"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, January 16, 2017

Owie Update

Eleanor is handling the broken finger like a champ.  We gave her a dose of the pain medication on Thursday and some ibuprofen on Friday, but she hasn't required anything for pain since then.  She wasn't a fan of me taking off the splint to clean the finger on Friday, but she survived.  On Saturday she pulled the entire splint off in the car without crying.  Twice.  She's definitely aware of it and will hold it up and say "owie", but hardly ever acts like its painful.  Going on the ER docs advice, we are skipping the orthopedic surgeon visit and just letting it heal in the splint. 
Empty gift cards and pretty jewelry make everything better.  This is what I got when I asked if I could see her owie to take a picture.   
One thing that is more messed up than her finger is her sleep schedule.  Staying up in the ER until 2:30am and then spending one day drowsy on pain medication really kicked off a screwy schedule.  She wants to stay up later & sleep later.  That part we could handle well enough, but nap time is all jacked up.  Her "normal" (and I use quotation marks because the entire idea of normal is such a joke to me) was to lay down for a nap about 1pm and sleep 2-3 hours.  Yesterday I laid her down just after 1pm and at 3pm she was still doing laps in her crib and raking her finger splint across the crib slats.  She was happy enough, but she would not go to sleep and we knew that community group would be a mess if she didn't have a nap.  She started fussing about 3 so I went in, changed her diaper, and laid her back down.  It took another half hour, but she finally went to sleep and slept just over an hour.  Today I waited until she acted sleepy and then laid her down just after 2.  At 3:30 she was still running sprints from one end of the crib to the other and then flopping down in laughter.  She'll find a new routine and we'll settle in just fine.  In the mean time it sure is funny to watch her through the video monitor and listen to the conversations she has with herself. 
Other stuff...
I tried a Pioneer Woman recipe for beef stew last week and wasn't impressed.  Everyone said it was fine, but I didn't care for it and expected something much more appetizing for all the effort that the recipe required.  I'm trying a new recipe for meatloaf tonight (no McCormick mixes here!) and I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm enjoying trying new things and building my own collection of go-to recipes that my family enjoys. 
Having pretend lunch with her friend Dale last week.
Guess who has enough hair to wear a bow now?  And guess who is beginning to think that that's a pretty good idea?  Disclaimer: Wearing a bow cannot, under any circumstances, be Mommy's idea.  It must ALWAYS be Eleanor's idea and then we must shower her with compliments.  
 I saw this online the other day and sent it to Drew.  It's so true.  I'm scary in the morning and sometimes Drew has the nerve to say Good Morning to me.  Can you believe it?  The nerve of that man! 
 Hanging out with her friend Gertie at community group last night. 
 Trying to snap a picture of her this afternoon.  I barely got one still photo before she took off. 

She's got a few new words this week, but I'm having a hard time distinguishing some of them without context.  For example, when she started staying "triangle", it was obvious that that was what she was saying.  Now that she's saying triangle, rectangle, and bicycle, I can't tell what word she is saying without context.  Once I see what she's pointing at, then I can figure it out.  Also, as is the rule among all toddlers, if I am with people who don't see her often and I ask her a perfectly reasonable question, she will babble something ridiculous at me or simply act like she has no idea what I'm talking about. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I took the photos of Eleanor the other day and never got around to posting them.  I already posted about the broken finger (if you haven't read that, scroll on down), but I want to share these photos while I'm thinking about it. 
Okay, yeah, take a picture of me. 
 I've got places to go, Mom. 
 Fish face
 I think her eyes and messy hair are dreamy. 

Owie, Owie, Owie!

