Not Quite As Planned

At noon today I went to pick up Coops from preschool and I was so excited to hear about his costumed field trip.  They had gone to the elderly residence area of a care center to show off their costumes, and I knew his froggy costume would have been a hit.

I stood in the hallway outside of his classroom, looking at the art projects they’d done today after their return from the field trip.  All of a sudden, one of his teachers is standing beside me and says “So…uh, Cooper.”  Oh no.  A blur of all of the shocking and appalling things he could possibly have done in front of the old folks flashed through my mind.

“What happened” I asked, scared for the answer.  Ms. M. tells me that after they arrived at the residence, they all went in to a room where the residents could check out the kids.  Cooper’s costume was, in fact, a hit, and the old folks had sort of circled around a few of the kids, pointing and marveling at their cute outfits.  Apparently there is a limit to the amount of attention Cooper actually seeks out.  Who knew!?  He wasn’t hip on it, I guess.  Ms. M. proceeds to tell me how amazed she was that he maintained his composure, waded his way through the sea of elderly residents, parent chaperones, and numerous other children to find her, at which time he announced “I don’t like this so much, and I wanna go home now.”

Ms. M. asked if he was a little scared by the attention and he nodded in the affirmative.  She asked if he wanted her to step outside in to the hallway with him, and he did.  After getting out of the craziness, he was just fine, so all was well, and Ms. M. told me how impressed she was at his verbal skills and non-melt down.  Awww.  My boy.

She said he was still apparently a little freaked out and asked to sit by her on the bus ride back to school.  She said he sure could, and he not only sat by her, but climbed up in her lap, which is not really like Cooper, so he must have still been nervous.  Not nervous enough, however, to not notice that they were sitting in an emergency exit row and ask Ms. M. why the door looked bigger and different than the main door.  She said “because this door is for emergencies” to which Cooper responded “Well!  I hope that doesn’t happen!”

I was sad that Cooper’s field trip didn’t go quite as planned and that he didn’t have a great time, but I must admit, I was bursting with pride when Ms. M. told me how proud she was of him, and how impressed she was with him…and I admit to having to wipe my eye when she finished up by saying “he’s an excellent little boy….exceptional, actually.”

 

 

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…and the fact that I am pressed for time.  So bullets it is!

-We have a sick Yorkie at the House O’ Jones.  Not sure what’s up with her, but she spent Tuesday night puking her guts out, and has no energy since.  She rarely moves from her curled up post on a throw pillow on the couch.  I’m going to give it another day or so before seeking medical intervention, but hopefully she’s okay.

-Last night I spent my 3 1/2 hours of lecture at school learning about disorders usually diagnosed in infancy and childhood.  Not one of my favorite topics.  I am usually good with keeping things outside of myself when it comes to school topics, but this time, I struggled.  A video of short interviews with parents of children suffering with things like being on the severe end of the autistic spectrum reduced me to tears.  At one point they spoke to a mother whose husband bailed out after their child was diagnosed, and she was required to quit her job to stay home with him.  For 12 to 14 hours per day the child rocks, self-injures by banging his head, and screams a high-pitched wail.  I sit by the same woman each Wednesday and we talk freqently.   I leaned over and said “I feel like I’m going to lose it after a 15 minute temper tantrum sometimes.  How does she function?”  She looked at me and said “My daughter was diagnosed with autism, and OCD.  I sometimes felt like I didn’t sleep for a year.”  I had no idea that she even had a child.  Turns out, her daughter is 20 and just entered a group home where she is doing pretty well.  I felt drained when I left class.  I called D.Jones from the car and said “We are lucky, Doug…we are so, so lucky.”

