Relax, Ginny.

new queen

The most awful thing happened last week, actually the day before we left for the beach.  Keats got a tiny piece of metal embedded in his eye (we don’t know how it happened.)  He saw a regular doctor at a weekend walk in clinic, but ended up needing more specialized help.  Jonny and I spent an hour or so the morning before we left town, calling ophthalmologists, trying to find someone to see him last minute.  I finally found one and Keats and I headed over for an appointment that took a couple of hours.  His eyes were dilated and eventually we saw the doctor, who was very nice, but what he had to do to remove the tiny shard was terrible.  I won’t go into details, but it was one of the hardest five (or was it ten?) minutes for me as a mom ever.  Keats was incredibly brave.  Were it me, I would have had to keep the metal in my eye, and wait for my body to push it out on it’s own.  Anyway, that’s why he’s wearing the funny glasses.  They gave them to him after the appointment because we didn’t have sunglasses and you need eye protection after having your eyes dilated.

We arrived home from our trip to discover lots of strawberries!  I can’t remember the name of the variety, but some of the strawberries that we planted in the gutters in the spring are producing a fall crop.  It’s pretty exciting for me.  The other exciting news is that we do have a new queen in one of the two small colonies that we made when we split the hive that swarmed.  It doesn’t look like the other hive ended up with one, so we will now recombine the two.  The new queen appears to be doing a really great job laying so far, so we are pleased.

Silas is growing up so much all of a sudden it seems, just in time to become a big brother.  He’s talking so much and it seems like everything he says is extra cute.  He also insists on being part of every activity, and isn’t typically satisfied with me providing him with a “toddler version” of most things.  He wants to do exactly what the other kids are doing.  Yesterday, I spent a lot of time on the couch in our kitchen with terrible low back pain.  From that spot I give lessons and direct the kids and it works pretty well.  At one point there were a lot of crafts going on, and of course Silas wanted to join everyone.  I looked up in mild distress to see Silas replacing his watercolors with purple glitter glue:

“No!!  Wait!!  Why the colored glue?”

“It’s his art, Mommy!” Larkspur replied very seriously, and maybe a bit offended that I would even think to interfere with his art.

And in that moment I was thinking, “Oh dear.  But I don’t want my two year old creating “his art” with purple glitter glue.  I really don’t.”  But he did, and it didn’t end up everywhere, and then we put it away and all was well.  Relax, Ginny.

Generally speaking, that needs to be my motto for the next couple of months.  Relax, Ginny.


  1. Amy DelaTerre says:

    The pictures of Silas with the glue, and his big sister watching him, are the sweetest pictures ever! I love the pursed-lip look of concentration, and adorable cheeks!

  2. I just love that picture of Lark & Silas reading.

    And I’m horrified by the story of Keats’s eye. Oh my word.

  3. I’ll be using that advice too! Yes, Relax Christine!

  4. I praise God his eye healed so well! I had something similar when I was a child, but within hours it had clotted around the metal and my eye had to be removed. I have a glass eye now. I know you guys had a rough time (and I can’t imagine how hard it would be as a parent to watch.) I’m praying for continued healing.

  5. the 3th photo is very beautiful !

  6. Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear about Keats’ eye injury. My husband is a sheet metal worker, and has had several shaving make their way into his eye (despite the safety goggles). He, at least, seems to think that the removal procedure is”neat.” I do not. I hope that Keats’ eye heals quickly!

    And, I hope that your back lets up. Maybe the “relaxing” will help:)

  7. I have a fear of anything purple that sparkles too. Just two months after getting new carpet, I accidentally dropped a bag of purple sand intended for a vase all over the floor. I thought, no worrries, got the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed it all up only to have a huge purple patch revealed. It was conveniently close to an armchair which I ‘adjusted’ to cover it until I could figure out the best way to get it out before my husband learnt about it :(.

    Can also relate to the eye thing – my curious four year old at my mothers house picked up her perfume bottle and sprayed it accidentally into his eye while looking at it really close. That was not pretty.

