Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Long Road

Summer is heating up and we are settling in to the long road in casting called summer.  We celebrated the Memorial Day weekend with family and friends starting with my niece Emily and her best friend Keaghan's graduation party at the Holland's home Saturday evening.  Our beautiful friends opened their home to both families.  It was a fabulous evening of friendship and celebration of the milestone for both these fabulous kids.  High School here they come.  The Hollands have a fantastic backyard complete with a wonderful pool.  The older kids were told no swimming until William went home and we originally tried to keep William occupied in the house.  Upon reflection, I decided this was not fair to the older kids and it was time to level with William about some realities in his little life.  The kids all began to swim and William wanted to see what was outside that he must be missing.  I opted to level with William....William the kids are swimming in a pool.  You can't get in the pool because of your cast, if you want to put your feet in the water and watch the kids I will take you out there.  He said yes and splashed his feet in the water for close to 45 minutes.  He came home happy and tired.  He loved his version of swimming.  His Ma Holland told him when he gets his cast off in July he can come swim in the water.  He was content with this. 
         The option to level with my two year old at first seemed scary, but William amazes me in his understanding of his life.  This is a long road with many unknowns, knowing I can talk to him and he finally understands is such a milestone.  Amen to the tiny miracles. 
         The club is taking huge steps and we have so many goals in our future.  The event hosted in Chicago by the Giunta family was a wonderful step toward achieving some of our immediate goals.  Next wish for the club will be the Mom's weekend.  I am hoping to combine the donations from the Chicago event and the donations from the Upcoming Ladies Night at Escape Salon to coordinate a late summer/early fall Mom's weekend for all club families.  It is important to embrace the camaraderie of others living the same life and recharge the batteries for these brave moms.  It will be a great weekend to continue to plan our next moves for this growing group. 
       I am working with Chrissy Miller and her family to expand our impact to help others with needs beyond Infantile Scoliosis.  Chrissy recently made mention she felt a call to help those in Joplin, MO.  I also had felt a calling to give.  With the help of her family, we are working to organize a Boxes of Hope campaign to allow the Lucky Cast Club to touch other families in need.  We will keep you posted on the efforts of our group to fill the Boxes with as much hope in the form of goods for families who are facing insurmountable loss. 

To leave you with a quote....
No man stands as straight as when he stoops to help a child
Knights of Pythagoras

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What a crazy week

Happy Saturday on this beautiful Memorial Day weekend.  This has been a week for the memory books.  Monday started the last week of school for our family, the start of summer and all things new.  William had physical Therapy outside this week and really enjoyed the fresh air, distractions and new activities.  Tuesday started as a rainy day threatening to cancel William's trip to the zoo with Grandpa and Cody's field day.  My father in law decided to try the zoo despite the rain.  On our drive over William kept saying turn the rain off mommy.  As if God was listening, the rain had passed by the time we arrived in the parking lot.  With William safely with Pappaw and Mammaw it was time for a little picnic on the green at school with Cody.  This is honestly my favorite part of the school year.  Holy Rosary is filled with picnic blankets and families eating as families.  It is a moment I remember each year.  We were blessed to sit with the Bell family as well as my sister, brother in law and Pappa Sam all the way from Canada.  This was a blessed day. 