-Cooper Jones is off to his costume party today at preschool.  After his weird fits about wearing the froggy costume in the car, I finally persuaded him that it was okay if the “googly eyes” touched his car seat and we were off.  Once we got to school he was so pumped about being in costume, that he was randomly running in to other classrooms and high-fiving teachers as he yelled “ribbit!!”  That’s right…once again, our child is by far the most shy kid at school, right?  As we made our way down the hallway to his own classroom, he high-fived parents along the way, giving them “ribbits” as well, and overheard a smaller child say “what’s that green guy?”  Cooper yells down the hall “I’m a froggy…RIBBIT!!!”  That’s my boy.  They are on their way to a health care center where I’m sure he’ll do a good job of amusing some of the patients.  There were other absolutely adorable costumes to be seen, too.  I was bummed that I didn’t get in on the chaperone list for this one.  Another girl in Coop’s class was the cutest little pink cupcake that I’ve ever seen!  I can’t wait to hear about his day~

Here’s a glimpse of the frog on his way to school this a.m.~

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And a froggy with a froggy blankie…

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In General

Quick news flashes from the Jones residence:

-We are happy to announce that Doug’s niece Jessica has given birth to a healthy baby boy named Landon Cole.  He was stubborn and didn’t make his big arrival while we were in WI and hoping to meet him, but we won’t hold that against him.  He is absolutely beautiful in the pics we’ve seen so far and we look forward to an opportunity to hold him very soon!

-Cooper and I are waiting patiently to be called for the first round of H1N1 vaccinations available in the state for our “high risk” categories.  After spending the weekend trying to get through on the hotline, we found out that they shut the phone lines down due to the massive amount of calls, and we’ve now sent the appropriate email and are hoping to hear from them soon!

-Cooper is going on his 2nd field trip of the year already for his preschool.  They leave tomorrow morning for a health care center, where all the children, in their Halloween costumes, will entertain the troops patients with their thrilling Halloween songs.  He is beside himself waiting for tomorrow morning to get here.  Pics to follow….

-In other preschool related news, Cooper seems to be doing better at his listening and/or disruptive outbursts at school…or else they’ve just grown tired of providing me with feedback.  Either way, the dropoffs and pickups are more comfortable for me right now, so I’m not questioning it.  The only moment this week that I got a little nervous was when I had taken Cooper to use the restroom before class, as required, where other moms and boys were trying to navigate the chaos of numerous small males trying to use the urinal, wash the hands, etc.  I told Cooper to hurry up at the sink because other boys were in line, and one of the other moms looked at me and said “Is that THE Cooper?  The one in Ms. Beth’s class?”  Oh Lordy.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to respond in the positive or not, so I smiled and said “It depends.  Why?”  She laughed and said that her son comes home every day talking about Cooper so she was happy to finally meet us.  Hmmm.  Still not sure if that was a positive conversation or not.  I wonder what on God’s green earth the child is telling his parents that my son does during the day.  Yikes.

-I will be spending the Halloween weekend studying like a maniac for my 2nd big exam for my current class.  It’s another “name that disorder” test, where I’ll be diagnosing fun things like Schizophrenia, sleep disorders, eating disorders, Schizoaffective disorders, etc.  You get the point.  I didn’t do as well as I hoped on my first exam, so I’ll be spending even more time in preparation for this one.    I got a B, but apparently my Dad did more damage than he perhaps intended when he used to tell me in high school and undergrad studies “Sure…a C is fine if you’re okay with being average” and now even a B makes me want to tear my hair out and then flog myself in front of the school. 

-D.Jones has decided not, in fact, to pursue the position that he’s been mulling over for almost a year now.  It would still be with Piper, but in San Francisco.  There are many reason, not the least of which is that it would take us away from family and friends.  Other things he considered are that he’d have to actually commute more than 15 minutes (his current bus ride) and the SF cost of living, plus other trading-related reasons that I won’t bore you with right now.  Suffice to say, we’re staying put for now and with small Jones #2 on the way in the not too distant future, I think that’s for the best.

-Lastly, we are closing in on the halfway mark to the arrival of Baby Jones.  Still no name.  Still no gender identified.  Still no decision on whether to C-section or not to C-section.  So many decisions.  At least my mom bought Cooper a book about “what’s in Mommy’s tummy” so he can stop asking me excitedly if I think it’s a small animal, so I guess we’ve made some progress.

Until later~

Learning Points & Humbling Moments

Since I’ve elected to keep Cooper home from school the latter half of this week due to the crazy number of H1N1 cases at his school, I’ve learned a few things.

