Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two Headed Baby!

We sighted this odd sight on the lacrosse field this evening...watch out, that's double the drool!


It's finally begun. JT had his second Lacrosse practice today and it's going quite well. Turns out, he's almost as good with a lacrosse stick in his hands as he is with a soccer ball between his feet. His speed is definitely an advantage in this sport and he's learning to handle the stick well. Eventually I'll learn all the new vocabulary so I can yell from the sidelines without embarrassing him too much. I think he looks so athletic in all those pads... And I also think the word check is a rather weak word considering its actual meaning seems to be "license to use a stick to beat the doo-doo out of your opponent." Yeah, check - this isn't your usual chess game, baby!

Rub A Dub Dub

Three Men In a Tub!

Is that a....CURL?!

UP there, to the left...Some of you may think I'm pushing it here but there is more bounce to this boy's bangs than all of our white children put together. I'm thinkin' on a rainy day he may even be called a bit curly-headed! Of course, he needs a bit more HAIR to really be able to tell but I think Aunt Great can break out the Someone-finally-takes-after-me dance!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

World's Best Parents!!

We won! We won! Fr. Joel found this sign tacked to our bedroom door when he came home from work last night:
For those who can't read the fine print, the front of it says Winner Winner Best Mom and Dad In The World see back for details. When you turn this fine document over you find this: Come downstairs and pick a prize! No Purchases included Prizes: ball, pen, mint, hard candy and chocolate, or party popper.
I picked the hard candy and Fr. Joel got himself a heart-shaped piece of chocolate. There's nothing like the sweet rewards of parenting....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

DOD - What's a Mom to do?

With Fr. Joel off teaching seminary class today, I took the whole crew to Wal-Mart - that's two carts, each with a baby and 6 tag-alongs. We were going through the store looking rather large familyish, if ya know what I mean, and Miss. ADD was being particularly troublesome either wandering off in the wrong direction or forgetting to move anywhere and so I was rather preoccupied with her while David, the 2 1/2 yo, was running about being basically good in a twoish sort of way. I headed off to find myself a pregnancy test (don't get excited - these are part of my regular shopping list - see "Why We Let God Plan Our Family") and everyone was sort of milling about me causing a bit of a traffic jam when I looked down and noticed that David was thoughtfully turning over a box in his hands which he'd pulled from the shelf. About this time, a woman came around the corner with her three teens, took in the whole scene and her eye landed on David's box the same time mine did. We both noticed together that he was holding a box of condoms. I sort of sheepishly took them from his hand and replaced them on the shelf all the while grinning at this woman and wondering *what* she was going to say. She chuckled at us, looked at me and exclaimed, "He's trying to say no more brothers and sisters!"

Normally I would have been very offended by that comment but she was so good-natured about it and, really, that one *is* kind of hard to get around gracefully...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This, too, shall pass

Fr. Joel ran out the door this evening with 5 of the kids in tow (well, 8 if you count the neighbor kids who went along) for their Wednesday evening church class. I decided it would be great fun to have a wagon walk with the remaining crew and they were more than happy to join in. John Michael had his neighborhood bike-riding debut and was so thrilled in his stunt man helmet, riding on the street where the big kids ride. David thought he might venture the trip on his tricycle but after he tip-toed 20 feet down the driveway, he ditched his helmet and trike for a seat in the wagon. Adora pushed the twins in the double stroller and Betsy zipped along on her bike. We got about 4 houses up the street when Pooka suddenly realized we had left without HER (surely this was a mistake on our part) and she came busting out of the door and running down the street after us. I managed to rally the dog and left Adora standing in the middle of the street, collar in hand, wrangling the rest of the crew while I ran home for a leash - dog 1, humans 0.

The leash hangs on the side of Sydney's table who squawked at me when I came near and it took me a moment to convince him that birds just don't go on wagon walks....

Once we finally got it all together we must have been quite a sight as all the neighbors had the usual comments to make at our passing "You have your hands full", "that's quite a crew tonight", "Can't the dog pull the wagon?" (well, no, because that would actually be helpful...). I was sorry I hadn't brought the camera - if for no other reason than to permanently record the determined joy on JM's face as he maneuvered his bike from one curb crash to the next. He's such a boy...Then, as if we weren't having enough fun, I got a call on my cell phone from my dear husband. The conversation went something like this...



