Jun 26, 2012

Drew's recovery.

*Information on concussion taken from Mayo Clinic.* 
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.  Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly.
  Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or "seeing stars"
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue 
No one should return to play or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. Experts recommend that an athlete with a suspected concussion not return to play until he or she has been medically evaluated. Experts also recommend that child and adolescent athletes with a concussion not return to play on the same day as the injury.
The following tips may help you to prevent or minimize your risk of head injury:  

Wear appropriate protective gear during sports and other recreational activities. 
Always use the appropriate protective gear for any sport you or your child undertakes. When bicycling, motorcycling, snowboarding or engaging in any recreational activity that may result in head injury, wear protective headgear. 

Use caution in and around swimming areas. 
Make your home safe.
(His team won first place in the Randy Taylor Tournaments.  The games were held in honor of the referee that was killed in a car accident in May.  He refereed Drew's game on the day of his accident and Drew is still happy to announce that he gave Drew his first yellow card.  The family was there to pass out trophies and Drew was awarded Most Valuable Player.  Big thanks to Coach Jamie and the Predators for easing the sting of not being able to play in the final game.  We had to laugh when we saw his trophy because it looked exactly like the way that Drew was injured.)

Jun 19, 2012

Bad luck birthday.

 We have doubled our amount of emergency room visits in one week.  Drew had a trampoline accident on the day of his twelfth birthday that gave us a scare.  He came home with three stitches and a fat lip.

That is the PA that stitched Drew up when he was four.  She is the parent of Finn's classmate and does an awesome job... she has told me before that he was the best patient she ever had.  He didn't cry then and he didn't cry this time.  He was more interested in what tools she was using.

Aunt Alisha is our official stitch remover.  Drew requested her.

Exactly one week later, Drew had a rough soccer game.  He hit his head twice, several hours apart.  He staggered around and called himself out of the game.  He laid down and tried going to sleep and he had a pounding headache that he just couldn't shake.  We stood him up to take him to the car and he began vomiting.  So, we rushed him to the same emergency room.  The triage nurse remembered his name but didn't recognize him without any hair.

He left his cleats on because he was itching to get back to his championship game that evening.

After his CT scan came back normal without any bleeding on the brain, they diagnosed him with a concussion.  No contact sports for a week, especially the game at 6:00.  And that was the moment that he burst into tears and declared that 12 must be his unlucky number.

Survival Weekend

Drew got his birthday wish.  We allowed the boys to go 24 hours in the woods alone without food, water, and shelter.  They left at 6:00 pm.  We had one requirement... we would be allowed to check in on them whenever we wanted.  They had one requirement... no one was allowed to scare them.  They had a loaded pellet gun, machete, and frog gig to ward off any surprise attacks.  We checked on them about 9:00 pm.  They had their shelter built, frogs gigged, crawdads caught, and were beginning to build their fire.  Grandpa Randy gave them a few pointers on flint but they finally gave up on flint and used their mosquito repellent for fire starter.

It was all fun and giggles until I got into bed that night.  I was cold so I couldn't imagine how they felt.  I took each weapon they had with them and began imagining what damage each one could do.  I thought about how dark it was getting for them.  We had dined on Gram's ham and poppyseed sandwiches and mac and cheese and all they had was woods fare.  What if their flashlights went out?  What if they were scared but too proud to admit it?  What if the fire got out of control and caught their shelter on fire?  Finally, at 3:00 am, I heard the shower.  I peeked out my bedroom and I saw them grinning and shivering.  They came in for hot showers and warm beds.  They had gotten so cold that they had tried warming rocks in the fire and then laying on them.  I fixed them a big plate of leftovers, which they scarfed down, and tucked them into their beds.  And then I finally went to sleep. 

 Uncle Greg showed up after the boys were gone to show us a trail cam picture that he thought we might be interested in.  It wasn't very far away from the boys' campsite.  We didn't tell them until they got back in the morning.  I wasn't too worried about the bear, I figured they were shouting and rattling the brush enough that it was long gone.

Missing Uncle J.

