Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Year Later

A year ago today we took our daughter to Children's Hospital and handed her over to a surgeon.  A surgeon who would cut her open and make it possible for her brain to have more room to grow.  It was probably one of the most stressful days I've ever been through, but I'm also so very grateful.  If not for this surgery and for the operations on her hands, she would not be where she is today.  It's so amazingly incredible and she is so amazingly incredible.

I remember how I felt that day.  (I blogged about that day on the post 'Mallory's Surgery' if anyone is interested in going back in time!)  I remember how scared I felt.  You do everything you can to distract yourself from thinking about your child laying on an operating table, cut open, but there is no distraction large enough.

Seeing her afterwards gave me a sense of relief but also came with some fear of the unknown.  Would the distractors be successful?  Would she really be able to grow new bone?  Would she make it through this whole process mostly unscathed?  But she did.  She grew new bone.  She kept smiling and just rocked the whole distractor thing like it was nothing.  That's my Mallory.

A year ago feels so far away.  Mallory has done so much and experienced so much since that day.  She's been on her first swing.  She's seen her first Renaissance Faire.  She's experienced the fun of the zoo with her big brothers.  She's battled some illness and hospital stays due to fun little things like RSV and hMPV, but made it through like the rock star she is.  She celebrated her first birthday, sat on her first beach and visited the Minocqua cabin.  She has had the opportunity to become acquainted with her new hands.  It took three surgeries but she's got ten fingers and they are all amazing!  She's butt scooting around the house and wearing her hair in little pony tails. She's eating sandwiches and drinking out of sippy cups.  She's curious and funny.  She's happy and demanding.  She's the best snuggler around!  This is a day our community likes to call a 'Cranioversary'.  It really is a fitting title.  This one big event has laid the path for everything up to today and for her future.

I'm so proud of her and grateful to everyone who follows her story.  I truly hope she can show people that we are all different and real beauty shines from the insides to the outsides of people.  Beauty is strength.  Beauty is determination.  Beauty is kindness.  Mallory is beautiful, she is strong, she is determined and she is kind.

So, although that day was so so hard, it is a wonderful memory of a day that has allowed her to blossom into the beautiful little girl that she is becoming.  And man oh man is she beautiful!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Son's Punishment

Last night, my eleven year old son, Jeremiah was assigned the daunting task of washing the night's dinner dishes.  He was doing it in replacement of his little brother, Andrew, who had thrown up right before dinner and was sent to bed early.  Jeremiah was not happy about this but I promised him that Andrew would take one of his days next week and that he could play video games today as a reward.

We have pretty high expectations in our house when it comes to the nightly dish job.  The kid assigned to wash dishes has to load the dishwasher, wash the counters, the table, the stove and the sink, sweep the floor and take out the garbage.

Jeremiah begrudgingly got through the job but was told by his dad to make sure he got ALL the garbage including some plastic bags that were put out on the screened in porch.  I'm just going to say that the bags were holding dirty diapers.  Well, one of them was but another was holding something more gross and.. well... yea... I'll leave it at that.  Diapers.  Dirty diapers in the bags.  Jeremiah forgot about the bags.

This morning I get up to Jeremiah fussing about having to write a two page essay (which was decreased to a one page essay once we realized how hard two would actually have been).  His dad explained to me that he had to write about why it was he didn't take out ALL of the garbage.  

The results, in my opinion, were pretty hysterical.  I have some photos of the essay but since it may be hard to read, I'll be transcribing it for you.  I have some close ups of some of his margin notes too.  

(I'll be transcribing his words in bold & italics... any of my commentary will be in regular font)

So, here is the top of the first side of the page.

It says:

If my writing seems out of hand its because I'm p***** off.

That sentence is followed with a smiley face, because yes, a smiley face offsets telling us how p***** off you are about this.  There's an arrow pointing to p***** off that says, "for lack of better words".  I could think of a few better words.

I really like how under being p***** off, he writes, "Impossible supposed to be 2 (crossed off and made 1 once we changed our minds) page essay - likely to only be a few sentences - can I write really BIG?"

Attitude much?

