Friday, April 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Sidney / Happy Easter



It’s Friday night, and we’re all collapsed around the living room in a similar manner to other Friday nights after a busy week. That is, of course, all except for Sidney who never seems to be without energy. After a birthday and Easter going back to the uneventful nature of the daily grind was anticlimactic for Sidney. No birthday presents, no Easter bunny, along with a busy schedule including holy week. She is my kid that loves to be constantly on the move and doing something. I advised her were back to regular life! 
  
Coloring eggs
Like every year my child turns a year older, it’s almost impossible for me to believe how quickly time moves once you have children. There’s no way Sidney should be seven. I think between six and seven, I’ve observed her acting the most like a child of anytime in the past six years. I thought about this the other day as I saw her skipping from one place to the next (while I also noted her limb difference doesn’t slow her down skipping!). She was carefree, and it’s amazing to see after experiencing my serious almost militant toddler. God is definitely working in her life. 
I realized after taking this photo Easter morning that it would have probably been a better shot without the rusty shovel behind he kids!
Oh well. That's real life. 
As with so many other holidays ad birthdays art supplies were the main ingredient. A majority of her free time is spent drawing and creating whatever she fashions out of paper, construction paper, crayons and markers. Sometimes she might throw in a random paper airplane. She can make the best planes. Eli has a book that's received a lot of great use, and she completely taught herself how to make them. 

Okay, time to find something productive to do on my Friday night like look at Pinterest or catch a rerun on Netflix.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Musings of Montezuma's Revenge

I’ve never been so happy to see the numbers 99.5. Sidney’s fever is down for the moment, but we’ll see what happens this afternoon. Eli on the other hand, is upstairs bemoaning his inability to consume anything outside of very bland food.  
Poor Tom. He’s the last man standing, and he feels like he is living in a petri dish. He was supposed to be out of town for work this week, but the trip was cancelled. I was so happy to have him over these last couple of days. “Go take a nap, and let me handle this.” He's wonderful.


For today, we are couch bound with extra cartoons and juice pouches.        

Friday, February 27, 2015

Iron Butterfly


Sidney got the flu on Monday afternoon on a day off from school. Many paper towels and squirts of 409 later, and I think she is on the mend. It came as somewhat of a surprise to me, because Sidney is typically the healthiest person in the house, recovering from any illness in half the time of a normal person. Maybe it’s her sneezing. It sounds like something that should come out of a grown man.I guess this is another reason Tom calls her our iron butterfly. She is so incredibly tough physically and mentally. And I don't mean just a little. 



Case in point, a couple of Sundays ago in church. Let me preface this next part with the understanding that Tom and I have taught our kids how to behave in church. We have never regaled them to the nursery when they were littler or believed they needed a five course meal during the service. Entertainment like coloring yes, Lunchables no (a story for another time). 

Even at 5 ft 10 in he still looks like the same little kid without his glasses on. I'm sure he would appreciate this comment - NOT!
Sidney being Sidney decided church was the perfect time to become, frankly, obstinate throughout the morning. Tom, the tougher in parenting of the two of us reminded me afterward, when she was stomping through snow I requested she stay out of, we can take away some of the tough behavior but not all. What's left will serve her well in life. I think we are a good parenting team, because at different moments we've both reminded one another of this. 


Only a totally unrelated topic did I mention it's freezing outside? The current temp is -17. Okay, I'm off to rearrange day two of school starting late at 10:00AM.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Tale of Two Hands...

Three weeks after our appointment, I am finally updating! We visited the hand surgeon. Three procedures have been completed to date, two on Sidney’s right hand and one on her left. Both hands are considered complex syndactyly, however they are quite different from one another. Thankfully, both function well and don’t limit her fine motor skills.


Our objective with surgery is function over cosmetic enhancement, however we understand there might come a time when we can’t prevent it completely. She was home six months when she had her first surgery on the right hand. Her fingers were separated using a skin graft off her hip.

 Three years ago in May the second procedure was completed on the same hand, revising the scar tissue which is an inevitable part of having the first procedure. Both procedures required casting for six weeks and a splint for several weeks following. None of it slowed her down, but frankly having a cast when you are small and petite is uncomfortable. I will never forget her dragging around the heavy cast while lumbering around with her limb difference. She was quite frustrated and who could blame her.

