Tuesday, October 30, 2007

look mom, two hands!

Gracie got her cast off today (which she giggled all the way through). However, when they pulled the pins out (I couldn't even look, just the thought of them make me very squeemish and at one point I pondered what would happen if I keeled over!) it was very painful for her. They said that it wouldn't hurt too much (really, can you trust what your doctor says?!?), but apparently it did (and Gracie's pretty tough). So she was in agony and I just felt so bad for her that I started to cry (just a few tears, mind you) and of course Jimmy cried because Gracie was. We were quite a sight! But when it was all done they asked if she still wanted to see the pins (she had said that she wanted to before, obviously I didn't want to see them!) she said that she did. Later I asked her what they looked like and she said, "Kind of like the Arch of St. Louis." Shortly after the pin removal she was still kind of upset and then I reminded her that now she can trick or treat tomorrow without her cast and she stopped crying right away and smiled really big and said, "Really!?" And since that point, she's been just fine. A little stiff, but fine.

And as for the car, well we still don't know much yet. Nate was able to get some of his belongings from it (his anti-freeze-soaked white coat and our 'Chicago Greatest Hits' tape didn't make it, but he did manage to get his stethoscope (also soaked with anti-freeze) and other doctorly essentials free). The adjuster was going to see the remains of it yesterday and now it is not just a car accident but a double homicide, so there will be a lot of red tape. We're still hopeful the assailent's mother had insurance (the Mercedes SUV he was driving was her's and for the record - that SUV held up amazingly well, I know Mercedes has a major price tag, but it was the only car that was somewhat recognizable in the impound lot). So now we just have to practice our patience.

pumpkin fest

Sunday night we finally carved our pumpkins. Nate and Grace had full artistic license, while Jimmy and I provided the entertainment for the evening(well really, Jimmy provided the entertainment and I made sure he didn't do anything he shouldn't with the pumpkin carving kit).

trunk or treat

Saturday was our ward's Trunk or Treat. Beforehand Grace got her groove on and dressed as a ninja (what? which picture is of a ninja you ask - it of course is when she's wearing her Halloween pants, holding her bright magenta "ninja purse", brandishing a ninja star, and wearing a vibrant purple ninja mask). Jimmy was supposed to be a Lion, but he seems to cry every time we put his costume on him, so he settled for a fire fighter. Grace was Glinda the Good Witch (note her creative crown, make you think of BK?) Nate elected to be Indiana Jones and I (I know you are wondering what I dressed as) went dressed as a mourner. I am holding a picture of our forsaken car.

Friday, October 26, 2007

not good

Last night, after we had already been asleep, Nate jumped out of bed and looked out the window. It was at that moment I realized I had been hearing sirens. Nate pointed out the sirens stopped right in front of our house. Many of our neighbors began gathering out on the sidewalk (for those of you who haven't been to our home - we are in a cluster of townhomes surrounding a courtyard. We are the house facing the street, but set very far back from the street and all of the homes are behind an iron fence and gate). Before I know it Nate is out there with the neighbors. So I get on my robe (quite a sight I'm sure, wearing my flannel pjs and my big, fluffy robe with my Teva flip flops), and walk out on the porch in time to hear our neighbor say, "Nathan, you didn't park your car on the street did you?" Well, of course he did, he always does. But when I looked over to where he had parked, his car was gone and in its place were two STL PD cruisers. I thought, "surely they wouldn't tow his car just so the cops could park there." Making my way to the side walk, with my flip flops crunching on something on the sidewalk, I see a black car all crumpled up by a pole and I think, "this can't be our car, it wasn't even parked here." But just the same, our license plate was very legible and it certainly was our car (or used to be). And all that crunching underfoot was the tiny glass crumbles of our windshield and other windows.

So you are wondering, what happened? The details are still forthcoming. But I will at this point tell you there were at least 12-15 squad cars, two fire engines and some ambulances that we missed. Later the CSI van/truck arrived and after that a few helicopters. The basic story says that several neighborhoods over to our West (probably over two miles away) the "alleged" criminal(s) fired shots at someone and then attempted to fire at the police (it was only an attempt because he didn't have any bullets left). The police began their pursuit of Mr. Alleged (that is what I'll call him, I guess). And of course Mr. Alleged didn't surrender. Instead he sped away from them through residential areas, mind you, at speeds up to 120 MPH. When he got in front of our house the car he was driving (a Mercedes SUV) spun out of control and hit Nate's car (NOT a Mercedes) and then hit another car (which was moving and sadly had passengers) which then flipped (the car with passengers). Click here for news story. "Mr. Alleged's" car caught on fire at that point and the chase ended. Nate said he had heard the inital "crunch" we guess of his car and that is what woke him up. Click here for more coverage.

