Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Have New Counters and a New Sink!

No, I will not be scrubbing the white formica into my old age as I predicted. I will not be scrubbing ever again, because my new high definition laminate is so incredibly stain-resistant and non-porous, not to mention fleckled and grantite-looking, that no strawberry juice will ever be able to weasel its way into the surface to cause any sort of stain whatsoever! And my inegrated sink is so incredible lovely, who would have thught a sink could be lovely. But it is. And I love the little spray thing that comes out of the actual faucet.

And no more orange, faded fakey-wood ugly cabiets. They are painted white, and look fresh and brand-new. I am thrilled. I have waited nine years for this moment. I actually enjoy cleaning up after dinner and cooking is fun when one doesn't have to worry about staining the counters.

Thanks to the US Congress for the economic stimulus check that made this home improvement possible. We have done our part to stimulate the economy and then some.

Thanks to Darren for spearheading the cupboard-painting project. It was a big deal! And a huge improvement! He will no longer have to listen to me saying that I want to paint the cupboards and get new counters. He can listen to me say that we should start thinking about the floor . . . so in another nine years . . .

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Not Again Nathan

I had just locked the bathroom door behind me when Adrie screamed up the stairs, "Mom, Nathan's hurt bad--COME QUICK!" I finished as fast as humanly possible and ran up the street to where the neighborhood soccer game was going on.

Darren was at a conference in Washington, D.C. This was all mine.

Nathan was lying on the grass with a bunch of kids hovering over him. My neighbor, Alex, had a towel wrapped around his leg. Adrie whispered, "Mom don't freak out" as Alex moved the towel aside quickly to reveal the most hideous gash I had ever seen. Two of Nathan's buddies stood around with gaping mouths looking from me to Nathan anxiously. Nathan's knee was split six inches across, clear to the bone.

"What did you hit, Nathan?" I asked. Nathan moaned.

"We think the sprinkler head," Alex said. "But we're not sure."

"He must have been going 100 miles an hour," I told Alex.

"I was sliding to get a goal," Nathan choked. Ahhh. The all-important goal. Something to risk life and limb over. Literally. I hated all sports at that moment.

I managed not to react, but mustered up all the serenity I knew I had hiding somewhere. We called the neighbor over, Jeff, and his wife, Debbie, who is a nurse. "He needs to go to the emergency room right now," Debbie said calmly after a small glance underneath the towel. Jeff and his son Mark loaded Nathan onto my lap into Alex's back seat and I cradled his head and told him stories in the back seat as we drove to the ER.

In the ER we were first among all the other patients after the nurse looked at his leg. They made him stand on the scale even though I told the nurse exactly how much he weighed. I couldn't believe how slow it was to get checked in.

The worst part was the multiple shots into the open wound to deaden it. He was amazingly brave and strong during the ordeal. He would squeeze my hand when a shot went in and grab my head. When the pain dissipated for a minute, he would relax and wipe away the tears. I was it at that moment. His only comfort.

Then came irrigation of the wound. The nurse washed out a tons of grass and dirt with warm water that Nathan said felt really good. He managed to let a small smile escape.

Grandpa Greg and Uncle Alan showed up to give comfort and a blessing. Thank you both.

Then came stitches. The doctor thought it would take 20 minutes. It took nearly an hour. He did the under layer first with the self-dissolving kind. Then the top, which took nearly 30 to get the wound closed. When finished it looked like a baseball. Then ex-rays to make sure it wasn't broken. Then a tetanus shot. Then a knee immobilizer so he can't bend his leg.

Speaking of baseball, Nathan's out for the season. Sound familiar? He can't bend his knee for five days or the stitches could pop out. We are trying to find ways to entertain him.

Just Monday he was at the pool with his two soccer buddies, jumping off the diving board and going down the slide.

That's out for a month.

UGGGHHHH! I don't know if I can take it for the third time in nine months.

We clean the wound, change the dressing and slather it with antibiotic ointment three to four times a day. We take Tylenol with codeine for the pain. We are grateful to live in the era of TV, DVDs, game cube, computer games and board games.

We're grateful he didn't sever any tendons and need surgery. He has escaped surgery several times in the past nine months.

I am wondering how to build a bubble around my accident-prone, super-competitive son, to protect him from himself. Or to at least give the neighbors a break.

Jeff, my neighbor, called later to see how Nathan was doing. He said he's had five boys, hundreds of stitches, and too many trips to the ER to count. "It's just boys," he tries to reassure me.

