Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our Current Favorite Book

...and I would choose her over and over and over again.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Love Story And A Legacy

My mom had two sets of parents, did you know?

It's a much longer story than I'll write tonight, but here is what you need to know for the story I am going to write tonight:

My mom had a loving father and mother - they were in a car accident and my mom's mother died.
My mom was just 15 months old.
My mom's father remarried - he married his first wife's sister.
Before my mom's mother was killed she said to her sister-in-law "If anything happens to me while we're gone I want you to raise Valerie."

My mom was raised by her aunt and her uncle, and remained close to her family.

It's a beautiful story of love and sacrifice and in the end it resulted in my mom having three loving mothers, and two doting fathers.

The two families lived in the same town and were close to each other and to their friends.
My grandparents had two friends, sisters.  I met one of the sisters and grew to love her over the years.
The mother who raised my mom had Alzheimer's in her last years, and stopped speaking.  On occasion she would call out one name: Euleda.  Euleda was one of the two sisters my grandparents were friends with.  Euleda named one of her daughters after my mom's mother who passed away.

That's how close they were.

My grandpas had a mutual friend named Van.  Van, my grandparents, and the two sisters all lived in the same town before they were each married, dated each other even, and remained friends their entire lives.

Van eventually married the other of the two sisters: Audrey.

It was shortly after Jason and I got engaged that I wrote this on my blog:

"I imagine this scene in heaven:

One day my grandpa would have said to his brother-in-law (my other grandpa) 'Gayle, what are we going to do with our granddaughter?  We have to find a way to help her out.  She's old and she needs to get married.'  And my grandpas probably would have had no clue how to help me.

After a few minutes of talking about it Van would have joined his two friends.

My Grandpa Gayle - who was very astute - would have noticed that Van looked distraught.

'Van,' he would have asked, 'what troubles you?'

And Van would have said, "I have this grandson that I'm worried about.  He has a lovely fireplace and no one to build a fire for.'

And the three grandpas would have sighed...and then in unison they probably would have had a moment of clarity.

Someday I'd like to know how long our three grandpas have been plotting - and I would like to give them all a really big hug."

Van and Audrey, my grandparents' greatest friends, are Jason's grandparents.

And the minute I met Audrey I felt a kinship with her - a connection that went beyond the fact that she was my then fiancee's grandma.

My grandparents were my favorite people - they had my entire heart - and meeting their dear friend put her in the same place in my heart.

Our roots were connected long before Jason and I met.
Today we took Audrey home to the place those roots were first planted, and we laid her to rest next to her husband.

As I stood in that cemetery and thought about my own beloved grandparents who where were laid to rest just a few miles north of Audrey and Van, I felt peace.  And in my mind I whispered to all of them that I loved them.

Those seven people - those grandparents we've loved and honored - they've left us a beautiful legacy, and until we meet them again, Jason and I will do all that we can to continue that legacy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The X-Ray Technicians Are Going To Know Us By Name

I'm currently bingeing on Hershey's cookies & mint nuggets.
I wish I could say that carrots did the same thing for me.
They don't.
Ironically, chocolate is not my first choice.
But these nuggets?
I'm their biggest fan.

Let's talk about why I'm bingeing shall we?

Wasn't it just two or three blog posts ago that I was telling you about Em's hip fracture that ended up not being a fracture?
Tonight she fractured her elbow.
She fell off a bed.

I was at work when it happened and I knew something was wrong as soon as I heard Jason's voice.
Em cried and cried ... and cried ... until she had cried herself to sleep.
She cried whenever we moved her and during the x-rays.

The radiologist called the pediatrician with the x-ray results before we had even left the x-ray room.
And now tomorrow I have to find a pediatric orthopedic specialist who will cast her elbow on extremely short notice.

Most pediatric specialists only work on certain days, but the certain day they work this week is the day of Jason's grandma's funeral and the on call pediatrician told me Em can't stay in her splint until next Wednesday when the specialists work next.

For the love...

Em is currently sleeping peacefully, thanks to Tylenol.
Jason is playing basketball with the guys to relieve the yuck that he feels from the day.
And like I said, I'm eating chocolate.

So goes our life.

Oh..and one more thing...I'm giving Instagram a try.  Feel free to follow along @elimysmommy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Any Day Can Be Thanksgiving

I'm craving apple pie.
I have a slice in the fridge and I'm waiting...waiting until I can't stand it any longer...because once I eat it it's gone...until next Thanksgiving.
...or until I ask my mom to make me some more.

We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving until Sunday afternoon and it was lovely.
Except that I put out unsalted butter on the table and we nearly had a revolt.
I had no idea that you could taste a difference but apparently you can.

What is that they say about learning something new every day?

Anyway, I took one picture of the feast - it was of the kids.  And every single one of them took my phone afterwards and complained about what they looked like or about what they were doing.

Like Nick, there in the front with the yellow shirt.
"But Noelle!  I was taking a drink!"
"Nick dear, I counted to three.  Your old enough to know that on three I'm going to take the picture."

