Monday, September 26, 2011

back in the saddle...or cleats.

When Eli broke his arm, he was sad about many things and one of which was missing soccer.  He really loves to play soccer...I mean REALLY.  So for the first game, he donned his purple jersey and cheered his team on from the sidelines.  He got to participate in the huddle, snacks and high fiving the opposing team, so that made him happy.  When he got half of his cast cut off last week, he was pumped to play in his first game. 
It was very comical (and a little cringe inducing) listening to Chad and I try to figure out how the bubble wrap should go around and how tight to pull it.  And oh the deicisons about which kind to get...the small bubbles, the large bubbles, etc.  As you can see below, it is wrapped tight!

I took the kids to the game and we were of course late and the gas light had been on for a while, but I ignored it as I typically do.  (side note:  I despise getting is such a interruption to me and my day....haha).  As soon as we arrived, the coach pulled him right into the game and boy, was he ready! 

However within 5 minutes, he took a fall right onto his broken arm (see video below).  If you listen, you can hear the bubble tape the bubble tape not only helps to soften the blow of a forearm ot the face, but also cushions a crazy kid's fall on his broken arm.  :)

He came out of the game in tears, but within a minute he wanted back in the game.  Other than that, he had a BLAST!  Always wanting to get in the game.  After the first goal he scored, he ran around, arms outstretched yelling, "GOOOOOOOAL!!!".  The coach's husband leans over to me and says sarcastically "Oh he doesn't watch professional soccer at all, does he?"  :)

He is so glad to be back in his cleats and out there doing something that broken arm had kept him from, but not anymore!  And we really love EBYA!  They have been really understanding of Eli's broken arm.

And who can forget about Eviegirl.  She cheered Eli on, as she is very supportive of her big bro.  She wanted to rock her new rain boots, thanks to Nana. 

Here is a goal that Eli shot below.  Can't wait to see the joy on his face this weekend again!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photography: The Amos Family

On Saturday, I was BLESSED to be able to meet the Amos family.  A few months ago, they brought home their new daughter from China and she is the epitome of sweetness.  This family was the most joyful, sweet, patient and gorgeous family.  God has blessed them immensely and I was privledged to not only have met them, but also to have photographed them.  Hope you enjoy the sneak peek of your photos, Amos family!

Monday, September 19, 2011

in the life of a broken armed kid

So it has been almost 17 days since Eli broke his arm.  It took about 2 days for Eli to go from in-too-much-pain-to-move to forgetting he even has a cast.  The doctor told us this would happen.  In most ways, we are thrilled that he isn't letting his cast get him down. 

He can't ride his bike. 
He can't jump off of the coffee table, stairs.
He can't bounce on his bed.
He can't do the monkey bars. 
He can't use the bathroom without help. 
He can't even climb a ladder or wrestle with Daddy like he used to. 

These are things that may get a kid down, but not Eli.  Random people ask all of the time how he broke his arm.  His answer: "I fell off of a toy hippopotamus.".  He sees the humor in it all.

Speaking of humor, at Chick Fil A last week Eli had to use the bathroom so Chad assisted. And on their way back to the play area, two elderly ladies remarked to each other about Eli's broken arm and wondering how it happened. At that same moment, Eli tripped over his own feet and almost wiped out completely and at this one of the ladies said "Oh, now I see!" Eli's teacher has told me he has fallen on his cast numerous times...the kid is a wild man...a klutzy one, but a wild one. 

Soccer started with his first game this past Saturday.  Chad took the kids (I had a photo session) and Eli donned his purple (yes, he isn't mistaken for a girl enough!) soccer jersey and cheered his team on excitedly from the sidelines.  Thursday he gets his cast cut down and then he can play...but it needs to be wrapped up in something soft lest a unknowing opposite team member gets knocked out during the game.  As our friend Clint suggested, we are trying on oven mits.  If that doesn't work, we'll do bubble wrap.

But as we are going through all of this, it really puts things in perspective.  That is what it is all about: perspective.  It is an arm.  It could have been a leg...much worse than an arm.  But it was an arm.  Someone I didn't even know, but through Facebook got to read about and follow, had his daughter die of a brain tumor last week.  She was 4.  I couldn't help, but to put myself in that family's shoes.  But it was an arm.  And I am thankful it was just an arm. 

Putting things in perspective helps me to not mind so much when I have to lift Eli into the car and my back gives out.  Or when he climbs into bed with us in the wee hours of the morning and his cast knocks me in the face.  Or when I have to clean up the one handed soap mess after he washes his one good hand.  All of that means he is still here, the cast is temporary and it is only a season of life.  :)


Eli's prayer from a while back that I had to post....

I have been trying to teach Eli to appreciate things and people and to be humble.  I explained and try to model through prayer how thankful and content we should be for what we have because many people have much less.  And this is Eli's prayer:

"God, thank you for Mommy.  She is so beautiful, so nice, so caring, fantastic, so graceful.  Thank you for Daddy.  He is so handsome and so fun.  Thank you for our house because most people in live in cars....right mommy??"

