Happy Halloween! Dominic got so sick with a virus Friday night that I was worried he wouldn't be well enough for trick-or-treating tonight. But his fever broke this morning so I let him go out for just two blocks.
He was Dracula and here he was practicing his serious, scary look. He's still too cute, I don't think he quite pulls it off. :)
So I sent Jenny to my hairstylist, Zena, today! She wasn't loving her blonde locks anymore and wanted to return to darker tones with hints of red. Don't you love it? The cut is to die for too. She is soooo gorgeous!!!
Jenny is home this weekend, yay!!! I've decided after studying and learning all of the rules about photography to throw them out the window and follow my heart. I love post-processing, I love drama, I love finding something special in an ordinary photograph. Don't get me wrong, there is a place for clean processing, but most of the time, I want that extra punch that screams, "I am art!" And my gorgeous Jenny is art.
Processed with Florabella's "Musette" action from the Luxe collection as well as my own touches. :)
So I didn't get a photo yesterday. I'm in a bit of a funk... Dominic's ER visit triggered a fibro flare. I knew it was going to be a bad one, I get these little red bumps on my right index finger before a bad flare. It's been a rough couple of days physically.
Plus Dominic has had a really rough two weeks at school. I don't know if it's because Daddy's been in India, but I'm feeling so discouraged by day after day of "not following directions," "difficult day," "pushing," "not getting along with others." And on and on. His last "green" day was on October 18th. I've requested a conference. I look at him, those gorgeous big blue eyes, and I'm heartbroken for him trying so hard every day and not succeeding. Ugh.
Jenny is coming home tomorrow for a visit and I'm really, really looking forward to seeing her.
Dominic has bounced back just fine from his fall yesterday. His head is sore, the gash is swollen, and a bit oozy, but overall he is just fine. Tonight we played outside but kept is easy. Anna had a fantastic day at school, this placement change has been the best thing ever. She is much happier.
It was inevitable... you take a rambunctious 6-year old boy and a playscape and there is likely to be a visit to the emergency room. I'm surprised we made it this long.
I took Dominic and Anna to the park this afternoon. I had intended to go to the park by our community center so I didn't even take my purse, but our park is closed for renovations, so we headed over to Springwoods Park about 15 minutes away. We had only been there about 10 minutes, Anna had just gotten on the swing, and Dominic was climbing on the playscape when I heard him scream.
I ran over to him and he was holding the back of his head and really crying, so much so that he couldn't talk yet to tell me what happened and I didn't see him fall. I looked at the back of his head and I saw blood, then investigated further and saw about 1-inch long gash that looked pretty deep. Mommy instincts kicked and I swooped him up, hollering loudly, "Does anyone have any towels? He's bleeding!" A mom pulled out a disposable diaper from her diaper bag and asked if it would work. Yup! I opened it up and smooshed on his head having him hold it over his ears. Anna was frozen on the swings. I knew I had to take him to the ER, the gash was just big enough that I thought it would need stitches. Thankfully a nice man carried Dominic to the van so I could coax Anna to come with us. I called my mom and asked her to grab my purse and meet us at the hospital.
Dominic calmed down pretty quickly and we got to the ER within 10 minutes. He had stopped actively bleeding and it didn't look that bad. Mom took Anna home and we waited to be triaged. And waited. And waited. They were packed! It took over about an hour and 25 minutes for Dominic to be initially screened and the nurse said he's probably need 2 staples. Gulp, staples?!?
Another 30 minutes pass then we are taken to Quick Care (ha, that's an oxymoron). The doc took a quick look and said it was our call. She could put in a couple of staples after numbing it or I could commit to washing it with soap and water twice a day and gooing it up with Neosporin. Guess which option Dominic voted for? She said that the scar may end up bigger without staples but it's at the base of that knobby part of his skull so it won't show.
So we are home, both kids are asleep, I relayed what happened to Curtis who just woke up a bit ago (it's Monday morning in India), and I'm sitting here now very, very grateful to my mom and equally grateful that Dominic didn't suffer a concussion or a worse injury. The laceration is not closing up yet and it has started bleeding again a couple of times. There is no way to put a bandage on it and I tried a butterfly closure but it just stuck to his hair. So I'm not sure how it's going to go at school tomorrow. He is so hyper that I'm worried he'll bust it open again but we'll deal with that if we have to. I guess I can always take him back in for those staples if we need to.
You are looking at $500 feet. Yup, that's right! I was noticing that Anna's cheapie tennis shoes from Payless were already looking worse from wear after two months. She had some inserts (faux orthotics) from a speciality children's shoe store in them but her right foot was pronating so badly, she was nearly walking on the side of her shoe. So I took her to real pedorthotist today to get custom-made orthotics. The process took about 30 minutes and she was awesome. She got two pairs of orthotics, one treatment pair and one maintenance pair. Over the next three weeks, she will wear the treatment pair one hour a day, increasing another hour each day until she is comfortable in them all the time. The maintenance pair is for the off-time. These orthotics are guaranteed for her entire lifetime which is why I decided to shell out the $400 for them. Whenever she grows, she gets a new pair free of charge. I also invested in a really good pair of tennis shoes since that is all she wears on her feet. I've never spent $100 for a pair of shoes for myself let alone for one of my kids, but her posture has gotten so bad as well as her pronation, it's a very smart investment. I was noticing some oddly placed calluses on her feet also. Already I can see a difference in her feet and her posture with the new orthotics and shoes. I hope this helps with her knee and back pain too.
