Monday, March 22, 2010

It's high time...

that I had a post of what we are thankful for around here!!

The past couple of days, I have been looking through the old blog posts and pictures. Wow. I noticed that the past few posts have been somewhat **sour**. I sound like some whiny, pathetic woman with no hope!! Which by the way, I sound like on a daily basis--but like I've said before, blog land gets a positive spin.

ANYWAY!! As I was saying, I was looking back over my old posts...and I couldn't help but notice so many differences in my girl!!

---Her eyesight seems to be getting better everyday. She hates to wear the eye patch, but we usually get it on her 4 out of the 7 days. While her eye still wanders, I have been noticing lately that she seems to have a LITTLE better hand eye coordination on the affected side.
---Her wheelchair is sitting in the trunk of my moms car, where it has been since we went to the dentist last week. She didn't use it then either, we had it along just in case. The last time I can remember that she used it was when we were at the mall a few weeks ago. She was already tired that day, so she wanted to sit and ride. That doesn't happen often though.
---She has been trying very hard to retrain on the potty. This is probably one of the most difficult things for her to relearn. Her muscles there do not work the way they used to and she just doesn't feel when she has to go. Sometimes I'll hear, "I'm peeing!!" as she frantically tries to get to the bathroom. We're not where we were (fully trained)...but we're getting there.
---Physical and occupational therapy are going well. While she hasn't had any speech therapy since we have been home, her speech has improved tenfold since before the stroke.
---Her hair is growing!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My new address:

600 Roe Ave
Elmira, NY

Ok, this is JUST A JOKE, so don't send mail there, LOL! I really feel like we should take up residence at the ER though! We have been there 3 times this week. Twice on Monday! First, Josiah had another allergic reaction. This time, we know what caused it though. PEANUTS. Yep. Peanuts. So guess what we are now doing? That's right...reading EVERY label that comes into the house and avoiding Texas Roadhouse like the plague!

Monday night, after our trip to the ER for Josiah we came home and Grace fell asleep easily. At about 10pm, she woke up, crying terribly. I immediately thought she was having another nightmare, but then she started to gasp for breath. So, we had to call 911. When the ambulance got there, they took her o2, and it was only registering at 67 and she was noticeably cyanotic. The EMT put oxygen on her, and by the time we got to the ER, it was up to 98. She had a chest x ray and it came back fine, which was reassuring. The doctor said that she probably just got some phlegm from the pneumonia caught in her vocal chords and they closed. He said it can happen to anyone...but obviously a child that has had a stroke and aspiration pneumonia is probably more susceptible. So, we came home and all was well. I think Tuesday was pretty uneventful, since I don't seem to remember it that well. Oh yeah, we went to the park, I think! Wednesday we had to go to Rochester for her dentist. She needs a cleaning and a couple fillings, so she has to go to the OR for that. Thursday, I took Josiah for his 12 month check-up, a little late. We got there and found out he has double ear infections. One of them was so bad that his pediatrician thought the ear drum would probably burst last night. Thank God, it stayed intact, but he's a hurting baby. We got home and I was getting ready to take the kids out for a walk in the beautiful weather...when Grace fell. She was coming from the bathroom and she tripped into the kitchen and SLAMMED into the table, right in between her eyes. She falls a lot, so I thought she would be fine. I picked her up though, and she passed out. She came to within about 30 seconds, but she was just screaming and then started to vomit. So...we had to call 911 AGAIN. She had a CT scan and it looked fine, but she does have a concussion and NASTY bruising. She's also more unsteady than normal today. We have to go this afternoon for a re-check. I will update later!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1st visit to the park...

well, in 2010 that is!

I took the two kids over to Thorne Street ( a park a few blocks away) this evening. I guess I was feeling a bit daring, because I went by myself. I only have 2 kids...and it's hard at the park by myself!?! Gracie is everywhere though...and it's not like any other 3 year old. See, I was standing there talking to a very nice woman, and she also had a 3 year old. She never once had to excuse herself to redirect her son away from the creek. She never had to run after him because he was excited and just going way too fast...he was never at a risk for falling headfirst. So...the park is a tiring experience.

It's the good kind of tiring.

The kind of tiring that ends with "that was fun!" from an excited little girl in the backseat. "We go again morrow Mommy?"

***I am noticing more and more just how much the sun bothers my girls eyes. I tried to take some pictures, but she wouldn't look at the camera. The sun was directly in her eyes wherever I moved and it just seemed to hurt her. She has sunglasses, but unfortunately isn't good about keeping them on.