1.  I’ve always worried that my son would be smarter than me by the approximate age of 7.   There are a few reasons for this thought process.  One is that he’s been smart since day 1.  One is that my math skills are ridiculously lacking, and I’ve been positive it wouldn’t take long for him to surpass them, and also that he’s half D.Jones’ child, and D.Jones is smart in a way that I’m not.  He’s analytical, extremely detailed, and, well, mathematically inclined.  Double math points against me! 

What I realized this week is that it won’t take until he’s 7.  We may be on the cusp of him leaving me in his dust any time now.

For instance, yesterday I told him we could make those kleenex ghosts that hang from string for Halloween, but that we don’t have any string, so we’d have to go to the store.  Cooper informed me quickly that “Daddy has a roll of twine on the bottom shelf in the garage, just past the recycling.”  He then advised me to put my shoes on before I would go out to look, because the garage “is outside, you know.”  I sort of complied and put on my slippers as I headed out to the cold garage.  Sure enough.  Right where he said it would be.  How bizarre to be directed around, correctly, I might add, by my 3 1/2 year old!  And it got worse.

Later in the day yesterday, we were reading a book about farm machines.  I read something about how a particular tractor mashes up grass to feed to cows, called silage.  I pronounced it “sigh-ledge”, figuring I was close, but my child began fervently shaking his head from side-to-side.  “What?” I ask him.  He says “that’s not right, mommy.  You say it “say-lidge” with him clearly pronouncing it with the emphasis on the first syllable.  What!?  Seriously.  I know it couldn’t have been his father who would’ve told him that!  Was the child a farmer in a previous life!?  Craziness.  I didn’t believe it, so I looked it up.  Sure enough.  He wins again.

2.  Number two is more about being humbled than learning, I guess.  Thing is, I’ve been the chld’s favorite adult since he was born…as it should be as his mother, right?  I figured it would be like that for a while, and then maybe, some day when he plays football or something, he may enjoy his father’s company more.  And then some day after that, we’ll be ousted together in favor of his friends.  Imagine my surprise, not to mention the crazy blow to my self-esteem, when on Tuesday night he accidentally slammed his finger in the bathroom door while getting ready for bed.

I called to him from the living room to come show me his finger, and then made the usual show of hugs and kisses and comforting words…only to have him turn tail and sprint back down the hallway toward D.Jones saying “no…I just want daddy.”  Crushed, I tell ya.

This first blow was followed harshly by his repetitive questions about when daddy will be home from work, if daddy will be home when he wakes up in the morning, and wanting to only play with daddy after we have dinner.  Grrr.

The only vindication was that last night, as I rested on the couch and D.Jones did the bath duty, I heard Cooper tell him in no uncertain terms “You’re not washing my hair right!  That’s not how mommy does it!”  Sweet boy.  Tell him what’s up, Coops, tell him what’s up!

Now that the week is coming to a close, we’ve made our Halloween crafts, we’ve made Halloween cookies, and tomorrow we head to my parent’s house for the annual pumpkin carving competition.  Hopefully Cooper doesn’t have to show me how to hold my knife…

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My Mama Never Told Me There’d Be Days Like This…

This past weekend D.Jones and I decided to head to visit his Dad in southeastern Wisconsin.  Pre-Cooper, the trip could take us 5 hours or so, with me driving, but post-Cooper, with bathroom stops and snack stops and whatever else comes up, it usually takes us closer to 6 1/2.

We left Friday morning (more like noon) after my scheduled doctor appointment.  We made it to our destination with no problem, and not long after we arrived, ordered Papa’s favorite pizza to be delivered.  It ended up being a nice, relaxing night in.

On Saturday, Doug’s Dad and I ran a few errands in preparation for some more family joining us that evening, and Doug stayed home trying to coax Cooper in to taking a nap.  In the afternoon, some additional family members began their arrivals.  Doug’s brother Tom and his wife Michelle, their kids Casey and Suzette, Doug’s sister Diane in town from Alabama, and her daughter Jessica, who was 1 day past her due date at the time, along with her fiance.  A little later in the evening, Doug’s niece Kristine and her husband Dicky arrived with their son Collin, which was a fantastic surprise as we hadn’t expected to have enough time on our quick trip to see them!

