Friday, September 19, 2008

Catching up

Over the next few days, I hope to upload some pictures from this summer on our Flickr page. We're a bit backlogged, and I fear we've relied a little too much on our cell phone cameras. Our apologies. I've already put up some from July, when we visited with our Katie, Caleb, and Mazie, and also enjoyed a nice long visit with Grandma and Granddad in Kentucky.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tobin Lee Smith, M.D.

I have a wicked bruise just above my right knee from an unfortunate encounter with the corner of our coffee table. Tobin comments on it everyday, usually starting with something like, "Mama, you have a bruise?" This morning, we were reading a book and he asked to look at the bruise. I noted how it was turning green in parts. (Sorry if that's too graphic, but it's worth it, I promise.) Tobin's eyes lit up and he said, "After green, it turn blue. After blue, it turn gray. And after gray, it be white!"

Oh, and last week, when Tobin was trying to read me a book while he had the hiccups, he matter-of-factly told me: "Pick-ups make Tobin's talk go away."

Monday, September 15, 2008


Things have been mostly quiet around here lately, as we adjust to our new routines. I must say that I am enjoying my time at home. I was somewhat prepared for this, but it IS surprising how much I don't get done that I think I should, even on days when we don't even leave the house except for our morning run. I've been trying to focus on keeping my to-do list simple: playing with Tobin, making food, exercising (a little), and cleaning (even less!). Tobin likes to help, so he helps me with things like making bread, granola, cookies (for Aunt Ashley's visit this past weekend), and dinner. I could write a whole post on how he "helps," so I'll save those details for later . . . except to note that T loves to eat bread dough, and would do so by the fistful if I let him. Tobin does not seem to enjoy vacuuming or otherwise cleaning floors, so I figure that suffices as my reason why those items are well past due. Nonetheless, I do feel a sense of order in our home that I haven't felt in a really long time.

We also have taken steps toward a certain toddler milestone. Yesterday, we bought Tobin a training potty. He had previously expressed some interest in trying to use the toilet, but sitting him on there was awkward, of course. For months now, he's shown some signs of physiological readiness. He rarely wets his diaper overnight. And he, quite hilariously, seeks privacy when having a BM. In fact, if Matt or I walk into our bedroom, his usual place of retreat, while he's in progress, he'll tell us to "go away." Tobin thinks his potty is quite neat. We spent a good deal of the morning returning to the bathroom to see it, sit on it, and sometimes try to take it apart. (I'm realizing in retrospect that it was probably not a good idea to assemble the potty in front of T, since now he knows that various parts lift and pull apart. Which could be problematic once it's actually being used.) Tobin's timing when trying to use the potty seems a bit off. For example, after he pooped today, he protested as I directed him to the changing table, telling me he wanted to poop on his potty. I let him sit on the potty after I'd cleaned him up, and he was happy with that, proudly announcing that he was "all done," even returning for a "little bit more" and even though the only poop that was deposited was in his diaper. I know he'll figure this out eventually, and we're not going to rush it. For now, we're focusing on praising him whenever he expresses interest, and trying not to laugh at his inevitable potty antics.

On the Hannah front, we are seeing small signs of progress. We hope. Matt reminded me of how her surgeon explained the important of the "two's." Surgery for this type of disc injury should be performed within two days. Within two weeks, you look for signs of improved mobility. In two months, you hope that the dog will be walking again. Hannah was in surgery within eight hours of her injury, so we feel good about the first indicator. Yesterday marked two weeks. Well, over the weekend, Hannah first delighted everyone by wagging her tail for Ashley, who was visiting. We hadn't seen her do this up to that point, even when Matt comes home in the afternoons. And then also on Saturday, she appeared to start bearing some weight on her right hind leg. By the end of the weekend, she seemed to have some control, however slight, of both legs. Today, we went to our local vet (remember, Hannah had surgery in Louisville, so this is not the same vet) for a two-week follow-up, and while he didn't seem impressed with her progress, he at least didn't tell us that she was hopeless. It appears that we're still waiting for the two-month marker, when we'll have a better indication of her long-term outlook. For now, we're happy that she's showing some improved mobility, has her full appetite back, and is otherwise her old self.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Taking a deep breath

Last week officially commenced a new phase in our family life: "Mama not going to work--stay home with Tobin?" as he would put it. Some have asked me how it "feels" to be home, and I guess I would say that what I feel most is relief. But that's only based on two days at home, last Thursday and Friday, following our extended holiday weekend in Kentucky. So maybe ask me at the end of this week, when I can give a more comprehensive answer. For the most part, I've been doing what the usual unpacking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and meal planning I do after a stint out of town--except that I didn't feel the time pressure I usually do. Our weekend was really nice, because I didn't feel rushed to do too much, since I have more time during the week to manage our home. So we played with Tobin, watched a lot of football, and got Tobin's haircut. I also did some superfluous baking.

The timing of this change is interesting because of how it coincides with the end of what has been, to put it gently, a stressful summer. I guess it was only fitting that the summer ended with our dog Hannah having emergency back surgery over Labor Day weekend. While we were in Louisville. After we had just spent a month away from her while we had been traveling for my mom's surgery in August. The surgery (to repair a ruptured disc) has a high success rate (90-95% of dogs regain mobility), so we are hopeful. And honestly, the much graver human health crises we've encountered over the past year help give us perspective. Still, we are sad that our little dog can't walk and sometimes struggle with being patient with the recovery process. Tobin and I have been thankful to be home to tend to her during the day. And he is terribly sweet, frequently stopping by her bed or crate to say, "It's okay, Hannah." He is also quite impressed with her boo boo, which he describes as "kinda long." (It's actually a very neat 4-inch incision.)

And, oh yes, Tobin is talking in complete sentences these days. His grammar is not perfect, and he often refers to himself in the third person, including telling us that "that boy" is tired, or has a boo boo on his thumb, or is funny. So true. He continues to be fascinated with categories, particularly boys and girls. He knows that boys have a scratchy face. And that boys have short hair and girls, long. Well, except for his Uncle Dan, but Tobin was able to categorize him correctly this past weekend. :)

I think I can speak for all of us and say we're thankful to be home. And I feel especially fortunate to be "home" in a more literal sense. I hope to share more about this new adventure as it unfolds.