Drew and I have this cool balance where we are almost never freaking out at the same time.  Somehow, through all we've experienced together, one of us is almost always calm and rational.  Last night, that calm and rational person was not me. 
Short version:
I accidentally shut Eleanor's right ring finger in a bedroom door when I pulled it shut extra hard to try and get it to latch closed.  Screaming.  Crying.  Blood.  More crying (from me this time).  Phone call to our doctor friend from community group who told us to take her to the ER.  Many hours and several hundred dollars later we were home.  The finger nail is pretty well detached (from the bottom of the nail bed, which makes it look extra gnarly).  They were going to remove it so it could heal, but x-rays showed a tuft fracture (meaning the very tip of her finger is broken), so they left the nail to help protect the fracture.  It's considered an open fracture, so she's on antibiotics four times a day for a million years (well, 10 days, anyway).  They were able to splint the finger (which I was skeptical of, thinking she would surely pick off anything they put on it).  They gave her a dose of pain medication and sent us home with a rx for more.  I'm supposed to make a follow up appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, but the ER doc was pretty confident that it would just require some time and heal on its own.  He said that if she's acting okay, not complaining much, and it's not swelling more over the weekend then I can just cancel that appointment and do the splint for a couple weeks and it will be fine.  Also, the nail is definitely going to fall off and will have to grow back.  Of all things, I'm not just worried about the pain that I caused her, but that her finger nail will be permanently funky and she will blame me forever. 
Side note: I'm pretty sure the doc was afraid of me.  When he was explaining the fracture and details to us, I started crying.  He asked if this was our first child and... well, how does this panicky mother in the Emergency Room answer such a question?  Honestly.  So, yeah, the doctor was trying extra hard to be nice to the crazy crying momma who has already lost two kids and was feeling like accidentally breaking her toddler's finger in a door was a sure sign of the end of the world.  One billion Daddy & Husband bonus points to Drew for being the calm & rational voice of reason and encouragement all night long. He's even working today on just a few hours of sleep and the same emotional PTSD feelings that I'm having over the ordeal.  I'm not even joking.  Think PTSD is only for soldiers and crime victims?  It isn't.  We've experience some pretty traumatic stress over the years with Alex & Emma and things like this trigger weird feelings for us both.  Want to know something really weird?  I was sitting in the patient room, holding Eleanor tight, and I kissed her head.  It only took a few seconds for me to have this really strange flood of emotion and then realize that her head smelled exactly like Alex & Emma.  I said it out loud and Drew said, "I did the exact some thing a few minutes ago, but didn't want to say it."  Hasn't it been proven that sweating for different reasons releases different scents?  I haven't smelled that smell in years, but I knew it as soon as it hit my nose.  It's the smell of pain.  She had been crying in pain and with that she was sweating.  Alex & Emma did the same thing their entire lives.  When their flare ups were extra bad, they would literally sweat.  I didn't know that it was purely from pain, but I believe now that it was.  It smells different than a kid who has been playing outside and working up a sweat.  It was completely unexpected and strangely emotional to just to inhale when I kissed her head.  So, yeah, Drew & I both have something of an emotional hangover today.  All those weird emotions aside, Eleanor is okay and a broken finger is, in fact, not the end of the world.  This was an isolated incident and she's still our happy, sassy, healthy baby. 
Today has gone pretty well so far.  She's fine with the splint and we're just calling it her pretty new ring.  She frequently stops to point it out and announce "Owie! Owie! Owie!" Drew filled her pain prescription this morning so we could stay on top of it for a day.  She's been pretty good and is laying down for a nap now.  I'm about to do the same.  I still feel 100% terrible and guilty because it's all my fault.  I didn't do it on purpose and accidents do happen, but it still sucks.
I'll spare you the picture of the initial injury.  If you're a glutton for gory images of bloody baby fingers then I'll show you later (weirdos).  I did, however, take a few photos at the ER and asked Drew to do the same, because this is part of life, too. 
Watching Elmo on Hulu on the phone in the waiting room, because two hour waits to be seen are long and ER waiting rooms are always a little ick and scary, no matter what hospital you're at.  Also, because if we kept her still and pressure on her hand then she didn't cry as much and it didn't bleed as much. 

The break.  See the very tip?   
 Splinted finger and a homemade teddy bear for the brave girl. 
 Before we left they put this webbing stuff over her good hand to try and keep her from picking the splint off in the night.  She didn't fight it, so we left it on and then this morning I noticed that she had quickly figured out how to get things done even with the webbing.  Smart girl.  We've taken if off and have had no problems with the splint so far today. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Pictures from the last few weeks that I haven't managed to share...
Eleanor is becoming quite the accessory queen.  She's always asking for bows or glasses or hats or shoes... or whatever else she finds that tickles her fancy. 
 How to get a vegetable refusing toddler to eat vegetables?  Put them in a smoothie!  The current concoction that she's liking is... half a banana, a strawberry, a few blueberries, a handful of spinach, a carrot, and some chia seeds.  I'm using apple or pear juice as the liquid, because getting this girl to take enough liquids without a bottle is still a super struggle.  Also, if you put it in a toddler straw cup, she won't touch it.  If I put a regular straw in the smoothie cup then she'll take sip after sip from me until she's had 6 or 8 ounces (which, as I said, is a big deal for a girl that can walk around with a sippy cup all day and not manage to drink 3 total ounces). 