We spent a lovely evening of conversation, good food, and a heated game of cards.  Cooper was absolutely exhausted by the time I took him up to bed, but insisted I stay with him until he fell asleep.  Apparently he wasn’t the only exhausted one, as I crashed out myself, only to wake up an hour later wondering where the heck I was…

Sunday morning we planned to go out for breakfast with Tom and Michelle, hang around for a little while and head home in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, as Cooper was eating his morning cereal, he declared that he didn’t feel good and didn’t want to eat.  Very odd for our child.  We literally watched him get paler and paler by the moment.  Soon, he was in a limp ball on my lap and I moved to a rocking chair in the living room, where I rocked him as he was essentially unable to even keep his eyes open.  I began to get worried.  I told Doug that we should go and he quickly packed the car for our hasty retreat for home.

Doug sat in the backseat with Cooper, and we were both getting very stressed out as we made our way down the freeway and the boy, covered in a blanket and curled in a ball in his carseat, shivered so violently that it was visible.  He was white as chalk, and couldn’t keep his eyes open, much less keep his head up.  He drifted in and out of sleep, muttering incoherant things in his fitful sleep. 

In my head, I was deciding which urgent care we’d end up at once we arrived back in Minneapolis and familiar territory.  My adrenaline had definitely kicked in and I drove faster and faster, praying I wouldn’t get pulled over.

We were about an hour and a half in to our trip, when Cooper woke up a bit and I asked him if he thought he might want some juice or something to eat.  I told myself that if he at least had a bit of an appetite, I’d feel better.  He didn’t seem interested, but drank about half of a juice box.  When I told him he could go in to a gas station and pick out any thing he wanted, he agreed, though he had absolutely no energy and seemed like he was just going through the motions.  Doug took him in to the store and he picked out some Chex mix, and some water. 

We pulled out and across the street where Doug and I were going to get McDonald’s and as we were in the midst of the sort of long drive-thru lane, Cooper got sick.  Violently sick.  Like 4 times in a row.  Poor D.Jones was the recipient of much of it, on his lap, and with no other pair of jeans to change in to, that was an ugly thing.

Doug was saying “cancel the order, get out of the line!” from the backseat, but I felt compelled to get our stuff that we’d already ordered, which we promptly through in the garbage.  We drove back across the street to the gas station we’d just left, and began a lengthy clean up process.  To our surprise and amazement, as we began cleaning, Cooper was literally jogging laps around the car.  His color was back, his energy was back, and he was seriously back to 100% within moments.  It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen!

After much use of Lysol, Febreeze, and half a roll of paper towel, plus many trips to the gas station bathroom, we were back on our way.  D.Jones and I were marvelling at our child’s recuperation, which included him begging for food, and instead being given a cup of ice chunks.

He did end up eating cheese and crackers on the way home, though, and dinner when we got back home, too…and was just fine.  So bizarre, but like I told Doug, I’ll take it.  I was terrified for my boy for the majority of the morning.

Last night, as D.Jones and I sat in the living room after putting the boy to bed, I said “thanks for being the man of the house and taking care of most of the mess…I was having a hard time.  I could never be a single parent because without you, I have no idea what I’d do.”  Doug laughed and then said “Well, good…I guess…though I’m a little concerned that you were actually thinking about it.”

I went to bed reminding myself that I need to be thankful of the little things because boy was the morning scary.  My reminder lasted until…oh…I woke up.  This morning I woke up to find that the Yorkie had pooped in the office, my child woke up at 6:30 in the a.m. wanting me to play trucks with him, and when I staggered to the kitchen for coffee, found that my sister who had been dog sitting for us had retuned a completely empty bottle of coffee creamer to my fridge, which left me sans caffeine.   Well, I intended to be thankful, anyway.  Perhaps I’ll try again later today.

So, how’s your appetite?

I had one of my quickie prenatal appointments set up for Friday morning long before we planned to use that day to road trip to Doug’s Dad’s house in Wisconsin.  It’s nearly impossible to get appointments scheduled with my OB-GYN, so there was no way I was attempting to reschedule, and D.Jones and I decided we’d get the car loaded, and he and Cooper would visit the Bruegger’s Bagel shop on the next block while I went to see my doc.