***Since I feel like I have complained about people so much lately...tonight after the park, we went to Target. (I got a great deal on pull-ups!!) Gracie was trying to pick something up off of the floor, and I clapped my hands because she was able to get it and get back up without losing her balance. (We rejoice at little things around here!) A lady around the corner heard us and came over to talk to Gracie. She told her how pretty her sweatshirt is and that she was being a good big sister. Then she asked me what had happened. It might seem like she was way too forward, but it was a huge breath of fresh air. instead of standing there and wondering if I was just strange ( which I am), she took a moment and inquired. She made Gracie feel good about herself.

Some pictures...not very good, but at
least they're in them!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Grace aspirated...

Last night, we went and got the kids pictures taken and then went out for dinner. Grace was drinking strawberry milk, from a wide straw. I should have known better than to let her use that straw but I let her try it. She choked. It was pretty good one too, coughing, sputtering, gasping a little blue tint to the skin. Sadly, it didn't even phase me!! Last night though, she developed a coarse, wet cough. She's had a cough at night anyway, but this was different. At about 4 am, I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that she had aspirated. I called her doctor first thing when they opened, and he wanted to see her. He heard the same thing I do, a much wetter sounding lung. He could have sent us for a chest x-ray, but he knows Grace very well. He decided to just treat the aspiration pneumonia, because he's heard pneumonia in her lungs so often now. It also saves her from having yet another x ray and more radiation. So she is on an antibiotic for the next 10 days, and I have to watch her very carefully for fever and signs that it is worsening.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Great peace have they which love thy law:...

and nothing shall offend them."

Hmm. It has become quite apparent to me in recent weeks that I definitely do not love God's law as well as I should. Please sit down for what I'm going to tell you next, it's a shocker.

I'm a sinner.

Ok, now that you have picked your jaw up and re affixed your eyeballs in their sockets, let me explain!

I get offended daily lately. Or at least every day that I happen to have to take Grace outside the house. Two nights ago, I had to take a trip to Wal Mart for some necessities. We got ourselves around and ready, picked up my niece, and off we went. I was getting some pictures done, so Mary and Grace went to the kids department to look for some warmer weather clothes for Grace. Mary texted me that she thought Gracie had had an accident of the stinky variety. This is no big deal, she still has no muscle memory in her bowels, and she might never again. I met them to take her potty...and then realized she had a very upset tummy. So, into the bathroom we went, where I started to clean her up. In walks a lady, who makes a very loud "ewww" noise. Ok, whatever, it DID stink. So then, she walks past us and acts as though she's gagging. Again, it didn't really bother me. I like to be dramatic just as much as the next person. Then she asked me how old Grace was. Not in the sweet, "how old is your daughter?" way. More like-" How old is she ANYWAY?" I answered (kindly) that she is 3, and got that WONDERFUL response. " She should be potty trained by now. My kids were all trained before they were 2. Lazy parents these days are a shame." Yep, I was offended. Very offended. But, I mustered up my smile (thanks HAC) and said " Well, Grace had a stroke back in November and she hasn't regained her muscle control in those areas yet. She used to be potty trained. (I know, I should have left that out!) She was touch and go for quite a while there, so I just thank God for all that she regained." She left. She did not apologize, did not blush. She left. My beautiful little girl sat there, sick and crying because she KNEW that lady had been picking on her.

So, yes I get offended. I wish I didn't. I wish that I had that same tenacity my girl does. Most days I try to smile through the storm, just like she does...but sometimes it just gets to be too much. See, that little girl is OURS. She is OUR pride and joy. She is OUR miracle. It hurts to see her face when she realizes she can't run behind her friends at church. It hurts that people automatically think that she's dumb, even though she's very intelligent. It hurts that people that don't know her ask if she has ADD, because she has a hard time sitting still. It hurts when parents ALLOW their children to pick on her eyes or her short hair. It hurts when adults don't take the time to notice that she's in a dress and all pink, and call her a boy. SHE KNOWS when people say these things...and it hurts me because it hurts her. I thank God for that pain though. I will never again look at a child that is running wild and automatically judge. I have no idea what has happened in that child's life or body. That woman with way to short hair? She might be recovering from cancer. She MIGHT have had brain surgery!! The man that walks the street and looks like a drunkard? He might have fought for our country and been injured. Jesus would have loved all of these people...not judged them. Jesus DOES love all of these people.