Darren and I are not so sure. We think he needs to chill out when he's playing sports. Especially when it's just on someone's front lawn. He plays everything like it's the finals in a tournament!

"That's one tough kid you've got there," Jeff said. From how the past year has gone, he's going to need to be tough.

Later I remembered my Dad and his multiple scars. He had a smiley-face scar on his knee as well, and when he was entertaining kids, he used to love to pull up his pants and move the scar around and pretend it was talking! I wish I could remember now the story of how he got it. I probably heard it a hundred times.

It was eerily similar to Nathan's!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baby A and Baby B are Born!

The miracle of birth has blessed our family. Check out this amazing photo show that will warm your heart.

Monday June 2 was a grueling day for the Kim and Alan Hawkins family and the Grandma Rene and Grandpa Greg Hawkins family. The Ellen and Darren Hawkins family were also worried and a bit stressed toward the end of an unfairly long labor. We kept getting texts all day long that would lead us to believe that Baby A and Baby B were going to make their way into the world soon. Then we wouldn't hear back forever. Of course we imagined the best and the worst off and on all day.

At 9 pm after about 24 hours into Kim's labor we started imagining the worst. While Darren was wondering why his tomato plants seemed sick and was consulting an online website and Nathan was working on his cub scout merit badge, Adrie, Sammie, Leah and I were climbing the walls. At one point I yelled, "How can you care about something so insignificant as tomato plants when those babies haven't come yet?"

"Settle down!" he told me.

"But you've never felt what that feels like physically!"

"Yes, but I was there with you. Will you take these tomato leaves into the nursery tomorrow and ask the guy what's wrong with them?"

It would be my greatest pleasure.

We got a call about 15 minutes later. Both babies were born, 7 minutes apart. Both were OK. But the seven minutes in between their births were minutes that Kim and Alan would like to soon forget.

Cheers erupted.

Baby A came out as planned, looking well and breathing well. But Baby B was coming out legs first, breech! While the doctor pulled on Baby Bs little legs four strong people were pushing on Kim from on top in strategic locations. It was excruciating despite the massive epidural block pumping it's soothing magic into Kim. They were minutes away from a C section if baby B didn't get out soon. The pushing and pulling continued. Right when they were about to do a C section, the doctor felt the tightness dissipate, and they gave a huge heave from on top and Baby B came out blue and not breathing.

They whisked her away and worked on her for several minutes before she sputtered and cried, flooding Kim and Alan with blessed relief.

And then yesterday, these perfect, dark-haired pink bundles came home from the hospital to three sisters and a brother who had long been waiting to meet Baby A--Lauren Elizabeth, and Baby B--Olivia Diane. Olivia's little legs are bruised quite badly from being pulled on, but both babies are amazingly perfect and gorgeous.

Welcome to the world, Lauren and Olivia.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

School's Out

Another school year has whizzed by, except for April when it was never nice weather and I didn't like that and was mostly grumpy. Sorry for all who have to deal with me daily. It's the weather's fault!

Adrie took two AP tests a couple weeks ago, and hopefully passed. I personally think they're overrated. But she's taking three next year. Sheesh! We celebrated by taking her and a couple of friends to this awesome new Italian place in downtown Provo. She's got great friends. I am very happy about that. Now she's onto lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons. She wants to do this 40 hours a week.

Sammie is volunteering helping kids learn art this summer, babysitting, going to girls camp, and attending an acting camp. She might fit group piano in there somewhere.

Nathan is doing soccer camp in June and not much in July. He's playing little league baseball until the end of June. Go Red Sox. His fielding is great, and his batting's improving. I will try to get him into some swim lessons. He hates swimming. My goal is to get him through the summer without hurting his ankle!

Leah had a fantastic clogging recital last week. She shined! She starts swim lessons tomorrow. Later in June she has an art camp (the same one that Sammie's volunteering with) and a cheer camp at BYU. I know cheer camp sounds horrible. But it's mostly tumbling and dancing. And she loves that. She may come attend an occasional clogging class.

My sister's gonna be here in three weeks or less! Yeah.

My sister in law's gonna deliver twins any second now. Exciting.

Two sister in laws will be here later in the month.

My brother Mark and sister in law Ginger started a blog. If you love plants and boating and Seattle and interesting things about home repair and landscaping you'll love what they have to say.

Happy June. One of my most favoritest months of the year.