Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Praying for Clarity.

I continue to go back and forth with whether or not I think it would be best for Abigail to have surgery on her leg to remove her tumor. Some days I think absolutely yes. I don't want her to deal with all of the things that could go along with her tumor growing.
Other days I look over and see a two year old and worry about all that surgery could change for her. The fact that the tumors grow on nerves means that having it removed could cause her irreparable nerve damage in her leg. She is in love with ballet. I don't want to take that away from her. I also worry that surgery could cause her to fear doctors and associate them with pain. And then we have a day where she wakes up in pain or really itchy and I switch back to not wanting her to have to deal with this.
I may never know what the best option is. I want an answer to drop from heaven. But instead, when I pray I don't really feel strongly one way or another. As a result I have pushed off sending her scans and pictures of her leg to the surgeon in Chicago. No decision has to be made if I don't do anything. But Sunday after nap Abigail was in pain. It gave us the boost we needed to move forward.
So Sunday we buckled down and burned things onto disc to get ready for the mail. Of course my subconscious was filled with thoughts of tumors during sleep. I dreamt that Abigail's tumor turned malignant. I don't remember anything else from the dream besides that. Monday I woke up, and things got mailed; even if I felt less than confident about my choice.
Today though, things struck me differently. I realized that I have almost become numb to bad things happening to kiddos around me. I read other people's post on the forum I'm on, and don't even flinch reading about all of the tumors, pain, and deformities they are experiencing. It is not because I don't care. It is only because it is so in my face everyday that all I can do is glaze over it when I read, to prevent myself from falling apart. I somehow find myself emerged in a world of words that I never thought would be associated with my child, and unsure how exactly I am supposed to react to it all.
For now we will simply wait to hear what a doctor thinks. I wonder, as he looks through pictures, if he will see a tumor or a little girl. I fear that he will say surgery only because there are dollar signs attached. But mostly I pray that God will speak clearly to him what is best for our sweet little bug. Because only the One who made her body knows what is actually best, and His answer is the only one I really want.

Praying for clarity,

Friday, January 21, 2011

My thoughts on abortion.

I've been toying with writing this blog for a few days. The more time that goes by the more my heart turns in my chest yearning for the pains of the world to be gone. And so I find myself unable to contain the thoughts any longer. This post will most likely be passionate. It is my opinion because this is my blog.
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, has come to mind a lot over the last few days. Maybe you know this, maybe you don't, but her goal was to create a superior race by eliminating blacks, and other groups who were mentally or in some other way 'inferior.' Here are some quotes from her:
'We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.'
'Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.'
'The most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.'
'The undeniably feeble minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged, but prevented from propagating their kind.'

Even now Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% or our population and 35% of abortions. Maybe that is purely coincidence, but since the origins of planned parenthood were directed at a specific population it doesn't seem that surprising that is still the target population.
Maybe I need to spell out (aside from the fact that this is atrocious) why this is so disturbing to me. You see my daughter is among the population that Margaret Sanger was trying to rid the world of. Her race, and her special needs, and the social class she was born into puts her in the population that needed to be 'exterminated.' This weighs heavy on my heart any time I put too much thought into it. I watch my beautiful daughter laugh, talk, play, or just all snuggled up on my lap and can't imagine my life without this little girl.
The reason this is all in my mind today though, is because I read a story. I read a story about a doctor in Pennsylvania performing horrible, ugly, heinous procedures that took the lives of innumerable babies. There are lots of details that you are more than welcome to read for yourself. But the thing that I can't get away from was the he specifically targeted minorities, and poor woman. He exploited a group of woman, killing some of them, causing other irreparable physical damage (I won't even go into the emotional toll it takes on people) because he could make money. He literally killed babies, born alive, who would have lived, simply because he could.
Once again all I can see is my sweet little girl, a little girl whom the world around me would have chosen to kill. Her life would not have been considered worthwhile because she was born in poverty, she has special needs, and she is black. And for this reason I can not stop weeping for all of the other little Abigail's that were killed in that clinic; that are killed daily in the United States.
I do not agree with abortion. I think every child has the right to live. When I started this post I didn't even realize today was the 38th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Did you know that the woman who fought so hard to have abortion legalized never had an abortion? Did you know that the same woman is now an active advocate AGAINST abortion?
I can not write enough about how very thankful I am that Abigail's birth mother believes in life. She believed enough to spend nine months carrying my daughter. She still believes she made the right choice, despite the number of people who ask her how she could give her baby away. My little girl who would have been an 'aborted fetus' had it been left up to lots of other people, is my two year old daughter instead. This man says it beautifully in his blog.


