Eve’s third track meet

We spent today at Eve’s third, and final (for the season) track meet. It was hot and sweaty and fun. Mandy joined us for the weekend and came to the track meet. Eve has a great time. Fast and friendly. :)

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We bought a new tent (easy up, one up, awning… there seems to be many names for them). Last night Eve decided it would be fun to make a sign! Good thing we are speedy with construction paper! :)

Eve did the running long jump, the 100m, and the 200m this time. This was the final meet for all of the rec teams in the state. It was by far our biggest meet yet!

Crossing the finish line of the 100m, way ahead of the crowd!

Crossing the finish line of the 100m, way ahead of the crowd!

Eve didn’t do as well this meet. The long jump was slightly different and she faulted her first jump. Also There were so many people that they had to run heats for many of the races. Eve finished her heat in the 100m way ahead of the rest of the runners, but not fast enough to qualify in the finals. She was disappointed because she thought she had done so well. We had a long chat about beating your own time, not just the other people on the track. It was a different experience for her. Then we had to wait several hours before the 200m race and by that time she was hot and bored.

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Crossing the finish line of the 200m.

Her final scores:
* Long jump – 6’2″
* 100m – 0:19.34
* 200m – 0:41.45

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Driving home. Eve is protesting Alan’s choice in music. :)

Now we are home and crashed. Alan, Lex, and Mandy are playing Minecraft, Eve is “coaching” Mandy, and I am writing this. A friend just invited us to a local fair this evening for rides and fair food… but we are done. Well, Eve is raring to go, but the rest of us are happy to kick back. Maybe we’ll do the fair tomorrow. :)

Tea house and song garden

Eve and I celebrated our last “girls only” week with a trip to The Song Garden and Tea House. It was so cute and sweet. They have a little house all set up for tea, lots of options, books, adorable doll table, and more. Eve loved it!

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Inside the tea house.

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First things first, we set Grace (Eve’s American Girl) and her reindeer up with tea. There were lots of other dolls and stuffed animals there to join them.

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Tea and biscotti for me, hot chocolate and cookies for Eve.

The woman who runs the place was there briefly. We asked her about a neat crystal on the table and she gave us a whole lesson in using a pendulum to answer life’s important questions. It was a fun experience. She said it works with any heavy object on a string, not just crystals, so Eve turned her necklace into a pendulum and we continued the fun at home.

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Consulting the pendulum on life’s biggest questions.

When we finished with our tea and fortune telling, we headed outside to pick some flowers.

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The back of the tea house. They had two outdoor seating areas as well. The whole place was very cute.

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I told Eve she had to smile for a picture our else I wouldn’t buy her any flowers. :)

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Turns out I like this picture better.

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Happiness is. (Eve likes to make “American Girl teeth” when she smiles. Pure silliness.)

This sweet outing took us all morning, so we stopped at Panera Bread on the way home for lunch. It was a wonderful end to the girly week we’ve had together.

Bee Sting Update

Lex got stung by a bee yesterday! Yay! :) Seriously though, after the last incident we have been waiting with baited breath to see how his body reacts the next time. Turns out, pretty good. So good, in fact, that he didn’t even remember to tell me about it until this morning.

He’s at camp this week and yesterday they were sitting in the grass having lunch. Suddenly he felt a sting on his thigh. He said it hurt for a few minutes, but then it went away. Some of the other kids around said they saw a bee by his leg, so he assumed it was a bee sting.

This morning he told me about it in the car on the way to camp. I looked at his thigh when we got there and it has a red, swollen area, maybe 3″ in diameter (guessing, I didn’t measure). It was hot to the touch and he said a bit itchy, but otherwise it seemed ok. At pick up one of the counselors told me about it, apologizing for not telling me sooner, and said the field was definitely full of bees. I checked Lex’s leg again in the afternoon and it looked about the same.

