Thursday, September 13, 2012

The story of the accident...

On Wednesday, September 5, about 6 p.m., I got a call from John, asking me to come pick up JJ.  He had been riding 4 wheelers with his friend, Topper (who is also John's boss's son).  There is a little "track" area near our new house site (and close to the shop where John was working).  Instead of going slowly around the track the first time, JJ took off like a crazy kid and flew off a jump.  He went about 20 feet high and 20 feet long before going over the front of the handle bars.  He landed, we think, on the backs of his hands (think how an ape walks on his knuckles) and on his right side because his right knee really hurt and both wrists hurt.  I called our local doctor and they recommended I take him to the emergency room in Colorado Springs.  We drove an hour to the hospital.  I let JJ off at the ER door and parked the suburban.  When I got to the door I was met by a nurse who told me they had watched JJ on the monitors for a few minutes.  He was weaving like he was drunk but they knew he wasn't drunk so two of the nurses rushed out, put him in a wheel chair and rushed him in as a trauma case.  (Now we know the trick for getting into the ER quickly... pretend you are drunk and say it was an ATV accident.  They'll rush you in as a trauma case.)
The triage nurse asked if we wanted him to see a brain/mental evaluator but she and I both decided that he was probably okay that way because of the way he was laughing and joking and able to answer all the questions.
They took him back to xray and took xrays of just his right knee and right wrist because those were the only two that were hurting a lot at that point.  At one point I asked the xray tech if she could tell if there was anything broken.  She said she could but couldn't tell us.  Then after she took xrays of the wrist she said, "I bet your arm hurts a lot worse than your knee does."  Wink, wink.  I asked her if he was going to be able to have piano lessons for six weeks.  She said probably not.  (The next day the orthopedist told us he could still play the piano, just needed to take a week off so the pain could go away.)
They took John back to the ER room to get a splint on his right wrist (yes, it was broken, but not the knee) and JJ told them that his left wrist hurt really bad when he tried to move his arm so his palm was up.  They sent us back to xray.  After the first picture the tech told us a story about a little girl who had broken both her wrists and how surprised her mother was to realize that she'd have to wipe her daughter's bottom.  I asked the tech if she was suggesting that we buy a bidet.  She said we might want to invest in one.  (He can wipe himself, by the way.  Thank goodness for small blessings!)

We went back to the ER and they put splints on both of John's arms and gave us instructions to call a pediatric orthopedist in the morning.

Trying to give a "thumbs up" pose.  He was tired and in a lot of pain.

But not tired enough or in enough pain to stop texting!

JJ had a rough night on the couch that involved lots of ibuprofen and re-wrapping one of the splints.  I called the orthopedist first thing and they gave us an appointment for 1:15.  They took off the splints and confirmed that both wrists were broken.  From the look of the xrays and how he held his hands they determined it was  "funny break" meaning that he didn't fall palms first, but landed on the backs of his hands.

All of the possible cast colors.  JJ decided to have a pink cast on his left arm and a blue cast on his right.  Originally he thought he'd have all the girls sign the pink one and the boys sign the blue one.  It has turned out, though, that everyone wants to sign both casts.

Putting on the pink one.
Doing the same to the blue one.

Once the casts were on the pain went down considerably.  It was a happy time.  The orthopedist also checked his knee and decided it was just a bad sprain.

The back of Topper's MOM's four wheeler.  You can tell that it hit pretty hard on the back right side.

Unfortunately, it's now a three wheeler.

His helmet just has some new scratches on it but wasn't cracked in any way.  We are very glad he was wearing it.  The doctors and nurses at the hospital and the orthopedists office kept telling us how lucky he was and how much worse it could have been, especially if he hadn't been wearing a helmet.

The jump he went off.  He should have driven through the track slowly so he'd know what was on the other side of the jump but he decided to hot-rod it around first.  It doesn't look that far, but the jump is about 20 feet from the ground and the four wheeler is about 20 feet out.
John is standing where we think JJ landed and Leslie is standing where we think the four wheeler landed.

Introducing...  "Mr. Will-work-for-free"  ... at least until the four wheeler is paid off.

Throughout this whole ordeal I have had moments where reality has set in and I've thought that we could have been planning a funeral or picking out wheelchairs instead of cast colors.  We feel incredibly blessed that it wasn't so much worse.  All of the doctors and nurses we've seen have told us how lucky he is to have only two broken wrists and a sprained knee.  JJ knows how blessed he is, too.  He keeps saying that he feels it could have been so much worse.  It definitely could have been.

Monday, September 10, 2012

House: Part 2

The first job was to dig the hole.  Originally they were going to have the company's excavator and operator dig out the basement but there were some logistical issues so John used a little front-end loader and dug it out.  In two days he moved a ton of dirt.

John had to put up a temporary sign with the house number or else the inspectors wouldn't come out to do the inspecting.

John told Christopher that the big pile of dirt was his personal sand box.  It's caused me problems ever since because Chris wants to go play in his sand box every day.  He also played in the hole.

The crew after the second day of digging.  The basement needed to be 9 feet deep and larger than the house dimensions by three feet on each side.

There must have been scheduling conflicts or something because the hole just sat there for an entire month until the cement guys finally brought the window wells and a couple of things on October 10th.  The cement was supposed to be poured by October 1st but they didn't even start until after the 15th.  I was so happy when they arrived!

Grandma Layton, nephew Chris Bodkin and Leslie down in the hole on the 16th.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

House: Part 1

When John was offered the job back in April, part of the "compensation package" included housing.  That is pretty typical of farm manager jobs, we've found.  Originally the company looked for a house in town to rent or buy for us to live in.  They didn't find anything to THEIR standards in town or available close to the farm so they ultimately decided to build a house in which we can live.  It will be located on the farm, 1/4 mile from the farm shop.  It's on a little rise of a dead-end county road, about 11 miles from town.
You can see the pink flags that outline the house location.  John mowed the area so we could see how big it will be.

Just a close up of a flag and the blue border lines.
 Because the farm will own the house, they chose the basic floor plan and designed the basement.  They did, however, agree to a couple of my "demands" and John's suggestions.  For the most part I am very, VERY happy with the floor plan.
Just to clear up any misconceptions:  This is a stick-built home that is made off-site, in Nebraska, and brought in.  It will be set on and attached to a basement like a house that is built on-site.  It is NOT a trailer or a double wide.  This style of home is commonly referred to as a modular or manufactured home.  The walls will be plastered and painted, not that awful cardboard-like stuff of a double wide.  This house will be a permanent fixture on the farm and will not be able to be moved.  It will be just as safe in a tornado as an on-site built home.  The outside will be stucco.  It won't have that T bar on the side that is very typical of a double wide.  There will also be a front porch (yay!), a HUGE garage and eventually a back patio.  It will not look like a manufactured home.  It will look like a rectangular home like almost every other house in which we've lived.  The company has been very, very generous and we are very, VERY excited!