Monday, September 12, 2011

summer videos...just the cute or funny ones

Here are a few videos that I thought were either cute or funny.  This first one is from Longwood Gardens.  We were waiting for the fountain show and the kids were just playing around when they got a bit of a scare.  :)

This video melts my heart!!!  Eli went to Vacation Bible School at our church for the first time and I have never seen him more excited about something ever.  They sang the same songs all week and also gave out a CD of the songs.  Saying that this CD is on heavy rotation in our car even still is an understatement.  But Eli lip syncing and doing the motions is priceless.  My favorite part is when he does 'store your treasures in heaven...' and he puts his little hands in his heart!!!  Are you kidding me!?!  Makes me cry every time.

So since the songs are forever playing in our car, Evie watches Eli do the movements and she has learned some of them too!!  She loves the songs just as much as Eli and here she is doing her movements to the song too!  I especially love her trying to lip sync as well.  She is treasure for me!

This last one is of Chad suprising Eli with the fact that he was bringing him to his first Philadelphia Unioin soccer game.  We didn't tell him until right before they had to leave and needless to say, he was happy!

wild and crazy summer

Our summer....I basically blogged about nothing because we were so busy and...well....I was so tired.  :(  But I do have photographic evidence that we did a lot of fun stuff.  See below for the shenanigans.  :) 

This is from our dear friend Foster's AWESOME birthday party!  Sports were involved and that is always an automatic winner as far as Eli is concerned.  Foster's grandmother taught a mini tennis clinic and the kids were all about it.

Best buds.

Look at that concentration!

Even Evie got in on the party when painting was involved.

For a week, Eli did a sports camp.  Every day they would do different sports and again, Eli was in his GLORY!  On either end of this line were sibling camp crashers Addelyn and Evie.  They just wanted to be a part of the fun.

Eli got his certificate and an award for being Best Listener...which I was highly suspect of since oddly enough he never gets that award at home.  :)

Eli also was able to attend his first Philadelphia Union soccer game with Daddy. 

According to Chad, he loved it, but he did get bored after the popcorn ran out....takes after Mommy in that regard. No food, no fun. :)

We also got out to the Elmwood Park Zoo with friends.  I like this zoo because it isn't in Philly and I don't have to brave the highly trafficked roads like 76/476/95/0358-358...I have no idea how to even to get to Philly and that is fine with me.

See?  They do love each other at times....even when those times are coached and posed by yours truly.

We went to the United Sports Training Center for the 4th of July.  They had a golf clinic, moonbounces, games, etc. 

We watched the fireworks from the back of our car and had perfect seats.  See if you can spot Eli in this photo and also notice how they are in their PJ's already.  I am THAT mom.  :)

Be amazed.

We also did a ton of swimming at swim lessons and in my parents' pool.  Evie just launches off the side with no dear whatsoever.  It is remarkable.

Water fight...Chad is so in trouble and had NO idea what is going to hit him.

I went to my first ever baseball game!  My in laws (thanks!!!!) graciously paid for and sent Chad and I with Chad's sister to a game and it was fun, though it was insanely hot.  The Phillies destroyed whatever team they played!

Brother and sister.

Then it was BEACH TIME!  We had a great week at Sea Isle City, again thanks to my Mom and Dad!

Nathan and Eli did the tilt a whirl......

...and all Eli wanted to do was hurl.

This happened organically!  I didn't even make them hold hands!  :)

Family fun at a park in Sea Isle!

The boys/men like to play on the diving board....this is the 'side leg lift' pose.

This is the
'stink bug on it's back' pose

This is the 'belly button' pose.

I got a coupon through Living Social for the Franklin Institute so we ventured there.  They were playing a Storm Chasers movie on the Imax so we HAD to see that! 

Evie liked the watch the perpetual golf balls going through tunnels and ramps.

One of Eli's favorite Union players, Danny Mwanga, stopped by and posed for a photo...he likes to stay in soccer player character in dress and in pose.  :)

And watch out for the Eagles player there that likes to douse 2 year olds with gatorade. 

Lots of bubble blowing at Longwood Gardens and lots of Evie popping every one.

Visiting with Nanny...Eli my cuddler was loving her.

Lots of baby feeding....

And I will leave you with a magic act performed by Chad the Great!  The leaf is suspended in mid air...or is it?!?!?  :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

it was only a matter of time....

On Thursday, exactly a week ago, Chad and I were talking about our crazy, awesome Eli.  Chad said that he was surprised that Eli hadn't broken a bone yet with the crazy ways he moves and how active he is.  Boys are active and crazy and Eli is no exception.  Little did we know...

The next day, I met my friend Christine at Kerr park and our kids were playing, as usual.  We've been to Kerr park numerous times and it is one our favorites.  I happened to look over to see Eli sliding halfway down a curvy slide only to jump off and hold onto the side of the slide, yelling something and then dropping to the ground.  I didn't flinch at all because that is typical Eli.  He ran off, played with his buddy, met a new kid and they were all playing together as I talked to my friend.  It was a great morning. 

