Sunday, June 23, 2013

Traveling Minus Ticks

Eli tried kayaking and loved it. Tom took the kids out almost everyday. I really want to try it, but the water had ice on it a month ago. I didn't want to go in!
Back to reality tomorrow, however before I go back too quickly, I have to share a few more photos of vacation. Maybe it was the cooler weather that made today (all 72 degrees) seem warm enough for a family swim at the public pool! Brrr!
Mom's scary boat hair!

Tom attempting to hold onto my catch!

Dad in his happy place.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Traveling and Ticks

 I’m listening to the loons in the background and having some kind of a F*lgers moment as the kids sleep and Tom is somewhere on the lake fishing. Did I say I’m relaxed? I’m trying not to think this experience is half over today and focusing on the fact that we have three more full days to screw around on the lake fishing, kayaking, and paddle boating or maybe reading my book in a chair by the lake. We go a place in northern Wisconsin. Part of the reason we like it is it’s a family resort and quiet, however we also get absolutely no cell reception. Great!
I've never seen Sidney so relaxed and carefree.
Outside of Eli getting a tick bite yesterday and making an emergency call to our doctor at home, the whole week has been blissfully uneventful. In this part of the United States, it is important to take preventative steps. I took one look at a map, realizing we are in the hot zone for lyme disease and immediately called our family doctor. This is totally preventative medicine as I’m not even sure it was a deer tick. He smashed it before I could see it, however on the very small chance it was, we aren’t messing around and neither is our doctor. Our family doctor was Johnny on the spot, calling in the prescription to the local W*l-Mart. Thankfully I avoided a trip to the ER and all is well.

Back to relaxing and getting the most of the next few days before we thrust back into the real world!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

"She puts the color inside my world..."

Most days during the summer, I find Sidney with something like this in her hand. While we see a weed or a nuisance in the lawn, she finds beauty in the color and shape.

I can't post a PDF file, but if I could I would show you a picture of her in a much different place looking at flowers with a Half the Sky volunteer. Of the few positive things that occured while Sidney was in China, this was one of them. I think it instilled an appreciation for simple things, and I see that theme carried through so many parts of her life. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Night Ramblings

Eli’s out with a friend and his friends family for the evening, so I’m on the couch with Ralph again. Eli was more than happy to escape. We’re at the part of summer that’s not warm enough for going to the pool and trying to find some sense of normalicy with endless time to spend reading, catching up on unwatched videos, and going for bike rides while mom yells from the back of the side walk to stop at the corner. Eli’s such a good sport biking in front of his sister and sitting patiently at corners to wait for her, knowing she’s too tiny to bike on the street.

This is the same protector that walked into the orthopedic clinic with Sidney and I on Monday. Both kids behaved awesomely which was great as I was by myself this trip. The university hospital is an easy hour from our home, but by the time the car is in the ramp, and we are finally in our exam room, I’m feeling a little frazzled. Eli was every bit the co-navigator, conversationalist, and helper a person needs along on a trip. He looks forward to going with us. Somehow I feel as a parent having a sister with unique special needs will make him a kinder more accepting person as an adult.

The other day, we were talking and he told me he forgets his sister has three fingers. That’s the first time he’s ever brought it up. He also forgets there’s anything complex about his sister’s condition like everyone else. Maybe that’s why it’s so bizarre on days like Friday when Sidney’s diagnosis is written on a form as a “complex deformity.” Frankly, I hate the word deformity, but I know the medical world has its own set of labels.

After a few x-rays and an exam by the and surgeon, Sidney’s hand has healed well. For now, we will have a splint made which will allow us to monitor her hand. Meaning, the surgeon suggested we put the splint on her hand about once a week and see if it’s getting tighter. If the skin begins contracting again, and the splint is tighter, she recommended we try additional physical therapy. For now skin which caused her finger to contract looks great. Like I said before mother nature will probably always cause her finger to crook in, but the surgery accomplished more mobility in her finger. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Schools Out

The kids are out of school. I’m doing my early summer deep breathing. Everyone is finding a new routine minus afternoon swimming until it gets warm enough and stops raining. Eli is euphoric, in a great mood on summer break, relaxed and for once not in a hurry. Sidney is literally crying to go back to school a couple of times a day. She loves her class and socializing with her preschool peers. Wednesday was preschool graduation.

Happy 11th Birtday to my Star Wars loving, fact telling, not in a rush, awesome Eli!
Mom choked back the threatening lump in her throat as she came around the corner in her cap and tassel hanging loosely on her head. She was every part performer as she carefully executed walking on the white line of the gym. What a ham. She loves being in front of people. As I sat watching her speaking into the microphone three times for a one line sentence “G is for…..G is for…..G is for gate,” I was aware that she not only liked hearing the sound of her own voice echoing through the gym but how much she’s grown. Frankly, all I could see was the little Chen Ningxia sitting on the bench waiting for her new life to start. And what a beautiful life we're all living.
Two goofballs!  Using our porch to sit outside while the rain is about to start again. Our community is flooded.
I am so blessed to watch both kids grow and change. This week I have faced the reality that my kids are getting big. As I'm getting ready to type my next meaningful sentence... What??? I hear this conversation taking place. Tom says, “I think we should go to Alaska and become subsistence living people.” Eli chimed in, “Dad I’m not going to skin a 1,000 pound moose.” Then Sidney chimed in “They eat it that big Dad?” Oh my. I think it’s time to get on to my Saturday.
I can't share pictures from the graduation. There were other kids. I don't know their parents, so I won't show them on the blog or facebook. We've been outside as much as possible between storms.