Um, apparently Ruth swallowed a coin.

Where did she get a coin?

I don't know but she swallowed one. She's standing here not telling me much about it.

What do you want me to do?

Um, I don't know but I'm in the middle of teaching 10 boys how to make scrambled eggs.

Ok, tell her to sit down somewhere and I'll come get her...

Fortunately I had my super secret crisis weapon right there with me - her name is Adora. We managed to get JM, the dog, the stroller and the wagon back into the driveway where I ditched all of my responsibilities into the hands of my most capable Crisis Manager to go rescue my daughter from the coin lodged somewhere between her tonsils and her bowels. I put in calls to both her pediatrician and her hematologist (hey, how am I supposed to know if coin swallowing can trigger a crisis?!). The hemo called back first so we went to his ER, at the suggestion of our parish nurse (who at one point worked in our local ER and we had long ago discussed that this was no place for a child with sickle cell to receive any kind of emergency care). An hour of driving and two and a half hours in the ER later, we were told that the coin had made it past the esophagus and into the stomach. This was a good thing as now she won't require surgery and this, too, shall pass....

(Now please pray with me that she doesn't remember to flush the toilet for the first time in her life over the next five days!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Defense of Icecream

When I was a kid one of my favorite family times was Sunday evenings. We always had icecream for dinner and we got to watch tv (a rare event) while we ate it at the "stack tables". We always watched the Muppet Show (my sister went on to become a professional puppeteer for a season..) and Marlin Perkins' Wild Kingdom (thought it was soo cool when my dad got to have dinner with him one night on a business trip in Vegas! lol).

So...fast forward to many years later with our own family I've decided to keep up the tradition and no one is complaining. Since we follow Feingold strictly, we can only have Breyer's icecream which is $$$ so I watch for sales and stock up when it's Buy 1/Get 1 Free. We have a freezer full of Breyer's most of the time. We make homemade chocolate fudge sauce and sometimes homemade whipped cream and pile it high! The really neat thing is that we've been able to use it for some great fellowship. Since my dh is an associate pastor at our church, we often will invite different church families over on Sunday evenings for "dinner". It is sooo easy and it's been such a blessing. Just tonight we had our neighbors over who have 4 kids and we didn't even notice the extra mouths and we got to have a long overdue grown up conversation with the parents.

I occasionally have a small niggling guilt about one thing. My mom would have icecream for supper because *her* time for hospitality and fellowship was always the afternoon meal after church. She would put on a big roast and invite folks over for a meal after church. So we always had a nice, big healthy meal at lunchtime (not to mention got to hang out with some really neat people over the years). The lunch tradition at our house, however, is "bunny noodles" with cut-up hotdogs which dh always makes (and which I call Dude Food - yuck!). So, not so healthy or substantial but...oh well, I'm over it! And that's my 2 cents about Icecream For Dinner. I wouldn't call that being a bad mom - I would call that winning the motherload of cool mom points. My kids are certainly the envy of all their friends on Sunday evenings....

Monday, March 12, 2007


I have a new title for my posts - DOD - Davidism of the Day. I figure he's just so funny I may as well give him his own category of posts here. So....here is today's D.O.D:

Philip was emptying out all the trashcans in the house and he had left the bathroom trashcan with the lid separated from the can while he went to fetch a bag. This is how David found it when he wandered into the bathroom. I heard him call out, "Ooooh Philip!!....the trashcan....you broke it in half!" He then put the whole exclamation to song and wandered off through the house singing his Philip broke the trashcan in half song...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rockin' and Rollin'

Nathan is 7 months old now and he's mastered rockin' and rollin'. Here's some pics to let you in the fun!


