Tuesday, February 14, 2012

...At Least His Heart Wasn't Broken


Valentines Day, a day full of chocolates, candy, heartfelt sentiments, cheesy sayings, school Valentines exchanges, and a trip to the emergency room. Wait, what?

You heard right...I said a trip to the emergency room.

My Valentines Day consisted of going into Caleb's class and helping with his class Valentine's party. We had a great time playing games and enjoying the chocolate fountain. Everyone loved the game I taught them where you shoot cotton swabs out of drinking straws at paper hearts. What child doesn't like a good flying projectile? Caleb and I had fun shooting at each other and then I went home, after saying goodbye to my smiling, chocolate-stained son. An hour later as I was driving into the school to bring him home, I got a call.

"Mrs. Miller? This is the office, I'm calling to say that Caleb is resting comfortably in the nurse's office and that he's fine but it looks like he has broken his arm."
Audible gasp, followed by, "I'll be inside in two seconds."
I walked into the office where the receptionist lead me back to where Caleb was sitting on an examination table, looking perfectly calm and even a little bored.

"Hey Mom."

So here's what went down: Caleb was sitting on a scoop chair that is on the floor checking out his Valentines haul, when apparently boys started to sit on him. This is a common occurrence in the class, anyone who sits in the scoop chair will run the risk of having any number of people pile on. However, on this day, he was holding his arm out at a weird angle when the final boy sat on him. He said it didn't hurt, it just felt weird. He calmly told everyone to get off of him and when they saw his arm bent at an unnatural angle, the kids started getting excited.

Caleb went over to his teacher and held up his arm, "I think something happened to my arm." The teacher reacted so calmly that Caleb thought he was imagining things for a moment. She told the students to calm down and took him to the office.

I called the pediatrician and they advised me to go to the emergency room. While this was happening, the teacher came in with half of the class in tow. She was holding them back and keeping them from coming into the infirmary.

Kids: Is he crying?
Mrs. D: No, he's not crying?
Kids: Are you sure? Check his eyes. Are their tears in his eyes?
Mrs. D: No he's not crying, in fact he's laughing because you are being so silly.

I have to admit, seeing his arm bent at a wonky angle like that is a little icky. The receptionist wrapped up his arm and gave him a baggie full of ice and we headed toward the hospital.
I did not make him carry his backpack.

When we got to the ER, were were admitted in immediately. (Note to self: the ER is really quiet in the afternoon--that is the time to go, if you have any say in the matter.)

 The nurse was fussing with him and starting an i.v. when the doctor came in. He asked Caleb on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being unbearable, what would he rank his pain.

Caleb shrugged his shoulders and said, "Um, a two?"

The nurse, the doctor and I all looked at each other and said in unison, "Tough kid." They told him that if any time he needed something for the pain, to tell them. Then they sent us off for x-rays. Here is what we found out:
See how his bone his flipped up in this side angle? That's why his arm swooshes downward.
From this angle, you can't see the position of his bone but you can see where it is broken
Caleb had broken his wrist, across a growth plate. Because of this, the emergency room doctor thought it best that an orthopedic surgeon take care of the situation. Because Caleb had to hold his arm in some awkward positions to take the xrays, he started to feel uncomfortable. The nurse gave him a bit of morphine in his i.v., which helped with the pain.

The one thing that Caleb was really worried about was how much it would hurt when they would as he put it, "pop my arm back into place." When the orthopedic surgeon came in, he looked at Caleb's x-rays and explained to him that they will give him some anesthesia (Propofol) to knock him out completely so he won't feel or remember a thing. When they made sure he was completely under, they put his arm in a machine called a C-Arm to take some more x-rays.
x-ray before his bone is realigned.
Then he took Caleb's arm and twisted and yanked on it with considerable force. Ick. Then they wrapped his arm in a splint. (Getting a cast was three days away because the swelling needed to go down.) After that was done, all I could say was, "I'm glad you completely knocked him out for that."
All bones, skin and muscles exactly where they should  be.


Top view.

The hardest thing for me was watching him go under. Watching his eyes roll back while the anesthesiologist was holding his head still really hurt my heart. Why is that? I just felt really helpless. We couldn't go home until he was completely conscious so I had to wait for about thirty highly entertaining minutes.

Some of my favorite exchanges were:
Me: Caleb, it's time to wake up.
C: No! I'm getting a splint!

Me: Buddy, I'm so proud of you, you did so well!
C: I'm more proud of you, you did well-er.

C: What's my middle name?
Me: Caleb (which it is)
C: No it's not! That's my first name. What's my middle name?
Me: What do you think it is?
C: I don't know
Me: How about Jack (which it is not)?
C: Jack? Ok.

