Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dropping some NYC

It's probably time, right? Christmas was more than a month ago and I haven't posted any stories or pictures about it yet.

Let's start with our trip to NYC. It's a pretty short train ride from Rhinebeck to Grand Central Station. Mat and I have been wanting to take Braeden to the city for a year now. I chickened out last year worried he was still too young to make it through an entire day. He did well this year but I definitely think we were right to wait the year.

We took the train down the Sunday morning after Christmas. I felt bad about it because it was Gagey's birthday but it was the best weather day we had. Braeden had a great time on the train. It's such a beautiful ride down along the Hudson. I was so excited to show him Bannerman's Island which he loved. He started to get antsy just as we reached the city so that was a pretty lucky break. We got off the train and hopped on the subway to the Empire State Building.

Braeden was soooo excited to go up to the top. And I'm not good with heights so Mat took him up and I sat a Starbucks on the ground floor and knit. I can't possibly tell you the whole story of how Mat and Braeden got to the top but trust me when I say it took more than THREE hours of standing in lines, $60, and the kindness of one very understanding employee.

When they finally got back down to the ground we had lunch then went over to Rockefeller Center to see the big tree, the golden man, and the ice skaters (or in our case, the zamboni).

Braeden loved the big tree. And I'm glad we took him to see it, but I've never been around that many people all trying to see the same thing and stand in the same 12 square feet.

But even with all those people, we still managed to get some of my most favorite pictures.

After fighting our way through the crowds at 30 Rock, we went to FAO Schwartz. We certainly didn't get away from the crowds by going there. But we promised Braeden we would take him, and he definitely had a good time looking at all the toys.

The last stop we made was to see the Public Library lions. Mat had a hot dog and Braeden and I had a pretzel before heading back to Rhinebeck.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Routine doctor's appointments??

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown...

Good grief!

Thursday morning we took the boys for their annual check-ups. Last year's simultaneous appointments went so well, I went ahead and booked this year's appointments together as well. And drama ensued.

The exam table comes out diagonally from the wall, so Braeden likes to crawl behind it and pretend he's in a cave (or something like that). And whatever Braeden does, Gage wants to do. Mat and I were talking to the doctor and, at the same time, watching the boys crawl around the floor. Then we heard Gage cry; I turned towards him and picked him up when I heard Mat say he was bleeding. He had split his top lip open when he fell forward. It bled quite a bit (all over the front of my shirt!) but stopped bleeding pretty quickly once the doctor stepped in to apply pressure. The three adults all felt bad because we clearly weren't paying enough attention to what the kids were doing.

After that, things seemed to settle down. The kids got weighed and measured, and Braeden passed the vision test and successfully completed the hearing test. I breathed a huge sigh of relief on that one after last year's debacle with the headphones. His blood pressure is perfect at 86 over 42. He weighs 40 pounds and is 44 inches tall (or 3 feet 8 inches) placing him in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th for height. Braeden jumped up on the scale again this year proving that he is excellent at following directions. Gage is 32 inches tall and weighs 23 pounds (or less than one pound more than Braeden weighed when he was ONE). Gage is still tracking in the 3rd percentile for weight but the doctor remains pleased he's on the chart and not showing a dramatic increase or decrease. On the positive side for Gagey, his iron level is finally normal so we're done with the iron supplement. Looks like all the roast beef we've been feeding him has paid off!

Braeden got his finger pricked to check for lead and iron (both fine) and we learned he would need four shots. Gage also had his finger pricked and was thoroughly pissed off we insisted on covering it with a band-aid. He needed one shot. And it's right around now that the train really went off the track.

Gage was crying and whining incessantly about the band-aid (seriously??) and Braeden was freaking out about the shots (so loudly our doctor thought it was his post-shot reaction). Mat took Gage out for a walk to distract him, and I set to work calming Braeden down. I got him quiet but he was still wired, so he took off after Mat and Gage determined not to miss anything fun. From the exam room I heard a door slam and then Braeden screaming.

It turns out it wasn't a door slamming, but my kid's head slamming into the door handle. And now he's bleeding. A lot. More blood than I've ever seen. He runs to me and I press my hand on his head convinced he's cracked his head open. It felt like forever (and a gallon of blood) before the nurses appeared with towels but I'm sure it was seconds. They put him in a chair in the hallway and our doctor's nurse held a towel to his scalp while I held his hands. He was panicked...making this sound over and over again. Blood is dripping onto the chair seat and he's desperately trying to get away from it. He wants to hold my hands but we're both covered in blood and that's freaking him out. One of the nurses handed me wet towels and I went to work cleaning us up, talking non-stop about who knows what to distract him.