Sooo much better than what I feared his next bee sting would be! I know this doesn’t ensure he won’t have a similar reaction some other time, but at least I think we can relax a bit. Alan think it has to do with the type of bee (or hornet), so I’ll ask at camp tomorrow what kind of bees they were. Test the memory of these poor counselor kids. :)

Bedtime sucks

We used to have a lovely bedtime routine. I remember it well, though possibly through rose-colored lenses at this point. The kids would do showers/pjs/teeth, then we would read together. Then Lex would read to himself while I laid down with Eve, then I would lay with him. At some point Alan started watching TV with Lex at night, which worked out ok most nights. They would watch TV while I got Eve in bed, and then Lex would come upstairs and I’d get him settled. If Alan wasn’t home, then we fell back to our reading routine. That worked well enough. Lately, though, with summer and late track practices and Alan is now playing Minecraft with Lex and the whole routine is just shot. What’s worse, is that every night is kind of up in the air. Who goes to bed, when, is Alan home, how much screentime has Lex already had, etc. Which basically leaves me spending hours each evening just hanging out, still on-call, waiting for the kids to get in bed. It sucks. Last weekend at family meeting we had a long chat about it. The kids got to weigh in with their thoughts, and together we came up with a schedule for each of them. That was five days ago and we haven’t managed to follow it once. Ugh. One of Eve’s concerns was that she wanted music, like Lex, and she wanted to stay up later. We took care of both things, but then it ended up that Lex also pushed his bedtime back a bit and she got furious that, once again, she’s going to bed before him. It drives her crazy. We have long talks about why it’s ok for them to have different bedtimes. It drives me crazy. We got them both new speakers and I put my old phone in her room so she could listen to Pandora at night. It seems to keep her up rather than help her sleep. Last night I caught her leaving comments and engaging in the social media aspect of Pandora! Eeek! Today she listened to music in her room for much of the day (her American Girl hair salon had a rockin’ beat!), but when I took the music away at bedtime she had a huge meltdown. It sucked. However, the upside to meltdowns is that they wear the kid out faster! She’s asleep now, which is about an hour earlier than she has fallen asleep all week.

The main problem is that they want to do all these big kids things, like reading in bed and playing Minecraft with Alan, but they also want me to lay with them, which I love doing and don’t want to give up either. But that leaves me twiddling my thumbs and unable to settle into anything else, and it leaves me still parenting at 9pm at night. I guess the main problem is I’m tired. Maybe I should go to bed now. I think they are actually both asleep. Sweet dreams.

Lost tooth

Trying to get the kids in bed tonight. Thunder and lightening. Driving wind and rains. Everyone is unsettled. Finally the storm died down and I got them both in bed. Awhile later I hear Lex at the top of the stair, “Mom, I lost a tooth.” This is the second time he has lost a tooth that I didn’t even know was loose. I remember when a loose tooth was a big deal, but I guess no more. Tonight was the bottom, right canine. That boy is growing up fast.

A Day with Eve

I have been getting some serious quality time with Eve lately. With Lex away at camp last week and next week, Eve and I have been enjoying outings and quiet home time together. Today she had a track meet an hour away and the weather forecast was 60% chance of thunderstorms. The boys opted out. Fair weather fans!! Just kidding, it was really a group decision that made the most sense. So Eve and I packed up and hit the road on our own.

It turned out to be a very small meet with just two town rec teams competing. They were pretty flexible on the rules, everyone had fun, and we were done by noon. It only poured once, for just a few minutes. Not too hot. Not too cold. Great day overall.

Eve signed up for the Standing Long Jump, which is different than the Running Long Jump she did at the last meet. I don’t know who makes the rules, but the running jump wasn’t an option this time. She also signed up for the 100m and 200m dashes. She wanted to do 200m and 400m, but for some reason the 400m wasn’t available for her age group.

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Standing Long Jump

The Standing Long Jump is not her cup of tea. Really she’s only done it twice and has very little idea of the proper form. She also had very little interest in learning and chatted her way through the whole thing.

Later in the day we were watching some of her friends to the Softball Throw (younger version of shotput, I think) and the lady asked Eve if she wanted a turn. Eve said sure, why not. Like I said, they were pretty laid back at this meet. :)

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Softball Throw. Underhand? Overhand? It doesn’t matter!

Eve ran the 100m and came in a very close 2nd. The winner’s mom showed me a picture and they were both over the line at the same time, the other girl just a hair ahead. It was a pretty cool picture. :)

Later she ran the 200m and did awesome! I think her time was 40s. The coach will send me “official” times later. The race had three girls and one boy. The boy was way ahead of everyone, but Eve was first in the girls. She considered it a win.

