Friday, April 12, 2013

Birthday Girl

Our little Sophie is five.  Wow, did that ever go fast?!  It seems only a couple of years ago she was the sweet, chunky 5 month old we trekked 2200 miles across country in our first big move.  But whamo! Now she's 5!

She started off the morning so excited to go to preschool.  We made muffins and took fruit on toothpicks to share for snack.  But almost immediately after picking her up from school she was like this ...
The poor thing got sick and stayed that way for four-long-days.  She ended up losing 5 lbs. out of the whole thing, which is a lot when you're a little one.  So her birthday was a lot more low-key, which actually is very refreshing.  

She kept changing what she wanted her birthday cake to be: a ballerina cake, a princess cake, a Tinkerbell cake.  Originally she wanted it to be pink, then purple, then rainbow, and in the end it was a chocolate cake with a Polly Pocket doll stuck in the top:).  (I know, my cake decorating skills are amazing;), the round part was supposed to be the doll's bottom part of her dress, haha, but when Sophie got sick, we didn't worry about the details;)).

At one point during the day I asked if she wanted to make the cake on a different day and she said no.  I told her we could freeze a piece for her and she said, "I don't ever want to have birthday cake, EVER".  That's when I knew it was serious:).  We did coax her to sit on my lap so we could sing to her.  Even though she didn't even want to blow out the candles, she had plenty of helpers.  Poor thing, she was miserable.  It was a stomach bug that lingered and lingered.

Little Sophie is such a joy.  She's very content to play by herself, is a fantastic artist (she looooves to color pictures ... we've had to limit her use of computer paper, which is her favorite medium, or else she'd easily go through a ream per week), she's tall for her age, and is a great big sister.  She loves her preschool and loves to go visiting teaching with me so she can hold all the babies, pet all the dogs, and play with all the friends we  visit.  She's been my little companion so long that I will really miss her when she goes to school next year.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mouthful of baseball

Last year I forgot the deadline of baseball and so this year Wes kept reminding me so it wouldn't happen again.  He and Kate are on a baseball team of seven other 7-8 year-old boys.  They've only practiced a couple of times, but so far they love it.

Yesterday at ball practice Wes was going for a fly ball and completely missed it with his mitt, but completely got it with his mouth.  I was looking on from a nearby playground where Joshua and Sophie were playing.  Matt was closer to the field at a picnic table grading papers.  Matt immediately got up to go help Wes.  After a few seconds I followed when I saw a lady run to find ice.  So I grabbed one of Joshua's cloth diaper inserts and a water bottle and went to where they were leading him off the field.  

Wes had a good amount of blood on his hands from where he was holding his mouth, but what looked so strange were the blood splatters on the back of his t-shirt just below the collar.  I'm not exactly sure how they got there, but I guess he was looking up so his head was back, but it just looked so strange.  

I got the insert wet and put it up to his mouth.  After a bit he started rinsing and spitting and then the ice lady came.  He already looked like a duck-billed platypus because his top lip was so swollen.  His right upper permanent tooth and the baby tooth immediately to its right looked displaced a little, kind of like they were a centimeter or two lower than where they should be.  He gently wiggled his baby tooth and it was pretty wobbly.  What made me more worried was that I could move his permanent tooth up slightly.  

He took it like a champ although it took him a good 10 minutes to get control of his emotions and regular breathing.  After a call to a pediatric dentist in our ward, we decided to take him to the dentist in the morning for x-rays.  

Here's a picture at the park after being cleaned up.  He was trying to smile:).  (Just a little side note .. Wes is our family worrier.)
I wish I'd gotten a picture of the gums and teeth last night but Wes didn't feel like showing me anymore after I'd already looked at it a thousand times;).  I told him it's a good thing it's in the mouth because it's the fastest healing place (I don't know if that's true, but I think it is?).  

