The chronicles and ramblings of a stay-at-home father raising his three beautiful girls, Anya Rose, Caitlin Rose and Reegan Rose.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Can't Catch a Break...

We'll we had an interesting day today...

About two weeks ago Alicia and I took the Roses to one our of favorite neighborhood parks; a park we've  visited a hundred times before.  While I was chasing Anya in the grassy knoll, Alicia had Reegan in her arms and they we're on there way to join us.  Caitlin, not wanting to miss out on the action, started running to catch up.  To get to the grass area from the playground, you have to step over a plastic barrier to get to the grass.  Apparently Caitlin was too excited to look where she was walking.  She tripped over the barrier and fell on her belly.  As she cried we gave her the old, "You'll be fine."  We rubbed some dirt on it and I gave her a kiss, which is my Roses equivilent to a full dose of Percocet.  But my magic didn't seem to work.  For the rest of the night she nursed her arm. 

The next day she seemed to be in better spirits.  While still favoring her right arm, there were no signs of any serious damage.  A few days later everything seemed fine.  Occasionally Anya would grab a toy from her and she'd let out a whale, but in our house, that's nothing unusual.  Yesterday she was playing on the couch and took a header between the sofa and the end table.  She screamed for a half hour and again refused to use her left hand.  At this point I started thinking, "Maybe there's something more to this wrist thing..." but with a $5,000 insurance deductable, I thought I'd try a homeopathic remedy that has worked for me in the past; I put her to bed early.  

I guess there's a reason doctors go to school for so long...

While I laid with Caitlin on the couch this afternoon, she reached down to grab one of her babies and fell.  She put out her hands to break her fall and that was it.  She was in pain. I knew what we had to do.  We packed up the family and headed over to Urgent Care (we would have waited until tomorrow, but the Urgent Care receptionist assured us that there wasn't a price difference between a weekday and weekend visit). 

The doctor came in, took a look at it, and ordered up a X-Ray.  He called us over to check out the scans and diagnosed Caitlin with a 'distal radius ulnan buckle fractures.'  I'm pretty sure that's Latin for 'A cheap-ass dead-beat dad.'  In my defense, however, had he not showed me exactly where the problem was, I would have diagnosed her a major wuss, as there were seemingly no problems with her X-Ray.  

I felt horrible. He consoled us by saying that often times these fractures take care of themselves.  Apparently young bones are spongy enough to self correct themselves from minor fractures, but he thought that the repeated falls kept her from healing on her own.  Because both bones in her arm were fractured, he thought it would be best to put a cast on her. 

We took her in the casting room and Caitlin sat on mommy's lap while he started wrapping her up.  She didn't seem to mind it until he was about halfway through.  From that point until we we're in the car on the way home (a total of 20 minutes) she screamed, "Daddy, take it off!  Daddy, take it off!"  We managed to calm her down with a series of mild sedatives (Arby's and ice cream) and she seemed to come to terms with her new appendage. 

By the time she went to bed, she was getting a kick out of her new cast.  While laying in bed she was telling me all about it.   "Daddy it's big."  "Daddy it's hard."  The funny thing about it was that an hour later, in a completely different context, Alicia told me the exact same thing.

Tip of the Day:   If your child is still crying after you offer them a sticker, a lolly-pop, a hour of Dora episodes, two doses of Children's Tylenol, and a new coloring book, the have a 50/50 chance of having a real injury.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Growing Pains

Change is the only thing in life you can count on.  Here are a few of the recent changes that have occured at the Schmidt house:

Flushing the toilet has lost it's novelty.  Now raising the lid of the toilet is like unwrapping a Christmas present from Anya.  Except instead of wrapping paper and good cheer, it's toilet paper and last night's corn on the cob.

For Reegan going to the gym isn't the pleasant experience it once was.  The past three workouts were interupted by a call to the child care center to console a hysterical 1 year old.  You know that scene from Dumb and Dumber when Jim Carrey makes the 'most annoying sound in the world,' I'm getting a good 40 minutes of that a day.

While her vocabulary and motor skills continue to grow and develope, Caitlin's sense of reality continues to hover as though in a mild nitrious oxide high.  To walk a day in her shoes...  She just enjoys life.  Everything is so interesting to her.  I can't tell you how many times she's walked into walls because she is gazing off at a balloon, or a bubble, or a really cute pair of pumps. She is the epitome of innocence and has my heart.