And Allie...she's covering her mouth because she was currently chewing something and couldn't smile.

I'm not sure why Erika there in the back has her hand raised.
And I love that Emily is there sitting there like she belongs.
You might notice that she's sitting at the table with a roll in front of her.
She carries bread with her during every meal - she doesn't eat it, just carries it.

* * *

I'm currently distracted by the last episode of the Amazing Race.  Stand by.
Okay, my team is still in.  I Googled it to see how it ended so that I could watch in peace.
Jason laughs at me about that particular trait I have...not being able to handle surprise.

* * *

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving.
We have much to be grateful for and family is at the top of that list.

Jason's grandma passed away Saturday night and our hearts are especially tender as we think of her and of her legacy.

And of course our hearts are always full of gratitude for our little girl.  Oh how we love her.
Thanks to all of you for being in our corner.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Conclusion

So much for my resolution to write every day this month...

Last you knew, Emily likely had a fractured hip.
We met with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and after looking over the x-rays he told us that Em did not have a fracture...he couldn't see anything wrong with her hip.

"Maybe she sprained it," he said.

And then, as almost a side note he said, "You might want to watch her for signs of leukemia, but from an orthopedic standpoint she's fine."

Watch her for signs of leukemia.

I called the pediatrician that same morning and told her about the appointment.
She said to me, "I'm ordering blood work now.  She doesn't show any signs of leukemia, but let's just take this off the table."

And so within just a couple of hours of the appointment with the orthopedic surgeon Em and I made our way to the hospital to get blood drawn.

That little girl was such a trooper.  She was nervous but we sang the ABC song through once and by the time we finished the song the nurse was done with taking her blood.

The nurses loved Em's rendition of the ABC's and commented on how cute she was.

Thankfully, the pediatrician called me back that afternoon with the results ... Em's blood work was clear.

To be honest, I was worried for a little while.
I spend part of my life just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I was really worried that leukemia would be that other shoe.

It's not rational, I know, but given Emily's history, I don't know how to turn that part of my brain off.
I think it was the next day when I finally sat down for a few minutes and just cried.

Emily continued to limp until just a few days ago.

She's now got a miserable cold and we've had to keep her home from school, but in spite of not feeling well she's her happy self.

Thanks to all of you who checked in on the little miss ... we so appreciate your love and concern!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

If It's Not One Thing It's Another

Emily started limping on Sunday and we had no idea why. She didn't act like she was in pain other than the limp. I took her to the pediatrician yesterday for a flu shot and mentioned the limp. The pediatrician watched her walk and after a few minutes said, "I'm going to order an x-ray."

They took x-rays of both of her legs, from her hips to her feet. I should have had the results this morning but didn't hear back from the doctor until this afternoon.

Two different radiologists looked at the x-rays and both of them came up with the same tentative conclusion: there is a spot on Em's left hip and their best guess is that Em's hip is fractured. They have a hard time believing their answer though because Em shows no signs of pain other than the limp, and has not been injured.

The pediatrician is personally calling a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to schedule an emergency appointment and to get his opinion on the x-rays. I will hear back tomorrow from the pediatrician about that conversation.
The pediatrician ended the conversation with this: "If it's not a fracture, it's something, and we'll figure out what our next option is. Just sit tight until you hear back from me."

Emily does not need another something in her life. She really doesn't.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What Halloween Looked Like

My beautiful girl ... 

...who just happened to love everything about Halloween, especially the trick or treating.

(Ironic because she won't eat the candy.  She loved smelling it though.  At one point last night she was sitting on the floor with her head in her candy bag just absorbing the smells of the chocolate.)

If you ever wanted to meet the Scrooge of Halloween all you would need to do is say hi to me.
I'm not a fan of the holiday.
It's cute ... until it's not.

Here's an example.

We went trick-or-treating with my sister-in-law and her three kids.
Her youngest is a girl, just a few weeks younger than Emily.

We were in my sister-in-law's neighborhood and someone there does a haunted garage every year.
It's quite the attraction, and at times there is a line to get in.

My nephews wanted to go and so Amber (my sis-in-law) took her boys while Jason and I stayed outside with the girls.

My niece was already nervous about her mom not being there, and she was crying a little bit because it was dark, there was loud spooky music, and in front of the home with the haunted garage there were people dressed as creepy cats ... or something.

There were about seven or eight of them and they slinked around, doing a pretty great job of creating a feeling of unease, even for me.

We were at least one house away from them and they started towards us.  My niece cried and clung to me saying, "they're coming closer Noelle...I don't like them at all."

When they got to us my niece was terrorized.

I got mad and said to the cats," Seriously?  Why do you think we're this far back from that house?  Can you not see what you're doing to this little girl?  Get the heck out of here."

I turned my niece away from them and said again for good measure, "GET OUT OF HERE!"

They slinked away and we walked further down the street to wait for Amber and her boys.
Emily didn't seem to be bothered by them, thankfully, but it took my sweet little niece several minutes to calm down.

One of these days I'm going to start a petition to ban the celebration of Halloween by anyone over the age of 12.  

Or not.