Thursday, March 31, 2011

JuiceBox is Praying to Heavenly Father

You may know this little yellow fella by a different name but in our house he is JuiceBox. I think it makes a lot more sense than the common moniker. 

Van has never seen JuiceBox in action but he does prefer JuiceBox stickers when he goes to the bone doctor. Two days ago we ventured into a toy store for the first time and Van sweetly pointed out that JuiceBox has religion. You and I know that this is actually Yoga JuiceBox, obviously meditating in full Lotus Position. Still, he and Van bless the sacrament together a few times a day. They are zealous for their age.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Recent Goings On

My musical theater class performed their original musical Mythical, Magical Beach
 Here is Hairy Octopus (the villain) with the Chicken with long hair
 From left to right: Dolphin, Snake with long hair, Pink Magical Elephant, Contortionist, Chicken with long hair, Hairy Octopus, Unisis (mythical creature who is a cross between a Unicorn and a Pegasus) 
 Delia decided at the age of 11 months that pacifiers are pretty cool. That would have been handy before, now it's kind of annoying (but still adorable!)
The weather is totally crazy! Flood warnings, tornado warnings, rain rain rain! So here we are enjoying Curious George, emptying all shelves of their contents and leaving fingerprints on everything! Hooray for cabin fever.

In other news, both girls can stand without help, and Van is walking around and even dancing a little on his cast. Hooray for mobility!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Behind the Clouds: Thoughts for Van

Music is an important part of our days. We listen to it from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. We listen in the car. We sing in the tub and at the grocery store. And Van likes to pick. He likes an album on repeat, and has an amazing tolerance (and insistence) for repetition.

For months we listened to "Grandpa" (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory soundtrack- Gene Wilder version) and "Imagi-ation". But starting about a week or two before he broke his leg, Van started requesting "Ghostlight" (the soundtrack to Pixar's Cars, including a song from one of the short films- Ghostlight). 

It's the song he loves, the song he sings all day and night called "Behind the Clouds". 

When you're feeling lonely, lost and let down

Seems like those dark skies are following you around
And life's just one big shade of gray
You wonder if you'll see the light of day

I've heard it said that this too shall pass
Good times or bad times, neither one lasts
But thinking that your luck won't ever change
Is like thinking it won't ever stop once it starts to rain

Behind the clouds, the sun is shining
Believe me even though you can't quite make it out
You may not see the silver lining
But there's a big blue sky waiting just behind the clouds
Yeah, theres a big blue sky waiting just behind the clouds.

I remember the day that marked the end of last summer for us. August 31, Van had his spica cast removed after 9 long weeks. 

Many times while he had it on, people would comment on how mellow he was. How impressed they were with his patience and his resilience. I had to agree. He was amazing. I guess it helped to be two and totally willing to pull yourself along on your belly. Sometimes I wondered if he even noticed.

The Dr. who put the cast on had said his femur may only need six weeks to heal, but six turned to nine and the day we went to the Orthopedist to have it removed I tried not to get my hopes up. I almost hugged the PA when he told us it was time. 

I held Van's hands as he laid as still as he could. He didn't cry when they got out the big loud saw to cut through his cast. We talked him through it and told him how brave he was being and promised him fruit snacks and a swim in the pool.

I will never forget when they finished and I picked him up in my arms and held his little body to me. For all that time, there had been this huge, bulky barrier between me and my sweet boy. And finally, I felt him against me and I was so relieved. 

But the most remarkable thing about that moment was looking into his little face and seeing his countenance change. Suddenly a brightness and youthfulness returned that I hadn't even noticed disappear. Through the rest of the day I noticed that he was singing again and talking in a way I hadn't heard in many weeks. A burden had been lifted.

I remember feeling grateful that I hadn't recognized the clouds until they were gone. Maybe I had been too busy just making it through each day. I don't have clear memories of that time. I have snapshots. Moments frozen in time. But the day to day, that stretch of time is a blur to me now. I feel my heart ache and my throat tighten just thinking about how much my little boy grew up, and changed from a baby to a boy. Thank goodness for the pictures, because otherwise I may have missed it completely.

I know better than to think he doesn't notice it this time around. The cast is smaller and he is more mobile, but it is a constant presence. He wakes several times a night and cries out," Is it hurt?" and "I'm okay." and sometimes "Chocolate." (because that's what I promise him sometimes when he has to be brave). If you ask him what happened to his leg, he says, "I have a broken tibia."

Our Dr. wants to run some tests to make sure his bones are okay. Today as I pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, Van started to cry. He called for "Honey" (GK) and said he wanted to go home. I knew he recognized this as the place we'd come three weeks ago when he'd broken his leg. 

He seems too young to have to hurt this much. But sometimes when I listen to him sing, I think of that day when his cast came off and his countenance changed. I listen to the words and wonder if he can possibly know how profound they are. Right now.

And when he wakes in the night, I whisper to him that it's going to be okay. There's a big blue sky waiting right behind the clouds.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sights I love

Delia taking advantage of her pearls. She loves to crawl around with things hanging out of her mouth like this.

Vanny enjoying some "Jazz music". He requests it whenever he sees headphones.

Josie's passionate discovery of kiwi.

Josie with a contraband cookie. I still don't know where she found it.

Delia hiding under the table with Vanny's pasta.

Vanny elevating his leg and playing with the packaging of his new toy. Most likely singing "Ghost Light". Definitely a post all its own.

Stings like a Femur

Today Van was quoting the part in Cars when Lightning says, "Floats like a Cadillac, Stings like a Beamer."

Only he said, "Stings like a Femur." It make me laugh a little, considering he's one of few two year olds I know that uses the word femur (he certainly doesn't know what a Beamer is).

In the summer, you would ask him what happened and he would say, "Broken femur." Now, you ask him and he says, " I broke my tibia."

He's being a champ. Putting up with babies crawling all over him (they love it, that he can't get away), pulling himself along like a lizard, singing singing all day long. He's even figured out how to get up the stairs at the park and down the slide!

As for me, I'm just relieved that this time around is about 800 times easier than last time. At least so far.