I will end with telling you that if you are reading this and have had an abortion I do not hate you. My heart hurts for you because I am aware of the long lasting pain that can result. I have an amazing friend, whom I love, who had an abortion. Years later she is married with children, and the pain of the child and the choice is still there. I am not angry at her. I do not think she is a horrible person. I think, like so many of us, she made a choice, that at the time she thought was best, and has been forgiven and redeemed because she knows Christ. Some day she will get to spend eternity with that beautiful little one.


My beautiful little girl who was given a chance at life.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Abigailisms

First of all I will start this post with he fact that Abigail's EEG came back clear!! WOO HOO!! However it has also left us a little puzzled about her night time episodes and so we are sort of backing up for a few weeks and thinking through the next step.

I have no idea how much of each person's personality is nature and how much is nurture. Abigail has lots of things that we are pretty certain are not from us. Like her obsession with girly things, her sense of style (notice in the picture above she is wearing her robe with a tutu over the top), and the jokes she comes up with all on her own.
This post is going to be all about the funny things Abigail says and does. I wanted to post it for others to laugh, but also so I would have a record of some of these things. I will give you a heads up in case you are easily offended though. Our home is one where we are honest about the names of body parts, are okay with potty talk, and we sometimes use spankings as a form of punishment. All of these things will be included below so if you might be offended stop here and close the page. There, now that I have qualified everything read on if you would like to laugh.
We will start with Abigail's jokes.
-When Abigail is given instructions by Mama or Papa she is learning to respond with 'Yes' and then the parent's name. She thinks it is pretty funny to say the opposite parent of what she is supposed to. Yesterday we were sitting and waiting on a doctor to come in and I gave her an instruction to which she responded, 'yes doctor.'
-Right now she thinks it's hilarious to say, 'water, milk, water, milk, water, milk.' It's one of those not funny jokes that kids tell but you are supposed to laugh. However she says it over and over until she erupts in giggles and laughs so hard that you can't help but laugh; further exacerbating her thought that the phrase is hilarious.
Funny things she says.
-What are you doing comes out as, 'Papa donuh?'
-We sing a song at church that is Jesus repeated and then thank you repeated. Abigail sings, 'Jeyuh, Jeyuh, Jeyuh. Thank you, thank you, your welcome.'
-Although she has already mostly gotten away from this, for a while if you asked her what comes after ten she would respond with, 'Ha ha ha.' (Like the count from Sesame Street)
-After Abigail's last MRI she woke up and was groggy and crying. I was trying to ask her different things that she might want, each of which she responded with either, 'No thank you' or 'Yes please.' The nurse said she was the politest patient coming out of anesthesia she had ever seen.
-A few weeks ago Abigail had to have blood drawn. I tried to give her as much information before as I could (they are going to poke you, it will hurt a little). She bravely sat on my lap and told me, 'Hurt. Sad.' She never cried. We made a huge deal out of what a big girl she was and how proud of her we were. She now tells everyone, 'Poke arm. Hurt, sad. Gigirl. Mama Papa pwoud you.'
-Right now when she wants to do something she either proclaims, 'I goyit, I goyit.' (I've got it) or 'Iself.'
-Abigail's favorite stuffed animal is her lambie, 'mamie.' Whenever she sees a lamb of any sort: animal cracker, in a book, ornament, she holds it up next to her face, and sucks her thumb like she does with her stuffed lambie.
-She calls chocolate, 'chockerk.'
Potty talk.
-We unknowingly taught Abigail to call her her bowel movements stinky by asking her if she was stinky when she was in diapers. The name stuck and we were fine with it. And then one day she realized that her 'stinky' went plop when it landed in the potty. The name has now transformed to 'plop.' It is not a verb. It is a noun.
-She also picked up on the potty noise at some point. She has no siblings (yet) and has not picked this up from anyone (I am around when she is with other kids). She thinks it's hilarious to stop and pretend to pee, 'psssshhhhh. Abigail peed floor.' She also makes her stuffed animals do it, sometimes being in the potty, in their pants, in the bed.
-And last but not least is tooting. We have always said 'hey' when she toots. So she of course says it now whenever someone else does or she does. It generally goes like this, 'HEY, Abigail toot. Shoooweee Abigial stinky.' However every now and then I'll ask her if she tooted and she will blame someone else.
Spanking.
-Whenever we spank Abigail we always tell her how many she is going to get and where. So our conversation goes something like this, 'Abigail you touched the heater and it is a no touch. Mama and Papa have told you if you touch it you will get a spanking. Mama is going to give you two spanks on the bottom for touching the heater.' One day I sent her to the bathroom to receive a spanking and when I walked in she said, 'three spanks please.'
-For the past few weeks now whenever she is told to go somewhere to receive a spanking she responds with, 'no thank you Mama.'
And last but not least is anatomy.
-First of all, we have no idea why, but Abigail has a nose as well as nook. The nose is the outside part and the 'nook' is the nostrils. She came up with it on her own, but it seems fitting.
-She has seen her Papa go potty numerous times and knows he has a penis. For a while whenever I had on pajama pants with strings she would refer to them as a penis. I kept correcting her and telling her they were strings. The other day she walked in the bathroom while Jason was peeing, pointed to his penis and said, "stwing."
-Abigail has (twice) asked me (both times while in a public restroom, of course), 'Touch Mama's gina?' No, no you may not.
-Abigail knows what nipples are. She recently realized that I have more there than just nipples. I did my darnedest to explain to her that Mama's use their chest to feed little babies. They have milk and they babies drink from their Mama's chest. I showed her pictures of herself nursing as well as some online. I also had a friend who allowed her to watch her feed her baby. However Abigail still says this to me regularly, 'Mama chest (and points to my chest). Feed baby. Milk.' At this point she nuzzles up to my chest and goes, 'Nom nom nom nom.' Jason thinks it's hilarious. I'm a little nervous about what people are going to think we are teaching her at home.
-Abigail noticed that Jason had hair on his belly the other night. She responded by asking, 'bwush?'
I'm certain there are lots more things. I wanted to capture a few because you don't realize until months later that the little things you thought were really cute are suddenly gone and they have moved on to being big.
Laughing with our sweet bug,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Have I mentioned our lives are never dull?