 One thing I've taken an interest in doing with my extra time lately is cooking.  I don't think I'm the only person who has a handful of meals that seem to be the norm and the dinner rotation feels boring and tired.  So, I'm trying new things.  I made this broccoli beef last week and it was delicious.  I used a chuck roast that Casey & Sasha sent home with us.  I put it in the fridge to thaw one night and about noon the next day it was just the perfect amount of frozen/thawed to slice into thin strips for this recipe.  It's easily enough for 4-6 people.  Drew and I had hefty portions and we ate it two nights in a row.  Click HERE for the recipe.  Did I mention that I made this in the CROCK POT?  It was easy and delicious.  Win, win. 
 Playing drums with a comb on an old bucket.  Also, check out her shirt.  "Hand picked for Earth by my sisters in Heaven."  Love. 
 Eleanor has taken a real interest in my guitar lately.  She says "Guigar!" and is quite gentle with it.  She stands there and strums & plucks the strings and sometimes she sings & dances with it. 
 Sometimes date night is getting dressed up and making reservations.  Sometimes date night is wearing blue jeans & hoodies and going bowling.  I love this guy. 
Wholey Guacamole has these fabulous individual containers of guac that Eleanor loves (available in the refrigerated produce section at our grocery store).  I don't have to dig through the avocados and worry about using them at exactly the right moment before they go bad.  Eleanor always has a yummy treat on hand and I feel like I'm winning at life because my kid asks for "Guac!"  
 Like I said, she likes to accessorize. 

 Sometimes the accessories are more peculiar... like a sweater poncho, a pacifier, and mommy's giant hair brush... that MUST be taken with her into the AT&T store.  We're rocking this toddler thing.  (Also, she seems to have grown taller, because these overalls are suddenly too short, even when she's standing up.) 
 Snuggles with Mac. 
 It's warm but SO windy outside today.  Daddy's at the office all day, so we took advantage of the empty garage and walked around the garage until Mommy was getting nauseated from walking in circles :-)  Then we got down every basketball (I think there are 5) and rolled them around and practiced kicking. 
Potty training.  It's going.  We went full force for a few days and it actually went okay, but I'm not certain if she was being potty trained or if I was.  Know what I mean?  She is definitely asking to potty a lot (and actually doing something some of the time), but I'm also getting pretty good at anticipating an accident and rushing her to the potty.  I think that for now I'm sort of settled to semi potty training.  She can wear undies when we are home and we'll keep practicing and doing our best, but I'm not going to go all crazy on her.  If she was 3 then maybe that would be more necessary, but she's 18 months old.  I wouldn't even be thinking about this if she hadn't instigated it, so I'm going to continue to let her take the lead and encourage her in the right direction.  I think I'm more concerned about the bottle issue than the potty issue.  Like I said above, she just won't take in enough fluids via a cup (and we've tried MANY).  She is doing a bit better, but for the most part she is just taking drinks without ever drinking much volume.  She still gets a bottle of whole milk in the morning and one in the evening.  I've been trying to cut out the middle of the day bottle of water/juice, as a step in the no bottle direction.  We went a few days without it (she doesn't always ask for it) and I really pushed the cup, but then we ran in to the constipation issue again.  I think this is something she's prone to regardless, but not getting enough fluids throughout the day makes it much worse much faster.  Nobody wants that, believe me.  I feel conflicted over these silly bottles.  She doesn't need it to fall asleep.  She doesn't walk around with a bottle or have it on demand.  She has a sippy cup of water available to her all day.  She prefers to lay in my lap, drink her bottle of milk or water, and then get down and go on her way.  When I was worrying about this a few months ago, I did some reading (you know, my good friend Google) and found an article written by a doctor who explained why doctors recommend ditching the bottle at 12 months, why her own children didn't actually ditch the bottle until they were 18 and 24 months, and why that was okay.  I choose to believe this because the author was a doctor and everything we read on the internet is true.  Right?  Really though, of all parents, I should be able to remember that all children develop differently and need different things at different times.  She talked early and walked late.  She eats like a champ but doesn't like to drink.  Tit for tat and I just need to take a deep breath and go with the flow.  I keep remembering what Cheryl told me months ago... "Relax, it's not like she's going to go to college with a bottle, and constipation is to be avoided at all costs."  Yes.  YES.  I must remember this, but I'm starting to feel like she might actually go to college with a bottle.  Let's face it, she'll be 17 years old & applying to colleges, she'll still be getting a bottle & I'll still be posting monthly updates.  It's inevitable, we might as well surrender to it now.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

