Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why do birds sing from up above?

So, we were all at the mall yesterday, shopping and basically wandering around. We stopped at the food court to have lunch, and we were sitting there eating - Wayne, myself, Dakotah, and Paige, in her wheelchair.

Paige was pushed up to the side of the table with her back to the restaurant part of the food court. She was dressed for Valentine's day - with her big puffy white jacket on that has big pink and teal and blue and green and yellow hearts on it. Her hair was down, and she looked cute as a button, if I do say so myself.

As we are eating, this young man about 15 or 16 wheels by us in his electric wheelchair. He is very blonde, with striking blue eyes. He goes by us, and tries to get a glimpse of Paige - definitely trying to check out the girl who uses the same means of transportation that he does.

Because of the way she was facing, he couldn't get a good look at her. So he came back by. And then he went by again. And again. Finally, he parked himself half way across the food court facing us.

We were all like "omg, he is TOTALLY checking her out."

It was so funny, most especially because Dakotah was also with us. And if any of you have ever had a 16 year old daughter, you know the preparation involved in going to the mall - the contemplation of what clothes to wear, how to fix your hair, putting on makeup, selecting the right shoes - the list goes on and on.

No one seemed to notice Dakotah - but that boy sure seemed to want to get a good look at Miss Paige.

That's the 2nd boy in a month that has been sweet on Paige.

Look out, Dakotah, your little sister is gonna be competition in a few years :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Isn't it funny how the smallest events are the ones that create the sweetest memories?

We were just remembering some of our favorite Valentine's moments. There are, of course, those traditional memories, when Wayne and I were young, and he was trying to woo me - and would send dozens of roses to me leading up to Valentine's Day, with some really neat gift arriving on the day itself. Or the hours I spent madly in love with him 250 miles away, scouring the Hallmark stores for just the right card - and not, being able to decide on one, would send off many to him.

We were laughing because of all the sentimental ones we sent to one another, the only one we can actually remember the words to was one I sent to him that went like this: (sorry, adult content, lol)

Outside of the card: "Know what I like most about being your sex kitten?"
Inside of the card: "Playing with your squeak toy."



My dad was always romantic to my mom on Valentine's Day, and would always bring her yellow roses, her favorite, for that day. But, the last year he was alive, just a month before he died, he wasn't able to do much for her, but she brought him a little stuffed raccoon that was dressed in a sweater with hearts on it, and a little red mask, along with some candy.

The last day we saw him alive, Paige (not quite a year old) was laying on his bed with him, cooing at him, and just being near - and he showed her the raccoon. She was playing with it, and I heard him say to her, "why don't you take care of this for me."

She still has it, and needless to say, it is very, very precious to us.

When Dakotah was in Jr. Kindergarten, just barely 4 years old, she spent almost an entire week copying the names of her friends onto Valentine's Day cards, and signing them all. I remember she couldn't fit her whole name on one line, and she tucked the letters of her name anywhere she could fit them - too cute!

And one year, her and I spent hours and hours and hours cutting dozens of hearts out of pink and red felt, and then tying them with ribbons to her pants and shirt, and putting them in her hair for "heart day" at school - the class that wore the most hearts got a pizza day. I'm pretty sure she was instrumental in helping her class be the winning class.

On Paige's first Valentine's Day in school, she was in what we called the "black period" - her favorite color was black, and everything she colored was black!!! Our whole house was decorated for Valentine's Day in BLACK hearts - taped on cupboard doors, the refrigerator, every surface we could find. She sure colored a lot of hearts that year, lol.

Way to go goth, Paige. heh.

So...keep it simple today. Make a memory for your loved one. Write "I choo choo choose you" in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. Tuck a red paper heart in someone's pocket. Lift your little one's shirt up and cover his or her belly in kisses (note, this also works with husbands, lol). Trace a heart in the frost (or dirt) on your car's back window.

Be goofy and sentimental!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Looking up!

I'm so happy that Paige is feeling better. Perhaps she will try school for a bit tomorrow, although she will most likely wait until Monday to go back.

Its not always easy being the navigator of this ship that sometimes takes us through rough waters. Especially with Paige's very limited verbal skills, I don't often know when she is feeling sick. She has an incredibly high level of pain tolerance, and does not indicate to me that she is not well until she is really not well.

I think I, and probably every mother of a child who is medically fragile, find myself in a constant battle with my instincts. Am I overreacting? Am I taking her symptoms too seriously? Am I worried about her having something really bad when its probably just a cold or a stomach bug?

Or conversely, am I trying to brush it off, hoping she will perk up in a day or two, and we can avoid a long wait at urgent care, or another needle prick, or yet another unpleasant procedure performed on my child who is already feeling miserable.

I don't want to be an alarmist. But I do find myself googling symptoms when she is sick. Could this be "it?" The inevitable shoe dropping that silently hides in the back of my mind - a constant reminder of just how incredibly lucky we are to have this little girl in our lives, how lucky we are that she has received such great medical care, and that she is working hard to thrive.

And...I don't want to be the mother that the doctor looks at in disbelief, that I didn't recognize how sick she was, that I hadn't been in a week before, trying to help her get better.

On top of that, is that maternal ache that every mother feels when her child is sick. I would take 10 times the sickness, 10 times the level of pain, in order to spare her a single moment of it. I fret and wonder, how long has she been feeling unwell? With her cast coming off, we expected some discomfort, and indeed, she has been grumpy and moody for a month now, something very uncharacteristic of Paige. Has she been sick this whole time?

When Paige was younger, I was actually more overprotective of Dakotah, because I always had this sinking feeling that I was going to be so in tune to Paige's medical needs, so on top of them, that I would miss something big in Dakotah, and she would become the child who's life we were begging God to save.

I tell Dakotah all the time that I'm learning to parent her just as she is learning to grow and become independent - that there is no manual, and that we must do the best we can do at this job called life. Each day brings new lessons, new worries, and new joys, and thankfully, most days the joys are so great that the worries and necessary lessons become just a small part of who we are.

I thank God that He has bestowed me with the gifts of my children - constant reminders to never take anything for granted, and to fall to my knees daily and thank Him for the splendor of what He has given me.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

On the mend!

Paige was back at the ER last night - this time she got some antibiotics and more medicine for her thrush. She is finally seeming a bit better - drinking good today, and is eating some goldfish (the crackers, not the animal!).

She seems to have a lot of different things going on at once - which is why the symptoms have seemed so willy nilly to me, I guess.

Her weight is also really down - from 60 lbs in October to 36 lbs last night - that's a lot of weight on a kid her size. So, we will keep monitoring that, and work on getting some meat on her little bones once she starts eating again.

Poor monkey was so, so sick...I'm glad to see her a little less miserable.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Still not feeling wonderful...

Paige now has a really, really bad case of thrush. She seems to get this every time her body has a "trauma" of any kind - thick, heavy white crust in her mouth. The ER doctor told me yesterday that children her age don't get it - something other doctors have told me too, but she gets it...and often enough too. If anyone has any thoughts on why that might happen, please let me know.

She is drinking a litte bit, but only milk - I imagine the juice is hurting her mouth. The last solid food she had was last Tuesday. I'm worried about her, but was told at the ER yesterday that it was just something she had to get through. She slept for nearly 36 hours straight from Saturday night to this morning - only waking up when I woke her.

She is a bit perkier today, and has been awake a few hours, so I think she is on the mend, but its a sloooowwww mend, lol...

Poor sweetie...