So I guess we need a new car. I feel awful about the other passengers, one was DOA at SLU hospital, another is in critical condition, and the other "sustained major injuries." I am so thankful that as far as the damage to us, it is just a car. All of Nate's stuff is in the trunk (like his stethoscope - if you ever wonder why your Dr.'s stethoscope is always so cold, its because he/she keeps it in the trunk!) But we're hopeful we can get it back. So now we wait and see if we really are "in good hands" with Allstate. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 22, 2007

knock knock

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Jimmy's latest trick is Knock Knock jokes. Generally it goes something like this: Knock Knock (or really he says "naa naa") and you say "Who's there" and he says, "Ummmmmmmm, Mama!" and you say "Mama who?" and then he either laughs or moves on to something else (such as pointing out any near by moving vehicle). I love it! And speaking of laughs, this little video had Nate and I laughing out loud this evening. Perhaps if you've recently been to the dentist you may find it hilarious.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

here comes the flower girl

To cap off our "exciting week" Grace was the Flower Girl in a friend's wedding. Another good friend doctored up the dress to enable us to actually get it on (manuvering any clothing over that cast is proving to be quite tricky) and she made a new "Arm Purse" in a perfectly coordinating shade of red. And yet another friend came to the house to give Gracie (what Grace refers to as) a flower hair style. Jimmy suited up for the occasion and really didn't want to stand still for one second in order for us to get a good picture of him. The kids really were the life of the party. It was a fun evening and certainly the highlight of our weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

all better

Nothing like a bunch of pink and orange cupcakes to convince you to take your medicine and make you feel all better!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

from the E.R. to the O.R.

A call came in yesterday from the Orthopedic office that Grace in fact would need to have her armed surgically repaired. I know that may sound bad, but really they just needed to stick two tiny pins into the bones to allow them to heal correctly. I wasn't too excited about it, and then when they said they set it up for 7:45 TODAY, I was even less excited.

We broke the news to Grace yesterday over fries and Fitz's rootbeer. She took the news in stride (Nate explained everything to her and I realized that he has explained things like that to lots of children and he's really good at it). This morning a good friend (you know she's a good friend because she got up before 6 a.m for us) came over to watch Jimmy so we could leave for the hospital at 6:15 (they want you there super-early). Nate picked Grace up from her bed, she popped her eyes open, put on a big smile and said, "Daddy, are we late for my appointment?!" So she was ready.

She was so happy to meet all of the nurses, doctors, and residents. She was so excited to have a new pink cast (think worse than Barbie pink), and regally rode on her little bed to the O.R. with her entourage of professionals. They leave the parents behind at the double-doors, the ones that separate you from the Doctoring World. It was a new experience for Nate not to cross through the doors; and it was a new experience for me to let my little girl go through the doors.

I walked back to her little room and then started to cry, not too much, but enough that I thought a little walk would do me well. Nate stayed in the room in case the doctor called and as I walked in the hall I saw two more sets of parents at the double-doors, and both of the moms from each set we just wrecks! (Also, it made me feel a little better to see that I was in good company and that I wasn't crying nearly as hard as either of them.)

Grace did very well during the procedure. It was fast and quick and there were no complications. Her doctor said that she'll need to wear the cast for three weeks and then all should be healed up. So that means she may not need her to wear her cast on Halloween (we'll see).

Grace was upset coming out of the anesthetic (they said that is normal for some kids who have never had any before) and she was in a lot of pain. Thankfully they were able to give her some good meds to control it and after a few hours we were able to bring her home. She slept most of the afternoon, and slowly through the evening she's back to her normal Grace-ness (for example, she's a bit miffed that she won't be able to go to Lunch Bunch tomorrow) and she's running around (a bit) and playing with her Buv (that's James, she calls him that all the time).

