Friday, November 28, 2014

Well, drat.

The right port in H.'s head continues to be a problem.

Last Wednesday, I felt it and could feel the rim of the port (it looks like a little circular disk if you see one not in someone's body) and so decided that I would go ahead and try to do the expansion. I got everything ready and had H. sit down. Now, as much as I don't like doing this, I'm pretty good at it and have never had a problem getting the needle in the port at the first attempt. On Wednesday, I tried five different needle sticks and couldn't find it. H. and I were both close to or in tears by the time I decided I just wasn't going to find it.

This morning was the first time I could call the office and when I talked to the nurse, she mentioned that she thought perhaps the port was flipped due to all the fluid that had been around it. The nurse had time to see us, so we got ourselves ready and headed back up to the office. I knew the nurse was going to try to turn the port manually if it was flipped, so we gave H. some Tylenol with Codeine and slathered the site with Emla cream. It didn't sound like it would be a fun event.

When we got up there, the nurse tried to access the port and she couldn't do it either. (Which, I admit made me feel better.) She decided that yes, indeed, the port was flipped. She tried to turn it manually which looked like me holding H. in a big hug to keep her calm and putting my head along hers to counteract the pressure that the nurse was using trying to turn the darn thing, all the while H. was whimpering. H. was a trooper.

Sadly, the nurse wasn't able to turn the port. The surgeon is very good at turning ports, so we are scheduled to go back up early Wednesday morning to see if he can do it. I don't even want to consider the alternative if he can't. I think we are going to give a mild sedative, the type that oral surgeons prescribe before tooth extractions, to help take the edge off. We really need to get the done and it is not going to feel good.

So now we will go back to our regularly scheduled holiday and try not to think about Wednesday.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

For home and love and all things true,

(There's been lots of game playing.)

We give our thanks, O God, to you.

(And silver polishing)

For food that's sent to us each day,

(20 for dinner... the tables are ready)

(Plates and serving dishes waiting for food)

Accept this grace that we now say.

(And a little Minecraft)

(Don't worry... it's still festive. They're in front of the fire.)

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fun with Gomez... or what happens when Mom is busy

I've been working hard to get ready for Thanksgiving which leaves some smaller types with a little time on their hands. Since Mommy is preparing for the holiday, they thought they would, too. When filling the mini-muffin cup liners (which we had leftover from a project) with white glue to make "pies" to decorate the table lost its luster, they moved on to Gomez, our resident skeleton.

Notice the holiday decorations so he is already for Thanksgiving.

I bet you wish you had metal rings hanging from your rib cage.

Stickers, pipe cleaners and even a little decoration on the end of his tail bone.

He's decorated from top to toe.

Now, be forewarned the next picture is a little startling. M. had left some fake squishy eyeballs in my desk. (No, I don't know why. These things just seem to happen.) Well, the littles and not-so-littles decided that Gomez needed eyes. So they gave him some. Let me tell you, it is a little distracting to have your children inserting eyeballs into a skeleton's eye sockets and accidentally having them fall through his rib cage every now and then while you are trying to talk on the telephone.

Life is never dull.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Another visit to the plastic surgeon

We just returned from the plastic surgeon's office. (Yes, I do go there a lot, if that is what you were thinking.) The nurse was able to expand the expander that is under her scalp, but the port which attaches to the expander under her forehead is still being funky. It was swollen again and the nurse drew off ~8ml of liquid. Hopefully this will be the last time. If it looks better tomorrow, I will do the expanding and then we'll be set for a once a week schedule for the next several weeks. We're also going to keep her on the antibiotics for a while longer. H. is a great patient and thought she doesn't like the process is as good as gold during the procedure.

Now I can move along to the next item on my to-do list... making 6 dozen rolls. I'm pretty sure that I could forget nearly any other part of the Thanksgiving menu and life would continue, but if I forgot the rolls, the holiday would be declared void and we'd have to do it all again.

Monday, November 24, 2014

And the countdown begins

It's cleaning day here in order to get ready for the holiday. Tomorrow is going to be baking day. Let me tell you, everyone is very excited. Excited in that 'this is going to end in tears' kind of excitement. So I think I'll be a bit busy. Since I won't have time to write novel-length blog posts for your enjoyment, here are some links to other interesting things which have come across.