So here goes the first page:

Paragraph 1 - The reason(s) I didn't take out the garbage are: 1 - I was not aware that they were there. 2 - I'm pretty sure dirty diapers go IN the garbage can.  As to why the heck someone would throw them outside, I have no idea.  Even if I did notice them, I would probably ask why they were out there.  This punishment is far too extreme for a dinkie (love this word) mistake. (In the small words above that line he says, Thinking... still thinking...)  If I had done this job I most definitely would NOT be sitting here.  As I haven't done the pointless job, I'm sitting here doing the most impossible challenge.  The reason I'm here doing this is because I failed to accomplish a simple task.

Paragraph 2 - Back to the reason, it is because I wanted to get the garbage done because I flipping hate the dark.  I was being irresponsible and lazy.  (I still actually had no idea those were there.)  I was angry that I  had to do Andrew's job, so I was desperate to get the job done.

(He stops labeling paragraph numbers) - I knew that if I brain-farted (love the use of this word too) the job there was going to be trouble between my mom or dad.  I was aware failure was not an option.  So now I know that I should do all the job, not just a piece of it.

This side is finished with some end of page notes like, "NOOOOO!!!", "not big enough for another paragraph" and "I'm sorry!".  My favorite end of page note is the picture of the apparently fumingly stinky plastic bag that he's labeled 'Wal-mart' and then says, "Never again!".

So now that we've all enjoyed the first side, we can delve into the second side!

- I have officially run out of words to write down, and because I don't have guidelines that help me write and what to put in each paragraph.  Dad said something about another reason, but it took me all of three seconds to forget what it was.

- I feel so annoyed by this, makes me wonder why I didn't just do it right in the first place.  Next time this probably won't happen.  Can't confirm anything though.  (Like it, doesn't make promises he can't keep.)  If there even is a next time, my punishment will be far more severe.

- I had said this was impossible, but it wasn't but because this has taken me 2 hours, this isn't going to happen again.  I will never leave any trash on the porch again, even if I have absolutely nothing to do with the reason that it's there.

And my favorite parts of the entire essay are the P.S.'s.

P.S. - This was a paragraph essay thing about DIAPERS!!!!

P.P.S. - Dad, this is unlikely to happen again.

Do you think we got our point across?  I think I'm going to have to give him more essays as punishment because they are so dang entertaining!  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

This Snowy Sunday

We got a lot of snow today.  A lot.  My three year old, Quentin, has been forcing a lot of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" on me lately so I thought I'd see if he wanted to go outside and play in the snow.  Wasn't sure if the snow was "snowman" material but he was game anyway.  As luck would have it, so were his brothers.  They started to scramble around looking for some outdoor gear.

I was just finishing my breakfast and still in my pajamas.  I wanted to get in the shower.  But that snow was calling to me just as much as it was them.  I wanted to get out there and play with my kids. I love when they try to derail me from my normal crazy and make me be kind of a kid again.

So, I joined the scramble.  I looked for hats and gloves and warm footwear just like the kids.  Most importantly (to me anyway) I grabbed my camera, ready to shoot some fun outdoor moments.

The swing set is actually pretty fun in the snow.  The end of slide is buried in snow, so going down it is a blast!  The boys cleared everything off and I hung the swings.  

I have to say, hopping around in that snow was fun.  Making big foot prints.. having snow on my jeans going up almost up to my knees... it was awesome!

Nick spent a lot of time catching lots and lots of snowflakes in his mouth and Jeremiah relaxed making a snow angel.

Mallory hasn't been 100% so I kept her inside.  But she sat in her chair and watched everyone.  In her Bears gear.  Because we aren't Patriots or Sea Chick fans.

Quentin kept throwing snow at me.. which was.. fun.. but made me worried for the well being of my non-waterproof camera.  But he was having fun, right?

I love swings... love them.  Andrew thought it would be fun to swing and then jump off into a big pile of snow.  Isn't this the best time to do something like that?  Fresh, white snow makes the best landing pad!

I'd have done it myself if I wasn't so chicken.  But I did go for a swing.  It was fantastic.  The snow is fantastic.  Letting myself feel a little kid like was fantastic.

You can tell everyone had a good time by the snowy carnage on the deck.  The shoes.  The jeans.  The snow pants.  The fun.  

Happy Snowy Sunday everyone!