One last time

I want to post about Grandpa one last time.  There is no longer a need to update you on his physical well being, as he has received the ultimate healing from God.  I don't need to tell you want the doctors said or what his mental status was today.  He is now whole in the Lord.  Praise God, for He is good.   

The funeral on Tuesday was lovely.  We had a small gathering of family and friends and Kyle's pastor did a beautiful job with the service.  The service was simple, Eleanor made too much noise, and I cried. 
When my Grandma died in 2009 I wrote and delivered the eulogy at her funeral.  I'm not sure how I had the presence and poise to do that for her, but I knew I couldn't do it for Grandpa.  Even as I sit at my computer to write this, tears are streaming down my face.  How do I put in to words what he meant to me?  
I remember Grandpa being present my entire life.  My childhood memories of Grandpa are all attached to Grandma.  Where he was, so was she.  They attended our sporting events and band concerts.  They never missed a birthday party or momentous occasion.  Their presence in my young life was invaluable. 
Dear ones, do you ever feel like you aren't doing enough for your children (or grandchildren or nieces or nephews or...) and that you can't get it right, no matter how hard you try?  Let me give you a piece of advice.  Show up.  That's it.  Just show up.  Grandpa wasn't perfect.  He was often a grump and sometimes spoke before he thought.  He was human and he was flawed, but I can tell you that one thing the boys & I remember from our childhood was that Grandma & Grandpa always showed up.  That means something. 
As an adult I got to know my Grandpa on another level.  I got to know him as a man and he became my friend.  I helped as he cared for Grandma in her last years and then, after her passing, we spent even more time together.  When Drew was deployed to Ft. Sill for 2+ years, Alex, Emma, and I spent a lot of time with Grandpa.  I was helping him, but he was helping me, too.  We had a special relationship that allowed us to keep an open dialogue as life changed.  He knew that I would do whatever I could for him and I knew the same. 
There are dynamics in any relationship and ours was no different.  We butted heads sometimes.  We disagreed on some things.  He would get grumpy and I would get my feelings hurt.  Okay, fine, sometimes I was grumpy, too!  Those things happened, for sure, but I really value the time that I got to know him. 
He loved the Lord and did his best to read, study, understand, and follow scripture his entire life.  That is something I definitely have and will continue to hold as an example in my own walk with Christ. 
One thing that I will always remember is how he loved my girls.  He was pretty great at being a Great Grandpa.  I might just miss that most of all. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

18 Months

It's the 4th and that means that my baby is 18 months old today.  The last 6 weeks have been such a jar to her (and my) routine that I feel like we have some making up to do together.  Today was my first day in quite a while to just stay home with Eleanor and do stay-at-home mom things.  "Just chill and relax for a while," they said.  So, of course, I decided that today was as good a day as any to start officially potty training.  Happy 18 months, Eleanor!  You wear those big girl panties so well.

Since I recently went on a bragging binge, I'll try to go easy on the monthly stats.  Let's stick with the basics. 
  • 30 1/2 inches tall, 23 pounds
  • wears an 18 month size clothing and size 3 toddler shoe
  • talk a LOT (about 120 words)
  • has a short list of people that she currently likes and a long list of people that she currently does not.  These lists are not always predictable and sometimes hurt feelings.  Sorry, y'all. 
  • has an opinion about nearly everything and is not afraid to express those opinions.  (loudly, if necessary.) 
  • can identify and name 3 shapes (circle, star, triangle)
  • favorite food: oranges
  • favorite character: Elmo
  • favorite activity: opening doors
  • constant favorite: reading books

Monday, January 2, 2017


Grandpa's funeral arrangements are as follows:

10am on Tuesday, January 3, 2016

Heritage Funeral Home
1591 S 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762