Monday, March 05, 2007

New Do

I don't know what I was thinking but I always had these wonderful dreams of having a little black girl with that fun nappy hair to learn to braid and put into a thousand wonderful creations of hairy nappiness and my adorable child would skip gleefully about, happy to have a head full of colorful plaits topped with rows of beads and fun barettes. It's not like that at all. For those of you with similar delusions, let me set the record straight. It may eventually look right cute with even rows of braids and colorful doo-dads, but the process of getting there is a mother-daughter rite of passage which every black woman looks back upon still smarting from the thousands of stabbing pains to her scalp over the years. Ruth is no exception. "Doing her hair" is a dreaded phrase in our household and involves several hours of, well, great pain, great wailing and moaning and a lot of hair grease. Adora and I decided on the spur of the moment yesterday to solve that problem for the discernable future and bought Ruth her first Perm. Adora applied perm to scalp today and we are all quite pleased with the results. I was amazed with the ease with which her hairbrush ran through her hair today with NO WHINING, crying, crocodile tears or painful fidgeting and scratching. Alleluiah! Here's the pictures of Ruth's Great Perm Adventure and the resulting New Do (notice, if you will, the broad smile on Ruth's face).


S.P.O.P. - noun. 1. acronym which stands for Small Pieces of Oriental Plastic 2. the sound SPOP makes when sucked up in a vacuum cleaner

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Before and After

Well, it's time to answer the question everyone wants to know...

How is Philip?!

Philip is great! And to prove it, I'm posting his before and after pictures. Thanks to the prayers of our many, many friends and family his recovery has actually gone remarkably, miraculously perhaps, well. His surgeon is truly surprised at the lack of bleeding, oozing, swelling and bruising (and boy are those four words fun to say all together in a row like that!). He had some stitches on the outer part of his lip where the lip revision was done. Those were removed on Monday and a little bit of swelling, redness and scarring can still be seen in that area. The inside of his mouth where the fistula was repaired and the bone graft put in is full of the nifty dissolvable stitches which are still quite prominent. The place on his hip where the bone was removed for the graft has about an inch and a quarter long scar which was actually glued together. There are two layers of stitches internally and the outer layer of skin was, well, super glued back on. Ask Philip about it, he'd be glad to show you that scar. After all, not many kids can say a doctor removed part of his hip bone and glued him back together!
Mobility-wise he's doing fantastic as well. He limps now only when he's trying to elicit sympathy and he's been pain-free since a few days after the surgery. So the biggest problem is that he is not allowed to engage in any activity that may result in a jarring of the graft site for another 4 1/2 weeks. He looks fine, feels fine but is very limited in what he is allowed to do and is stuck on a soft diet.

Well enough of the gory details, now for the gory photos. This is a picture of his lip before the surgery. Notice the right side has a bit of a peak left by the scar from his prior surgery. I had a great picture of Philip smiling but it just didn't capture that peak as well so you get his serious look here.
And in this picture the peak is gone. There is a bit of redness where they removed the stitches and it is still a wee bit swollen but there is a discernable difference in the shape of his lip.
Here is the before picture of his palate. If you look closely you can see a thin scar running all through the middle of the palate. That was from the first surgery which closed the original cleft which ran all the way from the front of his mouth to the very back of his palate. This picture shows the fistula - or small hole - left by the previous two surgeries. It's barely discernable behind that tooth. The crooked little tooth under my thumb is the site of the bone graft.
Here you can see that they pulled that tooth out (it was just a baby tooth and they gave him a buck for it). The brownish spot in there is the bone graft site and the brownish stuff is the stitches. The hole is also now closed. You can see the thickness of his lip in that area which is slightly swollen but is still much thicker than the rest of his lip due to a build-up of scar tissue from the previous surgeries. This was the one thing they were not able to correct this time around and will require one more very short little surgery (10 minute procedure) in a couple of month's time.
He has an adult tooth poised in his gums to come down right into the graft site. The tooth will actually complete the binding process of the graft into the surrounding palate and gums and it is what determined the timing of this surgery. I'll have to add in a picutre of his glued together hip but, believe it or not, I don't seem to have any pictures of that. I'm sure Philip will be happy to oblige me tomorrow...
As you can see Philip certainly was more than happy to show off the scar:
And here's a close-up of it. The white-ish stuff is dried up glue that is flaking off.

More Davidisms

David finished brushing his teeth the other evening and came downstairs. He announced to me, "Well, I brushed my teeth" and then continued with great disgust, "They are *always* in my mouth."

Last Sunday Ben overheard this conversation between John Michael and David:

JM: I want some milk! Get me some milk!

David: No, John, that's not how you ask. You ask like this. May I please have some milk?

Guess who got the milk?!