Wednesday....Well there is so much to say for Wednesday.  It started out as a very full day.  The original plan was William was going to my Mom's for the afternoon so I could spend the day getting Emily beautiful for graduation.  This is not a hard job as she is already beautiful!  12 O'Clock pick up Emily, Victoria and Ellen and head for Mani's and Pedi's.  When I picked the girls up I found out Emily's phone had stopped working.  At 14 heading into a fabulous weekend this was a very big deal.  I got the girls settled in for mani's and Pedi's and went to get Emily a new phone.  My girl can't be without her phone.  New "cool" phone acquired I headed back to meet up with the girls.  In the mix of things my sister in law thought she was in labor that morning.  About 2 I got the message that it was false labor and she may have a kidney stone instead.  This was a relief since we are keeping her 11 month old beauty while she is in the hospital.  It was now time to get Emily to her hair appt.  On our way to the hair appointment my sister called and said graduation was postponed for a day because of the severe weather threat.  Drop Emily off at home, pick up William and head home to avoid getting caught out in the storm.  My mother in law and sister in law called and decided to spend the storm in our basement.  We have a back corner cleared of crap big enough for us, so I ran home and did some fast cleaning to make the basement inviting for a little sweetheart and two extra adults.  Around 4 o'clock our storm guests had arrived and I started to make a quick dinner before we had to stay in the basement.  My sister in law was very uncomfortable for the hour while dinner was cooking.  As she had just seen the doctor we really didn't think she was in labor, but I looked at her and said please don't go into labor in the storm celler.....I don't know nothing bout birthing no babies miss scarlet.  We all laughed and started dinner.  During dinner the contractions were consistent and very real.  She could no longer talk through the worst of them.  Ava and Nanna decided to head to the hospital.  Now there was three little sweeties to protect in the storm.  We changed the little ones and got them in their night time clothes, moved the pillows and blankets as well as the portable DVD player to the basement and waited until we saw it moving into our side of town to rally the troops down the stairs.  About 5 minutes down stairs we lost power and cellular service.   We could tell the storm was bad, but had no way to know.  About 45 minutes after the start we emerged from the basement with one sleeping baby and two very tired little boys and no power.  With everyone snuggled in to bed we started calling to check on our family.  My sister in law was in active labor and they had moved her to the bathroom during the storm.  She was a trooper.  At 12:29 am our fabulous nephew Reece Michael Meredith was born.  He is a little peanut of a baby weighing in at 6lbs 4 oz.  19 inches long. 
       Emily graduated Thursday night and is now a freshman in high school.  The slide show was priceless with pictures of all these fabulous kids as toddlers and then through the years.  Chad and I had a moment on the way to the ceremony and mass where we rememebered a little Emily sitting in her carseat in the back of our car while we drove through the woods.  She kept saying hurry Uncle Chad the Hi-e-nus are watching us.  The Lion King was her favorite movie.  Another favorite little memory of Emily was her singing her ABC's on her potty chair in front of the TV while watching Seasame Street.  She is as lovely now as she was then.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful nieces and nephews. 
        Friday reminded me I am to old to add anymore to this family.  Three days of running errands with a 1 & 2 year old in tow was enough to start the research for Chad's snip snip.  lol  They are a handfull of joy, but a handfull.  Friday night we attended Reece's birthday party at the hospital.  We were walking through the hospital with a 16 year old, two 10 year olds, a 2 year old and a 1 year old.  I told Chad people are going to think, what the hell are they thinking. 
        The week has been very eventful and I am thankful for every blessed moment.  I am also ready for nothing special for a few weeks.  I hope everyone faired the storms.  My friend Chrissy and I are brainstorming on how the LCC can send a little love to the families in Joplin.  We will have more of that to come in the weeks ahead.  I am wishing everyone a happy and blessed Memorial Day filled with memories. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lessons from a crazy momma...

