Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Braids, Teeth, Eyes, and Being Thankful

I'm going to write this in between taking out the girls' braids in preparation for their bath/hair washing tonight.  Over the weekend I put in a whole army of little baretted braids in each of their heads.  Hairwashing night was supposed to be Monday, but after doing that much work I decided to let them wear them a little longer!  But then yesterday I noticed that Lizzie's head was stinking, so I guess you can't go too far beyond that 10 day wash period.  Of course, all the kids have been playing outside with the nice weather this week, so their heads have undoubtedly gotten a little sweaty.

Such a contrast in weather we've had in just the last week.  The beginning of last week was like it is now - warm, sunny, and shorts weather.  But Friday morning we woke up to more than 6" of snow and Ben had a snow day - on MAY 3!!!  Prior to that, the latest I ever recall having snow was on April 20.  Just bizarre...

I am in major, unexpected pain right now.  Ok, probably not as much as that bird that just dove into my window beside the computer as I was typing that sentence, but pretty close!  Last Thursday and Friday I noticed some pain in a tooth.  I figured it was just my sinuses acting up, popped a couple of Advil, and didn't think anything of it.  But when I woke up Saturday - oh, my goodness!  I was in agony, with pain radiating all the way up to my ear.  And of course, it was Saturday.  So I self-medicated for two days and then Monday morning I called my dentist and got in.  I was baffled at the tooth pain because two weeks ago I had my check-up and they said I didn't have any cavities at all.  Well, the dentist said he thought a nerve had gone bad (they can do that?).  He was leaning towards sending me to an oral surgeon, but I asked him if he'd do it instead.  I didn't want to wait for another appointment and I knew that it would cost bigger bucks with a surgeon.  We do have dental insurance, but I think we're still responsible for about half of everything.  It was the farthest back tooth on my left side and it was time to get it out.  What an ordeal!  The dentist had to break it out in pieces and I was NOT all the way numb.  He had to cut away part of the bone and then stitch me shut.  I have to go back in to have those removed next week.  On top of that, at one point, the dentist's tool slipped and hit the back of my throat, so that's all raw now.  The side of my tongue feels like hamburger.  So I'm a mess!  I'm living on Vicodin and pudding.  The kids keep trying to make me talk, just so they can hear how funny I sound.

But Paul was sweet.  He picked up my prescription for me on his way home from work Monday and came home with a "Get Well Soon" mylar balloon.  That silly balloon cheered me up so much!

This week I was able to finally get most of my kitchen decorations hung back up after more than a year of having them down.  To me, the decorations are such an important thing.  I know whenever we've moved, I've never felt like we're completely moved in until everything is hanging on the walls.  I'm not sure how it worked out, but now I have more wall space than I did before.  Before we remodeled, I had absolutely no room in that kitchen to hang up anything else.  But now I need to visit some more craft shows!

Things are coming together on the house.  Paul has a little bit of trim work left to hang, the kitchen floor to put down, a patch or two of drywall that needs to be painted and the front porch to be re-built.  We've got 3 1/2 weeks until D-Day - think he can make it?  I need to completely clean out the mud room and paint a few bare spots in there.  I got the invitations out the end of last week and we have a menu figured out.  Now I'm just trying to figure out how to buy for the projected 100-200 guests we've been told to expect.  And I'm not sure how much help to round up, either.  Paul's folks are coming and I'm trying not to worry about that, either, but it's hard when certain people don't know how normal people are supposed to act in public!  But his mom is making up 4 sheet cakes that she swears will feed 200, so that's good, and will save us money.