  8. Oh poor Keats!! That sounds awful. I’m glad he got it out-even though it sounds horrible to do so. But also? NO SUNGLASSES??!?! How do you survive? I hate not wearing sunglasses!

    Glitter gets everywhere, I don’t blame you for wanting to stop him! 🙂

  9. As I was scrolling through looking at your photos, my thoughts were “Wow when did Silas get so big and grown up?” only to find you writing about it. I thought that was funny!

  10. Funny story about metal in the eye–one that is often told in the annals of our family as, “When Meryl was the Worst Wife Ever”.

    Sweet Husband (who is a jeweler) got a little piece of metal in his eye once. He thought they’d gotten it out at our eye doctor’s, but then–about 2 a.m. the next night–it really started to hurt again. He woke me up and said he needed to go to the ER. I am a legendarily hard sleeper, so I woke up only enough to ask, “Do you need me to drive you?” (I don’t remember that part, but I believe him.) And then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

    Apparently, he went downstairs, found the car keys, and, only then, thought, “Wait a minute–maybe driving across town in the dark with impaired vision is a bad idea.” So he went back upstairs and shook me a little harder until I actually woke up and drove him.

    And, no, getting the metal out was not fun. Hope Keats is feeling better!

  11. Poor Keats. Poor Keats’s mama! When our son had to have a lumbar puncture recently I had similar feelings! Worse few minutes of my life – and as the mama you have to be so calm and reassuring when all you want to do is grab your child and run away!

  12. You’ve had some days lately, haven’t you? I bet you’ll be glad when it gets a little colder and they settle down, at least until they get cabin fever!

    Do you have an exercise ball? I am in physical therapy for a very sore lower back and the ball really feels very good. My PT also gave me a recipe for ice packs — combine two parts water and one part rubbing alcohol and pour in a freezer bag and then place that bag inside another (in case it breaks). It never gets really hard, but the cold numbs the nerves and really calms down the inflammation. I have never liked using ice packs, but they actually feel good on a sore back.

  13. I love Larkspur helping her little brother with his art. It’s so special. Embracing what he wanted to create. So sorry for Keats, I can’t imagine, it gives me the shivers. Hope he is much better.
    Love the sweet pink and yellow dress and your chalkboard, what a wonderful thing! My sister has a big rolling chalkboard that she keeps outside her back door. It’s so fun.

  14. Yes Ginny, just breathe and go with the flow.

    I did notice what a big boy Silas is becoming and I think he will be an awesome older brother.

    I am so sorry about Keats’ eye trouble. My Mike has had that happen twice, [once on a Thanksgiving morning] so I know how painful and exhausting the whole thing can be on all parties. I have threatened to not let him leave th house without safty googles on.

  15. Yes, there are those days I find my shoulders tensed up to my ears and I’m close to hyperventilating. If it is close to 3 o’clock, I’ll pour a glass of wine, put my my favorite music on my mp3 player and take 15 minutes to re-learn how to breathe.

    Oh…and eye-stuff really freaks me out. Has ever since I was a kid. I think it was my mom’s doing with her constant, “Watch what you’re doing! You’re going to poke your eye out!” Literally– nightmares throughout my childhood about that…!

  16. So sorry you and Keats had to go through that! And yet enduring our children’s suffering is when we are closest to Our Lady.
    Love the shots of Larkspur watching ‘his art’. She gets it, that art thing. Big sisterhood too. So much Love!

  17. Oh, my…I’m feeling your mama’s angst at those moments in the eye doctors. Poor thing, poor you. And then the pressure of trying to resolve it all before a family trip. YIKES! So happy he had it tended to and will pray for speedy healing.

    And Larkspur?! Hah! Standing up for the right to create! love that. Don’t worry about purple glitter glue…it will all evolve and form a pattern of its own. Probably not even remotely resembling the starting point, right?

    Have a good week! xox

  18. relax…. so much easier said than done some days! lol

  19. Oh yikes, I can imagine Keat’s appt was hard. I’m with you, I would have left it. Brave boy. And brave Mama, with they eye and with the glitter glue. I love your mantra, I may adopt it.