Friday morning came and I headed over to see Dr. O.  Because my OB-GYN group is affiliated with the University of Minnesota, they are a teaching clinic.   Some of you may recall my genetic counseling appointment a few weeks ago, where there was an intern and a resident in tow?  Anyway, after the initial stuff with the nurse, she says “Dr. O has a med student following her today.  Is it okay if he comes in?”   I say “Sure!” and realize it’s beginning to be old hat.  I really couldn’t care less who wants in on the action at this point.

A few minutes later, I hear something brushing on the outside of the door to my room, and I expect the usual knock and enter, but instead I hear a male voice saying “what if she has lots of questions?” and then good old Dr. O saying “How many weeks have you been following me around!?   Answer them or write them down!”  I’m snickering to myself in the room.  There is another long pause, then a knock.  In walks a  clearly nervous med student who introduces himself as “Matt the med student.”  He asks if I have any questions while we wait for Dr. O., so I, in a fit of meanness, start firing questions at him.  Things like “what are the odds of a doctor nicking my bladder during a scheduled C-section?  How long will they let labor go on in a VBAC situation?”  and finally…”if you could decide for me, which would you pick, C-section or VBAC?”  His voice was a little shaky and his hands were worse.  He made few attempts to actually answer questions, and took a ton of notes.  His favorite answer was “Oh, uh…um…Dr. O. would be better able to answer that for you.” 

Finally, he says that he has a few questions he has to ask me for the doctor.  He obviously forgets them in the next few seconds and blurts out “Um..so, uh, how’s your appetite?”  I smile. “My appetite?” I ask.  He says “oh, uh, that’s not what I was going to ask.  I was going to ask..uh…have you had any cramping?”  I had to try so hard not to start laughing.  It was very cute.

He then excused himself and I could hear him briefing Dr. O on my questions outside of my door.  Then they both re-entered.  Dr. O answered my questions, then said she’d listen to the heart rate, which she couldn’t find.  I pannicked a bit, but tried to remain calm, since she didn’t seem worried at all.  Then she says the words I was hoping to hear…”let’s just do an ultrasound.”  I was so hoping to find out the gender on Friday, but knew there was no ultrasound scheduled until Nov 13th.  I nodded my enthusiastic agreement, and she wheeled in the ultrasound machine, but not before she glanced over at Matt and said “how did you find the heart beat?”  He stammered “Uh, I didn’t do that.”  She rolled her eyes and said “Wow…I was about to be impressed with you that you found it and I couldn’t…but nevermind.”  She smirked in my direction.  I love Dr. O.

She quickly found Baby J. and the heartbeat on the ultrasound machine, and exclaimed at how off she’d been in her attempt, as she was checking low, and Baby J is tucked in ridiculously high.  Ah ha!  He or she has been hiding already.

She then said “Alright baby, c’mon…mom wants to know what she’s got in there so show us the goods!”  Baby J was uncooperative until Dr. O said “well, no luck today” and went to switch off the machine, at which time she says “Oh wait!! It flipped, it flipped!  That’s right, baby!  Show us what we want…” and then laughed as she told me that the baby is moving so fast, she couldn’t get a shot that wasn’t blurred!  So, we did, in fact, have a cooperative baby, but no answers.  Oh well.  Hopefully November 13th we’ll have some news to share.

By the way…how’s your appetite been?

Fire!

On Saturday our friends Matt & Megan had heard that there was a local fire department having an open house.  Since Cooper owns approximately 2,304 fire trucks, and insists on watching his video Fire Truck Mighty Machines every single morning (no exceptions) while he eats his breakfast, we thought it would be a fun outing with friends.

After a quick brunch at Zumbro Cafe (delish, by the way!), we were on our way over to the fire house.  Of course, the unseasonably cold weather was slightly uncooperative, and we were frozen visitors, but we were visitors nonetheless…and happy ones.  The firemen really know how to throw a party, and Cooper and Jack quickly made their way to the popcorn line…

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and then the cookie line…

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they got their turn at “driving” one of the ladder trucks…

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and solo…

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And a final pic on the front end of one of the trucks in their cool new hats.  They had a great time, so a huge thanks to the Richfield Fire Department for all that they do, and for putting on a great party.  (And for answering Matt’s questions about the difference between “regular” trucks and the airport truck.)

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