All right this post may be somewhat long, but it will include cute pictures if you can stick with me.
Our Abigail has always been what I've described as a "great sleeper." It seemed from about three months on the only time we had trouble with sleep was one really large growth spurt, ear infections and teething. From somewhere (probably around 18months?) on Abigail started waking up around three to five nights a week. She was a late teether though so we kept writing it off, and writing it off. We would get a time of respite and it would confirm in our heads that it was only teething. However all of her teeth have been in for quite some time now...and we are still having sleep issues.
We had just started to realize this when we went to the developmental pediatrician in October; so I mentioned the sleep issues. Since that time she had a swallow study and we found out she was micro-aspirating. After we had that mostly under control we went through a time period where she was having excessive asthma attacks, but only at night. After our second trip to the e.r. in two weeks and a few conversations with doctors we were told GERD (acid reflux) and Abigail hasn't had a single asthma attack since we started on the medicine for that.
I feel like we are getting somewhere with all of the little things. We are sorting things out and starting to be able to pull apart what exactly is going on and what might be causing it. But, Abigail is still waking up at least two nights a week, generally crying and disoriented, often drenched in sweat, and sometimes because she has had an accident (she has been staying dry through the night for almost six months now). So we continued to feel a little perplexed. It didn't seem like nightmares. It just felt off. The doctors agreed.
And so we had an EEG to look for nocturnal seizures. On Wednesday morning we drove to Riley and got Abigail all hooked up to a thousand wires. We spent all day there and last night before driving home this morning. We won't know the results for a few days. We know that she didn't wake up at all last night or have "an episode" like she does at home. However the tech told us that it's not always necessary for her to have one in order for them to figure things out.
It was a long day for us. Abigail spent a lot of it watching Blue's clues from the large collection of movies that Riley has available. We spent the day anxiously praying (and feeling weird about praying) that Abigail would do there whatever she is doing at home. So even though that didn't happen we are still praying that whatever is going on would show up so we can help her to get the rest that she needs at night.
While doing a little research on nocturnal seizures I came across a medical journal (that's right) that said these words, "Nocturnal seizures were defined as those occurring after falling asleep or before awakening either at night or in the day-time." I believe it was authored by a Mr. Obvious.
Abigail after all the electrodes were on, watching some television.

Enjoying her McDonald's for lunch.

Every hospital trip deserves a balloon and a Popsicle...
...and that the Popsicle should drip down your chin and onto your clothes.

Papa is napping while Abigail snuggles and watches television.

Mama and Abigail coloring together.
She remained happy despite the tether keeping her in a small area of a room.

The backpack she had to wear that contained the part that all the electrodes were plugged into. It also had the cord coming out of it that sent all the data to...

...this computer. The camera on top was recording her and was the reason she could only stay in a small part of her room.

The amount of cord she had to move around with.

To end the day today, Abigail decided on an emergency trip to the dentist office. She was running through the house, fell and slammed face first into the refrigerator knocking three of her bottom front teeth lose, and giving herself an awesome split, fat, bottom lip. Her teeth appear okay, although the dentist said it's still possible there is nerve damage, and we won't be able to tell until a little later.
The best part about all of it was that Abigail still had glue all over her face from the probes last night, as well as in her wildly unruly hair that I was unable to put any moisturizer in since Monday night because of the EEG. She also had a large amount of blood on the front of her shirt. And me...well I was wearing some grey stretch pants and haven't showered today. Next time you see that mom out in public, remember, that maybe, possibly, there is some crazy circumstance that landed her where she is.