    I’ve been thinking about you lately. I’m trying the reading curriculum you recommended. I bought level 1 and the preschool for my youngest. He’s very excited to learn and is always getting in the middle of my lessons with his brother so I think this sweet curriculum will satisfy that interest. Just received it and it’s really beautiful. I love the letter posters! I want to frame them. We will start it soon and see how the kiddos like it. So thank you for that post. It’s just what I was needing.


  20. OH God Bless Keats and you.

  21. this made me smile….
    yes, relax mama…..

  22. Congratulations on the new queen. She is a beauty. We have had such great luck with healthy prolific hives since our bees raised their own queens and swarmed on their own without us splitting.

    One of our hives swarmed yesterday just as I was about to leave to go and pick up my kids from a half day of school. I could hear that loud roar of a swarm and saw them just as they were leaving the bee yard, I ran over to them and stood in the middle of the swarm (with my three year old) and we were saying “what are you doing, bees?, get back in that hive”, “you will die swarming this time of year”….They landed on a neighbor’s tree branch. I was a wreck waiting for my husband to get home from out of town, finally, in the dark my husband was able to capture the swarm and put them in a hive box. Silly bees. I guess we will be feeding them and hoping they make it through winter.

  23. Oh Ginny, how hard to have Keats go through that; Lord have mercy! It is incredible what the Lord pulls us through. So sorry for your back pain; I know a lot of women go through this in later months of pregnancy; not easy. I needed the reminder too; relax…; God bless and keep you! Your pictures are so beautiful. I did not even think the shades Keats is wearing are unusual! Will say a prayer for you… we still pray for the bees in this world; such a gift bees are to us!

  24. Oh! That sounds so tramatic! Last summer, we were over at my parents, who were removing wall paper from their kitchen. My boys got into using the putty knives to remove sections and my younger son jerked the putty knife in his eye! I totally freaked out. The doctor said he was fine, but then months later I took him in for a vision test and he is nearly blind in that eye! Then I completely freaked out, and asked, ‘could that be because he got a putty knife in the eye?’ The doctor assured me that it wasn’t, he was born with bad vision in that eye. Oy! These kids and what they put us through! Good thing they’re so cute.

  25. Oh my, my heart was in my throat with just the mere thought of having to watch let alone go through that. Thank God he’s okay. I could use a little bit of relax, Mary in my life as well. Thanks for the reminder…and that first comb picture is stunning!

  26. OUCH. Metal in the eye just sounds so painful. Keats is brave!!!

  27. I got a piece of metal in my eye when I was a teenager and I still remember it as one of the worst experiences ever. You have a brave child!

  28. As a welder, my husband gets metal pulled out of his eyes several times a year (even though he’s wearing safety glasses); he would sympathize with Keats, because I don’t think one ever gets used to having someone dig around in their eye. Good job, Keats!

    And, yes, I’m going to need to use the word relax today for myself. Many times. I can already tell! 🙂

    • Wendy, I don’t know how he does it!! It was so awful–Keats’ body was twitching involuntarily and he was making strange sounds as the doctor probed around. He threw up halfway through the procedure. It was so traumatic!!

      • Oh dear me, I am so so sorry what Keats (and you!) went through. That sounds just plain old awful. Digging around in the eye is pretty vulnerable…like the mouth, but even worse. And I really sympathize with having to be there while your child goes through this. My 5 year old daughter requires a painful procedure every few days involving needles and worse, we have to do it to her (I hold her down while my husband is the bad cop)! Kind of ironic that I have had a lifelong phobia of needles. But you do what you have to do for your babies, despite their discomfort, knowing that in the end it will help them. I even have such a hard time with a regular splinter in my kid’s bodies (let alone the eye!). My heart goes out to you both…well done Keats for the bravery!
        xo Jules

        • May I just say that the blackboard wall is pure genius. I so need one of those. For that matter, all my walls from 3′ on down just need to be painted in blackboard style until the last toddler is in kindergarten. Right now, that’s 6 years out. But I wonder if that will cut down my Magic Eraser expenses…. ;)-

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