I just didn't have a good opportunity yesterday to take a photo... kind of a blue day. Today I was super productive to make up for it and cleaned the entire house. It took me three hours but it feels so good and smells good too.
Walking through the neighborhood this afternoon, I spotted this bush with berries. I'm not sure what it's called, but the red berries were so colorful that they cried out to be photographed.
Today is a 2-part photo and you'll understand why at the end of this story. The kids finished dinner, were excused from the table, and Dominic disappeared outside with the sidewalk chalk. A few minutes later, he pops back inside asking Anna to come outside... he's made her something. I see Anna in the doorway, hanging her head and wiping her eyes. She's crying happy tears, something she's started doing this year when something touches her deeply.
Then I look out the door. Dominic has drawn a big star and written Anna inside of it. Then he wrote the words, "This star is Anna." (Oh and a little further to the side, "made by Dominic" *snort*.) He was so excited to show her the star and it made her so happy. What a great moment between the two of them. I had to get my camera! I know these aren't the best pictures in the world, but wow, what a memory!
Right before dusk, Dominic and I hopped into the van (mom is keeping Anna tonight... didn't want you all to think I'd ditch her, ha) and headed to the duck pond. Did you know that ducks LOVE saltine crackers much more than bread? Well, now you do!
Today's photo was inspired by the i heart faces photo challenge this week called orchard. Since we don't have any orchards around here, I snapped a picture of my pickle eating his favorite kind of apple (Gala, for those that are curious!). I have another photo that I think I'm going to submit but this one was so sweet I wanted to share it for today. :)
Since Anna was sick last weekend when the whole family went to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm's Pumpkin Festival, I wanted to go back so that Anna could join us. With Curtis now in India, I went solo with Anna and Dominic and they were pretty well behaved. It was much more crowded today and tons of little kids so Anna's anxiety was higher than usual. Here we are on the hay ride. She was nervous but handled it well. I'm glad she got to paint a pumpkin and see the sights. Right at the end, Dominic wanted to go on a pony ride (actually they are full-size horses, lol) and I asked Anna if she wanted to try. To my surprise, she said yes. The staff was wonderful when I explained that she has autism and anxiety... they got the most gentle horse and the staff was incredibly patient. It took her nearly 10 minutes to get up on the horse, but she did it! I am so proud of her!!!
A quick shot of Dominic's new smile! He lost his first tooth on Thursday. My poor pickle woke up vomiting yesterday and ran a fever for a little while. He finally ate something today but he still looks puny.
A new creativity challenge on Clickin' Moms... assignment: forks, knives, or spoons. I choose forks and in this photo, I wanted to join them together. I picture a couple holding hands, eternal love, and endurance. The more I look at them, my mind starts seeing an optical illusion and it looks like the closet fork is bent inward. I really like this simple photo!
The first graders went on a walking field trip to our local fire station this morning and I got to chaperone. Dominic was so well-behaved, I was really proud of him. He really has matured a lot since last year. There was another mom with a camera in our class... but she is a pro. It was fun to chat photography with her.
Both Dominic and Anna lost a tooth today! Anna lost a molar at school and Dominic lost his very first tooth tonight while brushing his teeth. So cool!
Dominic found Jenny's old safari hat in a dresser drawer this evening. He looks almost as cute as she did... I'll have to dig up that old picture of her. He says he's going to wear it tomorrow on the field trip; we are walking to the local fire station in the morning. Is it bad that the first thought I had was "Oh, great opportunity for cute pictures!"? ;)
Oops! Nearly forgot to take a photo today. :) Dominic was kind enough to pose right before bedtime. What a sweetpea!
Today was Anna's ARD and we made it official... her placement has changed from inclusion to FAC (life skills). I requested that Anna attend the meeting near the end to encourage self-advocacy and they thought it was a good idea. So for the first time, Anna signed off on her own ARD! She is excited about starting in FAC tomorrow and the visits have gone well so far. She isn't even experiencing any anxiety yet and has been excited to push Caroline in her wheelchair. It's going to be okay, I think.
This is a photo of Dominic and Chris's sister, Morgan. Since Jenny was in town this weekend and Chris's 20th birthday was Friday, his family invited us to a family brunch at IHOP this morning. Dominic very politely requested to sit next to Morgan. ;)
Jenny's home (and she's blonde)!!! She came home for the weekend and we have had such a great visit! Chris's 20th birthday was yesterday and they went to a concert last night. Today we planned a family visit to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm for the pumpkin festival. Unfortunately, Anna was too sick to come so she stayed home with my mom (thanks, mom!). It was a perfect day, about 84 degrees, and the farm wasn't even crowded. I took TONS of pictures and I'm hoping to share some of my faves in the next few days... but here is a rare, almost entire, family photo. I love these people SO much!
Anna has a chest cold and came home sick today at 10:30 so by the time Dominic came home from school, I was especially missing him. He came outside to play for a while and was in a sunny mood. We have an extra-special visitor this weekend but you have to wait until tomorrow to find out!
We ended up outside after dinner (I'm loving this weather!) while Curtis and Dominic went to Boy Scouts. Our sweet neighbors, Renee and her 3-year old Ian, were outside too. Anna rode her new trike for a while while I took some photos of Ian, then Anna and I played soccer. Ian came and joined the fun for a while and Anna wanted Audrey to play soccer too. She got a little tired and took a short rest... I just love how the sun was shining on her hair and face. I *heart* my sweet girl.