>A little of everything…

>What a full month we’ve had. Let me start by saying how thankful we are to live in an era that appreciates its service members. Every time I am thanked for my service I am taken aback because I am not in the service, my husband is. But on a regular basis people tell me how much they appreciate my willingness to let my husband serve our country. I know the wives of Vietnam vets had a completely different experience and for that, I am so sorry. I wish things were different. They served in even more difficult times, times without internet connections and DSN phone lines. They really had to serve in ways I never will. I am thankful I am a military wife during this particular time.

The community around Colorado Springs is especially sensitive to the needs of military families as we have 5 military installations located here. One of the many organizations that has taken time to give back to the military is Operation Military Kids. One of the ways they reach out is by hosting a Night in the Museum at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We arrived after the Museum had closed and picked our sleeping spots. (This picture is of the boys viewing a HUGE dinosaur skeleton at night, while the rest of the world slept… it was much later than our normal bedtimes!)
Then we had a four different “activities” that gave us hands on opportunities to learn. (This one is the boys learning how to heat an MRE… Matt said these are Meals Reluctant to Exit (although their technical name is Meals Ready to Eat.) I think my boys’ favorite was the Planetarium where we got got to “fly” from the museum to Afghanistan! It made us all a bit queasy as it felt SO real, and then while we were in “space” we actually flew THROUGH Mars. Bailey LOVED that!
We slept in the Space Odyssey Exhibition and felt quite a bit like we had lived through yet another youth group lock-in! But it was fun nonetheless! (This picture shows the “room” we turned into our bunkhouse before we unpacked…) (This picture shows the same room from the back corner after we unpacked. I placed our suitcases near the door to make a “door.”)
Changing subjects and going back in time a week we had one of our biggest medical emergencies as of yet. Many of you remember Hayden busting his head open when he was 3 and getting 5 stitches, poor guy. Most of you will remember Bailey’s bike crash a few months ago that really scared me. Now Carson has had his turn at reminding me that I am the mother to three very active boys. He was riding his bike on the sidewalk from home to the park (they are not allowed to ride in the street without me outside with them). The park is one unit away and behind all the houses so the most dangerous part is riding on the sidewalk toward the park… mostly a safe trip. Well, a lady was walking her dog on the sidewalk (how dare her!! Just kidding. Pedestrians have the right of way and bikes aren’t supposed to be on the sidewalk… I know, I know.) Carson swerved to get in the grass but his front tire went into a small groove between the sidewalk and the grass. Not sure exactly what happened but he busted his mouth on the handlebars and knocked out his front tooth. (This is his first lost tooth but at least we found it later!!) He came home screaming and as I heard he enter the house I knew that it wasn’t a small injury. I met him at the door and blood was everywhere, as mouth/head injuries produce absurd amounts of the red stuff. Fortunately the floor plan of this house has a bathroom place right by the garage door and we were right there at the sink. I tried my best to settle the little guy but he was screaming in pain. I tried my best to keep him from seeing his mouth and all the blood and did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. Once he was rinsed and had soft paper towels stopping up the blood I went back out to find the tooth. There was blood all over the sidewalk and I later had to clean it up. (BBC was going to come clean it but they couldn’t find it. How in the world they missed it, I’m not sure. But it took some Peroxide and an old toothbrush to get it cleaned up.)
Anyway, I called the boys’ dentist and the receptionist answered. She tried to get in touch with the hygienist or dentist but they had all gone home. While I was on the phone Matt arrived which was great: he was able to snuggle Carson who was no longer screaming but was still crying. It was too hard for me to hear the receptionist while Carson was crying so it was really perfect timing. Poor Matt had to come home to chaos that night! The receptionist gave me some tips for taking care of him and told me if I was uncomfortable I could take him to the ER. We hung up and I was debating on taking him in when the phone rang. She called back to let me know that she had eventually heard back from the dentist who was already on her way home. She wanted me to have the option to bring him in right away and of course, I needed to do that. 15 minutes later Carson was in the chair having X-rays taken of his mouth. I was so pleased that she was willing to do this! I was even MORE pleased that back in April I had changed dentists and the boys all had taken X-rays there so she had something to compare the new ones to.
After cleaning his mouth and examining him, she sent him with the receptionist (who stuck around to be an extra set of hands) and she talked to me. She really felt like he could use stitches but thought it would be a good idea to wait 24 hours to see how well his mouth would heal on its own. She sent me home with all sorts of things to clean and medicate the wound with, as well as instructions on how to do that. Carson had stopped crying by the time we left for the dentist and he never even whimpered while she was digging around in his mouth! She could not believe how tough he was! 20 hours later we went back in and she was ABSOLUTELY AMAZED at how much he had healed. He did not need stitches and she just wanted me to continue treating his wound and having him eat only soft foods for a week. This past week we went in for his 3 week check-up and she was completely convinced we had made the right choice. His mouth looks great and as far as we can tell, there are no tooth fragments in his gums. (To explain exactly what happened when he knocked his tooth out, notice the tooth below. It still had live roots attached, and was at least 6 months away from coming out on its own. He probably knocked it up and it hit the adult tooth. It came straight out through the gums making an incision all the way up to where his top lip is attached to his gums. Looking back I could see that he HAD to have been in severe pain! When I got my wisdom teeth removed I had them completely put me under and my 6 year old had this done in one split second with no pain relief!)
I’ve had some people ask me if I could have had them put it back in and the dentist said it was not a good idea with a baby tooth. An adult tooth, yes. I would have put it in milk and they would have done that. But not a baby tooth.
(This was the syringe I used to clean his wound several times a day with salt water.) Bailey in the background glad it’s Carson about to be worked on and not himself!) Carson would lie perfectly still while I worked on him! Again, a tough little guy! And here’s the cutie with a swollen top lip! Missing a tooth!
And a final note to update you on our little one. I had my 12 week appointment this week and it was SO neat to see our fourth child moving around. He/she was very active and adorable! It should not surprise me to see this child go from shrimp-like to human-like in a few short weeks, but it never fails to amaze me. He/she was sucking on a hand, and kicking around. I can’t wait to start feeling him/her, but more than that, I can’t wait to be able to officially call this child a him/her. The anticipation is fun, but I know I won’t be able to wait until March to know if we’re having a Parker or an Anna. Unless, of course, this child is as modest as Hayden was and refuses to show us what we want to see! Seeing our child made this a bit more real! We are excited and are thankful (almost) everything is going along well. The “almost” refers to the fact that I failed the one-hour glucose test and will have to go this week for the three-hour one. While I don’t look forward to this, I will sit in a waiting room sans kids for 3 hours reading. As a mother, I must admit it sounds kind of relaxing.
Okay, so I said that last one was a final note, but there’s one more note…
We’re going to Disney World!
I have always wanted to take the boys there while they are still of the magical age, but never thought it would be possible. Well, thanks to Disney for having amazing military deals on 5-day park hopper passes and to Melissa, our travel agent, who got us a hotel/food package for less than half what it would have been otherwise! I can’t believe this is happening, but I am thankful it is!
A friend from high school suggests letting family and friends who would have purchased Christmas gifts for the boys give us “Disney Dollars” so the boys can each buy a souvenir. I thought that was a great idea. Only problem is, we’re going in November, before Christmas, so I’m not sure this will happen! But it’s a great idea, anyway!
Well, off to make lunch for my stinky boys! They’ve been out playing on the playground… mmmm… yummy.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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