At this point, the doctor appears and is completely confused. She had heard a kid got hurt but didn't realize it was our kid. Everyone seems to realize we're in the hallway and might be freaking out the other kids and their parents, so we move back into the exam room. Our nurse is still applying pressure and I start talking to Braeden about my shirt. Not the bloody one, but the black cardigan I'm wearing over it. "It snaps but I never snap it up. I don't know why. I don't think I like it snapped. MeMa bought it for me years ago. Do you think I should snap one of the snaps? Want to help me?" We snapped all the snaps, then undid them, snapped just a few...I was amazed this worked but he was completely distracted my shirt and its snaps.

Things got a little fuzzy after this...Gage got his shot and Braeden got a pass on his. The doctor looked at his head and decided he needed stitches. I got nauseous and became convinced I would throw up. Someone called the hospital. I got over my nausea because I had to. Mat took Gage to day care. And I took Braeden to the ER.

I checked him in as he told the women behind the desk all about his injury. At this point, he was starting to seem like himself (happy to be the center of attention, proud, and interested in everything around him). The woman kept asking me if Braeden had ever been to the hospital before and I kept saying no when it hit me that he had been. When he was three months old he had an ultrasound because of his reflux. His head was still bleeding a little so the woman went looking for gauze. Instead of gauze, she took us right back to a room.

All in all, we were in the hospital for about 30 minutes. Braeden ate a bag of goldfish, Mat arrived in time to give the admit person his social security number, everyone was very surprised to learn this happened at the doctor's office, I washed the rest of the blood off my hands and arms, and a PA put two staples in his head, gave us care instructions, and sent us on our way. Mat went back to work and I took Braeden home stopping on the way for coffee for me and chocolate milk from McDonald's for B. I would have taken him anywhere for anything but that's what he wanted. And I knew we both deserved something to calm our nerves.

We had a lazy rest of the day watching cartoons and eating snacks. We clean his wound twice a day and put antibacterial cream on it. The big question I had for the PA (after the staples were in and I was convinced he would be fine) was what we should do about his party on Saturday. I knew canceling wasn't an option so I needed to know if there was anything special we should do. She suggested covering it with gauze and making him wear a hat. Actually they said toboggan but I'm translating for everyone who isn't Southern. I'll post later about his party, but suffice it to say, he had a great time and his head wound wasn't an issue at all!

Braeden's staples come out later this week. And he still has to go in at the end of the month for his four shots. And next year? Separate appointments. Different days.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Here's something exciting...a set of random pictures of the boys. In truth, I have no idea how old some of these are (I'm at work and the originals are saved in dated folders on my home laptop) so let's just pretend they're a few weeks old.

This is Gagey eating a snack. I think it's cheerios. I know I took the picture because I loved the way he grabbed a handful from the bowl and shoved them in his mouth using both his hands to be sure they stayed in there.

This next one is Braeden and me at the table after dinner one night. For a snack he was eating jelly belly jelly beans. I dumped some out of the baggy and he started matching them up by color and counting the number of each. It's a little trickier than it sounds because there's more than one shade of most of the colors. We did this a few nights in a row and it never got old. For either of us.

This one is definitely a mommy-fave! Braeden brought the first pillow and blanket into the kitchen. Then Gage wanted to lay down with him and Braeden freaked out about Gage wanting to share the pillow. Mommy to the rescue with a second pillow (and the camera). Braeden, always willing to ham it up for the camera, was trying to help by turning Gagey's head to look at me. (Not the first time Bray tries to help out like this.)

OK. The jig is up. I know when I bought this little table at IKEA so I now know just how old this picture is. I could lie, and you would probably believe me because Braeden is wearing snowman PJs, but...the truth always comes out in the end, right? This was October. Middle of the month-ish.

I bought the table because I thought it would mean I would get my dining room table back. We eat our meals there, sure, but dinner is always accompanied by 12 matchbox cars, a block tower, whatever stuffed animal is the current favorite, or some other random toy. The new little table didn't have quite the desired effect, but it sure is cute to see Gagey sitting there to eat a snack.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vacation (it's about time, right??!!)

I've had these pictures ready to go for weeks now...I've just been too lazy to post them. So I've posted a bunch of pictures and there's also a lot of links to posts from the past four years of trips. A fun walk down memory lane.

Every October we meet my parents in Virginia Beach for a long weekend. We stay at their timeshare, and we never do very much. We hang out, Braeden makes my parents read him the same seven books over and over again, we dig in the sand, sometimes we feed bread to the seagulls, we go to the aquarium (not this year), we take our picture in front of the Neptune statue...

One afternoon Mat, Dad, and Braeden went to check out the old Cape Henry Lighthouse. They had a great time learning its history and climbing to the top. Once there, Braeden told everyone who came up the story of the old lighthouse and the new one. Braeden knows I'm afraid of heights, so when he got back he cautioned me against going because I would have to climb up a ton of stairs and then a ladder to get to the top of the lighthouse. Sweet, huh?

