Hulking Eye Bruise

It was a half day of school. Those should be outlawed. No good ever come of them. Sophia arrived from home early as the term half-day implies and the kids get to playing. They were doing really well entertaining themselves and then Lukas tripped and fell. I had to calm them both down. The unhurt child thought she was in trouble. I assured her that it was an accident and it’ll be ok. That is about as much as I could say or do without her then getting angry about the attention I’m giving her, so I focused on the boy.

The bruise forming on his forehead, because that is where all the really big bruises go. It was just above his right eye. I could see it swell. We iced it.

The next day and for a couple of days after he looked like a miniature boxer that took a hit to the eye as the swelling went into the eyelid. Five days after he fell his bruise began the healing process of changing colors. The boy now looked like he had greed eye shadow over that eye. That evening Kurt and I joked that he was turning into The Hulk. Lukas got a very worried look, “Will I still be able to get in my PJs?”

His Hulk Bruise

Picture taken 11/26/14, five days after he fell.

Tonight as he was brushing his teeth he then brushed his bruise, “Mom, I brushed my forehead so I don’t turn into The Hulk.”

Lukas’ Birth Story

My mother-in-law arrived on a Thursday here for a visit four years ago today. The very next day I had my last scheduled prenatal appointment. I believe it was a one o’clock appointment. We left Sophia at home with grandma for the appointment, and said we would be back in about an hour.

The doctor asked if I was ready to have my baby already. “Well,” I said, “the timing would be perfect since my mother-in-law got in last night.” My due date was the third of December. He didn’t explain why but he said he wasn’t going to let me go too far past my due date, which was fine with me but I hoped that didn’t mean I c-section might be necessary. Surgery freaks me the hell out. Kurt indicated that he’d rather have it happen now and not in the middle of the night or most of the way through his mom’s visit, so I was induced via separating the membrane from the cervix which was rather painful.

“Have you had lunch?” The doctor asked.
“Um no, not yet.”
“Go have lunch but stay near the hospital.”

Kurt and I just looked at each other. Eh, ok. We went out to a grease bomb burger place called Mikey’s. They have great shakes there so I had one of those. Hey, if this is going to be my last uninterrupted meal for a few months I’m going to make this shit count.

I finished my burger. Kurt and I just sat there for a bit chatting, and then I began to feel contractions. Unlike my first pregnancy I had been having braxton hicks contractions through this one and these started out very much like those. After about ten minutes I looked straight at Kurt. Worried, because he’s in an almost constant state of worry, “Should we make our way back to the hospital?”

“Yeah probably.”

I believe it was at this point that Kurt called his mother to let her know this was going to be more than a prenatal checkup. We went to the hospital and hung out in the waiting area for a while before checking in. We knew they would accept me unless the baby was coming now now. Contractions kept getting stronger and closer together. We finally checked me in at about 4pm, but the nurse noted that I was still able to talk through my contractions, so she had us go out and walk around the halls for a bit. I think I waddled about a lap and a half and we were back at the check-in. “Wow, that was quick.” The nurse said wide-eyed. The nurse asked all the usual check-in questions. The fact that my last appointment was earlier that afternoon was brought up, and that the doctor had induced me. The nurse got angry and said something about him needing to call them before doing something like that to see if they have room. Immediately after her little rant she asked when my due date was.

“December third.” Just two days away.
“Oh,” and she recanted the rant, “that’s why.” I guess I didn’t look full term to her?

I made it known that I wanted an epidural. They I was dilated enough, but they couldn’t do that until I was in a room, which took about an hour. It took a while for the anesthesiologist to arrive. It may have been a busy night as the nurse indicated. I can’t help it if everyone in the area drank the same water in March. Maybe more than on anesthesiologist is needed for the Christmas babies.

“Have you had one of these before?” The anesthesiologist asked.
“How much do you want to feel.”
“Absolutely nothing.” In hindsight, maybe I should have been a little more tolerant of the possibility of pain. I sat on the bed and leaned forward as much as my squirmy belly would allow. The needle was inserted in my back between contractions. I could still feel the contractions.

