Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another weekend, another boo-boo...

I'm thinking that boo-boos are going to be an ever-increasing occurrence in our lives for a while, now that summer is here and Jacob is as active as ever. Unfortunately, increased activity has not been accompanied by increase gracefulness, so Jacob's clumsiness is becoming more of a factor than it was before. I'll get to the full story in a bit, but here's the rundown of our Memorial Day weekend.

On Friday afternoon I discovered that the carousel down by the lake was giving out free rides. We always enjoy our visits to Charlotte (pronounced Shar-lot, with emphasis on the "-lot"), which is the northernmost area of Greece, right up on the lake. It's the same place we went to when we did our big beach day last summer. We figured we'd get our free carousel ride, then get some ice cream to enjoy on a lovely evening. Well...when we got up there, there were emergency vehicles everywhere. There's usually a decent police presence around there, but nothing like this. There had to be 20-30 vehicles with flashers everywhere you looked. As we headed to the carousel, which is in the park adjacent to the beach and the Charlotte pier, we could see people crowded around the railings near the area where the Genesee River empties into Lake Ontario. Since we only had a half hour to get our ride in and we weren't sure what kind of line might await us, we headed to the carousel and figured we'd find out the big story later.

I figured Jacob might like the carousel a lot since he has no problem spinning himself until he's dizzy or playing Superman while perched on my feet when I lay on the ground. He never really seemed to shy away from speed or bumps or any of that stuff, so I was hoping that we had bred a new little roller coaster freak for me to ride crazy rides with, since Craig definitely does NOT fill that role. So, we got to the carousel building, a classic, wooden, open-air pavilion with a cool pipe organ providing the riding music. The carousel has a variety of animals to choose from. The top two rows of animals move up and down, and the outside of the ring has a variety of options including traditional animals on poles and benches. Jacob seemed intrigued from the moment we got there. We waited through two rides for our turn (not bad considering it was a nice night and it was free), and selected a couple rabbits to ride on (since Jacob likes bunnies). Here he is scoping things out once we were on...
And yes, here he is once the ride started...

Ok, so we don't have a rider on our hands...yet. As soon as the ride started moving, Jacob got this scared look on his face. You know the one...where he starts figuring out that it's more than he bargained for, the one that quickly transitions into the trembling lower lip and sudden sobs of fear. We did our best to calm him and distract him until the ride was over, and other than a few bursts of tears, he did ok. He did bring up the "horsies" again on Saturday in a more positive light, so I think he'll grow into it. It might have just been a little too much to process the first time around. Anyway...once we got off the carousel we took a casual walk to where all of the activity was. The crowds were starting to thin by that point, but we got an idea of what had happened from the remaining on-lookers...and the full story on the news that night. A group of friends were jumping off the pier and one, a 20-year-old guy, never resurfaced. He was underwater for 45 minutes and was apparently pulled out alive, but by the next morning the paper reported he had died. So very sad and such a needless tragedy. It brought up the thought yet again--how do you teach your child to have fun but think intelligently and make good friends that won't get them into situations like that? Ugh. After that we headed to get some ice cream. Craig and I were both going to share ours with Jacob, but he took a liking to my fat-free chocolate with sprinkles and could only be enticed away by Craig's cone near the end. Still, it was a nice night out.

Saturday Craig had an event to go to for most of the afternoon and all evening, so for most of the day it was just me and Jacob. Still, before Craig left he got to take an unexpected nap with Jacob when Jacob fell asleep out of the blue on the way home from a trip to Wegmans with me. He slept for a good hour and a half, if not two hours, and I got to be nice and productive. I put assembled the pictures on the flash drive, as I mentioned in my last post, and I filled in some of the blanks in Jacob's baby book, with the aid of this very blog. Once Craig took off, I did a little work outside, including inflating and filling Jacob's little pool, the one he slept in one night last summer when we found ourselves without a pack and play for him on a trip to Buffalo. Despite the crazy hot weather all weekend, our schedules never worked out for Jacob to play in it. Between our many activities and his crazy nap schedule, it just didn't happen. Ugh. But still, it was quite an undertaking and it was nice to get it done. One of these days we'll get OUR pool open. Anyway...after a productive shopping trip in which I got Jacob a new baseball cap (less than $4!), new swim trunks (less than $5!), and the last package of medium swim diapers that still had the travel sunscreen sample attached (score!), among other things, we headed out to Craig's event. It was at a bar downtown, where some of the big lacrosse fans and one of the Knighthawks were watching the NCAA lacrosse semifinals out on their patio. It was a gorgeous night and Jacob had a blast. There was a mini-net and lacrosse sticks galore...and not just the ones he brought from home. Here he is showing his form in his new hat...
Many of the people there took turns playing lacrosse with him. I think they just liked the idea of such a little boy being so obsessed with the sport, and they wanted to encourage it! Jacob wasn't shy, either, so he had a busy night in front of the net. And yes, people are convinced he's going to be a goalie. He does have a great stance already, but I'm not sure mommy can take the stress if he ends up being a hockey or lacrosse goalie, or even a baseball pitcher or a quarterback, considering his love of throwing. Yikes! Later in the evening he got his hands on a real lacrosse goalie stick, courtesy of the Knighthawk in attendance, goalie Aaron Bold. It was HUGE, and Jacob loved it!