C: Can you buy some of that medicine at the store that looks like milk (Propofol)? it makes me feel like I'm home. I like it.

And my favorite:
C: You are the best mom that I've ever had! (he said this with tears running down his face. This is the only time tears were shed.)
HAPPY VALENTINES TO ME!!

When we got home three hours later, there were several boys who came by to see how he was doing. Cupcakes, cookies, well wishes and jokes were heaped upon him. Add to that the huge fuss his sisters made about him and you get a kid who is little uncomfortable with all the attention (but I think he loved it).

We felt bad for the boy that broke Caleb's wrist, he came by with his dad and he was close to tears, he felt so bad. He gave Caleb a note apologizing for his "bad choices and bad example," and "I wish I was in that chair and not you,". We told him we knew it was a freak accident and that it was completely unintentional. After he left, Caleb said, "I feel worse for Trace than for me."

Three days later, he went to get a cast. Should he get a green one or a blue one? Decisions, decisions. In the end, he chose a blue one. Because the break was across a growth plate, the cast went up to nearly his armpit, to be sure that it was completly stable to heal properly. He was bummed out about that until the doctor explained that if it didn't heal properly, they would have to cut the bone and reset it. With that explained, Caleb was totally fine with the big cast.

He has to wear the big cast for two weeks and after that, they will put a shorter cast on him for another three weeks. The girls and I offered to decorate it with crystals or some other sort of bling --he politely declined.

Caleb is in the middle of his basketball season and he really enjoys it, so he and his team are really disappointed that he is out for the season.

He is not however, disappointed that his piano lessons are on hiatus.

This is our first experience with a broken bone. Pretty amazing considering that I had girls doing flips ten feet off the ground and walking across stair wells that have a fifteen foot drop.

I think we all handled it pretty well.
Getting an xray to make sure everything was still lined up. What a sweet kid! I heart him.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blinding Smile

Today is a day that Emma has been waiting for over two years. Today is the day that Emma had her braces removed. Here she is outside the orthodontist's office.
Here she is after the hardware is gone and we are waiting for a smoothie.
She is so happy and I think that she is absolutely beautiful! (Of course I thought that when she was wearing braces, and before she was wearing braces, and even before she had any teeth.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Play Me a Tune?

Caleb had a Halloween recital. He was ready and rarin' to go for the 5:30 performance. Since it was close to Halloween, the performers could play their songs wearing their costumes if they wanted to. Caleb is sometimes funny about costumes so he decided that we was going to go dressed as a neatly dressed 10 year old.

At 5:25, I got a call from my friend who has three of her kids performing that night.

J: Is everything ok?

Me: Yeah, we're just getting ready to head out.

J: I was just wondering because you aren't here yet.

Me: Wait, when does the recital start?

J: 5:00

Me: Oh, snap.

Caleb and I rushed down to the church just as the last person was performing. The teacher had rearranged to order so Caleb could go after.

Literally within a minute of walking in, Caleb played his first piece:The Spinning Wheel, by Albert Ellmenreich.

video


Next, he played Snowflake Rag followed by The Great Wall of China, both by Faber

video


We weren't the only ones to get the time wrong. While we were waiting for the other performers to arrive, Caleb's piano teacher wanted Caleb to play The Great Wall of China slower because she thinks it sound prettier that way.

video


His final piece is The Goblin Council, and original song by Caleb Miller

video

Because of my mistake with the timing of the whole thing, the girls and Brad unfortunately missed the whole recital. How did Caleb act about the evening's events? He remained as cool as a cucumber.

That Boy, I sure love him.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hanging out at the Bird

Two times a year, the Millers go up to Snowbird and stay at The Cliff Lodge.  In July there are always people coming and going and it is a little bit like party central. In October, it is more laid back and relaxed, due to everyone schedules. It's more difficult to make it up there when everyone is in school and there are a lot of activities going on.

This fall, we managed to go up for a couple of days. Snowbird did NOT look like the picture above. We were looking forward to enjoying the changing fall colors but we got a winter scene instead.


It was pretty but it didn't make me want to go outside and walk around the resort very much. That didn't seem to deter the kids very much. They were running around in their swimsuits like it was the middle of August.
One afternoon, I took my parents up there and we spent the evening and had dinner there.  My mom and dad loved just sitting around and relaxing with the kids.
Here are Emma and Caleb making the most of the facilities. The hot tub out on our balcony was a good place to relax.
Can you see Caleb?