20 Signs of Unresolved Trauma (I know, not a lot of fun, but I found it interesting.)

Why Church is a Burden for Special Needs Parents (Blessings on the Sunday School teacher who appears in this story.)

How to Deal with Anxiety, Tragedy, or Heartache - 4 Steps from Research (Or why I won't be quitting the blog anytime soon.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Homeschooling woes... a set of haiku

This is for P., who is feeling a little behind.

The Tale of Genji
Over one thousand pages
Medieval Japan

Not often is read
A novel rarely opened
And then only half

My girl loves Japan
The desire to learn is strong
A class created

Lesson plans are made
Books and study guides arrive
There is excitement

The book grows longer
The prose is difficult and dry
Too many haiku

Time is growing short
The excitement grows short, too
But not the novel

I am proud of her
It is good to try to reach
Grow and stretch your mind

She is diligent
The schedule is left behind
But she keeps going

Friday, November 21, 2014

Do not lose heart

I haven't shared about what my girls' Bible study that I lead has been talking about recently. As always, I am quite sure that I get far more out of it than the girls do, but you never know. We've been slowly working our way through Luke. This is year two and we're just about to get to the triumphal entry, so we're getting there.

What I have been spending a lot of time pondering is the parable of the persistent widow. (Luke 18: 1- 8) If you are not familiar with it, here's the brief version. A widow persistently hounds a local judge insistently asking for justice. He was an unjust man who cared neither for people or God. The widow is so persistent that the judge eventually gives her what she asks for just to get some peace. Jesus then asks, if the unjust man can eventually do what is right, how much more so will God?

I will admit to misinterpreting this story for a long time. I saw it as a need for badgering and persistence. If I didn't diligently hound God, then I didn't want what I as praying for about enough and didn't deserve to receive it. The responsibility for the outcome fell onto my shoulders. And let me tell you, with this interpretation, this responsibility is a heavy, heavy weight.

As I was preparing for studying this passage with the girls, I realized that I had been wrong. Jesus does not tell us this story to show that we must be persistent because that is what is required, but tells us to show us something profound about God. The parable is there to show us how much God is NOT like the unjust judge. The judge did what was right only grudgingly and for selfish reasons. The widow only received justice because the judge wanted her off his back. He did not delight in giving justice nor was he quick to do so. There was ultimately a good outcome for the widow but it was not due to any good motives of the judge.

This, Jesus says, is so different from God, our Father. God, instead, delights to give justice to his children and He does so speedily. This is the tricky part, isn't it? Sometimes we don't perceive God as acting speedily, do we? We want the problem solved, the injustice righted, the wrong undone right now, not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not next year. We sometimes lose sight that God works without hurry yet at exactly the right time. We think we can see all parts of the problem, yet we see such a small portion of it that our view of any issue is compromised. How many times have I prayed about something thinking I knew best how it should work out only to have God say, "No." Then, looking back with the wisdom of the hindsight of several years, I realize how much better God's way turned out to be. If I had gotten what I thought I wanted, it would have very often been a train wreck.

Jesus knew that this would be problematic, which is why I believe he added the preface to the parable found in verse 1, "And He told them the parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." I have been thinking about the difference in how I pray if I know upfront that God delights to do what is right and quickly and my only responsibility is to pray and not lose heart. It is the not desperate poundings of someone who is unsure of the outcome. Instead it is the calm and patient assurance that God wants what is best for me even more than I do and that He will bring it to pass. It is prayer from a place of peace rather than fear. And the responsibility is no longer on my shoulders.

This strikes me all the more forcefully as I see my family entering a time when God is bringing several prayers to fruition. It is awe inspiring to watch and be a part of, especially because some of these prayers have been on my lips for a long time. I can't help but think this is going to be an amazing story that we are getting to play a part in and cannot wait for the time when I am free to share it with you.

Remember, pray always and do not lose heart.
I have another article up. It is a book review of my friend, Mary Ostyn's book, Forever Mom: What to Expect When You're Adopting. Read the review and read the book. It is really very well done.
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