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Rocking the 200m!

I love this picture. Eve and I were walking back from the softball throw and the older girls were running the 800m sprint. Eve saw our top runner heading for the finish line and said, “Oh, I’m going to run in with her!” I love the enthusiasm and the show of support. I have no idea if the other girl even noticed, I didn’t get a chance to chat with her, but it made Eve happy at least. This girl will be running in the Junior Olympics next month!

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Eve decided to “run it in” with her favorite runner. This girl is Olympic material and super nice.

Her times:
* 100m – 0:18.09
* 200m – 0:40.56 (about 1.5s faster than last time)

After the meet was over a bunch of the team went to Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream. It was less than a half mile away so Eve and I decided to walk. After getting ice cream we decided to go to Dunkin Donuts (seriously) to get me some ice tea for the drive home. Eve wanted to walk there but I wasn’t sure how far it was and the sky was looking threatening, so we walked back to the car and drove. The whole time I was there I kept thinking we should have walked. It wasn’t that far and it didn’t rain. Had we actually walked Murphy may have kicked in though, you never know!

The whole drive home I was thinking that I really should get some proper exercise today, so I decided to invite Lex for a walk. I haven’t had much QT with him lately. He politely said no thanks to taking an walk, and Eve excitedly asked to come with me, so Eve and I headed out for some more time together. Alan joked (kind of) that maybe mom needed a walk to get a break from Eve, but I couldn’t say no to her request to come. She’s so darn sweet and has been super encouraging of me to exercise lately. She wants me to run a 5K with her this fall. Eek.

So off we went. We ended up walking for two and a half hours, a bit longer than we were driving today! The sun came and went, the rain held off, and we had fun. We took a midway stop at the river to sit down and soak our feet. Well, Eve soaked hers, I wasn’t interested in taking off my shoes and socks.

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Down by the river. I LOVE this girl.

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Happiness is.

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Practicing my selfies. Shoulders back, lady!

Now I am drinking a well earned glass of wine and getting ready to watch a movie with Alan. Life is good.

Say what?!

“I like brightness.  It’s very good for my fallopian tubes,” said Eve this evening at bedtime.

Eve has been watching a lot of BrainPop lately.  Apparently she has discovered the puberty and period videos.  She has been asking a lot of questions.  I’m good at answering them, but really wish she was still a tiny baby I could scoop up in my arms and nuzzle her bald head.  Sigh.

Eve’s ear

I’m sitting in the outpatient surgery waiting room right now. Eve is in the OR right now, having a “bump” removed from her ear. I have been reluctant to write this post, I’m not sure why. As the kids get older I feel more reserved about the private information I post. I realized I’ve already posted a ton of private info, but it’s starting to feel different. Anyway, I’m going to write this while I wait because I want the details for my own memory, and I’ll see how I feel about posting it when I’m done.

When Eve was four she started to develop a “bump” on the back of her right ear. The “helix” according to a random page I found on the Internet.

I asked the doctor about it at her 5yr well child check up and the doctor said it looked like a mole, nothing more. She recommended I take a picture and we keep an eye on it.

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Eve’s ear in April, 2012 (5 years old)

Over the next year or so it swelled up to about the size of a slightly used pencil eraser (how’s that for specific) and then shrunk down again, like a wrinkled raisin. Then it swelled up and grew another bump on top of the original bump. Weird. At her seven year check up (or thereabouts, I’m forgetting the details) the doctor recommended we see a dermatologist, just to have a second opinion. The dermatologist (who is awesome, btw) determined it was a “growing and changing mole” and suggested we keep an eye on it, but we’d likely want to have it removed at some point, for cosmetic reasons if nothing else. After two appointments, with the bump-on-bump still growing, we decided she was old enough and we just wanted to have it removed.

This February we went to the dermatologist for the in-office procedure. The whole thing took about five minutes and the doctor talked to Eve about American Girls and suddenly it was over.

Feb 2015

Feb 24th 2015, the day we had the “bump” removed in the dermatologist’s office.

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Feb 24th 2015, the day we had the “bump” removed in the dermatologist’s office.