 They had a lot of fun at the pool. What these pictures don't show is that my mom is wearing a winter coat when she was snapping these pictures.

After work Brad came up and went to the spa. I swear, if we had a steam room in our house, I would never see him. Thanks Wood and Susan for letting me share the condo with my folks, we had a nice, quiet, relaxing evening.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Top of the World (Or at least Utah Valley)

See this mountain? This is Mount Timpanogos. To me it represents home. Whenever I leave to go anywhere, as soon as I get a glimpse of this mountain, I take a big sigh and think to myself, "I am home."
And now when I look at it, I can say, "My whole family has been to the top of it."
I love the fall. It's my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of the air, the golden tinge of the sunlight, and the colors. Brad wanted to hike to the top of Timpanogos with his family. I hadn't been up to the top in over 20 years ( I'll save that story for another time). So our party of 12 set out for the Timpanoeke trailhead. Little did we know that the weekend of the 24th was free entrance into National Parks and Monuements, sooo....we had some company.
Fourteen miles...the hike was fourteen miles. Good thing the it was a beautiful day and the scenery spectacular.


It was a beautiful hike. I have never really been good at hiking uphill and when a mountain peak is 11,749 feet, there is going to be a LOT of uphill hiking. Luckily the scenery helped. We all hiked at a different pace, which meant once again, I was manning the end of the party (you know, to protect my family from predators, which cull the herd by picking off the old and infirm). We made it up to the saddle and enjoyed a moment together before we proceeded up to the summit.
Hunter, Rachel and Emma. I guess the food was good. Have you noticed how delicious food tastes on a long hike?

Emma, Derek and Trent

Caleb and Max
Caroline and Trent
That last bit to the summit is an exercise of mind over matter. I kept chanting to myself, "Don't worry about the heights, look where you are stepping, keep moving and don't give up! Oh, and why is it that the kids seem to be expending so much less effort than me?"

We made it up to the top! What a view, it was the first time that Rachel, Emma and Caleb had been to the top of any mountain and they are incredible hikers.

Don't I look happy?






After spending some time at the top, we started back down. Rachel was anxious because she had another (!) homecoming dance she was asked to. She and Emma basically ran all the way down. She was still two hours late to her date but luckily, she had her phone with her so she could tell her date what was going on throughout the day so he didn't think that she was standing him up. Brad, Derek and the boys did their best to keep up with them so there would be a car for them to take Rachel back home. Oh to be young and fit again!


Trent and Caroline was somewhere in the middle of the party and I had the company of this wonderful man.
I'm so glad that he stayed with me and kept me company, my feet hurt and I had to keep encouraging myself to take one more step. We made it to the trail head 90 minutes behind Rachel and Emma. Both of my big toenails are a deep shade of purple but it was worth it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

With No Adult Supervision

On the last Tuesday of August, Rachel and Emma wanted to go to Thanksgiving Point Gardens. In August, Thanksgiving Point has Two Dollar Tuesdays, which means any venue there (except the movie theater) has the admission price of only two dollars. Whatta deal! Unfortunately, the month of August flew by and we didn't have any Tuesdays available before school started.

Rachel got her driver's license the Friday before.

That means that she can drive a vehicle without an adult sitting by her in the passenger seat.

That means that Rachel suddenly has dreams of her driving down the freeway with the music blasting, wearing impossibly stylish sunglasses and the stylish scarf she has 'round her neck flapping in the wind.

Dream on, Sistah.

Still the girls managed to talk me into letting them take my car after school to Thanksgiving Point to walk around the gardens for awhile. Thanksgiving Point is less than ten minutes away from our house but every road between home and there is under construction. Whenever I drive through the labyrinth of cones and sudden lane changes, I tightly grip the steering wheel and hold my breath. So I had to wonder how a newly licensed driver (my first born in whom I'm particularly fond of) would handle it. With my teeth clenched and my toes gripping the carpet, I looked into the expectant eyes of my only two daughters and said, "Yes." (I couldn't go because I was in charge of the Young Women's activity that night.) I told them to make it home well before the activity and watched them drive away, all while praying fervently for their safety.

Rachel and Emma love to take pictures, but if you have known them for any amount of time, you already knew that. Here are some pictures they took while wandering the gardens.











They not only look good in front of the camera but apparently, they do well behind the camera too. To tell you the truth, I was a tad jealous of them. I love walking around the gardens and it must have been so fun feel so independent and grown up. They both came home in one piece and made it in time for the YW activity that night, which was a picnic with your mom (mmm, sushi!).

Emma chillin' with our buddies the Tuttles.

What a nice day!
I wonder when they will ask me for the car again?