Here's Dad and Braeden headed up the stairs to the lighthouse.

That is one happy kid!

Braeden has a couple of hats but he doesn't wear them very often. He does wear them when we're around my dad (who lives in hats!).

Each year we take a family picture at the beach. This year's was taken in front of the Neptune statue after we rode a surrey (one of those four-people bikes) from our place on 5th to the park at 31st street. It was a long ride into the wind. Luckily for us, Mat did most of the work! Gagey rode in the basket in the front (I say basket, but it's meant for babies and has a seatbelt). Braeden rode in the back between my parents. Mat did all the steering and had his fun by driving my side of the bike into the bushes lining the path. Fun for him, not so much for me.

I think you can tell from these pictures that it was cold again this year. Cold last year, cold this year. Rainy and windy too. Monday was was starting to clear up and warm up some. And Tuesday was perfect. Of course we were in the car by 10:00 headed back to Whitsett, so we were a little bitter about that.

Mom and I took Gage to a yarn store while the boys were at the lighthouse. We stopped at an Atlanta Bread Company for coffee and cupcakes on our way back. Gage loved the cupcakes, but what a mess! Saturday morning Mat ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K along the boardwalk. He was pretty happy with his time and running this one has inspired him to run more. (He just ran the Turkey Trot, another 5K, at Elon; is registered for the 5K portion of the NC Marathon in March 2010; and put the date for the Charlotte Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on his calendar. I know he'll run that one, too, if he can.

Sunday we went over to Ben and Stephanie's house in Chesapeake for lunch with her parents (Mat's godparents), Don and Debbie, and Mat's parents. Their house is great, and Stephanie made a ton of fantastic food including macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for the boys. She also made this amazing chocolate eclair dessert. Speaking of which, she gave me the recipe and I really ought to make it to bring to work one day. Monday night, Mat and I went back to Chesapeake to have dinner with Ben and Steph (minus kids and parents). We were so excited to go to a Thai place (and to spend more time with the two of them!). We hardly ever get's a pretty tough sell with Braeden. They'll be headed to California in February or March (Ben's in the Navy), so it was really great to spend this time with them.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hamming it up

We had a lot of rain this weekend and Mat realized water was backing up into our crawl space. He spent a few hours outside Sunday afternoon digging a trench to divert the water downhill into the easement between our property and our back neighbor's. He also got into a snit with the neighbor, but no one wants to hear about that...

After his nap, Braeden watched some football with me and ate cheez-its. And when he got bored I suggested he go out on the deck and watch Mat work. It was in the low 50s and sprinkling so I worried he would be too cold in his light jacket. I got down my winter stuff bag and found a very soft scarf I had crocheted years ago. I knew he would like the feel of it around his neck. He insisted on mittens. I know we have gloves for him but I couldn't find them, so he's wearing mine instead.

When I tried to take a picture of him just smiling for the camera, he refused. He insisted on a new pose for each picture and who was I to refuse!!

I love the half-smile he's giving me in this one. He knows how cute he is so he's trying to play it coy.

A little blurry because he's moving. He really wanted me to catch him standing on one foot but his balance isn't that great. (He gets that from me!)

I saved the best for last...this one is my favorite!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween preview

This morning as I was getting ready to leave, Braeden told me when he grows up he wants to work at UNCG so he can stay with me. He didn't like that I was leaving him. I just thought that was the sweetest thing he could say. I had to go back and give him another big hug. No wonder I can't ever make it to work on time in the mornings!

Friday his class is having a Halloween party. The kids can come in costumes if they want. Or as Braeden told me, they have to come in costume. I didn't want him messing up his fireman costume he'll wear Saturday night, so I thought up a couple other ideas...costumes I could easily create with what we already had in the house. I thought my first idea was perfect. Braeden should be a surfer. He can wear his swimmy trunks, a tee shirt, sunglasses, flip flops, and carry his kickboard as a pretend surfboard. Well, apparently you don't wear swimmy trunks to school unless it's pool day. Huh. Guess he told me. My second idea was that he go as NY Giants player. He's got the shirt and a Giants football. I figure he can wear sweatpants. And I was thinking of finding some way to make the black marks under his eyes. He loved this idea, so Friday Braeden will be a Giants guy (his words).

He told me yesterday that Makena's mom doesn't want her getting her real costume dirty either, so she'll be a cheerleader Friday. I love how nicely their costumes will go together. Not that the Giants have cheerleaders...thank goodness! The other upshot to his costume idea is that his teacher is a big Cowboys fan. And sticking it to a Cowboys fan always puts a smile on my face!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sing me a song

Braeden's teachers have been teaching them a lot of songs lately. One of them is more like a cheer. For his day care. It's adorable. And he gets a lot of pleasure performing it for us.