Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day One: Charlie's Comfort

Part One: Calico Boy

At the last minute, I thought to dash back into the house to grab a pillow and blanket and this turned out to be providential.

Charlie rode to the pediatricians propped on John's shoulder, blanket in his lap. In the waiting room, he lay over two chairs, pillow under head, warm and cozy. The blanket covered all of him on the examining table except for one arm. This he had to expose to the vampires. "Don't hurt me. Don't pinch me! Don't!" Two pinches later, they had a small teaspoon of my son.

He rested, head on pillow, and looked over my shoulder at the pages of Frog and Toad while we waited for the results. White count quite elevated. Strep...negative. Mono...negative. Leukemia...possible but unlikely. He needs anibiotics via i.v. Take these admission papers; the hospital is waiting for him.

Blanket protected Charlie from drenching sky as I carried him to the car. One of the girls carried his pillow. Quick phone call to Stuart. "Meet us." Quick zip though the drive through to feed four hungry kids and one hungry mama a four-o'clock lunch.

Blanket wrapped and I carried him into admissions. "I wish I could ride in a wheelchair. Your brother is heavy!"

Charlie stretched across waiting room chairs. "Can you hop up in this wheelchair?"

"Nuh uh."

So I rode, Charlie in my lap, pillow tucked behind, blanket draped over. Into hospital gown, weigh and measure, i.v. port in on the second try. "Don't pinch! I want to lay down! I want to lay doowwn! Pillow on the bed, pale boy under green blanket.

Another wheelchair ride down the elevator for x-rays. Pillow over the arm of the chair; head down. Blanket on the x-ray table. "It's just a picture. Pictures don't pinch. Promise."

And finally, Charlie sleeps a fitful sleep, cozy in his blanket. I hold his hand in the midnight dark. A soft light shines out from under the bed. The i.v. clicks and drips. Child coughs a deep-lung, body-wracking cough in the next room. Somewhere in the maze of thin walls a baby wails and will not be comforted. Charlie stirs. "Do you hear that sad baby? Let's pray for him."

"No, Mama! Pray for me!"

I pray for both and Charlie moans and drifts back to sleep and in the late watches of the night, I lie awake and marvel again and again that the last minute dash for pillow and blanket brought great comfort to this unexpected day.

Day Two: Waiting

Friday, May 22, 2009

More, Please?...Here You Go

So you want to know about the fairy house?  I noted your curiosity and dashed into the rain, camera in hand, to shoot another photo minus the cat.  See the sweet little walkway of tiny stones that the girls laid out?  The tiny lantern has a solar powered battery so it gives a wee glow when the sun goes down. 

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Faith had her birthday all planned out, "Binoculars and an alarm clock, please."  We purchased and wrapped and were good to go when one morning I was flipping through the Plow and Hearth Catalog and spied these fairy accessories.  A bit of internal tug of war...  We already have her presents.  She doesn't really need this.  It's not like she can play with it... but  fifteen minutes later the goods were on their way to our front door.  Faith LOVES fairies.  She still plays the fairy game.  Now she has a door to deposit her minature delicacies at.  (No matter that we see the cat walking away licking her whiskers.)

We are on the hunt for tiny shade loving plants to line the walkway. I'm thinking ground cover that can be stepped on.  Any suggestions?  Wal-Mart has not offered up the perfect plant for this project; though today I found an ornamental grass on the way back to the car that had me running me into the store.  Isn't she a beauty? 

pennisetum

Accesorizing continues in the back yard.  I've got my eye on the Wizard door for a few of my fantasy lovers. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Backyard

The gorgeous weather draws us out of our cave. We wile away the hours in our backyard...


...sunning...

cat
(Allegra stretches out in front of Faith's birthday present.)

... playing...

colored chalk drawing
(This photo shows only a fraction of the graffiti explosion on our back patio.)

...working...

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(Lauren and John dump six hundred pounds of salt into the pool.)

...working and playing?!

Summer Reading
(Kaya is all the rage with the younger set.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bad Theology

We had to backpedal and find an easier children's Bible for Charlie because the Children's Story Bible is beyond his depth and breadth of knowledge. Still, he listens in when I read to Claire and Faith, "I know about those, Mama," he tells me as I read the story of the pillar of cloud and fire. "A firepillar is like a firefly."

Right...like this firepillar?


And for his own Bible time with his easy Bible story book, I point to Adam and Eve and ask, "Who are these people?" to which I receive this confident reply:

"That's Adam and Jamie "

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

10:30 Tuesday Night

It's almost summer.  Or maybe it already is summer because the kids have been swimming every day this week.  Time for school to wind down?  Not for us.  We're picking up the pace and buckling down.  For some reason we always get more school done in the summer than we do any other time of the year.

The kids have been busy with a new language arts program and a new approach to handwriting.  (More on these soon.)  Lauren is obsessed with biology.  We work in the gardens and she holds out specimens to the girls, "Look!  It's a gastropod."  Or, "Come see this wood louse!"

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 I introduced Claire and Faith to long division this afternoon.  This evening the children worked on art projects and played with a pile of hand-me-down stuffed animals while I read Great Expectations aloud to them. 

At ten I closed the book and after a quick candlelight question, sent the children off to bed.  At 10:15 Lauren came to get me so I could correct her science test.  She was too excited to wait until tomorrow to see how she did.  When I finished working with Lauren, I walked by Claire's bedroom where she was laying on her stomach, math notebook open in front of her.  I looked over her shoulder to see that she had created some long division problems for herself and was working on solving them.  For my children, it seems that learning is as essential as breathing.

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(Lauren reading Susan Wise Bauer's The Story of the World Vol. 3 on a recent sunny morning. Claire and Faith share binoculars to complete a project listed in Jeannie Fulbright's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.)