And now, another chapter of “Weird Injuries”

20 Jul

When I was a sophomore in high school, I woke up with a sore neck.  It hurt to move it around.  But, never the whiner, I got dressed and went to school.  By third period, I couldn’t move it without pain and my friend said “OMG just go to the nurse!”

Turns out I had whiplash.  I was grilled by the nurses about if I’d been in a car accident, are you sure?, where you joy riding with friends and don’t want to tell?

Nope.  My mom’s theory is that it was sort of caused by carrying my little sister on my shoulders, then sleeping funny.

It makes sense.  Sort of.  But it’s still weird to say “I woke up with whiplash.”

Another time in high school, I was rushing to school and went to cut between two cars, only to slip on ice and fall.  I had to explain to the nurse that I needed an ice pack for the lump on my head because I hit a car with my head.  “You were in an accident?”  No.  “You were hit by a car?”  No – I hit the car.  With my head. Ice pack please?

As an adult, I went to light a match only to have it explode in my face.  I burnt my eyeball.  At least that was easier to explain and I got some numbing drops for my eyeball.  I also ended up with tennis elbow from hefting Maura into her car seat too much.  She was seven at the time.

Most recently is this –



That’s my right hand.  In a splint.

See, I was unpacking a box of household cleaners.  I obviously picked up something the wrong way and suddenly – ow.  I somehow sprained my hand picking up one of those bottles in an odd manner. And because the sprain is so high up in my hand, the splint had to be that long. The splint is to remind me to not use that hand doing things like lifting boxes or furniture or whatnot.

The main thing I’ve learned so far?  I kind of suck at being left handed.

I miss my right hand.

Life lessons at Chipotle

14 Jul

So lately, Maura and I have been grabbing lunch at  Chipotle after summer school lets out – by that point of the day, we’re both really hungry.

It’s funny to think of how much Maura loves Chipotle.  We get burrito bowls.  She’ll eat the whole thing.  She’s a dainty princess like that.  But really, she’s in a body of a 12 year old about to grow some more girl.  Wanting to eat everything? That’s normal.

Now, since everyone else in the area also loves Chipotle for lunch, we encounter a huge line.  I spend our time in line giggling with her, reminding her not to bump into people, explaining “personal space”, reminding her to not cut ahead when the opportunity arises.  Okay, that sounds like she’s a sugared up monkey in line – she’s not.  She’s actually quite calm, and the reminders are just that – reminders.  One day, I started thinking about how much life skills are involved in waiting in line.  Patience, respect for others, turn taking – and she does so well every time.

I do think her favorite part is selecting what she wants.  Which is the same thing every time.  She does not want chicken.  She does want lettuce.  She definitely wants the mild salsa. We bypass the guac for her (hey, it costs extra!) And the staff is there being wonderfully patient with her, pointing to different options, checking with her what she wants before they glance at me for clarification.  They don’t rush us along even though there’s twenty people behind us in line.

I could order it all for her, but I won’t.  I let her have this chance to make choices.  In a way, Chipotle has become a safe, friendly environment in which to learn how to make choices and wait in line and other basic but very necessary life skills.  When she gets over-exuberant and yells “HI!” at all the staff with a big smile, they return the smile and the “hi!”.

There was one point, the second time we were doing this, as Maura got confused between lettuce and guac that I had a moment of “Oh God, we’re holding up the line!” – but that thought immediately turned to “Chill.  It’s not that big of a deal, we’re not taking up that much of their time, and patience is something everyone can learn.”  Because really, Maura learning this skill set benefits everyone.  And I’ve seen people be much bigger line hold ups there as well. It’s a lesson set for Maura, but it’s also a teaching moment for me – that it’s okay to let Maura do things at her pace in public.  To chill out about what others might be thinking.  To not be so hypersensitive myself.

Life lessons can happen anywhere, sometimes with a side of guac (which costs extra but is totally worth it!)

this is some serious business people!

this is some serious business people!

And then we moved

13 Jul don't I look thrilled to be alive and holding up a mattress in a moving truck?

Yes, the past couple of weeks have been chock full of moving fun.  The packing.  The sound of tape ripping.  The whining teens who mutter at you when you say “Can you move that couch over there instead?”

And all in the middle of the hottest temperatures ever to hit the PNW.

so. much. fun.

don't I look thrilled to be alive and holding up a mattress in a moving truck?

don’t I look thrilled to be alive and holding up a mattress in a moving truck?


We got it done, and with limited trauma to everyone involved.  Though it was touchy for a couple days with Maura.

Maura’s usually a duck when it comes to change.  She likes new things, new people, new places.  She had no issue moving to or from Ireland – as long as she had her suitcase and backpack, she was set to go.

Then there was this move.

She was cool with it all until she came home and saw her room dismantled.  Then she screamed.  She screamed and cried and didn’t understand what happened to her room.  Josh – being the awesome dad he is – said “Here, follow me.” and took her to where her bed was, in pieces, in the garage.  “This is mostly just ceremonial, but let’s do this.” he said as he opened up the back of the truck. “Here, let’s get your bed on the truck, want to put this piece of your bed on the truck?”


Piece by piece, they loaded her bed onto the truck, which calmed Maura.  Then we offered to get ice cream and all was even better.

The next day, we got keys to the new house, and started putting our stuff in there.  Maura started up again – partially because the girl refused to go to sleep until 11:30 pm the night before.  As her stuff went into her new room, she cried.  “My room broken!” she screamed as she ran off in a tizzy.

“For God’s sake Collin, can you put her bed together? Quickly?” we asked the eldest.

I took her with me to the now old house, and she screamed.  “House!’  Argh.  Cue more short, simple explanations about the  new house.
We got back to said new house to find her bed together.  I ripped open the bag of bedding and made her bed up asap.  “My room fixed!” she gasped with joy.

Sure kid.  As long as you’re happy.

And like that, Maura’s back to her duck status.  This morning a friend stopped by and she said proudly “My house!”, showing off her new home.

Now if I could just remember where I packed the rest of her clothes….


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