Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Things kids say

So I'm in the car with Big Al today, (please know that her school is great, and has produced a 7th grader who earned perfect scores on the SAT this year - and he is in her classes.... only apparently she won't be doing that any time soon) and she says:
"How come there isn't an I heart SC shirt like there is an I heart NY shirt. I could see there being an I heart Chicago shirt, but SC is boring."
At this point I'm only half listening even though she is sitting next to me, because lets face it, who wants to engage in this conversation.
So she continues, "Where is Chicago anyway? Isn't it in, like, Delaware?"
Me: " Are you kidding me? Seriously"
Big Al: "Well, maybe its in Detroit.... you know one of those D states."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

We were too optimistic

It was seven weeks ago that T-Rex broke her leg roller skating. She broke both her tibia and fibula. Three weeks ago we were disappointed that she had to have a second full length cast (they had given us hope and we thought she might get a half cast), but she dealt with it pretty well. At that visit they said that in three weeks (today) we might be able to get the removable boot, so we held onto the idea that we might actually be finished with the wheelchair, and might be able to start moving around a lot more.
So we went in, had the big cast taken off, and then went upstairs to the X-Ray place.

It was in the X-ray that the full realization of how much her muscles were affected hit me. She couldn't move her knee without crying. Everything hurt, and she didn't want to be touched. We eventually got the x-ray, dried the tears, and went back to the orthopedist. When he came in he explained to her that when she fell she also twisted, so it wasn't a clean break. The top part of the tibia is trying to connect with a triangular bottom piece so it takes a little longer. Unfortunately her bones had still not completely filled in, so she would need to go into a shorter cast - below the knee.... for four more weeks. The tears started flowing again because not only does she have to stay in a cast, she has to start PT for tired little muscles.... GOOD THING I know a physical therapist, and have her on speed dial. We left knowing that it would be a total of 11 weeks, and MAYBE next time she will get a removable boot cast, or MAYBE even not have to wear anything on the foot.
By this evening she was starting to move her knee, but still won't put weight on her left foot much, and she had replaced the tears with ice cream - which just helps make everything better.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Snapshot

This was a "divide and conquer" weekend. Brian wasn't feeling well, so he stayed home with three girls while I took Big Al to soccer in Mt. Pleasant (near Charleston). I know, it doesn't sound like an even trade, but he didn't have to deal with the sand gnats that were out in force!

The team won a game, lost a game, and tied a game, so we didn't play in the finals, but at one point I was pretty sure I would end up in the ER with Big Al. She went to kick the ball into the goal, with the goalie blocking it, and they collided in a BIG pile on the ground. Big Al didn't get up for a minute, and I was sure I was going to have two kids in casts. Here is what it looked like (Big Al is NOT in the blue pinney):

Before the game our cousin Jessie told Big Al to knock someone down and score a goal - I told her a yellow card would be bonus points. When I watched this collision I was kicking myself for the thought. Jessie, HOWEVER, continued to cheer every time someone went down around Big Al.
Meanwhile, Brian took the other three to an Easter Egg Hunt in the neighborhood, and then because it was so beautiful they spent a lot of time outside.
Blondie enjoyed looking for eggs,
Cheesie came home and took off with T-Rex's crutches while....

T-Rex relaxed with a book in the comfy swing (I love this picture of T-Rex). Just another family weekend at the Dawsons.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mud Bowl 2010

Okay, it was actually Big Al's Soccer Club tournament. It has been raining for the last two days, and the fields were saturated. The middle of the field was a big mud pit. When the girls would kick the ball across the mud it would simply stop, no rolling, just a few splashes, and it was finished moving. It was a fun game to watch because we of the possible things that could go wrong. We ended up tying that game.

Unfortuantely the afternoon was not as fun. The girls didn't seem to have any energy, so we ended up losing that one. One more game tomorrow - should be finished early because we won't be in the final game this time. Another chance to do well in a tournament next weekend when we head to Charleston.

I guess I'm off to do laundry now so she has clean clothes for tomorrow's game.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not going to use the "D" word ever again

After Blondie's surgery it took me a long time to say disabled. I hated it. It somehow meant that she was not as capable as her sisters, or obviously different, when my view of my children was that all 4 of them were obviously different. Uniqueness is what makes us valuable.

