Big Balls and a Broken 4th Metatarsal

Knocker ball, bubble ball, human hamster ball … whatever you call them they look so fun.

Fun. Fun indeed. Also dangerous, in a hilarious way.

This past weekend we took a road trip from North Carolina to Ohio. A quick but jam packed trip from Friday to Sunday. It was a long drive and I was feeling restless when we arrived. We hugged, chatted a bit and then suited up for a game of back yard ball.

By suited up I mean we climbed into giant blown up clear balls that were outfitted with shoulder straps and handles. The ball top sat above my head and well above my knees so I looked like a giant clear soccer ball with legs.

I squared off with my teenage son. We pranced around the beautifully landscaped lawn totally out of place and sweating like wieners on a campfire. Each of us taking a slow step forward and back getting the feel of these giant bubbles and sizing the other up.

Then someone screamed “GO” from the sidelines and I got in a few strides before I felt the force. All 138 lbs of boy muscle wrapped in a vinyl bubble coming at me like an deranged rhino.

For a split second I second guessed how fun this really was and I feared for my safety.

I felt my feet come out from under me and I bounced onto my back. All was fine, I could see the green of the tree leaves and a bit of blue sky with puffy white cloud. I didn’t die.

I tried to hoist myself up with no success. The only free moving parts were mid thigh down and my log legs wouldn’t respond like brain was desperately signaling.

I was thinking I would just stand up. Just pop right up. You know, like a gymnast after a flip. My brain pictured it but my body simply did not compute that kind of movement.

Have you ever seen a bug knocked on its back and watched it struggle to get flipped back?

That was me.

I was laughing too hard to ask for help and I’m not sure anyone knew how to get me upright. I had to roll to my belly, slide out of the harness, stand up and put it back on for round two. Thankfully no cameras were catching any of this nonsense.

I strapped in, took off my yoga sandals and faced the other bubble direction. The boy was gonna get it this time.

We charged again and this time I decided I wasn’t going down. I dug in my heels and shifted my weight to pummel him but it was too late.

He got me.

I felt the ball around me take flight and then hit the ground. I felt the heat of a thousand fire ants at my ankle. I would have grabbed at it but I was stuck in the chamber, strapped in and crying for some kind of merciful, quick death.

I was laying in the grass, as flat out as one can being that they are shoved mid thigh in a big ass ball. I heard a gasp, maybe it was my own. I heard my mom’s voice I think, asking if I was alright. No idea because I couldn’t see anything but trees and blue sky. The voices were a little muffled but I knew this was probably bad. Real bad.

I don’t recall getting out of the bubble but once my hands were free I reaching for the ankle. Sprain? Broken? Faking injury to take down the unsuspecting kid? Nobody knew.

I got help to stand up and the pain spread. I was sorta laugh hobbling to the nearest seat. The ankle was swelling. This was extra bad.

We went about the weekend, I ignored the pain and limped from the chairs to the food table and back numerous times.

No ace wrap. No doctor. Nothing to see here, just a sprain soaked in a bucket of ice. Dipped in off and on, keeping the swelling down. There was plenty of ice. Lots of good food and family and alcoholic beverage. I was going to be fine.

On Sunday (now 2 days from “the incident” and still no medical attention) we stopped halfway to do a little shopping.

The pain. Oh my goodness the pain.

I cried. Real, hot, terrifyingly uncontrollable tears rolled down my face as I watched my foot swell like a giant sausage in my shoe. I yelled at my indecisive family in the drive thru. I got frustrated with our geriatric dog for not being still in her bed. I was in so much pain the thought of chewing off my own leg crossed my mind.

Just after the tears incident I found myself apologizing to the family for snapping like a lunatic. We decided I would be dropped at the ER once we reached our home town. no more questioning whether this needed medical attention.

Fast forward to Xray viewing. I wish they had provided popcorn at least. The suspense was killer. I didn’t hear her clearly when she said it was broken. She had to repeat it to the blank faces staring at her. Broken? She pointed out the break in the screen. It started to make sense.

I repeated again how it happened. We joked the doc sees the danger in everything and never the fun. I see her point as I sit here in the splint. Soon I hope to be able to be weight bearing. Those balls will never look the same to me.

Some how, some way I didn’t completely realign the broken bone while limping about all weekend. It should fuse without surgery. I’m feeling lucky in a way but equally wondering if I would have less pain had I just chewed it off in the car.

For your viewing pleasure I’ve attached some photos of others playing over the long weekend.

For your own safety please don’t try this at home. If you don’t die laughing you could get hurt otherwise.

If you must try them for yourself you can find your own set on Amazon.

Follow-Up Safety Video. Thanks, dad!

Vacation planning – AKA slow torture

It’s that time of year again.

I am planning the “big” vacation. Not our mountain weekend trips or mini last-minute romantic escapes. This is the big one, where we coordinate days off, convince the kids they will love the destination and then convince ourselves we will love spending a week in close proximity  … all together in one place …. for a week.

For a family that stays as busy as we do, formally getting together for anything longer than dinner is like herding kittens in a yarn store. Nobody has the same sleeping habits, food preferences, hobbies, athletic ability or desire to leave the confines of their bedroom and personal electronics. Did I mention the kids are pre-teen & teen-aged? Good times.