After two late-ish nights, we knew Sunday was going to be a challenge. And it was. Church was tough. But before that, I did catch a smile on Jacob's face as he was running around the house in an old batting helmet of Craig's. He wanted this helmet (an old Baltimore Orioles one) as his constant companion.

Sunday was shaping up to be another wacky nap day, but we managed to have a nice lunch out (at Olive Garden, with a coupon...I can't remember the last time I was there, seriously.) and then lulled Jacob to sleep with driving our leftovers home and then heading to the zoo. It was the first time we went this year as a family. Unfortunately, it was probably too hot to really see the animals doing much, but it was still a nice day for it on our end, and once Jacob woke up upon arrival, he actually got into the animals quite a bit...he loves the monkeys and thinks the rhinos are cool. He also really liked the otter, who was swimming around quite a bit that day. I tried again to get a good picture of him with the big stuffed polar bears, but this was as close as I got this time around...
Craig got in on the action and added his own fun to the photo...not sure how well you'll be able to see it, but notice the props he added to the bears...in the left bear's paws, and the right bear's mouth...yep, Jacob's constant companions have been taken over by the bears... ;-)


Jacob took a good nap after that escapade, and Sunday night would have ended up pretty low key if not for Jacob's new boo-boo. We had just finished dinner and I got Jacob down from his high chair. Craig was upstairs in the bathroom, and I was finishing up the kitchen cleanup. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Jacob started screaming. Craig saw him first, and he was on the floor next to the foot of our chaise armchair. It became apparent that he had bumped his head. Originally we thought it was on the chair, but then he pointed to the coffee table. All we can figure is that he fell into the coffee table (like I said, he's clumsy) and he hit his right ear on the corner of the coffee table. His ear was tough to figure out, though. There was a small cut on the backside of the ear that bled a little bit. The front looked like it had a little slit as well, but that wasn't bleeding. He wouldn't let us get close enough to figure out if it cut all the way through, though. Still not sure, actually. But the thing that freaked us out was that the top inside of his ear turned purple. Really purple. We called the doctor and the afterhours person that called us back wasn't very reassuring. He said that we had to make sure it didn't get worse and swell up, because that could mean that the blood supply was getting cut off and it could do damage. He said that if it got worse we should go to the ER. Now...I know this going to sound bad, but our copay for the emergency room is $150. That is a lot of money. Back when we had our first two ER visits, it was only $50. It stunk to pay that then, mostly because in both cases they couldn't really do anything for us except give us peace of mind. Obviously if Jacob had a visible, serious injury like a broken bone or a gaping cut we would just bite the bullet and do it. You do what you need to do. But when it's a borderline thing, like a cut that stops bleedin or possible (but admittedly not probable) dehydration, it's a tough call. We erred on the side of caution both of those times, but this one was a tough call. On any other body part, you'd say, ok, it's purple...it's a bruise and it will go away. But it wasn't swelling up. But the fact that the afterhours guy was a little less comforting made me want to go on the internet and see what the risks were. Basically, there's a condition called cauliflower ear where a hematoma (bruise) blocks the blood supply to the cartilage (because the skin around the cartilage is its only blood supply) and the tissue becomes deformed. When I was looking at Jacob in the bathroom before we put him to bed, I noticed that the good ear was transparent in the light, while the other ear was not, thanks to pooled blood. So, armed with that knowledge and what I'd seen on the internet, I called back to ask more questions, like how quickly damage might be done, or how we'd know the difference between a bruise and something that could do serious damage. This time the woman that called back told us not to worry about it. If it got noticeably worse, then we could start to get concerned. But it was just a bruise and we were ok to relax. And sure enough, so far so good. His ear is still really purple, though. And for the record, it wasn't just a money thing either. I have a nasty cold myself and the thought of dragging Jacob to the ER at his bedtime and screwing up his sleep even more than it already was was just painful to think about. S0, $150 saved, plus our sanity. But it made for an anxious night.
Monday was a busy day, with a visit from my parents in the morning. They brought Jacob's basketball hoop that he tested out last weekend. He played a lot outside that morning, and the heat was already pretty unbearable. Around noon we headed out to my Aunt Lynne & Uncle Cliff's for a Memorial Day party with a good chunk of my dad's family. We had a good time, but the heat was pretty awful. Jacob played through it all, reveling in the opportunity to play hockey and lacrosse with his big second cousin Jaxon, who's probably as sports-crazed as him! Jax probably prefers golf above all, but he's definitely all-around talented. They had a lot of fun, and Jax actually saved Craig, me, and my parents from a full-on bout of heat exhaustion, I think! After that, we headed home and a friend of ours came over to watch the NCAA lacrosse final with Craig. Jacob fell asleep on the way home and ended up sleeping for over three hours (!) before I finally went in and woke him up after a two hour nap of my own. Needless to say his sleep schedule has been off for a few days. He's napped here and there and stayed awake in bed for an hour after we put him there...and you can definitely tell in his behavior. He was actually a bit of a mess even today after daycare, but he went down on time and relatively easy tonight, which I credit to a nice, quiet bedtime routine.
It was quite the weekend and it's nice to have a four day week this week. More weekend fun is just days away :)

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