Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordful Wednesday....Two Little Leprechauns

Sidney's & Grace (from our neighborhood, ) grabbed the St Patrick's day hats from the house a couple of weeks ago and found a stray sled. Instant lepremobile.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Forget Tea Time Invitations

 “Mommy, you have more.” I’ve contemplated many times how our conversation might go once Sidney figured out her hands were different. Most days I forget my hands have two extra fingers while Sidney’s have 3 on each side. It doesn’t factor into our daily life unless someone meets us for the first time. Like our geneticist said who consequently sees rare conditions on a daily basis, “this is unique, and her pediatrician will probably only see one case like this in her career.” But, I don’t see a unique child. I see a regular four year old, so when she says something about her hands, it makes me pause.

 We’ve known for a while she was leading up to this realization. For awhile, she simply said, “my hands tiny.” Each time we reassure her with words about God making her hands perfect for exactly what she needs to do. Today, we sat down, and once again, she looked at her hands and said, “Mommy, you have more. One, two, three, four five.” Then she turned to her thumb and two fingers grabbing them with the thumb and two fingers on her other hand, and counted, “one, two three.” I responded, “Can mommy do anything with five fingers that Sidney can’t?” Sidney responded with a conclusive, “no.”

I love that we have the ability to raise her with confidence. What happened when her birth mother was exposed to a toxin or had German measles doesn’t determine her future. For that reason, we will never see her condition as an obstacle. And what a blessing God doesn’t make us all the same. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place? As I told Sidney, “God made your hands perfect for what you need to do. And there’s nothing you can’t do.” OK, other than raise a ring and pinkie finger drinking tea. But, we aren’t English, so I guess it doesn’t matter.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interuppting our regularly scheduled life to bring you this....

Tom and I have come to enjoy our breaks as a couple. Breaks help us return refreshed, happy parents. They take the edge out of our parent voice and allow us to spend time remembering how we started as a couple. When you’re married to your best friend it matters. Who else is going to go into Nordstrom’s rack and try on skinny jeans for the sole purpose of making his wife laugh? I shouldn’t include this last detail, but he actually bought them. 

So, last Thursday, we headed out to spend time with good friends in Chicago. Once again, we laughed until our ribs hurt, visited an art museum, drank good coffee, ate good cupcakes, and took a minute to breathe before the phone starts ringing off the hook for spring cooling season. Meanwhile, the kids spent time with Grandpa and Grandma. For the many things we’ve experienced with Sidney, the one thing we have not experienced is trepidation away from Mom and Dad with grandpa and grandma. We feel incredibly lucky.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Part Genetics Part Giardia

It was 70 degrees, so Sidney sprinted outside barefooted and climbed on her big wheel. After two years, her feet still don’t reach the peddles. I keep telling people around me, she’s not incredibly small considering the part of the world she’s from. Her small size is part genetics, part giardia. 

In fact, this has been much more challenging than her special needs. It’s been a source of stress, especially during her first flu season home not wanting her to lose too much weight. She didn’t have any to lose. I still encourage her to eat. I can’t remember the first time she told me she was physically hungry, but it was music to my ears. More recently, she’s started saying, my stomach hurts. In Sidney speak this typically means she’s hungry. She’s not learned to differentiate between the two. 

On Wednesday, I shared we went into the doctors office for what turned out to be ear wax. I’m so glad we went, because the information he provided on giardia was another piece of missing information in her recovery. He shared some personal experiences which sounded strikingly similar to Sidney. As he talked about the inability to get an appetite for at least four years after contracting the illness, I knew my instincts about her lack of appetite were dead on. Before our appointment, I concluded, having a serious case of giardia certainly makes immediate recovery almost impossible. But, I could never figure out the reason.
A person takes medicine, and after a couple of months their system recovers, right? Not so much. He explained that the parasite actually tears away at the stomach lining, and it takes years for the stomach lining to heal completely. So, this explains what we are experiencing right now. Physical recovery from the parasite. It felt good to have answers, and it also provided many clues about her favorite foods.

Many of her favorite foods are carbohydrates. I assumed this was a result of her mostly starch diet in the orphanage. A majority of the food she consumed was the equivalent of rice porridge with little if any meat and vegetables. As I write this it almost makes the tears well up in my eyes to think of the kids still living there, subsisting on little to nothing on a daily basis. Not only wasn’t  she receiving the correct nutrients, the parasite was taking the few calories she consumed. It’s really a miracle she was in as good of condition as she was during travel. When we came home, my mom commented that she was so “lean.” And this was the perfect description. There was no chunk. She had a belly, but it was bloated and distended. I later learned this was gas from the parasite.