Happy Monday Morning to all our of cast friends.  We are hoping everyone had a fabulous weekend full of family togetherness.  As Spring turned to summer and then back to spring in the course of a week, it started me longing for all things normal this weekend.  William was faced with his first hot weather as last week began.  We were able to break out the new summer jon jon outfits beautifully constructed by "his sue" or Aunt Sue as the rest of us lovingly call her.  I can't thank my Aunt Sue enough.  They are beautifully constructed and cover just enough of him to keep him from running around in his cast alone.  I think with this new summer wardrobe, we will actually survive the heat of the summer sure to come. 
        I am dreading so much of the summer.  The heat keeps us hostage to our home.  With this being the first summer I have ever had to spend with my kids I guess I was just hoping for a little more normal.  We will try new things this summer to allow him enough outside play time as we can without putting him in harms way from the heat of Indiana summer days.  I am looking into purchasing a water table for a little morning water play.  So many of our friends have used these with great success.  We are also going to plan a couple fun field trips with friends to keep his spirit active.  Museums will be a big part of our weekly plans.  Indoors, yet fun that's going to be the theme.  I found out Mothers day weekend, the local home improvement superstore, Menard's, has constructed a play area that is covered with a giant awning.  Although outdoors, I believe it will give us enough cover to where he can play at a playground and stay out of the summer sun.  It's all about working the angles.  Keeping our hopes high that we can work around the obstacles and find the much sought after enjoyment so many have with their kids. 
         Our first family vacation in four years will come in July.  I originally had planned for William to come our of cast the night before we leave and go back in cast the Monday after we return from Florida.  The thought of 9 days out of cast with our fabulous family at the beach is what is keeping us all afloat these days.  Unfortunately the scheduler at our hospital had other plans.  She told us he won't be getting casted the week we return, but she would try to work him in the following week.  I at first panicked.  That will put William out of cast for two plus weeks.  We debated taking him to the beach and coming out of cast while we are down there, but no offence that isn't fair to him or us.  Book a house directly on a giant sandbox and the biggest water table in North America and say you can look but not touch.  That sucks for not only William, but all of our family who is traveling with us.  We instead have decided after close to two years of casting, he is getting a break.  He deserves it and so do we.  Now to just turn our heads off to whether his spine is drifting in the time frame is going to be the hard part.  But for now I am counting down the days. 
          We were reminded this week, no matter how many casts you have under your belt, there is still room to learn.  William has had a very tough time with cast #8.  He hasn't slept a full night since it was put on.  He kept waking several hours into slumber screaming that he hurt.  We knew this cast was tighter than his last, but by now he really should have adjusted and adapted to the change.  Wednesday morning, it finally came to light when he said his arms were gone and then started screaming they hurt.  His cast was so high under his arms it was hitting both the nerve and artery while he slept causing the arm to fall asleep and then causing pain as it regained circulation.  A friend of ours in town is the CFO of a local Ortho group and told us to bring him in.  They were able to trim close to a 1/2 inch off one side and 1/4 inch off the other.  He has rested peacefully since this.  I feel horrible, I never thought to check under the arms.  That is one area we have never had to trim before.  I will know next time that Robert and I will have to add that to our argument for cast day. 
            As a final thought before I sign out for today, I want to tell you about the wonderful families in our club.  Kaity has made an amazing recovery from her surgery this Thursday.  After only 2 1/2 days she was allowed to return home with her family to finish her recovery.  She is still trying to find her full stride post surgery, but is amazing us all with her tenacity.  Please keep Kaity and her family in your thoughts.  The Lucky Cast Club grew over the weekend adding 3 wonderful new families.  Gianna and her little love Iljana & Celeste and her little beauty Chloe have been casting in Chicago for some time.  We are all overjoyed to have new members in our Chicago family.  Our third new family joined us from Kansas City Children's Mercy.  Lesa and her little sweetheart Krissy are joining us in her first cast.  We pray they are also adjusting to this new cast life.  Exciting news came last week with Massi and Taylor's cast day in Chicago.  Massi is holding at 11 out of cast.  He is well on his way to leaving cast life behind and moving on to new adventures with bracing.  Our final update is on our sweet Cadence.  Cadence is all goes well will be casting in Greenville Shriner's Wednesday.    He sweet momma is just 7 weeks from delivering a new bundle of joy and is having many hiccups in her travel/casting plans at a new hospital.  I am sending huge hugs and prayers that someone at Greenville Shriner's will step up and take this worry from them.  They need Cadence to get a early cast time so the family will be able to catch their flight home.  Keep Cadence and Angelica in your prayers for tomorrow and Wednesday. 
          I have learned these past couple of weeks to hope again as Jackson and Massi are ready to chart new courses in their treatment and continue to blaze new trails to where we all hope to be.  I have also learned that although you know the routine, their is nothing routine with casting.  And lastly, I have learned no matter what your fears are with time out of cast, somethings are bigger then this process.  If you have a chance to make a memory even if it means coming out of cast for a little longer then planned, grasp it, hold it and cherish the moment.  On a journey with no clear map, you have to take the moments when they come along!