Then I heard a scream from Eli.  When I turned around, he was on the ground next to the plastic hippo climber they have there that is no more than 3 feet from the ground.  FYI, Eli is my dramatic, emotional one that screams the same when he is in serious danger or when he stubs his toe.  So I walked over to him thinking it would be an easy consoling and when he got up, I breathed out heavily the words 'oh my goodness', eyes bulging, stomach turned.  His arm was good from his shoulder to the middle of his forearm, but the middle is where it jutted up (yes, I said up!) by a 45 degree angle.  I knew in the split second that I looked at it that it was broken.  Typically I would have flipped the freak out!  But I was calm, for Eli because if I was a frantic madwoman like I felt inside, he would react the same.  I used my hand to try the best I could to splint his arm, scooped him up, asked my dear friend to get Evie for me and we walked calmly to the car.  Eli wasn't screaming, but he was crying and he knew something was very wrong. 

The drive to the hospital was excruciating for Eli, but he didn't scream.  He complained and cried, which broke my heart, but I was able to talk to him and pray with him and ask him what color cast he would want.  I couldn't get my bearings enough to figure out the quickest route to the hospital so I just drove in that general direction.  When we got there, I actually found a close spot near the ER...unimaginable at CCH, so that was God taking care of us for sure.  So walking in, I was holding Eli's arm in one hand, holding him in the other and Evie was holding my pinky.  I calmly breathed out the words, "I think my son broke his arm...." and the nurse who saw me coming before I even said a word told me, "Yes, you are correct."

Eli was a mess, scared and in pain.  It was tough for a mom to see him like that.  When he got the pain meds through an IV line, it was smooth sailing for a few hours!  When they did the first X-ray, it showed the below....

....this is the side view, thumb up on his right arm.  Can you imagine the pain of that for a little dude??  Can you imagine seeing your arm like that?  If you look very carefully, you can see the skin and how it must have looked to us.  Yikes.

So the lovely, awesome ortho surgeon, Dr. Towsen came in and she said that they would have to do a closed reduction.  Chad and I of course were like, huh?  She said she had to put him under anesthesia in the operating room and reset the arm and then cast it.  When we explained to Eli, he flipped out saying he didn't want to go to sleep, he wanted to stay with us.  I was scared too...all the forms we had to sign if something went wrong.....he's just a little dude!!  :(  But we prayed with Eli numerous times and explained that even though Mommy and Daddy wouldn't be there with him, Jesus would be right next to him.  The nurses before the operation were great, even the one that said Eli was beautiful and kept referring to him as a she.  I had to let her know that she was actually a he....she felt terrible, but I told her he gets that a lot because of the hair.  :)  The nurse downstairs had given him a little bear that was donated to the hospital for kids are scared and need a lovey.  He was holding onto that thing tight!

We got to see him go partially under the anesthesia and the last thing I saw was him waving his hand in front of his face with a look of the drugs were kicking in big time.  :)

20 minutes later, he was in recovery, still with his new bear lovey.  They woke him up and after being groggy for about 10 minutes, he went into "Denise" mode, asking all kinds of his usual questions about what everything is and does.  Then we went up to pediatrics and stayed there for a bit.

One of his nurses up in Peds (I can call it that because I've been there....haha) was the mom of one his Hopewell Christian Preschool friends from last year so that was a nice surprise.  Eli likes to tell people how he broke his arm falling off of a hippopotamus.  You don't hear that one every day.  And you know what you don't get TO DO every day?

That was the highlight of the trip for sure!  And all day we had been promising him all this crazy stuff he rarely gets, one of which was McDonalds sweet tea.  He wasn't allowed to eat so he hadn't eaten or drank in 9 hours!  So we got him McDonalds for dinner and a big old sweet tea.  He LOVED it!

When we got the kids to bed, we were exhausted.  As I was going through the hospital stuff, I noticed the little bear lovey that Eli brought home.  

I happened to see the tag on it said Hopewell, where Eli goes to preschool. 

So I read the other tag and it said this:

AMAZING!  Brought me to tears.  What a great prayer, a great way to show children they are loved by Jesus in their time of need and oh how we did see that during that whole day!!  And I cannot say enough incredible things about Hopewell Christian Preschool.  Eli has had the most amazing experience there educationally and spiritually.  God is good!

So first day after the arm breaking of 2011 wasn't too fun.

We were given by my parents neighbors (who ROCK!) this little arm slip on thing for the bath that has worked wonders! 

By Sunday afternoon and Monday, he was back to his normal self.  We even went to Longwood Gardens!  Now the tough part is telling him he can't do things he thinks he can do because he forgets he has a cast.  But we went to the orthopedic surgeon tonight that did his reset and cast for a one week visit and she said he was doing great!  They did an x-ray again, too:

She even brought in a colleague to show her what a wonderful kid Eli was.  Proud mama alert.  :)  She also said that Eli can go down to just a forearm cast in two weeks!  Then two more weeks after that, he'll get his cast off! 

All in all, it could have been worse, but Eli is soldiering through!  I know I was updating Facebook throughout this whole ordeal and I want to thank everyone who thought about him, prayed for him or even just felt the least bit bad for him.  Facebook is amazing in the fact that you can get an insane amount of people mobilized and praying with the push of a button when you need it.  Thanks friends, I am very grateful for each you!  And thanks for caring enough about us to read this novella....  :)