Hoping for a few boring days full of coloring, reading, and other two year old activities,

Monday, January 10, 2011

video

This is Abigail opening her Christmas presents. Notice that she points to a box and says, "atar." That is the box that contains her guitar we bought her. Purely coincidence? Ridiculous ability to guess presents? Whichever I was quite surprised. :)

A little unrelated update. Tomorrow Mama, Papa, and Abigail will be going to Riley for an EEG. We will have to be there by 9 in the morning (hopefully the snow isn't in full force yet) and will stay until Wednesday morning. We are hopeful that this will answer some issues that she has with sleep that are very hit or miss. I'll let you know what we find out. In the meantime we would love if you would pray that things would come to light, and whatever is going on would happen during the testing.

That's all for tonight,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

We just figured out Blue's Clue's.

I know I mentioned before that one of the things Abigail LOVES is Blue's Clue's. And in the last post I showed you a picture of Abigail with her Blue's Clues movie she got for Christmas. The past two weeks have been spent in an almost constant living in the world of Blue. Abigail will all of a sudden proclaim, "a cue a cue." She then will retrieve one of her notebooks (stacks of paper I cut up and stapled together) and crayons, draw her clue and sit in her "thinking chair."
So we decided that it might be fun to do a real game where she searched for clues to figure out what her snack was. She woke up from nap and we brought her down and helped her search our house.
Abigail has her notebook and crayon and is ready to search for clues.
Searching (the clue is on the wall below the window).

"A clue a clue." Our first clue was the color brown.
Putting it in our notebook.
The second clue was a rectangle box.

Mama helping draw our second clue.
Searching for our last clue.

It's right there on the wall! Our third clue. It's a bunny. Now it's time for our....
"Thinking chair."
"What could we have for snack that is brown, looks like a bunny, and is in a rectangle box?" "Chockerk bunnies."
This was the end of Blue's Clues. We then got to go and enjoy some chocolate bunnies (like teddy grahams, only bunnies) for our snack with a very excited two year old. I love how easy it is to do fun things that make our children happy.
Going to look for more clues,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As promised...


This is how we keep Abigail still while we are at home. Just kidding. Don't go call anyone to report us. Abigail had gotten sick in her car seat and when I put it back together after washing it she played in it the rest of the night.

Ready for her big ballet performance. That was her prop that she was supposed to shake. We were pretty impressed that she got about 3/4 of her dance in.

Abigail helping us decorate the tree.

Laying under it to look up at the lights. When I put the skirt around it she told Papa that I had put a blanket on the tree and it was going nigh nigh.

My attempt to get a picture of her in front of the tree. She has started running towards me to see the picture before I get it taken these days. Also I hope you are noticing how she has dress up clothes on in lots of these pictures. She LOVES wearing a "ballaween kirt" during every waking moment.

Abigail reading with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa looks silly because he is quacking in this picture.

Opening her stocking at Grandma's house.

Pretty excited about her new "Blue's Clue's" movie. She screamed, and jumped up and down when she opened it.

Abigail holding her new baby cousin Colton. She thought he was pretty great.

Her cousins brought their Wii so she was playing some sort or dancing game with them. Don't let the happiness fool you, there was an absolute collapse when I told her we were all done with the remote.

Mama loves the snow. Up to this point Abigail has not...she gets sad (and cries) because there is snow on her boots. But I convinced her to come out at Grandma and Grandpa's house where it's just a little warmer outside than here. I had a hard time getting her to come back in. We had LOTS of fun and I was a happy Mama to have a girly who finally loves the snow.

Abigail put on Mama's boots all by "iself."

We got rolls of paper and paint for Christmas so Mama rolled it, turned up the heat, and put Abigail in her undies and paint shirt. I then proceeded to allow Abigail to make a big mess.

I joke that she might have pica, but seriously, she eats a lot of things she shouldn't. And she apparently enjoys green paint.

Our messy hands, feet, face, legs, you get the point, right before I dropped her in a tub full of warm water.


So hopefully this load of pictures will make up for my lack of picture posting over the last few weeks. We had a great Christmas and boring New Year (just the way we like it). We will open presents as a family on Saturday (we try to do it around epiphany) and still have a Christmas with my family coming up. I'm pretty excited about Abigail's three gifts she will be getting from us, and will definitely have to post pictures or a video because I think she is going to be pretty excited.
Hope everyone else is staying healthy and enjoying day five of 2011.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,