“Give it some time.” We allowed for two or three more. The doctor was wanting me to get ready to push.

“I can still feel it.” I said maybe a little too frantically. The anesthesiologist gave me another full dose. Finally I didn’t feel the contractions. Of course now the problem was that I also had no control of my legs. None. Nothing. Nada. The doctor asked Kurt to move my leg into the stirrup. Kurt being super squeamish indicated that he really didn’t want to see anything.

“Just hold her leg up from there!” He yelled. Kurt did as ordered. Meanwhile I’m giggling at how useless I was. My legs may as well belong to another person.

After checking how things were progressing the doctor had a quiet exchange with the nurse then she told me in a very serious tone, “When he comes out we aren’t going to try to make him cry right away, and we need to have him in the incubator first.” I was then given an oxygen mask. “We need you to breathe with this to give the baby as much oxygen as possible.” The seriousness in her voice struck me. I was too scared to ask what was going on. I didn’t want to delay them in whatever needed to be done.

The hospital cradle was set up with receiving blankets and two other people came in the room. The specialist introduced himself and his assistant. He was there to check the baby’s lungs as soon as he comes out. There was meconium in the amniotic fluid. He again informed me that no one was going to encourage the baby to cry until he is checked out so that he doesn’t inhale any meconium. Suddenly the danger was more real. I found it both comforting and unnerving that this extra specialist was there.

Everyone was in place. It was time to push. Two or three pushes and he was out. And no one could stop Mr. Lung capacity from crying his head off (not that anyone tried to stop him). Mygod that is the loudest newborn I’ve ever heard. That little shit screamed the moment he came out (possibly inhaling poo) and then promptly peed on both the nurses. He was born at 8pm on December 1, 2010. We still weren’t completely decided on the name. Though by this point we had it narrowed down to two. The nurse wrote them on the board, Benjamin or Lukas.

Kurt took some pictures, held his boy, and called his mom to let her know her grandson had arrived. Kurt left after while so he could actually sleep and not on a couch. In the morning he brought his mom and Sophia. Grandma cooed over the baby while Sophia cuddled with me, but after a while the baby required sustenance. Sophia did not like that one bit. She crawled under my bed shouting, “I don’t want him! I don’t want him! I don’t want him!”

Lukas at the hay maze

Picture taken 10/18/14. Lukas was coming out of the hay maze at a local farm.

Lukas on the balance beam by himself for the first time

Picture taken 11/30/14 at gymnastics. He did the balance beam by himself for the first time.

What comes after 12?

I had to stop in at the vet’s office today for more IV needles for the cat and a poop test kit for the dog. I lead an exciting life. You wish you could be me don’t you? So anyway I had Lukas with me and I mistakenly popped into the office at the busiest time of the day. He was being a tiny bit obnoxious and wanting my attention. “Come here.” waving his hand to me, “come here mom.” I stepped out of line to see. He was pointing at a toy clock.

“Go ahead and play with it. That’s fine.” I told him. And so he proceeded to loudly recite his numbers twice while moving the clock hands around the face.

A friend of ours who happened to be there asked Lukas, “What comes after twelve?”

Lukas, who does know how to count past twelve didn’t give it a second thought, “It just goes back to one again.” And he giggled. Smart ass.

Lukas playing flow free on the computer.

Picture taken September 3rd. Lukas playing “flow free”. He was on level Level 90. Time 1 minute 22 seconds (on that screen not the entire game), turns 16 out of 7 (for that screen). Object of the game is to connect same color dots, filling all the spaces, without crossing the lines.

Welcome to our spaceship

Getting him into the car requires more patience than I can muster everyday. To get from one end of the house to the other he swipes his hand at the doorway of each room, or goes to the arm of the couch to punch in the code to open the ship doors. Yes, I blame Kurt. He couldn’t just leave the childhood movie indoctrination at Star Wars, no he must include Star Trek and begin the boy at the age of THREE.