So, we are attempting to figure out how to help her continue to recover. I am voraciously reading anything I can get my hands on.  And there isn’t much out there which discusses severe cases outside of information on cats and dogs. Obviously this is irrelevant. So, I’m reaching out to my blog audience. If you know anything else or have located information, please let me know where to find it in the comments. Maybe, I’m already doing all I can to help her overcome this and giving the right foods in recovery, but I don’t leave many stones unturned, so help me out if you can. I appreciate it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wax On Wax Off

Who knew removing earwax could be so life changing for Sidney? She was complaining of an ear ache on and off in the last day. I got her into the doctor to have a look-see (is that a word?). He produced some kind of bizarre disposable tool, and pulled it out. She’s running around like nothing ever happened. It’s another in a series of moments as a mother that I felt completely ridiculous. I was under the assumption she had an ear infection. While Sidney selected a sticker, the receptionist advised me it’s quite common and can be painful. Who knew? Obviously not me. 

Hands down my favorite activity = Moon D*ugh

I ran to the doctor between lettering quilt blocks, directing and planning for VBS, straightening out the error on our taxes, doing Tom’s bookwork, dealing with a cat puking on my stairs (ok only one time), purchasing items for a theme basket, and somewhere in between, finding five minutes to breath. I’m lettering 22 quilt blocks with the foot stamp of each preschool student to incorporate into a quilted wall hanging or to lie on a table. It will be auctioned off during a fundraiser for the kid’s school. I find myself laughing internally that I’m involved in an event called the “spring fling.” 

OK, off to figure out how many Alka Seltzer I need for VBS. Think film container rockets.OK, now I'm really stopping. I hear crazy laughter, like the kind that's going to produce crying in 2 seconds!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cookie Caper

The boys are out, and the girls are in. Who needs a Friday night out when there’s Sp8*nge B*b mac n cheese and chocolate milk? Did I mention, Sidney’s only had a half hour nap today? This actually means mom might get the TV all to herself! Monumental! Tom took Eli to a banquet. I think it’s good Eli has dad to himself and a break from mom. I’m sure I’m not high on his list at this particular moment, but I’m his mom not his best friend. 

I should preface this by saying Eli is a good boy. I will go as far as my mother to say he is a delight to be around. However, at age 9, it’s difficult to impress upon him the reasons we go to such extremes making sure he’s safe on the internet. There’s no gray area with the internet. It’s either safe or it isn’t. Typically, I try not to run our household like a dictatorship, but this is one place I can’t budge. Either he follows the rules, or there are no privileges.

Cookies = Round 1. His face says it all. .
This is the second line crossed over the course of the week. I baked for neighbors. I carefully took the best looking cookies and put them in a crisp new Ziplock with a card. I put a couple of rejects in another bag. Typically, I bake nothing, because I can’t stay away from it. It was a new recipe out of my church cookbook. I walked across the kitchen to retrieve the card and the bag, readying myself to take them over. Imagine my surprise when I found not one empty bag but two empty bags. 

So, today I baked again. Don’t get me wrong I love to bake but who has time to do it twice. So the shenanigans are done. Did I just use the word shenanigan? Wow. He’s really pushing me over the edge.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dynamite Comes in Small Packages

I started writing a post after the weekend, I really did. Then I started designing a runner for Sidney's third grade class, incorporating each students footprint, and the Bible verse, "let the little children come to me." Sniffle, sniffle. It's going to be adorable, and hopefully it will raise money for this years Spring Fling. Yes, that's actually what it's called. It's a fund raiser for the school.

Then I began working on VBS. That's like taking the hours and watching them clip by like minutes. While I was working on VBS, Sidney told Tom and I a girl was picking on her for being small. Tom taught her to say, "dynamite comes in small packages."

And before the mayhem started, last Friday night and Saturday, both kids got the chance to spend some quality time with Tom’s parents. I don’t think Eli removed the 3D glasses from his face all day on Sunday. Was he supposed to keep those. What happens with Grandpa.... Tom’s dad asked if he might like to go and see the Muppets, then told him he was kidding and actually going to the Star Wars 3D move. I can’t imagine the conversation Grandpa Steve heard on the way there and back. It’s like a foreign language.

After scooping up the kids Saturday, we were off to my parents house. Grandpa Bob constructed new book shelves for Sidney. Good thing she's happy with them going in our living room for awhile, because they match my hutch. Photos to come. 

And now, I'm back off to finish laundry, bake for the neighbors. Oh yeah, I already did that, but Eli ate the cookies when I wasn't looking. I think we need to have a conversation about self control. He's been having some rough days at school. He took care of the school bully, but he learned the hard way. It's not so much the food, it's the sneaking around that drives me nuts! And the fact that I fully expect to see him doubled over with a sugar cramp.

OK, enough rambling, time to see if an antacid inside a film can with the lid closed and 2 teaspoons of water really comes apart and shoots like a rocket (VBS science activity).