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Post derm procedure. She basically just cut the bump off and cauterized the wound. It didn’t stay black like that for long.

The worst part, according to Eve, is that we had to keep Aquafor and a band-aid on it for a few weeks to keep it moist and soft. She didn’t like the bankd-aid process.

The doctors did their medical thing and studied the bump thoroughly. The called it a “spitzoid melanoma of childhood.” The dermatologist said they used to call this type of thing “childhood melanoma,” but now that sounds too scary so they changed the name. I’m not sure “spitzoid” sounds any less scary! The docs were concerned that it might be a bit more than a normal thing and there was some discussion about what to do. They sent the “specimen” to Sloan Kettering for further analysis and eventually the doctors all agreed that the remainder of the “bump,” the part still inside her ear, should be removed. I had a long talk with our dermatologist about the pros and cons and ramifications of surgery or “leave well enough alone.” She also recommended an ultrasound of Eve’s neck because if the ear issue had extended into her body further it would likely show up in the lyphnodes in her neck. I think that was the “sentinel lymphnodes” part. We decided to go ahead with the ultrasound as a baseline (they want to repeat again next year to see if there are changes) and the ear surgery. It was a hard decision, for me, because I don’t want to do unnecessary surgery and there were so many maybes involved. However, I also don’t want to bury my head in the sand and avoid the problem until something else happens, potentially more internally where we won’t catch it quickly.

So, we did the ultrasound last month. It was a tough experience because the only time I’ve been in an ultrasound room was for baby peeks, and to see MY baby on the table was a little disconcerting… and also because the last time I was in that room was when we didn’t see a heartbeat and that was pretty traumatic. Anyway, it’s not about me. I had both kids with me at the time and you can’t get too sentimental with two silly kids around. Eve was perfectly still while the ultrasound tech did her job, then did 200 jumping jacks while we waited the the tech to release us. We all agreed that inside the neck looks like a raging river with some boulders (lymphnodes, I presume) in it.

The dermatologist called me that afternoon (did I mention she’s awesome!) and said that the lymphnodes look fine and there is no cause for concern there. Whew!! There had been talk of removing a swollen lymphnode during the ear surgery, if necessary, and I was VERY glad to hear that wasn’t necessary!

Alan and I decided it was still a good idea to go ahead and have the remaining part of the “bump” removed from her ear, just to be sure there were no more bad cells in there. It was hard to explain that to Eve though. She understood the initial removal of the bump, but she wanted nothing to do with this second procedure. Leading up to today I have asked all the questions I could to various people and feel as prepared as possible. In the past few days I tried to talk to Eve about what to expect, but she kept insisting that she didn’t want to know. She didn’t want to hear about it. I let the issue rest.

Last night I was combing her hair and noticed that the bump area is starting to bump up again. That effectively cleared away any remaining hesitation I had about the surgery. Clearly it is still “active” and therefore potentially troubling.

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Eve’s ear, last night. The bump is starting to grow again.

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Eve’s ear, last night. The bump is starting to grow again.

This morning we had a 6:45am appointment with the surgery center. Eve wasn’t allowed to eat or drink beforehand, so I let her sleep as long as possible, waking her a little after 6:00am. That’s when her true feelings came up. “Mom, I don’t want to do this. Please can I just stay here in bed. Why do I have to have surgery? Why don’t I get a say in the matter?” My heart broke at 6:10am. Sigh. I hugged her and tried to explain a bit, but mostly just empathized. I acknowledged that she is getting older and should be more involved in the decision making process. I was able to get her out the door, if not happily at least peacefully, and we headed to surgery. By the time we got there she had built up her silly defenses and was pure sweet and silly. She did a great job with the process and everyone involved was super nice and caring and sweet. I was really impressed.