A fellow hemi parent, Roxanne, shared this video on facebook:

After watching this woman's speech I looked her up online. She is a double knee amputee since toddlerhood, and is now an actress, model, and athlete. All three of those things our pop culture tells you are "cool."

I have always told others that Blondie is incredibly inspiring for me everyday in the way that she naturally overcomes obstacles: getting dressed with one hand by 3.5, tying shoes with one hand by age 5, and so many other things that people don't think about. I still waffle about telling people her diagnosis because of the stereotypes and judgements that immediately come to mind, because I worry that the uneducated, or uninitiated will decide she can't do things.... but now I'm starting to think that is the "disability" of the other person.

I am the mom of a hemi child, and she is amazing. So, in the spirit of "Everyone has something rare and valuable to offer society," I'm going to simply call my daughter by her real name, and never use the "D" word again.

This woman has managed to sum up many things I've spoken about - on the blogs, to other parents and teachers. I think its worth the 20 minutes to listen.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Same play, different daughter

Every year each grade level at our school puts together a performance though 4th grade, and then 5th graders have a big promotion ceremony. Last year Blondie performed in the 1st grade play, and this year it was Cheesie's turn - the exact same play..... again..... So Thursday we listened to a whole bunch of little guys and gals sing about Rikki Tikki Tembo No Sa Rembo Chary Bary Rushka Pip Perry Pimpo, and how he fell down the well. They managed to put the whole first grade on stage, and the kids doing the main speaking parts did very well.
Cheesie was in the back by the curtain, but enjoyed performing too - she was nervous, and pretty sure everyone saw the one tiny mistake she made (they didn't), but she was proud of herself.
Saturday we went to our friend's memorial service and listened to great stories of Toby Morriss, and then went to dinner with family to continue sharing.

Sunday - honestly- I was lazy. Brian on the other hand did a tremendous amount of work in the backyard so now it is BEAUTIFUL.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So many updates - quick version

1.) In college, I was, and still am, an Alpha Delta Pi. Two Saturdays ago we had a big reunion. Usually its the original founders, and the current women who attend, but since I missed a lot after college because of living in Seattle, I started a facebook push to get as many women there as I could - and I got a bunch. We met up at our favorite restaurant in college, spent the afternoon together chatting, and then went to the reunion dinner together that night. Most of us are moms, working different jobs, caught up in our lives.

2.) Of course, we have been caught up in the Girl Scout cookie sales at the moment, and I"m looking forward to that being done next week.

3.) Last Friday and Saturday we spent the day celebrating T-Rex's birthday - she is now officially 11. We had family over on Friday, and then her friends came over after a math competition on Saturday. They went to go see Percy Jackson and the Lightening Theif (she has read all the books) and then spent the night. Brian held down the fort while I was doing yet another cookie booth.

4.) Speaking of math competitions - Cheesie was in the competition as well, and earned a medal - she was 16th out of 130 first graders. Unfortuantely it was so thoroughly disorganized she was very stressed out. After she got her medal she walked off, sat on my lap, and burst into tears. She has since recovered and is now quite pleased with herself.

5. Sunday, I took Big Al to a soccer game against the elite team. This would be comparable to the "A" team while Big Al's would be considered the "B" team, but we now play in the same league. GUESS WHAT - the girls tied them. This was a HUGE effort on behalf of Big AL's team, and we were all very proud.

Unfortunately, at the end of the game, Brian called me and told me that my sister's former boyfriend had passed away. I absolutely fell apart. They moved here together after Hurricane Katrina ran them out of New Orleans. He was part of our family for three years, and my children loved him dearly. They called him Uncle Toby. He taught my children about living simply, being a vegetarian, and simply enjoying those that you love. When they went their separate ways my kids always wanted to see him, but had to be content with running into him around town, because it was just as painful for him to be around them once it was over. When my Dad was ill he came around to visit, and my Dad left him a motorcycle (Toby loved them, and had a couple). He was on that motorcycle when someone hit him, and left him injured. After a week he was supposed to go home, but unexpectedly died on the day of his release. We are devastated.

6.) The positive note to pick us up from our grief ,was that Brian started back to work today. He has accepted a job for the State of South Carolina, and he is enjoying being back at work. We are so thankful that things can get back on track, and we are hopeful that others can find their way back to work as well.

***I'm sure my father-in-law is thrilled that this is finally updated (David, I see you signing on several times a day).