We got to the dentist this morning and the first thing she said was, "I can always tell when baseball season starts."  She took actual pictures of his teeth and then x-rays as well.  Thankfully no damage was done to the roots.  The baby tooth won't firm up again, but that's no biggie.  His permanent tooth is slightly lower and pushed in a little, but she says not enough to be concerned about; that it will probably correct itself.  The digital pictures are for reference later on down the line.  

So the final prognosis?  We avoided disaster by the skin of our teeth.  Our dentist recommend the cheap boil and bite mouth guards for both Wes and Kate to avoid any future problems.  

Here's the picture I finally got this afternoon.  I can't tell you how much better his mouth looks, even from this morning!  His upper gum is a little more purple than the picture shows but it looks so much better.
Wes still slurs like the professor from Horton Hears a Who, but he's in much better spirits.

Nightly Prayers

He was showing me his mouth here because I had just been taking pictures of Wes' baseball battered mouth

This is one of those that if I don't write it down right away, it might be lost in my memory banks.  Tonight I took Joshua upstairs for bedtime.  It was pretty late and so I put him straight in his bed.  He protested with his usual yell that tells me I did something he didn't like.  This time it was because we didn't kneel down for prayers beside his bed.  It's really only a practice we started with him a couple of weeks ago.  He regularly participates in our nightly family prayers, minus saying the prayer himself;), but we've bypassed his own nightly prayers until very recently.  But evidently he's catching the habit.  Love him.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Virginia is for Lovers

A difficult part of having educational employment is that Matt's Spring Break never lines up with when our children's is.  What we've compromised is getting things done around the house during Matt's first part of the break, and then pick up the kids from school on Thursday and have them miss Friday while we explore a new place.

This year we left the destination up to Wes, Kate and Sophie.  The choices were A) Philadelphia and the Franklin Institute and Valley Forge, and B) Richmond, VA, the children's museum there, and the National Zoo in D.C.

We gave the proposal to them over breakfast a few days before and it was split momentarily, with Wes wanting Richmond and Kate wanting Philly.  Sophie didn't really care as long as a hotel and swimming pool was involved, but when we got deeper into the options, the Children's Museum won her over, so off to Richmond we went.

We picked up Wes and Kate from school and headed South.  A short time later we came to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  It's a 20-mile long toll tunnel connecting the lower part of Delmarva (DELaware-MARyland -VirginiA), also known as the Eastern Shore, to the mainland part of Virginia.

Picture from
While traveling on it you drive under the ocean through tunnels, twice.  The gaps allow ships to cross over without the need of a substantial drawbridge.

 This is our picture while on it.  And then the picture below was as we were descending toward the first tunnel.

This is our fourth or fifth time on the bridge but it hasn't gotten old yet.

One of the places we visited while in Richmond was Maymont, an estate given to the city after its owners, James and Sallie Dooley, passed away.  It has beautiful grounds, a petting zoo area, areas for wildlife, and the Dooley's mansion.

This really isn't a fair comparison, because Downton Abbey is gigantic, but it had that kind of feel.  Very ornate, A below kitchen for the servants, gas and electric candles/chandeliers because electricity in homes was still very new, a state of the art telephone in the butler's area.  It was pretty cool, although Wes and Kate didn't appreciate it as much as I did;).  Matt had Sophie and Joshua outside.  They started the tour but lasted all of 90 seconds.  
After Maymont we went to the Children's Museum and played and played and played.  
 After a full day of play we drove to Silver Spring, MD and crashed.  Matt loved the hotels for the cable access since it was the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.  The next morning I was able to sneak off to an early morning session at the D.C. temple, and then after breakfast we headed to the Zoo. Here's the cheetah area.

 We thought we'd spend most of the day there, but our kids were worn out, so after about 3-hours or so, we took off.  Since it was earlier than expected we were able to swing by the Church's Home Storage Center in the area and stock up on some items.

It was a fun and tiring trip but Matt and I are convinced that our children would've loved us getting a hotel down the street just the same, as long as it had a pool and continental breakfast;).

And for those still wondering ... Virginia is for Lovers is the state's awesome tourism and travel slogan:).