We visited the eye dr. again this week.  He kept saying that he thinks it's "very wise" of us to have the MRI next week.  He's the one who told us to have it done and scheduled it!  I really doubt there's any inflammation in Sam's brain, but there is some growing concern because his face has not yet gone back to normal.  While we were there, Sam picked out his glasses.  I didn't intend to have him pick his own, but he saw these tortoiseshell, "nerdy" frames and just insisted that THESE were the ones!  He was so disappointed when he found out he couldn't take them home that day and keeps asking me how many more days until he gets his glasses?  Maybe this is a good sign, that I won't have to encourage him to be responsible with them!  They did cost over $200, though, and we had to pay that up front - ouch!  Insurance will reimburse us $100 of that, but I wasn't expecting to pay all that up front like that!

More and more of Sam's personality seems to be emerging these days.  He's so laid back - very much like Will.  One day last week David had been watching all the Littles and was aghast when he discovered that Sam had removed the latch plate on the girls' door with a screwdriver.  He couldn't wait to tell me when I walked in the house just how horrible Sam had been!  Sam very nonchalantly defended himself by saying, "I just needed to know how it worked!"  He had put the plate back on, so I didn't think it was a big deal.  When he saw I wasn't upset, he immediately ran to get his screwdriver.  So I felt it then prudent to suggest to him that he might want to ask before taking apart anything else!  Lately, Sam has been fascinated with how all things work, not just things.  He's wanting detailed explanations of the brain and circulatory systems.  That is so not me!  I'm willing to accept how things work on sheer faith, and I'm having to dig into the recesses of my brain to explain some of these things to him.  We've got some good science books.  Maybe we'll start out his kindergarten year in science by learning about the human body!

One night last week Lizzie was complaining to Sam about something he had said or done that offended her.  Sam just shrugged his shoulders and said, "That's the way God made me!"  Then he launched into a monologue on how God makes everyone different in so many ways.  I think Lizzie was a bit sorry she had said anything by the time he got done!

Tomorrow we are having a meeting at the school to firm up Ben's IEP for next year.  I, along with his case manager and our family advocate, are wanting Ben to have a number of work-related job experiences next year and to be very focused in these three remaining years of school.  At the same time, the school is wanting to do summer school with him because they have recently started using a word-prediction writing program with him and the kid is churning out some amazing pieces of writing!  I nearly cry every week when his teacher emails his pieces to me because it is a wonderful, wonderful thing to be able to finally have a deeper glimpse into Ben's brain and to realize that he has the same thoughts and feelings that we all do.   But I had already begun making arrangements for him to enter a work training facility in Indianola for both job training and recreation.  So, now we have to figure out how to make everything work.  Just scheduling this meeting - finding a day and time that would work for the 6 of us that needed to be there - was a nightmare in and of itself.  Oh, my goodness!  I was nearly in tears before I finally got it all nailed down.

As it is, I'm probably going to kill myself before getting there.  Tomorrow is the Sp. Olympics Unified Sports Day at Drake and both Will and David are going with Ben.  But I need a babysitter for my Littles for the meeting!  So I'm going to drive up to Drake, collect David around lunchtime, and then go to the meeting.  Ugh!

I suppose it all seems extra overwhelming just because I'm in so much pain right now.  Last night I actually vomited up my mac n cheese into the kitchen sink.  I have no idea why.  But I had been feeling clammy off and on all day - probably mediation or mouth related.  But that sure didn't feel good  on my raw throat.  But I felt better afterwards.

Oh, we need to be praying for the girls' three oldest bio brothers.  They've been removed from the home where they were going to be adopted.  It was never a good placement and now something horrible has happened.  They need - so badly - a good mom and dad.  My heart aches for them.

You know, I'm tired and I'm hurting and I'm stressed, but life is still good.  Early last week I was driving and I was suddenly so overcome by thankfulness for all God has given me.  I can recall very few times in my life before where I have felt that degree of gratitude - much to my shame.  I just felt like weeping as I thought about the many, many good things in my life. I don't deserve any of those things, but yet, God has given them.   That's kind of a random thought there, but I didn't want to blog and not include this because I have not been able to forget about this event, if you want to call it that.  May I continue to be so aware and so thankful.

Well, I've got girls with soapy heads sitting in the tub.  I suppose I had better go take care of them.

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