 There is safety in numbers.  Our boys probably wouldn't have taken the dare thrown down by Uncle J. alone.  But when they are all together... the peer pressure is too much.  The pile of beautiful hair on the ground was a little gut wrenching but when Finn shoved it into his underarms we laughed and realized that it is only hair.  It'll grow back.  It was pretty amazing to see the transformations...  they all had two ears, two eyes, and a neck under all that hair!

 Will Reese
 Clark Richard
 Jack Cabel
Finn Asher
Jackson Paul and Drew Montgomery

Jun 8, 2012

We KNOW he can dance.

Is NOW the appropriate time to bust out some old videos from last year's school picnic?  I think so.  Giving a shout out to Franklin County's own Asher Walker.  My boys love him and are cheering for him on So You Think You Can Dance!  Yo, Justin Bieber, when you read this, call him up.  Finn watched Asher do the worm on his audition dance and said, "Drew, he learned that from us!"  He was dead serious.  We think it's pretty exciting to watch Asher follow his dreams.

Jun 4, 2012

Vacation homes.

It's amazing what some Aqua Shade, new sand, an easel from Fork Mountain Antiques, potted zinnias, and Lowe's Adirondacks can do for the place.

Kevin and Regina are going to Outer Banks, North Carolina.
David and Sherri are going to Fripp Island, South Carolina.
Shawn and Kelli and Jack and Kristi are going to Sarasota, Florida.

Don't worry about us... we will be here.  At Ferrusota Beach.  All summer long.

It's payback time.

Payback for the pregnant hamsters we gave as birthday gifts.
Payback for allowing Jackson to trap wild animals when he comes over.
Payback for survival weekends instead of bowling parties.
 Payback for laughing at her fear of rabies.

Kristi and Jackson got Drew a ball python.  Complete with frozen baby mice to feed her called "pinkies."  We named her June.  She is in my house.  Sleeping in Drew's bedroom.  It's all funny ha ha until I check the cage and June is missing.


Is it poisonous?  No, if it bites it feels like sandpaper.  It is a constrictor so I am not worried right now but ask me again in ten years.  Drew says, "I am not worried until she stretches out next to me in bed... that means she is sizing me up to see if I am big enough to eat."

Has it bitten?  No.  Not yet.  Drew had it in his lap for about two hours today... completely docile.  Slithered around his bare skin and licked him several times.  (shudder)

How long will it live?  Most likely 20-30 years if it doesn't get sick.  They have lived up to 50 years in captivity.

Will it get bigger?  Yes.  Yes, it will.  Up to 4 feet in length. Nate was working on the dock yesterday and sent Jackson and Drew to the house for a tape measure.  I watched them pull the tape measure out until it read four feet and then they draped it over their shoulders.  They yelled "AWESOME!"

Have I held it?  Yes.  Once.  I shrieked when it turned around and started to wrap around my arm.  Drew got after me... "See Mom?  That is why I don't want a lot of people holding her.  You scared her!"

Did Kristi get permission first?  Yes, I gave her the go ahead.  I thought it was worth saying yes to picture her driving home from Roanoke with a python in her backseat.  Buckled in.

Is it really a girl?  We don't know.  We say it is.  The only way to find out is if you probe.  Definitely not googling that process.

One Hit Wonder

Nate got the big idea to put our heads together and write a song for my nephew's graduation.  A collaboration of sorts.  I thought it was a great idea, we could sit on the porch together and toss ideas around.  Then he handed me the notebook.  He said, "You write, I'll sing."  I did a little bit of research (read lyrics from our favorite songs) and wrote down some ideas.  If I learned anything from watching Blake Shelton on The Voice, it was that country songs don't have to be perfect but they should tell a story.  I got a rough draft going and then Nate started the hard work.  He worked with Gabe Stalnaker at Downtown Music for several evenings and lunch breaks.  Gabe put the music to my song and then they tweaked some of the words and timing to fit my words into the music.  Nate practiced the song for a week, then they began recording.  Nate plays backup guitar and sings.  Gabe Stalnaker has amazing talent and we are so thankful for his BIG help.