This is how things generally go:

2 minutes from home – “I need to pee”

10 minutes from home – “I’m bored”

30 minutes from home – “I’m hungry”

5 minutes after pulling into the parking lot of the hotel we intend to stay at – “I think I forgot to pack underwear”

30 seconds from opening the door to our room – collective bags drop and everyone falls into the beds for napping

Then there are activities:

“Let’s go to the pool!”  … blank stare “but we have never explored this area, there are bike trails, museums, shops, historical monuments ….” blank stares, holding swimsuits. Same swimwear they always wear .. to the pool we can go to back home … for FREE.

“Let’s go visit this lighthouse! We can climb to the top and take family photos and read all about the people who lived and worked here a long time ago!” My families typical response? “Can you just take a picture, from the car, so we can go get ice cream? We passed the shop just back there.”

“Mountain trails?  uhhh … hiking? That sounds like it will be hot and there will be bugs. Is there even wi-fi?” Where did I go wrong with these kids?

“The sun is in my eyes.” … “where are your sunglasses?” … “I lost them.” We bought them this morning!

Shivering in July sun …”The water is too cold”

“I don’t like sand.” Just spent 2 hours digging a giant hole … in the sand.

“I want to go to the room, I’m bored” 100 people on the beach, books, snacks, football, waves perfect for boogie boards, random friendly dogs. Definitely nothing going on here. Nothing at all.

or my favorite – random activities from the hotel booklet things we either didn’t budget for or would cause at least one of the family members to have a panic attack. It seems the kids know just how to push my mom buttons… “Skydiving!” No.

I’m on the hunt now for someplace affordable, where nobody will be left out, or bored, or too frightened to enjoy the experience. Where there will be places to eat that everyone likes and in an area family friendly enough to be safe but not resemble a nursery rhyme.

Maybe a stay-cation is in order. Somehow I don’t think we will all agree on that either.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring cleaning the closets

It’s that time of year again. We dig out the prior seasons clothing, sort totes to see what still fits and what’s still fashionable.

Unimagetil about 2 1/2 years ago I did this task twice a year all by myself. I would go from bedroom to bedroom and organize with carefully color coded totes. It took me about a day and that includes the inevitable laundry. That was when I had time for simple pleasures, like bubble baths and pedicures. Times have changed.

Life circumstances the last 2 years or so what they were, the kids would sort of help the last few change outs. This was done with minimal supervision and it seemed like they had a good handle on keeping organized and tidy. I didn’t check on them. It was after all probably fine.

This year I decided they could do it themselves entirely. A preteen boy and a young teen girl, I could trust them with this responsibility. cause I’m tired. and lazy.

Still.
The kids are surely old enough to do this all by themselves, right? Wrong. So wrong.

I came home to begin my weekend on the couch; I was going to watch a movie or a Netflix marathon or something on the DVR. Or maybe all that. I’ve had a long week and I earned this weekend. I had all night free and popcorn ready for poppin.

Then it started.

The endless arm loads of clothing being dumped around me. Then they started with the questions …

Daughter: “What about clothes I don’t want?”
Me: grumbling, pausing the TV but not making eye contact … “Just sort them and I’ll figure it out.”

Son: “What about this?” holding a shirt some random kid probably left here months ago.
Me: “Really? Put it in the pile. I’ll sort it out.”

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I’m gonna take my chances anyway.

This went on for what seemed like forever. Then they disappeared leaving me with more clothes than a Goodwill grand opening.

Then I noticed the smell. Not the buttery goodness of a fresh Orville Redenbacher. No. More like one of the dogs passed gas while barfing up a dead thing they unburied and then ate. Not that my dogs would do such things. Hopefully.
I don’t know where the stench was coming from but it was gross.

I sighed heavily without breathing in too much of the toxic air and set to sorting. No way could I continue ignoring the mess. I carefully inspected the clothing and made my selections. One pile for eBay, one for donating and one for the trash.

I found one of my cardigans, a single shoe, a dried up leaf and 2 mini bounce balls. I also found some tiny sizes they clearly missed in the prior seasons closet clean outs. I don’t care how good of a job they claim they did, I know nobody in this house has worn Iron Man under-roos since kindergarten. Lucky for me one pair of jeans had 42 cents in the pocket. Even luckier? Nothing dead.

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I think maybe I will go back to cleaning their closets myself. Even if it means I never, ever get time to just watch TV without multi-tasking again.

Why spring break without my kids is going to be epic.

I realize I sound like a terrible mom. Sometimes I probably am. This time though I’m somewhat sure I’m doing this parenting thing right.10256864_871126482901441_2423989799738735330_n

My lucky little brats are going on a (probably) once in a lifetime trip with their dad and his family over the upcoming spring break. To freaking Disneyland. Best news of all? I’m not invited.

It’s not that I don’t like traveling by car with kids to packed places with even more kids. I actually am ok with that part. It’s the ex and accompanying in laws thing that would make me run screaming for the hills of Magic Mountain never to be seen again. Funny mouse ear hats, long lines for rides, costumed freaks everywhere, slightly sunburned faces and blistered feet. Plus pictures to capture it all. Sounds fabulous. For anyone but me maybe.

Yet still I’m a little bummed this epic adventure is sans the baby momma. I know time is limited and valuable. My kids don’t get rain checks, or parent time exchanges. When an opportunity comes along for family memory making it’s a big deal. No selfish parenting allowed, no blame game, no hassle.

My kids are going to love this opportunity, even if I’m not there too. They will be spoiled and loved on every second of the trip.  When they get back I will listen to their stories and I will try not to be jealous. I will be equally happy for their epic spring break and for mine.

Until then though I’m going to have to sit in long hot baths, take naps, eat junk food for dinner and try enjoy the silence. I’ll try to do my best.