The surgeon noticed the separated fingers are tipping in toward one another, however there isn't much we can do with this. She suggested trying a splint. We have been unsuccessful in the past.  Turns out a child in the throes of issues with attachment doesn't deal with a splint pushing on both sides of fingers previously joined together. We had to choose our battles, and that wasn’t one I was going to fight. It was so strange. I’m always in favor of preventing surgery if at all possible, but I knew as a mother I couldn't push her any harder emotionally. Tom and I made the choice to let mother nature take its course. I think even if she had worn a splint between procedures a revision would have been necessary.  Even under the best of circumstances skin grafts heal into thick pieces of skin. 

After looking at her hands now the surgeon decided we are fine to do a splint. We know her fingers are going to do what they are going to do. The best we can try for is to prevent them from turn in towards one another even more. I explained our previous difficulty to the surgeon but let her know if she told her to wear it, she might comply. After telling her it was only something to tack onto her bedtime routine like brushing her teeth, we have been very successful getting her to wear it! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

This week was Catholic schools week, so mom came in to eat lunch with the kids. Eli is in the orange shirt in the background,



And in case you are wondering what a 7th graders locker looks like this is
 an accurate depiction.


As I was admiring my adorable daughter I noticed the unidentified splatter on the locker next to her. Sometimes it's best not to know. 

I'm having a difficult time accepting how big Eli is getting! He's only 12. I can't imagine what he's going to look like in a couple of years!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas

Two Christmases down, one to go. My family is today with Grandpa Bob Bob and Grandma Jean Jean. So over the river literally and on the slab (Tom’s reference to the highway leading to my parent’s community about 40 minutes away) we go. Having a day off in between Christmas Day and today was a necessary coincidence. After the excitement of Christmas Eve with Tom’s family and our own family Christmas, Sidney was able to unwind a bit. That is until she realized the next day she was seeing her cousin Finn. 


This year she created gifts for everyone. I watched her making pictures out of all of her art supplies. When I was looking away, massive quantities of scotch tape were used in the construction of these masterpieces. I went to find some decorative fabric ribbon for Sunday School gifts. The new rolls I bought mysteriously went missing. One time around the wrapped package isn’t enough according to what I found later when it was too late. Double it up around the package. Note to self. Keep my eye on her craft supply intake.

If only fake facial hair were real facial hair.

This occasion is one of a couple over this particular holiday that I’ve had to maintain an extreme level of patience. She is on sensory overload. There is an official term for what she is doing, but Tom and I call it spinning. Flighty, from one activity to the next without much focus, cranky behavior, easier meltdowns. Eli on the other hand is in heaven. No amount of relaxation is enough. And when your aunt has supplied movies for gifts and a friend has given you candy for the class exchange, well that’s about all a boy needs. Factor in the cell phone received for a gift, and you have a recipe for a happy tween. I could go on for hours about all the discussions Tom and I had before making this purchase. Should we get him one? Should we wait? Is it really necessary? Can he continue to use my phone while we are gone despite the fact that it is inconvenient, because I can’t immediately email my clients back which I insist upon doing if at all possible. In the end, the practical decision was for him to have a phone.

My friend wrote a great contract for her son when he received his phone. It includes things like the phone being on the counter in the kitchen in the same spot by 9PM every night plugged in. Parents have ultimate control, meaning it can be taken away at any time. Having the phone is a privilege. In addition, we thought it completely unnecessary for him to have a smartphone. He has a tablet he earned a couple of summers ago working off the money for me doing chores. Tom and I discussed how frightening the internet truly can be, factoring in access anytime over a phone with a 12 year old. The phone and text is necessary in our daily lives. Internet access for a tween anytime is not.

Okay, time to start another day! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Musings of Trees

We went out for our Christmas tree. Tom grew up with fake trees. He has been over ruled since Eli was born. No fake trees. So we set out to find the perfect tree. 



We tromped all over looking the perfect fraser fir. Total cost $25. We found a great little place for half the cost of the dog and pony show we used to go to. Now Tom needs to stop telling people about it before they raise their prices. Even Eli in his tween rejection of all things uncool was excited and on board for the event. So I decided to attempt a family photo to record the event. 




As any normal family knows these events can soon turn into something entirely different. Am I actually gnashing my teeth in the photo? Anyway, this picture already makes me laugh, so I am including it in the post. Just keeping it real.