Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gatlinburg

The day after Madison broke her arm, we had a long weekend trip planned to Gatlinburg planned with Grandma Yoh.  We were given permission to travel from the ER doctor, so we went with it.  It is a pretty long trip there (8 hours), and I had done little in the way of preparation.  It was a good trial trip to see how the girls would travel without all the gimics I have used in the past.  It turned out pretty well.  They are even learning to just sit and look out the window!

We decided to take two days to get down there.  The first day was about 6 hours.  We picked up pizza in the town we stopped in and had a hotel pizza party.  Then, Ellie hit the pool with Jeremy.  Madison was left out due to the un-waterproof nature of her splint.  Although it was a difficult thing, she handled it pretty well.

It was a big day, and by the time they got showered and ready for bed, they didn't last long.

The next morning we ate a tasty hotel breakfast before hitting the road for the next 3 hours or so.  We arrived in Gatlinburg earlier than we could check in at our hotel, so we had lunch at the Pancake Pantry.  It was a tasty breakfast meal.  Then, we briefly checked out some of the shops in the downtown area.

From there, we took the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.  It was really pretty.  We could get out and explore at a number of places.  There was a lookout point (which Ellie slept through).





Then, there was the stream.  I LOVE mountain streams!


There were pioneer cabins to check out.  The difference between them was neat to see.  The first two were very rustic with very little room.  It was hard to imagine people actually living here and trying to farm.



The third one had wood boards and even paint!  I love the close-up at this house; it looks like an album cover!


From there, we headed to our hotel for a little rest before hitting the town again.  It was a nice place with adjoining rooms.  Each room had a bedroom, kitchen, dining area, living room area, laundry, and bath.  Our room had a nice balcony off the bedroom.

That night, we went to The Island at Pigeon Forge.  It is a shopping, dining, entertainment space.  It was okay; it kept us busy!  While Jeremy waited for our table at Margaritaville, we girls checked out everything.  Ellie decided she wanted to take a carousel ride; Madison decided on "mining" for rocks. We had time for Ellie's then and did Madison's later in the evening.



At dinner, we were visited (after a long wait for it to finally happen) by a balloon guy on stilts.  He made Ellie a monkey swinging from a palm tree hat and Madison a parrot in a heart hat.  I picked up an abandoned shark hat.

We did a little shopping - an outfit for Ellie's build-a-bear dog, and a penguin keychain for Madison's backpack.  Then, Jeremy, Grandma, and the girls rode the Ferris wheel.  It was the first Ferris wheel I've ever seen with air conditioned pods to go around in.

Then, we left... very tired.

The next morning, I gave Madison her first bath with her splint on.  It was a whirlpool tub, and Ellie wanted to join in with her swimsuit for the fun.  They probably spent almost an hour in there!

We got to enjoy the outdoors and nature today when we took a hike to Laurel Falls.  It was 2.6 miles round trip.  Everyone did really well... and made it!

The girls both wanted to hold my hand, and although I know I should treasure all these moments, it is not enjoyable to hike for 2.6 miles holding a little person's hand.  So, I suggested they hold each other's hands.  It worked.


We took a few rests along the way.



And then we enjoyed the falls, our destination, for a longer snack break.



We hiked down below the ledge the girls are staying on to follow the falls a bit down river.  (Grandma stayed up and waited for us.)



The trek down went pretty quickly and with little complaining.  I was proud of our town little hikers!

We had a lunch at a BBQ place before stopping at the hotel to clean ourselves up a bit before the Dixie Stampede dinner theatre.  Jeremy and I had been there before and really enjoyed it.  The girls had been to a similar show (Pirate themed) in Myrtle Beach.  It was fun for all of us.



We fell into bed a little earlier than the night before.  I had pretty much packed everything up, so in the morning, we had little to do.  We hit the road by 9am Monday morning and made it home by 7pm with a few stops in there.  Again, the girls traveled much better than I anticipated; makes me excited to take some more trips!

Thank you, Grandma Yoh, for inviting us along and helping us have such a great time!  You were a trooper on the hike and had more energy than Jeremy and I for all the shopping!