It's easy to notice all the changes in your childrens lives. They are constantly growing; physically, emotionally, intellectually. But it's not so easy to notice our own growth. For all the changes that have taken place in my Roses, there has been a change that has happened to Alicia and I.  As we talked about it tonight, we remember how our mindsets have been completely reprogramed with each birth of our daughers.  The things we thought were important seem so insignificant now.  Your whole world seems different.  A rabbit isn't just rat with big legs that terrorizes gardens, it becomes a majestic creature to be sought out and chased.  Flowers I've walked by a thousand times without noticing have made for afternoons of fun with my girls.  Children have a way of boiling life down to it's simplest form.  That's what my wife and I have learned over the years, and everyday we strive to open our eyes to the wonders of the world that are right here in our lives.

Tip of the Day - Never purchase Itsy Bits ice cream if you have a type A personality.  Unlike a regular ice cream spill which lands in one place, these orbs from hell travel far and wide and leave a rainbow of colors on your white carpeting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

I have a few 'firsts' to announce. Just days before Reegan's first birthday, she started taking her first steps. We were up at the cabin when she mustered up the courage to take those first daring steps.  Below is a video we took of one of her earliest strolls at the cabin.  Make sure to watch it in it's entirety, you won't be disappointed.

I have my phone handy in case Tosh.0 wants Reegan for a Web Redemption in a few years.  Priceless.  

NOTE - No children were hurt in the making of this video. If you slow motion the fall you will see her face smashes the padded part of the couch.  I recommend watching it several time for full effect.

Another 'first' from this past week is that it was our first family vacation that I was able to actually relax.  We went up to the cabin last Wednesday and spend the next few days with Papa, Nana, and Great Grandma.  Understand that when I use the term cabin, I use it in the simplest sense; it's an 800 ft shack with minimal accomodations.  To steal a quote from a wiser man than I (Walter from The Big Lebowski), "It's beauty is in it's simplicity."  We had a wonderful time doing nothing, and I couldn't ask for more.

Up at the cabin Anya fished for the first time.  Okay maybe it wasn't her actual first time, but it was the first time she sat in the boat with Papa and I and didn't have to pee, eat, or lose any expensive tackle.  She learned how to cast and even landed a few fish on her own.  The most entertaining part of the ordeal was listening to Anya explain why she was catching fish while Papa and I were not.  "That fish was talking to his daddy about the lilly pads and wanted to get some food so they could go on a date, that's why he ate my worm."  She's got it all figured out.

This past week Reegan was introduced to a whole slew of new fauna.  Before we left for the cabin, all the Roses and I (mom included) went to a small pond near our house to feed the ducks some bread.  Everyone had a great time throwing moldy bread to half starved ducks.  To our surprise a couple of painted turtles decided to join in the feast.  As neat as they were in the water, I thought it would be a special treat if I could catch one and bring it on land for the girls.  As a turtle appoached the surface, I Jean Claude Van Damme-d his ass (for those of you unfamiliar with Bloodsport, he snatches a goldfish from a pond as some sort of quickness training).  Unlike Van Damme, when I grabbed the turtle I didn't have a bad-ass grimace on my face, rather I squealed like a pansy.  Either way, I brought the turtle to shore.  Anya and Caitlin screamed with excitement, but were far to scared to actually touch the thing.  Reegan, on the other hand, embraced the opportunity to touch this unique reptile.  After a few failed attempts at catching him, she managed to grab him by the shell and proceded to attempt to bite him in the head.  Lucky for her, mom jumped in and took him out of her hand.  They say that painters don't bite, but I can't imagine this guy wasn't going to take that sort of aggression without a fight.  Her crawled around for a few more minutes before we released him back to the wild (the man made pond in which we found him).

Looking back at this week it has made me realize that it's the simple things in life that really bring the most joy to my life.  My most priceless memories are so simple; watching Reegan react to new experiences, cuddling with Caitlin on the couch, seeing Anya light up at the sight of a 3 inch sunny, and making out with my wife in the woods.  What a lucky man I am.

Tip of the Day:  If you know of a lake that is over populated with sunfish, let me know.  Anya is a pro at 'thinning' fish populations.  The survival ratio of fish she caught was about 30%, primarily because she was too busy explaining why she was a better fisherwoman than I, while a sunny had half digested her worm before she realized it was on her hook.