One day my kids will probably read this blog. So Gracie and Josiah (and any others): Be nice. Don't be fake, don't be condescending. Don't judge that which is not yours to judge. Learn to turn the other cheek and give the benefit of the doubt. Love the seemingly unlovable. It will surprise you what God can do.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A day in the life...part 2

Within the last ten minutes, Gracie has actually cracked me up about 200 times!! I figure I'll write some of the cute things down here, hopefully you will laugh as well!

My friend Jill called, she is going to perm my (once naturally curly, thanks Josiah!) hair on Friday. Gracie was VERY good while we were on the phone, because she was eavesdropping the whole time. Our conversation after the call ended:

"Mrs. Rogereegis do my mommy's hair?"
"Yes, on Friday."
"She shave Gracie's head?"
"No, honey the doctor did when you had surgery."
"Oh. She make mommy's hair pretty?"
"I hope so."
"Mrs. Rogereegis make my mommy's hair purple?"
"My mommy's hair will be pretty purple. I need the phone. Pease. Pease? Pretty pease???"
"I tell Mrs. Rogereegis to make my mommy hair pretty purple!"

Maniacal laughter.

Another friend dropped off a wagon for us just a little while before that. Grace and Josiah played in it for a while, and then I told them it had to go outside until tomorrow. The conversation starts with me.
"Honey we will go for a walk tomorrow with Nick and James."
"I just waaaaannnnt to go walk now tomorrow with just my Josiah and my Grace Elliana and my mommy Michelle Richards." **half crying, half whining**
"It's getting chilly baby, and mommy isn't dressed to go for a walk ( I didn't get dressed today...last night was a rough one.)
"But I just really NEEEED to walk outside in the wagon now and take my tup and my Josiah's bottle and Nick's wipes. I reaaaallly need to go outside and walk and take the wagon that My Mrs. Daniel Norton (my friends 2 year old son, by the way) brought for me!! Mommy?"
"What Grace?" **major exasperation**
" Go for a walk in the wagon and sing Jesus songs?"
How in the WORLD do you tell a child no, when she wants to go walk outside and sing about Jesus? Especially when your pastor has preached about singing to God two weeks in a row?

Just before bed, we were sitting in the kitchen. I sat down on one of the chairs and she told me, very sweetly, not to sit there. I asked her why-
"Those chairs are for big people only."
"Mommy's a big person."
"No, they're for big people. Grandma and Grandpa and Tommy and Georgie and Nick (who's 2)."
"Mommy's a big person, too."
"What am I then?"
"My only mommy. With pretty purple hair."

More maniacal laughter...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Just some pictures

The kids were sitting on my lap before church this morning...
This is my niece Mary, wearing Gracie's Easter bonnet. Grace was fine here, she's only in the wheelchair because she gets tired when we shop. (Mary and I can make it an all day adventure!!)

Gracie and Josiah having fun at home. She was "helping" me clean by riding the vacuum cleaner.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A day in the life...

Grace-"Mommy I waked up!! Where's Josiah? Josiaaaah!!!??? Josiaaaaah???!!!"

Me-"Josiah's still sleeping Grace...shhh."

Grace-"Where's my Josiah? What's your name? Where's my Damma? I waked up, mommy. I need cereal. Where's Josiah?"

Me- "He's sleeping honey. See, right here. Grandma's probably sleeping too. Let's go potty then mommy will get you some cereal."

Grace- " Noooooo!" (She truly HATES the potty since the stroke. My fault, but we won't get into my parenting failures tonight).

Me- "Gracie you're dry and I'm sure you need to pee pee! (Singing) Here we go loopedy loo here we go loopedy la, here we go loopedy loo all the way to the pee pee pot."
(Yes seriously).

She goes potty, under serious duress.

Grace- "Josiah, wake up. Josiah, wake up. Josiiiiaaaahhhh. Mommy, Josiah waked up."

Josiah- smile, giggle, pull sissy's hair

Grace- "Hi, hi, hi, hi! What's your name? Where's Nick? Where's Nick's mommy? I want cereal."

Me- "Let mommy change Josiah and then we will go get breakfast."

Grace- (very seriously)'"Mommy, I am very very hungry and I need to eat cereal with marshmallows in my mouth."

Ok, so this is really just the first 30 minutes of our day, LOL. Isn't it amazing that just a few months ago, this child wasn't supposed to talk again? I try to remember that throughout the day when she annoys me or is naughty. Sometimes I forget, I come here and post. God has been so good.
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