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Broken Arm

Thursday, April 27 started as every other day.  It was a nice day.  I dropped off Ellie at preschool.  I came home and took care of my final project for my grad class.  I am so glad to be done with that class.  It was more the time it took up than the actual content.  I went for a quick walk/run around Dalton before picking up Ellie.  Actually, I stopped to talk to a friend on Main Street about 1/4 mile from the preschool.  I didn't keep track of time and when I said good-bye and glanced at my watch it was 11:31!!! (already late for pick up!!)  I took off at a dead sprint, knowing I wouldn't make it, but thought it was worth a shot.  I did - almost - make it running the entire time.  I was hardly able to talk by the time I got there.  The good news was that, although I was the last parent, there were still parents walking out, so I wasn't too late.  Whew!  Ellie and I headed to the library to get books, movies, and play-aways for our weekend trip with Grandma Yoh to Gatlinburg.  The librarian asked if I had been to Florida.  I told her my face was just red from exertion; how out of shape am I?!?!  Anyway, we had just made it home from the library and set the books down when I heard my phone ring.  I couldn't locate it before it went to voicemail.  I saw it was a missed call from the school.

The first thought was, "Ugh, I hope Madison didn't break her bone or something.  That would be really inconvenient before vacation."

School: "We need you to come to the school.  Madison was on the monkey bars and fell.  We are not sure, but think she may have broke her arm."

And there it was - broken bone.

(Hindsight tells me that had she been sick with a fever, vomit, or strep throat our plans would have actually had to change and it would have been more inconvenient.)

I left Ellie with Jeremy and headed directly back to Dalton.  The assistant principal had wrapped it in a very nice splint, and the nurse had given her a school spirit sling.  Madison was scared.  But she was also worried that we wouldn't go on our trip; it was one of her first questions.

We drove directly to Wooster Hospital ER.  We made it before the rush and were helped pretty quickly.  X-rays confirmed that she had a fracture of her left radius on the distal end.  Translation: she broke the bigger bone on her lower left arm near the wrist.


The good news was actually plentiful: we would go on vacation; it is not her dominant hand; it doesn't look like it will require surgery; a hard splint will hold til a cast can be put on; she got a stuffed animal "Brave the Bear" from a church in Medina who donated them for kids in the ER


The bad news: broken arm; no swimming while on vacation; no more monkey bars for the school year; and no softball this season.

This is her second broken bone.  The last one was July 2013 on her right foot.  Hopefully, this will be it....

A Whole Mix of Fun

The end of the week (after Easter) brought a lot of fun our way.  Friday, I got to go with Madison's class bowling.  Yep, me and the first graders rockin' it at the bowling alley.  There were a lot of parents that went, which was nice.  So, our lane had Travis, his daughter (Ellie), me, Madison, and Anna.

We (adults included) bowled with bumpers, so it made it pretty low key.  I bowled about on par to what I would have without the bumpers, but did surprise myself with a few strikes!  Madison was fun to watch.  Her first frames (or maybe the whole first game) were bowled with a super slow rolling ball; I mean, almost so slow I actually thought it would stop on her first and second tries!  But she bowled faster as the day went on and even got herself a strike!  She would, without fail, bowl, turn, dance, spin, and leap.  It was so joyful.

 

About 11am, we made a little apple car snack with our group.  Then, we had pizza for lunch.
 
After lunch, the fun turned up a notch!  They put the lanes into Glo-Bowl mode - black lights, music, and more!!  The kids loved it.  The girls were really dancing when all that happened.  It was fun.

Saturday night, Jeremy and the girls went to the Daddy-Daughter Dance put on by Living Water Church.  We missed it last year, but decided to go for it this year.  Grandpa Ediger went for a bit of the night as well so the girls each had a dancing partner.  The dance lasted almost 2-1/2 hours!  And they LOVED it.  Jeremy seemed to have enjoyed the time, too.  There were lots of dads watching the running around and dancing, and it gave them time to talk.  

Then, on Sunday, Grandma Yoh took the girls and me to see The Enchanted Toy Shop, which was the ballet that Ballet Wooster put on this year.  Both girls had friends performing in it and they love watching live performances.
 
 

We had a great three days.  It took some time to recover!