And so there you have it. We're exhausted, but glad that its over with. I can't believe its only Tuesday!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

it has happened...

I suppose it has been only a matter of time since Grace was born that we would spend the majority of a Friday night in the Children's E.R. This is Grace's spin on the incident:
"Well, Sam and I were running fast and playing hide and seek. Then we bonked. Then we fell down real hard and had an accident. But it was only an accident."

And that folks, is about what happened. We were enjoying a beautiful Friday afternoon at the park with several friends, and about 10 minutes before I had thought we'd leave there was a big crash of Sam (nice boy from Kindergarten) and Grace on the cement floor of one of the picnic pavilions. There was serious crying. Crying that wouldn't even be tempered by a lollipop (right then I knew it was bad). We (that would be Jimmy and I) managed to get her to the car and as she put her hand on the seat and slightly bent her elbow, Grace just screamed.

We got home and found Nate (who minutes before discovered a few messages on his cell phone and the house phone from his wife who somehow stayed pretty cool and collected) all ready for a physical exam of the arm in question. After hearing the dreaded words, "Daddy, I can't move my arm," we called around and found a last minute sitter for Jimmy and made our way to the ER.

The results (this took many hours and several x-rays to determine - one x-ray was even taken of her beloved bunny, Aurora (who, incidentally has no bones to be broken)) are this: "Supracondylar Fracture of the Humerus, Closed." That is a fancy way of saying she broke her arm (or her elbow if you'd like to be technical about it).

So what does Grace think of all this you may ask? Well, she is pretty darn brave and very tough. They gave her some pain meds shortly upon arrival and we gave her some Tylenol when we got home; and that's it. She hasn't taken anymore, she hasn't complained of any pain, and she refuses to take anything (even though we have some that is pink AND bubblegum flavor). She proudly told every doctor and nurse her story and casually mentioned to some that indeed she is not only the quickest girl in her class, she is actually faster than all the boys too.

We will follow up this week with the orthopedic surgeon (who happens to be Jimmy's ortho as well) and will know more about the course we'll need to take. Right now it looks good (that is my way of saying - probably no OR time and in the end it'll heal right up).

I'm sure by now you've seen the picture of Grace the Brave proudly sporting her cast inside her "Arm Purse", wearing her gown from the hospital (when presented with the idea of wearing a gown she said, "Gown?! I love gowns!"), and the tiny band-aid covering her scraped knee. And you can see one of her (many, many, many) x-rays. I've taken the liberty of circling the fracture.

Friday, October 5, 2007

the results are in...

Thanks to all who voted. You've helped illustrate what a hard decision it is for Nate to make. Eight voted for him to do the fellowship, eight voted for him not to do the fellowship, and two voted for him to just give it all up and become a baker (I suspect those two may have been hungry at the time). So what's the Doctor to do? Well, we'll keep you posted.

another week

Well, its been a while since I've posted last. Things have been busy. Last week had me planning and then running from one church event to another. Our ward's quarterly enrichment was entitled "Meet Me in St. Louis." They asked me to run the portion on restaurants in STL. Click here to see what we (Nate and I, because its no fun to eat out without him!) pulled together. Saturday was the General Relief Society Broadcast. Our stake always has a dinner before the 7:00 broadcast, and being in the stake RS presidency, I get to help out with it. Generally we expect around 120 sisters and plan for 140 servings (you know, just in case!) and this time we had over 160! Amazingly, there were enough servings for just about everyone. For dessert we did a Candy Bar and gave each of the ladies a little box to fill up with their favorites - be it M&Ms, Skittles, Kisses, peppermints, you name it. They really got into it. My mom was there (you see the next day was our ward's Primary Program, so my parents HAD to come and see Gracie) and said "I've never seen grown women behave that way around candy." Hilarious. At one point, one woman (who certainly is old enough to have her own grandchildren) emptied out this giant glass jar of Starbursts to get to her favorite color. And speaking of the Primary program, Gracie did a great job. She surprised us by memorizing her lines (she insisted all we she would read them from the paper like the big kids do) and of course knew all the words to the songs. And because she is Grace, she did her own little interpretive dance to each song too. Jimmy sat very still (well "very still" compared to how he usually is) and watched his big sister very closely. We're looking forward to this weekend. Conference is always a nice time to slow down and I think we need some down time.