At this point I am actually home now. The surgery was scheduled for 1hr 45m, but only lasted about 25 minutes. Good news! The surgeon told me that he didn’t have to take any cartilage, which is good, and was able to get out as much as the “specimen” as he could see. He said he took a few extra millimeters all around, so hopefully it’s all cleared out! I was able to go into the operating room with her and hold her hand while she sang “Let It Go” with a Child Life Specialist. She was asleep before the end. I cried a little on the way out. I knew she was in good hands and it wasn’t a major surgery, but the emotion is still a bit overwhelming. I went back to the waiting room and was surprised to hear them calling my name 25 minutes later! I talked with the doctor, then went back into the recovery area (the same place as the pre-op area) to talk with the nurse and be present when Eve woke up. She rebounded quickly and in no time was eating popsicles and telling the nurses silly stories. We left a short time later and headed to the store to buy her more popsicles, and Cheetos (a treat she never gets normally!) and granola bars. Basically whatever she asked for I said yes. She was driving the cart down the aisles like a drunk person. Alan met us there to say hi and we both had a good laugh at with her.

We came home and spent the next few hours on the couch watching Dinosaur Train, a PBS preschool program that she loves but that Lex refuses to watch anymore and therefore Eve rarely gets to see. This morning I promised her all the Dinosaur Train she wants, which is partly why she got out of bed in the first place.

Now we wait for further lab results to tell us… well, I don’t really know what they’ll tell us. I guess some sort of reassurance that this whole experience is over.

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Eve’s ear, immediately following surgery. Not a pretty sight.

And we wait for this monstrosity to heal. The doctor assured me it would look pretty good in the end. He’s a plastic surgeon and that is his job after all. So far, in the past few hours, it started bruising and looking even worse.  Fortunately she seems to be feeling fine, full of energy and insisting there is no ear pain.  I’ll probably give her some Tylenol before bed, just in case, but she definitely bounces back quickly!

Eve told me she didn’t want me to take any pictures in the hospital (I snuck that one above while she was still sleeping!), but when she saw me looking like this she decided it was worthy of a photo.  Whatever it takes to make her smile.  :)

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Silly mommy. Doggie got her own hat, mask, and breathing mask too. They took good care of Eve and her lovies there. :)

Minecraft

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Game central

“Throw some meat at me!” “Whoops, I threw my sword at you instead. Sorry!” Sigh, my boys are playing Minecraft together. I may never see either of them again. I’m having flashbacks to my college days and gamer boys.

“Oh no, my sword is broken. Now I’m punching a pig!”

4th of July – on the 11th

Happy 4th of July… better late than never, right? Sometimes I wonder if it matters, but years later I know I’ll be happy to see the post. :)

We celebrated the 4th as we have the past few years, hanging out at home during the day then fireworks in town in the evening.

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Eve, just hanging around. The branch fell a few minutes later, luckily when were feet were pointed down. I asked Alan to take the tree down. Sumac isn’t the strongest of tree!

The 4th was the day of the big wedding, so when I told the kids to pack for the fireworks Eve took the job seriously!

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All packed up and ready to go.

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Eve set up the wedding while Alan and Lex played frisbee. I took a few pictures then joined in the frisbee game! :)

The best part of the whole wedding was when Eve got all set up and then said, “Oh no!” As soon as she looked at me I had a vision of the two stuffed animals who were supposed to be getting married, laying on the dining room table. Oops! I suggested we have the wedding another day, but she said we’ll carry on without them and just skip to the cake part. :) She’s so go-with-the-flow!

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Time for cake! Yum?

Look, Alan and I were there too. :)

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A bit later we met up with some friends, and Mema and Grandpa Tom joined the group. We had a nice little fireworks party.

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Two weeks into summer vacation and Eve was pretty happy to see a friend again. :)

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Hard to believe that he is six months older than she is. :) It’s all about the genetics!

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Lex likes to dance while eating ice cream. Real time calories.

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Grandpa Tom tried Eve’s cake and even went back for a second bite! :)

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Playing cards by the light of the glow sticks.

Two of the kids in our group were 5yrs old and witnessing their first fireworks. Their commentary was hilarious! I wish I could remember all of it, but here are a few lines: “It’s like popcorn! And bombs!” and “Mom, what happens if you eat them?” They would have been an excellent Kid Snippets soundtrack. :)

The obligatory fireworks pictures.  The show this year was fantastic!  It lasted a full hour and they even had enough for a spectacular finale!  Totally awesome.

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So that was the 4th of July. I’m just a week late with my postings, but I spent most of that week at a conference learning cool teacher stuff.