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Swings and nicu memories

Just over a year ago, we gave up on the Little Tykes swingset we had for the kids. Ryley and Grace had outgrown it to the point I was afraid they were going to tip it over when they would swing. So, we bought the big kid wooden version, complete with “rock climbing wall”, monkey bars, table, and bumpy slide. They love it, and spend hours on it nearly everyday. I have never once regretted the purchase, even after this past weekend.

I had a mom’s afternoon Saturday, and spent it at a friends, scrapbooking from noon til 5, complete with a baked potato bar for lunch. It was so nice to get away, and do something I enjoy, with women I adore spending time with (hmmm….that sounds like a weekend I have coming up in Kansas City……). About midway through, my phone rang. It’s not unusual for Michael to call me when I’m out, asking where this or that is, how to deal with certain home situations, etc. This time, he just told me that Ryley had something to tell me. Normally that means Ryley has done something he shouldn’t have, has possibly destroyed something of mine, and is in BIG trouble. This time, however, he was crying as he got on the phone. And he told me that he fell off the swing and hurt himself. I just made sure he was okay, and calmed him down a bit, told him I would be home soon, and then talked to Michael again. Ryley had been on the trapeze swing, flipping over like he loves to do, and fell…..right onto his face. No ER visit was required, but he said it wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t too worried when Michael told me that all it took to calm Ryley down was half a can of Sprite (a serious goodie in our house since my kids NEVER get soda…drink nazi, remember?). I stayed at the crop, and came home at my usual time, but still anxious to see my baby. His face is wrecked. He seriously scraped it near his nose and right next to his mouth, and had a big lump and bruise above his eyebrow. Poor little guy. It really looks bad. Michael had cleaned it out and band-aided it right away. I’ve been putting stuff on it everyday, but it’s yucky looking. I was a little worried about school today….they did send him to the nurse to be checked out (without telling me which kind of peeved me, but whatever….I know they have to do what they have to do to “protect” kids), and Ryley’s going to the dr on Wednesday anyways for his six year checkup. This isn’t the first injury on the swingset, and I know it definitely isn’t the last. I still love the thing, and am so glad we have it. Yesterday, Michael took Ryley and Grace to the driving range, so it was just me and Ethan hanging out. We played in the backyard for awhile, then we got on the swing together. The joy on his face as mommy swang with him was worth every injury that might be incurred. “Higher, Momma, higher!!!” as the smile lit up his face, and he was in toddler heaven….I love those moments!

Here are some pics of the swingset, Ryley’s owies, and a new soccer pic.

And just to let those of you in, or just out of the NICU know that you are not alone, that the feelings you have are “normal” for the situation you find yourself in, I’m adding another entry from Ryley’s NICU stay, this from Oct 2, 2000…..

“I’m sitting here next to you in your isolette. I can’t wait for the day I can look at you without having to look through plastic. I can’t wait for the day when I can really see your face, without your hat down over your eyes, tape on your chin, and tubes in your little nose. I wonder if you know I’m here.
“People ask about you all the time. It’s so hard to tell them everything, because you have so many little changes each day that probably don’t make much sense to them. For instance, you gained an ounce yesterday. To your dad and me, that huge. Others don’t understand. The fact that you made it an hour today on the nasal cannula is a big accomplishment in our eyes, but doesn’t mean much to anyone else. We’re learning so much, even though they’re lessons I wish we didn’t have to have. There’s a whole new language for preemies like you. Everyday is a challenge and a battle to be won. Everyday we have you is a gift.
“I’m at home now. Your mother is a big chicken. The nurses were going to draw some blood and I knew it was going to really hurt you. I couldn’t take it so I came home. I’m sorry I left you alone when something bad was going to happen. You’re getting a transfusion tonight. Your doctor assures us this is normal and to be expected due to all the blood they’ve taken from you.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life. I thought 18 months of trying to get pregnant was tough, but this makes that seem like a picnic.”


Swing injury1


Swing injury3


Ryley action soccer

7 thoughts on “Swings and nicu memories

  1. I want to get a house so bad so I can get my girls a swing set like that, I have taken them to the park and put blankets a cleaned the swings with all kinds of stuff so they can try a real awing ride, they just love it! I kinda look forward to the little boo boos! You make me wish I had kept a journal for my girls! I was so out of it , it probably wouldn’t have made any sense, even to me! Bless you and your loved ones!

  2. OUCH!!! That does look like a big one!! Poor baby! On another note.. it sounds like you had a great afternoon.. albeit the owies. What fun… I hope you got alot accomplished. I know the month of September is a hard one for you. I may not have been around much, but you were always in my thoughts. Now look ahead to the year to come. You have an amazing weekend coming up, next week (HOLY COW), and another year of memories to make with your “fiesty fighter”!! Love and Hugs!
    Karri

  3. Wow, what an AWESOME swingset. I would play on that thing if it was in my backyard. LOVE IT! Poor Ryley, I’m sure it looks much worse than it feels. What an incredible athlete in that picture, such determination, such drive. Thank you for the journal, a lot of my entries are written a lot like that. Especially the drawing blood thing… I could never watch them poke Daisy. I still have a hard time with it. Hugs,
    Sam

  4. Donna~
    Geez that looks painful.. I’m glad he’s okay. I have very similiar journal entries. It’s so hard to sit there day after day. Thank you for sharing..
    Hugs
    Kate

  5. Donna,
    Poor Ryley! As for sending him to the nurse at school, don’t take it personally. Teachers do that just to make sure they know what he should or should not be doing. Like if he should avoid basketball at recess.
    I really wish I had kept a journal when my two were in the NICU. What an incredible record you have for Ryley when he is older.
    Kathy

  6. Mickey’s saving up for a “park” for our backyard…he has 3 trucks banks and every weekend asks if he has saved enough yet! LOL
    I love your playset…totally cool! Mickey would totally dig it! As for the ouchie…ouchie!!! I’m sure it looks worst than it is. I’m sure he’s still as handsome as ever…great soccer picture! You’ll have to teach me how to scrapbook…it haven’t a clue…too many options…too mnay choices…too many stresses… LOL ~Jaclyn~

  7. UG! Poor guy! That one looks like it hurt bigtime Donna! Love the swingset though and I bet the kids will get tons of fun play time on it! Great pictures! Hugs to you!
    Donna

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