretty lucky so far, no major sickness, no stitches). We had the last appointment of the day, on the day before Thanksgiving. The place looked like a bomb shelter--kids of all ages all sad and wrapped up in their temporary casts. Not Curtis, though, he was sitting there, cast-free, playing Angry Birds.

When it came time to actually get the cast, he was understandably pretty nervous. His eyes lit up, though, when the nurse let him choose his cast color. He passed on the red, the pink, and the electric green. And then he even passed on the blue. He chose black. That's what tough guys do.

A few minutes and a few tears (but no major meltdown) later, the cast was on. And this was our new boy.