Yesterday was cold and windy and threatened rain. We were planning on taking photos on the lawn at the edge of the housing development, but the grass was covered in goose shit. Instead we occupied the strange, little tennis court and let the girls run (and crawl) wild.
Some cute new clothes and the first day of 2022 with weather nice enough to sit outside were perfectly good reasons for a fresh set of photos.
Penny had a great time putting all sorts of stuff into her mouth that she shouldn’t have. Unfortunately for Beanut, she got some sunblock in her eye and was pretty unhappy. Worry not. As soon as the irritation wore off, Beatrice was just fine.
Enjoy the photos of one happy, leaf-eating child and one grumpy, eye-irritated child.
And because why not, here’s two minutes from the day before of the girls enjoy the grass and wind.
I have to keep my finger in this tiny, stupid splint for six weeks!
I suppose, though, it could be worse. It could be my whole hand. Or a finger on my dominant right hand. Or my arm! OR MY NECK!
It all happened last Thursday. I was home, getting the girls ready for their evening bath. I had Penny undressed in my right arm and Beanut in her diaper in my left. The bath was run and the water was warm. Everything was going swimmingly.
Then Beatrice saw something so fun on the floor and dove for it. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but 1 year olds do not possess the world’s greatest self-preservation instinct. Luckily, I was there to get my hand under her to prevent toddler suicide. The bad news was that I got my left pinky under her sternum at just the wrong angle. It snapped.
The child was, and still is, totally fine. I caught her and she had no idea about the fate she narrowly avoided. I placed them both down on the sofa, set my broken finger back into place, and moved them to the tub. I sent Sarah the following text message:
She promptly called me back and I told her what happened as Penny and Bea splashed in the background. She promised to be home as soon as she could. I gave the girls a cursory bath, got them dressed, and set them up with some milk. I’d be lying if I told you I combed their hair, though. That really requires two hands: one to stabilize the squirming child and the other to operate the comb. Getting them dressed usually requires two hands as well, but I managed to pin them down with my forearm. No left hand fingers needed for that task.
By 6:45pm Sarah was home, and by 7 I was on the road to the local ER. They did a round of x-rays, determined that the photos were inconclusive, wrapped my finger in a splint, and sent me home. I was home by 9. It might have been the fastest ER visit I’ve ever had. Of course, they barely did anything and arrived at no answers, but, still, it was quick.
For a week, I’ve lived with the busted pinky. I’ve shoveled snow more than once. I’ve cared for tiny children. I’ve deboned chicken. All successfully, if a little slower than normal. Each day, I took off the splint for my shower and carefully redressed it afterward. I definitely splinted it more securely than the ER did.
On Thursday I had my follow-up appointment. The ER discharge paperwork told me I should have gone in on the 29th, but that wasn’t going to happen because A) a blizzard rolled through on the 28th and B) it was a Saturday. So Thursday it was.
I got another set of x-rays done and this time we were able to see the tiny bone fragment floating in my finger where the tendon snapped the bone. Pretty cool! I regret not asking for a copy of the images, though. Then the doctor told me that every time I take my finger out of the splint I tear through any new scar tissue formed and that if I want it to heal correctly—that is, heal in a way that allows me to fully straighten my finger—I need to keep it in the split for six weeks.
What a pain in the butt. At least the doctor cut the finger-length splint down to a knuckle-length splint to allow me to partially bend my finger.
So for the next six weeks I’m living with this adorable pinky splint that I need to keep clean and dry. I’ve ordered some extra-large nitrile gloves from the site that shares a name with a rainforest which will hopefully get me through six weeks of dishes, diapers, and cat litter. I already want to take the thing off and bend my finger. But I am going to be good.
Today is the first birthday of my wonderful, screaming monsters. Sarah made them a confetti cake and they got a visit from Grandma Bev and Grandpa Redge. Snow fell. Diapers were changed. They made a huge mess. Photos were taken. Bath time was torture. Getting dressed and having their hair brushed was an unbearable misery. Overall, a perfect first birthday.
Today is also a day tinged with sadness as we remember our lost Olive. Milestones come fast during a child’s first few years. First teeth. First steps. First words. First Christmas. First lawsuit. You get the idea. And, as we see Penny and Beanut make all these steps growing up, we can’t help but be reminded that Livvy didn’t get a chance for any of them. I miss that little baby and I miss the person she could have been.
When the sadness of the situation is overwhelming, I feel comforted in the two girls we do get to see grow, learn about the world, and chase the ever-patient Noodle, and knowing that Livvy’s essence has gone back to the universe that made her. In the end, we are all just stardust and she has gone back to the stars earlier than we would have liked.
Happy birthday, girls. I love you all very much.
Enjoy some photos of babies with a bunch of cake on their sweet, little faces.
Penny. It’s almost midnight. Why have you been laying in bed with your eyes open for nearly 30 minutes? PenPen, it’s night-night time. Go to sleep, Penny. Stop staring at the ghosts. They know you can see them. But you’re a growing girl and there will be time for spirits.
It’s Thanksgiving. The 23-pound turkey is in the oven and cooking nicely. Stuffing is warming in the slow cooker. The first bottle of wine is open and halfway to the bank. Your kids are dressed like little turkeys in outfits gifted by the babysitter. You find yourself with a brief moment before the sun dips behind the horizon.
What do you do?
If you’re me, you throw the kids on the lawn and take some dang photos. And, with the help of our friendly neighbor Doug, you get a couple almost-good family portraits. To be fair to Doug, he had the barrel of the lens pointed directly into the setting sun. A valiant effort, but we’ll have to try again.
Sarah purchased these outfits for the girls a while and ago and we’d been looking for a good time to use them. She worried that we were too far into autumn for another outdoor shoot, but the climate change gods came through for us, delivering a warm, lovely November afternoon. We were also fortunate enough to have the sunset shining directly between the houses with which we share a weird, communal back yard.
All in all, we had about four minutes of prep time for these. Get the girls dressed. Throw a blanket on the lawn. Go go go. The sun dipped behind the buildings shortly after taking the last photo. It’s nice when things come together at the last minute.