My kids, when they fight, will yell out, “I’m going to Vulcan neck pinch you!” For fun they practice Darth Vader’s telekinesis neck strangle. Sophia will hold her arm out and slowly close her hand, fingers to thumb while Lukas pretends to choke and puts his hands to his throat. Everything is a light-saber. Everything.

To get into the car he has to open the door, punch in a code in the panel of the door where one sets the child safety lock, he gets in and flips the switch to the dome light, and punches in yet another code on the center console. If it’s just Lukas and I then his blanket (Friend) or Elmo needs to be buckled in Sophia’s seat. The seat-belt must go across and be secured. Then he takes his sweet-ass time getting into his own seat. And that’s not just leaving the house, but also leaving the store, park, wherever. This is why I no longer leave the house. Even if he just ate breakfast when this routine begins it’s time for another damn meal by the time he’s finished. And this doesn’t include all the pausing while he corrects me after I tell him to get in the car and get in his seat, “You mean FLYING car.” Yes, the flying car.

So these days I’ll occasionally find myself playing “Cribbage” on a spaceship with Lukas. He’ll get out a deck of “peanut” (pinochle) cards that he insist are for Yahtzee. He spends 20 minutes (I timed it, seriously) telling me how to play the game. I’m pretty sure these rules are made up and the points don’t seem to matter.


Picture taken August 6th for GISHWHES item #105 trickle-down ice-cream-onomics.

Bump her up already

At the end of her preschool career…is it a career? Really it’s less than a part-time job at three hours a day two days a week. Anyway throughout that and particularly at the end I was repeatedly told that Sophia knew everything. The teachers gushed at how smart she is. They asked me if I intended to put her in full-time kindergarten. Kurt and I believed it would be a good thing for her and we were willing to pay for it, so yes. Her teachers said they felt she would become board. We were informed that full-time kindergarten doesn’t mean more instruction – it’s the same curriculum, just with more hours. Because of that, the statement of her becoming bored coupled with the gushing and fawning over her intelligence, I asked, “So should she skip kindergarten?” And suddenly everyone looks at their feet and digs a toe into the floor.

We didn’t push anything. I didn’t understand all the gushing if they didn’t think skipping a grade was a possibility, so last year was part-time kindergarten. She was at the top of everything and did just fine. Just about all the goals for kindergarten were reached before that school year even started. This year is first grade. She brings two books home each night to read. At first the books were levels 16 and 18, which she mostly flew right though. She is now, while still within the first trimester of school, reading at level 20. Sophia told me that the goal the teacher set for the class was to be at level 6 by Christmas break.

Levels 16 through 20 are well within 2nd grade. It's not like she would be at the bottom of the class.

Well, I’m glad the teachers recognize where she is at and bump her to the next level in reading to keep it challenging for her. I just wish they would do the same in math. She is receiving sheets of addition problems for math class and flies right through them. I don’t think she’s really ready for third grade math or anything, but she did make up her own game that involves division. So it’s really cute that they gave her a blue ribbon stapled to her math sheet when she completed her assignment so quickly that she had time to write her numbers from 1 to 200, but to me that’s a sign the child needs to be bumped up.

Dirty Kurtie’s Tunes: Children that won’t drive me crazy

After a lot of begging on my part for another Dirty Kurtie gem of a tune Kurt wrote this one and emailed it to me, last year. Yeah I’ve sat on this one for a while. Though we do not sing it, this is pretty much our nightly theme song these days. To illustrate our need for our darling children to calm the fuck down, I present to you the twisted version of a 1978 hit… In the tune of I Need a Lover by John Cougar Mellencamp – Dirty Kurtie’s version goes like this:

I need some children that won’t drive me crazy
Some kids to hug me and then go away
I need some children that won’t drive me crazy
Some kids that knows the meaning of a
Hey shut the fuck up!

Playing at the beach in Washington

Picture taken ‎August ‎8, ‎2014. Lukas and Sophia playing on the rocks in a Washington “beach”.