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.